kids encyclopedia robot

Gengar facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Pokémon series character
First appearance Pokémon Red and Blue
Designed by Ken Sugimori
Voiced by Ted Lewis (English)
Kōichi Sakaguchi (Japanese)

Gengar , known in Japan as Gengar (ゲンガー, Gengā), is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. It is a Ghost/Poison type Pokémon. Designed by Game Freak, their name is both the singular and plural name of the species. First appearing in Pokémon Red and Blue, they later appeared in subsequent sequels, spin-off games, related merchandise, and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. In animated appearances, Gengar are voiced in Japanese by Kōichi Sakaguchi and in English localizations by Ted Lewis.

Gengar has been well received by the media, noted as popular with older male children and praised for its appearance. Groups such as IGN and Official Nintendo Magazine have praised its abilities and style, with both naming it one of the series' best characters. Gengar is the final evolved form of the three original ghost Pokémon and known as the Shadow Pokemon.

Design and characteristics

Gengar (far left) as seen in artwork for Capsule Monsters

Unlike other Pokémon in the series, Gengar originally appeared in the manga Capsule Monsters, an early concept by Satoshi Tajiri which evolved into the basis for the modern Pokémon franchise. During development of Red and Green, which were localized outside Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue, Game Freak illustrator Ken Sugimori adapted the character concept for the games. Called "Gengaa" 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. Originally intending to call the species "Phantom", due to an existing trademark for a character with the same name they adapted its Japanese name for the English language instead. It was given a "Mega Evolution" in Pokémon X and Y. Series producer Junichi Masuda noted that Mega Gengar was difficult to render in 3D due to some of the things it was going to do. Gengar was also given a Gigantamax form in Pokémon Sword and Shield designed by the game's Art Director, James Turner. Gigantamax Gengar has access to the unique G-Max Move G-Max Terror, which prevents opposing Pokémon from switching out or fleeing during battle.

Known as the Shadow Pokémon, Gengar is a dark-purple Pokémon with a roundish body. Gengar is the first of its evolutions to have hands and legs connected to its body. Gengar also has a spike-covered back, and its eyes are a sinister red. Its mouth is usually curled into a wicked grin. Gengar steals the heat from the area around it; its presence cools the temperature of the surrounding area by nearly 10 °F.

Gengar, very mischievous and sometime malicious creatures, live in shadows of rooms, caves, and dark places where shadows form, especially in urban areas such as cities and back alleys but only during the night. They enjoy playing practical jokes, such as pretending to be one's shadow and then behaving erratically. When the victim notices the sudden change in the movement of their shadow and becomes afraid, Gengar takes delight in the victim's fear. Gengar have the ability to lay curses on their foe, and it is said to steal the lives of those who become lost in mountains by overtaking the prey's shadow and silently waiting for an opportunity. Like its predecessor in evolution Haunter, Gengar can lick victims with its tongue and paralyze them; this attack is far more associated with Haunter and Gengar has not been shown doing this in the anime.

The Seventh Generation furthers its description by adding that they are lonely and will take the lives of others in order to make friends.

Competitive battling

Gengar has been a top tier Pokemon since the first generation, owing to its good Speed and Ghost typing, and in the third generation, became immune to Ground moves due to gaining the Levitate ability. However, Gengar could not use Ghost and Poison type moves effectively because of its low Attack stat and the fact that all attacks of both types were calculated using the attack stat as they were classified as physical moves. Generation 4 split up attacks to be physical or special based on attributes instead of type, which made several existing ghost and poison attacks special, therefore run off Gengar's large Special Attack stat, and Generation 6 gave it a very strong Mega Evolution, with very high Speed and Special Attack, which was banned from competitive play. However, it lost its Ground immunity in the seventh generation due to Levitate being replaced by Cursed Body.


In video games

Gengar's Pokémon series debut was in Pokémon Red and Blue, where it is only obtainable by evolving Haunter by trading it. Haunter later appeared in several sequels, including Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Pokémon Black and White, Pokémon X and Y, and Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon. Notable trainers that use Gengar are Agatha of the Kanto Elite Four, Morty, Gym Leader of Ecruteak City Gym, and Fantina, Gym Leader of Hearthome City Gym. Outside of the main series, Gengar has appeared in the Pokémon Ranger games. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Gengar is the main antagonist, and the leader of Team Meanies, which includes an Ekans and Medicham. Gengar spends much of the game causing trouble, even convincing the village to exile the hero, blaming him or her for the natural disasters. However, it is later revealed that Gengar is the cursed human that the plot mentions. Gengar is an NPC in PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure and its sequel, PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond. In Pokémon X and Y, Gengar can become Mega Gengar, with its new unblinking third eye able to peer into other dimensions. Gengar is a playable character in Pokken Tournament.

A Gengar-themed mini-CD-ROM was released by Mattel Interactive in 2000.

In anime

In the anime, Gengar made its first appearance in the opening of the first episode, "Pokémon, I Choose You!", where it and a Nidorino battled in a Colosseum on television, a scene that mimicked the intro of Pokémon Blue. Ash first saw a Gengar in person in Lavender Town in "The Tower of Terror" while searching for a Ghost-type Pokémon with which to fight Sabrina, the Saffron City gym leader specializing in Psychic-types. Due to a close call, Ash spent some unexpected time with the ghostly trio, Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar. It, along with Haunter, seemed to have a fondness for Japanese stand-up, and unsuccessfully attempted to amuse Ash by acting as a pair of performers. In "The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis", a giant Gengar was awakened where it battled an equally large Alakazam. Drake of the Orange Islands used a Gengar in his battle with Ash in "Hello, Pummelo!" and "Enter The Dragonite." A Gengar appeared under the ownership of Ecruteak City Gym Leader Morty in "A Ghost Of A Chance", "From Ghost to Ghost", and "For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll!". Agatha used a Gengar to battle Ash's Pikachu in "The Scheme Team"; her Gengar actually defeated the electric mouse Pokémon. Ash would later go on to capture his own Gengar in the Sword and Shield Anime Series.

In other media

In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Agatha has two Gengar on her team. One of them was used to attack Blue and Koga from the shadows, draining the latter's life force as it possessed his shadow. Another Gengar was seen at the beginning of the FireRed and LeafGreen saga in Volume 23. It was used by a kid from Pallet Town in an attempt to capture a Nidorino, replicating the opening sequence of Pokémon Red and Blue.

kids search engine
Gengar Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.