Pokémon Mezastar (Japanese: ポケモンメザスタ) is an arcade game developed by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. and Marvelous, which also developed the Pokémon Battrio, Pokémon Tretta, and Pokémon Ga-Olé arcade games. Pokémon Mezastar was officially announced in the May 2020 issue of CoroCoro released on April 15, with more details revealed in a press release on August 12. It was intended to be launched in Japan during summer 2020, but was delayed until September 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The game incorporates similar features to the developer's previous titles and continues the use of physical peripherals, in this case tags, to operate Pokémon in battles. These battles are conducted with three Pokémon on each side and take place in a variety of environments. Players can capture Pokémon while playing the game, which are dispensed as tags from the machine.
Each Pokémon Mezastar machine consists of two adjacent stations that share a large monitor. This monitor displays the user interface for individual stations, simulating the borders of the display with on-screen graphics while single-player games are in operation. Players can also partake in cooperative battles, during which the interface is expanded to cover both stations. This was previously featured in the arcade title Pokémon: Battle Nine, despite being promoted as a first for a Pokémon arcade machine.
The control panel for each station can be divided into two levels. The upper level contains three blue lanes where Pokémon tags can be placed and a Multi-Scanner to the left that can be used to scan a variety of QR codes. The lower level contains triangular "L" and "R" buttons, which are primarily used to cycle through options, and circular "1" and "2" buttons, which are used to confirm commands and press at certain periods during the game. The "1" and "2" buttons are surrounded by circular displays that show various graphics throughout gameplay. The section between the two levels contains six recesses that can be used to hold tags.
The tags used in Pokémon Mezastar are stadium-shaped plastic tiles measuring 36×64×3.5mm. Each tag features a single Pokémon species together with a set of its stats, type(s), and move(s) as derived from the core series of Pokémon games. This data is present on the QR code on the reverse of each tag, which is read into the game when it is placed in one of the console lanes. One edge of each tag also has a colored collection number and Pokémon name as to identify them when stored side-on.
Pokémon have an Energy (Japanese: ポケエネ PokéEne) value on the obverse of tags, which gives a rough indication as to their overall strength, much like levels in other Pokémon games. Their main stats are detailed on the reverse of tags. The yellow HP stat determines how much damage Pokémon can sustain before they can no longer partake in battle. The red Attack and Defense stats respectively determine how powerful Physical moves used by Pokémon are and how susceptible they are to damage from them. The blue Special Attack and Special Defense similarly determine the power of and vulnerability to Special moves. The green Speed stat determines which Pokémon attacks first on their turn and how easily they may dodge an incoming attack.
Types and moves
The types attributed to Pokémon are indicated by symbols to the right of their name on the obverse of tags. A Pokémon may have either one or two types, and determine what types of move it will be weak against or resistant to in battle. The types featured in Pokémon Mezastar are the same as those found in the core series and share their individual strengths and weaknesses. Most Pokémon can use only one move, as opposed to four in the core series, though some also have access to an additional move. The move name and its type are present on the reverse of tags. The damage category of the move is also highlighted and linked to the relevant stats.
|Pokémon Mezastar types|
Pokémon in Pokémon Mezastar are divided into Grades, as indicated by the star rating on tags. Grades 2 through 4 are considered standard rarities and include tags with portrait illustrations. These tags also have colored backgrounds on the obverse and colored sections on the reverse based on Poké Balls to denote their overall strength: Grade 2 Pokémon feature red sections, referencing standard Poké Balls; Grade 3 Pokémon feature blue sections, referencing Great Balls; and Grade 4 Pokémon feature yellow sections, referencing Ultra Balls. Grade 5 Pokémon are called Star Pokémon and have landscape illustrations with a Holofoil treatment. These tags also have a purple-colored section on the reverse, referencing Master Balls. Star Pokémon are typically fully evolved and may also have additional abilities, such as being able to Mega Evolve or have access to a Z-Move. Grade 6 Pokémon are called Superstar Pokémon, which have Holofoil landscape illustrations and a rainbow color scheme. The tags themselves are black and lamé-treated as opposed to the regular gray of lower Grades. Superstar Pokémon mostly comprise Legendary and Mythical Pokémon.
|Pokémon Mezastar Grades|
Starting a game
The core gameplay of Pokémon Mezastar takes place on an island with multiple environments connected by railway. At the center of this island is a small settlement that serves as the main hub. Upon inserting ¥100, players can view the two available game modes: Get in Battle! (Japanese: バトルでゲット！) and Get Now! (Japanese: いますぐゲット！). Get in Battle! is the main game mode where players can battle and catch numerous Pokémon over a minimum of three turns; Get Now! mode is a mini-game where players throw Quick Balls at patches of grass to catch random Pokémon.
Get in Battle! mode
Selecting Get in Battle! mode will move the camera left to an information screen where players can select an area they would like to visit. The island has three selectable areas, which encompass the environments of two out of the three high-Grade Boss Pokémon that appear on the map. Players can cycle between areas using the "L" and "R" buttons and can confirm their selection with either the "1" or "2" button. Upon selecting an area, they will be taken to a habitat where one of the Boss Pokémon resides.
The camera will pan over the battle area before introducing the Boss Pokémon, immediately identified by a colored aura depending on its Grade: Grade 5 Pokémon have a red aura and Grade 6 Pokémon have a purple aura. Two more Pokémon—typically weaker than the Boss Pokémon—are then introduced either side of it. Players will then be prompted to insert a tag in each lane on the console. If they do not have enough tags, they can bypass the timer by pressing the "1" or "2" button and the game will quickly cycle through random Pokémon for each one they are short. Pressing the "1" or "2" button again will select a Pokémon for the player to use. Once ready, pressing the "1" or "2" button will introduce the player's Pokémon to the field.
At the start of the first turn, one of the opposing Pokémon will come forward to attack. Players can then select one of their Pokémon to attack, either by moving a tag upwards in its respective lane or by using the "L" and "R" buttons. Players can gauge how their Pokémon will fare against the opponent Pokémon with icons that appear either side of the graphic that divides the battlefield. If a Pokémon's move type has an advantage over a Pokémon's type, a Supereffective! (Japanese: ばつぐん！) icon is displayed; if the move has a disadvantage, a Not Very Effective (Japanese: いまひとつ) icon is displayed; if the move has no advantage or disadvantage, a Normal (Japanese: ふつう) icon is displayed. Players can employ a strategy based on the type matchup against the presented Pokémon but must also be mindful of the matchups against the other two opponents, as a Pokémon's attack will attempt to damage all three. The color of the dividing graphic also denotes which Pokémon will attack first based on their Speed stat: blue indicates the player's Pokémon will attack first, while red indicates the opposing Pokémon will attack first.
Once ready, pressing the "1" or "2" button will commit that Pokémon to battle. Flash Chance! (Japanese: せんこうチャンス！) can trigger on occasions when an opponent would attack first, which prompts players to press the "1" and "2" buttons as fast as possible in effort to raise the dividing graphic and turn it blue. If successful, the player will attack first instead. Before their Pokémon executes its move, the player can increase its power with the Attack Roulette (Japanese: こうげきルーレット). This roulette has values ranging from 5 to 50 depending on the Grade of Pokémon and can be stopped by pressing the "1" or "2" button.
During the player's Pokémon attack animation, the player will be prompted to press the "1" and "2" buttons as fast as possible in effort to increase their attack power further. Segments on the displays encircling these buttons light up and change color as the player presses them, going from red to blue, then to yellow, then to purple, and finally rainbow once the maximum bonus is attained.
Each of the player's Pokémon have an HP bar. The opposing Pokémon have a similar HP gauge in the form of the Get Gauge, which is filled each time the opposing Pokémon take damage. When a Pokémon uses a move, the damage dealt to each opposing Pokémon is the difference between the base Attack/Special Attack of the attacking Pokémon (plus/minus any attack bonuses or type advantages/disadvantages) and the base Defense/Special Defense of the opposing Pokémon. Completely filling the Get Gauge of either of the opposing Pokémon will make them unable to battle, and thus easier to catch—a state called Get Chance (Japanese: ゲットチャンス) in-game. Conversely, if the HP bar of any of the player's Pokémon is completely drained, they will be unable to battle. If this occurs, the player can use another Pokémon by placing a new tag in the necessary lane or select one from the random Pokémon the game quickly cycles through. Players can use up to six tags in any one game.
The first turn concludes when either both attacking Pokémon have used their move or if one of the attacking Pokémon is unable to battle. If any opposing Pokémon entered Get Chance during that turn, a phase named Get Time! (Japanese: ゲットタイム！) follows, in which the player can insert ¥100 to capture a Pokémon. If they do, a Ball Roulette (Japanese: ボールルーレット) containing Poké Balls, Great Balls, Ultra Balls, and a Master Ball appears and rotates until the "1" or "2" button is pressed. The chances of a successful capture depend on the Grade of each opposing Pokémon, how full their individual Get Gauges were, and the type of ball thrown. As currency is required before Poké Balls are thrown, at least one Pokémon is guaranteed to be captured. The captured Pokémon is then dispensed from the machine as a physical tag. If more than one Pokémon is captured, the player can select which Pokémon to dispense. If the player still has usable Pokémon after the first turn, the second will commence.
The second and third turn of Get in Battle! mode follows the same pattern as the first, with another Pokémon from the opposing team coming forward to attack. If the player opted to go through Get Time!, any Pokémon that entered Get Chance on the previous turn will be replaced, otherwise they will remain unable to battle for the current turn. Pokémon that attacked on the previous turn will suffer from Tiredness, which reduces their Speed stat and, if selected, prevents use of the Attack Roulette. It is therefore advised to use different Pokémon over two turns. Pokémon recover from Tiredness after one turn of non-use.
If the player did not catch any Pokémon during their Get in Battle! mode session, it will conclude after the third turn. Capturing at least one Pokémon will add a bonus fourth turn to the session; capturing two will add a bonus fifth turn. If no opposing Pokémon are in the Get Chance state after the last turn has finished, Last!! Get Time! (Japanese: ラスト！！ゲットタイム！) will follow, allowing players a final opportunity to catch one of the opposing Pokémon. A final phase named Bonus!! Get Time! (Japanese: ボーナス！！ゲットタイム！) follows the final turn; players are given the option to spend more currency and capture more Pokémon or to end the mode and view their results. If the player chooses to insert ¥100, a Quick Ball is thrown at one of the five grass patches that appear and a random Pokémon will be dispensed. Players can do this up to four more times and can exit at any time.
The player's score takes into account a number of factors, including: the number of Pokémon still usable, how full the Get Gauge of each opposing Pokémon was, and the Grade of both the player's and opposing Pokémon. If the player has a Memory tag and a Partner Pokémon that is not fully evolved, they will also earn Star Points (Japanese: スターポイント) for every 10,000 points in their score and between 10 and 70 Star Points for any Pokémon caught, depending on their Grade.
Special Tag Battle
A Special Tag Battle (Japanese: スペシャルタッグバトル) is a cooperative battle against a Superstar Pokémon that can take place at any time while both stations on a machine are in use. Players in the middle of a battle can continue on their station or stop and take part in the Special Tag Battle. If only one player opts to take part, they will challenge the Superstar Pokémon alone without the Special Tag Battle features. If both players take part, the on-screen partition disappears and the battle is displayed fullscreen.
Both players can then set three new Pokémon as they would at the start of a normal battle and have three turns to fill the Superstar Pokémon's Get Gauge as much as possible. An Attack Roulette is displayed for each player once they select a Pokémon to attack—the highest value of the two will be the bonus damage applied. When it is the turn for their Pokémon to attack, both players can press their respective "1" and "2" buttons to increase their attack power further. If the Superstar Pokémon's Get Gauge is almost full at the start of a turn, the game may display the message Everyone Attack (Japanese: みんなでこうげき) and prompt the players to move all of their tags up in each lane. When ready, both players can press their "1" and "2" buttons to unleash consecutive attacks in effort to completely fill the opponent's Get Gauge.
Get Time! follows the battle and both players have the option to insert ¥100 to throw a Poké Ball at the Superstar Pokémon. If both opt to do so, a Ball Roulette will be displayed for each player. Similarly to the Attack Roulette, the highest grade Poké Ball chosen will be the one thrown. Unlike normal battles, no capture is guaranteed, and if the Superstar Pokémon breaks free, each player receives a consolation Quick Ball to use in Bonus!! Get Time! If the Superstar Pokémon is successfully caught, both players receive a copy of the tag.
Trainer and Battle
Trainer and Battle (Japanese: トレーナーとバトル) was introduced in the second set and, unlike the comparable feature in Pokémon Ga-Olé, is incorporated into Get in Battle! mode rather than existing as a separate game mode. Trainer and Battle can activate randomly when a player selects to play Get in Battle! mode, and a Trainer will challenge the player to a battle. The player can decline and proceed with Get in Battle!, or they can accept and face the challenger in a stadium setting.
Each set includes a base lineup of five Trainers and each one has a difficulty rating based on the Grade of Pokémon in their team. A battle consists of five turns and can only be won by defeating all the opponent's Pokémon. The first three Trainers can be faced randomly, and if the player does not have a Memory tag, will be the only Trainers the player can face. If the player does have a Memory tag, defeating the first three Trainers will allow them to challenge a stronger fourth Trainer. Defeating the fourth will allow them to challenge the strongest Trainer of the set. Players with Memory tags will also earn a trophy for each Trainer they defeat. While Trainer and Battle itself does not offer any opportunity to capture Pokémon, Bonus!! Get Time! follows the conclusion of the battle.
A Memory tag (Japanese: メモリータグ) allows players to record their activity in Pokémon Mezastar and fully utilize a number of the game's features. Memory tags are the same size and shape as regular Pokémon tags but are colored red and, unlike other progress-tracking peripherals in previous arcade titles, can be directly dispensed from the machine. If a player does not have a Memory tag, the game will give them the option to purchase one from the title screen for ¥200. Memory tags can also be found in promotional Pokémon Mezastar products. Standard Memory tags have a limit of 200 saves; Trial Memory tags have a limit of 10 saves. Once the maximum allocation of data saves has been reached, players can transfer their data to a new Memory tag.
When a player first registers a Memory tag, they can select a male or female avatar and one of five color options for it. They can also input their age in years and their birth month. The larger QR code on the reverse of Memory tags can be used to register the player on the Mezastar Club, where they can review their profile, see which Pokémon they have encountered and caught, and receive Support Pokémon Tickets that can be used with the console Multi-Scanner to unlock exclusive Support Pokémon.
More features were added to the Mezastar Club with the launch of the fourth set, including the ability to customize a player's avatar with Fashion Items (Japanese: きせかえアイテム) and use Battle Tickets (Japanese: バトルチケット). Battle Tickets could be unlocked on the Mezastar Club either by defeating all Trainer and Battle opponents for a particular set or by waiting a certain time after the set's launch. Battle Tickets with special opponents could also be redeemed from the Mezastar Club from time to time. Each Battle Ticket displays the name of the Trainer, the player's highest score against them, the overall rank of that score, and a QR code that could be used with the console Multi-Scanner to battle them. The ticket also tracks any Fashion Items a player can earn from them. Typically, one item can be unlocked by defeating the Trainer for the first time, and one or a number of special items can be unlocked by completing a set of three challenges. The challenges for each Trainer usually consist of the following:
- Win a battle without losing a single Pokémon
- Win a battle only using tags from a specified set (normally the set in operation at the time)
- Win a battle using a team of Pokémon that does not exceed a specified combined Energy value
Challenges can be completed in any order and in any number of attempts. Players can update the appearance of their avatar through the Mezastar Club, which subsequently updates on any machines after scanning their Memory tag.
To use a Battle Ticket, players are required to activate Memory tag mode (Japanese: メモリータグモード) on consoles by pressing the "1" and "2" buttons simultaneously on the title screen. After scanning their Memory tag, players can navigate to the "code scan" option and scan the Battle Ticket QR code. A battle could be started by inserting ¥100.
Memory tags also allow players to have a Partner Pokémon that can be used as a Support Pokémon from the start of a battle. Each set offers three new Pokémon to choose from, all of which are the lowest in a three-stage evolutionary line. Players can evolve their Partner Pokémon by earning Star Points during gameplay. If a player has no Partner Pokémon in their roster, they can select one to use right away, otherwise they will have to hatch their selection from an Egg by earning Star Points. A player can continue to add Pokémon to their Partner Pokémon roster each time their current one reaches its final evolution stage. If all available Partner Pokémon in a set are fully evolved, Star Points will no longer be awarded. Having a Memory tag also adds an extra Master Ball to the Ball Roulette during the Get Time! and Last!! Get Time! phases.
Support Pokémon (Japanese: サポートポケモン) can deal extra damage to opponents during battle by using a move of their own before the player's Pokémon attacks. Any Pokémon caught during a Get in Battle! mode session will be added to the player's Support Pokémon roster for potential use in subsequent turns. Players with Memory tags will start the first turn with a random Support Pokémon from their current Partner Pokémon roster. Pokémon unlocked with Support Pokémon Tickets are also added to the roster at the start of the first turn. For the duration of the first set, players could scan Grade 4 or 5 disks featuring a Meteor Mark from the final Pokémon Ga-Olé set and add the portrayed Pokémon to the Support Pokémon roster as well. Players can have up to five Support Pokémon in one session; if any more Pokémon are caught, they will replace the first one on the roster.
If players have any Support Pokémon during a battle, the Support Roulette (Japanese: サポートルーレット) will appear after a bonus has been selected from the Attack Roulette. This roulette includes two Attack Up (Japanese: こうげき力アップ) arrow spaces and one space for each accumulated Support Pokémon. Selecting an Attack Up space will increase the value from the Attack Roulette by 10, while selecting a Support Pokémon space will summon that Pokémon to attack. Players can press the "1" and "2" buttons during the animation just as they can when their main Pokémon attacks, giving them more time to attain a maximum power bonus.
Mega Evolution Chance!
Mega Evolution Chance! (Japanese: メガシンカチャンス！) will activate when players use a Pokémon that can Mega Evolve in battle. This causes two Mega Evolution symbols approach the center of the screen from opposing ends. If the player presses the 1" or "2" button when the symbols merge, the Pokémon will Mega Evolve. Mega Pokémon also receive a Mega Evolution Bonus, which increases the value of the largest spaces on the Attack Roulette. A Pokémon will remain in its Mega Evolved state while it can still battle. Only one Pokémon may Mega Evolve per session.
Like their core series counterparts, Z-Moves are powerful moves some Pokémon can perform in addition to their standard move. These moves are present underneath a Pokémon's regular move on the reverse of tags. Z-Move Chance! (Japanese: Zワザチャンス！) can activate when an eligible Pokémon is selected to attack. If the player decides to use a Z-Move, they can increase its power by pressing the appropriate console buttons following the on-screen prompts. The Pokémon will then attack with its Z-Move. Players can also quickly press the 1" and "2" buttons during the animation that plays to increase its power further as they can with a normal move. If a Pokémon uses a Z-Move, the game will forego the Attack Roulette and Support Roulette for that turn. Z-Moves can only be used once per session.
Dynamax Chance! (Japanese: ダイマックスチャンス！) will activate when players use a Pokémon that can Dynamax or Gigantamax in battle. Before attacking, players will be presented with a roulette containing two fail spaces and four Dynamax mark spaces. If players have a Pokémon Dynamax Band, sold separately, they can scan its Dynamax icon using the relevant tag lane and the two fail spaces will become Dynamax mark spaces. Players will then be prompted to press the "1" and "2" buttons as fast as possible in effort to increase the power of the Dynamax marks. All of these marks begin at Dynamax Level 1 and can be increased by two stages: to Dynamax Level 5 and again to Dynamax Level 10. The power of each mark increases at different rates. The roulette will then spin and can be stopped by pressing the "1" or "2" button. If a Dynamax mark is selected, its Dynamax Level will determine how much a Pokémon's stats increase when it Dynamaxes or Gigantamaxes. Pokémon attacking while in this state will use the Max Move or G-Max Move detailed underneath their regular move on the reverse of tags. The bonus values on the Attack Roulette will also increase for any Pokémon in this state. As with the main series, Pokémon will remain in this state for three turns. Only one Pokémon may Dynamax or Gigantamax per session.
Terastal Chance! (Japanese: テラスタルチャンス！) will activate when players use a Pokémon that can Terastallize in battle. If they opt to proceed, players will be presented with a roulette that initially contains three fail spaces and three Terastal mark spaces. Players then have three turns to select a Terastal mark space by pressing the "1" or "2" button. Each time a Terastal mark is selected, the roulette will spin faster on any following turns and the spaces will change positions. If a Terastal mark was selected on turns one and two, the roulette on the final turn will replace one Terastal mark space with another fail space. If at least one Terastal mark was selected across the three turns, the Pokémon will then Terastallize. If players have a Pokémon Tera Orb, sold separately, they can scan its Terastal icon using the relevant tag lane and all spaces will become Terastal mark spaces for the first turn. If a Terastal mark is selected, the next turn will replace two Terastal mark spaces with fail spaces. If a Terastal mark was selected on turns one and two, the roulette on the final turn would have three Terastal mark spaces and three fail spaces.
Selecting Terastal marks also builds up Terastal Energy and determines how many spaces on the Attack Roulette will upgrade to the maximum damage bonus (60). Selecting one mark will display "Success!" (Japanese: せいこう！) and upgrade three spaces; selecting two marks will display "Great Success!" (Japanese: だいせいこう！) and upgrade five spaces; selecting all three marks will display "Super Great Success!" (Japanese: ちょう だいせいこう！) and upgrade seven spaces. Pokémon that attack while Terastallized will use the Terastal move detailed on their tags. While not explicitly detailed on tags themselves, the type of the Terastal move also reflects the Tera Type a Pokémon will change to when it Terastallizes. A Pokémon will remain Terastallized for as long as it is able to battle and only one Pokémon may Terastallize per session.
Get Now! mode
Selecting Get Now! mode will move the camera right before going to the next screen, where players will be presented with five grass patches of varying sizes. Players will then have seven seconds to throw sweets at the grass patches to attract Pokémon. Patches that have blue "?" or yellow "!?" graphics above them after throwing sweets denote they hide higher-Grade Pokémon. Players can then opt to deposit ¥100 and catch a Pokémon. If they do, a cursor will quickly move between patches, which can be stopped by pressing the "1" or "2" button. Pressing one will throw a Quick Ball at the selected grass patch and reveal a Pokémon, which will then be dispensed. Players can continue to throw Quick Balls at the remaining patches, costing ¥100 each time. If a player opts not to insert any currency or catches all five available Pokémon, Get Now! mode will end. Players with Memory tags will earn Star Points for each Pokémon caught.
Each of the developer's previous titles has had at least one presenter to promote the game in various media and provide a presence at official events. Pokémon Mezastar has a team of four presenters, called Mezastar Navigators, and comprises Masato, Ai, Sakura, and J, who respectively wear a red, light blue, orange, and dark blue outfit. An official YouTube channel called Mezastar TV was launched to provide regular Pokémon Mezastar news and demonstrations of the game. Its first video was uploaded on September 20, 2020 followed by a second on September 25. New videos were uploaded every Friday thereafter.
|This article is part of Project Arcade, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of Pokémon arcade games.|