Frequently Asked Questions

In the interest of honesty, I will note that not all of these questions are precisely "frequently" asked. Generally, the criterion for a question getting put on this page is that i) I've gotten it at least twice within a short enough timeframe to make me conclude it's a not entirely far-fetched line of thought, and ii) it is either asked very often or takes a bit of time and/or typing to answer adequately, so that it saves time to answer it here. Except the Satoshi Tajiri question. I only got that once, but it just amused me enough that I had to share it.

Mistaken Error Reports

The Cave of Dragonflies




Mistaken Error Reports

You can view the rest of the secret link clues easily after you've found one!

Yes, you can. And then what?

The Secret Link game is essentially two find-the-hidden-thing games in one: the link itself, and the clues. The sneaky method you've discovered allows you to read all the clues... but you still haven't found them, so you can still play that aspect of the game. Meanwhile, if you're really clever enough to figure out the location of the secret link just from what those incredibly vague clues tell you, then hats off to you; you've done more than enough to deserve to find the link itself, even if you haven't found the clues the "proper" way.

Your Fun Facts are wrong! Dark, Psychic and Fighting form a type triangle, too!

No, they don't.

The reason they don't is that while Dark is super effective on Psychic which is super effective on Fighting which is super effective on Dark, it doesn't go the other way. With Fire, Water and Grass, Grass is not very effective on Fire which is not very effective on Water which is not very effective on Grass. With Dark, Psychic and Fighting, Dark is not very effective on Fighting which is not very effective on Psychic which is ineffective on Dark. There's an imbalance on one side of the triangle compared to the others, and that breaks it. The Fun Facts section explicitly defines triangles as going both ways: just X beats Y beats Z beats X isn't enough.

By the same logic, Water/Ground/Electric (which others have tried to point out to me) is also unbalanced, and in fact even more so: Ground deals neutral damage to Water, which deals neutral damage to Electric, which deals no damage to Ground. The Electric-type facing off against the Ground-type is much worse off than the Ground-type would be facing off against the Water-type. It's just not fair, and the whole point of the starter triangle is that no starter is better off typewise against the rival's starter than any other.

Your Flying Quiz is wrong! Sky Attack's in-game descriptions say it has a high critical hit ratio, but really it doesn't!

This used to be true - in fact, when I originally made this quiz, that was exactly the trick to this question. However, since at least the fifth generation Sky Attack really has been marked with the high critical hit ratio flag in the game data. Your information is out of date.

When I generate my Zodiac images, it displays two images that are the same!

You are most likely looking at a Pokémon with a subtle gender difference. The Zodiac image form generates multiple images if the Pokémon has multiple aesthetic forms so that you can pick the one you prefer, and this includes gender differences; however, many gender differences aren't really noticeable at a glance, so it's easy to miss that the images are different if you aren't thinking about the possibility of gender differences. If you look closer, chances are you'll find the one on the left is the male form and the one on the right is the female form.

Hey, in your Ribbon Syndicate section, you spell 'story' as 'storey'!

'Storey' is a valid alternate spelling for the word that refers to floors in a building, used in British English. I like 'storey' better, mostly because it was the one I originally learned (our textbooks at school taught British English) and 'story' always makes me think of the narrative kind of story.

The same principle applies to various other British words/spellings used on the site. For the most part my English is more American than British, but there are various Britishisms that I prefer over the American equivalents, and sometimes I don't even realize when I'm using dialect-specific words because I tend to pick them up pretty indiscriminately. Occasionally I'm even just plain inconsistent, using the American spelling of a word in one place but the British spelling of the same word in some other place. There are people who would tell me to just pick one dialect and stick with it, and they have a valid point, but seeing as I'm not from an English-speaking country in the first place, I currently tend to just pick and choose what I like and try to make myself generally understandable with it.

Incidentally, if you're an American who likes to correct people's spelling online, you should make an effort to be aware of British spellings if you aren't already. I don't think I've ever come across a Brit who didn't know Americans spell it "realize", but well-meaning Americans erroneously correct Brits on their own language all the time, and if I were British I imagine it would drive me nuts.

Hey, on Page Pitfalls, there's a <u> tag closed with an </i> tag!

That's intentional, like the many other HTML mistakes in that example. It's an extreme example of a bad HTML guide, and unfortunately that really is what they can be like; they have mistakes like closing the u tag with an i tag, cheerfully invalid HTML, and copy-pasting the sample image tag containing "IMAGE URL" instead of an actual filename so that the example is a broken image. Everything that's bad in those example boxes is deliberately bad.

Obviously, if there's a tag closed with a different tag on some other page that's not a deliberate example of bad HTML, it is a mistake and you should report it.

One of my real favorites never even showed up in the Favorite Pokémon Picker! Perfectly accurate, my foot!

Yes, it did. You are shown every single Pokémon once before anything shows up for the second time. If you feel like you haven't seen a Pokémon you like at all, unfortunately, odds are you overlooked it in one of the first batches and accidentally eliminated it for something you don't like that much.

There is now a feature that allows you to check exactly what happened to any Pokémon; just click the "Not seeing one of your favorite Pokémon? Click here to check what happened to it" link below your Found Favorites. On the off-chance there really is a bug of some sort going on, it will let you know and tell you to contact me.

The Cave of Dragonflies

You should put some ads on your site and earn some money / I would like to advertise on your site.

The reason this website doesn't have ads isn't that it simply never occurred to me that I could make money off it. I assure you I'm not that naïve. It just happens that advertising is one of my absolute least favorite things in the world, and as such I would need to be in a very desperate financial situation before I'd even consider it.

Why? Well, capitalism is a bit like natural selection, in that the nice thing about it is that on the whole it tends to encourage the development of better products and services at lower prices. Businesses that sell better products at lower prices do better while others go out of business, leading to new businesses having to be even better to compete. Advertising, however, is at its core a way of exploiting a loophole in the utility function - the rule that actually determines what businesses do well - to increase profits without actually improving the products or prices. It introduces a massive factor into the equation that has nothing to do with the quality of the product, and it consumes huge amounts of money that could have been used to improve the product, making it enormously detrimental to the system itself. It's a nuisance to everyone involved - nobody actually wants to see ads when they're browsing the web or watching TV - and yet, in full awareness of this, there is a lucrative industry around creating ads and forcing them upon as many people as possible. Let that sink in for a moment: there is literally an industry built around forcing something useless and annoying on huge masses of people that don't want it and would rather avoid it, many of whom are probably taking active measures to that end (whether it's muting the TV, changing the channel or using an adblocker). From any sane, objective point of view, that is nuts, and I think the only reason anyone is okay with that is that we're so used to it that we take it for granted.

There is a type of "advertising" that sets out primarily to be legitimately informative, which I'm not counting here; this includes things like the links to other sites that I have on my link menu, which are being recommended by me personally because I deemed that they were of interest to my visitors. But regular web ads, the kind people usually think of when they think of web ads and the kind those who ask this question are expecting me to put on the site, are created by or at the request of the company doing the advertising. The likelihood that they would be genuinely useful information to any given visitor of my site is vanishingly small, even for "targeted" ads. They would carry no genuine endorsement or recommendation by the author of the content you're actually there for. They would, in short, be meaningless fluff cluttering up the site and lowering its signal-to-noise ratio, and I have no plans of compromising the integrity of my content in that manner just for some extra money.

I respect that many webmasters actually need ad revenue to be able to afford the time and money that goes into running and maintaining a website, and I don't blame or resent them for that (well, so long as they're not indignantly yelling at me for having an adblocker). But I, for my parts, detest advertising as an enterprise enough to want absolutely no part in it for as long as I have a choice in the matter at all.

So, in short, no. Not now, not ever. To me, having an ad-free site is worth every penny of ad revenue I'm not making as a result.

Hey, there are new Pokémon games coming out! They're called X and they have features Y! Go to for more info!

While I appreciate your effort to keep me informed, I can't help but feel vaguely like you think I've been living under a rock. I keep up with Pokémon news, too; something as major as the announcement of new games is not going to simply escape me until someone happens to e-mail me about it. Odds are you became concerned that I didn't know because the site hasn't mentioned the new games yet, but that's because this isn't a news site; I'm not in the business of reporting information about upcoming games, since as far as I'm concerned there are plenty of sites already doing that better than I could. The only thing my updates try to cover comprehensively are noteworthy updates and additions to the content on this site.

As for why I don't have content about the new games...

Why don't you have a page about [insert Pokémon game here]?

This site is not and does not try to be a comprehensive guide to all the Pokémon games. You may have noticed I don't do general game pages (that is, for example, I don't have a "Black and White" page, only a "B/W Changes" page and a "Gen V Capturing" page); that is because I don't operate on any kind of a "make a page about this game" model, but instead just create content about particular topics when I think I have something useful or interesting to say on that particular topic.

So if I don't have any content about some game, it's, well, because I haven't happened to create any, or at least not yet. Maybe I haven't even played that particular game; maybe I didn't have anything to say about it that hasn't been said better already somewhere; maybe I kind of meant to make some content about it at some point but ended up putting it aside in favor of doing something else. Point is, because this site isn't shooting for comprehensive game coverage in the first place, you shouldn't expect it to have a page about every game, and if you want general information on some particular game, this is never going to be the website you should go to for that.

What's with all the polls having a "You suck" option?

It's a sort of a running gag on the site that evolved as the polls went on. Poll 7 is the first one to have an option in that general spirit; it soon became a tradition of having at least one extremely grouchy, negative option, and over time that transformed into the recurring "You suck" option being a staple on almost every poll, even (or perhaps especially) when it's wildly irrelevant.

Some visitors have expressed serious alarm over the number of votes the "You suck" options regularly garner, so I should point out that "You suck" is a joke option. It's the funny answer, and there are lots and lots of people who will always vote for the funny answer in something like this. It's also a dummy option you can vote for if you have no real opinion on the actual subject of the poll. It doesn't mean all those people hate me and you should be concerned; it generally just means the option amuses them.

So do you also own that veekun site?

No. The owner of veekun is called Eevee and is completely unrelated to me. I just think it's the best Pokédex on the Internet and therefore want people to know about it, hence the frequent plugs, and he incidentally also hosts the unofficial IRC channel for my forums.

Hey, this has changed, but you didn't update the front page!

This site is always changing; I get a ton of error reports that make me fix something, pointers that make me add something and questions that make me clarify something, and (sadly unlike some webmasters) I frequently read over my own sections and decide on my own that I want to tweak or add something. Affiliates also get added and removed without me noting so on the front page.

Generally I only update the front page when I've added a new page, made some particularly noteworthy changes to a page (such as rewriting large portions of it or adding significant information to it) or have been making minor but somewhat noteworthy (i.e. not just fixing typos or the like) changes on a lot of different pages. So even in a stretch of no front page updates, I may very well have been doing stuff behind the scenes; I just don't consider it something my visitors should specifically be notified of.

What inspired you to make your site?

Originally, two things. The first was Mew's Hangout, the first Pokémon website I became a regular visitor to, which convinced me that you could make a good Pokémon website that someone could love and waste hours on. The second was the plethora of horrid websites I had visited before I found Mew's Hangout and never came to again, which would give me the feeling that overall I find most inspiring of all inspiring things: "I could do much better than that." So, well, thank Mewkitty and all those badly-designed sites with horrible grammar.

How did you make your site?

With handwritten HTML, CSS, ASP.NET (using C# and JScript) and occasional Javascript. My source editor of choice for the moment is Sublime Text; before that, I used Notepad++, and before that, I used regular Notepad (the horror). The graphics used in the site's layouts have been created using various versions of Adobe Photoshop and ImageReady, barring when it looked like this and I didn't know paint programs other than Paint existed.

As for the actual content, it's just years of free time, perfectionism, curiosity and "I could do much better than that". For more on the history of the site, see the site history.

What's your host?

My dad's company has a dedicated server and we stuck my site on there too. I'm not the person to ask for hosting help, since before that, it was hosted on my dad's personal desktop computer; I literally have no experience with needing to look for or evaluate hosts.

Can I be staff on the site?

I'm afraid not. This website is my baby; I've poured my heart and soul over every page, and it embodies years of my time, effort and dedication. It has also been a part of my life and identity since I was a kid. I'm not out to create the biggest, most comprehensive, most popular Pokémon website in the world - it's just my personal outlet for everything Pokémon-related that I feel like creating. Having staff would simply defeat the point of having a website to me. I have no interest in managing or "owning" other people's work; I want to be creating something myself, with full creative control over every part of the process, and then tinkering with it at my leisure from then on.

I do, on the other hand, like to support other good content authors' independent efforts so that they can get recognition for their own creating and tinkering on their own terms. That's what affiliation is for. If you're bursting with ideas for good content, try making your own website and applying for affiliation - you might find owning your own site as rewarding as I do.

The links under "Links" on my menu are handpicked as non-affiliates that I think are noteworthy and provide something this website doesn't; I'm not accepting submissions for those. But by all means do apply for affiliation.

Can I link to you?

You can, but please do remember that I am not an affiliate of your site unless you have applied and I have accepted. If I have not accepted you as an affiliate, you may not link to me under the title "Affiliates", because that would mislead your visitors into thinking your site has gone through that process when it actually hasn't. "Affiliates" is not just a fancy way of saying links; it implies a mutual relationship.

But if you're not doing it in a misleading way, you generally don't need to ask before linking to someone. Links help a site spread and gain an audience, both directly by channeling visitors from the linking site to the linked and indirectly by raising the linked site's search engine rankings. There are very few webmasters who would be opposed to that.

Nice site, but it's all about Pokémon! Why don't you make a section about something else for once?

Short answer: Of course it's all about Pokémon. It's a Pokémon site.

Longer answer: There are lots of things I'm interested in, but this site is and has always been a specifically Pokémon-themed website. And whereas expanding a Pokémon website to cover other Nintendo games, RPGs or anime series makes a modicum of sense, I'm not a fan of Nintendo games or RPGs or anime in general so much as a fan of selected individual works that have nothing significant in common. Adding pages to my established Pokémon website about something that is not even remotely related to Pokémon would be absurd - if I really desperately wanted to make website content about something else, I'd make a separate website for it, not stick it here where it doesn't belong. (In practice, though, I have enough on my hands just running this one website, so that's unlikely to happen.)

What Pokémon can you get on that "What Pokémon Are You?" quiz?

In alphabetical order, the possibilities are:

  • Absol
  • Alakazam
  • Banette
  • Butterfree
  • Charizard
  • Cubone
  • Dragonite
  • Gardevoir
  • Haunter
  • Houndoom
  • Lapras
  • Magikarp
  • Mew
  • Mewtwo
  • Misdreavus
  • Murkrow
  • Natu
  • Ninetales
  • Pachirisu
  • Pikachu
  • Poochyena
  • Porygon
  • Primeape
  • Ralts
  • Scyther
  • Shellder
  • Slaking
  • Slowking
  • Slowpoke
  • Snorlax
  • Spinda
  • Teddiursa
  • Togetic
  • Tyranitar
  • Tyrogue
  • Weavile

If you're wondering why these particular Pokémon, they were simply the first that came to mind off the top of my head as fitting the personality types the test can output.

Hey, I like that "What Pokémon Are You?" quiz! Could you add [insert Pokémon here] as a possible result in it?

I'm afraid I can't, for several reasons.

First of all, the way the script works is that there are exactly 36 possible outputs. Obviously each of them has a Pokémon assigned to it already. This would be a matter of either removing somebody else's favorite Pokémon to get yours in, which obviously won't help much overall, or completely recoding the entire quiz so that there can be 37 possible results, which is rather a lot of effort for a small gain.

Secondly, if I agreed to add your favorite Pokémon as a possible result in the quiz, I'd have to add everybody else's favorite Pokémon too if they asked; otherwise it wouldn't be fair. I'd end up having to make hundreds of results, recoding the quiz each time, which you'll hopefully understand I really don't have time for.

But perhaps most importantly, I fear you're missing the point if you desperately want your favorite Pokémon to be a possible result in the quiz. What are the odds that you'll happen to actually get your favorite Pokémon when you take the test honestly, even if I were to put it in? You'd have to basically submit with random answers until you got your favorite Pokémon, and that would defeat the entire point of a personality test, because it wouldn't be a description of you. If you want to put a personality description of your favorite Pokémon on your website or in your signature somewhere, just make an image like that yourself and ditch the personality test detour; it's much easier.

Hey, I like your [insert section here]. Can I put it on my website? I'll give you credit.

Well. Technically I don't mind, provided you attribute it properly with a link back to this site. (Proper attribution, note, here means including it at the top of the page - no leading people on to think you wrote it until they've read it all the way through - and clearly indicating that the canonical, up-to-date version of the page is here on this site. "Originally from The Cave of Dragonflies" is fine, but just "By Butterfree/Dragonfree/antialiasis" is misleading because it implies I wrote the page for you.)

But I must wonder why you don't just link to my page and be done with it, instead of needlessly copy-pasting it. There are several advantages to linking as far as serving your visitors best is concerned: they'll always be seeing the most up-to-date version of the content, they'll have immediate access to other content by the same author that is likely to be of similar style and quality if they're interested, and they'll have a more direct way to contact the actual author if they have questions or concerns. Moreover, if a significant portion of your content isn't original, it makes your site look bad: no matter how much effort you've spent on your own original pages, you're not going to appear very original on the whole if the other half of your content is just acknowledged carbon copies. Basically the only rationale for copy-pasting other websites' content rather than linking to it is to steal search engine hits from the original sources, and you probably don't want to give the impression you're trying to do that.

So, in short, I'm not going to come after you with pitchforks or anything (again, provided there's proper attribution), but I strongly advise you to just link and then make some original content to attract visitors on your own terms.

Hey, I like your [insert section here], and I own a Pokémon website in [insert non-English language here]. Can I translate that section and put it on my website with credit?

This is a different situation than the above, since a translated version of the page is accessible to different people than the original, and as such I'm all for it. Please do translate my content at your leisure; again, however, of course, that's on the condition that it's attributed properly: there must be a clear link back to the original version of the page at the top of the page, making it clear that it is a translation from English.


How do you make sprites?

That's an awfully broad question, but my basic advice on all the kinds of spriting I've done to any extent can be found in my spriting guide, so look there.

What program do you use to make your sprites?

Various versions of Adobe ImageReady. I use it mainly because it has layers, transparency and the ability to save good-quality web images, and it can animate if that's what I want to do, all in one program.

Oh, I only have Paint. Does that mean I can't make sprites?

Absolutely not. The only things something fancy like ImageReady has over Paint when it comes to sprites are simply conveniences, like a long undo history, the ability to change all pixels of one particular color to another with a single click, and the existence of layers, which allow you a little more messing-up without ruining your work and easier deletion of the original art when you're making a pixel-over. It all can be done on Paint; it's just a little (or, as the case may be, a lot) easier in better programs.

That being said, Paint is not a very good paint program in general and if you're going to be doing anything other than spriting, you need to get yourself a better one (I hear GIMP is good, but I've never used it myself). Case in point...

How do I make pictures transparent in Paint?

You can't; that's one of the many limitations of Paint. There are services on the Internet that can take a non-transparent picture and make one of its colors transparent, or you can get a better paint program with built-in transparency support.

Can I use some of your sprites for my site/RPG/ROM hack/etc.?

As the terms of use of my sprite gallery say very explicitly, I need to know exactly which sprites you want to use and how before I can answer a question like this. I can't say yes to a request that doesn't give me any basis on which to make my decision.

From experience, people usually mean...

Hey, I love your fake Pokémon sprites! Can I use them in [insert anything here]?

Unfortunately, as both my fake Pokémon page and the sprite terms of use state, I am not giving out permission to use my fake Pokémon in anything anymore - you can portray them in original artwork if you want, provided that you state clearly where the Pokémon are from and link back, but using them in fan-games, RPGs, etc. is not allowed, nor is using my sprites of them anywhere. I'm sorry, but it got too hard to keep track of who was using them, and it started to feel like my fakes were becoming the Internet's "standard go-to fakes", which just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Wow, I love your sprites! Can you make a sprite for me? / Can you be a staff spriter for my fangame?

I'm afraid I don't really sprite anymore. Almost all of that huge gallery was created in 2003-7 - I've updated my fake Pokémon sprites since then and created a couple of odd things on random impulse, but spriting hasn't been a regular hobby of mine for years now; I just have a lot of other things to do, and I don't consider myself a very good artist anyway. There are hundreds of art request shops on Internet forums run by people who'd be happy to take your request, but at this point, I'm not at all the right person to ask.

What do you think of these sprites I made? You can take credit for them and put them on your site if you like; I don't mind.

I appreciate the thought, but this is equal parts puzzling and worrying to me. "You can take credit for my sprites if you want" essentially amounts to "I think you're a thief and a liar, but I don't mind". No halfway decent human being would take your work and claim it's theirs, even if you gave them permission, because it's not theirs; no amount of permission will make that stop being a bold-faced lie. So no, I'm not going to take credit for your sprites and put them on my site, because I'm not an art thief - and if I did, you damn well should mind, because then I'd be a dishonest hack.

There are some kinds of lies that can be well-intentioned, but deliberately taking credit for somebody else's work is not one of them; it's just a sorry attempt to get praise and attention without working for it. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, but the implication that you think I actually would put somebody else's sprites on my site and pretend they're mine makes me wince.


Where/how can I make a website?

On your computer, using a text editor. Just learn HTML and CSS, write some content, and then find a free/affordable web host to bring your work online.

How do you make a style switcher?

My own styleswitcher is ASP.NET/C#, but very few web hosts actually have ASP.NET, so publishing mine probably wouldn't be very useful. It's not complicated, however; the main components of a server-side script are just setting a cookie according to the value of a form element and then changing the stylesheet file linked from the page depending on the value of the cookie. You can also do it with Javascript, as described in this article.

"Can you rate/affiliate with my site?" "Can you rate/affiliate with my site now with the one new page I just added?" "Can you rate/affiliate with my site now after I changed my layout?"

I'm afraid I just don't have the time to inspect your whole site every other day. If I've already given you a site rating or responded to your affiliation request, I've most likely told you a boatload of things you could improve on; please don't ask me again until you've at least made some serious effort to fix all those things (barring maybe the more subjective complaints). If I turn down your affiliation request, it is not because you need to add one more page or create a new layout, unless I specifically tell you that I'd affiliate if it weren't for that. So please just calm down, work on what I told you in the last rating, and then you can ask again when you're really giving me something substantially different to look at.


I can't decide what my favorite Pokémon is; can you help me?

Well, if I were to pick it, it wouldn't be your favorite, would it? Asking someone else what your own opinion is is inevitably counterproductive.

You could always use my Favorite Pokémon Picker to help you figure it out, but honestly, you don't need to have a single favorite Pokémon; if you're having a hard time deciding between several, just name them all when asked.

Are you really Satoshi Tajiri?

No; that was a silly made-up conspiracy theory. Though I am amused by the suggestion.

Can I be your friend?

I'd be thrilled to make friends with you, but making friends doesn't just happen by asking - I can't just say yes and have us suddenly be friends. Odds are you're a complete stranger to me right now, so before we can be friends we're going to have to have some proper conversations and get to know each other.

Odds are if you want to be my friend, you've found something on this website interesting. Talk to me about that! Or anything else substantial that we're likely to both be interested in, for that matter. I love friends, but just "Can I be your friend?" doesn't give a lot of room for the kind of involved interaction that actually creates friendship.

Do you think in Icelandic or English?

That depends on what I'm thinking about. If I'm thinking up something I'm planning or possibly planning to write and post somewhere on the Internet in English, I think it in English from beginning to end - the sections on this website, for instance, are never "translations" of something I thought up in Icelandic. I think about English-language media and fandom in English or half-English a lot simply because of all the terms that I'd need to consciously think of an appropriate Icelandic translation for (if one even exists). But I think about everyday things in Icelandic, and often I actually lack the English vocabulary to talk about everyday things that don't happen to get brought up much on the Internet or in entertainment.

Page last modified November 27 2015 at 23:31 GMT