The phenomenon that is Pokémon Go — the free mobile game that puts Pokémon into real life using your phone’s camera — is worldwide. Tens of millions of players are catching Pokémon and exploring the game’s limits at all hours of the day, all over the planet.
You’d think someone would have found Ditto by now.
Yet, as of this writing, no one has. He’s the elusive #132 in the Official Pokémon Pokédex — the encyclopedia of all official Pokémon, and the backbone of Pokémon Go. His number slot is there in your in-game Pokémon Go Pokédex, and folks have even dug into the game’s code and found plenty of evidence that he’s in the game.
And the CEO of the game studio behind Pokémon Go, John Hanke, said during TechCrunch Disrupt this week:
“I couldn’t tell you how to find Ditto, because it wouldn’t be any fun if I did. It will happen for you, I promise.”
Excluding Legendary Pokémon — which are said to be coming at some point, likely in a bigger way than simply being capturable — Ditto is the only Pokémon of the original 151 represented in the game that’s yet to be found.
Fans think there’s a good reason for that: the nature of what Ditto is. Look no further than — what else? — the Pokédex for more on this logic.
“Ditto rearranges its cell structure to transform itself into other shapes. However, if it tries to transform itself into something by relying on its memory, this Pokémon manages to get details wrong.”
Of course! As Reddit user “validproof” explains, when Ditto was introduced originally (on the Pokémon cartoon in the 1990s), it was a sort of mutant Pikachu. “What is interesting is that it is unable to fully transform in the beginning, and so it says ‘Pikacha’/’Pikachan.’ validproof wrote on Reddit.
All of which is to say: Ditto is almost certainly hiding in plain sight.
It’s a simple trick: Before evolving your Eevee, name it one of these three names, and it will evolve into one of three different types of Pokémon! The names are pulled from an original Pokémon cartoon episode. And in a panel at San Diego Comic-Con this summer, the folks behind Pokémon Go confirmed that more Easter Eggs are waiting to be found by players — Easter Eggs like the Eevee one.
As a result of those two things, fans on Reddit have devised a massive crowdsourced campaign to find Ditto. Some of the ideas being proposed are too good not to share:
- “Attempt to name pikachu ‘:’ before evolving it. To resemble the face of a Ditto.”
- “Geodude’s back has a face which appears to be asleep. Ditto will also transform into a rock when sleeping to avoid attack. Coincidence? Do we have to wake Ditto up, or try to take a picture of him from the back?”
- “Ditto in the game Pokemon Snap is disguised as a Bulbasaur. We might have to switch to the camera view when we encounter Bulbasaur and attempt to take a picture of it, similar to the game ‘Pokémon Snap.'”
- And of course, “Snapping a picture of Bulbasaur [did not work]. However, we did not rapidly tap/tickle the Bulbasaur in camera mode. Someone please try to tap spam/tickle it in camera mode.”
Let’s be clear: We’re not making fun.
Video games often feature esoteric Easter Eggs, and it’s no surprise that Pokémon Go has its fair share. That players are trying seemingly ridiculous things to suss out those mysteries is no surprise — the Eevee one is an awfully deep cut of a reference.
For now, however, no one has succeeded. Ditto remains a mystery, which is a delicious irony to savour while it lasts.
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