There are many theories surrounding the Pokemon franchise, but one of the oldest centers around the mythical Pokemon Mew and the shape-shifting Pokemon Ditto. And while we still haven’t received an official confirmation on whether or not the theory is true, Pokemon GO seems to offer more evidence in favor of it.
For the unaware, the theory is that Ditto is actually the result of failed attempts to clone Mew, with the successful attempt resulting in the legendary Pokemon Mewtwo. The evidence for this theory is that Ditto and Mew are the only two Pokemon that know the move Transform, their color schemes and shiny variants are the same, their base stats are identical, and they both weigh 8.8 lbs. Furthermore, those playing Pokemon Yellow can encounter Ditto in the Pokemon Mansion where research on Mew was apparently conducted prior to the events of the game.
Pokemon GO, meanwhile, adds more fuel to the fire when it comes to this old theory. The game’s first Special Research quest tasks players with completing a number of objectives in order to catch Mew, and the fifth step asks players to catch a Ditto.
Professor Willow wants players to catch a Ditto because of the possibility that Mew is hiding or “disguised as another Pokemon.” This is clearly a reference to the Transform move that the two Pokemon share, and could be considered more evidence for the theory that Ditto is a failed Mew clone.
Here is the exact text from the Special Research quest, as spoken by Professor Willow in the game:
“Amazing. Just amazing! Isn’t Evolution wondrous? I learn something new every time I see it! With the data we’ve collected so far, I should be able to pinpoint Mew’s location! It looks like…
Yes, it looks like Mew has visited your area recently! Hmm… Interesting. If that’s the case, someone should have reported a sighting… Maybe Mew is hiding or disguised as another Pokemon? Let’s study some other Pokemon that use these tricks and the best ways to catch them!”
It’s worth pointing out that another objective in the step requires players to catch 10 ghost-type Pokemon. Ghost-type Pokemon also tend to “hide” from people, yet there is no clear connection between ghosts and Mew. Considering this, it could be possible that the Ditto objective is there purely because of its Transform move and no other reason.
Whatever the case may be, it’s still interesting that Niantic decided to make catching a Ditto one of the requirements for encountering Mew in Pokemon GO. In the future, it will be interesting to see if other mythical Pokemon also require players to catch a Ditto, or if Niantic dreams up new challenges for them.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.