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- For the Ribbons in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, see Sun Ribbon and Lunar Ribbon.
Ash and May holding the Terracotta Ribbon
A Ribbon (Japanese:??? ???) is a special item, which can be awarded to a Pokémon for a variety of reasons. Ribbons stay on a Pokémon permanently even across generations and can be checked in different ways depending on the game version.
In the games
Ribbons were introduced in Generation III, where they primarily serve as rewards for competing in Pokémon Contests, though certain Ribbons are obtainable by defeating the Elite Four or from special events, among others. They are viewable from the PokéNav in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. While in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen they aren't visible, their data is still kept, and the correct Ribbons appear on a Pokémon if transfered to the Hoenn games or those from the following generations.
In Generation IV and V, more Ribbons were introduced, where they are viewable in the Pokémon's summary screen. While primarily obtained in Super Contests, Ribbons could still be obtained in a variety of ways.
In Generation V, Ribbons are kept, and though they aren't obtainable anywhere in-game, they can still be seen in the summary screen if obtained in Generation IV or from an event, which are the only ways allowed to obtain Ribbons. Pokémon Black and White introduced a few new Ribbons, which are only obtainable from events, as well as a categorization scheme, separating them as League, Contest, Tower, Memorial, and Gift Ribbons.
- See also: List of League Ribbons
League Ribbons (Japanese:??? ???) are awarded to every Pokémon in the player's current party when he or she defeats the Elite Four in Generation III or in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. There are two distinct League Ribbons, making this category have the least amount of Ribbons.
- See also: List of Contest Ribbons
Contest Ribbons (Japanese:??? ???) are awarded to the winning Pokémon in any of Hoenn's Contests and Sinnoh's Super Contests. A different Ribbon is awarded for winning in each of the four ranks of the five different categories (Cool, Beauty, Cute, Smart, and Tough), making a total of 20 Ribbons in each type of Contest. As those awarded in Contests and Super Contests are considered separate, there are a total of 40 Contest-related Ribbons obtainable in the games, making this category have the most amount of Ribbons.
In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the Normal Rank Ribbons for all five Hoenn Contests can be obtained at the Verdanturf Town Contest Hall while the Super Rank Ribbons at Fallarbor Town. The Hyper Rank Ribbons are obtained in Slateport City, and the Master Rank Ribbons are at Lilycove City. In Emerald, all are obtained at Lilycove City.
In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, all twnety Ribbons for the four ranks of Super Contest (Normal, Great, Ultra, and Master) are obtained at the Hearthome City Contest Hall.
Contest Ribbons are the only type of Ribbons found in the games and featured in the anime.
- See also: List of Tower Ribbons
Tower Ribbons (Japanese:??? ???) are awarded to Pokémon used to complete certain challenges in any of Hoenn's, Sinnoh's, or Johto's Battle Towers. There are a total of eight Tower Ribbons.
There are two Ribbons from the Battle Tower found in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. They are awarded for clearing the Level 50 Battle Tower and the Level 100 Battle Tower in Ruby and Sapphire, or Open Level Battle Tower in Emerald. Ribbons are awarded to party Pokémon upon completion of the eighth consecutive Battle Tower challenge (defeating 56 trainers in a row) and each challenge thereafter if a Pokémon does not already have a Ribbon. Defeating fifty trainers in a row but losing before 56 does not award any Ribbons.
In Generation IV, two new Ribbons replace the two given out in Hoenn, though they serve the same purpose. Four additional Ribbons are given out after winning fifty times in the Double Battles, in Multi Battles against the CPU, in Multi Battles with someone, or reaching Rank 5 in the Wi-Fi mode.
- See also: List of Memorial Ribbons
Memorial Ribbons (Japanese:??? ???) are normally given after fulfilling an in-game accomplishment. If ever every Pokémon in the player's party can obtain the Ribbon, they first Pokémon is the only one given the Ribbon. There are a total of fifteen Memorial Ribbons.
- See also: List of Gift Ribbons
Gift Ribbons (Japanese:??? ???) are normally found already with Pokémon given to the player, such as event Pokémon. Unlike most other Ribbons, Gift Ribbons are not simply given to a Pokémon already under the player.
There are "Pokémon Event" and "Pokémon Festival" Ribbons which have been distributed at Pokémon events and festivals. The description of these Ribbons may be "A commemorative Ribbon obtained at a mystery location." if the player has yet to obtain a Pokémon with one of these Ribbons themselves from an event - only obtaining a Pokémon with one from a trade.
Gift Ribbons available after Generation III normally prohibit Pokémon with them from being traded in the Global Trade Station.
- See also: List of other Ribbons
Many Ribbons were made available as prizes from tournaments, among many events, in Generation III and only in that Generation; they could not be transferred to other Generations.
On the other hand, six Ribbons available in Generation III and/or IV data have no longer been made available in Generation V.
Some of these Ribbons may have been awarded to players who won tournaments at Pokémon events in Japan. Other Ribbons were never handed out.
There are Ribbons for Regional, National, and Global tournaments for 2003, 2004, and 2005. Each has a Champion Ribbon, a Runner-Up Ribbon, and a Semifinalist Ribbon.
Additional Ribbons are:
- Pokémon Battle Cup Participation Ribbon
- Pokémon League Advance Cup
- Pokémon Tournament Participation Ribbon
Pokémon Center Ribbons
There are Ribbons for the Pokémon Centers in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and New York.
- Summer Holidays Ribbon
- Winter Holidays Ribbon
- Spring Holidays Ribbon
- Evergreen Ribbon
- Special Holiday Ribbon
- Darkness Tower Clear
- Red Tower Clear
- Blackiron Tower Clear
- Final Tower Clear
In the anime
Unlike the games, Ribbons are not attached to individual Pokémon. Instead, they are more akin to Badges earned at Gyms. They are considered proof that a Coordinator has won a particular Contest. Unlike with Badges, Coordinators only get a single chance of earning a particular Ribbon in a certain Contest within a particular time period. They also must compete with other Coordinators to earn it.
Once a Coordinator earns five Ribbons, they are able to enter and compete in the Grand Festival, the Contest equivalent of the Pokémon League tournament. Ribbons also do not expire, and multiple years can be used to collect the five needed ribbons for the Grand Festival. However, after competing in the Festival, the five cannot be used in another Grand Festival. In addition, Ribbons can only be use in the Grand Festival of the region where they are earned, with the exception of some.
- Three Ribbons (Contest locations unknown)
Dawn holding the Daybreak Ribbon
- The Aqua Ribbon is an anime-exclusive prize which is given upon winning the Wallace Cup. It can be used for entering the Grand Festival in any region if it is won.
- The Terracotta Town Ribbon is a commemorative ribbon awarded to the winner of the unofficial annual Contest in Terracotta Town. It cannot be used to enter a Grand Festival.