|Pokémon series character|
|First game||Pokémon Red and Blue (1996)|
|Designed by||Ken Sugimori|
Ditto, known in Japan as Metamon (メタモン) is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, Ditto first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and subsequent sequels, later appearing in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise.
Concept and characteristics
Ditto was one of several different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Originally called "Metamon" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children.
Ditto has the form of an amorphous blob with a simplistic face. Ditto is purple (or blue if it is shiny) and is able to rearrange its cellular structure into anything at will, but it usually changes into any nearby Pokémon. It takes on the exact form of the Pokémon and can use all of its abilities. The only things that can make it change back are being defeated, returning to a Poké Ball, and the Ditto laughing. During the night, it transforms into a rock to avoid being attacked. If it tries to transform from memory, or if it is inexperienced, it will likely mess up on certain details such as leaving its own face or staying its own size. The only other Pokémon capable of transforming is the legendary Pokémon Mew (though Ditto is the only non-legendary Pokémon to learn Transform) and Smeargle if it uses sketch on a wild Ditto. Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga author Toshihiro Ono cited Ditto as one of his favorite characters to draw for the series, describing it as "easy to draw".
In the video games
Ditto first appeared in Pokémon Red and Blue and appeared in every main Pokémon title since. It gained a major upgrade in Pokémon Gold and Silver where it was given the unique ability to breed with any Pokémon. It gained another major upgrade in Pokémon Black and White where its Dream World form had the Ability to automatically transform into a Pokémon upon entering battle unlike before, where it had to use a turn and risk being knocked out in the process. It also appeared in other Pokémon titles, including Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Channel, Pokémon Pinball, Pokémon Trozei!, the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles, Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, and Pokémon Rumble. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, it was revealed that it was originally meant to be one of the Pokémon to come out of a Poké Ball, but was cut during development for unknown reasons. However, when a player selects "Random" as their player during Tournament Mode, a picture of a Ditto can be seen, as opposed to the question mark used in versus mode. In Diamond and Pearl versions, Ditto can be used as a breeding companion if you are breeding Pokémon that can only be obtained once in the wild. Some Dittos don't breed with specific Pokémon so after a while in the Solaceon Town day-care, you should change a Ditto if you cannot get an egg for a long time.
In other media
In the anime, two Ditto are owned by Duplica, a girl who can easily imitate people. The first Ditto is used to help her run a theater. At first it cannot correctly transform its face, but with the help of Team Rocket, it overcomes that barrier. The second Ditto, "Mini-Dit", cannot change its size at all. Ditto is voiced by Rachael Lillis in 4Kids' dub and by Michele Knotz in TPCI's dub
Newsday's Erik Holm called Ditto a popular Pokémon. In an interview with G4's Raymond Padilla, Metal Gear Solid series creator Hideo Kojima noted Ditto as his favorite Pokémon. While IGN wrote that while it was "one of the few Pokémon that can proudly stand up to a Mewtwo in battle", its Transform technique prevents lower-level Dittos from lasting long. IGN's Pokémon Chick wrote that while Ditto was "utterly useless" in Red and Blue, it "slammed to the forefront of popularity" in Gold and Silver due to its ability to breed with any Pokémon. She added that with the addition of Smeargle, Ditto is able to transform into one, use its Sketch technique which copies other techniques, and learn these techniques permanently. IGN's Jack DeVries wrote that its ability to breed with any Pokémon was "disturbing".
1UP.com's Kevin Gifford compared Ditto to Zorua and Zoroark who are able to transform into other Pokémon as well. Destructoid's Jim Sterling listed Ditto as one of the 30 "rubbish" Pokémon in Red and Blue. He called Ditto "totally forgettable, not worth mentioning". Author Loredana Lipperini called Ditto “chewing-gum pink”. Bitmob's Chas Guidry wrote that Ditto's Dream World version had the most significant changes to it due to being able to transform into other Pokémon automatically upon entering battle unlike its previous incarnations. He adds that "with a Choice Scarf equipped, Ditto can effectively out-speed any monster it faces in battle". GamesRadar's Carolyn Gudmundson named Ditto their Pokémon of the week and wrote that it gets "used and abused more than any other Pokémon". She also featured the theory that Ditto was a "failed clone" of Mew, due to similar colours, both weighing 8.8 pounds, and both learning Transform.
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