The Pokemon franchise has had its fair share of iconic monsters and moments across its video game, anime, and various spin-off entries, but there are a distinct few that stick out in the memories of many fans. For Pokemon fans of a certain age, there's a very clear memory of when we booted up the very first Pokemon Red or Blue titles and entered this massive world. Here there was a tease of the kind of battles we'd come across as a Gengar battled against a Nidorino on screen. Years later, Pokemon had revisited this idea.
A version of this first battle played out in the anime once before and it seemed like it was just a random battle between two trainers that Ash was watching, but Professor Oak's recent addition to the Pokemon Masters mobile game seems to imply that this battle has much larger implications between Oak and Elite Four member Agatha.
As spotted by @TAHK0 on Twitter, a scene between Professor Oak and Agatha teases that the very first battle seen in the Pokemon series was actually between Oak's Nidorino and Agatha's Gengar. The battle between these two Pokemon in particular goes back before the franchise was even finalized, so this is certainly a deep cut.
I think Pokemon Masters may have just implied that the original opening battle between Gengar & Nidorino was actually between Agatha & Oak?!?
It was already possible that nidorino was Oak’s due to him having one seconds later in the intro, & Gengar wasn’t Wild, so... 👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/fT2BPhxDnm— TAHK0 ☕️ (@TAHK0) February 14, 2020
Gengar and Nidorino were among the first monster designs crafted by Ken Sugimori and Game Freak before the Pokemon franchise was set in stone, so that's probably why they were used as the first example of battles. But Pokemon Masters adding an official canonical touch to this famous battle makes it all the more special as fans had unknowingly witnessed a battle between experts all this time.
But what do you think of this theory? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool things @Valdezology on Twitter! Pokemon: The Series is now airing new episodes weekly in Japan, but unfortunately is still not officially licensed for an English language release as of this writing. There's also a brand new film on the way to Japan this Summer, Pokemon the Movie: Coco.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.