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Everything Pokémon GO Players Need To Know About Gengar

Part of the fun of the main series Pokémon games is the lore Pokémon, which Pokémon GO recreates with short descriptions in their Pokédex entries. However, looking into the roles these Pokémon play in other games, and even the anime, can enrich the experience of encountering these creatures in Niantic's mobile game. In honor of tonight's debut of Mega Gengar Raids, let's take a deep dive into this Ghost-type Pokémon's lore, just in time for the Halloween Event.

Official Gengar artwork in Pokémon GO. Credit: The Pokémon Company International
Official Gengar artwork in Pokémon GO. Credit: The Pokémon Company International

Dex entry number 094, Gengar is a dual Ghost/Poison-type species from the Kanto Region, introduced into the world of Pokémon with Generation One. This Pokémon, the third-stage evolution of Gastly, can be encountered as both Male and Female. Referred to as the "Shadow Pokémon" (with no relation to the Shadow Pokémon that Team GO Rocket use), this is what Gengar's Dex entry says:

Sometimes, in a dark night, your shadow thrown by a streetlight will suddenly and startingly overtake you. It is actually a Gengar running past you, pretending to be your shadow.

In its Red & Blue debut in the original game series, this "Shadow" Pokémon can only be obtained by evolving Haunter, which happens when Haunter is traded between trainers. Since its appearance in the games, Gengar has become one of the most well-received, iconic Pokémon.

For fans of the anime, Gengar has had many, many major appearances. Ash himself caught a Gengar in A Chilling Curse! This Generation One favorite is also featured prominently in A Ghost of a Chance, The Scheme Team, Tower of Terror, and many more episodes. The movie Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel showed off a Shiny Gengar that evolved into a Shiny Mega Gengar.

Other Pokédex entries offer new information about Gengar:

  • Red & Blue: Under a full moon, this Pokémon likes to mimic the shadows of people and laugh at their fright.
  • Yellow: A Gengar is close by if you feel a sudden chill. It may be trying to lay a curse on you.
  • Stadium: Appears to attack people who get lost in the mountains. Said to be the culprit behind shadows that laugh in the moonlight.
  • Gold: It steals heat from its surroundings. If you feel a sudden chill, it is certain that a Gengar appeared.
  • Silver: To steal the life of its target, it slips into the prey's shadow and silently waits for an opportunity.
  • Black & White: The leer that floats in darkness belongs to a Gengar delighting in casting curses on people.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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