From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
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In addition to the six generations currently revealed, fans have come to expect future generations of the Pokémon franchise, extending the series and bringing about new concepts, new areas to explore, and most importantly, new Pokémon. Despite over 670 Pokémon currently being known to the public, it has been indicated both in-universe and by the creators of the series that not every Pokémon has yet been discovered and not every region has been explored. New generations are typically announced and marketed every three to four years.
Patterns seen in previous generations
The five currently released generations have established and maintained a series of patterns that hint towards what a new generation may entail. Naturally, a new region, new set of Pokémon, new set of moves, and new characters are introduced in each generation. To some extents, these may encompass new concepts, but the standards set down over the past fifteen years will provide the backbone of the game.
The player starts his or her journey with one of three starter Pokémon, which are of the Grass, Fire, or Water types (Pokémon Yellow was an exception). Eight Gyms must be challenged before the player can take on the Pokémon League; a villainous team must be stopped along the way. After the League has been defeated, a range of special areas become accessible.
Each generation's first main series games are released initially as a pair, with more main series games — a third version or paired sequels to the original pair of games, or remakes of previous games — being released afterward. Additional main series games usually expand on the plot of previous games taking place in the same region.
New generations are accompanied by new Pokémon manga, anime episodes, and TCG cards.
Third versions and sequels
Third versions and sequels usually expand on the original games' plot, and often contain new designs for existing places, new places, new Gym Leaders and characters in general, new Pokémon forms, more available Pokémon from previous generations, and more special features. Previous version-exclusive mascot Pokémon may both be available, usually after the player finishes the main plot.
Most generations introduce Pokémon that evolve into or from previously released Pokémon.
Legendary Pokémon with myths specific to the region are almost always included. Recent games feature these Pokémon in roles important to the driving plot. These Pokémon often appear in duos and trios.
The remainder of the Pokémon may be encountered once the milestone of defeating the Pokémon League is accomplished.
Before the release of a new generation, new Pokémon are often used to promote the new games by including them in the anime or in side games or spin-off games. The following table includes some of the Pokémon that were used for marketing before the first main series games of their generation were released.
The first five generations have introduced some stock characters. Two player character options (one male, one female) live in a small town with their mother. A previously unknown Pokémon Professor named after a type of tree will set the player's journey in motion. Eight Gym Leaders stand in the player's way to the Elite Four and the Champion, as does the player's rival(s).
Many other characters exist in various manners: non-player characters to aid the player, Pokémon Trainers to defeat on the road, a villainous team, and perhaps familiar faces.
The Champion of the region is frequently introduced early in the game, with his or her position as Champion not revealed until after his or her first appearance. The Champion may help the player as he or she continues his or her adventure. The Champion is usually, but not always, battled at the end of the player's Elite Four challenge.
Within each region, there are various cities and towns, ranging from Kanto's 10 to Unova's 21. These cities and towns are connected by between 20 and 34 routes. Every game up to the present has included at least one water route, a mountain, caves, and a forest. The route leading up to the Pokémon League in each region has thus far been known as Victory Road.
In recent games, post-League areas dedicated to battling such as the Battle Frontier and Battle Subway have been introduced to provide a new challenge to players late in the game.