Porygon (the Virtual Pokémon) is an exceptionally rare Normal-type Pokémon found primarily among research laboratories only, though they are also quite popular among major Game Corners worldwide and are found in the wild in the Sinnoh and Unova regions on rare occasions and possibly the Hoenn region. As the first artificial Pokémon created from computers, Porygon are fascinating creatures that truly tread the line between the living and the non-living, making trainers love them, loathe them or simply scratch their heads in response to their existence. If you plan on battling with one, try not to focus on complex strategies too much, because unfortunately for trainers, these strange critters were never designed to exceed their programming!
Although they are commonly billed as the first artificial Pokémon, the members of the Porygon family are actually the most recent additions to this artificial world; it is true, however, that they were the first Pokémon created through computer technology. As every person familiar with computers and robotics in general knows, motions and actions seen within living organisms can in fact be replicated by taking them down all the way to a code or basic command; in the case of current computer technology, this common code is referred to as binary. By implementing the correct lines of codes in a sufficient amount of time, a machine can replicate and even improve upon the actions of a living thing, even to the point of thinking like one. In the mid-1990's, a group of researchers working under Silph Co. decided to attempt to create a computer program that could not only think and act like a living creature, but could also live outside of a computer module. By combining the efforts of the world's greatest programmers with recent advances in virtual reality technology, these researchers were able to create what is arguably the single-greatest advance in computer technology yet: Porygon.
In stark contrast to other artificial Pokémon like Magnemite or Voltorb, Porygon are able to exist in the real world as pure Normal-types because they were essentially built from nothing but computer code. While their computer-based construct gives them access to an interesting array of moves (including Recover, Psybeam, Signal Beam and Zap Cannon), the two moves that make Porygon and their evolutions truly amazing are the Conversion and Conversion 2 techniques. These two techniques play off of the original programming of Porygon, which was designed to be adaptable to nearly any type of computer system, by allowing the user to change their type in response to certain attacks. Conversion allows the user to change their type to match the type of one of their known moves, granting that move in question a boost in power (if it's an attack); conversely, Conversion 2 changes the user's type into one that is either resistant or immune to the type of attack it was last hit with. In addition to these moves, Porygon and their evolutions can potentially possess an exceptionally unique Ability that only they and the legendary cyborg, Genesect, are known to have: Download. In essence, this Ability works to capitalize on the opposition's weakness by raising these creatures' Attack stat when their opponent's Defense is lower than their Special Defense and raising their Special Attack in the opposite case. Lastly, since every member of the Porygon family was designed individually as final evolutions, the Porygon family represents the only family where every single member is capable of learning both the Hyper Beam and Giga Impact TMs. All in all, the members of the Porygon family are built to play both an impressively offensive and defensive game in almost every situation, making trainers lucky enough to obtain one better off than most others.
Since Porygon were the first members of their family to be created, they are also the most limited in terms of battle potential and power. Porygon are able to transfer their physical form into a computer as a stream of binary in a fraction of a second, granting them free access to the technological world surrounding them; unfortunately, this has also made them a popular choice for hackers, as they can easily infiltrate unprotected systems to deliver nasty viruses at will (this is due to the fact that Porygon are not specifically equipped with firewalls but are nonetheless immune to basic computer viruses, thus enabling them to act as carriers). Porygon are essentially reliant on nothing for survival, not even requiring air or a proper degree of pressure to exist; it comes as no surprise, then, that many Porygon were bought by NASA shortly after their creation for use as exploration drones in outer space. Unfortunately, while Porygon do hover naturally and can use a variant of the Magnet Rise technique to produce an anti-gravitational field, they are unable to fly; this is further exacerbated by the fact that Porygon refuse to go into space at all, an error caused by a fault in their logic code that prevents them from recognizing outer space as physically existing and therefore traversable (this logic fault was corrected in the Porygon2 program, but the correction led to its own faults as well). What makes this issue and similar ones particularly difficult to deal with is that Porygon cannot be reprogrammed by current technological means. When the original Porygon was created, it was encapsulated in a copy-protected data file (which keeps others from activating or otherwise altering the program code of Porygon without an authorization code) in order to prevent rival researchers from stealing the project; this data file was never removed from subsequent generations and, while it does prevent anyone from simply hacking together a virtual-reality simulator and downloading a Porygon for their own use, it also means that Porygon are impossible to improve upon without the use of 'digital' evolution.
Despite their setbacks, Porygon are impressive creatures that shockingly demonstrate how easily life can be replicated with the right ambitions and technological abilities. They might not be the most conventional of fighters or even easy to find, but if you ever do get the chance to obtain one, don't miss out on the opportunity. You may have to train them a while until you get exactly what you want out of them, but don't think that makes them pushovers in the least; even with limited programming, these veritable Swiss army knives can certainly prove that there's more reality in cyberspace than meets the eye!