From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Key items are special items that players can only obtain once, and either aid the progression of the storyline or allow access to new areas. They rarely have anything to do with the player's Pokémon and are mostly specific to the different games. The items cannot be bought or sold at Poké Marts, disposed of, or given to Pokémon to hold. Since Generation II, these items have been given their own classification and have been stored in a separate pocket in the Bag.
Obtaining key items
Key items are generally not found lying on the ground, but are usually obtained throughout the storyline and are given to the player by other people. Once a player has obtained a key item, there is no way of getting rid of it unless it is part of the main storyline. For example, the Machine Part found in Kanto in Generation II as part of the mission to save the Power Plant could only be removed when the player had taken it back to the Plant and given it to the manager. Some key items, such as the SquirtBottle, are not deleted once their usefulness has passed and remain in the inventory for the remainder of the game. Prior to Generation IV, Key Items can be deposited in a PC.
Common key items
Although many key items are specific to the version of the game being played, basic items continue to feature:
- Bicycle - An item that enables players to travel faster than walking.
- Rod - An item that enables players to fish for Pokémon in lakes or the sea.
- Coin Case - An item that stores coins for the slot machines.
- Keys and cards - Items that enable players to open doors and access new areas, such as the Card Key.
- Tickets - Items that enable players to board ships, enter Contests and exchange for other key items.
Exchanging key items
The exchanging of one key item for another has been present since Generation I: a Bike Voucher was given to the player to exchange for a Bicycle. Key item exchanging can only happen once, with the exception of Generation III, in which the player can swap the two bikes (the Mach Bike and the Acro Bike) as they choose. In any case, only one or two items could be exchanged.
List of all key items