Generation IV

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Generation IV
Pokémon Platinum Version
Title screen of Pokémon Platinum Version
Debut EN April 22, 2007
JA September 28, 2006
Pokémon 493 (107 new)
Main games Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
Region(s) introduced Sinnoh
Other RPGs HeartGold and SoulSilver
Contains remakes of Generation II
Battle arena games Battle Revolution
Storage games Ranch (Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Japanese Platinum only)
Side games Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, Ranger: Shadows of Almia, Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky, Rumble, Mystery Dungeon (WiiWare), PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure, Ranger: Guardian Signs
End EN March 4, 2011 (1412 days)
JA September 18, 2010 (1451 days)

The fourth generation (Japanese: 第四世代 fourth generation) of Pokémon games, also known as the DS Pokémon series, and commonly referred to by fans as Generation IV (Japanese: 世代IV Generation IV), is the fourth set of Pokémon games released.

It started with the games Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, followed by Pokémon Platinum and later Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver). This generation also included the games Pokémon Battle Revolution and My Pokémon Ranch.

Terminology

In the manuals of Pokémon Black, White, Black 2, and White 2, the Generation IV core series games are referred to as the DS Pokémon series:

  • "You can transfer Pokémon caught in the Nintendo DS Pokémon series Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver Versions (referred to collectively below as DS Pokémon series) to Pokémon Black Version 2." (Pokémon Black 2 manual, page 10)

History

Like Generation II followed from Generation I, Generation IV follows from Generation III, although it is unlike Generation II in that it is not a direct sequel (Hoenn is inaccessible in all Generation IV games). Like previous generations, Generation IV focuses on one main region across three games, the Sinnoh region featured in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum on the Nintendo DS, released in 2006 and 2008 (and 2007 and 2009 outside Japan). Also like Generation II, the Generation IV games retain much compatibility with their Generation III counterparts, though in a different manner, and introduce many new Pokémon which are related to those of the previous three generations.

Much like Generation III remade the Generation I games, the Generation II games also received much anticipated remakes in the form of HeartGold and SoulSilver, and through details revealed in the five main games, Generation IV is thus known to be contemporaneous with Generation II, occurring three years after Generation I and Generation III. Like all generations, the handheld games are joined by home console games; Pokémon Battle Revolution and My Pokémon Ranch were released for the Wii during this generation.

Advances in gameplay

Much like how Generation II enhanced Generation I mostly by building on its features, Generation IV builds upon features introduced in Generation III. Advancements introduced in Generation IV include:

  • The addition of 107 new Pokémon, bringing the total to 493. These include new evolutionary relatives of previously introduced Pokémon, such as of Electabuzz, Magmar, and Eevee.
  • The addition of 113 new moves, bringing the total to 467.
  • The addition of 47 new Abilities (and removal of the unused Cacophony), bringing the total to 123. Many older Pokémon can now have one of two Abilities, rather than the single Ability they could have in Generation III.
  • Four more boxes in the Pokémon Storage System, bringing the total to 18, which allow the player to store a total of 540 Pokémon in the PC.
  • Another new region to explore, Sinnoh, yet again with its own Gym Leaders and Elite Four. Player characters are again changed.
  • Four new variants of Poké Ball, in addition to the seven introduced in Generation III.
  • A new villainous team, Team Galactic, who intend to use the power of either or both of Dialga or Palkia to destroy and recreate the Pokémon universe.
  • The return of the real-time and days of the week system from Generation II.
    • Additionally, many overworld locations have two songs associated with them instead of one. The song that plays depends on whether the player is present during the daytime or the nighttime.
  • The overworld is rendered in three-dimensions instead of solely sprites, though it is designed to maintain the aesthetic of previous games.[1]
  • Moves are now designated physical or special based on the move itself, rather than the move's type. There is also now the category of status that includes moves that do not do direct damage such as Toxic, Recover, and Destiny Bond.
  • Prior to the shutdown of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, Pokémon battles and trades were able to be conducted over the Internet.
  • When items are bought and sold, the item's proper plural is used, rather than a conditional (s). In past generations, the conditional (s) rendered selling some items, such as the Silk Scarf or DeepSeaTooth, with "SILK SCARF(S)" and "DEEPSEATOOTH(S)" used, regardless of the quantity sold. Selling one of these items now renders as "Turned over the DeepSeaTooth and received $100," while selling multiple renders as "Turned over the DeepSeaTeeth and received $200."
  • Many words previously displayed with all letters being capital are now displayed correctly, such as "SolarBeam" instead of "SOLARBEAM" or "Pokémon" instead of "POKéMON." Names of Pokémon and menu items, however, remain fully capitalized.
  • The Pokédex is now updated to show Pokémon forms, including back sprites.

Alterations from Generation III

  • A significant Pokémon battle mechanic is altered in which, after a Pokémon faints, its Trainer is no longer prompted to immediately switch in its replacement, instead waiting until the turn is resolved before the Trainer is prompted to do so. This prevents a Pokémon from being knocked out on the same turn that the Pokémon it replaced was knocked out, except by entry hazards, and also makes it possible for a move to miss because it has no target.
  • In a single battle, if a Pokémon faints before its opponent moves, the opponent can still move in that turn.
  • When multiple Pokémon are manually recalled on the same turn, faster Pokémon get recalled before slower Pokémon.
  • New and enhanced versions of Pokémon Contests, featuring more rounds and a different appeals process.
  • Secret Bases have been moved to the Underground, where players can interact over local wireless connections.
  • The Bag can now hold all kinds of items without limit.
  • Some Pokémon now display differences in appearance based on their gender.
  • The games run at a framerate of 30 frames per second as opposed to 60.
  • Players are now able to run inside all buildings.
  • Pokémon hatch from Eggs at level 1 instead of at level 5.
  • Abra, Machop, Geodude, Omanyte, Kabuto, Kabutops, Dunsparce, Silcoon, Dustox, Lileep, Cradily, Anorith, and Armaldo's base experience values are changed.
  • Misdreavus's EV yield is changed from 1 Special Attack and 1 Special Defense to only 1 Special Defense.
  • Roselia's EV yield is changed from 1 Special Attack to 2 Special Attack.
  • Double Battle Trainers can now walk towards the player to initiate a Double Battle.
  • The text color of NPC dialogue has changed from being either red or blue based on the NPC's gender, as in FireRed and LeafGreen, to gray, as in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. Colors are instead used to highlight important information.
  • Pokémon sprites are 80 by 80 pixels instead of 64 by 64.
  • Throwing a Poké Ball at a trainer’s Pokémon no longer consumes the item, though the action still uses the player’s turn.

Further additions in Platinum

Further additions in HeartGold and SoulSilver

  • The re-introduction of the seven Poké Balls made from Apricorns, which had been unavailable since Generation II.
  • The first Pokémon in the party can now follow the player outside of battle almost anywhere in the overworld.
  • The Pokéathlon games are featured in place of of Contests.
  • The ability to register two key items instead of just one.
  • The Pokédex can now show the different forms of Castform and Cherrim, whereas in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, it could not.
  • The introduction of Flat Battles, a type of battle in which all Pokémon that are above level 50 temporarily become level 50.
  • A dynamic camera is used in the overworld, which is noticeable when entering some buildings or going to certain locations. This went on to be greatly expanded in Generation V.
  • The stats affected by any given Nature are highlighted on each Pokémon's summary screens, with the increased stat being shown in red text and the decreased stat being shown in blue text.
  • A redesign of the interface that displays the items in the Bag, to facilitate access to items.
  • The menu now appears constantly on the bottom screen. A button is added to the menu allowing players to run without holding the B button.

Regions

Sinnoh

Sinnoh
Main article: Sinnoh

Like Generation III, Generation IV introduces a new region disconnected from all previous ones, the Sinnoh region, found far north of Kanto and Johto. Since it is so far north, snow can be found on its northern tip, as well as in the mountainous center of the region. Despite the region's northern location, the Battle Zone has a tropical climate, and overall the climate varies greatly throughout the region. Much of the western half of the region is rural, while its east is comparatively urban. The southern area of Sinnoh is lush and green with big cities and small towns.

Sinnoh is said to be the first region to be created in the Pokémon world, and is home to several locations that have certain mythology or history associated with them, both natural and human influenced sites.

First partner Pokémon

At the beginning of the journey, players must choose from the Grass-type Turtwig, the Fire-type Chimchar, and the Water-type Piplup to defend themselves from a wild Starly in Diamond and Pearl, or be given one of the three by Professor Rowan directly in Platinum.

387Turtwig Pt.png
Turtwig
390Chimchar Pt.png
Chimchar
393Piplup Pt.png
Piplup
Grass Fire Water
Grotle Grotle Monferno Monferno Prinplup Prinplup
Grass Fire Fighting Water
Torterra Torterra Infernape Infernape Empoleon Empoleon
Grass Ground Fire Fighting Water Steel

Gym Leaders

Like most other regions, Sinnoh has its own set of eight Gym Leaders. This set specializes in the same types as Gym Leaders from other regions, though not in the same order. Like always, Badges and TMs are given away once Gym Leaders are defeated.

Sinnoh League
Generation IV Region: Sinnoh
Gym Leader
Japanese
Location
Japanese
Type Badge
{{{size}}}
Roark
ヒョウタ Hyouta
Oreburgh City
クロガネシティ
Kurogane City
Rock Coal Badge.png
Coal Badge
{{{size}}}
Gardenia
ナタネ Natane
Eterna City
ハクタイシティ
Hakutai City
Grass Forest Badge.png
Forest Badge
{{{size}}}
Maylene
スモモ Sumomo
Veilstone City
トバリシティ
Tobari City
Fighting Cobble Badge.png
Cobble Badge
{{{size}}}
Crasher Wake
マキシマム仮面 Maximum Mask
Pastoria City
ノモセシティ
Nomose City
Water Fen Badge.png
Fen Badge
{{{size}}}
Fantina
メリッサ Melissa
Hearthome City
ヨスガシティ
Yosuga City
Ghost Relic Badge.png
Relic Badge
{{{size}}}
Byron
トウガン Tougan
Canalave City
ミオシティ
Mio City
Steel Mine Badge.png
Mine Badge
{{{size}}}
Candice
スズナ Suzuna
Snowpoint City
キッサキシティ
Kissaki City
Ice Icicle Badge.png
Icicle Badge
{{{size}}}
Volkner
デンジ Denzi
Sunyshore City
ナギサシティ
Nagisa City
Electric Beacon Badge.png
Beacon Badge

Johto

Johto
Main article: Johto

Much like Generation I's version of Kanto was featured a second time in Generation III, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver caused Johto to be featured a second time in Generation IV.

First partner Pokémon

Just like in the Generation II games, Professor Elm offers Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile to the player as protection on an errand to Mr. Pokémon's house on Route 30.

152Chikorita.png
Chikorita
155Cyndaquil.png
Cyndaquil
158Totodile.png
Totodile
Grass Fire Water
Bayleef Bayleef Quilava Quilava Croconaw Croconaw
Grass Fire Water
Meganium Meganium Typhlosion Typhlosion Feraligatr Feraligatr
Grass Fire Water

Gym Leaders

As would be expected, Johto's Gym Leaders are the same as before, but many give out different TMs than they gave out in Generation II.

Johto League
Generation IV Region: Johto
Gym Leader
Japanese
Location
Japanese
Type Badge
{{{size}}}
Falkner
ハヤト Hayato
Violet City
キキョウシティ
Kikyō City
Flying Zephyr Badge.png
Zephyr Badge
{{{size}}}
Bugsy
ツクシ Tsukushi
Azalea Town
ヒワダタウン
Hiwada Town
Bug Hive Badge.png
Hive Badge
{{{size}}}
Whitney
アカネ Akane
Goldenrod City
コガネシティ
Kogane City
Normal Plain Badge.png
Plain Badge
{{{size}}}
Morty
マツバ Matsuba
Ecruteak City
エンジュシティ
Enju City
Ghost Fog Badge.png
Fog Badge
{{{size}}}
Chuck
シジマ Shijima
Cianwood City
タンバシティ
Tanba City
Fighting Storm Badge.png
Storm Badge
{{{size}}}
Jasmine
ミカン Mikan
Olivine City
アサギシティ
Asagi City
Steel Mineral Badge.png
Mineral Badge
{{{size}}}
Pryce
ヤナギ Yanagi
Mahogany Town
チョウジタウン
Chōji Town
Ice Glacier Badge.png
Glacier Badge
{{{size}}}
Clair
イブキ Ibuki
Blackthorn City
フスベシティ
Fusube City
Dragon Rising Badge.png
Rising Badge

Kanto

Kanto as seen in HeartGold and SoulSilver
Main article: Kanto

In its fourth consecutive appearance, Kanto returns in HeartGold and SoulSilver much in the same way as it did in Generation II (as a post-League area).

Gym Leaders

Kanto's Gym Leaders are the same as in the original Gold and Silver, changing slightly from the group who were there in Generation I and Generation III. All Kanto Gym Leaders give TMs, unlike in Generation II.

Indigo League
Generation IV Region: Kanto
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 Matisse
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}}}
Janine
アンズ Anzu
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
グレンタウン
Guren Town
Fire Volcano Badge.png
Volcano Badge
{{{size}}}
Blue
グリーン Green
Viridian City
トキワシティ
Tokiwa City
Various Earth Badge.png
Earth Badge

Other Generation IV games

Pokémon Battle Revolution features a Pokémon Stadium-like arena for battle, allowing Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver to link to it through wireless communications between the Nintendo DS and Wii, much like previous generations' games would link to Colosseum, XD, Stadium, and Stadium 2. Battle Revolution also features online battles with players around the world via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.

My Pokémon Ranch lets players of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl deposit their Pokémon, via wireless communication, to a ranch owned by Hayley, who will also bring Pokémon to the ranch. Players can interact with up to 1,000 of their deposited Pokémon. An update for this game enables support for Platinum, as well as allowing storage for 500 more Pokémon, however, it was not released to players outside Japan, while players of HeartGold and SoulSilver cannot connect with the game at all.

Generation IV also included 3 new Mystery Dungeon games available worldwide and 3 exclusively available in Japan. Explorers of Time, Darkness, and Sky were available worldwide. The Mystery Dungeon games exclusive to Japan were Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Keep Going! Blazing Adventure Squad!, Let's Go! Stormy Adventure Squad!, and Go For It! Light Adventure Squad!.

Pokémon Rumble was introduced in Generation IV.

Other games released during Generation IV include: Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure, Pokémon Trading Card Game Online, Intellectual Training Drill Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Letter and Number Intelligence Game, and Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Search for Pokémon! Adventure in the Maze!.

Sinnoh thematic motif

The theme of this generation is history of the universe, and myths and legends. The three first partner Pokémon's evolutions have references to myths and legends in themselves—for example, Torterra is based on the legend of world turtle, Empoleon has references to the god Poseidon, and Infernape is based on Sun Wukong. This also reflects on its legendary Pokémon, as Arceus is the literal creator of the universe and created the rulers of time, space and anti-matter, who are Dialga, Palkia and Giratina, respectively. All three of them are involved in Sinnoh myths, as are Uxie, Azelf and Mesprit: the embodiments of knowledge, willpower and emotions.

Some standard Pokémon are also connected to myths and legends, such as Drifloon and Drifblim that in folklore are said to take children and people to the Underworld and Spiritomb who is said to be made up of 108 spirits.

Some towns still preserve their history and myths. Celestic Town is said to be present since the beginning of Sinnoh, and has a shrine that dates back to ancient times, as well as a cave painting. Some other examples are the Solaceon Ruins, which contain Unown and is said to be as old as the ruins of Johto; the Snowpoint Temple, which was created long ago to contain Regigigas; Eterna City, which contains a statue of Dialga/Palkia; Floaroma Town, which was said to be a wasteland long ago, but then was transformed into a beautiful landscape by Shaymin; Mt. Coronet; and the Spear Pillar. Canalave City houses the first Pokémon library, which transcribes many of the legends of the region. Sinnoh was meant to establish the origin of the Pokémon universe and be more mysterious and historic than other regions.

The titles of Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum are named as representative of love, happiness, and beauty, respectively.[2]

Reception

Although many of the games' features iterated heavily on those introduced prior, the ability to play Pokémon games over Wi-Fi was accompanied by numerous changes that added greater depth to the battle system. Examples include the Physical-Special split and the introduction of powerful items, such as the Choice Scarf, Choice Specs, and Life Orb. Furthermore, many of the new Pokémon were either evolutions of existing Pokémon or Legendary Pokémon, which meant that many of the new additions had relatively high stats overall. The newfound popularity of competitive battling was also due to the GTS increasing the chance of finding a Pokémon with Pokérus, in addition to Power items, which made EV training significantly easier. Due to these additions, this generation is widely praised by competitive battlers. The GTS also paved the way for the Masuda method through the transaction of foreign Pokémon, and this, in addition to the Poké Radar, made it far easier to acquire Shiny Pokémon.

After Diamond and Pearl, Platinum continued improving the series, adding a new Battle Frontier, as well as introducing many new additions to the games (such as VS sprites and animated battle sprites for certain important NPCs, such as Gym Leaders and Rival). Platinum is also an important part of the series' continuity, as the storyline of the game is referenced in Pokémon Black and White, and some of the newly-introduced characters played notable roles during the following generations. HeartGold and SoulSilver brought older and newer players back to the Johto region with improved graphics and sound, as well as other additions to the storyline and characters. These three games continued to lower the barrier of entry to competitive play by modifying breeding mechanics to make it easier to breed Pokémon with certain IVs and including Move Tutors that could teach the same moves to multiple Pokémon. Platinum was the first Pokémon game to be played in official World Championships, with the 2009 World Championships establishing the Video Game Championship.

Title screens

English title screens

Pokémon Diamond Pokémon Pearl Pokémon Platinum
DiamondTitle.png PearlTitle.png PlatinumTitle.png
Pokémon HeartGold Pokémon SoulSilver
HeartGoldTitle.png SoulSilverTitle.png

Japanese title screens

Pokémon Diamond Pokémon Pearl Pokémon Platinum
Japanese DiamondTitle.png Japanese PearlTitle.png Japanese PlatinumTitle.png
Pokémon HeartGold Pokémon SoulSilver
Japanese HeartGoldTitle.png Japanese SoulSilverTitle.png

Trivia

  • This is the longest Pokémon generation in Japan, falling only 10 days short of being four years long.
  • Every player character in all of the Generation IV games has a Wii in their room, referencing its status as the current Nintendo console during the generation.
  • This is the only generation:
  • This is the first generation to include:
  • This generation introduced the largest number of evolutions for Pokémon of previous generations, at 29.
  • This generation features the largest number of playable core series regions, with three.
  • This is the first generation officially released in South Korea by Nintendo's local subsidiary there. Even though the Generation II games Pokémon Gold and Silver were released in South Korea on April 24, 2002, they were a result of Nintendo partnering with Daewon as Nintendo of Korea would not be established until July 7, 2006.[3]
  • This was the last generation to introduce:
  • This generation can be seen as a parallel to Generation III in terms of the games released.
    • The first paired games of the generation introduced a new region with a third game released: Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire with Emerald as the third for Generation III and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl with Platinum as the third for Generation IV.
    • A remake of the region two Generations before are released as a pair: Kanto in Generation III through FireRed and LeafGreen and Johto in Generation IV through HeartGold and SoulSilver.
      • In the remakes, Pokémon in the Regional Pokédex obtain new sprites.
      • All Pokémon that were unobtainable in the initial games' debut in the generation can be caught in the remakes.
    • Both Generations received a Pokémon Ranger spin-off.
  • No Pokémon introduced in this generation have regional forms, making it the only generation released prior to the introduction of regional forms to have this distinction.

References


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
Generation VII: Sun & MoonUltra Sun & Ultra Moon
Let's Go, Pikachu! & Let's Go, Eevee!‎
Generation VIII: Sword & Shield (The Isle of Armor / The Crown Tundra)
Brilliant Diamond & Shining PearlLegends: Arceus
Generation IX: Scarlet & Violet (The Teal Mask / The Indigo Disk)
Legends: Z-A
Pokémon game templates


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