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Battle animations are used in the core series of the Pokémon games. They appear in all handheld Pokémon versions, as well as some console games such as those in the Pokémon Stadium series and Pokémon Colosseum. Battle animations are the visual display of moves used by Pokémon, as well as other in-battle effects such as weather conditions and status infliction. Battle animations require a series of sprites to make a moving animation, sometimes also using different backgrounds to enhance the scenery. In Pokémon Crystal, the animation of the Pokémon themselves is also considered a battle animation.
Players have the ability to turn off battle animations as they are not necessary to progress through the game, and battles progress faster without them. The animations can be turned off by opening the menu and selecting Options, then Battle Scene.
In Generation III, the battle animations of Thunder and Thunderbolt may freeze the game. Turning off the animations will solve this problem.
Battle animations were given a greater enhancement in Generation V. When a move is used, the camera will zoom in on the affected Pokémon. Sometimes during Double and Triple Battles, the camera will pan outward so that the entire battlefield is seen clearly.
- In most games, all battle animations begin at a fixed position, which leads to some inconsistencies over how some Pokémon are able to use the attacks - for instance, when a Cyndaquil uses Flamethrower, the flames appear to come out of its eyes.
- In the Japanese Red, Green, and Blue Versions, several moves' battle animations originally had more flashes and/or were animated faster. Following the "Pokémon Shock" incident, many of these were slowed down or otherwise edited, presumably to reduce the risk of epileptic seizures. These edits are found in the Japanese Yellow Version as well as international releases of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow. The most noticeable of these is Thunderbolt, though many others were also toned down, such as Body Slam, Hyper Beam, Blizzard and Surf.
- When the original Japanese Red, Green or Blue is played on the Game Boy Tower in the Pokémon Stadium games, these animations are slowed down significantly, more so than in the edited versions of future releases. This can occasionally cause brief graphical glitches with some moves, such as Body Slam. When played on a Super Game Boy or Game Boy Player, however, the animations are shown in their original unedited form.