'Pokemon' Throwback Merchandise Highlights Non-Localized Names

Before Pokemon was the massive worldwide hit it is today, it had to be localized for audiences [...]

Before Pokemon was the massive worldwide hit it is today, it had to be localized for audiences outside of Japan and this meant that Nintendo of America had to come up with a whole host of names for the series' central monsters.

One piece of throwback merchandise from this time has gone viral for many of the names it reveals from this period before full localization, and the results are surprisingly hilarious considering the names they eventually got.

As shared by IGN's Peer Schneider, who found a set of Pokemon stickers from before the game series was localized, a few of the Pokemon had very different nicknames. Koffing and Weezing stand out for their smog-filled city nicknames "NY" and "LA," Vulpix was named "Foxfire," Laprus had a reference to the Loch-Ness monster with "Ness," and Eevee was hilariously named "Eon" (most likely as a way to highlight the Flare, Vape, and Jolt pre-fixes).

Other standout names include Goldeen as "Goldy," Seaking as "Neptune," Tangela is named "Meduza," but what caught fans' attention the most is Cubone's original nickname, "Orphon." As fans of the franchise know, Cubone has one of the most saddest Pokedex entries in the entire series as it wears the skull of its dead mother. Naturally, the original "Orphon" name would not have flown so well with fans in the United States especially given the tragic ghost Marowak story in the original Red and Blue games.

Luckily, it became Cubone when the series was officially localized, but the tragic origin still remained. If you haven't kept up with the current run of the anime, Pokemon the Series: Sun and Moon is described as such, "What starts as a summer vacation in the tropical Alola region turns into the next exciting chapter in Ash Ketchum's quest to become a Pokémon Master! There's plenty for Ash and Pikachu to explore in this sunny new region, with exciting new Pokémon to discover and interesting people to learn from along the way—including the cool Professor Kukui and the fun-loving Samson Oak.

More new faces will help guide Ash's Alolan adventure, in the form of a group of skilled Trainers—Kiawe, Lana, Mallow, and Sophocles—and a mysterious research assistant called Lillie. Frequent foes Team Rocket have also made the trip to Alola, looking to swipe some high-powered new Pokémon. But they have some heavy competition on the villainy front: the ruffians of Team Skull, who delight in causing chaos and may have more sinister intentions..."