Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions

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Ruby and Sapphire redirects here. For the Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion, see EX Ruby & Sapphire (TCG).

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions' boxart, featuring Groudon and Kyogre.
Basic info
Platform: {{{platform}}}
Category: RPG
Players: up to 4 players
Connectivity: None
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: {{{gen_series}}}
ESRB: E for Everyone
Release dates
Japan: November 21, 2002
North America: March 17, 2003
Australia: April 3, 2003
Europe: July 25, 2003
South Korea: N/A
Hong Kong: N/A
Taiwan: N/A
Japanese: Pokémon.co.jp page
Nintendo.co.jp page
English: Pokémon.com page
StrategyWiki has more about this subject:

Pokémon Ruby Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ルビー Pocket Monsters Ruby) and Pokémon Sapphire Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター サファイア Pocket Monsters Sapphire) are the eighth and ninth Pokémon games released in Japan, beginning Generation III on November 21, 2002. Like their predecessors, they are paired versions based in a new region, Hoenn, each having Pokémon exclusive to one game or the other.

Like Gold and Silver before them, Ruby and Sapphire introduced many new Pokémon, with the 135 Pokémon released bringing the total to 386. However, Ruby and Sapphire are not compatible with previous games, due to the difficulty of communications between Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games. Due to this, many internal aspects of Pokémon were able to be expanded, with natures now altering stats, an expanded IV system, and a new cap on a Pokémon's stats based on EVs.

Ruby and Sapphire introduced Pokémon Contests, which allow Trainers to use their Pokémon in a manner aside from battle, and introduce another Battle Tower for competitive play. Like all paired games beforehand, Ruby and Sapphire were followed by a third version, Emerald, two years later, and together became the best-selling Game Boy Advance games of all time.


Boxart of the Japanese versions
201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201

The player starts their journey in Littleroot Town, where the family has just moved in from the Johto Region, after the player’s father, Norman, became leader of the Petalburg Gym. The story starts off with the player riding in the moving van, which arrives in Littleroot. After exiting the van, the player’s mother will explain that they have just arrived at their new home, then together they enter the house, and there will be Machoke movers carrying boxes. The player’s mother will suggest that the player introduce themselves to Professor Birch, who is a friend of Norman’s.

Upon arriving at Birch’s house his wife will greet the player, and upstairs the player will meet their pseudo-rival (the alternate-gender player character of the player) who is the child of Professor Birch; after the introduction, he/she soon leaves to join Birch, who is out in the field. On Route 101 the player finds Birch. He is being chased by a Poochyena, and asks the player to take a Poké Ball out of his bag which is lying on the ground. Here is where the player chooses between Treecko, Torchic, or Mudkip as their starter Pokémon. After choosing, a battle immediately begins with the wild Poochyena. After rescuing Birch, he lets you keep the Pokemon you chose as thanks for saving him. He then tells you to meet up with his kid on Route 103 for pointers on how to be a trainer.

Once the player finds their pseudo-rival on Route 103, they will have their first battle, then return to Birch’s lab where the player receives a Pokédex and some Poké Balls. Outside of the lab, the player’s mother gives them the running shoes. After the player arrives in Petalburg City, they meet with their father Norman at the Gym, where he tells them that he is happy to learn that they have become a trainer like him. During the conversation a local boy named Wally enters the Gym and asks Norman to help him catch a Pokemon. Norman loans Wally a Zigzagoon, and a Poké Ball. He then asks the player to go along and help Wally with his task. On Route 102 Wally catches a Ralts, then the trainers return to the Gym where Wally gives his thanks before being called home by his mother. Norman then encourages the player to travel Hoenn and challenge the eight Gym Leaders, Roxanne, Brawly, Wattson, Flannery, Norman, Winona, Tate & Liza, and Wallace.

The player travels Route 104 through Petalburg Woods and just before the exit to the woods, the player encounters the nefarious Team Aqua (Sapphire) or Team Magma (Ruby). After the battle the grunt reveals that their team is after something in Rustboro City.

At the Rustboro Gym the player battles Roxanne and earns the Stone Badge, afterward the player will run into the Devon Researcher from Petalburg Woods. He tells the player that he has been robbed by Team Magma (in Ruby) or Team Aqua (in Sapphire), and the player must get the Devon Goods back from the evil team. The player heads further onto Route 116 to discover an old man named Mr. Briney, who tells them that Team Magma or Team Aqua has also taken his Wingull, Peeko, hostage and gone into the Rusturf Tunnel. Inside the tunnel the player confronts the grunt and gets back the Devon Goods, as well as rescuing Peeko.

Once the Devon Goods are returned, the researcher asks the player to deliver them to the shipyard in Slateport City. Then the player meets Mr. Stone, the president of the Devon Corporation, who asks that the player stop by Dewford Town and deliver a letter to his son Steven, as thanks Mr. Stone gives the player a Pokénav. The player heads back through the Petalburg Woods to Mr. Briny’s House where he will give the player a ride down Route 105 to Dewford Town. Just north of Dewford on Route 106 is the Granite Cave where Steven is exploring. The player gets the HM05 (Flash) at the entrance, but it will not work without the Dewford Gym's badge. After earning the Cobble Badge from Brawly, the player can now use Flash to find Steven in the Granite Cave, and deliver the letter. Steven rewards the player with TM47, and tells the player that they could potentially become the Pokemon League Champion.

After leaving Dewford Town, Mr. Briney takes the player across Route 107 and Route 108 to Route 109, just south of Slateport City. Once the player arrives in Slateport City, there is a noticeable crowd of Team Aqua or Team Magma grunts blocking the entrance to the Oceanic Museum. When the player tries to drop off the Devon Goods at Stern's Shipyard, they learn that Captain Stern is in the Oceanic Museum. Once the player finds Captain Stern, they are confronted by two grunts, after defeating the grunts Maxie (Team Magma Leader) or Archie (Team Aqua Leader) will show up and tell the player of their plans, before warning not to get in the way again.

After giving the Devon Goods to Captain Stern, the player leaves Slateport City and travels Route 110, after encountering and battling the pseudo-rival, the player arrives in Mauville City. Outside of the Mauville Gym the player finds Wally and his Uncle, Wally challenges the player to a battle to prove to his Uncle that he is ready for the gym. After the battle Wally’s Uncle invites the player to visit Verdanturf Town sometime. Having earned the Dynamo Badge from Wattson, the player heads to Verdanturf Town and uses Rock Smash to clear the previously blocked Rusturf Tunnel, earning the HM04 (Strength) next the player returns to Mauville and travels through Route 111 and Route 112 to the Fiery Path, on the other side of the Fiery Path, the player continues through Route 113 to Fallarbor Town.

Inside the Pokemon Center, the player meets Lanette, who invites them to her house on Route 114. Meteor Falls is at the end of Route 114, inside the cave the player finds Team Magma (Ruby) or Team Aqua (Sapphire). This time they have taken a valuable meteorite from Professor Cozmo. Suddenly the scene is interrupted by the appearance of the opposite-version's team, which causes the thieves retreat to Mt. Chimney with the stolen meteorite. At the top of Mt. Chimney, Team Magma and Team Aqua are fighting over the Meteorite. After fighting an Admin of the primary evil team (Tabitha in Ruby, Matt in Sapphire), the player finds the Leader of the team using the Meteorite in a strange machine, the Leader will then battle the player.

Taking the southern path that was blocked by the battling teams, the player exits Mt. Chimney and reaches Lavaridge Town, home of the Lavaridge Gym. After receiving the Heat Badge from Flannery, the player is given the Go-Goggles by their pseudo-rival, who then suggests that the player challenge their father at the Petalburg Gym. After getting the Balance Badge from Norman, the player visits Wally’s father, who will give HM03 (Surf) to the player.

As the player travels Route 118 (which is just East of Mauville City) they encounter Steven once again. Afterward, the player continues through Route 119 reaching the Weather Institute, which is being attacked by the evil team, as they are seeking the weather Pokémon that the institute has created. After battling the grunts and facing off with an Admin (Courtney in Ruby, Shelly in Sapphire) the player saves the institute and is given the Pokémon Castform as a reward. The Psuedo Rival will battle the player and give away HM02 (Fly) shortly after leaving the Institute.

The player arrives in Fortree City, but cannot challenge the gym because something invisible is blocking the entrance. On Route 120 the player will once again meet Steven who gives the player the Devon Scope, which will allow them to enter the gym. Once the player defeats Winona and receives the Feather Badge, the quest continues through Route 120 and Route 121 to Lilycove City. On Route 121 there will be some grunts from the evil team discussing their plan to go to Mt. Pyre, and upon arriving in Lilycove the player finds it crawling with more grunts. Outside of the Lilycove Department Store, the player will battle their pseudo-rival.

After the battle the player heads to Mt. Pyre to drive off the evil team. At the top of Mt. Pyre the player finds the leader of the team, who has taken the Orb (Red Orb in Ruby, Blue Orb in Sapphire), and proclaims that the young trainer has arrived too late to stop him, then the team heads for Slateport City. The old couple that watches over the orbs beseech the player to stop the evil team, and gives them the partner to the orb which was just stolen. Upon returning to Slateport, the player finds that Capt. Stern has discovered an undersea cavern on Route 128. The evil team then suddenly appears and takes over the captain’s research submarine. The leader of the evil team once again taunts the player, and mentions that the team’s hideout is in Lilycove City. Once the player fights their way through to the center of the hideout, finding the Master Ball along the way, they encounter an Admin (Tabitha in Ruby, Courtney in Sapphire) who battles the player to stall until the leader takes off in the submarine.

The player travels Route 127 to Mossdeep City, Steven’s House is at the northwestern edge of the city where they receive the HM08 (Dive). Next, the player challenges Tate& Liza of the Mossdeep Gym to earn the Mind Badge. Heading back to Route 127 and using Dive the player finds the Seafloor Cavern where the evil team has gone. In the deepest reaches of the cavern, the player has a showdown with the Team Leader, who then uses the Orb to awaken the sleeping Groudon (in Ruby) or Kyogre (In Sapphire), after being awakened, the ancient Pokémon vanishes, and the weather all over Hoenn goes out of control. The leader realizes that he can't control the Pokémon's power at all, and just then the leader of the opposite team appears, and the two bosses team up to try and stop the rampage.

After the bosses leave Steven appears and tells the player to head to Sootopolis City, which is where Groudon or Kyogre has gone. Heading to Route 126 and using Dive the player finds the entrance to Sootopolis City. Inside the city the player finds Steven who introduces them to his friend Wallace, the Sootopolis Gym Leader, who is also entrusted with the duty of protecting the Cave of Origin. Upon seeing the Orb that the player possesses, Wallace grants them entrance to the cave, where the rampaging ancient Pokemon is waiting. After capturing or defeating the Pokemon, the harsh weather returns to normal, and the world is saved.

Outside of the Sootopolis Gym Steven will be waiting to thank the player on his behalf and Wallace’s before the player faces the final gym challenge. With the Rain Badge in tow, the player now has all 8 badges, and heads down Route 128, to Ever Grande City, where the Victory Road, and the final challenge awaits.

The Elite Four are the strongest trainers in the region, and can only be battled by challengers that have proven themselves by collecting the 8 Badges of Hoenn. Sidney, the Template:Type2 trainer is the first battle, followed by Phoebe, who specializes in the Template:Type2. Next is Glacia, who battles using Template:Type2s, and finally, Drake, the Template:Type2 specialist. After the player has beaten the Elite Four, they face the Reigning Pokémon League Champion, who is none other than Steven. The player and the Template:Type2 expert face off in the final battle…

After the battle, Professor Birch and the pseudo-rival arrive to congratulate the player. Birch then examines the player's Pokédex, after that the trainer is registered in the Hall of Fame, and the credits begin. After the credits, the trainer starts back at his/her home in Littleroot Town. Downstairs, Norman will give the character the S.S. Ticket to take the S.S. Tidal over to the Battle Tower The player will also have the ability to encounter Rayquaza at the Sky Pillar, as well as finding either Latios* or Latias* roaming around Hoenn.


"Immerse yourself in the beautiful region of Hoenn, a place of masterful heroes and mysterious teams, of friendship and battles. As the new kid in town, you set off your journey as a Pokémon Trainer. Who knows what wonders and dangers await you? Now it's time to grab your gear and head out on your own..."


Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire continued the tradition allowing players to trade Pokémon between two cartridges, this time via the Game Boy Advance Link Cable. Unlike previous games, Ruby and Sapphire were not backward compatible with Generations I and II. This prompted remakes of the original games, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. Trading between these games, Pokémon Colosseum, and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness and the third Hoenn-based game, Pokémon Emerald, is possible. These games are also the first to support linking between different language versions for trading and battling.

While Ruby and Sapphire cannot trade directly with the Generation IV games Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, a player's Pokémon may be permanently transferred via Pal Park, and some Generation III Pokémon can be found using the dual-slot mode.



There are eight Pokémon Gyms in Hoenn, each with their own type affiliation. The Gym Leaders are Roxanne (Rock), Brawly (Fighting), Wattson (Electric), Flannery (Fire), Norman (Normal), Winona (Flying), Tate and Liza (Psychic) and Wallace (Water).

Elite Four

Ruby and Sapphire introduce a brand new Elite Four syndicate, it is found at Ever Grande City. The Elite trainers are Sidney (Dark), Phoebe (Ghost), Glacia (Ice), and Drake (Dragon); the Champion is Steven, who uses Template:Type2 Pokémon.


Each game features 135 new Pokémon species, and pre-recorded data for each of them, plus the 251 Pokémon of previous generations. Despite this, not all Pokémon are available to the player. Regardless of version; trades must occur between players in order to complete their Pokédex without the use of cheats or glitches. Latios (Sapphire event only), Latias (Ruby event only), Jirachi and Deoxys are the only Pokémon in Ruby and Sapphire that must be acquired through outside means, such as attending Nintendo sponsored event, or using a cheating device.

Version exclusives

273 273 Seedot Grass
274 274 Nuzleaf Grass Dark
275 275 Shiftry Grass Dark
303 303 Mawile Steel
335 335 Zangoose Normal
338 338 Solrock Rock Psychic
383 383 Groudon Ground
270 270 Lotad Water Grass
271 271 Lombre Water Grass
272 272 Ludicolo Water Grass
302 302 Sableye Dark Ghost
336 336 Seviper Poison
337 337 Lunatone Rock Psychic
382 382 Kyogre Water


The PokéNav is received shortly after the beginning of the game from Mr. Stone. It has several functions which are used throughout the game. The PokeNav displays a map of Hoenn, the Condition of the players Pokemon, and also has the feature Trainer’s Eyes, which keeps data on various trainers and alerts the player when the trainers want rematches. The PokéNav also displays the Ribbons that a Pokémon has earned.

New Poké Balls

More specialized Poké Balls were introduced in these games. The Premier Ball is a commemorative Poké Ball, a Repeat Ball makes it easier to catch Pokémon that the player has already caught before, the Timer Ball makes catching Pokémon easier the more turns have passed in the battle, the Nest Ball makes lower-leveled Pokémon easier to catch, while the Net Ball makes Water and Bug Pokémon easier to catch. The Dive Ball has a high catch-rate with sea-dwelling Pokémon, and the Luxury Ball makes the captured Pokémon more comfortable and friendly to its Trainer much more quickly. These balls are sold at various Poké Marts throughout Hoenn.


As with all Pokémon games, Ruby and Sapphire have a fair amount of glitches. One of these is the infamous berry glitch, which made most time based events, such as berry growing, impossible after the game had been owned for a year, or played for over 100 hours. This glitch is able to be corrected, however, by downloading the berry patch from either the Pokémon Colosseum bonus disc, or FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald. These games also host several glitch Pokémon, such as ?????????? or Bad egg.

New features

Ruby and Sapphire introduced a number of features to the Pokémon video game franchise, many of which set a new standard for every game in the series that followed. Ruby and Sapphire expanded the Pokémon Storage System to a much more user-friendly interface. The games also introduced individualized menu sprites for every Pokémon species. Field Weather conditions which can be found along certain routes and activate at the start of battles along those routes; as well as introducing the Hail Weather condition.


Ruby and Sapphire introduced Pokémon Abilities, such as non Flying-type Pokemon being immune to Ground-type attacks, or a Pokemon’s STAB attacks being boosted when their HP is low, even the ability to absorb certain attacks and recover HP or boost a stat. The introduction of abilities added new depths of strategy to the battle system.


Ruby and Sapphire also introduced Natures for Pokémon. Natures shift the stats (excluding HP) of Pokémon by subtracting 10% in one stat, and adding that 10% to another. For example, a Modest nature means 10% will be subtracted from the Attack stat of a Pokémon, and 10% will be added to the Special Attack stat. This mechanic allowed for levels of customization not previously seen.

Double Battles

Ruby and Sapphire are the games that introduced Double Battles. These types of battles are heavier on strategy than usual because each Trainer battles using two Pokemon at a time, so the abilities and moves of all Pokemon on the field have to be considered.

Stat Changes

The EV and IV systems were refined in Ruby and Sapphire, the maximum IV a stat could have was boosted from 15 to 31, and a Pokemon’s gender was no longer determined by the IV of its attack stat, which made it possible to have female Pokemon with maximum attack IVs, something that hadn't been possible before. And Pokémon are limited to a total of 255 effort points per stat, and 510 effort points in total. Maximum stats will be reached with only 252 EVs in a stat, however.

Pokémon Contests

Ruby and Sapphire are the first in the series to offer a secondary means of interacting with Pokémon, in the form of Pokémon Contests. In contests the goal is to show off the abilities of your Pokémon in the various categories (Beauty, Cool, Cute, Smart and Tough) after winning a contest in a certain certain category the player and Pokémon advance to the next rank in that category (Normal, Super, Hyper, and Master). This also brought about the first confectionery goods that could be made by the player and fed to their Pokémon (Pokéblock).


These games are also the first to offer Ribbons to the player’s Pokemon for achieving various goals, or to commemorate special events in the game. Including winning in Pokemon contests, beating the champion, and maxing out the EVs of a Pokemon.


Both games were well received, receiving a perfect ratings from GamePro [1] and Mainia. [2]IGN rated the games at 9.5/10 and commented that they were a "wonderful GBA follow-up to the immense Game Boy blockbuster".[3] However, some reviews criticized the repetitive nature of the games, with Eurogamer commenting that "apart from the occasional tense battle with a Gym Leader and the more sophisticated opponents later on in the game, the constant fighting and collecting mechanic gets very tired, very fast".[4] Though, these are more criticisms of the series in general.

Ruby and Sapphire were the 2nd, and 3rd best selling games of 2003 [5], and received an average score of 82% on Metacritic.[6]


Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire got the 10th spot on IGN's top 25 Gameboy Advance Games of all time.[7]


  • Along with Emerald, these are the only games in the main series where the player cannot choose a name for his/her rival and also the only games to feature both a father and a mother for the main character.
  • These are also the only main series games where the rival is never encountered with his/her starter in its final stage.
  • After release, an unknown person hacked and distributed a version of Sapphire for Game Boy Color.
File:Early Ruby boxart.jpg
Early Ruby box art; note the version logo.
File:Early Sapphire boxart.jpg
Early Sapphire box art; note the version logo.
  • They were released in Japan on the third anniversary of the Japanese release of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
  • Ruby and Sapphire are the first main series games in which Kanto is inaccessible.
  • Players encounter the least amount of in-game trades in Ruby and Sapphire, with only three in total.
  • A special promotional coin featuring Groudon and Kyogre were available with American preorders of Ruby and Sapphire, respectively.
  • The original box art for these games showed the "[NAME] VERSION" below the mascot Pokémon with a regular font as in the Generation I and II games; the final version used the "[NAME] VERSION" logo that was used from then on until HeartGold and SoulSilver. Also, the original boxart for Sapphire showed Kyogre in a slightly different pose from that of the Japanese version.
  • These were the first Pokémon games to have a framerate of 60. This change carried over to FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald. However, the framerate was downgraded to 30 in the Generation IV games.
  • Ruby and Sapphire are the first main series games to drop the slogan Gotta catch 'em all!.
  • Due to the font used in the international versions, the marker for when a move is selected for usage in the battle screen differs from that of the Japanese version. Whereas the Japanese version uses an arrow to indicate the current selected move, like all later releases of the Generation III games would use, the international versions of Ruby and Sapphire utilize a red rectangle with the same purpose.

In other languages

Language Title
Japan Flag.png Japanese ポケットモンスター ルビ・サファイア
France Flag.png French Pokémon Version Rubis et Version Saphir
Germany Flag.png German Pokémon Rubin-Edition und Saphir-Edition
Italy Flag.png Italian Pokémon Versione Rubino e Versione Zaffiro
Spain Flag.png Spanish Pokémon Edición Rubí y Edición Zafiro


Template:Main series

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