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- If you were looking for the TCG set, see Fossil (TCG).
A Fossil (Japanese: カセキ Fossil) is a trace or piece of an organism from the past, such as a skeleton, shell, or leaf, preserved in the earth.
In the Pokémon world, Fossils of prehistoric Pokémon are items which can be revived into living Pokémon using techniques developed by the Devon Corporation and a research laboratory on Cinnabar Island. The two institutions purportedly developed their techniques independently of each other at around the same time. There are also other scientists around the Pokémon world who can revive Fossils using these techniques.
Pokémon revived from Fossils are commonly called Fossil Pokémon. They are always part Rock-type. It is unknown if this is because that is the way they were in the past and their Rock-type allowed them to leave behind more complete remains, or if their Rock-type status is a side effect of the revival process.
In the games
Scientists who can revive Fossils can be found in every core series game except the Generation II games.
Prior to Generation IV, Fossils were Key Items. However, from Generation IV and on, they are normal items, meaning that they can be traded freely between games. The table below summarizes the natural availability of the Fossils in the core series games.
In the games, relatively few Pokémon Trainers possess Pokémon revived from Fossils, since they are considered rare and difficult to obtain.
In Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, the first three Fossils were introduced. They have also appeared in most of the later games. They can be resurrected into these respective Pokémon:
The Helix and Dome Fossils are chosen at the end of Mt. Moon, being guarded by a Super Nerd, but the player may only choose one to keep. The other one that the Super Nerd takes will be revived and put on display in the Safari Zone. The Old Amber is located in the secret part of the Pewter Museum of Science, which can only be accessed with HM01 Cut.
A scientist in the Pokémon Lab on Cinnabar Island can revive the Fossils.
During this generation (and their Generation III remakes), all Fossils are Key Items, and cannot be traded to other games to be revived.
Lance is the first Trainer to be seen with a Fossil Pokémon, possessing an Aerodactyl due to its draconic appearance.
No new Fossils were introduced in Gold, Silver, and Crystal, and these games have no means by which to revive or acquire Fossils. However, Omanyte, Kabuto, and Aerodactyl are prominently featured in the puzzles located at Ruins of Alph. Of the three, only Aerodactyl is actually obtainable in the games via an in-game trade with an NPC in Kanto (for Chansey). Omanyte and Kabuto must be traded from Generation I.
Lance, who is now the Pokémon Champion, continues to have an Aerodactyl on his team. In addition, Brock, being a Fossil enthusiast, has an Omastar and a Kabutops in this generation's games, as well as the Stadium games in Gym Leader Castle. His fondness of Fossils is referenced again in the next generation of games when a man in Mt. Moon mentions that Brock helps excavate Fossils at the location, which implies that he excavated Omastar and Kabutops's Fossils himself.
In Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, two new Fossils were introduced. They can be resurrected into these respective Pokémon:
In Ruby and Sapphire, the player can choose one of either the Root or Claw Fossils at Route 111, and upon choosing, the other will sink away into the sand. In Emerald, however, while the player can only choose one initially at the Mirage Tower, they can retrieve the other later at the end of the Desert Underpass. In the Generation I remakes, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, the player can obtain the same Fossils as in the original games: either the Helix or the Dome Fossil, and the Old Amber.
Additionally, Relicanth is also an ancient Pokémon which is partially Rock-type, and it can be considered a living fossil. However, since it survived extinction for approximately a hundred million years and can be caught in the wild instead of being revived from a Fossil, it is rarely included in the Fossil Pokémon group.
Steven Stone, a rock collector whose father is head of the Devon Corporation, has two Fossil Pokémon, Cradily and Armaldo. In Emerald, Roxanne will eventually gain a Kabutops, an Omastar, and an Aerodactyl for her team. Also, in FireRed and LeafGreen, Lance continues to have Aerodactyl on his team.
In Pokémon Colosseum's Story Mode, various characters use the Hoenn Fossils, as well as Relicanth. The most famous of these users are Miror B. and Gonzap, each of whom at some point has an Armaldo on his team. In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, this relative ubiquity is cut considerably, with Lileep, Anorith, Cradily, and Armaldo only appearing once. With that said, Relicanth deserves special mention as a member of Zook's team, while an Aerodactyl will appear on Greevil's team once his Shadow Pokémon are Snagged.
FireRed and LeafGreen Fossils are obtained the same way as in Generation I, while Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald Fossils may be revived by a scientist in the Devon Corporation building in Rustboro City.
In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, two new Fossils were again introduced:
These Fossils can be turned into Pokémon at the Oreburgh Mining Museum.
In Diamond and Pearl, for the first time in the series, the Fossils the player is able to receive are dependent on the version played: Skull Fossils are available in Diamond only and Armor Fossils in Pearl only. In Platinum, whichever Fossil a player digs up will depend on whether the Trainer ID is even or odd. If the Trainer ID is even, the player will dig up Armor Fossils only, and if the Trainer ID is odd, the player will dig up Skull Fossils only.
In Sinnoh, when players travel underground, they can find most of the Fossils by digging, along with several other rare items, potentially. After getting the National Pokédex, they can also find the five Fossils from the previous three generations.
In Johto's Generation IV games, the DomeSS and HelixHG Fossils as well as the Old Amber can be found randomly by smashing rocks outside Ruins of Alph. RootSS and ClawHG Fossils can be found randomly by smashing rocks in the Cliff Cave. Fossils found in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver can be revived at the Pewter Museum of Science. The Skull and Armor Fossils are absent from both games, so either they, or the Pokémon revived from them, must be transferred from Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum.
In this generation, Fossils are considered to be normal items. As such, they can be held by a Pokémon and traded to another game.
Roark has a Cranidos, while his father, Byron, has a Bastiodon. Rampardos and Shieldon are also used by two minor Trainers. In the post-Elite Four stage of the games, Aerodactyl can be spotted with another Trainer.
As in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, Brock has an Omastar and a Kabutops on his team in HeartGold and SoulSilver and also uses a Rampardos in rematches. Lance continues to have Aerodactyl on his initial team, but it is not used in rematches.
Pokémon Black and White once again brought a new set of Fossils to the Pokémon world:
These Fossils can be revived into Pokémon using a machine in the Nacrene City Museum.
In Pokémon Black and White, one of these two Fossils will be given away by a person in Relic Castle, similar to how the Helix and Dome Fossils are originally obtained in the Kanto-based games.
In the sequels to these games, the fossils are instead given away by former Gym Leader Lenora.
In Chargestone Cave, a couple of Ace Trainers battle with a Tirtouga and an Archen.
The two final evolutions of the Fossil Pokémon released in this generation (Carracosta and Archeops) are used by N in the final battle against him in N's Castle.
After defeating GhetsisBW or IrisB2W2, Fossils of previous generations will be given out by a Worker in Twist Mountain, with one being given out per day.
Two Fossil Pokémon were introduced for Pokémon X and Y.
One of the two Fossils is given to the player in Glittering Cave and can be restored at the research facility in Ambrette Town. The Old Amber can also be collected after this by smashing rocks in the back of Glittering Cave.
Gym Leader Grant uses Tyrunt and Amaura and their evolved forms in subsequent rematches. Champion Diantha also uses Tyrantrum and Aurorus.
After defeating the Elite Four, the player can return to Glittering Cave and smash rocks to find the Skull, Armor, Plume, and Cover Fossils, regardless of version, as well as Root and Claw FossilsX or Dome and Helix FossilsY.
In Hoenn's Generation VI games, the Root and Claw Fossil are collected the same way as the original Ruby and Sapphire games. During the post-game, a number of other fossils can be collected by smashing rocks at the Mirage spots. While the Old Amber can be found regardless of version, the Dome, Armor, and Plume Fossils are exclusive to Omega Ruby and the Helix, Skull, and Cover Fossils are exclusive to Alpha Sapphire. The Jaw and Sail Fossils are absent from both games, so either they, or the Pokémon that are revived from them, must be transferred from X and Y.
Generation VII introduces no new Fossils, but the player may buy certain Fossils. In Konikoni City at Olivia's jewelry shop, the player can buy a Skull and a Cover Fossil in Pokémon Sun or an Armor and a Plume Fossil in Pokémon Moon. The Fossils can be revived at the Fossil Restoration Center on Route 8.
An Aerodactyl can also be obtained at Seafolk Village.
| Helix Fossil
|| Dome Fossil
|| Old Amber
|| Root Fossil
|| Claw Fossil
|| Skull Fossil
|| Armor Fossil
| Helix Fossil
|| Dome Fossil
|| Old Amber
|| Root Fossil
|| Claw Fossil
|| Skull Fossil
|| Armor Fossil
| Cover Fossil
|| Plume Fossil
|| Jaw Fossil
|| Sail Fossil
In the anime
In the main series
In the anime, most Fossil Pokémon are in fact, not extinct, but have simply been hibernating underground for millions of years, as seen in Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon, Shell Shock!, and Fossil Fools. However, Professor Proctor and Gary have both used research to directly revive Fossil Pokémon, as seen in Where's Armaldo? and Putting the Air Back in Aerodactyl!, respectively. Unlike in the games where Fossils of ancient Pokémon are resurrected into the skeletons of the prehistoric using a machine that recreates the missing organs that had decomposed away from the genes extracted in the remains, this Aerodactyl was in fact completely revived from a Fossil that was fully preserved inside of an Old Amber for millions of years and thus still had the memories of its past life.
Butler tried to create a Groudon for Team Magma in Jirachi: Wish Maker from a fossilized remnant, but the experiment failed and Butler left Team Magma.
Roark, as he does in the games, has a Cranidos which evolves into a Rampardos. This Pokémon, as well as several other Fossil Pokémon, appear in A Gruff Act to Follow!, Wild in the Streets!, and O'er the Rampardos we Watched!. Byron, his father, also has quite a collection in his Gym. This includes the Fossil Pokémon Kabuto, Kabutops, Omanyte, Omastar, Cradily, and Armaldo, as well as a giant Claw Fossil. He also kept a Sunkern leaf Fossil that Roark found when he was a child.
In A Night in the Nacrene City Museum!, a Kabuto Fossil was first seen chasing Hawes, as he claimed it to be doing, but was later seen safely placed in a display case. Hawes later explained what it was to the trio. It was later revealed that the Yamask in the Nacrene City Museum was using its move Psychic to make the Dome Fossil float and chase after Hawes after he put its mask in a display case, thinking that it was a replica Yamask mask given to him as a gift from the company that made a Cofagrigus replica after purchasing it from them for the museum.
Lenora gave a Plume Fossil to Professor Juniper and Fennel prior to Archeops In The Modern World!. They successfully resurrected a female Archen from the Fossil using Musharna's dream energy. With the help of Ash and his Tranquill, Archen learned how to fly and then evolved into Archeops.
In Pokémon Origins
Dome and Helix Fossils in Pokémon Origins
The Dome and Helix Fossils were seen briefly in the Pokémon Origins episode File 2: Cubone, being hogged by a Super Nerd whom Red encountered on Mt. Moon.
In File 3: Giovanni, Red was seen using a Kabutops in his battle against Giovanni, presumably revived from a Dome Fossil. Since Red is mentioned to have caught all 150 Generation I Pokémon (excluding Mew) by the time of File 4: Charizard, it means that he has also obtained the other Kanto Fossil Pokémon, presumably also revived from Fossils. As Blue was mentioned to have collected 148 Pokémon, it is likely that he had also collected all Kanto Fossil Pokémon.
In the manga
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In the Pokémon Adventures manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Lance and Brock both have Fossil Pokémon, just as in the games. Misty also temporarily has an Omanyte, but she gives this to Yellow. In addition, Red uses Blaine's laboratory to revive an Aerodactyl. In Hoenn, Ruby fights a revived Lileep and an Anorith at Professor Cozmo's laboratory in Fallarbor Town. In Sinnoh, Roark has a Cranidos like in the games, and his father a Shieldon, which he later gives to Diamond. Finally, in Unova, N had an Archeops, which he released, and Black has a Carracosta, given to him by Marshal as a Tirtouga.
In the TCG
All Fossils have appeared in the TCG at one point or another, usually being released in the same expansion as the Pokémon which are revived from them, and being released as Trainer cards. Initially, only the Mysterious Fossil card existed, which could be evolved into any of the three Generation I Fossil Pokémon; however, its use was eventually discontinued in favor of individual Dome Fossil, Helix Fossil, and Old Amber cards to match the Claw, Root, Skull, Armor Fossil, Cover Fossil, and Plume Fossil cards.