Like real-life counterparts, some are increasingly rare finds
The coelacanth is a species that scientists describe as a “living fossil.” More than 65 million years old, it was long thought to be extinct before being rediscovered—alive—in the 20th century. It is a story famous today for its unique situation, and the coelacanth is now known worldwide.
As a famous fish, the coelacanth has even inspired a Pokemon—Gen III’s rock and water type, Relicanth. More than an apparent physical similarity, Relicanth also appears to draw on the elusive quality of its inspiration. Nowhere is this more readily seen than in Pokemon GO.
So far, Relicanth has only been found in New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. It’s a region most have speculated might be grouped as ‘Pacific Islands and New Zealand’ and it only currently reaches a little over 6 million people, making it the smallest region of Pokemon GO.
Of course, it isn’t just the size of a region that makes a Pokemon hard-to-find. Really, most all region-specific Pokemon are rare finds, though Relicanth may be one of the rarest. Travel to any region outside one’s own can be a hard task in itself and the rarest thing to find in Pokemon GO will be someone who has obtained all regional Pokemon.
Currently, there are region-specific Pokemon native to almost all regions of the globe. The only area neglected at the moment is Antarctica. Though perhaps one of the later ice Pokemon will find a home there.
The Relicanth situation points to one of the growing problems for Pokemon GO collectors—filling out the Pokedex is requiring increasingly more travel. Unlike the handheld and console games, Pokemon GO isn’t looking to be a title one can realistically pursue completionism in.
Pokemon has quite the bloated Pokedex at the moment, but we have to wonder how far Pokemon GO might be able to take it.