From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
| Generation III
| Title screen of Pokémon Sapphire Version
The third generation of Pokémon games, also sometimes known as the advance or advanced generation, is the third set of Pokémon games released, and is described by some to be a "resetting" of the series.
Centering around Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald on the Game Boy Advance, released in 2002 and 2004 respectively (2003 and 2005 outside of Japan), Generation III broke from the continuous storyline that had been established between Generation I and Generation II, opting instead to move players to the Hoenn region, an island region disconnected from Kanto and Johto. The games themselves are incompatible with the previous two generations as well, initially causing many complaints due to the unavailability of many popular Generation I and II Pokémon in Ruby and Sapphire. This problem was remedied, however, between the release of Hoenn's paired versions and third version, with remakes of Generation I's Pokémon Red and Green appearing as Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen on the Game Boy Advance, as well as Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness on the GameCube.
Details in the Hoenn- and Kanto-based games reveal that the storyline of Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald is most likely contemporaneous with that of FireRed and LeafGreen (and due to this, most likely contemporaneous with Generation I as well), placing Generation III three years before Generation II and Generation IV, themselves contemporaneous.
Advances in gameplay
Through its incompatibility with Generation I and Generation II, Generation III enhanced the Pokémon world the most yet, bringing about the most changes to the world of Pokémon. The advances include:
- The addition of 135 new Pokémon, the most added since Generation I, bringing the total to 386. Many new Pokémon have previously unseen type combinations, while only two of them are related by evolution to older Pokémon.
- The addition of 103 new moves, bringing the total to 354.
- Pokémon may now have one or two of 77 different abilities which can change the tide of battle.
- The Pokémon storage system has changed from a crude, text-based interface to a full-color graphical user interface. Boxes, while remaining at 14, now have 10 extra spaces, allowing for storage of 140 additional Pokémon (for a total of 420 Pokémon).
- The introduction of Pokémon Contests, where Pokémon show off their style in one of five Contest categories, with Contest stats enhanced by Pokéblocks.
- A brand-new region, Hoenn, with its own set of eight Gym Leaders and Elite Four. Player characters are also different from before.
- Seven new Poké Ball variants, replacing those found in Johto.
- New villainous teams, Team Aqua and Team Magma, whose focus is on capturing the legendary Pokémon Kyogre and Groudon, respectively.
- Weather conditions, introduced before, can now be found on the field and activate at the start of battle, while one more, hail, has been added.
- Double battles, where both sides use two Pokémon at a time, introduced.
- Communication capabilities with the e-Reader to activate certain events.
- All handheld Generation III games have a framerate of 60, allowing for smoother animations.
Major alterations from Generation II include:
- A complete overhaul of the Pokémon data structure; Pokémon now have an individual personality value which can range up to a number above four billion. Abilities and natures, also newly introduced, are determined based on this value, while the IV system has been overhauled for greater variance (0-31 rather than 0-15 as it was before). Template:Shiny2 is now based on a calculation between the personality value and Original Trainer's Trainer ID number and secret ID number with the same rarity.
- An overhaul of the Berry system introduced in Generation II: old Berries rejected in favor of Berries which grow individually as plants and can be picked and planted elsewhere. The effects of the first ten new Berries are similar to the ten Generation II Berries.
- Each Pokémon has its own status screen sprite, for ease of use in the party screen or PC.
Further additions in FireRed and LeafGreen include:
- Wireless communication between games (requires adapter boxed with FireRed and LeafGreen).
- The ability to move multiple Pokémon in the PC at once.
Further additions in Emerald include:
- Main article: Hoenn
The Hoenn region, situated somewhat southwest of Johto, was introduced in Generation III. It is more tropical than either Kanto or Johto, featuring Route 119, Route 111, and volcanic caves, as well as areas deep underwater.
This region's geography is mostly rural on the interior of the continent, with major cities springing up near its ample coasts. Routes between the cities can be treacherous, with densely-forested area covering much of the land. Legendary Pokémon are said to have created the region long ago, with its shape reminiscent of a yin-yang symbol reflecting the balance between land and sea.
Several ancient ruins are found around the region; their purpose remains to be discovered by the player, though ancient writings found deep beneath the sea south of the region indicate that within them are ancient Pokémon who were sealed away due to their power.
Like before, the starter trio follows the Grass-Fire-Water alignment, with new Pokémon Treecko, Torchic, and Mudkip being the three Pokémon the player has to choose from to save Professor Birch from a wild Poochyena (Zigzagoon in Emerald) at the start of the game.
Being that there are only 17 types, and Kanto and Johto, during Generation I and II, had Gyms specializing in 16 of them, all of the types of the Gym Leaders of Hoenn are the same as that of a Gym Leader in one of the previous regions. As before, all Gym Leaders give out badges and TMs on their defeat.
- Main article: Kanto
Kanto, which in Generation II lacked some features from its original appearance, returned in a state closer to its original form Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, with all features from Generation I brought back and improved.
As the Generation III games taking place in Kanto are remakes of Generation I games, the starters are the same as in that generation; they are the Grass-type Bulbasaur, the Fire-type Charmander, and the Water-type Squirtle.
Like the starter Pokémon, the Kanto Gym Leaders are also the same as they were before, with each giving out a TM for the player to use freely as well as their badge.
The Sevii Islands, appearing only in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, are a smaller region without a Pokémon League where the player can journey later in the game. These islands make available many Generation II Pokémon to players of the Generation III games, and through events, allow for the capture of Generation II's version mascots Ho-Oh and Lugia and the mysterious Pokémon Deoxys.
Other Generation III games
Pokémon Colosseum, for the Nintendo GameCube, features a new land called Orre where several Generation II and Generation III Pokémon are altered by two teams called Cipher and Team Snagem. Players must "snag" the "Shadow Pokémon" and cure them of their darkness. Once this is completed, the Pokémon may be transferred to the other Generation III games. Pokémon Colosseum is the first 3D Pokémon RPG. This game also features an advanced Stadium Mode similar to those of the Pokémon Stadium games.
Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire is another Generation III game for the Nintendo GameCube. It allows:
- Storage of up to 1500 Pokémon from Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen and Emerald Versions.
- Playing Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire on the television through emulation.
Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, also for the Nintendo GameCube, follows a storyline that takes place a few years after the story of Colosseum. It allows for snagging of rare Generation I, II, and III Pokémon as well, and includes a difficult-to-purify final Shadow Pokémon, a Shadow Lugia.
Generation III is the biggest generation yet, with five handheld games and three console games.
Discussion of Generation III
While the opinion of the fandom shifts from time to time, Generation III is notable for drawing the most criticism for the series yet, with the only possible way to absolutely complete the Pokédex being to own all games in the generation. The sense of a reboot when players were thrust into Hoenn (which excludes 184 of the older 251 Pokémon from availability) also drew ire. Many players also felt that some Pokémon felt repetitive, like Feebas, or gimmicky, like Shedinja. The game also saw a significant jump in newly-introduced legendary Pokémon, with 10 more introduced, a significant jump from Generation II, which only introduced 6.
Later games improved this, however, with Emerald's return to Hoenn being a welcome addition to the series (and including the first Battle Frontier in the series as well). FireRed and LeafGreen brought back nostalgic fans who decided to pass on Hoenn's primary paired versions due to their nature in being somewhat of a reboot, as well as brought newer fans the joy of the Kanto region, only previously available in its fullest state on the vastly outdated Game Boy with poor monochrome graphics.
- It is the only generation not to have any playable Pokémon in the Super Smash Bros. series.
- In the soundtrack for Hoenn's games, there are around five unused themes, one of these is a remixed Route 38 and Route 39 theme from GSC. This is likely a music test.
- Generation III is the only generation so far not to introduce an Eeveelution.
- Generation III is the only generation to contain two pseudo-legendaries, and the only one to contain a pseudo-legendary that cannot learn Template:Type2 moves.
- Generation III was the first generation to contain main series games where Kanto is not accessible.
- Generation III is the only generation that does not contain games which can trade with a Johto-based game.
- Currently, this generation has the highest number of main series games named after precious jewels, namely, the ruby, sapphire, and emerald.
- Generation III introduced the most Pokémon that didn't evolve.
- Though it is revealed in dialog between the Kanto- and Hoenn-based games that the five handheld games are more or less contemporary, interestingly, the two Orre-based games occur five years apart from each other, yet can both trade with the same five handheld games without use of a Time Capsule or similar device.
- Starting with Generation III, Ken Sugimori's art style shows noticeable differences from that of Generation I and II. For example, this can be seen when when comparing the artwork for Red and Gold from their original games to that of those games' remakes, or the art of the first 251 Pokémon released in the original era with their remake art.
- Generation III is the only generation so far to not introduce any evolved forms of Pokémon from previous generations, with the only cross-generational relatives being baby Pokémon Azurill and Wynaut.
- Generation III Pokémon that are not in the Sinnoh Pokédex are the only ones to not receive a sprite update from their Pokémon Diamond and Pearl sprites. Most Generation IV-introduced Pokémon received sprite updates in Pokémon Platinum, and Generation I and II-introduced Pokémon received them in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
- There are exceptions to this rule however, such as Registeel, which uses a different sprite between Diamond and Pearl and Platinum outside of Europe.
- Generation III games are the only main series games which run at 60 frames per second, rather than 30. Prior generations run at 30 because of system limitations, while Generation IV does too, likely to prevent the games' 3D areas from causing too much slowdown.
- There are many rumors among the fandom that linking different regional games in Generation III is impossible, likely due to the incompatibilities present in the previous generations. This is not true, however, since communication is possible between all the handheld Generation III games, regardless of their region. Despite this, Generation IV seems to have helped in clearing that thought, especially when taking in account its Wi-Fi capabilities.
- When a Pokémon is traded from a Japanese to an international version, it's name will be preserved, which applies to the font as well. However, when the reverse occurs, the Pokémon will have its name shortened due to the 5 character limit present in the Japanese versions of games, which includes Pokémon. Also, the name of the Pokémon from the international version is rendered using the rōmaji font instead of the international font. Despite all this, the Pokémon in either cases have their original name present in their data, thus the differences are merely interface-wise.
- The international versions utilize the same font, including the rendering, in the dialogues as the Japanese versions. This doesn't happen in Generation IV, however, despite the improvements in international linking.