Faithful players know by now how Pokemon are born (and have spent a lot of time pounding the pavement in 90 degree heat to hatch that egg) but one question still remains: can Pokemon die in "Pokemon Go"? After playing Niantic's augmented reality game for nearly two weeks, I’ll be the first to admit that I may have become a little too attached to my Pokemon. If anything happened to one of my pixelated babies, or a technical malfunction wiped them from my Pokedex, I’d be heartbroken. The Pokemon look so real superimposed over the camera of our phone screens, to think they might have some sort of expiration date... I mean, it was hard enough to deal when my Tamagotchi died!
Explaining Pokemon's mortality is more complicated than you might think. Since the franchise was primarily created for children, the Pokemon Universe is essentially a peaceful one. In the animated series, the only true disruption to the Pokeverse is Team Rocket — whose sole goal is attempting to steal the Pokemon of others without doing any real work. In each episode good ultimately triumphs over evil and Team Rocket ends up "blasting off" in some hilarious fashion. Note to Niantic — we need a Team Rocket choice in next update.
While some of the legendary and ancient Pokemon are said to be immortal, in the Pokemon animated series and spin-off movies Pokemon have perished from acts of heroism. Not to get too heavy, but there have been plot-lines ranging from Pokemon pushing past their limits to simply dying of old age. According to Pokemon Lore, Charmander has a special condition where he will die if the flame at the end of his tail is extinguished — so keep that little guy away from the water-types!
So what does all this mean for the little heroes of our augmented reality game? Thankfully, it appears that the Pokemon in "Pokemon Go" are immune to the Grim Reaper! It may seem cruel to pit the creatures against each other in a gym battle for your team's pride, but Pokemon actually like to fight. They enjoy challenging themselves and displaying their prowess. A Pokemon never dies (hooray!), instead it is "KO'ed" and returns to its ball. Just use a little "Revive" spray and it'll be ready for another fight!
The only sinister element to wonder about in the "Pokemon Go" world is just what is Professor Oak doing with the all the Pokemon that people sell back to him? He can't possibly have room in the lab for the billions of Rattatas and Pidgeys, so there must be something nefarious afoot.
As the game is relatively new, we are still learning information every day. It is possible that Niantic might have something up their sleeve for higher levels, but for now your Pokemon are safe... as long as they don't wind up in one of Professor Oak's famous Doduo burgers.
Images: Screenshots/"Pokemon Go," giphy