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Generation III

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Generation III
Pokémon Sapphire Version
Title screen of Pokémon Sapphire Version
Debut En March 19, 2003
Jp November 21, 2002
Pokémon 386 (135 new)
Main games Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald
Region introduced Hoenn
Other RPGs FireRed and LeafGreen
Contains remakes of Generation I
Battle arena games Colosseum, XD
Storage games Box
End En April 22, 2007 (1495 days)
Jp September 28, 2006 (1407 days)

The third generation of Pokémon games, also sometimes known as the advance or advanced generation, is the third set of Pokémon games released, and is described by some to be a "resetting" of the series.

Centering around Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald on the Game Boy Advance, released in 2002 and 2004 respectively (2003 and 2005 outside of Japan), Generation III broke from the continuous storyline that had been established between Generation I and Generation II, opting instead to move players to the Hoenn region, an island region disconnected from Kanto and Johto. The games themselves are incompatible with the previous two generations as well, due to using 4 hexadecimal places instead of 2 for all Pokémon, initially causing many complaints due to the unavailability of many popular Generation I and II Pokémon in Ruby and Sapphire. This problem was remedied, however, between the release of Hoenn's paired versions and third version, with remakes of Generation I's Pokémon Red and Green appearing as Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen on the Game Boy Advance, as well as Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness on the GameCube.

Details in the Hoenn- and Kanto-based games hint that the storyline of Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald is contemporaneous with that of FireRed and LeafGreen (and due to this, contemporaneous with Generation I as well), placing Generation III three years before Generation II and Generation IV, themselves contemporaneous. It is unknown where the storylines of Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness fall in the timeline, being five years apart from each other but making no reference to their time period relative to any of the main series games.

Advances in gameplay

Through its incompatibility with Generation I and Generation II, Generation III enhanced the Pokémon world the most yet, bringing about the most changes to the world of Pokémon. The advances include:

  • The addition of 135 new Pokémon, the most added since Generation I (at the time of its release), bringing the total to 386. Many new Pokémon have previously unseen type combinations, while only two of them are related by evolution to older Pokémon.
  • Two new forms of Unown are also introduced.
  • The addition of 103 new moves, bringing the total to 354.
  • Pokémon may now have one or two of 77 different Abilities which can change the tide of battle or affect out-of-battle gameplay.
  • The Pokémon Storage System has changed from a text-based interface to a full-color graphical user interface. Boxes, while remaining at 14, now have 10 extra spaces, allowing for storage of 140 additional Pokémon (for a total of 420 Pokémon).
  • The introduction of Pokémon Contests, where Pokémon show off their style in one of five Contest conditions, with Contest stats enhanced by Pokéblocks. Through this and other methods Ribbons can be won for Pokémon, which they will retain when transferred to a Generation IV game.
  • A brand-new region, Hoenn, with its own set of eight Gym Leaders and Elite Four. Player characters are also different from before.
  • Seven new Poké Ball variants, replacing those found in Johto.
  • New villainous teams, Team Aqua and Team Magma, whose focus is on capturing the legendary Pokémon Kyogre and Groudon, respectively.
  • Weather conditions, introduced before, can now be found on the field and activate at the start of battle, while one more, hail, has been added.
  • Double Battles, where both sides use two Pokémon at a time, introduced.
  • Communication capabilities with the e-Reader to activate certain events.
  • All handheld Generation III games have a framerate of 60, allowing for smoother animations.
  • Link trades and battles are made possible between Japanese and international releases due to the use of a worldwide character set. Due to the fact that online trading was introduced only in Generation IV, however, most are not made aware of this.

Major alterations from Generation II include

  • A complete overhaul of the Pokémon data structure; Pokémon now have an individual personality value which can range up to a number above four billion. Abilities and natures, also newly introduced, are determined based on this value, as is a Pokémon's gender, while the IV system has been overhauled for greater variance (0-31 rather than 0-15 as it was before). Shininess is now based on a calculation between the personality value and Original Trainer's Trainer ID number and secret ID number with the same rarity.
  • An overhaul of the Berry system introduced in Generation II: old Berries rejected in favor of Berries which grow individually as plants and can be picked and planted elsewhere. The effects of the first ten new Berries are similar to the ten Generation II Berries.
  • Each Pokémon has its own status screen sprite, for ease of use in the party screen or PC.

Further additions in FireRed and LeafGreen include

  • Wireless communication between games (requires adapter boxed with FireRed and LeafGreen).
  • The ability to move multiple Pokémon in the PC at once.
  • The Sevii Islands, a collection of nine islands that contain many Pokémon otherwise only found in the Johto region.

Further additions in Emerald include

Alterations from Generation II

  • The function of the built-in clock was greatly reduced. There are no cosmetic changes during different times of day and Pokémon appearances are not affected by time. Also, the day of the week is no longer tracked.
  • The seven Poké Balls made from Apricorns, along with Apricorns themselves, are unavailable in Generation III.

Regions

Hoenn

Hoenn
Main article: Hoenn

The Hoenn region, situated somewhat southwest of Johto, was introduced in Generation III. It is more tropical than either Kanto or Johto, featuring rainforests, deserts, and volcanic caves, as well as areas deep underwater.

This region's geography is mostly rural on the interior of the continent, with major cities springing up near its ample coasts. Routes between the cities can be treacherous, with densely-forested area covering much of the land. Legendary Pokémon are said to have created the region long ago, with its shape reminiscent of a yin-yang symbol reflecting the balance between land and sea.

Several ancient ruins are found around the region; their purpose remains to be discovered by the player, though ancient writings found deep beneath the sea south of the region indicate that within them are ancient Pokémon who were sealed away due to their power.

Starter Pokémon

Like before, the starter trio follows the Grass-Fire-Water alignment, with new Pokémon Treecko, Torchic, and Mudkip being the three Pokémon the player has to choose from to save Professor Birch from a wild Poochyena (Zigzagoon in Emerald) at the start of the game.

Gym Leaders

Being that there are only 17 types, and Kanto and Johto, during Generation I and II, had Gyms specializing in 16 of them, all of the types of the Gym Leaders of Hoenn are the same as that of a Gym Leader in one of the previous regions. As before, all Gym Leaders give out Badges and TMs on their defeat.

Hoenn League
Gym Leader
Japanese
Location
Japanese
Type Badge
{{{size}}}
Roxanne
ツツジ Tsutsuji
Rustboro City
カナズミシティ
Kanazumi City
Rock Stone Badge.png
Stone Badge
{{{size}}}
Brawly
トウキ Tōki
Dewford Town
ムロタウン
Muro Town
Fighting Knuckle Badge.png
Knuckle Badge
{{{size}}}
Wattson
テッセン Tessen
Mauville City
キンセツシティ
Kinsetsu City
Electric Dynamo Badge.png
Dynamo Badge
{{{size}}}
Flannery
アスナ Asuna
Lavaridge Town
フエンタウン
Fuen Town
Fire Heat Badge.png
Heat Badge
{{{size}}}
Norman
センリ Senri
Petalburg City
トウカシティ
Tōka City
Normal Balance Badge.png
Balance Badge
{{{size}}}
Winona
ナギ Nagi
Fortree City
ヒワマキシティ
Hiwamaki City
Flying Feather Badge.png
Feather Badge
{{{size}}}
Tate and Liza
フウとラン Fū and Lan
Mossdeep City
トクサネシティ
Tokusane City
Psychic Mind Badge.png
Mind Badge
Spr RS Wallace.png
Wallace
ミクリ Mikuri RS
Spr E Juan.png
Juan
アダン Adan E
Sootopolis City
ルネシティ
Rune City
Water Rain Badge.png

Rain Badge


Kanto

Kanto
Main article: Kanto

Kanto, which in Generation II lacked some features from its original appearance, returned in a state closer to its original form in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, with all features from Generation I brought back and improved.

Starter Pokémon

As the Generation III games taking place in Kanto are remakes of Generation I games, the starters are the same as in that generation; they are the Grass-type Bulbasaur, the Fire-type Charmander, and the Water-type Squirtle.

Gym Leaders

Like the starter Pokémon, the Kanto Gym Leaders are also the same as they were before, with each giving out a TM for the player to use freely as well as their Badge.

Indigo League
Gym Leader
Japanese
Location
Japanese
Type Badge
{{{size}}}
Brock
タケシ Takeshi
Pewter City
ニビシティ
Nibi City
Rock Boulder Badge.png
Boulder Badge
{{{size}}}
Misty
カスミ Kasumi
Cerulean City
ハナダシティ
Hanada City
Water Cascade Badge.png
Cascade Badge
{{{size}}}
Lt. Surge
マチス Matis
Vermilion City
クチバシティ
Kuchiba City
Electric Thunder Badge.png
Thunder Badge
{{{size}}}
Erika
エリカ Erika
Celadon City
タマムシシティ
Tamamushi City
Grass Rainbow Badge.png
Rainbow Badge
{{{size}}}
Koga
キョウ Kyō
Fuchsia City
セキチクシティ
Sekichiku City
Poison Soul Badge.png
Soul Badge
{{{size}}}
Sabrina
ナツメ Natsume
Saffron City
ヤマブキシティ
Yamabuki City
Psychic Marsh Badge.png
Marsh Badge
{{{size}}}
Blaine
カツラ Katsura
Cinnabar Island
グレンじま
Guren Island
Fire Volcano Badge.png
Volcano Badge
{{{size}}}
Giovanni
サカキ Sakaki
Viridian City
トキワシティ
Tokiwa City
Ground Earth Badge.png
Earth Badge


Sevii Islands

Main article: Sevii Islands

The Sevii Islands, appearing only in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, are a smaller region without a Pokémon League where the player can journey later in the game. These islands make available many Generation II Pokémon to players of the Generation III games, and through events, allow for the capture of Generation II's version mascots Ho-Oh and Lugia and the mysterious Pokémon Deoxys.

Other Generation III games

Pokémon Colosseum, for the Nintendo GameCube, features a new land called Orre where several Generation II and Generation III Pokémon are altered by two teams called Cipher and Team Snagem. Players must "snag" the "Shadow Pokémon" and cure them of their darkness. Once this is completed, the Pokémon may be transferred to the other Generation III games. Pokémon Colosseum is the first 3D Pokémon RPG. This game also features an advanced Stadium Mode similar to those of the Pokémon Stadium games.

Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire is another Generation III game for the Nintendo GameCube. It allows:

  • Storage of up to 1500 Pokémon from Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen and Emerald Versions.
  • Playing Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire on the television through emulation.

Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, also for the Nintendo GameCube, follows a storyline that takes place a few years after the story of Colosseum. It allows for snagging of rare Generation I, II, and III Pokémon as well, and includes a difficult-to-purify final Shadow Pokémon, a Shadow Lugia.

Six spin-off Pokémon games are based on Generation III: Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, Pokémon Dash, Pokémon Ranger, Pokémon Trozei!, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team.

Discussion of Generation III

While the opinion of the fandom shifts from time to time, Generation III is notable for drawing the most criticism for the series yet. The sense of a reboot when players were thrust into Hoenn (which excludes 184 of the older 251 Pokémon from availability) with no way to recover their old Pokémon drew ire from some fans. The game also saw a jump in newly-introduced legendary Pokémon, with 10 more introduced, a significant increase from Generation II, which only introduced 6.

Later games improved this, however, with Emerald's return to Hoenn being a welcome addition to the series (and including the first Battle Frontier in the series as well). FireRed and LeafGreen brought back nostalgic fans who decided to pass on Hoenn's primary paired versions, as well as bringing new fans to the Kanto region, only previously available in its fullest state on the Game Boy.

Hoenn thematic motif

The third generation of Pokémon games were more directed towards nature and relationships. The three starters were collectively more symbolic to their elements than previous starters: Mudkip is based on a fish which thrives only in Water, Torchic is a chick (which, in the real world, needs warmth in order to hatch) holding its Fire internally, and Treecko is a gecko that lives only in forests with Grass. The main antagonists were either Team Magma and/or Team Aqua who want to expand the land or sea respectively. Once they awaken one of the legendary Pokémon Kyogre or Groudon, the world is flooded by rain or dried by drought. It's up to the player to set nature back on course by defeating their version's mascot or capturing it. Hoenn's people are far more attuned to nature than previous regions: Fortree City is built alongside Pokémon in the trees, while Pacifidlog Town is built on wooden rafts in the sea atop a Corsola colony, even though Corsola cannot be found there in the games. With Secret Power, a player can make a Secret Base out of trees, caves, or clumps of grass.

There are far more Pokémon that share relationships with other Pokémon in this generation of games, especially the legends. The legendary golems are more obvious of this; however, the version mascots all share a relationship as the weather trio. Latios and Latias are both Eon Pokémon that must be chased around the region. Pokémon such as Lunatone, Illumise, Plusle, and Wailord are related to other Pokémon, namely Solrock, Volbeat, Minun, and Relicanth, in relationships ranging from explicit to loose symbiosis. Zangoose is rivaled by Seviper.

Japanese title screens

Pokémon Ruby Pokémon Sapphire Pokémon Emerald
Japanese RubyTitle.png Japanese SapphireTitle.png Japanese EmeraldTitle.png
Pokémon FireRed Pokémon LeafGreen
Japanese FireRedTitle.png Japanese LeafGreenTitle.png

Trivia

  • Generation III introduced the most Abilities to the series, with 77.
  • Generation III was the first generation to:
  • Generation III does not introduce any evolved forms of Pokémon from previous generations (a trait shared with Generation V), with the only cross-generational relatives being baby Pokémon Azurill and Wynaut.
  • Generation III introduced the most Pokémon that are unable to evolve, with a total of 21 at the time.
  • Generation III has the largest number of total games, with fifteen. It is tied with Generation IV for the largest number of main series games, with five each.
  • Starting with Generation III, Ken Sugimori's art style shows noticeable differences from that of Generation I and II. This can be seen when comparing the artwork for Red, Ethan, and Generation I and II Pokémon from their original games to that of those games' remakes.
  • Most of the Generation III Pokémon that are not in the Sinnoh Pokédex have only one sprite in the Generation IV games. Generation IV Pokémon received sprite updates in Pokémon Platinum, while Generation I and II Pokémon received updates in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
  • Almost all the backsprites of non-Generation III Pokémon are revamps of the backsprites in the Generation II games.
  • Generation III is the longest generation in North America, lasting slightly over four years.
  • All of Generation III's games for the Game Boy Advance were in the Top 10 selling games for the GBA, with Ruby and Sapphire coming first, FireRed and LeafGreen second, Emerald third, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team coming ninth.[citation needed]
  • Generation III is the only generation not able to communicate with games from the previous generation.


Generation I: Red & GreenBlue (JP)Red & BlueYellow
Generation II: Gold & SilverCrystal
Generation III: Ruby & SapphireFireRed & LeafGreenEmerald
Generation IV: Diamond & PearlPlatinumHeartGold & SoulSilver
Generation V: Black & WhiteBlack 2 & White 2
Generation VI: X & YOmega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
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