Part 1 can be found here!
One of the most defining elements of each new Pokémon game is the fact that each installment comes in two different versions, with players required to link up with the opposite version in order to complete their Pokédex. In earlier games this simply meant that some Pokémon were harder, or even impossible, to find in one version but abundant in its paired game. Let's run down the differences between each of the games in the main series. Be warned that this article contains some spoilers.
Pocket Monsters Red and GreenPocket Monsters Red and Green revolutionised the Game Boy by offering a new way to use that trusty Game Link Cable: trading your collection of Pokémon with your friends. To encourage this, 26 Pokémon were unavailable in each game without trading, meaning you needed friends - or an extra Game Boy and the opposite version - if you wanted to complete your Pokédex. The line-up of exclusive Pokémon changed slightly in the Gen III remakes, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, making two families of Water-type Pokémon unavailable in each version, while making the Mankey and Meowth families catchable in both games.
Known as Pokémon Red and Blue outside Japan
Known as Pokémon Red and Blue outside Japan
Pokémon Gold and SilverPokémon Gold and Silver featured a similar system of version exclusives to Red and Green, with some of the exclusives from the previous games making the list in the new installments, while also offering new exclusives such as Mantine and Skarmory. Gold and Silver were also the first paired versions to offer a Legendary Pokémon mascot prior to the Hall of Fame in each version, with Ho-Oh available in Pokémon Gold and Lugia in Pokémon Silver. Pokémon Gold and Silver were also the first games to have regional differences in available Pokémon: In the Japanese versions, the Phanpy family was exclusive to Pokémon Gold, whereas the Teddiursa family was its counterpart in Pokémon Silver; for international releases these two Pokémon groups were swapped, making Teddiursa exclusive to Gold and Phanpy exclusive to Silver. This is resolved in the remakes, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, making Phanpy exclusive to HeartGold and Teddiursa to SoulSilver.
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
By now most fans were adjusted to the fact that each new Pokémon game would have some missing Pokémon, and Ruby and Sapphire continued the tradition of Pokémon being available in only one game. However, Ruby and Sapphire were the very first Pokémon games to offer version-exclusive storylines. In Pokémon Ruby, the evil Team Magma aspires to expand the landmass of the Hoenn region, providing more habitat for land-dwelling Pokémon and people. They are thwarted at every turn by the player, as well as their rivals the heroic Team Aqua, who wish to preserve the sea. The storyline in Pokémon Sapphire is a direct opposite, with Team Aqua being the villains who wish to expand the ocean surrounding Hoenn, and Team Magma being the heroes who strive to protect the land. This set a new benchmark for Pokémon storytelling, one which was repeated in the Gen V games.
Pokémon Diamond and PearlPokémon Diamond and Pearl took version exclusivity to a whole new dimension, pun not intended. They were the first Pokémon games to utilise the Dual Slot feature of the Nintendo DS: by inserting a Game Boy Advance Pokémon game into the GBA Slot on the bottom of the console, players were able to catch Pokémon exclusive to the inserted game in the wilds of the Sinnoh region. By inserting Ruby you could find Pokémon such as Solrock or Zangoose; with Sapphire inserted you could find Pokémon such as Lunatone or Seviper instead. This allowed players to expand the roster of catchable Pokémon, which could only be caught if they had the required GBA Pokémon game.
Pokémon Black & Black 2, and White & White 2At the time of writing this article, the Gen V games offer the greatest diversity of version exclusivity. The Gen V games offer dramatic differences in storyline: in Pokémon Black, for example, N seeks to bring balance to the world through his ideals, and the means to that end is the Legendary Pokémon Zekrom; in Pokémon White, however, N wishes to balance the world through truth, and to accomplish this goal he seeks Reshiram. There are a number of differences between the areas in both games as well: in Pokémon Black, for example, Opelucid City is high-tech and futuristic; whereas in Pokémon White it is rustic, with a feel of being preserved in time. The sequels offer even more differences: in Black 2, Route 4 has been developed into a new residential area; whereas in White 2 development has ceased due to the discovery of ancient ruins. Each game has an exclusive area unavailable in the opposite version as well, with Black City exclusive to Black and White Forest exclusive to White. There would seem to be distinct themes in each version: Black's theme of ideals, represented by looking to the future; and White's theme of truth, represented by preserving history. The Gen V games have set a new benchmark in making each version feel unique rather than simply a different batch of catchable Pokémon.
Well, that was part two of our look into the workings of the Pokémon series. What are your favourite versions of Pokémon? Do you like those versions for their exclusive Pokémon selection or do you simply like the colour? Be sure to post your thoughts in the comments section below. Stay tuned for part three!
"See you next time!"
Special thanks to PokémonElite2000.com for the images!
Last edited by GamerZack7 on May 30th 2013, 10:27 pm; edited 3 times in total
You can find my stories right here on Vocal: https://vocal.media/authors/orion-j-zed
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