People frequently make references to external things in their work, be it to stories they like, or in-jokes between themselves and friends about jellyfish. With the good people in Game Freak however, some of their references within Pokemon are to other games – and interestingly they’re often games they had made themselves.

The prime example of this is an old Mega Drive action platform game called Pulseman, which sported the likes of Ken Sugimori and Junichi Masuda… the director (and artist) and composer respectively of the main Pokemon games. It’s a fairly successful game involving a character called Pulseman who can control electricity. It lacks in collecting monsters in capsules for the sake of battling with others, but there’s many a borrowed aspect from Pulseman within the Pokemon games.

Perhaps the earliest is an often (and understandably) missed reference in the name of a certain boat well known by those who played the original RBY games (or their remakes)…

[Image: 200px-Originaltruck.png]
We’re talking about the boat here specifically, not the truck that squashed a non-existent Mew.

The boat is known to us as the S.S. Anne, but the Japanese name can be translated as the Saint Anne. A computer from the Pulseman game is named ‘Saint Ann’, so there’s either a funny coincidence or just a reusing of the same name in two games. Why the computer is called that in the game is anyone’s guess though.

Speaking of the computer, Pulseman came from it in the first place, and he as mentioned has electric powers. Almost reminds you of a certain Pokemon that can possess electronics…

[Image: 220px-Pulseman_box_art.jpg][Image: rotom.jpg]
Granted, he’s now missing some legs.

There’s some other possible resemblances with other Pokemon (such as Bisharp and Ledian), but this seems to be the most striking with appearance with the headgear and the whole electricity theme coupled with it.

The 4th generation of Pokemon games appears to have multiple Pulseman references in it for that matter. Team Galactic may not be so new an idea after all; Pulseman sported the villainous group called the Galaxy Gang. And the games even sports a musical reference as well. Take Barry’s battle theme for example, the hyperactive rival of the Sinnoh games. Parts of it certainly crop up in sections of a stage theme from Pulseman, such as around 0:36 and 0:34 respectively.

It’s not just the music or Pokemon either. Volt Tackle, the move Pikachu has been able to learn ever since the end part of the 3rd generation (around when Diamond and Pearl would have been in development in fact) is also inspired by Pulseman’s signature move in ‘Volteccer’, the same as the Japanese name for Volt Tackle. Whenever he used it he would be covered in sparks and able to bounce around the stage, or even you may say fly, not too unlike how the move works in SSB Brawl.

[Image: SSBB_Volt_Tackle.png][Image: pulsemanvttq1.png]
They’re also both painful for those on the receiving end.

Game Freak hasn’t only done Pulseman in the past however. A more recent title is Drill Dozer, a GBA game which also likely got some allusion to in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum. The game involves, unsurprisingly, drills, as well as items such as the Red, Green, Yellow and Blue Diamonds. Now, what colour shards can one find in Sinnoh’s Underground? A drill is also a key item required to make a Secret Base in those games. 5th gen is also not without its nods to the series, with the Drilbur possibly influence to the Drill Dozer’s design and techniques (specifically the attack Drill Run).

And the references goes both ways too. Rhythm Hunter: HarmoKnight, is another Game Freak game to be released in English next year as a downloadable 3DS game. It’s a rhythm game that features at least one Pokemon-themed level with it, complete with remixed Pokemon music.

[Image: large.jpg]
Nah, nothing familiar here at all.

Who knows what other references to Game Freak games will crop up in Pokemon? As long as members from past and possible future projects stay on the Pokemon scene one shouldn’t be surprised to continue to see small nods to their own works within the giant that is Pokemon.

[Image: 800px-Pulseman.png]
Drawn by Ken Sugimori himself. Also who knew Bug Catchers could float now?


Written by bobandbill. Edited by Bay Alexison.

2 Responses to “Pulsemon”

  1. Moonlightning Says:

    Hehehe, some entertaining articles here! Nice job Bob and Bay! (Dang that’s some in-depth feedback XD)


    Fuck my life, Bishap and Rotom bred to make Pulseman. I’m now going to shower for about a year.

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