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MissingNo. (けつばん Ketsuban?), sometimes pronounced MissingNO, is a Pokémon species found in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue. Short for “missing number,” MissingNo. typically appears during gameplay in Pokémon videogames when the game attempts to access data for a nonexistent Pokémon species as a result of glitch. It is arguably the most well-known glitch Pokémon in the game series.
The Missingno species was first discovered by Nintendo in the original title “Pokémon Red Version and Blue Version,” which was published in the May 1999 issue of Nintendo Power. Describing the phenomenon as a “programming quirk,” Nintendo warned the gamers against encountering it, claiming the game may have to be reset completely in order to remove the graphical errors. Since becoming a well-known trivia among Pokémon gamers in 1999, there has been extensive discussions about encountering MissingNo on purpose, which involves trigger three in-game events to summon the glitch.
Forms of Missingno
The name Missingno is most commonly used to refer to a Normal / Bird-type glitch Pokémon whose backward L-shaped sprite consists of corrupted data in Pokémon Blue/Red or a Normal / 999-type in Pokémon Yellow, but it may also refer to other types of glitch Pokémons, including Kabutops Fossil Form, Aerodactyl fossil form, Ghost form and Yellow form.
Despite Nintendo’s warning, information on how to encounter MissingNo. was printed in several magazines and player’s guides like IGN, due to its perceived positive effect. Certain players attempted to sell “tips” on capturing MissingNo. for up to $200.
MissingNo would appear in the Old Man Glitch and the famous Mew Glitch. In Minecraft, the text will appear as “Missingno” when the splashes.txt file has been modified or deleted without META-INF folder.
MissingNo also has his own Pokeparent template, where he plays the role of retarded dad. But this template is also used to point out MissingNo’s nature as an erroneous being:
In 2009, gaming review blog IGN listed MissingNo. as one of the top video game Easter eggs, citing its usefulness as a shortcut to replicate rare items and level up Pokémons. On 4chan’s /b/, if you type in “moot”, it will appear as “missingno”. It doesn’t have to be moot by itself. If you type in “smooth”, it will appear as “smissingnoh”.
Fans of the series have attempted to rationalize MissingNo. as canon, which has sparked discussion in sociological studies about the impact of video games upon society. The popularity of the MissingNo glitch also became popular in fan art. MissingNo’s texture is commonly used as a skin over other characters from different series and is even used for cosplay. Certain effects of the glitch, mainly the messed up graphics, can also often be found in fan art.