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Cool Find: Pixelmon mod for Minecraft – gotta catch ’em all!

Pixelmon bannerOne of the most successful media franchises to come out of Japan is Pokémon. Second only to that juggernaut Mario in terms of success and lucrativeness, Pokémon grew from its humble beginnings as a Game Boy role playing game to encompass not only a great many sequel video games, but tons of derivative works, including manga, anime, trading card games, toys, and books. To this day it remains one of the most popular and lucrative, and Pokémon properties continue to be produced to this day.

Of course, us anime fans are most familiar with the anime incarnation of Pokémon, which began its long and illustrious career back in 1998 when the infamous 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. licensed and began broadcasting internationally the original Pokémon animation. This served as many a fan’s introduction to anime, and helped bring quite a few newcomers into the fold.

In my case, I hadn’t really taken notice of the whole Pokémon thing. My introduction to anime (though I didn’t know what “anime” was at the time) actually came courtesy of Robotech, back in the mid-80s.(I have spoken ad nauseum about this in the past; I will refrain from doing so now so as not to infuriate or bore those reading this post.) I wasn’t (re)introduced to anime until the early 2000s, when, while casually chatting with a friend, the subject of Robotech came up, and he turned to me and said “you know, you should really check out this “anime” stuff…” and lent me his badly-degenerated (must have been 8th or 9th generation) VHS tapes(!) of a little show called Bubblegum Crisis, which remains one of my favorites to this day. So, yeah, the whole Pokémon thing sorta passed me by: it came during my long dark years when, after coming home from a failed attempt at getting a higher education, I slummed around SoCal jobless, penniless and rather sad.

By now you’re probably wondering why I’m blathering on about Pokémon and/or shouting at your computer for me to STFU. Patience, grasshopper. For today, I bring you, as my Cool Find, the Pixelmon mod for Minecraft!

As the name implies, Pixelmon adds a Pokémon-inspired game mechanic to everybody’s favorite retro blocky sandbox game. Fortunately, no Pokémon knowledge is required to enjoy this mod. When you first create a character (or the next time you log in to an already-created world) you will be given the option to choose your first Pokémon. (Don’t worry, you won’t miss out if you happen to sleep through your alarm and end up arriving late to the party.) With your new-found friend, you can go out and explore the lands of Minecraft. As you do so, you will find many other Pokémon wandering around, whom you can do battle with and attempt to capture. (gotta catch ’em all!) If you’re on a multiplayer server, you can do battle with other players on the server; and in single-player mode, you will also see computer-generated (NPC) Pokémon Trainers wandering about whom you can challenge.

Of course, a young Pokémon trainer needs quite a few supplies — Pokémon balls, PCs, healers, trading machines and the like — and you can either find a convenient Pokémon Center and use theirs (they are randomly generated and scattered throughout the world) or you can go out, harvest resources, and craft your own.

As for the Pokémon themselves, as near as I can tell (remember, I’m no Pokémon expert) pretty much every Pokémon from the franchise is represented. You’ve got your Pikachus, your Magikarps, your Squirtles, your Bulbasaurs, your Mareeps, your Miltanks, and… You get the idea. There are even Pokémon fossils that you can find while mining, which you can regrow into ancient Pokémon. And, every now and then, a Legendary Pokémon appears, which you can take down and make yours, if you’ve got the right skills. Each Pokémon is lovingly rendered in Minecraft block style, and the developers have also recreated many of their signature noises. Each has its signature attacks, and as your Pokémon win battles, they gain levels, increasing their stats and unlocking new attacks. And under the right conditions, your Pokémon will evolve as well. Of course, there’s an in-game Pokédex you can craft up that helps you identify Pokémon and look up their stats, etc.

Oh, and by the way, the Pixelmon mod is very well written specifically to maximize compatibility with other mods. It works with all of the mods I use, including littleMaidMob, Mo’Creatures, Flan’s Mod, Twilight Forest, Millénaire, and more.

You don’t really need to be a Pokémon fan, or know a lot about Pokémon to enjoy this mod. It’s really fun. Read more about it and download it at the Pixelmon website or the Minecraft forums. Check out the installation video (also embedded below the cut) to find out how to install it (it’s really easy). They have a Getting Started guide with the basic steps to get started There’s also a third party wiki with an even better Getting Started Guide, along with tons of other info. And finally check out YouTuber and Minecraft “let’s play” video creator paulsoaresjr’s Pixelmon Let’s Play videos (also embedded below the cut) to see the mod in action (and besides, his videos are always awesome).

Gotta catch ’em all!

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