Omanyte resembles a squishy blue ammonite with a white shell. It evolves into Omastar. Omanyte's name is a portmanteau of the English word ammonite, and omu, the Japanese word for nautilus. This is because Omanyte resembles the extinct ammonite. Or the O in Omanyte was received because its shell is circular, similar to the shape of the letter O. In the beta version of Pokémon, Omanyte was known as Ess, and its evolved form was named Kargo. When the two beta names are combined, they form the word Ess-Kargo, a homonym of the French word escargot, meaning snail. (This pun would be later revisited in Pokémon Gold and Silver with the introduction of Magcargo).
Omanyte has been given two different origin stories, one from the video games, and one from the animé:
- In the video games, an Omanyte fossil is brought back by "cloning" the pokémon.
- In the animé, Omanyte are erroneously thought to be extinct, but in at least two different places they are found to be alive, albeit in hibernation: in Grandpa Canyon, and in the Ruins of Alph.
In either case, Omanyte is one of the oldest species of Pokémon.
Omanyte is a subterranean Pokémon. It has been described as both an insectivore and a plankton-eating filter feeder by canon sources; it is not certain if one of these sources is incorrect, or if it is capable of both. It has 10 arms, and can use air bladders in its shell to rise and fall in the water.
Omanyte cannot be captured at all; the only way to pick it up is to find the Helix Fossil (in Pokémon Red and Blue, Pokémon Yellow, or Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen), and 'bring it back to life.' The Helix Fossil can also be found in the Underground in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl after obtaining the National Dex.
It has two special abilities: Swift Swim, which boosts its speed when it is raining, and Shell Armor, which means it cannot suffer critical hits.
Its defense is in the top 20% of all Pokémon. After Pokémon Gold and Silver, its Special Attack score is also in the top 20% of all Pokémon. Its speed is in the bottom 20% of all pokémon.
Omanyte's cry is almost exactly the same as Machop's.
In Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen, the player has a choice between the Helix Fossil or the Dome Fossil in Mount Moon. The Helix Fossil will be revived into Omanyte if delivered at the Cinnabar Island laboratory. The Helix Fossil can also be found in the Underground in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl after obtaining the National dex. Likewise if the player chooses the Dome Fossil instead of the Helix Fossil, a Kabuto will be revived instead of Omanyte.
In Pokémon Stadium 2 omanyte can be used in the minigame Tumbling Togepi.
Omanyte's first small cameo was the subject of a story Gym Leader Erika was telling the small children during a story circle portion of a supposed tour of her gym.
Omanyte's most notable role is in episode 165, Fossil Fools, in which a small remaining colony of Omanyte and Omastar are threatened by the destruction of the subterranean reservoir.
They also played a role in episode 26 (Pokémon Scent-Sation); however, this role is notable mostly because it was exactly twenty episodes before the Pokémon came back to life (in episode 46, Attack Of The Prehistoric Pokémon).
Additionally, Omanyte played a role in episodes 278 (Ruin With A View) and 293 (Stairway to Devon).
In the Pokémon Special manga, Misty had an Omanyte which she gave to Yellow in Volume 4. Later, it evolves into Omastar.
Trading Card game
In the Trading Card game Omanyte appears in:
- Fossil #52 - Omanyte
- Neo Discovery #60 - Omanyte
- Neo Destiny #38 - Dark Omanyte
- Skyridge #41 - Omanyte
- EX Sandstorm #70 - Omanyte
- The following games and their instruction manuals: Pokémon Red and Blue; Pokémon Yellow; Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2; Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal; Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald; Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen; Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness
- Barbo, Maria. The Official Pokémon Handbook. Scholastic Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-439-15404-9.
- Loe, Casey, ed. Pokémon Special Pikachu Edition Official Perfect Guide. Sunnydale, CA: Empire 21 Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-930206-15-1.
- Nintendo Power. Official Nintendo Pokémon FireRed & Pokémon LeafGreen Player’s Guide. Nintendo of America Inc., August 2004. ISBN 1-930206-50-X
- Mylonas, Eric. Pokémon Pokédex Collector’s Edition: Prima’s Official Pokémon Guide. Prima Games, September 21, 2004. ISBN 0-7615-4761-4
- Nintendo Power. Official Nintendo Pokémon Emerald Version Player’s Guide. Nintendo of America Inc., April 2005. ISBN 1-930206-58-5