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Time is a mechanic in the Pokémon games. It was introduced in Generation II and has been a major component of all games released afterward. Time affects both the evolution of several Pokémon and whether certain Pokémon can be found in the wild. Some events may take place at a specific time of day, or on a particular day of the week.
Berries are governed by the time function, maturing after a certain amount of time has passed. Much like weather conditions, the games' time function has been revised and expanded in each subsequent generation after its introduction.
- 1 Generation II
- 2 Generation III
- 3 Generation IV
- 4 Generation V
- 5 Time specific events
In Generation II, the changing time of day was a highly touted feature for the games; several Pokémon were even designed with this in mind, such as Hoothoot and Noctowl, while others would only appear in certain areas at certain times of day.
At the beginning of all three games, the clock would be set upon starting a new game, even before the player is named. The default time is 10:00 AM. The clock can be reset through a code in Pokémon Gold and Silver, but not in Pokémon Crystal, and the player's mother will change the clock by an hour for daylight saving time.
Eevee was given two new evolutions to take advantage of the changing time: Espeon, which it would become if its friendship maxed out during the morning or day, and Umbreon, which it would become if its friendship maxed during the night.
Times of day
Morning, an hour in which many Pokémon Trainers are still asleep, is when there are many Bug-type Pokémon scurrying out and about. For the most part, however, Morning is much the same as Day, as far as Pokémon distribution goes. Morning lasts from 4:00 AM to 9:59 AM, and the rising sun tints the entire landscape with a yellowish hue.
The daytime is the busiest time in the Pokémon world, as most people are up and about at this time. The same is true of Pokémon, who appear often and in many varieties. The landscape is not tinted at all during this time, making it seem closer to the timeless games of Generation I. Day lasts from 10:00 AM to 5:59 PM.
A drastic change from the other two time periods, at night most Pokémon are sleeping, with the exception of a few night owls. It is at this time that players will be able to find the most sleeping Pokémon by Headbutting trees, which will give them an advantage in battle. The entire world will be colored a bluish-purple, and lights will be on in buildings all over. The longest of Generation II's three time periods, nighttime hours last from 6:00 PM to 3:59 AM.
Days of the week
- Main article: Days of the week
When the Pokégear is first received, the player's mother will ask him or her to set the day of the week as well. This affects several things, such as the National Park's Bug-Catching Contest and which of the Week Siblings appears, though not much else.
Unlike Generation II, Generation III had no separate time periods, or even an ability to check the time in-game unless the player traveled back to Littleroot Town, where they had set an analog clock at the beginning of the game. Also unlike Generation II, the time-based events were very few and extremely far between, with the clock mostly running to keep track of the growth of planted Berries (although this was not completely foolproof).
Additionally, there is no way to change the clock for Daylight Saving Time in this generation. There was, however, some premise in the games. For example, Shoal Cave's water level would change every six hours, at 3:00 and 9:00 AM and PM. Just the same, Eevee would be able to evolve into Espeon if the in-game time was between 12:00 PM and 11:59 PM. Eevee would also be able to evolve into Umbreon if the in-game time was between 12:00 AM and 11:59 AM.
Although a small part of the game, some events occur on a daily basis. Lilycove Department Store gives out Pokémon Loto Tickets for the Pokémon Lottery Corner, with the winning number changing daily. An old man who lives in Pacifidlog Town looks out for Mirage Island, and will, every day, generate a random number between 0 and 65535 and if this number matches the personality value of any of the Pokémon in the party, Mirage Island will appear in the game.
In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, however, the time function is completely absent, allowing it to be more like the Generation I games. This also makes it impossible for Eevee to evolve into either Espeon or Umbreon in these games. The same holds true for Pokémon Colosseum, where Espeon and Umbreon are obtainable as Starter Pokémon. In XD, Eevee can only be evolved into Espeon or Umbreon by a method that is not time-dependent, the Sun and Moon Shards.
In Generation IV, the time function returned fully, to the joy of many. This time, however, it would run off the Nintendo DS's system clock, though it would return many of the functions originally released in Generation II. Many new Pokémon also now would evolve based upon the time of day. For example, Gligar will only evolve into Gliscor at night.
The three time periods from Generation II return, with better transitions between them, assumed by many before the games were released as different time periods themselves. Also running off the DS's clock is the same day-of-the-week function from the Generation II games, though this time, by running off the DS, it keeps track of the date of capture of every Pokémon. It also determines when certain events may take place; for example, Drifloon only appear in the Valley Windworks on Fridays, and rival battles in the Battle Zone only may be initiated on weekends.
Times of day
Morning tints everything a pale blue color, changing from dark blue of night into bright blue of daytime. Morning lasts from 4:00 AM to 9:59 AM.
Everything takes on its natural color during the day. Day lasts from 10:00 AM to 7:59 PM, with twilight lasting from around 5:00 PM until night sets in.
Much like its Generation II counterpart, the world is dark, but pockmarked by the bright lights of buildings. Night lasts from 8:00 PM to 3:59 AM, with lights in buildings turning off at 12:00 midnight. A majority of areas in Sinnoh have slightly different music during the night, including Pokémon Centers, though this is not true in the regions of Johto and/or Kanto.
Seasons affect the time of day, which now varies depending on the current season. During spring, morning begins at 5:00 AM and night starts at 8:00 PM; during summer, morning begins as early as 4:00 AM and day lasts until 9:00 PM; during autumn, morning begins at 6:00 AM and night starts at 8:00 PM; and during winter, morning does not begin until 7:00 AM and night starts at 7:00 PM. The day is now divided in four different parts: morning, when floodlights in the cities switch off and the sun starts to rise; daytime, when everything is lightened; evening, when the floodlights switch on in the cities and everything starts to be lit with an orange hue; and then nighttime, which is characterized by a darker landscape, both in the overworld map and in battle.
In favor of seasons, Pokémon are no longer found at different times of day, meaning Pokémon that one would suspect to find only at night will be found during all times of day.
Surprisingly, the shortest unit of time measured in Pokémon Conquest is a month (not real time). Every story starts on January, Year 1. In two stories (The Rebel and Tragic Determination), the goal is to defeat Nobunaga before January, Year 4 (before 3 years had passed).
Opposing armies will only attack at the very start of the month, except for one time in The Legend of Ransei where Shingen or Kenshin attack after they decline a battle with the player.
Time specific events
- Please note that this section relates only to events that occur at specific times but not on a particular day. For events that occur only on specific days of the week please see Days of the week.
Time was not implemented in Generation I.
- Daisy will massage the player's Pokémon between 3:00 and 4:00 pm.
- Officers will only challenge the player at night from 6:00 pm to 3:59 am.
Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald
- The tides in Shoal Cave depend on the time of day. It is low tide from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm to 3:00 am, and high tide from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and 3:00 am to 9:00 am.
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
Time was not implemented in these games.
- The Pal Park transfer can occur only once every 24 hours.
Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
- Joggers will only challenge the player in the morning from 4:00 to 9:59 am.
- Policemen will only challenge the player at night from 8:00 pm to 3:59 am.
- The player can catch Rotom once from 8:00 pm to 3:59 am in the Old Chateau.
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
- Daisy will massage the player's Pokémon between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm.
- Policemen will only challenge the player at night from 8:00 pm to 3:59 am.
- Clair's phone number can be registered on any day between 6:00 am and 10:00 am at the Dragon's Den after battling her and Lance in the Dragon's Den.
- Pryce's phone number can be registered on any day between 6:00 am and 10:00 am at the bottom of the Lake of Rage (not main area).
- Lt. Surge's phone number can be registered on any day between 9:00 am and 11:00 am in front of the Power Plant after capturing Zapdos and the player arrives walking with a Pikachu.
- Brock's phone number can be registered on any day between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm at the Pewter entrance to Diglett's Cave.
- Whitney's phone number can be registered on any day between 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm at the Goldenrod Department Store on the 6th floor.
- Jasmine's phone number can be registered on any day between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm at Olivine Diner.
- Blue's phone number can be registered on any day between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm at Pallet Town, from Daisy after she massages one of the player's Pokémon 7 times.
- Misty's phone number can be registered on any day between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm at the end of Route 25 to the east of Bill's Sea Cottage when Suicune is not there.
- Janine's phone number can be registered on any day between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm at the Pokémon League Reception Gate in front of Victory Road.
- Trainers may be battled every day in the Big Stadium and Small Court. However, they cannot be battled during sports events that occur during certain times and days of the week.
- The Royal Unova can be boarded only during a certain time, depending on the season. The earliest time is 4:00 PM (winter) and the latest time is 8:59 PM (summer).
- A businessman in Lacunosa Town gives out a Pecha, Leppa, Lum, or Bluk Berry on Sunday nights.
- The Black Empoleon biker gang will "take over" the Tubeline Bridge on Friday nights, and their leader can be challenged.
- A girl on Route 8 will give out one of four weather rocks per day. The rock changes depending on the time of day:
|Time of Day||Rock given|
|This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.|