The Pokemon franchise is made of many different video games, spanning through 9 different generations. Each one of them is set in its own unique region and story. So, it’s only logical that they’d also have their own cast of characters. And most of them are quite memorable.


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There are a lot of characters in the Pokemon universe, not all of whom make the best choices when it comes to their wardrobe.

But there’s also a weird side to the characters in this franchise: Many of them just flat-out disappear. While it is common for some of them to not be featured for a long time, because of the generational nature of this series, some of them were never seen or heard from again, even in situations where it was expected they would do so. Here are some of the strangest, most notable occasions.

10 Kris

Pokemon Crystal

Promotional art of Kris from Pokemon Crystal

Kris actually holds a very important title for the Pokemon franchise, since she is the very first female playable trainer in any game, which means she’s basically responsible for the creation of every single female protagonist that came after her, like Leaf, May, and Dawn.

When Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver were announced, everybody expected to see Kris as the female avatar once again. But, weirdly enough, she was nowhere to be seen, as she was replaced by a brand-new character named Lyra, who would become the face of these games, alongside Ethan. Kris wasn’t even featured or acknowledged in any way.

9 Juan

Pokemon Emerald

Gym Leader Juan in the Pokemon anime.

Like Crystal before it, Pokemon Emerald featured quite a lot of changes to the previous titles, Ruby & Sapphire. One such change was the reintroduction of Wallace as the new Champion of the region, whereas his place as the Water Type Gym Leader of Sootopolis City would be taken by his mentor, Juan.

Juan’s title as Gym Leader was relevant enough to see him in the Pokemon World Tournament of Pokemon Black 2 & White 2. So, naturally, fans were confused by his complete absence in the Gen 3 remakes, Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire. While it was logical that Wallace was Gym Leader once again, Juan should have been featured somewhere else in the game.

8 Hilda/Hilbert

Pokemon Black & White

Promotional art of Hilda & Hilbert in Pokemon Black & White.

Because of the structure of this franchise, it is not common for protagonists to reappear outside of remakes. But most Pokemon games don’t usually have sequels, and Black & White was an exception. With the premise of controlling brand-new protagonists, most players were expecting to find Hilda/Hilbert from the previous installment, similar to how Red appeared in Gold & Silver.

But, sadly, these previous player avatars are not seen at all in Black 2 & White 2, which was a wasted opportunity and a major disappointment for most fans. At least N mentioned that they’re in a faraway location searching for him, so their whereabouts are not a complete mystery.

7 Ghetsis

Pokemon Black & White 1/2

Ghetsis in Pokemon Generations.

It’s not really common to find out what happened to each game’s antagonist after their defeat, which is a little disappointing. This is especially true when a villain is as interesting as Unova’s Ghetsis, who had a pivotal role in both games. After he is defeated by the player a second time, Ghetsis is taken away by the Shadow Triad, and he’s never seen again.


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Team Rocket’s Pokemon often prove just as ineffectual as the duo themselves.

There’s so much wasted potential when a villain this evil and complex is erased from the games. And, while Ghetsis appeared again in the Episode RR of Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, this is another version of the character from an alternate universe, and not the villain players had defeated twice.

6 AZ

Pokemon X & Y

AZ meets his Floette at the end of Pokemon X & Y.

As lackluster as the plot of Pokemon X & Y was, there’s no denying that it introduced some really fascinating characters. One of the most memorable ones is AZ, the immortal former king of Kalos who created the ultimate weapon that triggered the events of the game.

After his battle with the player character and the emotional return of his Floette at the end of the game, AZ completely disappears. He’s not seen in either the post-game or any other subsequent installment. There has only been one Pokemon game set in Kalos so far, so there’s a fair share of characters from this region that haven’t come back yet. But AZ is such a unique and intriguing figure that he should reappear at some point.

5 Volo

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Volo and Giratina at the end of Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

Character disappearances are more concerning when the person in question has been by the player’s side during the entire game, and Volo is a perfect example of this. As a Ginkgo Guild merchant and a worshiper of Arceus, he will help out the player character at many points of their adventure, only to unexpectedly betray them at the very end.

Volo plays both the role of companion and antagonist. However, after an intense final battle, he swears that he’ll conquer Arceus someday and that the player is never going to meet him again. Where did he go? Did he ever accomplish his goal? Considering this game is set in the past, one can’t help but wonder how Volo’s schemes impacted future events in the franchise.

4 Emmet

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Emmet in the Pokemon anime.

In a shocking turn of events, one of the wardens of the Hisui region is revealed to be Ingo, one of the two leaders of the Battle Subway from the Unova region. And this is not a descendant like other characters in this game. This is the very same Ingo from the Generation 5 games, who was transported back in time and lost all his memories.

Because of Ingo’s amnesia, players never quite find out how he ended up there, which leaves a burning question: What happened to his twin brother, Emmet? It’s extremely odd that only one member of this duo reappeared in Legends: Arceus and there’s a possibility that maybe Emmet traveled back to another time or another region.

3 Professor Sada/Turo

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

Official art of Professor Sada & Turo in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

In one of the franchise’s biggest twists, it is revealed that Professor Sada or Turo (depending on the game) actually passed away and the character that the player meets is an AI copy of them. So the fact that players never actually met the real professor of the Paldea region is very weird and unexpected.


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With Pokemon Scarlet and Violet comes new Fighting-type Pokemon, leaving fans wondering which ones are the best in the game now.

But they didn’t exactly disappear, as we know exactly what happened to them. On the other hand, however, it is never said what exactly happened to their spouse. It is implied that both professors are Arven’s parents and that the other one has disappeared before the events of the game. Where did Arven’s mother or father go? Do they even know their ex-partner is dead?

2 Heath

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

Photo of Heath and his Cyclizar in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

Everything that transpired in Scarlet & Violet, from the existence of Area Zero to the discovery of Paradox Pokemon, was triggered by the research done by Heath. He is the original author of the Scarlet or Violet Book, but its contents were so outrageous that he and his entire expedition team were accused of lying and largely discredited by their community.

This happened a few years in the past, and yet players never find out what happened to Heath after that, let alone if he’s even alive. Some people even theorize that he’s stuck in Area Zero. And while Briar was confirmed to be Heath’s descendant in The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC, his exact fate was never revealed.

1 Ash Ketchum

Pokemon Anime

Ash Ketchum with his Pikachu and his Greninja, in the Pokemon anime.

Ash Ketchum is the iconic trainer who starred in the Pokemon anime for over 25 years. The show and the games never really interact with each other, so it is not exactly expected for him to pop up at some point. But the weirdest part is that he did since the player can receive a Greninja that can transform into his special Ash-Greninja form in the demo of Pokemon Sun & Moon.

The Pokemon’s data even specify that its original trainer was Ash and that he was caught on October 17, 2013, the very same date in which the episode where Ash caught his Froakie was aired in Japan. This reveals that the protagonist of the Pokemon anime exists in the universe of the games, yet the player has never encountered him.


Created by
Satoshi Tajiri


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