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R (Japanese: R R) is a substance that plays a major role in the game Detective Pikachu and the movie of the same name. It is a chemical made from the cells of Mewtwo that makes Pokémon temporarily become violent due to Mewtwo's Berserk Gene.

In the games

Detective Pikachu

R is made up of two types of liquid, red and green, that amplify its effects when mixed together. In this original liquid form, it can be mixed into a Pokémon's food; but once mixed, it lasts for only a short period of time. It can also be dispersed as a gas, affecting any Pokémon within approximately three feet (one meter) that breathe it in. When under the effects of R, the Pokémon's eyes will turn red, and then is unable to listen to its Trainer's commands. After it wears off, the Pokémon affected by R is left weak and tired, unable to remember what happened while in its berserk state. The substance leaves no trace and is nearly odorless, only able to be smelled by Pokémon with sensitive noses such as Manectric.

Ten years before the start of the game, the founder of the Pokémon Comprehensive Laboratory, John Waals, attempted to create an all-purpose miracle drug with Mew's cells. However, because Mewtwo's cells were used instead, it caused an explosion incident forcing Waals to leave. R was used a year prior the start of the game, with its gaseous form inside a balloon a Charizard was holding. When it was popped by Skorupi's Poison Sting, R took its effect on Charizard, causing it to go on a rampage at Fine Park, forcing the park to close. Harry Goodman had been investigating R two months before the events of the game when he disappeared in an accident.

Following his disappearance, his son Tim Goodman and his partner Detective Pikachu attempt to retrace his investigations and head to Litwick Cave where they are attacked by a Glalie that, unbeknownst to them, had been given R. They find a broken vial at the apartment that they trace back to the PCL, where they are attacked by a Trevenant in a similar manner, leading them to discover that Carlos Hernando had been using a secret underground laboratory to produce R.

Tim and Pikachu follow the documents they found in the PCL's basement to Waals' new home on Cappucci Island, where they learn about its initial development and that Harry had intended to investigate Fine Park. There, they conclude that Charizard had been affected by R, and decide to go to GNN to view their archived footage. The footage reveals that Keith Norman, an assistant director at GNN, had caused the incident at Fine Park.

The duo learn that Harry had been investigating a warehouse in Ryme Wharf. Upon infiltrating it, they discover that Harry had stolen some of the substance prior to his disappearance. Tim and Pikachu also encounter Simon Yen, who against his will, has been incubating Mewtwo's cells in order to produce R. They also learn that a new form of R was being developed that would allow a Pokémon to listen to its Trainer even while under the effects of R, as well as a new capsule form that would automatically mix and disperse the liquid. The pair sneak into a shipment of R that is smuggled onto the S.S. Prime Treasure, where they find Keith Norman attempting to auction R at the Prime Treasure Show. Although Keith is captured, he reveals that another person from GNN will still be dispersing R at one of their shoots.

Tim and Pikachu determine that the attack will occur at 8 p.m. at the Ryme City central square during the annual Pokémon Carnival. They manage to find and disarm the three forms of R, when Holiday notifies them that Keith admitted to planting a fourth type of R. The duo find the R dispersing machine in the clock tower above the central square. In a showdown with Roger Clifford, an assistant director at GNN, it is revealed that he masterminded the whole ordeal in an attempt to take over the news media of Ryme City using the R incidents. In an attempt to escape, he uses the new version of R to allow his Noivern to recognize him as its partner. Despite this, Tim and Pikachu succeed in disarming the machine and in returning Mewtwo's cells.

Detective Pikachu Returns

While R is not used in this game, it is mentioned multiple times in reference to the events of the original game. In addition, a memory sequence features Keith using R on a Lairon to cover his escape from Harry at Bamboo Borough. One of the Pokémon rampages during the R incident also resulted in the death of Emma Myers, the wife of mayor Howard Myers, leading to him finding the Unitas organization to prevent similar incidents from ever happening again.

In the movie

In POKÉMON Detective Pikachu, R is a gaseous chemical that causes exposed Pokémon to lose control. Unlike the games, the Pokémon's eyes turn purple and the Pokémon themselves do not appear to tire after the effects wear off. The substance was created by Dr. Ann Laurent at the PCL, under the direction of Howard Clifford. In an attempt to find a cure for his degenerative condition, Howard believed that such issues could be solved if humans could evolve into better versions of themselves using the R substance.

Tim Goodman first came across R while searching his father's apartment. He accidentally released the fumes, causing a group of nearby Aipom to go berserk and attack Tim and Detective Pikachu. When Tim and Pikachu went to find Lucy Stevens, a CNM employee investigating the death of Tim's father Harry, she showed them several vials of R that she came across during her investigation.

Once the pair tracked down a Mr. Mime at Ryme Wharf, it revealed the R substance was being distributed at the "Roundhouse", an underground facility where illegal Pokémon battles are held. At the Roundhouse, Sebastian's Charizard battled Pikachu after Sebastian used R on his Charizard. During the battle, Sebastian was knocked down by Charizard, causing the R vials inside his coat to break and the gas to spread all over the entire room. As the Pokémon flew into a frenzy, Sebastian told Tim that R was being given out by someone he knew only as "the doctor".

R gas during the Pokémon Parade

Lucy suspected Laurent's work was connected to R and Harry's death. The three headed off to the now-abandoned PCL and discovered that Laurent created a neural link headband for human use and had been extracting Mewtwo's DNA to create the R serum. Misled by Howard that Roger was behind the distribution of R, Tim, Lucy, and Pikachu rushed back to Ryme City. Tim went to Howard's office, only to discover Howard wearing the neural link headband Laurent created. Howard revealed that he was the mastermind of the plot and that he planned to merge his mind with Mewtwo's body, though this only worked if the Pokémon has lost control. Howard then released the R substance to a captured Mewtwo, making it go berserk, and then merged his mind to Mewtwo using the neural link headband. Now possessing Mewtwo's body and its powers, Howard flew off into the city and ruptured the parade balloons, which were filled with R. Using Mewtwo's unique ability, Howard transferred the minds of humans into all affected Pokémon in the city.

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese R
Mandarin R
France Flag.png French R
Germany Flag.png German R
Italy Flag.png Italian R
Poland Flag.png Polish Serum R
Brazil Flag.png Brazilian Portuguese R
Spain Flag.png Spanish Sustancia R

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