Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Name (Japanese), Number||Missingno. (Ketsuban), 000|
|Gender distribution||No Gender³|
| ¹ Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal (Missingno. cannot be traded to these versions)
³ In the Red and Blue versions, Missingno. has no gender. However, when a player attempts to trade Missingno. to Gold or Silver, the player with the Gold or Silver game will see Missingno. as a male or female, even though Missingno. cannot be traded.
4 "Enigma Pokémon" is not an official term. But because there is no official species type for Missingno., "Enigma Pokémon" is widely used.
Note: The reason so many of the stats above are "unknown" is because Missingno. is a technical error "Pokémon", therefore there are no official statistics to go by. Missingno.'s battle statistics constantly vary.
Missingno. ("missing number", like its Japanese name, けつばん (ketsuban), which is Japanese for "missing number") is a glitch Pokémon which is found in the Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow Game Boy games and likely owes its existence to a programming oversight. There have also been Missingno.-like glitches in other Pokémon games, which are even sometimes called a Missingno.; however, these aren't related to the Red/Blue or Yellow Missingno., and are usually only obtainable with some sort of game enhancing device. Encountering the Missingno. character has been known to interfere with the save game data in various ways, such as adversely affecting the Hall of Fame saved data, and sometimes over time corrupting the game cartridge. Missingno.'s presence also allows what is known as the "Rare Candy Cheat", the games' infamous item duplication bug. It is commonly used to duplicate valuable and hard to obtain items, such as Rare Candies. However, the duplication bug can affect any item in the game, not just Rare Candies.
Missingno. is arguably the most well-known Pokémon glitch. Missingno.'s most famous appearance is as a mass of pixels in a backwards 'L' shape that is similar to a Tetris piece (see picture in the infobox). However, it sometimes appears as a ghost from Lavender Tower before receiving the Silph Scope item (see picture to the left). Also, types of Missingno. can be found that have the sprite of the Aerodactyl or Kabutops Fossil from Pewter City's museum (see Glitch City article for more details).
It is widely believed that Missingno. was a deliberate glitch added by the programmers of the game to aid them in testing. Proponents of this theory argue that Missingno. probably allowed them to progress quickly by giving them access to many items straight away. This theory relies on the supposition that the beta version of the game had land paths to Cinnabar Island that were removed in the final version - this would be the area where Missingno. is usually caught (see "Details" for directions on how to find it). Others cite the requirement of progressing thru about two-thirds of the game as proof that this is not the case.
The truth about Missingno. seems to be that the name is called by a separate subroutine which detects an unused slot in an internal list. The name MISSINGNO. (missing number) is thrown up since the game has no alternative for this unused space.
Another glitch Pokémon similar to Missingno. exists, with a glitched name consisting of block shapes and the letter 'M'. This Pokémon, known as 'M, evolves into a Kangaskhan when it is given a Rare Candy. 'M is also commonly referred to as "'M Block".
- Missingno. has the identification number #000.
- The most common Missingno. has the attacks Water Gun, Water Gun, and Sky Attack. The other versions' attacks are based on the starting moves of the last Pokémon to attack in battle, or seen in the Hall of Fame or Pokédex.
- Its cry is the same as Nidoran's. In the Stat screen, it has Rhydon's cry.
- The famous Missingno.'s types are Bird (not Flying - Bird-type may be a lost beta type about which little is known) and Normal.
- After encountering Missingno., players will find themselves with an increased amount of the sixth item on their item list - a glitch popular for duplicating items, especially rare items such as Rare Candies, Master Balls and hard to obtain TMs.
- If Missingno. is caught, it will not appear in the Pokédex. Because of this, there is no official Pokédex description for Missingno..
- If Missingno. is caught, strange things may happen to a person's game, but they should solve themselves after about 15 minutes, with the exception of the Hall of Fame glitch. Contrary to myth, it is untrue that capturing Missingno. will always delete a user's game. However, the fear of possible game deletion has in the past hindered research on the subject. (Further investigation shows it poses little danger to the game. It can safely be removed from the game and order restored with the exception of the Hall of Fame data.)
- Pokémon and Trainers may appear glitched after Missingno. is captured. This can usually be solved by looking at the Stat screen of a "real" Pokémon.
- Missingno. has no evolutions (although one report shows it evolving to Kangaskhan - these results have not been duplicated and are being investigated further). However, 'M evolves into Kangaskhan.
Missingno. can be found in the wild in Pokémon Red and Blue due to a bug in the map design. Missingno. (and 'M) can be traded into the Yellow version of the game, ('M becomes 3trainerpoke) but cannot be traded into Pokémon Gold and Silver, the sequels to Red, Blue, and Yellow. When it is tried, Missingno. appears as a Tyrogue (or any other Pokémon) from the Gold/Silver perspective, and when the player tries to trade Missingno. a message appears that says "Your <name> appears abnormal" and the trade automatically cancels. Missingno. has been deliberately removed from all games after the Red and Blue versions. However, for the Yellow version, there are a few exceptions.
How to find Missingno.
The most common way to encounter Missingno. in the Red and Blue versions of Pokémon is to do the following:
- Go to the northern part of Viridian City, and watch the Old Man's demonstration on how to catch a Pokémon.
- Fly to Cinnabar Island.
- Surf up and down along the east coast of the island until Missingno. appears. (Depending on the player's name, Missingno. may not show up.)
Theory on why Missingno. appears
One explanation states that whenever the game "sets up" the planned battle against the Weedle, it needs to change the player's character name to "OLD MAN" so that it will display "OLD MAN" instead of the name the player has entered. The programmers decided to use the area of data where wild Pokémon information is as a temporary storage area for the player's name. When the battle ends, the game will retrieve the player's name from its temporary storage place. The reasoning is that whenever the player goes anywhere else, such as Route 2 or Fly to another city, the game will automatically change that data to what it should be, plus, the player won't actually encounter any wild Pokémon in Viridian.
However, along Cinnabar Island's coast, there is no data for wild Pokémon programmed in due to the format of the maps, so the wild Pokémon data will not be set to anything sensible. While surfing the coast, the player's character name will still be the wild Pokémon data in that area. This is an oversight on the part of the programmer due to the structure of the maps.
The name of the player has six hexadecimal values in it. The game needs only three "slots" of wild Pokémon data to store this. The wild Pokémon the player encounters along the coast are determined by the third, fifth, and seventh characters of the player's name, while the levels are determined by the second, fourth, and sixth characters, respectively.
Information on how to determine what Pokémon and at what levels they appear at can be found at .
More Missingno. information
One rumor claims that the player must have five or less Pokémon with him or her if he or she actually tries to catch Missingno., otherwise, his or her game may malfunction when he or she tries to withdraw it from Bill's PC. (If a player has six Pokémon at the time Missingno. is caught, Missingno. will be sent to Bill's PC). This rumor is false; there is no reason why Missingno. should not be happy in Bill's PC unless its level exceeds a certain value when the experience it has goes over the allotted maximum value for experience.
In Pokémon Red and Blue, if the player captures a Missingno. over level 100, and the Pokémon gains any experience in a battle, it will say "Missingno. has leveled up to level 100". When any Pokémon over level 100 is constantly given Rare Candies, eventually the Pokémon will get up to level 255, and then after level 255 the Pokémon will grow to level 0. However, as already mentioned, if a Pokémon over level 100 battles another Pokémon, it will grow down to level 100. Pokémon going from level 255 to 0 and Pokémon going from a level above 100 back to 100 are the only known cases of Pokémon leveling down instead of up. The only other Pokémon known to "level down" in the Pokémon games are the Pokémon above level 100 encountered due to the same glitch as the one that reveals Missingno. This same glitch also sometimes allows players to catch over 100 Pokémon, including some that normally only appear once per game, such as the starter Pokémon.
Missingno. is one of many glitches that occur in the Red and Blue versions. Although similar, there seems to be no direct connection between Missingno. and Glitch City, another glitch that can be accessed. Missingno. has acquired much notoriety due to its presence in many Pokémon myths, especially those involving Mew. While these myths aren't true, Mew's popularity ensures that Missingno. will always have a place in Pokémon culture.
Missingno. in Pokémon Yellow
When Pokémon Yellow was released, the original Missingno. and 'M glitches were removed from the game. However, some time after Yellow was released, a new code was discovered that allowed the capture of any Pokémon, including Mew and Missingno. This code is detailed in a guide at the GameFAQs Pokémon Yellow page (said FAQ is Glitch Guide). However, if a player is unsuccessful at finding Missingno. in the Yellow version, he or she can simply have it traded in from a Red or Blue version.
Missingno. in other Pokémon games
In all later games including Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald, there exist glitch-based Pokémon similar to Missingno. that are obtainable through game enhancing devices. Players often refer to these anomalies as Missingno. even though none of them explicitly carry the name MISSINGNO. within the games. Unlike the original Missingno. of Red, Blue, and Yellow, there are no proven techniques for obtaining these special Pokémon without use of a cheat device. However, a number of players claim to have encountered one such Pokémon, whose name and icon appear as a single large question mark in the Ruby and Sapphire versions, through in-game glitches.
If Missingno. and/or 'M (glitch Pokémon found in the Game Boy games) are uploaded to Pokémon Stadium it will not mess up the game like some have suggested. When in Pokémon Stadium it will look like a substitute (a small Rhydon-like figure that usually appears only when a player has a Pokémon that uses the move substitute.) Missingno.'s substitute will be purple and 'M's will be blue. When looked at in the Pokémon Center within Pokémon Stadium, all of Missingno./'M's stats will be question marks (even though the ID# is a question mark, the Game Boy game confirms that both Missingno. and 'M are #000.) However, Missingno. will not be allowed to battle nor will it function correctly in the photo section (where players can take pictures of Pokémon). The photos of it will not develop if taken.
In Pokémon Stadium 2 (USA), Missingno. and 'M will become Dittos, although when compared to Missingno.'s Ditto (which is completely pink like a normal Ditto), 'M's Ditto appears to have a strange shade of purple.
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