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Page Type(s)
Basic Information
1′08″ (0.5m)
11.0 lbs. (5.0kg)
Signature Move
Hidden Attack
Evolutionary Information
Symbol Pokémon
Pokémon Gold and Silver

The names Unown and Unknown refer to the English word unknown (meaning "not known").

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Pokédex data states the variety of their abilities. In fact, all Unown have only one move, called Hidden Power, which can be of a different type depending on the IVs (Individual Values) of a Pokémon. The Pokédex also states some sort of causal relationship between Unown and ancient hieroglyphic writings.

Information from their anime and movie appearances suggest that Unown are Pokémon which appear only in mysterious locations, and are never seen without the presence of other Unown in the area. What is known about these beings is that they have the amazing ability to create new realities and dimensions with their particular brand of psychic powers. They appear to have synchronized minds as well. Sometimes a swarm of them appear and act in perfect unison to create psychic effects beyond the imagination, including projecting illusionary beings such as other Pokémon that seem genuinely corporeal to the touch.

In Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown, one of the characters, Professor Hale, is thrown into an another dimension with many Unown circling around him. Because Unown are so rare elsewhere in the Pokémon world, it is supposed that this is their true home. Their psychic power allows them to tap directly into people's and Pokémon's minds, observing and planting memories and experiences. Unown is a rare card.

Unown is able to eat Treat-Things, eggs, broccoli, brand muffins, and milk.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

All 28 different types of Unown. From left to right, top to bottom: A, B; C, D, E, F, G, H; I, J, K, L, M, N; O, P, Q, R, S, T; U, V, W, X, Y, Z, !, ?

Introduced in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, each of the 26 variations of Unown represented the 26 letters of the English alphabet. Each one was in a shape that was at least vaguely similar to each letter or shape.

To show which varieties of Unown the player has caught, an "Unown Mode" (sometimes referred to as the "Unowndex") can be added to the Pokédex in the Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions. This mode assigns to each Unown a word beginning with the letter it resembles; F-shaped Unown, for example, are associated with the word "Find". In order for the player to get this upgrade, the player must catch three different variations of Unown. The order of the Unown shown in this mode is the order they were captured and the entry of the Unown image in the other modes of the Pokédex is the very first Unown seen by the player.

The words associated with the original 26 Unown are as follows: Angry, Bear, Chase, Direct, Engage, Find, Give, Help, Increase, Join, Keep, Laugh, Make, Nuzzle, Observe, Perform, Quicken, Reassure, Search, Tell, Undo, Vanish, Want, Xxxxx, Yield, and Zoom. These names are also the Pokepower that each Unown has in the trading card game, except direct, make and nuzzle are dark, metal and normal, respectively.

These Pokémon were originally only catchable in the Ruins of Alph, a mysterious archeological site in Johto which only became more mysterious with the addition of many hidden secret chambers in Pokémon Crystal. They also cause interference on the in-game radio, noticeable only in the Ruins of Alph on Frequency 13.5.

Upon catching all 26 in Pokémon Gold or Silver, any player who owned a Game Boy Printer earned the ability to type in an Unown typeface and then print it onto special paper with the Game Boy Printer.

In terms of battling prowess, though, Unown are purely novelty. All their stats are below average, and they wield only one attack: Hidden Power, which varies between each Unown dependent on their IVs (Individual Values) in element. Unown are essentially meant to be a Pokémon to treat as a whole sub-class of Pokémon to catch on its own.

In each chamber except the Unown Shrine is a sliding panel puzzle, plus at the back of each chamber is a strange place where there are Unown words. The Unown words are: "Light" (use Flash), "Water" (re-enter with a Water Stone in bag), "Escape" (use an Escape Rope then re-enter the room), and "Ho-Oh" (place Ho-Oh at the front of the party). Once one has done all of that whether or not one does the sliding puzzle to form either Ho-Oh, Omanyte, Aerodactyl, or Kabuto, one will open a new chamber where there are four items to collect. Once one opens up the chambers one can fall down the hole to read a message written in Unown font on the floor. The translated text reads:

Our words shall remain here for the ages.
Thus we shall erect a Pokémon statue outside.
They possess great insight and refuse the outside world.
We humans must learn to walk in harmony with them.
We depart for their sakes.

Also, if someone were to play Crystal Version and pull the cartridge out, Unown would be seen for a second. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Unown are the only Pokémon in Unown Relic. Its friend areas are Aged Chambers AN and O?.

Newer varieties[edit | edit source]

In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, two brand new variations of Unown were introduced but remained uncatchable in the game. They are, however, catchable in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen in the location stated below, and in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl once you catch the other 26; you then take them to the man who is tunneling a cave with his hands, his tunnel will lead to the room in which the unown are. The two new variations represent an exclamation point (!) and a question mark (?). Both of these variations are extremely rare. It is also noted that both have their eyes only half open also in the cave at Solaceon Town if the player goes through the right passage ways there is a message that reads

Friendship all lives touch other lives to create something a new and alive

All 28 varieties are catchable in Tanoby Ruins (located on Seven Island in the Sevii Islands) in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.

In the DS game, Pokémon Trozei, all 28 varieties of Unown are available to add to the Trozei list. Because the Trozei list uses National Pokédex numbering, this means that when viewing the list, there are 28 slots listed as No. 201. Different varieties of Unown are encountered in different places in the game, and each one counts as a separate Pokémon towards the Trozei List percentage, so in order to receive credit for getting every type of Pokémon the player has to get one of every type of Unown (as opposed to Pokémon RPGs, where one must only get one Unown to have Unown registered in the Pokédex). This technically brings the count of available Pokémon in Pokémon Trozei to 413, rather than 386, since different types of Unown cannot match with each other.

In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon it is possible to befriend of all 28 Unown in Unown Relic given the player has purchased the Friend Areas Aged Chambers AN and O?.

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit | edit source]

Unown is one of the Pokémon that the Poké Ball item can unleash in Super Smash Bros. Melee. In the game, the newly released Unown flies to one side of the screen. If lucky enough, it will come in contact with a player, doing potentially fatal damage. Then from that side of the screen, Unown swarm together and attack at a random angle. They don't do much damage, and they don't hit the opponent very far, but about 40 to 50 appear, making the opponent prone to multiple hits. On contact, an Unown sends an opponent directly upwards. A different Unown appears each time, but the exclamation point (!) and question mark (?) Unown are not in the game (as Melee was released before the Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald versions). In the game Super Smash Bros., there are similar attacks when Onix or Beedrill is summoned from a Poké Ball. Unown is also an unlockable trophy.

In Diamond and Pearl[edit | edit source]

In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Unown are found in the Solaceon Ruins. There are six sub-levels, each with two small rooms (one only has 1, and some contain hidden items) and a stairway to the next level. In the first sub-level's main room, there are only F forms. In the second, there are only R forms. In the third, I forms. In the fourth, E forms. In the fifth, N forms, and in the final room, D forms (incidentally, this spells "FRIEND"). Upon reaching the final room of the ruins, the character comes upon a wall with Unown text inscribe upon it. The text is translated to say:


(!) and (?) live in a chamber that is only opened when the player has caught all of the 26 letter Unown. The Unowns "F-R-I-E-N-D" only appear in the main rooms while the others appear in the small chambers.

If the player shows an Unown to a child in a house just outside the Solaceon ruins, he will give him or her Ball Capsule Seals matching that letter.

Anime[edit | edit source]

Unown is featured in Pokémon the Movie 3: Spell of the Unown as well as in the TV episode "Address Unown". In the movie they are the main antagonists. The Unown create an Entei to befriend a young girl and grant all of the girl's wishes: in the girl's case, turning the town she lives in into crystal. Ash and friends convince the girl that Entei is not her true father, since her father was lost on an archeological dig in an Unown temple. The Unown, overpowered by the girl's current thoughts, became unable to control their powers and the country, possibly the world, was facing crystallization. Entei saves them all by attacking the Unown, sending them all back to their dimension. The Unown 'sing' a toneless 'song' consisting, of course, of their own name.

Unown was also featured in Pokémon: Master Quest, in the episode Address Unown. In it, an ill and sick Unown (with the shape of letter G) fell out of the sky but quickly recovered thanks to Larvitar. Unown decides to return its kindness by showing Ash and his friends why Larvitar doesn't open up to people. After he shows the mind of Larvitar he goes back to his dimension. This Unown, unlike the other Unown from the movie, isn't evil, and in fact helped Larvitar, suggesting that Unown isn't evil by nature and maybe the Unown from the movie were just disturbed.

In the recent Japanese movie, Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai, the prologue stated a legend before the movie began. In another dimension, a battle wages between two Pokémon, Dialga and Palkia. Both exchange powerful attacks, resulting in explosions that send groups of Unown flying. Dialga manages to get the upper hand, attacking Palkia with Roar of Time. Palkia quickly defends itself, but in the process gets one of its gems damaged. Both send of powerful waves of energy. This is proof that Unown lives in the same dimension as Dialga and Palkia. Instead of living in peace, the Unown are in a battle between the two.

All Unowns (except ! and ? forms) are featured again in the episode Journey to the Unown. All the Unowns were affected by Bronzor's Confuse Ray after they came back to life from walls in the Solaceon Ruins and they grow enraged with their eyes turning pale red and the inside of the ruins turn black and red and the background changes into a bizarre dimension with endless stairs and a bottomless pit. The Unowns are all glaring at Team Rocket believing that they stole the Spear Key. Unowns attack everyone in the ruins using Hidden Power until their confusion snapped out with a single hit and the ruins turned back to normal.

Unown made a last appearance in the Pikachu short movie, Pikachu's Really Mysterious Adventure. Unown is seen once again fell out of the sky except its an Unown with the shape of letter F (similar episode in Address Unown, as G form). Unown will follow Pikachu to take it back to its world.

Manga[edit | edit source]

Unown first appeared in Volume 8 of Pokémon Special when Gold and Bugsy were in the Ruins of Alph. Gold had his Sunkern use Flash to blind Team Rocket, but accidentally disturbed the Unown from their slumber with the light from Flash. Bugsy later returns to study the Ruins further in Volume 11, where he captures an Unown (G).

Unown later appear in Volume 24, having been awakened by Sird from the Tanoby Ruins to use as a distraction while she fought Lorelei. The Unown later appear again throughout the volume, being employed by Team Rocket as living security cameras while impeding the progress of Red, Blue and Green.

Trading Card game[edit | edit source]

Unown in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

The complete set of Unown (at the time they were printed) have appeared twice over the course of the Trading Card Game's history. The first were distributed among the three consecutive sets Neo Discovery, Neo Revelation, and Neo Destiny, as well as some Promo cards released between these sets. It has been noticed that there was no Unown R at the time. All ran on a weak attack called Hidden Power, but each one had a different Pokémon Power that would affect the game in a way related to the word it was associated with. For example, Unown J, associated with the word "Join", could summon other Pokémon into play. The Unown's Pokémon Powers usually only affected other Unown. For example, Unown B can move damage counters from another Pokémon to itself, but only if the damage is moved from another Unown, and Unown X, interpretting the letter as ×, multiplies the effectiveness of Hidden Power. however, instead of the associations in Gold and Silver, Unowns M, N, and D had the Pokémon powers, "Metal", "Normal", and "Dark", respectively granting them a resistance to those types. Although they are technically different cards, only 4 Unown total are allowed per deck. Because these were released during the Johto era, they did not yet include Unown ! or Unown ?.

  1. Neo Discovery #14 - Unown A
  2. Neo Discovery #33 - Unown A
  3. Neo Discovery #47 - Unown D
  4. Neo Discovery #48 - Unown F
  5. Neo Discovery #49 - Unown M
  6. Neo Discovery #50 - Unown N
  7. Neo Discovery #51 - Unown U
  8. Neo Discovery #67 - Unown E
  9. Neo Discovery #68 - Unown I
  10. Neo Discovery #69 - Unown O
  11. Neo Revelation #39 - Unown B
  12. Neo Revelation #40 - Unown Y
  13. Neo Revelation #58 - Unown K
  14. Neo Destiny #27 - Unown G
  15. Neo Destiny #28 - Unown H
  16. Neo Destiny #29 - Unown W
  17. Neo Destiny #30 - Unown X
  18. Neo Destiny #55 - Unown C
  19. Neo Destiny #56 - Unown P
  20. Neo Destiny #57 - Unown Q
  21. Neo Destiny #58 - Unown Z
  22. Neo Destiny #87 - Unown L
  23. Neo Destiny #88 - Unown S
  24. Neo Destiny #89 - Unown T
  25. Neo Destiny #90 - Unown V

References[edit | edit source]

  • Barbo, Maria. The Official Pokémon Handbook. Scholastic Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-439-15404-9.
  • Loe, Casey, ed. Pokémon Special Pikachu Edition Official Perfect Guide. Sunnydale, CA: Empire 21 Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-930206-15-1.
  • Nintendo Power. Official Nintendo Pokémon FireRed Version & Pokémon LeafGreen Version Player’s Guide. Nintendo of America Inc., August 2004. ISBN 1-930206-50-X
  • Mylonas, Eric. Pokémon Pokédex Collector’s Edition: Prima’s Official Pokémon Guide. Prima Games, September 21, 2004. ISBN 0-7615-4761-4
  • Nintendo Power. Official Nintendo Pokémon Emerald Version Player’s Guide. Nintendo of America Inc., April 2005. ISBN 1-930206-58-5

External links[edit | edit source]