Well, it’s time to ground myself and do Generation 2 which is definitely a favorite to many Pokémon fans and such. Before I begin, yes I am aware of the Beta designs that exist and I’m super happy that it exists and maybe I’ll mention it if necessary on said Pokémon (ex: Bayleef). Johto was a fun region and still currently the only one that features another Region (Gen 1’s Kanto). Shall we start?
001: Chikorita, 002: Bayleef, 003: Meganium
Of course we’re going to begin with the starters of the generation with the ever known Grass starter this time with the Chikorita line. When I jumped into Pokémon Silver for the first time, I definitely went with this one (2nd Grass starter in a row, for future reference when I do Gen 1). Anyways, I kind of figured I was going to struggle somewhat because the line wasn’t all that great to handle Gym Leaders early on, but it still definitely had its place on my team. The remainder of the line is OK, but it’s also understandable why it’s kind of one of the forgetful starters since its stats are so mediocre. Also, what was the idea with Bayleef’s Beta design?!? It just seemed so random and didn’t make the connection to Meganium. Memories with this one!
004: Cyndaquil, 005: Quilava, 006: Typhlosion
Originally in the Beta, both the Cyndaquil & Totodile lines were non-existant so it’s no surprise they switched around, but still maintained that nice Starter feel. Unfortunately, the Cyndaquil line was left behind (since I used Totodile when I played Gold for the first time). I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something plain to me when it comes to this line. Not quite sure how they fare in the meta, but this one just never spoke to me otherwise. At least Typhlosion looks awesome?
007: Totodile, 008: Croconaw, 009: Feraligatr
Last, but not least, we get to Totodile who I thought made the 2nd Gen games fun and slightly easier (though I think had I chose Cyndaquil, it would’ve been more easier). Regardless, the Totodile line was quite nice and Feraligatr was pretty cool in the long run as well!
(Also, props for this Generation keeping the Starters mono-type, something no other Gen has done before or since until Generation 8. It did answer the question on how pure starter types would work out and I have to say, stat-wise is not really impressive).
010: Sentret, 011: Furret
Starting trends with this Generation, it seems we have our early rodent addition (which I don’t think Ferrets count?!?) anyways, the Sentret line never stood out to me (except for Pokémon Stadium 2 with its mini-game). I mean essentially they’re early fodder to me (and an early HM Slave) but they’re incredibly cute so I mean there’s that? Regardless, not too memorable, but adorable nonetheless. If anything, I am surprised at how big Furrets are…almost like rodent anacondas xD.
012: Hoothoot, 013: Noctowl
As the region’s early bird Pokémon, the Normal/Flying type Noctowl line never really popped out to me for some reason. I mean they weren’t as strong as what Pidgeot was in the last Generation, nor they had something to really elevate them in the Johto games really, I feel like the only reason I tend to remember Noctowl at least was that Ash owned a Shiny Noctowl in the Johto season and was used pretty well in some battles.
014: Ledyba, 015: Ledian
As the first version exclusives we run into and the first Pokémon to really show off the new Day/Night cycles (which depending on the time of day, different Pokémon show up). For Pokémon Silver in the morning, we got Ledyba & Ledian which this and the next two are the region’s early Bug types (but these two were Bug/Flying). I personally didn’t really use them as they were kind of weak and didn’t have much to them that I couldn’t find in others.
016: Spinarak, 017: Ariados
For players who played Gold during the night hours, they were able to find Spinarak & Ariados, the Bug/Poison Pokémon. I knew this was much better because they had a unique move to them, Spider Web (which was like Mean Look). Plus, they did have a slightly better movepool than the Ledian line did so there was that as well. Wasn’t bad, but still today it’s kind of a frail ‘mon.
So a lot of what Gen 2 was supposed to be was leftovers from Generation 1 hence MANY Pokémon in this Generation is connected to things in the previous Generation (in comparison to later Gens, cept maybe Gen 4). Crobat is the 2nd evolution in the Golbat line (evolving through Friendship, which was introduced in Gen 2 by basically spending lots of time with Golbat and with enough time and if Golbat really likes you, the next level gained will evolve Golbat to Crobat). I personally loved Crobat and used mine a lot in Silver and was part of the final team for the Elite 4 (both times).
019: Chinchou, 020: Lanturn
I seem to forget how early on the Lanturn line shows up in the Johto-dex, but this was another Pokémon I ended up loving despite in the all-in-all wasn’t a big force in the Generation. As the Water/Electric early fishing Pokémon, the Lanturn line had a bit more push with the added Electric type so it evades Water-types’ biggest problems. That’s pretty much why it stuck out to me very well! Though as later Generations happened, they have fallen back, but I definitely will keep them around!
Another new thing introduced in Johto was Baby Pokémon (which were basically pre-evolutions of already established Kanto Pokémon). Of course the one that might as well have been the face of it (Togepi is an odd one to talk about) Pichu was going to take that role as the pre-evolution to Pikachu. Of course, it evolves by Friendship as it should and hell it became a character in Smash Bros.
Gen 4 (well, HeartGold & SoulSilver) though brought us a unique variant of Pichu with the Spiky-eared Pichu, a female Pichu with her ears spiked up. Though it’s very miniscule in how it stands out other than visuals and the fact that it’s unable to be moved up to later games makes it somewhat unnecessary, but it’s promotional material from Arceus and the Jewel of Life.
Yeah, it seems the already cute Pokémon also seem to get a pre-evolution. Cleffa is of course first before it evolves into Clefairy and high Friendship causes that. I never really used Cleffa (especially since you can catch Clefairy at Mt. Moon). So I feel like it was only made a thing to fill the Pokedex.
Prior to Generation 6, Cleffa (and the whole line itself) were Normal-type Pokémon, but when the Fairy type was introduced, the whole line was retyped to be pure Fairy. It did a little bit to change things, but Cleffa remains to be rather forgettable to me.
Like Cleffa, I feel like Igglybuff just seemed to rather just exist for the sake to fill out the Baby Pokémon quota. Same thing applies here, an Igglybuff with high Friendship with evolve into Jigglypuff.
Also likewise with the Clefable line, in Gen 6, the Fairy type was introduced and many old Pokémon were retyped. Though unlike the aforementioned line, Igglybuff keeps the Normal type but adds Fairy as the secondary type.
024: Togepi, 025: Togetic
Last in this post, we have the Togetic line! Togepi is definitely most remembered as one of the earliest Gen 2 Pokémon revealed (Ho-oh made an appearance in Episode 1 of the anime), but Togepi was Misty’s Pokémon for a LONG TIME (even before Ash gained his 8th badge in the Kanto gyms). Now about how I feel about it, I don’t think it’s a Baby Pokémon in the way that Pichu, Cleffa, Igglybuff and etc are since Togepi & Togetic are new to the Generation, but it definitely looks like a baby soooo…confusing). In the games, you are given an egg that contains Togepi early on and you have to grow its Friendship to get Togetic.
Gen 4 brought us Togekiss into the mix being an evolution from Togetic with a Shiny Stone. Togekiss is still kind of odd looking to me, but it’s really nice getting more power.
Gen 6 like the previous two lines, also got patched when the Fairy type was introduced, turning Togepi into a pure Fairy and Togetic (and Togekiss) as a Fairy/Flying.
Part 2 will be out soon!