A Pokémon's cry (Japanese: 鳴き声 voice) is the sound it makes. Depending on the continuity, this can either be a unique sound, or only the Pokémon's name and various phrases derived from its name. There are also several instances of talking Pokémon.
In the games
When a Pokémon is sent out from its Poké Ball, it will call out its cry, which consists of an electronically made "noise." It will also cry out when using certain moves, such as Growl, Roar, and Hyper Voice. Since Generation III, when a Pokémon faints, its cry will be lower-pitched. In Generations III, IV, and V, this also applies if it has critical HP or a status condition when entering a battle or when it is checked in the status screen. In Generation VII, a wild Pokémon will give its cry while calling for help.
Pokémon related by evolution (e.g., Charmander and Charmeleon) and association (Pansage, Pansear, and Panpour) will often have notably similar cries, though others may sound very different (Remoraid and Octillery), especially if from different generations (Kirlia and Gallade). When Pokémon undergo Mega Evolution or Primal Reversion, their cry is altered, sometimes dramatically. Many alternate forms, such as those of Shaymin, Kyurem, and the Forces of Nature, also have different cries.
Despite there being 151 Pokémon in Generation I, there are only 37 completely different cries in the Generation I games. However, similar cries are distinguished by differences in pitch, speed, echo, or disabling one of the sound channels. For example, Charmander and Charmeleon's base cries are the same, but Charmeleon's is lower-pitched. Another example is that Metapod and Abra have the same base cry, but Metapod's only plays one sound channel. In Generation II, there were 30 new base cries introduced, applying the same techniques as before. The only Generation II cries based on older ones belong to Crobat and Umbreon, both of which evolve from Generation I Pokémon.
- The cries of Charizard and Rhyhorn, as well as those of Poliwag and Ditto, were exactly identical.
- Caterpie's cry was slightly longer than Goldeen's, by 0.071 seconds.
- Wigglytuff's cry was slightly lower-pitched and longer than Poliwhirl's, by 0.006 seconds.
- Vileplume's cry was slightly higher-pitched and longer than Aerodactyl's, by 0.059 seconds.
- Machop's cry was slightly lower-pitched and shorter than Omanyte's, by 0.002 seconds.
Possibly due to improved technology, very few Pokémon introduced since Generation III have had similar cries, and those that do are usually related by evolution or association as they were in Generation I. As the generations pass, the calls of new Pokémon sound more refined and realistic, while the cries of Pokémon released in previous generations sound comparatively more like the electronic beeps they are. For unspecified reasons, the cries of Generation III games are actually played at 0.9× the speed of the original samples. Cries introduced since Generation IV are mostly recognizable, digitized sounds, such as birds chirping for Starly or a xylophone for Kricketot. In Pokémon X and Y, the cries of most Pokémon from previous Generations were updated through the Nintendo 3DS's technology. The cries of some Pokémon, such as Raichu, Corphish, and Shiftry, were almost completely changed.
In the Pokémon Stadium series, many original cries were remade through the Nintendo 64's technology. Although most of them resemble the Game Boy versions closely, some Pokémon were given special cries that closely resemble actual animals, or are a combination of the two. This was not carried over into later console games, which use the same cries as the handheld games.
In Generation III and Generation VII, cries of the Pokémon found in the player's current location can occasionally be heard while walking in the overworld. In Pokémon Emerald, these cries are heard more often if the first Pokémon in the player's party has the Ability Swarm.
In some games, the Game mascot's cry will be heard when "Start" or "A" are pressed at the title screen.
Although Pikachu has a traditional cry, in some games, it has been given special cries, similar to the anime. This makes it the only Pokémon to have multiple cries without changing forms.
In Pokémon Yellow, the starting Pikachu has a total of forty cries, though only two occur in battle. Like the anime, all are variations of its name and voiced by Ikue Ohtani. Because the Game Boy lacks high-quality sound, Game Freak had to think of different ways to recreate Pikachu's cry. Junichi Masuda converted the sound into one-bit data, recreating the sound of Ohtani's voice. This is also the case if the starter Pikachu is brought to battle in Pokémon Stadium or Pokémon Stadium 2.
The feature returned in Pokémon X and Y with all-new voice recordings. In these games, Pikachu has 15 cries. Two of these cries occur in battle, one is heard when viewing its status screen or Pokédex entry, and the rest appear in Pokémon-Amie. This was retained in later core series games.
In the anime
Most Pokémon will only say their names and communicate using those syllables. For example, Ash's Pikachu has been known to use the three syllables in the word "Pikachu" in various combinations to refer to several characters, including Ash (Pikapi), Misty (PiKachupi), Brock (PikaChu), Dawn (Pikaka), Togepi (Pipipi), Team Rocket (Pipikachu), Bulbasaur (Pikakapika) and "My name is Pikachu" (Pika, Pikachu).
Due to Pokémon being dubbed, the original cry of a Pokémon is sometimes preserved in the anime, more often than not if the name is either similar or the same in Japanese and English. However, sometimes it is kept when it is completely different. One example is Charizard, which can be heard to cry out Lizardon if listened to closely enough. Likewise, an Onix roar sounds like Iwark and Wooper's cry sounds like "Upah!". Plus, the cries of Skitty & Delcatty sound like "ene"; the first 3 letters of their Japanese names. Arbok, in addition, is heard to hiss "Charbok(a)," despite both its English and Japanese names being "Arbok."
Some Pokémon's cries are entirely unrelated to their names in any language. For example, Victreebel screeches loudly, Staryu quickly yells "Heah!" in an echoing male voice, and Starmie says "Hoo!" in a breathy, echoing female voice. Most Legendary Pokémon that cannot speak to humans instead roar, screech, or make other sounds. Some of these cries are derived from other media, such as Kaiju films.
Junichi Masuda revealed in an interview that the reason Pokémon did not say their names in the game was because of hardware limitations. Despite advances, the cries were kept for realism. Newer cries are based on habitats of Pokémon.
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Reason: XY, ORAS, Gen VII.
The cry page exists neither in the first two generations nor their remakes. Instead, the cry plays if the word "Cry" is selected in the Pokédex. In Generation VI and Generation VII, the cry page is shared with the forms page.
- As of Generation VII, Jynx has the longest cry at 2.238 seconds, while Pidgey's is the shortest at 0.181 seconds.
- In Pokémon Red and Blue, when a player's Pokémon has low HP in battle, its cry will be distorted. This is likely due to the game performing two simultaneous processes: one for the alarm sound of low HP and another to play the Pokémon's cry. This problem was fixed in Pokémon Yellow.
- This situation occurs both when the Pokémon is sent out into battle and when its information is checked.
- The Pokémon with the most cry changes throughout the series is Haunter, having been changed in Generations II, III, and VI. In Generation I, it is a high-pitched, four-note beeping with low-pitched buzzing in the background. In Generation II, the beeping was replaced by a three-note jingle. The jingle was absent in Generations III through V, leaving just the buzz. In Generation VI, its cry was overhauled to sound like an update of its original one.
- In Generation IV, if the Nintendo DS is put into sleep mode in the middle of a Pokémon's cry, the cry will start over when the DS is opened again. This happens both when a Pokémon is coming into battle and fainting.
- Despite not being a Pokémon, Dark Rust has its own cry in Pokémon Rumble Blast.
- Similarly, all Pokéstar Studios opponents have their own cries, despite not being Pokémon.
In other languages