- This article is about the NPC friends of player characters. For other uses, see Friend (disambiguation).
A friend (Japanese: 友達 friend or 仲間 companion) or childhood friend (Japanese: 幼なじみ childhood friend) is a reoccurring main character in a Pokémon game that the player character may interact with over the course of their journey. These characters take personal interest in the player, and often share a bond either at the start, before, or at the end of the story. Friends may accompany the player over the course of the game, form a rivalry with them, or in some cases, both. These characters, may or may not share similar goals with the player, often having their own motivation and aspirations. Most, but not all, friends can be spoken or interacted with in a game's post-adventure, showing improvement or character development.
The term was used specifically in certain track titles in Pokémon X and Y being used as a leitmotif for when the player met up with their friend group. Otherwise, characters in-game may refer to the player as one of their friends. The Battle Tree in Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, refer to Battle! (Hau), and Battle at the Summit! (Hau) as My Friend Hau. Hau's title on the Sun and Moon website, refers to him as Your Friend Hau. Hau's internal data also refers to the character as FRIEND. Additionally, friendly rival is a common term used to refer to certain rival characters who are non-antagonistic towards the player.
In the games
In the core series, the player is usually met with a character that can be considered a friend. This character archetype was first displayed in Generation I, where Blue is considered to have been friends with the player since they were young. The player's friends usually appear already having a Pokémon before they are met, as is the case with Nemona, Hop or Hau, or they start their journey at the same time as them, picking their Starter Pokémon based on what the player has already chosen, as in the case with Blue and Shauna. Starting in Pokémon Black and White, many of these characters form friend groups and start their journey together, either splitting up at a certain point and reforming later, or travel with the player.
Since some of these characters already have some experience with Pokémon, these characters often tutor the player on catching Pokémon, examples being Calem/Serena teaching the player and Shauna how to catch a Pokémon. Friendly rivalries may be created with the character and the player, in which a friend may participate in the player's first Pokémon battle, serving as a tutorial in such circumstances. Over the course of the game, these friendly rivals may appear throughout the game challenging the player and getting stronger. Other times, the opposite is true instead, with the player teaching their friend how to use or catch Pokémon, with Wally being taught by them. These characters, like Lillie also typically learn and grow at their own pace, and continue to learn from the player, and are encouraged by them throughout the story.
Friends who provide no interest in rivaling the player in battle may reoccur and interact with the player in different ways, as in the case with Lillie, who often provides support and healing of the player's party, disliking the idea Pokémon battles and not wanting them to get hurt. Trevor and Tierno, two friends that the player meets in Pokémon X and Y, despite battling the player, have no interest in surpassing the character in that field either. Trevor specifically wanting to rival the player in Pokédex information and completion, rather than having a typical rivalry. Arven welcomes the player on his journey through Paldea, encouraging them to help with finding Herba Mystica.
Starting in Generation III, most friends typically have their Trainer class as Pokémon Trainer. However, this class isn't exclusive to them, and some may not use this Trainer class, using another instead depending on their situation in the game. Some change their Trainer class throughout the game. Not all of the player's friends have participated in battle against them, if they battle at all.
The following are the characters considered to be friends in the games.
- Only if the female player character is picked.
- Only if the male player character is picked.
Pokémon Masters EX
|Pokémon Masters EX|
In the anime
- Main article: Ash's friends
Ash has traveled within a group of friends throughout the course of the anime (except for Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, where Ash has five classmates). While Ash typically travels with the same group of friends though a series, some characters, such as Korrina, will drop in and out of the group for a number of episodes.
Blue appears in Pokémon Origins, being in a similar role as he had in the video games. Unlike in the games, rather than just being Red's rival, he helps assist Red in some situations involving Team Rocket.
Pokémon Generations has two episodes that focus on friends of the player:
- Blue appears in The Challenger, battling the Elite Four and becoming the Pokémon League Champion, before Red attempts to take his title.
- Silver appears as the main character of The Legacy. He is not shown interacting with the protagonist.
The episode, Buddy focuses on Hop and his Wooloo. Hop also makes cameo appearances in Letter and Training. Bede and Marnie make minor appearances in Sky and Early-Evening Waves respectively, while Avery and Klara make a small appearance in The Gathering of Stars.
GOTCHA! notably features the friend characters up to and including Pokémon Sword and Shield's base game, with the characters from the first 7 generations (with exception of Trade due to the absence of any character's from the Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! games) being shown simultaneously. The scene in particular displays the characters either in battle or interacting with each other, with some sections being seen from a friend's perspective.
A majority of the player's friends have appeared in Pokémon Evolutions:
- In The Champion, Hop helped Victor put an end to Darkest Day. At the end of the episode, Marnie and Bede appeared in a cameo.
- The Eclipse primarily focuses on Lillie, who, by receiving help from Selene, journeys to the Altar of the Moone in order to evolve Nebby, and save her mother. Gladion and Hau also appear in a flashback, in which they, Lillie, Selene, and Guzma all witness Lusamine use Nebby's power to open an Ultra Wormhole at Aether Paradise.
- In The Visionary, Shauna and Serena were seen helping Calem put an end to Team Flare's plans. Serena, while in her NPC appearance, is in her design when chosen as the player. Neither character has a speaking role.
- In The Plan, recalls the history of N during and before the events of Pokémon Black and White. Cheren also appears in a flashback.
- Focusing on Barry, The Rival, goes through the events of Pokémon Diamond's in a series of flashbacks from his perspective.
- The Wish has May as the player character climbing Sky Pillar following the events of the Delta Episode.
- The Show features Ethan, presumably as his player character counterpart.
- In The Discovery, Trace entered Cerulean Cave to find Mewtwo, competing against Green. Both characters lost to Elaine, who had already caught the Pokémon by the time they arrived.
In the TCG
In the TCG, a number of characters appear both in groups and singular cards based on the player's friends and rivals. Starting in the Sun & Moon era, cards based on a group of friends from the video games have been displayed. Multiple characters have also had their own separated cards.
|list of characters involving friends|
Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format.
Cards listed with a silver background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.
|Friends in Alola||Su||SM-P Promotional cards||401/SM-P|
|Friends in Galar||Su||Brilliant Stars||140/172||VMAX Climax||149/184|
|Silver Tempest||TG23/TG30||VMAX Climax||258/184|
|Friends in Hisui||Su||Crown Zenith||130/159||VSTAR Universe||160/172|
|Crown Zenith||149/159||VSTAR Universe||247/172|
|Friends in Sinnoh||Su||Crown Zenith||131/159||VSTAR Universe||154/172|
|Crown Zenith||148/159||VSTAR Universe||249/172|
- Ethan and Lyra are currently the only friend characters to not participate in battle either against or partnering with the player character.
In other languages
- Pokémon X and Y official site (archived)
- Pokémon Sun and Moon official site (archived)
- Pokémon Scarlet and Violet official site
- Pokémon X and Y official site (Japanese)
- Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! official site (Japanese)
- Pokémon Scarlet and Violet official site (Japanese)
- Pokémon Sun and Moon official site (Japanese)
- Pokémon Black and White official site (archived)
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl page on Pokemon.co.jp (Japanese)
- Pokémon Platinum page on Pokemon.co.jp (Japanese)
- Pokémon Black and White official site (Japanese)
- Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 official site (Japanese)
- Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! official site
- Hau’s Trainer Spotlight in Pokémon Masters, the Pokémon TCG, Manga, and More | Pokemon.com
|This game character article is part of Project CharacterDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each character found in the Pokémon games.|