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- This article is about Pokémon Contests in Generations III and VI. For the Contests in Generation IV, see Pokémon Super Contest.
participating in a Pokémon Contest
Pokémon Contests (Japanese: ポケモンコンテスト Pokémon Contest) 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 one is the best of its category.
In the games
Pokémon Contests are in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, and are set to return in their Generation VI remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. A Coordinator enters a 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.
In the first round, the four Pokémon are rated based on their condition. The audience votes on the Pokémon that looks the coolest, most beautiful, cutest, smartest, or toughest, depending on the category of the Contest. Attributes that are liked by the audience and the Pokémon's overall luster also beneficially influence the votes. To raise a Pokémon's condition, Coordinators prepare Pokéblocks of specific colors and feed them to their Pokémon. How well a Pokémon does in this phase is shown by the number of hearts that appear over the audience members' heads.
Within the game itself, the audience score is based on the sum of the following: the full value of the condition in the Contest's primary attribute, 50% of the value of the condition in each of the Contest's secondary attributes, and 50% of the value of the Pokémon's sheen. Scarves held by the Pokémon raise the attribute by 20 points. Thus, if the Pokémon is holding a Scarf corresponding to the Contest's primary attribute, it will gain 20 points in the final total, but if the Pokémon is holding a Scarf corresponding to either Contest's secondary attribute, it will gain 10 points in the final total.
The table below shows the minimum number of points required to achieve a given number of hearts.
| Normal Rank
| Super Rank
| Hyper Rank
| Master Rank
| Link Contest
- Main article: Appeal
In the secondary judging, the four Pokémon take turns appealing (i.e. using certain moves in front of an appointed judge). They are able to affect the performances of each other. Effects on other Pokémon include reducing their number of hearts, making them nervous, and so forth.
Move combinations score extra hearts. Moves that are of the same 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 Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, this portion is known as the Talent Round, during which Coordinators can Mega Evolve their Pokémon when the crowd's excitement reaches its peak.
After five rounds of appealing has passed, the four Pokémon's results are shown. Here, stars represent how well the Pokémon did in the primary judging, while hearts indicate how well the Pokémon did in the secondary judging; both fill up the four Pokémon's meters. Each star represents 63 points obtained in the voting phase (rounded up to the nearest star), while each heart represents 40 points (four appeal hearts) obtained in the appeal phase.
The Pokémon whose meter becomes the highest (has the highest cumulative score, formed from the voting score and double the value of the appeals score) is announced as the winner of the Contest, and is awarded a Ribbon. A small portrait of the winner is painted and placed in the Contest Hall. In the Master Rank, if the Pokémon has already won the Ribbon for that category, the player will be given a Luxury Ball. A painter will paint a large painting if the winner of a Master Rank Contest wins with at least 800 points. These larger paintings are displayed in the Lilycove Museum.
There are four ranks of Pokémon Contests: Normal, Super, Hyper, and Master. Every Contest, as well as having one of the five categories, has one of these four ranks. In the Normal Rank, any Pokémon may enter. Any Pokémon that won a Normal Rank Contest may move up to the Super Rank in the same category. Likewise, a Super Rank winner can move up to the Hyper Rank, and a Hyper Rank winner can advance to the Master Rank in the same category.
In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Contests of each rank are spread around the Hoenn region. In Pokémon Emerald, however, Contests of all four ranks are held in the Lilycove City Contest Hall.
Players may participate in multiplayer Contests by speaking to the Contest Hall receptionist on the right.
In Ruby and Sapphire, Contests can only be held with four players. However, in Emerald, there are two multiplayer modes: E-Mode (Emerald Mode) and G-Mode (Global Mode). E-Mode allows two to four Emerald players to participate in Contests. If there are less than four players, the remaining slots will be filled in by computers. In G-Mode, four Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald players can participate.
In the anime
Pokémon Contests were first introduced early on in the Advanced Generation series, and, according to SS024, Contests originated in the Hoenn region. In them, Coordinators show how beautiful and skilled their Pokémon can be. A Contest is divided into two parts. In the first round, Coordinators have their Pokémon performing their moves in order to showcase their beauty and talent. The appeals are awarded points by judges, usually Mr. Contesta, Mr. Sukizo and the resident Nurse Joy. The Coordinators with the highest scores proceed to the next round. The number of Coordinators that advance to the second round is different for each Contest. The second round is the Battle Round, in which two Coordinators compete in a Pokémon battle while continuing to show off their Pokémon's beauty and skill. Each battle lasts five minutes and the object of the battle is to decrease the opponent's points. Coordinators lose points when their Pokémon are hit by an attack, when their Pokémon's attack fails, when the opponent's Pokémon performs a particularly beautiful move or when the opponent's Pokémon uses their Pokémon's attack to its own advantage. A battle can also end when one of the Pokémon is unable to battle, called Battle Off by the judges. In this case, the Coordinator with the remaining Pokémon is declared the winner.
A Coordinator needs a Contest Pass from a particular region to enter Contests there. Coordinators who win five Ribbons of a specific region 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. Also, Ribbons do not expire, and multiple years can be used to collect the five needed for the Grand Festival. However, after being used to enter a Grand Festival, the five cannot be used again. Winners of the Grand Festival earn the Ribbon Cup and become Top Coordinators.
Nando's Pokémon sent out with Seals
In Hoenn, Coordinators have to use the same Pokémon for both rounds—although there are exceptions—and the master of ceremonies is Vivian Meridian. When May participated in the Hoenn Grand Festival, two other Nurse Joys from Hoenn came as guest judges. The event was held in Slateport City and ran for three episodes.
In Kanto, Coordinators may enter different Pokémon for each round and the master of ceremonies is Lilian Meridian. The Kanto Grand Festival was held at Indigo Plateau during May's participation. For the competition, the Hoenn announcer, Vivian Meridian, joined the panel of judges while three other Nurse Joys gave scores. Jessie, as Jessadiah, also hosted the event with Lilian. The competition also ran for three episodes.
In Sinnoh, Coordinators enter one Pokémon for each round and generally dress up to compete. They also use Ball Capsules and Seals to enhance a Pokémon's entrance. The Sinnoh Contests include both Single and Double Performances, with the Grand Festival featuring the Double Performance. The master of ceremonies for these Contests is Marian. During Dawn's participation in the Sinnoh Grand Festival, Top Coordinator and Gym Leader Fantina joined the judges as a guest judge. The event was held at Lake Valor and ran for four episodes.
Locations hosting Contests
Inside a Contest Hall in Hoenn
Location of the Hoenn Grand Festival
Inside a Contest Hall in Kanto
Location of the Kanto Grand Festival
Inside a Contest Hall in Sinnoh
Location of the Sinnoh Grand Festival
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
The Pokémon Contests first appeared, and have a central role, in the fourth chapter. Somewhat experienced Pokémon Coordinator Ruby moved to the Hoenn region and ran away from home to participate in Pokémon Contests there, since his father was against him competing in such events. Ruby arranged a bet with Sapphire, vowing to win all the Contest Ribbons in the region in 80 days. He was able to win every Ribbon, thus completing his part in the bet.
The formula of competition follows the one set in the games closely, sharing its two segments.
- 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, and Master) are used in English versions. This was rectified in Generation IV in the ranks of Super Contests (Normal, Great, Ultra, and Master).
- For Mounting a Coordinator Assault! and Arrival of a Rival!, Professor Oak's lectures are about the Appeals and Battle Rounds of Pokémon Contests, respectively. He writes this Pokémon senryū about the Appeals Round: ポケモンが かれいにまわるよ コンテスト The Pokémon are spinning magnificently; 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 It's a five-minute battle for show; a Contest Battle.
- Interestingly, the move Struggle has Contest stats, despite the fact that Struggle cannot be used in Contests, as it can only be used if the attacking Pokémon has no PP.
- This is most likely to prevent the game from crashing if it is hacked in, since, through normal gameplay, it would be impossible to use Struggle within normal Contest rounds. The Contest stats seem to be the defaults.
- Contests are one of the few places in the Pokémon games one can find nicknamed Pokémon. All Pokémon used by NPC Coordinators have nicknames.
- In the anime, both series that featured Contests featured 15 Contests each.
In other languages