Why the Designs of Generation 1 Were Superior

Axle the Beast

This is the first article to be published on Pokemon Dungeon, and what I’d like to talk about is the actual creature designs from the various Pokemon generations. As I’m sure you can glean from the title, I believe that Generation 1 (or Gen 1) is the best of all of them. Now surely if you’ve been on Pokemon sites or been in Pokemon discussions enough you’ll hear people praise the original 151 Pokemon the most, with opinions on the later generations being far more split.

This article isn’t strictly intended to convince people who feel differently, but also to lay out some objective reasoning as to why Gen 1 is the favorite, for the benefit of those who don’t understand that. Ideally, this article will be just as beneficial to those that prefer Gen 1 as to those who dislike it in explaining why it is the favorite.

I don’t think it’s something that can be explained away as nostalgia. It’s not a case of people simply liking the old generation because it’s the old generation and disliking what was added to it. The problem lies in specific design concepts that are pretty strictly applied to all of the Gen 1 Pokemon, and these concepts are gone from the later generations.

If you look over the list of all the Pokemon in Gen 1, you’ll see that there are a lot of very different Pokemon, all of which look different from one another. But if you look closely you’ll notice a core design theme consistent throughout nearly all of them: Most of them take after real biology.

In Gen 1 just about every Pokemon is actually based on a specific animal or combination of animals, with a degree of realism applied to the design. Take for example the Bulbasaur family, which resemble dinosaurs and toads (not to mention plants), or Caterpie, which legitimately looks like a caterpillar. Even the sometimes unusual Fighting-type Pokemon take after humans and other primates, and the same is true of many Rock types. The Pokemon that don’t take after real-world animals take after other things instead, like rocks or plants. This made all the designs more grounded and realistic, and in a way more humble. You weren’t dealing with totally whacky, insane creatures. You’re actually dealing with believable fictional creations.

Because this happens in natureOf course there are a handful of exceptions, of which Jigglypuff, Diglett and Tangela are excellent examples, but while these deviate from the real-world creature style, they do still possess familiar sharps and curves and design sensibilities as the rest of the Pokemon in Gen 1. With this at least in common, it was fine that a few deviated from the design style of the rest; some variety is good.

Later generations, starting with Gen 2 but continuing all the way up until Gen 5 (currently the most extreme example), have shunned this realism and gone for designs you’d see in some crazy anime. Strange creatures that are highly original, with wild and whacky traits. Not the humble designs of Gen 1.

It of course has to be acknowledged that this realistic approach isn’t necessarily a better approach. Certainly, it takes more skill to match realistic anatomy, but that doesn’t automatically mean the creature itself is better. Realistic and fantastic designs are two distinct styles that have their own advantages. I’ll even admit that I myself prefer Pokemon out of the later generations. I am a fan of fantastic styles and I enjoy some of the more interesting and unique designs, Gen 3 sporting most of my favorites.

But another thing here is the issue of consistency. Within Gen 5 there are so many Pokemon that don’t look like they even come from the same game as the Gen 1 designs. It’s a wild departure.


Hey look, Nintendo made a new collectible- oh, wait, that’s still Pokemon? Seriously?

It’s common practice within long-running series, and especially those with lots and lots of creatures, to have different artists design different creatures and/or characters. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. At its best, it means that within the story you have appropriate diversity; lots of characters and creatures that show fitting difference from each other that reflects the real world’s diversity. At its worst you end up with clashing design sensibilities. This problem crops up the worst within the American comic book industry, where you have different writers come in and retcon the storyline many times over until all consistency and sanity is lost.

Obviously that’s primarily a writing issue, but the same problem applies to drawn art as well, because even with a beneficial diversity within your fictional world, you need to have a consistent running style. Unless you’re simply composing unaffiliated pieces of artwork, the product you make is a whole made out of many parts, and the key to good artwork is to make sure all the elements work smoothly in concert.

Why this has happened with Pokemon is unknown. Do the people designing Pokemon just not realize the consistent theme they had going and why the new Pokemon clash? Are they running out of ideas? Regardless, this is a real issue in the Pokemon franchise, and one that seems to be getting worse.

Of course some may prefer the new designs, and for them this direction that Nintendo’s taking is a happy one. But that issue of consistency will always be there, especially since there are always exceptions, even within Gen 5; Pokemon that do fit in with the original 151 from Gen 1.

Gen 2 and 3 have plenty of great PokemonThat’s a good thing too, though. Even within the new generations, there are Pokemon that still match up with the ones from Gen 1. Even in Gen 5. Hopefully Nintendo will catch wind of the problem. In Gen 3, I felt they returned back more to the realistic biology approach with most of their designs. There were more silly ones than in Gen 1, yeah, but they overall handled things better in my eyes than Gen 2 or any of the later generations. Gen 3 applied realism and fantasy in an appropriate balance, I felt, one that departed from Gen 1 somewhat but not enough to prevent things from not fitting. This is probably why Gen 3 contains many of my personal favorite Pokemon; they are a little wilder, but they have a realistic element to them and fit in better with Gen 1 for that reason. Though I will admit, Gen 2 comes closer to this than any post-Gen 3 Pokemon, and some of my preference to Gen 3 may be entirely personal and not objective. You’ll have to be the judge of it yourself.

Of course one thing you’re probably thinking as I keep talking about consistency is what about things staying the same in a bad way? No new ideas, the same thing over and over again? Well obviously when I say to keep a consistent design style I’m not suggesting to recycle the exact same designs. Even within a single style there are billions of possibilities. And even aside from that, Nintendo could have always implemented some fresher Pokemon, like it did as early as Gen 1 with the few stranger Pokemon it had, or like Gen 3 where the Pokemon were all a little wilder but most of the time kept the biology realistic. There are better ways they could have handled it no matter how you look at it.

Now of course, none of this is to say that Pokemon is bad. The game series is still fun and as I said, many of my personal favorites do actually come out of the later generations. I know I’m not alone in that, and I’m sure many of you are okay with the direction of the series. Still, these would be the primary reasons why, in my eyes, Generation 1 is regarded as the best generation. Not so much because it had outright superior designs, but because it established a style that it consistently followed, but that most of the rest of the series did not. This has given the other games the feeling of being broken off from Gen 1’s style, and whether or not that’s a bad thing, it does create that inconsistency and it does potentially reflect design flaws within the series. Generation 1 isn’t superior purely on its own, but became the superior example within the Pokemon franchise when the rest did not try to keep up a consistent feel.


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153 Responses to “Why the Designs of Generation 1 Were Superior”

  1. WrethedShiro says:

    Wait, I’m so not understanding. You seem biased. First of all you claim Gen V is the most extreme for wacky designs yet it’s much more true to real things than Gen IV or III. The comparison picture you have there, you can clearly see there is a pig, a humanoid creature and a crocodile. From Gen I in that picture there is a weird plant lizard, a humanoid creature, and some strange muddy aardvark. Overall, a good article but you can tell you have a slightly bitter test for later generations.

    • Anonymous says:

      Um, there is a significant difference between that pig, humanoid, crocodile, and the real-life counterparts of all three. The point I was raising was not that Gen 1 somehow based itself directly off real life with real creatures, whereas the rest just made stuff up. There’s a difference between basing something off real life and using the rules given by real life. Gen 1 constructed its Pokemon with more believable designs and more realistic anatomy. Gen 5 on the other hand is pretty much blatantly cartoony most of the time.

      Either way, of course I’m biased. This is an opinion article written about a piece of entertainment. Whether my opinions are objective or not, they are still opinions, and opinions are biased. I actually am not that bitter about the later generations; I said within the article that I prefer Pokemon out of them. My beef is from a consistency and design standpoint.

    • Epic Ninfia says:

      its a tapir and its based ona yokai

  2. A_LINK_IN_TIME says:

    I agree, Axle.  Gen I forever! 

    • Isaiah Rude says:

      It’s funny how his favorite gen is 3. So, no. GEN 3 FOREVER! Plus, gen 3 had firered and leafgreen. Which are Gen 1 remakes. THE SAME THING BUT BETTER.

  3. Darkvaati99 says:

    My fav Gen is 4. Mainly because my first Real pokemon game was Platinum and my favorite pokemon is Infernape

  4. Darkvaati99 says:

    But Kanto is my favorite region

  5. awsomeMrlink says:

    Me and my friend think Gen 3 is the best, but of course gen 1 is the 2nd best.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Gen 3 is my personal favorite, too. This article is more about the consistency problem than which I like as a favorite. Really tough, Gen 3 might actually be the perfect evolution from Gen 1… it changed all the right things and kept all the right things to work really well I thought.

      • RaltsFTW says:

        not just the pokemon, but the gen 3 games are the greatest since gen1, i know for a fact nothing’s beaten them since. every gen has its own feel, for me, 2 is nostalgic, 4 introduced me to pokemon, 5 is knid of awkward, and 3 is just awsome, i can play emerald over and over and never get bored. the way each game feels as you play is really hard to describe

      • Epic Ninfia says:

        gen 1 had the same style of thought just Gameboy restrictions

    • Pengoony says:

      As great as Gen 1 was Gen 3 will always be my favorite and my childhood since I grew up during Gen 3 :)

  6. Shuck says:

    I did not like generation V’s names so much.  They couldve done better than “Conkledurr”

    • RaltsFTW says:

      when it comes to evolution chains, the names in GEn 5 change very little with each evolution. i miss the randomness of getting an octopus from a fish. it kept things freash and you never expected it. the evoltuion processes, with the exceptions of karrablast and shelmet, are pretty boring as well.

  7. RaltsFTW says:

    Gen 3 is my favorite because Ralts is still my all time favorite pokemon (Gothita almost replaced it at first sight) and made me fall in love with pokemon. even though my first games were gen 4, Emerald is still my fav.

  8. Ckthekaiser says:

    Pretty weak article. You claim to take an objective look at all the generations, but you still put the 1st gen on a pedestal are refuse to be critical and consistant. “The point I was raising was not that Gen 1 somehow based itself directly off real life with real creatures, whereas the rest just made stuff up.” Answer this: 

    – What kind of animals are a Jigglypuff, Gengar, Golem, Lickytung, Nidoking, Clefable, Alakazam, Slowbro, Magneton, Dodrido, Muk, Voltorb, Chansey, Magamr, Electabuzz, Snorlax, Mewtwo, and Exeggutor? 

    – And what kinds of animals are Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Lilipup, Patrat, the elemental monkeys, Pidove, Zebstrika, Drilbur, Seismatoad, Basculin, Sandile, Tirtouga, Archen, Swanna, Deerling, Emolga, Foongus, Frillish, Joltik, Eelektross, Stunfisk, Boffaulant, Braivary, Mandibuzz, Heatmor, Durant, and Volcarona? 

    Your thesis lacks consistency for it to be logical and objective. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Axle already commented on how some of them aren’t quite based exactly like animals, using Jigglypuff, Tangela and Diglett as the examples. However, Gengar is a ghost. Golem is a boulder. Magneton is a bunch of magnets and bolts. Voltorb is an organic Poke Ball. Exeggutor is a Palm Tree. Some of those aren’t easy to place as to what they are based on, but all the same, Axle did mention it. Obviously you didn’t read it very thoroughly.

    • Shuck says:

      yes, some of them are related to real things, but the difference is that they seem more cartoonized.  The colors are much less subtle, and, what the author of this article said, they seem like their from some freaky anime.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re ignoring many statements where I covered what you’re addressing, and also taking statements too literally. I never claimed that Gen 1 Pokemon were better because they were based purely off an animal or idea and that the other Generations didn’t do this. I said it was based on realistic ideas of biology, among other things, where with Gen 5, as Shuck put it, they are cartoonized. They are based on an animal, sure, but they don’t follow the rules of that animal, or of any animal. They do not look like something that could occur in nature, or could even be derived from it.

      The only lack of consistency comes from taking things too literally.

      “You claim to take an objective look at all the generations, but you
      still put the 1st gen on a pedestal are refuse to be critical and
      consistant.”

      Just because I favor Gen 1 doesn’t mean it isn’t objective, and objective at no point means that it isn’t still a personal opinion. That’s exactly what it is. If you disagree, that’s fine. My conclusion =/= your conclusion.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re ignoring many statements where I covered what you’re addressing, and also taking statements too literally. I never claimed that Gen 1 Pokemon were better because they were based purely off an animal or idea and that the other Generations didn’t do this. I said it was based on realistic ideas of biology, among other things, where with Gen 5, as Shuck put it, they are cartoonized. They are based on an animal, sure, but they don’t follow the rules of that animal, or of any animal. They do not look like something that could occur in nature, or could even be derived from it.

      The only lack of consistency comes from taking things too literally.

      “You claim to take an objective look at all the generations, but you
      still put the 1st gen on a pedestal are refuse to be critical and
      consistant.”

      Just because I favor Gen 1 doesn’t mean it isn’t objective, and objective at no point means that it isn’t still a personal opinion. That’s exactly what it is. If you disagree, that’s fine. My conclusion =/= your conclusion.

    • GUEST says:

      Jigglypuff singer, Gengar ghost, Golem boulder, Lickytung lizard, Nidoking rhino, Clefable fairy,  Alakazam, Psychic person, Magneton magnets, Dodrio ostrich, Muk sludge, Voltorb pokeball, Chansey nurse, Exegutor, palm tree 

    • CallM3Joker says:

      It’s obvious you didn’t read the whole article (and I’m not just saying that because you can’t spell).

      He didn’t say ALL the Pokemon in generation 1 were designed based on animals. He said they were designed based on animals, vegetation, and silicons. (and if you actually read the WHOLE article, you’d know this).

      Jigglypuff = Listed as an exception
      Gengar = Ghost
      Golem = Boulder (silicon)
      Lickitung = Based on any number of lizards with extending tongues, particularly the blue-tongued skink or maybe even chameleons. It also shares traits with anteaters. Lickitung could also be an iguanodon, as it shares its characteristic ‘thumbs’ with it.
      Nidoking = Shares traits of rhinoceroses, gorillas, rabbits and porcupines.
      Clefable = From space, not from Earth.
      Alakazam = Based on a magician, and also a spoon bender. It also shares similarities to goats and foxes, both animals with ties to magic.
      Slowbro = Somewhat similar to hermit crabs, though it is physically similar to giant otters, giant salamanders, and hippopotamuses. Slowbro’s appearance may also be a reference to the mythical sazae-oni, a magical sea demon of Japanese folklore distinguished by its spiny “sazae” or “turban shaped” snail shell.
      Magneton = A cluster of three Magnemite which in turn seems to be based on the objectification of electromagnetism, one of the four fundamental interactions of nature. They are likely linked through strong electromagnetic force.
      Dodrio = Despite its name, Dodrio seems like it has more in common with ostriches than dodos. It also seems to show some similarity to the Moa, an extinct flightless bird, and the Emu, another flightless bird. It also resembles the Kiwi in some ways as well. Its crests may mean it may have been based on cassowaries.
      Muk = A form of waterless life has been found in the form of sludge, not kidding.
      Voltorb = Based upon the concept of a living Poké Ball (with its shiny form possibly being based on a Great Ball). The idea of them being mistaken for the standard Item Balls is similar to “Mimic” monsters found in other RPGs. Given its tendency to explode, it could also be based on a bomb. The design concept may be inheritance from the time when the franchise was known as Capsule Monsters, as early artworks show Poké Balls without the button in the middle.
      Chansey = Tends to carry eggs in a pouch is very monotreme- or marsupial-like. She may also just be based on a general concept of females and motherhood. As her Pokédex entries mention her tendency to lay nutritious eggs everyday, Chansey may also be based on chickens or other poultry fowls.

      I could keep going on about this, but I’m sure you won’t even read this far.

    • Epic Ninfia says:

      slowbros based on a Japanese yokai lots of these mons are based on myths and animals

  9. You-Know-Who says:

    Ekans=Snake

    Arbok=Kobra

    Muk=Kum ;)

  10. MetaBarbar23 says:

    This is literally the least biased Pokemon article I’ve ever read. I love it to death but the Pokemon community is way too blinded by nostalgia and therefore close-minded about judging the generations. Axle’s objective thinking is exactly what the Pokemon community needs. Great article.

    • Anonymous says:

      I thank you for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the article. :) I don’t think people are being nostalgic or closed-minded so much as they’re interpreting the title too literally.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m sick of these articles saying every generation besides 1 is crap.  This is not the first article saying this exact same thing (http://pokemondungeon.net/2011/07/the-magic-of-the-first-generations/ mentioned in many articles on the side, and hundreds of other in other places, lets see some originality from you guys), and I’m sick of it.  I literally see no loss in quality from the Pokemon’s designs between the generations.  You also should keep in mind, that animals in Australia are different from animals in the Americas.  Why is this relevant you may ask?  Well these are from different regions, so they will look different.  Try thinking before rehashing an old article that isn’t as well written as the previous.

    • Shuck says:

      It didn’t say they’re crap.  Just not as good.

      • Anonymous says:

        I didn’t even say it wasn’t as good. I said it was too different and they changed too much. Neither style is superior over the other.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wrote this article entirely from my own thoughts, and wasn’t even aware there were other articles covering it like I did. If anything that proves only that I’m not the only person who thinks this.

      I also know plenty about the diversity of animals in real life. Even with that in place, there are consistent and hardcore rules. Even nature keeps a consistent “style”. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio#Nature )

    • Anonymous says:

      I wrote this article entirely from my own thoughts, and wasn’t even aware there were other articles covering it like I did. If anything that proves only that I’m not the only person who thinks this.

      I also know plenty about the diversity of animals in real life. Even with that in place, there are consistent and hardcore rules. Even nature keeps a consistent “style”. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio#Nature )

    • awsomeMrlink says:

      He replied to my comment saying Gen 3 was his personal favorite. Which proves your statement WRONG.

  12. Anonymous says:

    As biased as this article may sound, if you read it carefully, more of this fact than opinion. Yes, he has put his own opinions into the article but I challenge you to find any journalist who doesn’t at least hint at their own opinions. Articles are to inform and often stir debate. It’s the opinions that make it interesting for people, something to disagree or agree on. Yes, you have every right to say his opinion, in your eyes, is incorrect. But you can’t pull apart a good article and a damn good journalist just because your opinions differ.

    Rant over.

  13. Geaux Zelda says:

    i like this article. i also happen to agree with a lot of what he says too haha. i like pokemon based off real things better, but still enjoy different, whacky things every once in a while. gen 3 is also my favorite set of pokemon

  14. Gannondork says:

    Yea, the Pokemon designs are turning into trash. Literary! Take that new garbage Pokemon from Gen V for example, original much? You also have an Ice Cream Pokemon, and it just evolves into an Ice Cream Cone with another scoop of ice cream, and not to mention it’s third evolution just adds one more! Then you got Litwick and his evolution chain. They are all candle based objects with eyes! I mean really, think outside of the box! Gen 1-3 I thought had the best Pokemon designs, then 4 was “bleh”, and five just sucks so much!!! Gen V for me had the best games ignoring the Pokemon designs though. It was all laid out nice and was appealing to the eye, but the Pokemon designs just ruined it for me! Pokemon should start heading out of this direction and going into designs the way they did with Gen 1-3. Tbh though, the legendary Pokemon looked really cool.

    • LinkNinjaMaster says:

      *In an alternate dimension*
      Yea, the Pokemon designs are turning into crap. Literally! Take
      that new sludge Pokémon Muk for example, original much? You also have a Rock Pokemon, and it just evolves into a Rock with another set of arms, and not to mention it’s third evolution just adds legs! Then you got Magnemite and his evolution. They are all magnet based objects with eyes! I mean really, think outside of the box!

    • Isaiah Rude says:

      Serperior, Samurott, Bisharp, Haxorus, Hydreigon, Liepard, Zebstrika, Excadrill, Sawk, Scolipede, Krookodile, Darmanitan, Archeops, Escavalier, Galvantula, Eelektross, Mienshao, Druddigon, Golurk, Braviary, and Volcarona. All the final evos of really GOOD gen 5 designs. Yes, gen 5. Most of them are great. Some bad ones, but theyve been present since gen 1.

    • Epic Ninfia says:

      yes very original you don’t even know what that word means

    • Epic Ninfia says:

      genwunner

  15. Jake says:

    I like generation 2 the best because imo the designs were better. I also loved the generation 2 games having 16 badges over 8.

  16. adz164 says:

    I’ve been playing Pokemon since the very first generation, and even to this day I have loved each generation’s pokemon designs for its own reasons. I do agree with your point Axle, about how the first generation had ideally more realistic designs and that is what was so cool about it when it came out. But in my own personal opinion, looking back at first generation pokemon, there is three things that kinda annoy me. The first is typing. For anyone who did not realize it, there is exactly 33 pokemon out of the original 151 that are posion type. There was only 3 ghost types, and only 3 dragon types. Personally, I think later generations had a better overall typing balance. Second, evolution designs. I found that a few evolutions designs where not that creative. For example, Magnemite, Doduo, Diglet, and Koffing had evolution designs where their overall look didn’t radically change but rather they just got another head or two. Again, i think evolution designs are more creative with more recent generations (but of course you do have a few oddballs here and there).  And finally, the fact that people say newer designs are not unique when compared to first generation are wrong. Usually you get the argument such as, “look at Trubish, its a garbage bag” or “Gen. 5 sucks cause Vanilitte is an ice cream cone”. Well, hello, Muk and Grimer are a pile of goo, Mr. Mime is .. well a mime, and Exeggcute is half a dozen eggs. No matter which way you look, each generation has their wierd and almost questionable designs. But you know what I still love them.
    And while I’m at it, the newer generations are much better gameplay wise. They have added much more deeper elements to the battle system and the game overall (ex. Special Att, Special Def, EVs, breeding, graphics, double battles, triple battles, online, ect.) that make them superior to past generations. I still love Generation 1, if fact some of my favourite Pokemon come from that generation. But for people to just say newer generations suck just because of nostalgia is kinda dumb. I say give the new games a chance and you’ll like them :)

  17. bob says:

    You people shoudn’t be complaining, this is the most response any news on this website has ever gotten, so I wouldn’t complain. I’ve read countless articles by axle and each one is great, so don’t complain

  18. bob says:

    You people shoudn’t be complaining, this is the most response any news on this website has ever gotten, so I wouldn’t complain. I’ve read countless articles by axle and each one is great, so don’t complain

  19. Somebody says:

    …Garbodor Shiny!!!

  20. chicken storm says:

    I love this article. I completely agree with Gen. 3 having the best designs though.Can’t wait to read more Pokemon articles from you!

  21. Hank Scorpio says:

    Very nice article, it’s a shame some commenters get so worked up over it…  I think Pokémon design can make or break how people feel about particular generations, and while it’s been pointed out that every generation has some which are stranger looking than others there’s no excuse for Pokémon like Swoobat when Golbat looked so much better.

  22. Hemi_82 says:

    Gen 1 was the best cuz they were still kinds based in real.animals or creatures. Not crazy shapes and colors…. Who doesn’t want growlithe/arcanine. A fricken fire dog….. They are plenty more examples. They should remake the original pokemon stadium already. Online with that would be unreeeeal

  23. Moufanix says:

    Gen 1 through 3, in my eyes, were the best of the best. Gen 4 took a huge leap downwards (in other words the Great Depression of the Pokemon era), and when Gen 5 came out, it was the little baby steps to becoming a superior series again. I too, believe that Gen 3 had a marvelous balance between realistic designs and fantasy designs. Ruby was my first Pokemon game, but putting all bias behind me, Gen 3 lived up to the expectations of Gen 1.

  24. ojama-blue says:

    I’m just going to say it, nostalgafag

  25. APersonYeah says:

    I want to argue about the second gen. You state, “Later generations, starting with Gen 2 but continuing all the way up until Gen 5, have shunned this realism and gone for designs you’d see in some crazy anime” But I’ve looked through all of the Pokemon in the second generation and found that the realism stays as consistent as the first gen. Of course they did go for some more abstract animals at times (such as Wooper being based on a larval axolotl), but they kept true to the design. Thus I must disagree with the notion that it “shunned this realism and gone for designs you’d see in some crazy anime,” in the second gen, but rather it starts with the third (and I would even go as far as to argue that only the legendary stray from the realism). You also claim that there is a core concept in the first gen that is not apparent in the rest, but unfortunately that is an empty claim. You tell us to look at all of the first and so I did, and verified that you are right. I didn’t stop there though. I continued to look at all of the 2nd gen and 3rd and 4th and 5th. The second was able to retain the same core concept that the first had. The 3rd looks as if it tried, but ultimately failed in specific cases, and the 4th seemed to drop the core concept altogether with some exceptions(same applies to the fifth). People are often unaware that new things tend to look different because they are new, not because they actually are all that unique. Though if anyone disagrees with me and had reasoning behind it I would love to hear it. ^^

  26. Silent says:

    Oh Slime and a collection of broken eggs are soooo much superior design-wise.

  27. “If you look over the list of all the Pokemon in Gen 1, you’ll see that there are a lot of very different Pokemon, all of which look different from one another.”

    Because Rhydon and Nidoking look sooooo different from eachother. Or Gastly and Cloyster. Or jigglypuff and Cleafairy.

    “In Gen 3, I felt they returned back more to the realistic biology approach with most of their designs. There were more silly ones than in Gen 1, yeah, but they overall handled things better in my eyes than Gen 2 or any of the later generations. ” Generation 3 had Spinda and Luvidsic being silly. Gen 1? Grimer, Muk, Oddish, Magnemite, Magneton, Digglet, Exeggcute, Jynx, and goddamn Mr.Mime.

    • Pokenord says:

      Umm, Gen III also had Gulpin, Swalot, Lunatone, Solrock, Baltoy, Claydol, Chimecho, Glalie, Beldum, Metang, Metagross and all the Regis. And let us not forget Castform. Realistic much?

    • youreafaggot says:

      im sick of hearing everyone talk shit about gen one… one thing i have to say. garbordor… stupidest fucking pokemon ever made… half of gen 4 and 5 pokemon look like a fucking 5 year old made it.. game freak is more worried about the graphics of the games now instead of making decent looking pokemon.

      • beepee says:

        Garbodor is a Pokemon created to portray the negatives of pollution in the order of industry. It was placed in Gen V since the region, Unova, is based partially off of New York, a fairly industrial state in the US.

      • LinkNinjaMaster says:

        “Garbordor… stupidest fucking pokemon ever made…”
        May I remind you that Gen 1 had a FUCKING PILE OF TOXIC SLIME?

      • Epic Ninfia says:

        I’m sick of you being a stupid genwunner actually they have more detail in their designs now fag

  28. Nostalgiafags are annoying says:

    The picture comparing Gen I Pokemon to Gen V Pokemon is invalid. I can look at Krookodile and say “That’s a Pokemon.” What makes a Machoke more Pokemon-like than a Krookodile. What makes a Geodude Pokemon-like in the first place? It’s a boulder with arms. People think an Ice-Cream is unoriginal. What about a pile of sludge, what about Jynx and Mr. Mime?

  29. beepee says:

    The reason why newer Pokemon have more strange traits and attributes is partially because GameFreak no longer has the limitations of the GameBoy/GameBoy Color. They are able to create more detailed designs, so that’s what they do. And Pokemon aren’t supposed to be animals, they’re supposed to be monsters or counterparts to animals. This isn’t real life, this is a video game.

  30. ew says:

    MUH GENWUNNERS

  31. Dad says:

    The only thing Gen 1 has on the other games is that it started the whole franchise.

  32. froakie78 says:

    The guy who designed the first gen also did gen 2 and has designed all of the starter Pokemon so…

  33. Alternate says:

    But each pokemon are from a fucking different region, not all of them are gonna look the same, plus wouldn’t they run out of these humble things to mimic? Plus that’s what gen oners usually say is “you have an ice cream pokemon? That sucks!” I think crazy designs is what make pokemon pokemon, and so far loved the crazier designs next to the boring ones

  34. ?!?!lol says:

    Dis gon B gud

  35. Dizzy Gear says:

    IMO the first 3gens were awesome! sure the 3rd gen had some weird looking pokemon but it was still a great game just like the first two gens. however the 4th gen bugs me and here is why: its not so much the design of the pokemon but also the layout of the new region, and the surfing was very slow, and the music. think about it the first 3gen of pokemon music was very catchy. the musical engine that they used with hg/ss was the same as the 4th gen and it sounded horrible. however the 5th gen has some of the best gameplay out of all 4 gens. the 5th gen is much more mind over muscle meaning everything isn’t so level based. on top of that the 5th gen leveling up system is faster. I have only been playing about 6hours of the 5th gen and im almost done with the game. with that said pokemon y is going to be my last. honestly after the 4th gen I started playing other rpgs such as chrono trigger, secret of mana, final fantasy, dragon quest, wild arms, breath of fire, mother, lufia, and others and I have to say that pokemon is too slow and simple. the only time I would buy another pokemon game after x/y is if they made another game like g/s/c where you go from region to region but you go through regions 1-6. that would be such an awesome game!

  36. Ash says:

    the classic stupid debate about which gen is the best.. it’s so useless, what about none of them are the best! They all have something unique to offer and their flaws, Gen 1. was the first but has some really really boring designs and there was no strategy needed to win a pokemon battle ,gen 2 added some really intersting designs my two favorite pokemon and one of my favorite types dark (evil) that balanced the game. But added just 100 pokemon. Gen three came with abilities, but the games were a bit meh (except emerald and the 3d gamecube games) gen 4. Added that a move is Phisical or special no longer decided per type but per move, down fall there were too much legendaries. gen 5. Added amazing loop animated pokemon sprites and a ton of awesome looking pokemon. Down fall the region is a bit liniar. Overall

  37. Right says:

    If gen 1 had the best designs please explain Lickitung. The first pokemon game I played was Silver. It was such a great game I went back to gen 1, It wasn’t as good, I’ve continued through the series playing each generation. Gen 2 is probably my favourite but you can’t discount the later games and designs. Even in Gen 5 which people say has the worst designs – we still got great designs like Serperior, Haxorus, Reshiram, Zekrom and Excadrill.

  38. Mike says:

    You should know that many of the pokemon designed in gen 2 were designed at the same time as those from gen 1. Here is a list of gen 1 and 2 pokemon by their creation. http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/List_of_Pokémon_by_index_number_(Generation_I)

  39. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why it’s considered bad for Pokémon to not have a basis in the real world. The whole idea of Pokémon is that it isn’t the real world. The fact that there isn’t really a ghostly snow demon doesn’t stop Froslass from being cool…

  40. Uhh...a guy says:

    Unlike genwunners, you made good, valid points. For that, I am glad. Other people saying “Gen 1 is where it’s at!” had confused me so badly in the past because none of them explained it like you did. It wasn’t that your explanation was elaborate and long that I liked, but that it actually had some meaning beyond ‘opinions only’. The only thing I REALLY wish you went over was storyline. So I’m not fully convinced. If you can edit your article (or reply) then may you please mention other aspects such as storyline?

    • LinkNinjaMaster says:

      The storyline doesn’t has any impact over the creatures designs, which is what this article is about. It’s not trying to explain why gen 1 is the best, but rather why gen 1 mons designs were the best (which I still not agree to, but I respect that opinion).

      • Epic Ninfia says:

        all the object pokemon are based on lore or have something to do with the region so they fit
        lots of new mons look cooler

  41. Ididntfeellikeputtinganame says:

    I suppose you’re right. I was about to state why generation 1 wasn’t the best, and there’s no such thing as the original 151 because some or generation 2’s Pokémon were supposed to be generation 1, after reading this, my opinion has changed. You put a reasonable opinion and explanation, that makes sense. I respect that, good job.

  42. aiman imran says:

    good thing you’re not a genwunner

  43. Wolf says:

    My biggest problem is when people say things like “oh generation 1 sucks because the designs where uncreative! ekans is snake backwards and geodude is a rock with arms!”. Simple ≠ uncreative. Yes they were simple but that’s partly what I feel made them good, and this article illustrates that perfectly. I feel as “humble” and “modest” are great ways to describe it. I feel that’s what’s wrong with a lot of the new Pokemon recently, is that they are way too over thought, over drawn, and overdesgined. Sometimes they’d be better off taking a design off the front page of deviantart then hot glueing uneeded parts on a plastic looking… uh… whatever the hell that is. Like “oh pidgey is a bird I get it” not “I’m trying to wrap my brain around the design/concept of arceus” . I feel like that kind of simplicity is beautiful, design wise.

    I like to think of gen 2 as gen 1 but better so people who say that gen 1 is the best annoy me equally as much. Gen 2 had some pokemon that deviated in art style but also had pokemon that looked as if they could be from gen 1 so it was a near seamless transition with added features that made gameplay more fun and immersive. The plot was better too, as I felt like the second half of red/blue got stale but gold/silver/crystal I felt was fun all the way through.

    TL;DR: This article was good.

  44. Andrew says:

    Personally, i see the different generation as a way to display different art styles. Notice that each generation has a theme? Well i think that the Pokemon follow suit, not to match the theme, just that there are themes. Ken sugimori has even officialy stated that the different generation’s pokemon follow a theme.

  45. Horatio Caine says:

    I think part of the charm of the first gen is that they didn’t really try to balance things out too much. For example, there’s only one ghost type and it’s evolutions (and it’s not even pure ghost type), same with the dragon type. It makes it more natural and interesting. Later generations would try to have more diversity and new dual-types, sometimes wit strange-looking results and perhaps sacrificing the designs a bit for gameplay.

    • Robert Neff says:

      Why did they even bother including Ghost and Dragon in gen 1? Ghost was awful, both offensively and defensively, mostly due to the programming error that made it weak to Psychic. Dragon might as well have had no offensive moves at all, as the only one they had was a fixed-damage attack.

      They could have given up some of the slots that the 30 Poison and 30 Water types took up to make more Dragon or Ghost types, but for some reason did not.

  46. LinkNinjaMaster says:

    “In Gen 3,
    I felt they returned back more to the realistic biology approach with
    most of their designs. There were more silly ones than in Gen 1, yeah,
    but they overall handled things better in my eyes than Gen 2 or any of
    the later generations.”
    That’s funny because the majority of the Gen 2 designs were intended for Gen 1 but the cartridge didn’t have enough space.

    • Steve Bakewell says:

      That’s why i like Gen 2 Pokemon.. Gen 3 was also fine but Gen 4&5 was a complete departure from original designs.

      • LinkNinjaMaster says:

        Well, not all designs were so far off from the Gen 1 designs. Also, I actually like new and old designs equally.

    • Epic Ninfia says:

      all the object pokemon are based on lore or have something to do with the region it is realistic biology if u use logic

  47. LinkNinjaMaster says:

    Well, the article is fine, but I can’t help but think that lots of the newer designs are actually better than old designs. I like all of the designs, and I think most Pokémon are still consistent with the same style.

  48. Isaiah Rude says:

    Personally, I prefer the 4th generation remakes of Gold and Silver, Heartgold and Soulsilver. Gold and Silver were good. Emphasis on WERE. Now we just have better games with just as good designs. Believe it or not, gen 1 was my least favorite, and contained my least favorite designs.

  49. Isaiah Rude says:

    One more thing, gen 1 had its fair share of bad designs as well. Look at muk, electrode, magnemite, dugtrio. Some even inanimate objects that you people complain about! And you complain about the ice cream and trash bag, which are the only REALLY bad designs in gen 5. IMO Running out of ideas isnt the issue, because dumb ideas have always been present. I could name off PLENTY of really cool and original pokemon from gen 2-6 easily.

  50. Someone who gre up in the 90's says:

    Generation 1 is the only true generation. Every other generation can keep its crappy imitations and remember that when Muk and Electrode came out, they were new ideas never done before…an ice cream cone, a car gear and a haunted piece of furniture leave Gen 2+ as nothing more than a money grabbing effort towards the lesser minded children of the 20’s who wouldn’t know the basis for creativity if it bit them in the Dragon-ass. Keep your rip offs, I have Jigglypuff and Victreebell.

  51. drone iao says:

    alright, i would like to join in on the conversation, keep in mind i am not a pokemon fan and don’t really enjoy the games, that said, gen 1 is the worst piece of shit i have ever played, the mechanics were broken the designs were boring when compared to any later game and all the shit about it being the best is based completely off of nostalgia bias, the new designs are actually different. you also apparently do not realize that most of the newer pokemon designs would work better in real life than almost anything in gen 1. also, gre, how are the new pokemon designs rip offs? they look almost entirely different from the old ones aside from a few basic things that they have to have to still be based in reality, if it’s an animal it NEEDS a head, if it’s a bird it NEEDS feathers, if it’s a bug it NEEDS a carapace.

  52. Mauricio Guaura says:

    Nostalgiafag.

  53. GingahNinja47 says:

    To all the people claiming this is entirely based on nostalgia bias, I’d like to reply as an ex Gen 1-er. The first pokemon I became acquainted with were the Gen 1 pokemon, from the original anime and Pokemon Yellow, and the only game I enjoyed more than Red was FireRed. That is, until Gen 6 rolled around. Pokemon X and Y are now my favorite Pokemon games, and I still definitely understand what the op was trying to get across. The other games felt disjunct from the original, and as someone who grew up with the original, that was striking. It wasn’t necessarily worse, just jarring because it was different, and because the Gen 1 designs were the original, that difference and disjunction registered as being wrong. That’s why so many people love Pokemon like Typhlosion and Salamence. They feel like they fit. And that’s part of what makes Gen 6 great. So many of the Pokemon, like Pyroar, Pangoro, Gogoat, Goodra, and Talonflame feel like they fit.

  54. UchihaObito61 says:

    Great article. It’s funny seeing all these faggots in the comment section complaining like the dumb brats they are.

  55. Cakeman says:

    It’s so funny to see all these people vehemently agreeing with the author and disavowing every generation after 1, when both gens 1 and 2 were designed at the exact same time, and were all supposed to be in one game
    Trash bag is bad because it’s a completely retarded concept, but then literal human shit is given a pass because “it’s consistent with the other designs”, ignoring the fact that all modern pokemon are consistent with each other too
    You’re all just a bunch of angry contrarian hipsters with rose-tinted goggles surgically attached to your faces

  56. Epic Ninfia says:

    I came to see the genwunner logic

  57. wiseasthewoods says:

    Here we are in the year 2017. Have you seen the last two generations? X and y were blah and sun and moon just killlled it. Sun and moon looks like a kiddy game.

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