- This article is about Pokémon Contests in Generation III. For the Contests in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, see Pokémon Super Contest.
Pokémon Contests (Japanese: ポケモンコンテスト) are a type of competition often contrasted with Pokémon battles and held in Contest Halls. Pokémon are judged on their condition and moves in two rounds, to determine which is the best of its category.
In the anime
Pokémon Contests were first introduced early on in the Advanced Generation series. In them, Coordinators show how strong and beautiful their Pokémon can be. A Contest is divided into two parts. The first round involves the Coordinator appealing with his or her Pokémon to demonstrate its moves. During the appeal, the judges, usually Contesta, Sukizo, and a Nurse Joy, score the Coordinator. The second round is the battle round, where two Coordinators must do battle while still remaining stylish. The battle ends after five minutes have passed, a Pokémon is unable to battle, or a Coordinator has lost all of his or her points.
- In Hoenn, Coordinators may enter only one Pokémon for both rounds. The master of ceremonies is Vivian Meridian.
- In Kanto, Coordinators enter one Pokémon for each round. This is so that the judges can see more variation. The master of ceremonies is Lilian Meridian.
- Also, while it's technically not counted as a Pokémon Contest, the Queen of the Princess Festival during the events of Princess vs. Princess shares many similarities to Pokémon Contests, which would, in one sense, place it as the first Pokémon Contest.
- In Sinnoh, Coordinators enter one Pokémon for each round, and they also dress up nicely. The master of ceremonies is Marian.
Any Coordinator will need a Contest Pass for a region to enter contests in that region. Coordinators who win five Ribbons are able to enter that region's Grand Festival. A ribbon won from events such as the Wallace Cup can be used in any region.
In the games
Pokémon Contests are in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald only, and do not appear in FireRed and LeafGreen. A Coordinator enters Pokémon in one of five categories: Coolness, Beauty, Cuteness, Smartness, or Toughness and compete against three other Coordinators in two rounds. In Generation IV, these basic ideas were expanded upon with Pokémon Super Contests.
First, the audience preliminarily votes on which four competing Pokémon looks the coolest, most beautiful, cutest, smartest, or toughest, depending on what category the Contest is in. Attributes that the audience likes and the Pokémon's overall luster also beneficially influences the audience. To make a Pokémon look cooler, etc., a Coordinator prepares Pokéblocks of a specific color from certain Berries, depending which category he or she wants to augment, and feeds them to his or her Pokémon. How well a Pokémon does in this phase is shown by the number of hearts that appear over the audience members' heads.
Secondary judging: appeals
In the secondary phase, the four Pokémon take turns appealing, using certain moves in front of an appointed judge. In one contest, there are five rounds of Appealing, in which each Pokémon may make appeals once or not at all, depending on the moves it and the other Pokémon have used in the previous round. Every move that a Pokémon can learn is in one of the five contest categories and adds a certain amount of "red hearts" (how much the Judge likes the appealing Pokémon) or "black hearts" (a negative number of red hearts), and may have a certain effect on the user or the other appealing Pokémon. Effects on other Pokémon include Jamming or reducing other Pokémon's number of hearts, making other Pokémon more nervous, and so forth. Move combos (e.g. using Sunny Day one round, then SolarBeam the next) score extra hearts. Moves that are of the same contest category as the contest the user is competing in may excite the audience, and if the audience becomes extremely excited, the Pokémon scores extra hearts.
In the first round, the turn order is determined by how well each Pokémon did in the preliminary judging. In the rounds after the first, they are ordered from who won the most hearts to the least in the next round, unless one of the appealers' moves changes or randomizes the order.
Statuses induced by contest moves
If a move a Pokémon uses in an appeal makes the user "settle down just a bit", indicated by a circle icon, it prevents one jamming from another Pokémon's move; after a single jam occurs and is prevented or the round is over, the Pokémon loses this protection.
If a move a Pokémon uses in an appeal makes it "become oblivious to others", indicated by a circle icon, it prevents the user from being jammed at all during the entire round.
If a move a Pokémon uses in an appeal tries to jam another Pokémon, the user or the other Pokémon are indicated with either a swirly spiral icon or an ear.
If a Pokémon becomes nervous due to another Pokémon's attack, it is indicated by two tildes on top of each other, a bit like an equals sign.
If a move a Pokémon used in the previous round renders the user unable to appeal in the current round, it is indicated by an "X" icon.
Stars may be earned in an appeal as marks of "good condition", and may be received from the judge as a result of an earlier-used move. They add one more heart to the appeal.
When the judge has a question mark "?" over his head, each Pokémon is indicated with the text "NEXT TURN: ?". When this happens, the turn order for the next appeal round is scrambled.
When the judge has a number 1 or 4 over his head while watching a Pokémon appeal, that Pokémon is indicated with the text "NEXT TURN: X", where X is the number over the judge's head. When this happens, that Pokémon will become first or last in the turn order in the next round, depending on the value of X. If another Pokémon uses a similar appeal and also moves to the beginning or ending, the Pokémon that appealed first will move to the next turn, and "NEXT TURN: X" will change accordingly.
When the judge has a swirly spiral over his head while watching a Pokémon appeal, that means the Pokémon has repeated a move it used last turn. The first time a move is repeated, the Pokémon loses two hearts. The second time, it loses three hearts, and so on. There are a few moves to which this rule doesn't apply, such as Hidden Power. To prevent this from happening accidentally, the name of the move used in the previous round is gray when selecting a move to appeal with.
When the judge has a single exclamation point "!" over his head while watching a Pokémon appeal, that means a combo is possible with the move just used, and the Pokémon is indicated by a flashing red dot. If the Pokémon knows a move it can perform a combo with, its name will be red when selecting a move to appeal with.
When the judge has a double exclamation point "!!" over his head while watching a Pokémon appeal, that means it has just performed a combo with the two previous moves it appealed with. Then, the Pokémon will receive double the amount of hearts it would in a basic appeal.
When the judge has a star over his head while watching a Pokémon appeal, the Pokémon receives a star.
In secondary judging, the crowd's excitement over a Pokémon's appeal influences the number of hearts it earns. This is shown by the excitement meter, a series of five ovals that may be filled or empty.
If a Pokémon uses a move whose contest category is the same as the category of the contest it is participating in and the excitement meter is below five, the meter increases by one, and the Pokémon receives one more heart during its appeal.
If a Pokémon uses a move whose contest category is disliked by the audience for the contest it is participating in, the excitement meter will decrease by one.
If a Pokémon uses a move, and the excitement meter then reaches five, the Pokémon receives six more hearts during its appeal, and the excitement meter returns to zero.
After five rounds of appealing has passed, the four Pokémon's results are shown. Here, stars represent how well the Pokémon did in the preliminary judging, and the hearts indicate how well the Pokémon did in the secondary judging; both fill up the four Pokémon's meters. The Pokémon whose meter becomes the highest is announced as the winner of the contest, and is awarded a Ribbon. In the Master Rank, if the Pokémon has already won the ribbon for that category, the player will be given a Luxury Ball. A small portrait of the winner is painted and placed in the Contest Hall. A painter will paint a large painting if the winner of a Master Rank contest wins with a high score. These larger paintings are displayed in the Lilycove Museum.
There are four contest ranks: Normal Rank, Super Rank, Hyper Rank, and Master Rank. Every contest, as well as having one of the five categories, has one of these four ranks. For a Pokémon to enter a Super Rank Beauty contest, it has to have a Normal Rank Beauty Ribbon, and for a Hyper Rank Cool contest, it will need a Super Rank Cool Ribbon, and so on.
A Contest Pass is required to enter any contest.
In Emerald, contests of all four ranks are held in the Lilycove City Contest Hall only. Also, the Contest Pass is not required.
- The contest Ranks are named after the original Kanto Poké Balls, although it seems the translation team did not catch this, as the Japanese Poké Ball names (Normal, Super, Hyper, Master) are used in English versions. This was rectified in Generation IV in the ranks of Super Contests (Normal, Great, Ultra, Master).
- For DP011 and DP012, Professor Oak's lectures are about Pokémon Contest Appeal Round and Battle Round respectively. He writes this Pokémon senryū about the Appeal Round: ポケモンが かれいにまわるよ コンテスト Pokémon, oh they spin beautifully; that is a contest. He writes this Pokémon senryū about the Battle Round: ごふんかん みせてしょうぶだ コンテストバトル A five-minute battle for show, that is a contest battle.
- Interestingly, the move Struggle has Contest stats, despite the fact that Struggle cannot be used in a contest, as it can only be used if the attacking Pokémon has no PP.
- Contests are one of the few places in the Pokémon games one can find nicknamed Pokémon. All Pokémon used by NPC Trainers in Contests have nicknames.
| Necessary Spoils
Pokéblocks • Poffins
Cool • Beautiful • Cute • Clever • Tough
Appeal • Battle • Dance • Visual
Contest • Super Contest
Coordinator • Contest Hall • Contest Pass
Kanto • Hoenn • Sinnoh
Combinations • Opponents (III • IV • VI) • Double Performance • Jamming
Ribbons (List) • Ribbon Cup • Seals • Ball Capsules • Ranks