What better way to kick off a new series than to cover one of Pokémon’s most iconic and mysterious creatures: Mewtwo.
To do so, of course, we need to look back upon the place that started it all: Kanto. Back in Generation I‘s titles, Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Green, and Pokémon Yellow, trainers jumped into their very first adventure alongside 151 new and diverse selections for Pokémon. Located east of Johto and south of Sinnoh, it is not only the setting of Generation I titles, but also of Generation II, Generation III, and Generation IV titles. These include Gold and Silver back in 1999, FireRed and LeafGreen back in 2004, and HeartGold and SoulSilver back in 2006.
But what exactly makes Mewtwo a Pokémon worth talking about? Well, it plays a very important part in Kanto’s history, which has been largely driven by Pokémon–including artificial ones, that is. You see, Kanto researchers were very well-versed in their position. Scientific advancements were nothing rare in the Kanto region. For example, well known Pokémon Researcher Bill is credited with the creation of the Pokémon Storage System and Time Capsule. In Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, he can be found experimenting with Pokémon teleportation at his Sea Cottage on the Cerulean Cape. The concept of the Pokémon Storage System is still present now, over a decade later, in the form of the PC that is present in every Pokemon Center. As for the Time Capsule, similar effects have been brought forward using the new Pokémon Bank service, allowing trainers to bring Pokémon from older games into the newer titles.
Going back to the Kanto scientists, Dr. Fuji, who worked under Team Rocket, was responsible for cloning Mew. As a result, Mewtwo was created. Based on the scientific logs found in the Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island, Mewtwo was born out of a pregnant Mew, found in the jungles of Guyana, whose embryo had been altered in terms of is DNA. Due to an overwhelming number of genetic experiments, Mewtwo was just as much of a vicious beast as a powerful one. Horrifying as it was, Mewtwo finally escaped the mansion, destroying it. After demonstrating your power as a trainer by conquering the Elite Four, players can find Mewtwo in Cerulean Cave. Mewtwo exiled itself to this cave, intending never to be seen again.
Due to the fact that Mewtwo was cloned from Mew, they share very similar traits and DNA. In terms of appearance, Mew has a pink coloration to its body, with triangular ears, three-fingered paws, and a long, thin tail. On the other hand, Mewtwo is primarily gray with a long, purple tail, short horns, and a prominent chest that gives off a breastplate appearance.
In Mewtwo Strikes Back, the very first Pokémon movie, Mewtwo has a very negative view on humanity due to the genetic tests that brought it to life. In the movie, Dr. Fuji led the expedition to Guyana that resulted in Giovanni, Team Rocket’s leader, funding the creation of Mewtwo. During the movie, we find out that scientists studied the creature for extended periods of time. It broke out of its test tube, destroying the laboratory and killing all of the scientists–Fuji included. He was also responsible for cloning Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle, alongside his deceased daughter, Amber–all of which were failed experiments.
At the conclusion of the film, Mewtwo comes to terms with humanity, stating that “it does not matter who is more powerful,” and delivering a very powerful quote–“The circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant: it is what one does with life that determines one’s destiny.”
Mewtwo has also been one of many creatures to take advantage of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y’s Mega Evolution mechanic. Mega Mewtwo Y, the first Mega Evolution to be revealed, is small, and light, growing a curled, tail-like structure from its head, a smoother chest structure, but maintaining Mewtwo’s original color scheme. The bulkier Mega Mewtwo X has larger horns, a smooth torso, and a much more attack-based appearance, gaining the Fighting-type as a result.
It’s one of those stories that makes Pokémon truly stand out from other franchises. That feeling of emotion, pain, suffering, and passion comes through when telling Mewtwo’s story, and considering it from the various standpoints. Dr. Fuji, one who was still grieving the loss of his daughter, was willing to do anything to bring her back, and make his associates in Team Rocket happy. By the same token, the pain Mewtwo went through justified its violent retaliation, but the lessons it learned along the way allows one to understand why its words are so powerful at the end of Mewtwo Strikes Back.
This is just the beginning, however. Over Pokémon’s long 20 year history, there is a lot that has stood out and is worth covering. Next Saturday, I will be covering another aspect of Pokémon’s history that stands out, with in-depth coverage and analysis.
Until next time, Dicie