Pokémon Detail: There Are 8.5 Billion Variations Of Spinda

Spinda, a Generation 3 Pokémon that first appeared in Ruby and Sapphire, has more than 8 billion variations in its body markings.

Pokémon, you have finally gone too far.

Game Freak’s beloved gotta catch ‘em all ‘em up has been going strong for over two decades now. In that time, the roster has expanded exponentially, with various alternative forms being given to certain Pokémon. The humble Spinda, however, has all others trumped. Do you know how many different potential forms of this little Normal-type there are? More than eight billion.

Now, if you’re a gamer of a certain age, you probably find yourself reminiscing about the good old days far too often. Pokémon fans can be particularly guilty of this, with so-called genwunners insisting that only the original 151 are worth bothering with.

As with any treacle machine, Pokémon has continued to pump out game after game. With each new generation, another new crop of ‘mon have been added. New mechanics like Mega Evolution have also seen different forms of familiar Pokémon being thrown into the mix too.

In the case of Mega Evolution, we’re talking about a select few Pokémon that can temporarily transform themselves in battle. Only two of them, Charizard and Mewtwo, were honoured with a second Mega Evolution (an X and Y form). That’s a grand total of two different forms, and those are special cases. So, what’s the deal with Spinda’s billions?

Via: Polygon

Well, crucially, these are not form changes per se. It’s just an aspect of the Pokémon’s biology, as alluded to in the series’ Pokédex entries. “All the Spinda that exist in the world are said to have utterly unique spot patterns,” reports Pokémon Ruby, and that’s not just flavour text.

Whenever the player encounters a Spinda, they’ll have a slightly different pattern of spots, as promised. As Bulbapedia reports, a Spinda’s spots are based on its personality value, a 32-bit number that is randomly generated when the game first creates the Pokémon. This leaves us with a staggering 4,294,967,295 options, as YouTube’s Play Roughh also explains. Sure, some will produce patterns that look visually identical, but we won’t get pernickety about that.

Just shy of 4.3 billion, though? That’s small time. That’s weak. To make numbers go really big now, you’ve got to remember that each of these 4.3 billion Spindas can also be shiny, which immediately doubles the total to 8.5 billion.

Needless to say, this is where the whole gotta catch ‘em all thing falls apart. Even the most dedicated of gamers wouldn’t dream of attempting such a thing (even if the game’s storage limitations were able to accommodate ridiculousness on that level). It’s a dang Spinda, after all. One Spinda is too many.

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