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The five generations of Pokémon games, taking place in the same universe, have had multiple references to each other. Not only do the games reference their same-generation counterparts (with the player's default name being the version played and the rival's being the counterpart version in the first two generations), but games released later in the series typically will feature references to events of past generations.
This does not include Pokémon. While Pokémon released in previous generations will always appear, they are not a reference to the generation itself.
List of references
To Generation I
- Not only is the Kanto region a playable area during the games, but several of the events of Generation I are spoken of as having happened three years previous. Many characters also reappear because of this, though some of them undergo design changes.
- Red, the player character of the first games, is found training in Mt. Silver and can be battled.
- Blue, the rival character of the first games, has become the Gym Leader of Viridian City. His team is based on the Pokémon he used in the final battle in Pokémon Red and Blue.
- A man in the Violet City Pokémon Center states that the former Team Rocket was broken up by a "young kid."
- The parents of the Copycat in Saffron City mention that her Clefairy Doll was given to her by a boy three years before.
- The Berserk Gene, a held item, is found near the former entrance of the now-collapsed Cerulean Cave, where Mewtwo once hid.
- There is a Pokémon doll of a surfing Pikachu available to decorate the room, which references the special minigame in Pokémon Yellow.
- A man in Cerulean City says there used to be a cave near the city with powerful Pokémon.
- If the player checks the poster in the Rocket Game Corner, the player will be informed that there's nothing there, referring to the secret switch under the poster in Generation I.
- The master of the Saffron City Fighting Dojo, Kiyo, can be found and battled in Mt. Mortar. Like in Generation I, he gives the player a Fighting-type Pokémon upon defeating him.
- In Celadon City restaurant, a woman says that no one will give player Coin Case here and (s)he should look in Johto. A man in the same place gives Coin Case in Generation I.
To Generation I
- Brawly is said to have once trained alongside Bruno, who is a member of Kanto's Elite Four.
- The Oceanic Museum in Slateport City has two water samples, one of which is from Kanto (though this reference is removed in Emerald). Its background music theme is also an arrangement of the S.S. Anne theme.
- On Faraway Island, a series of smudged messages, which may have been left by Mr. Fuji, appear on a signpost.
- A boy in Lilycove City says that he and his family came from the Kanto region before he asks if there are any Pokémon found only in the Hoenn region.
- In Victory Road, there is a small crater where Moltres used to be.
To Generation II
- In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the player-controlled character of Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald is said to have moved at the beginning of the game with his/her family from the Johto region, the main setting of the Generation II games. In Pokémon Emerald the character who said this instead states that the player character's family moved there from a faraway place.
- The beta versions of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire contained remastered versions of the themes played on Routes 38 and 39, Team Rocket encounter, Legendary beasts' battle, and Saffron City.
- The Oceanic Museum in Slateport City has two water samples, one of which is from Johto (though this reference is removed in Emerald).
- A man in Mt. Moon says that Brock sometimes helps excavate Fossils there. This explains how he acquires the Kabutops and Omastar which he uses in the second generation of games.
- At the Cerulean Cape, a dame says Misty has high hopes about the location, which is known as a famous dating spot. In the second generation of games, she is first encountered there with an unknown male character.
- Janine, Koga's daughter and future Leader of Fuchsia Gym, appears in Fuchsia City, and tells the player that she is training to use Poison Pokémon like her father. She is misnamed as Charine in the English translation of FireRed and LeafGreen, however.
- The branch of Team Rocket in the Sevii Islands seems to be the same branch which attempted to revive Team Rocket during Generation II, with plans to use magnetic waves to evolve Pokémon. Their lead scientist also tells that Giovanni's child has red hair, a reference to Silver.
- One of Professor Oak's assistants will state that he is to get a radio show sometime in the near future.
- Celio mentions that some members of Bill's family live in Goldenrod City.
- A woman on Boon Island in Bruno's section of the Fame Checker mentions the RageCandyBar.
- A kid in Indigo Plateau in Lance's section of the Fame Checker says he has a cousin who is a Gym Leader somewhere far away.
- Whitney, Jasmine and Pryce lookalikes appear as audience members in Contests.
- The man who digs Three Isle Path and gives the player a Nugget says that he'd like to buy a house in Kanto. He likely is the same person who gives away a Nugget in Generation II in his house on Route 2.
- The themes used on the Sevii Islands are remastered versions of the routes around Mahogany Town as well as remastered versions of Violet/Olivine City and Azalea Town/Blackthorn City.
- In Mt. Battle, there is an Abra that will Teleport players to the entrance. In the Generation II games, the player can use an Abra at Indigo Plateau to Teleport home.
To Generation I
- Professor Rowan is said to have developed the Sinnoh Pokédex with help from a Pokémon Professor from Kanto.
- Professor Oak himself comes to Sinnoh to give the player the National Pokédex, and can always be found in a house in Eterna City thereafter. He gives the player an Up-Grade, which was sent to Oak by his acquaintance from Kanto.
- In the gate east of Canalave City is a guard who complains that he is thirsty, like the guards in Kanto who will allow the player to enter Saffron City if they are brought a drink. Unlike those guards, however, this one does not do anything if brought a drink.
- One of the Elite Four, Bertha, shares a similar name (in Japanese and English) and design to Agatha. It is possible they are related, or that Bertha was at least modeled after Agatha.
- Black Belt Eddie from Victory Road mentions that he trained in Fighting Dojo at Saffron.
- In Amity Square, some Pokémon may be let out of their Poké Ball to follow their Trainer around. One of the few available is Pikachu, which did the same (however, throughout the game) in Pokémon Yellow.
- Bebe's buddy Bill is mentioned to have developed the basic storage system.
- Part of the Veilstone Game Corner music is a techno remix of the Rocket Game Corner music.
- One of Lucas's alternate names was Ash in the English versions of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. This is one of the default names of Red in the games Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, FireRed and LeafGreen. It may even be a reference to the anime's main character.
- As a direct tribute to the original games, one of the wallpapers has been designed to resemble the design of the routes of the first games, complete with the graphics and sprites when the games are played on the Game Boy. The wallpaper showcases typical features like both types of fences, low and high grass, normal ground, a sign and a house.
- As Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver, the references present in the original games to Generation I return.
- During a special Celebi event, the character will, in fact, travel in time back to shortly after Red has defeated Giovanni. Giovanni tells his son that he has decided to disband Team Rocket. Afterwards, he will run towards the Johto region and is found in a cave. When the player has defeated him, he will make a remark that the player reminds him of the boy that made him disband the team in the first place.
- In HeartGold and SoulSilver, a man mentions that Professor Oak once said there were 150 Pokémon, the amount known during Generation I, although there are now almost 500 (which appears to imply that all the games, or at least the remakes, take place at the same time as Generation IV).
To Generation II
- A news report of a red Gyarados begins Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. The cameraman who filmed the documentary appears at the Survival Area.
- In Platinum, the game instead begins with a report about Professor Rowan. However, the cameraman from the red Gyarados report is seen blocking the entrance to Lake Valor, hoping to get a shot of the legendary Pokémon said to live there.
- A man, who gives the player a Happiny Egg in Diamond and Pearl, says that Professor Elm announced that Eggs kept with a Trainer will eventually hatch.
- Jasmine, one of Johto's Gym Leaders, appears to give the player HM07 (Waterfall) and participates in Sinnoh's Super Contests.
- A man in Valor Lakefront states that he would like to see a silver-colored Pokémon that resides in the Whirl Islands, a rainbow-colored Pokémon that resides in the Tin Tower, and Clefairy dancing in Mt. Moon sometime during his life.
- A Ninja Boy on Route 210 near Celestic Town says he wants to train with a ninja Gym Leader in a faraway land.
- Dragon Tamer Hayden on Route 224 mentions that he left the Dragon's Den several years ago.
- The Poké Ball design on the floor of the Sinnoh Pokémon Centers is colored gold and silver. Park Balls are also colored gold and silver, and the normally black stripe in the middle is actually a light blue, crystal-like color.
- Dragon Tamer Geoffrey on Route 225 mentions a Dragon Tamer Champion.
- The Eevee which Bebe gives to the player was obtained originally from her friend in Johto.
- Cynthia, who somehow was able to obtain it (possibly from Jasmine, since she is in Sinnoh), gives the SecretPotion, the medicine from Cianwood City that cured Amphy in Generation II, to the player to cure the group of Psyduck blocking Route 210.
- In Stargazer Colosseum in Pokémon Battle Revolution, some of the Pokémon in the last battle depend on which game is linked to the Wii. If Diamond is linked, one of the Pokémon is Ho-Oh, Gold's version mascot, and if Pearl is linked, one of the Pokémon is Lugia, Silver's version mascot.
- When a Shiny Clefairy appears during a slot game in Veilstone Game Corner, a remixed version of Mt. Moon Square music from Gold, Silver, and Crystal is played.
- In Pokémon Platinum, one of the women in the basement floor of the Veilstone Department Store mentions that the store is sold out of RageCandyBars, the local specialty in Mahogany Town.
- In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the Gym guide of Vermilion Gym states that the Gym's traps were temporarily out of order, a reference to Gold, Silver, and Crystal.
- In the Pokégear's description of Cerulean Cave, it states that the cave had collapsed.
- A Hiker in the Route 3 Pokémon Center states that the Pokémon Center didn't exist when he was climbing the mountain, which is only true in Generation II.
- In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the man at Indigo Plateau mentions that nobody uses his Abra to Teleport home anymore (which it used to do in Gold, Silver and Crystal) since they usually Fly to and from instead.
To Generation III
- A man in Hearthome City, who says he is from the Hoenn region, will show the player to the Contest Hall, a feature originally introduced in Hoenn.
- A man in Valor Lakefront states that he would like to see a rocket launch from the Space Center in Mossdeep City sometime during his life.
- A woman in Valor Lakefront claims to have lost her Suite Key. If the player finds it near the Hotel Grand Lake using the Dowsing Machine, she will offer a reward of one Lava Cookie, a specialty of Hoenn, possibly implying that her home is in that region.
- A Swimmer south of the Valor Lakefront says she would like to vacation in Hoenn because it has more routes on which to Surf.
- A woman west of Pastoria City used to work at the Weather Institute of Hoenn and will give out weather-changing TMs for Shards.
- An old woman living at the base of Stark Mountain acts in the same way that another woman does on Route 111 in Hoenn, insisting that the player keep healing his or her Pokémon with her in a creepy manner. Strangely, they both also live just north of a sandstorm-ridden desert.
- A Swimmer north of Sunyshore City wishes to visit Hoenn's seas.
- A Socialite in the Valor Lakefront restaurant will occasionally mention the sauce of her dish was made from spicy Cheri Berries with a Hoenn-style recipe.
- Bird Keeper Audrey on Route 225 says she was born in Hoenn.
- A woman in the Battle Tower claims to have been from Hoenn, where another Battle Tower resides. In Platinum, her reference could mean either the Battle Tower itself or the Battle Frontier that is present in Hoenn.
- A catalog in Rad Rickshaw's Cycle Shop in Eterna City advertises the Mach Bike and Acro Bike.
- In Stargazer Colosseum in Pokémon Battle Revolution, some of the Pokémon in the last battle depend on which game is linked to the Wii. If Diamond is linked, one of the Pokémon is Kyogre, Sapphire's version mascot, and if Pearl is linked, one of the Pokémon is Groudon, Ruby's version mascot.
- The fourteen foreign Pokédex entries in Diamond and Pearl are all from the respective translated versions of Pokémon LeafGreen.
- In Pokémon Platinum, the Adamant Orb and Lustrous Orb are required to summon Dialga and Palkia, much like the Red Orb and Blue Orb were required to summon Groudon and Kyogre.
- In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, many buildings and lengths of most Routes and areas in Kanto are heavily based on Generation III Kanto rather than Generation II Kanto. Furthermore, many areas and other aspects not present in the Generation II Kanto have returned in order to resemble the Generation III Kanto more closely.
- Mr. Pokémon is said to have gotten the Red Orb or Blue Orb from a friend in Hoenn.
- Steven, Hoenn's former champion, is present in Vermilion City, and will speak of a strange Hoenn-native Pokémon that has been reported roaming Kanto.
- When the player first encounters Bill in the Pokémon Center in Ecruteak City, he will mention that Lanette from Hoenn helped him develop the Pokémon Storage System.
To Generation I
To Generation II
To Generation III
- A guy in the Desert Resort will mention that he doesn't need Go-Goggles to go through the sandstorm there, a reference to how they were needed to do so in Hoenn. In Black 2 and White 2, he also mentions the Mirage Tower.
- Some of the themes, such as N's final battle theme, the Team Plasma battle theme, and the Elite Four theme have segments of Hoenn themes in them.
- The Riches, the family who offers their own battle challenge to the player, may be compared to the Winstrate family in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald.
- Returning to the former HM Dive, which is required to access Abyssal Ruins, may be paralled with the underwater in Hoenn.
- In Undella Town, two residents that reside there during the summer mention that they came from the Hoenn region for a vacation. One of them also mentions Steven Stone.
- The Unova Elite Four have a unique battle theme rather than the Gym leader battle theme. The only other region to do this was Hoenn.
- In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, in Icirrus City, there is a married couple that used to be members of Team Magma and Team Aqua.
To Generation IV
- In Nacrene Gym, the book called "Sweets for Pokémon" describes Poffins and mentions that they are made in the Sinnoh region.
- Caitlin of the Battle Castle appears as an Elite Four member in Unova. She references her prior inability to battle, and mentions the Battle Castle's presence in Sinnoh and Johto.
- Looker appears in search of the Seven Sages of Team Plasma. He is absent in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, but Shauntal mentions him as part of one of the novels she is writing.
- Cynthia will meet the player at Caitlin's Villa in Undella Town after getting the National Pokédex. The player will be able to battle her in Spring and Summer.
- In addition to this, after defeating her in a battle for the first time, she will mention that the player looked like the Trainer who faced Giratina.
- According to one of the Plasma Grunts in N's Castle, "Team Galactic and Team Rocket drew too much attention to themselves. That's why their plans were thwarted."
- Shauntal mentions the Distortion World in one of her conversations at Caitlin's Villa. She states that the only Pokémon living in the Distortion World was spectacular.
- Before her rematch, Shauntal quotes a line about Volkner, which comes from her novel. In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, she also mentions Volkner's close friend in another line from her novel.
- A man who gives away Fossils everyday at Twist Mountain said that when the player looks carefully and digs at the walls of empty places like caves, the player will find many different kinds of items such as Fossils, a reference on how the player can dig up different kinds of items, especially Fossils, at the Sinnoh region's underground.
- Ace Trainer Henry aboard the Royal Unova mentions that he is from the Sinnoh region.
- Upon meeting Skyla for the first time, she tells Cedric, "You are talking like places like Kanto and Sinnoh are right around the corner!"
- In Lentimas Town, a Hiker mentions Stark Mountain. Both it and the nearby Reversal Mountain are where Heatran reside. The Magma Stone also appears as a key item needed to awaken the Legendary Pokémon.
- In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Crasher Wake appears on Route 18 much like how he appeared on Route 47 in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
- Onboard the Plasma Frigate, a Team Plasma Grunt mentions that he used to be part of Team Galactic.
- In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, a show on the Variety channel mentions that Aaron that used to be a Bug Catcher and a Gym Leader before joining the Elite Four.
- Shauntal references Bertha in a quote from her novel during the player's post-National Pokédex challenge. She also references Agatha and notes the similarity in appearance between the two.
- After defeating her in battle, Shauntal says she wants her novels to be full of heart and soul.