The Pokémon Trading Card Game spread like wildfire, and the original 150 Pokémon expanded to 151 after Pokémon: The First Movie. At the time, Mewtwo and Mew were virtually unheard of. Along with legendary Pokémon, pseudo-legendaries made completing the Pokédex an arduous task.
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Whether you refer to them as the original 150 or 151 Pokémon, it's undeniable that some Pokémon are rarer than others. The rarity of a Pokémon seems to correlate with its power, even if there are outliers to this assumption. Pokémon are fascinating creatures, and the way they are obtained varies. True Pokedéx completionists have acquired all of these Pokémon.
Updated December 27th, 2021 by Russ Boswell: Pokemon continues to grow with each passing year and there are now over 800 different Pokemon for players to get their hands on. However, some of these Pokemon are much rarer than others and this trend has been active since the very first generation released back in the late 90s. Some of the rarest Pokemon started in Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue, helping to set the stage for game-locked, low-encounter, and mechanics-based Pokemon hunting in future games. To help showcase some of the rarest Pokemon in the original 151, the following list has been updated to include even more entries.
There are a couple of Pokemon from each generation that are usually locked to one specific game, ensuring players have to have both to fill their Pokedex, or access to a friend that has the opposite title.
Electabuzz is one such Pokemon, locked specifically to Pokemon Red. But even players with access to the original title may have a hard time snagging an Electabuzz for themselves. This particular Pokemon only has a five percent encounter rate and is only found within the Power Plant. It can time some time to secure an Electabuzz, depending on how lucky players get.
Scyther is easily one of the most frustrating Pokemon to catch thanks to its location and game-locked status. Players who own Pokemon Blue didn't originally have a shot at the creature, who was only available in Pokemon Red and Pokemon Yellow. But even those that owned a Scyther-compatible copy faced an uphill battle when it came to capturing the 'Mon.
The catch difficulty was blamed on a combination of low encounter rate and the fact that Scyther was only found in the Safari Zone, an area that frustrated many trainers thanks to its annoying mechanic that forced players to use Safari Balls and Rocks to catch Pokemon, rather than their dedicated team. On top of the aggravating mechanics, unlucky players would have to search for quite some time to even encounter a Scyther, thanks to its pitiful 4 percent encounter rate.
As a third-stage Ghost-type Pokémon, Gengar maintains a ghastly appearance. It's not possible to catch a Gengar within the first generation games. You'll need a friend with a compatible trading device. This friend has to receive a Haunter in a trade, then trade back the evolved Gengar. The opportunity to get Gengar, the generation's most powerful Ghost-type, is well worth the hassle. It can learn unique moves like Night Shade, Hypnosis, and Dream Eater.
According to Porygon's Pokémon Red and Blue Pokédex, "A Pokémon that consists entirely of programming code. Capable of moving freely in cyberspace." Despite being a mediocre Pokémon to have on your lineup, Porygon is one of the rarest of the first generation. Pokémon Blue's Porygon is 8300 coins, and it costs a whopping 9999 coins in Pokémon Red. For most players, purchasing this Pokémon is out of reach until late in the game.
According to Machamp's Pokémon Yellow Pokédex entry, "One arm alone can move mountains. Using all four arms, this Pokémon fires off awesome punches." Machamp is one of those Pokémon that seldom appears on trainers' lineups because of its rarity. This heavyweight, superpowered Pokémon evolves from a Machoke into a Machamp after trading. To make things more tedious, one cannot find a Machoke until near the end of the game at Victory Road. Unless you've been leveling a Machop until it turns 28, a Machamp is out of hand's reach.
The Silph Company Headquarters is the only place in Generation I where Larpas is found. Lapras could be considered not uncommon because Generation I players pass this lady while progressing. However, some players swiftly move through the section without talking to the correct NPC. Unlike in Generation II, where seeing Lapras can be a weekly occurrence in the Union Cave, Lapras is only found one time in Saffron City. This majestic Pokémon resembles the Loch Ness Monster, adding to the mystery surrounding Lapras.
Some Pokemon are much more annoying to catch than others thanks to low encounter and catch rates. Kangaskhan suffers from both of these things, thanks to an abysmal 4 percent maximum encounter rate in Pokemon Red and Blue. It's better for Pokemon Yellow players, at 15 percent, but its location can be another frustrating aspect to securing this Pokemon.
Kangaskhan is only found in the Safari Zone, meaning players will have to catch it using only Safari Balls and Rocks. It makes the entire process even more of an annoyance, as players aren't guaranteed to catch one even if they manage to encounter it.
A skeleton of Aerodactyl is found at the Pewter City Museum, but it's the Old Amber key item that brings you a Pokémon. While other fossils in the first generation of the Pokémon games are obtained as part of the main story, Aerodactyl's Old Amber is optional.
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Players must go to the Pewter City Museum to receive Old Amber. Old Amber differs because it's not named after a Pokémon but rather after its composition. Head to the Cinnabar Lab, where a scientist will create Aerodactyl.
This pseudo-legendary Pokémon is considered one of the first generation's rarest. Dragonite is a dual-type Dragon and Flying with the potential to learn a wide range of moves through TMs. It's clear that Dragonite is a valuable asset to any lineup, yet few have one in the first generation of the Pokémon games.
Of the original 150 Pokémon, Dragonite is not easily found. The only way to get a Dragonite is to trade from another game or purchase a Draitni from the Celadon Game Corner and spend hours leveling it. Dratini becomes a Dragonair at level 30, which becomes a Dragonite at 55.
Catching the first-stage Pokémon of the Kadabra evolution chain is not easy. Every Abra knows the Teleport move, meaning they flee immediately in a battle. To get an Abra, wait until you have a Great Ball or Ultra Ball and toss it immediately in the encounter. Players can evolve Abra into a Kadabra, then trade Kadabra to evolve it into Alakazam.
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The other option for finding a Kadabra is in the Unknown Dungeon (Cerulean Cave), the most perilous place in the first generation games. Either way, obtaining an Alakazam requires several steps. Seldom is an Alakazam found on a Generation I trainer's lineup.
This Pokémon doesn't always have strained eyes, except for when it gets angry. Omastar is a prehistoric Pokémon that was thought to be extinct. Scientists were able to recreate an Omanyte using the Helix fossil. Omanyte evolves into an Omastar at the high level of 40. Few players put in the time to get this spiral Pokémon, aside from Pokédex completionists. The number of steps required to get Omastar makes it one of the rarest.
Like an Omastar, obtaining a Kabutops involves giving a fossil to scientists who turn it into an ancient Pokémon. To get Kabutops in Generation I, players first have to obtain a Kabuto. When Kabuto hits level 40, it becomes a Kabutops. As a Rock/Water-type Pokémon, Kabutops is a worthy addition to any lineup. By leveling up, it learns moves like Slash and Hydro Pump.
Found deep in the Unknown Dungeon of Cerulean City is a Pokémon. As stated in the diary on Sept. 1 of Pokémon Red and Blue, "MEWTWO is far too powerful. We have failed to curb its vicious tendencies." Before venturing into the most dangerous cave of the generation, players learn much about Mewtwo and its enormous power. Saving the Master Ball until this point is logical. For everyone else, catching Mewtwo is not easily accomplished.
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