Mirage Pokémon (Japanese: ミラージュポケモン) are holographicPokémon, first seen in the anime special The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon. They were created by Dr. Yung, the Pokémon scientist who invented the Pokémon Mirage System, a machine that generates Pokémon holograms. The Mirage System was initially created for the purpose of creating a new species of "perfect" Pokémon. It was later used by Dr. Yung in an attempt to get revenge on the members of the Pokémon Institute who expelled him after he presented them with the Mirage System, claiming that it was a cruel and disrespectful way to treat Pokémon.
Although the main area that the Mirage Pokémon can travel is held inside Dr. Yung's laboratory, it can be expanded through the use of holographic generators that are launched from the laboratory like missiles. This expanded Mirage System allows the Mirage Pokémon to travel outside the laboratory and battle in different environments. The extent of this expanded area is unlimited.
Mirage Pokémon outside Dr. Yung’s laboratory
When the Mirage Pokémon are not in use, they can be "stored" in the Mirage System until they are needed, much like how real Pokémon are kept in Poké Balls. A trait that is unique to the Mirage Pokémon is the ability to use the data of other Mirage Pokémon to give them an edge in battle. This ability was used by the Mirage Mewtwo when it battled Ash and his friends. During the time that this ability was being used, it was revealed that any Mirage Pokémon whose data is being used are still fully conscious; this became evident when the Mirage Mew acted out and stopped Mewtwo from attacking. However it should be noted that the only reason Mew was able to do so is because it had the free will that the other Mirage Pokémon lacked.
If a Mirage Pokémon suffers critical damage, it reverts into data represented by hexagons floating in the air that then return to the system through the hologram generators. If there is an overwhelming amount of data for the generators to absorb—seen when the Mirage Mewtwo with the entire database written into it is destroyed—the system overloads and explosively crashes.
The system is also seen to be capable of creating mirages of other things besides Pokémon, as Dr. Yung used it to create a mirage of his Mirage Master persona in order to misdirect suspicion from him being the Master's true identity.
A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.
Mew was the only holographic Pokémon who had a heart and who wasn't able to be controlled. This could be a reference to the obedience mechanics of Generation III games, where Mew not met in a fateful encounter will always disobey the player to discourage acquisition of Mew using cheats.
"Mirage Pokémon" also refers to Legendary Pokémon and Mew in particular, though this is mainly a coincidence. In Japanese, the term used for Legendary Pokémon is まぼろしの ポケモンillusory Pokémon, using the Japanese word "maboroshi"; meanwhile, Yung's mirages are ミラージュポケモンmirage Pokémon, which uses the English word "mirage."
Even though the Mirage Pokémon are often described as holograms, both they and their attacks are made of actual matter rather than light.