From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- If you were looking for the the TCG set, see Fossil (TCG).
A Fossil (Japanese: 化石 Fossil) is a trace or piece of an organism from the past, such as a skeleton, shell, or leaf, preserved in the earth.
In the Pokémon world, Fossils of prehistoric Pokémon are items which can be revived into living Pokémon using techniques developed by the Devon Corporation and a research laboratory on Cinnabar Island. The two institutions purportedly developed their techniques independently of each other at around the same time. There are also other scientists around the Pokémon world who can revive Fossils using these techniques.
Pokémon revived from Fossils are commonly called Fossil Pokémon. They are always part Rock-type.
In the games
Scientists who can revive Fossils can be found in every core series game except the Generation II games.
Prior to Generation IV, Fossils were Key Items. However, from Generation IV and on, they are normal items, meaning that they can be traded freely between games. The table below summarizes the natural availability of the Fossils in the core series games.
In the games, relatively few Pokémon Trainers possess Pokémon revived from Fossils, since they are considered rare and difficult to obtain.
In Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, the first three Fossils were introduced. They have also appeared in most of the later games. They can be resurrected into these respective Pokémon:
The Helix and Dome Fossils are chosen at the end of Mt. Moon, being guarded by a Super Nerd, but the player may only choose one to keep. The other one that the Super Nerd takes will be revived and put on display in the Safari Zone. The Old Amber is located in the secret part of the Pewter Museum of Science, which can only be accessed with HM01 Cut.
A scientist in the Pokémon Lab on Cinnabar Island can revive the Fossils. The resulting Pokémon are level 30.
During this generation (and their Generation III remakes), all Fossils are Key Items, and cannot be traded to other games to be revived.
Lance is the first Trainer to be seen with a Fossil Pokémon, possessing an Aerodactyl due to its draconic appearance.
No new Fossils were introduced in Gold, Silver, and Crystal, and these games have no means by which to revive or acquire Fossils. However, Omanyte, Kabuto, and Aerodactyl are prominently featured in the puzzles located at Ruins of Alph. Of the three, only Aerodactyl is actually obtainable in the games via an in-game trade with an NPC in Kanto (for Chansey). Omanyte and Kabuto must be traded from Generation I.
Lance, who is now the Pokémon Champion, continues to have an Aerodactyl on his team. In addition, Brock, being a Fossil enthusiast, has an Omastar and a Kabutops in this generation's games, as well as the Stadium games in Gym Leader Castle. His fondness of Fossils is referenced again in the next generation of games when a man in Mt. Moon mentions that Brock helps excavate Fossils at the location, which implies that he excavated Omastar and Kabutops's Fossils himself.
In Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, two new Fossils were introduced. They can be resurrected into these respective Pokémon:
In Ruby and Sapphire, the player can choose one of either the Root or Claw Fossils at Route 111, and upon choosing, the other will sink away into the sand. In Emerald, however, while the player can only choose one initially at the Mirage Tower, they can retrieve the other later at the end of the Desert Underpass. In the Generation I remakes, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, the player can obtain the same Fossils as in the original games: either the Helix or the Dome Fossil, and the Old Amber.
Additionally, Relicanth is also an ancient Pokémon which is partially Rock-type, and it can be considered a living fossil. However, since it survived extinction for approximately a hundred million years and can be caught in the wild instead of being revived from a Fossil, it is rarely included in the Fossil Pokémon group.
Steven Stone, a rock collector whose father is head of the Devon Corporation, has two Fossil Pokémon, Cradily and Armaldo. In Emerald, Roxanne will eventually gain a Kabutops, an Omastar, and an Aerodactyl for her team. Also, in FireRed and LeafGreen, Lance continues to have Aerodactyl on his team.
In Pokémon Colosseum's Story Mode, various characters use the Hoenn Fossils, as well as Relicanth. The most famous of these users are Miror B. and Gonzap, each of whom at some point has an Armaldo on his team. In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, this relative ubiquity is cut considerably, with Lileep, Anorith, Cradily, and Armaldo only appearing once. With that said, Relicanth deserves special mention as a member of Zook's team, while an Aerodactyl will appear on Greevil's team once his Shadow Pokémon have been Snagged.
FireRed and LeafGreen Fossils are obtained the same way as in Generation I, while Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald Fossils may be revived by a scientist in the Devon Corporation building in Rustboro City. Newly resurrected Pokémon are level 20 in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald and level 5 in FireRed and LeafGreen.
In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, two new Fossils were again introduced:
These Fossils can be turned into level 20 Pokémon at the Oreburgh Mining Museum.
In Diamond and Pearl, for the first time in the series, the Fossils the player is able to receive are dependent on the version played: Skull Fossils are available in Diamond only and Armor Fossils in Pearl only. In Platinum, whichever Fossil a player digs up will depend on whether the Trainer ID is even or odd. If the Trainer ID is even, the player will dig up Armor Fossils only, and if the Trainer ID is odd, the player will dig up Skull Fossils only.
In Sinnoh, when players travel underground, they can find most of the Fossils by digging, along with several other rare items, potentially. After getting the National Pokédex, they can also find the five Fossils from the previous three generations. However, the chances of finding most of the previous generation Fossils, much like with several other items, follows a similar formula to the Sinnoh Fossils. This makes it easier to find certain Fossils which are found uncommonly, while the others become more difficult in the opposite version which instead are found very rarely. For example, the Helix and Claw Fossils have an easier chance to be found if the Skull Fossil is available, or the Dome and Root Fossil if the Armor Fossil is available. The Old Amber is the only Fossil whose ratio remains unchanged regardless of version as it will always be found rarely.
In Johto's Generation IV games, the DomeSS and HelixHG Fossils as well as the Old Amber can be found randomly by smashing breakable rocks outside Ruins of Alph. RootSS and ClawHG Fossils can be found randomly by smashing breakable rocks in the Cliff Cave after entering the Hall of Fame. Fossils found in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver can be revived as level 20 Pokémon at the Pewter Museum of Science. The Skull and Armor Fossils are absent from both games, so either they, or the Pokémon revived from them, must be transferred from Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum.
In this generation, Fossils are considered to be normal items. As such, they can be held by a Pokémon and traded to another game.
Roark has a Cranidos, while his father, Byron, has a Bastiodon. Rampardos and Shieldon are also used by two minor Trainers. In the post-Elite Four stage of the games, Aerodactyl can be spotted with another Trainer.
As in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, Brock has an Omastar and a Kabutops on his team in HeartGold and SoulSilver and also uses a Rampardos in rematches. Lance continues to have Aerodactyl on his initial team, but it is not used in rematches.
Pokémon Black and White once again brought a new set of Fossils to the Pokémon world:
These Fossils can be revived into level 25 Pokémon using a machine in the Nacrene City Museum.
In Pokémon Black and White, one of these two Fossils will be given away by a person in Relic Castle, similar to how the Helix and Dome Fossils are originally obtained in the Kanto-based games.
In the sequels to these games, the fossils are instead given away by former Gym Leader Lenora.
In Chargestone Cave, a couple of Ace Trainers battle with a Tirtouga and an Archen. In Black 2 and White 2, two Backpackers on Route 1 also use teams entirely made out of Fossil Pokémon.
The two final evolutions of the Fossil Pokémon released in this generation (Carracosta and Archeops) are used by N in the final battle against him in N's Castle.
After defeating GhetsisBW or IrisB2W2, Fossils of previous generations will be given out by a Worker in Twist Mountain, with one being given out per day.
While it cannot be revived via fossil, Genesect is known to have been created by Team Plasma by reviving a prehistoric Pokémon and upgrading it by attaching a cannon to its back.
Two Fossil Pokémon were introduced for Pokémon X and Y.
One of the two Fossils is given to the player in Glittering Cave and can be restored at the research facility in Ambrette Town. The resulting Pokémon are level 20. The Old Amber can also be collected after this by smashing breakable rocks in the back of Glittering Cave.
Gym Leader Grant uses Tyrunt and Amaura and their evolved forms in subsequent rematches. Champion Diantha also uses Tyrantrum and Aurorus.
After defeating the Elite Four, the player can return to Glittering Cave and smash rocks to find the Skull, Armor, Plume, and Cover Fossils, regardless of version, as well as Root and Claw FossilsX or Dome and Helix FossilsY.
In Hoenn's Generation VI games, the Root and Claw Fossil are collected and restored the same way as the original Ruby and Sapphire games. Restoring fossils can be done at the second floor of the Devon Corporation. During the post-game, a number of other fossils can be collected by smashing breakable rocks at the Mirage spots. While the Old Amber can be found regardless of version, the Dome, Armor, and Plume Fossils are exclusive to Omega Ruby and the Helix, Skull, and Cover Fossils are exclusive to Alpha Sapphire. The Jaw and Sail Fossils are absent from both games, so either they, or the Pokémon that are revived from them, must be transferred from X and Y.
Generation VII introduces no new Fossils, but the player may obtain most of the previous Fossils depending on the game. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, only the fossils from Sinnoh and Unova are available. Their location is at Olivia's jewelry shop in Konikoni City, where the player can buy a Skull Fossil and a Cover Fossil in Pokémon Sun or an Armor Fossil and a Plume Fossil in Pokémon Moon.
In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, this has been expanded to include more of the previous fossils which were absent from the original games. The Helix, Claw, and Jaw Fossils may be purchased alongside the Skull and Cover Fossils in Ultra Sun, and the Dome, Root, and Sail Fossils may be purchased alongside the Armor and Plume Fossils in Ultra Moon. Additionally, unlike the original games, any of these fossils can now also be obtained from Isle Aphun at Poké Pelago regardless of version. This is done from conducting a Rare Treasure-Hunting expedition (or an Interesting Item-Hunting expedition once the island has reached Development Level 3), where any of these fossils have a very rare chance of being obtained.
The Fossils can be revived at the Fossil Restoration Center on Route 8. The newly revived Pokémon come at level 15.
Unlike the other Fossils, the Old Amber is unobtainable in Alola. Instead, an Aerodactyl can be obtained at Seafolk Village as a gift Pokémon.
Several minor Trainers use some of these Fossil Pokémon or their evolved forms as part of their teams. In addition for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon only, Olivia uses both Lileep and Anorith during her grand trial. Later, when the player faces Olivia at the Pokémon League, they have evolved into Cradily and Armaldo respectively as part of her upgraded team.
In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, all the Kanto Fossils are obtainable in the same locations as they were in Generations I and III. In addition, more of them can be found on the second floor of Cerulean Cave, where random rare items spawn occasionally.
The only notable Trainer who uses a Fossil Pokémon in these games is Blue, who uses an Aerodactyl as a part of his team when rematched at the Viridian Gym.
In the anime
In the main series
A fossilized Sunkern
leaf in the anime
In the anime, most Fossil Pokémon are in fact, not extinct, but have simply been hibernating underground for millions of years, as seen in Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon, Shell Shock!, and Fossil Fools. However, Professor Proctor and Gary have both used research to directly revive Fossil Pokémon, as seen in Where's Armaldo? and Putting the Air Back in Aerodactyl!, respectively. Unlike in the games, where Fossils of ancient Pokémon are resurrected into the skeletons of the prehistoric using a machine that recreates the missing organs that had decomposed away from the genes extracted in the remains, this Aerodactyl was in fact completely revived from a Fossil that was fully preserved inside of an Old Amber for millions of years and thus still had the memories of its past life.
Butler tried to create a Groudon for Team Magma in Jirachi: Wish Maker from a fossilized remnant, but the experiment failed and Butler left Team Magma.
Roark, as he does in the games, has a Cranidos which evolves into a Rampardos. This Pokémon, as well as several other Fossil Pokémon, appear in A Gruff Act to Follow!, Wild in the Streets!, and O'er the Rampardos we Watched!. Byron, his father, also has quite a collection in his Gym. This includes the Fossil Pokémon Kabuto, Kabutops, Omanyte, Omastar, Cradily, and Armaldo, as well as a giant Claw Fossil. He also kept a Sunkern leaf Fossil that Roark found when he was a child.
In A Night in the Nacrene City Museum!, a Kabuto Fossil was first seen chasing Hawes, as he claimed it to be doing, but was later seen safely placed in a display case. Hawes later explained what it was to the trio. It was later revealed that the Yamask in the Nacrene City Museum was using its move Psychic to make the Dome Fossil float and chase after Hawes after he put its mask in a display case, thinking that it was a replica Yamask mask given to him as a gift from the company that made a Cofagrigus replica after purchasing it from them for the museum.
Lenora gave a Plume Fossil to Professor Juniper and Fennel prior to Archeops In The Modern World!. They successfully resurrected a female Archen from the Fossil using Musharna's dream energy. With the help of Ash and his Tranquill, Archen learned how to fly and then evolved into Archeops.
Kiawe found two fossils in Treasure Hunt, Akala Style!, during the Stoutland Search treasure hunt set up for Ash and his classmates by Olivia. On the first round, he found a Skull Fossil, and on the second one, he found a Plume Fossil.
In Pokémon Origins
The Dome and Helix Fossils were seen briefly in File 2: Cubone, being hogged by a Super Nerd whom Red encountered on Mt. Moon.
In File 3: Giovanni, Red was seen using a Kabutops in his battle against Giovanni, presumably revived from a Dome Fossil. Since Red is mentioned to have caught all 150 Generation I Pokémon (excluding Mew) by the time of File 4: Charizard, it means that he has also obtained the other Kanto Fossil Pokémon, presumably also revived from Fossils. As Blue was mentioned to have collected 148 Pokémon, it is likely that he had also collected all Kanto Fossil Pokémon.
In the manga
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In the Pokémon Adventures manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Lance and Brock both have Fossil Pokémon, just as in the games. Misty also temporarily has an Omanyte, but she gives this to Yellow. In addition, Red uses Blaine's laboratory to revive an Aerodactyl. In Hoenn, Ruby fights a revived Lileep and an Anorith at Professor Cozmo's laboratory in Fallarbor Town. In Sinnoh, Roark has a Cranidos like in the games, and his father a Shieldon, which he later gives to Diamond. In Unova, N had an Archeops, which he released, and Black has a Carracosta, given to him by Marshal as a Tirtouga. Blake also has a Kabutops. In Kalos, Grant has an Aurorus and a Tyrantrum.
In the TCG
All Fossils have appeared in the TCG at one point or another, usually being released in the same expansion as the Pokémon which are revived from them, and being released as Trainer cards. Initially, only the Mysterious Fossil card existed, which could be evolved into any of the three Generation I Fossil Pokémon; however, its use was eventually discontinued in favor of individual Dome Fossil, Helix Fossil, and Old Amber cards to match the Claw, Root, Skull, Armor, Cover, Plume, Jaw, and Sail Fossil cards. Ultra Prism brought the return of a shared Trainer card which could evolve into any Fossil Pokémon released during the Sun & Moon Series, this time known as Unidentified Fossil.
In addition, there are some other Fossil (related) cards, like Buried Fossil from Skyridge (the only non-Trainer Fossil cards, which is a Colorless type Pokémon instead); Fossil Egg from Neo Discovery; and Holon Fossil from EX Holon Phantoms.
In other languages