Purge the Legendary Pokemon


The Pokemon video game franchise has a long history of fan-circulated legends and hoaxes. One such hoax was created during the 4th Generation of Pokemon games, utilizing Pokemon Diamond for Nintendo DS. A false pokemon named Purge, whose graphics did not resemble anything close to any other Pokemon found in the game, was featured in a number of videos on Youtube. These videos purported the existence of Purge as well as building on the lore of how to obtain it.


The Informant was an avid Pokemon player in primary school, as was her twin brother. The two would watch a large number of videos on Youtube about secret/fake Pokemon and try to use their instructions in order to unlock the secret Pokemon for their selves. The Informant said that she and her brother also talked to other children on the playground about these hoaxes (as though they were not hoaxes). One such way that they discussed how to obtain Purge was to “evolve a Bidoof in a specific way on some particular route, and you have to be holding a specific item”. She identified Purge as being the Fake Pokemon that she was the most invested in.


This tradition in particular is founded in Internet Culture because of the nature of sharing screen recordings of the supposed gameplay. Doctored screenshots and gameplay footage being shared across epistemic groups have the ability to spread like wildfire, and the members of those groups are supposedly people who deeply enjoy the popularity they receive from the group that they belong to (in this case, the fanbase of the Pokemon video game franchise). When the informant was voraciously consuming this sort of content, she was still in primary school and had enough free time to spend hours on investigating digital legends.