4

Pikachu almost fell into lava after a fight with Magmar in an arena above a volcano. Charmander was allowed to fight in a water arena where he could fall into water. It's a deadly sport without safety rules.

Has any Pokémon ever been depicted dying in a fight?

  • Yes but I can't find clips to prove it, only bulbapedia links – Edlothiad Apr 25 '17 at 9:41
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Not in the show.

Depending how you define a "fight", there are a couple in the tie-in movies, however. If you consider battles between two Pokémon (as it seems you do), but not necessarily battles between two Pokémon trainers using their Pokémon to fight each other:

  • In Pokémon 3: The Movie, the legendary Pokémon Entei sacrifices himself in a battle against a group of Unown in order to break down their combined psychic shield.
  • In the sixth movie, Jirachi: Wish Maker, the mythical Pokémon Jirachi kills a revived (Jurassic Park-style) giant and evil version of the prehistoric Groudon.
  • I think there are additional deaths in the manga, and there are hints at it in the games, but I'm fairly sure that those are all old age or "sacrificing themselves", not as a result of battle. As for your examples, one could argue that Evil Groudon isn't the real Groudon, so it's not clear whether or not it's even alive. Entei, likewise, was created by the Unown, which is why he died when he destroyed their psychic barrier. So there are two main questions to answer: Do Evil Groudon and Entei count as real Pokémon, and are their deaths technically due to "battle"? – DisturbedNeo Apr 25 '17 at 10:01
  • Personally, I'm leaning towards counting Entei, but I'm not sure about Groudon. – DisturbedNeo Apr 25 '17 at 10:03
  • @DisturbedNeo You're not wrong. There are also the simulated "Mirage" versions of Mew and Mewtwo who "kill" each other in battle, but I decided those weren't Pokémon. Entei and the "false" Groudon are arguably a little more real. There are others that sacrifice themselves, but not in a battle against Pokémon (I think). – tobiasvl Apr 25 '17 at 10:04
  • Lucario and Latios' sacrifices weren't related to their respective battles, those came afterwards. The rest always get revived after being "killed". Looking into it, Ash actually dies quite a lot. It's a good thing he's so good at befriending Pokémon capable of mass resurrection. – DisturbedNeo Apr 25 '17 at 10:25
  • @DisturbedNeo Yeah, exactly, that was why I didn't mention Lucario and Latios. – tobiasvl Apr 25 '17 at 10:33
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It depends on the continuity.

In general, when two Pokemon battle, it's depicted as friendly competition: a sport, for fun. They aren't actually trying to kill each other, and I would imagine they're holding back to avoid doing so. The out-of-universe reason for Pokemon fainting in battle, rather than dying, is that the series' creator didn't want it to be too violent.

In the games, there are reference to Pokemon having died - many of the main-series games feature graveyards, not to mention the ghost of Marowak in Lavender Tower - but none are depicted actually dying. There is a fan theory that one of your battles against Blue in RGB/FRLG results in the death of his Raticate - the next time you see him, he's in Lavender Tower, and Raticate isn't in his party - but that's only a theory, not canon.

In the anime, it's shown that Pokemon can fight to the death, just not in trainer battles. As well as the examples @tobiasvl mentioned, I'd like to highlight the famous "Clones v Originals" battle in Pokemon: The First Movie. It's made clear that not only are they actively trying to kill each other (or at least, the clones are trying to kill the originals), but that Pokemon do not usually fight like that. The only reason none of them die is because Ash sacrifices himself to stop the fight.

I'm not an expert on the various manga, but as I recall, Pokemon can and do die in battle in them. Certainly they suffer severe physical injuries, such as one of Koga's Arbok getting sliced clean in two (it recovered though - thanks to OP for correcting me on that). It's still, as far as I'm aware, a very rare occurence.

  • Koga's Arbok regenerated from that injury. – Jesvin Jose Apr 25 '17 at 18:15
  • I didn't know that. I'll do some more research and see if I can find a better example. – F1Krazy Apr 26 '17 at 7:35
  • Certainly seems possible enough. Charmander will die if the flame on his tail goes out. With a strong/large enough water attack in a battle, that'd be feasibly possible. – phantom42 Apr 26 '17 at 14:03
  • Oh, it's certainly possible, but that's not the question. The question is whether it's shown happening. – F1Krazy Apr 26 '17 at 14:17

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