Core series

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018Pidgeot.png It has been suggested that this article be moved to Main series.
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018Pidgeot.png It has been suggested that this article be moved to Pokémon series.
Please discuss whether or not to move it on its talk page.

The title screen of the English Pokémon Red Version

A version of the Pokémon games is a game, up to present, always released on a Nintendo handheld system and developed by Game Freak, which follows the now-standard model of a player's journey through a specific region to collect all of the species of Pokémon there. Collectively, the twenty games (twenty-one in Japan and eleven in South Korea) released with the label Version after the game's title are known by fans as the main series of Pokémon games. In Japan, this series of games is officially named Pocket Monsters Series (Japanese: ポケットモンスターシリーズ).[1]

Main series model

Content model

While there are no strict rules that make a game a main series game, and previously assumed rules are continuously broken, the games generally have a similar plot and mechanics.

The player begins the game in a small town or city, having no Pokémon of their own. Through a course of events, he or she will receive a starter Pokémon from the region's Pokémon Professor; the starter Pokémon is always a choice of three, a Grass type, Fire type, or Water type, and the character who will become the player's rival will choose or already have the Pokémon whose type is super effective against that of the player's choice. The exceptions to this are Yellow, in which the player starts with Pikachu and the rival starts with Eevee, and Black and White, where one of the player's rivals, Bianca, starts with the Pokémon whose type is not very effective against the player's.

It is at this point where the storyline of all these games diverge. The player is allowed to journey across the entire region, capturing any wild Pokémon he or she chooses to, and using a party he or she assembles to take on the eight Gym Leaders of the region. Alongside encounters with both other Trainers and repeated interactions with their rival, the player must also stop the plans of a villainous team, whose plans often involve the manipulation of legendary Pokémon.

After all eight Gym Leaders have been defeated, the player can enter the Pokémon League, where the Elite Four and Champion await challengers.

Though the game can be considered over as soon as the player has defeated the Champion, there is still post-game content. Often there is a post-game plotline and locations and facilities that could not be previously accessed. The overarching goal is the completion of the Pokédex; after this has been done, the player will receive a diploma for completing the regional Pokédex and another for completing the National Pokédex (only one diploma is awarded in games with only one Pokédex). Starting in Generation III, a new task is added in order to fully complete the game: obtaining all Trainer Card stars.


Main article: Version mascot

The boxart for each game features one Pokémon as a mascot, always introduced during the generation that game is a part of, or the generation that the original game was a part of in the case of remakes. This Pokémon is referred to by fans as a version mascot, and beginning in Generation II, has always (with the exception of FireRed and LeafGreen, remakes of the Japanese Red and Green from Generation I) been the legendary Pokémon available in that game at the climax of the storyline.

Release model

While releases continue to break patterns, there is an overall model that the release of new main series games follows.

When a generation of Pokémon games begins, a pair of games is always released. These paired versions feature virtually the same storyline as each other, but the Pokémon available differ, and some other mechanics are usually slightly different. This encourages trading, as it is required in order to complete the Pokédex.

A third game is later released with several minor storyline tweaks, but taking place in the same region and following the same basic storyline. Like the first two games, it will always lack some of the Pokémon present in the other games, but will also contain some of those species missing from either of them; thus, a player of the third version must link together with the original pair of games to complete his Pokédex as well.

Generation III was the first generation to involve the release of two sets of paired versions: first Ruby and Sapphire, then FireRed and LeafGreen. It was also the first generation that did not contain a third version for one of its pairs: Ruby and Sapphire were later joined by Emerald, but FireRed and LeafGreen did not receive a third version, perhaps because they were remakes of the Generation I main series games. This pattern was later mimicked in Generation IV, except in that the third version to the paired Diamond and Pearl, Platinum, was released before the Generation II remakes, HeartGold and SoulSilver.

Generation V is still currently in progress and has seen the releases of two sets of paired versions, Black and White and Black 2 and White 2, the latter pair being a sequel to the former, and neither pair having a third version, further breaking with tradition.

Generation VI will start in October 2013 with the release of Pokémon X and Y.

List of main series games

Paired versions Solitary versions
Generation I Japan
Generation II
Generation III
Generation IV
Generation V
Black 2
White 2
Generation VI



Template:Main series