Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs
- For the two-part animated short of the same name, see Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs (anime special).
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs (Japanese: ポケモンレンジャー 光の軌跡 Pokémon Ranger: Traces of Light) is an action-adventure game for the Nintendo DS and the third and final entry in the Pokémon Ranger series. The game was first revealed in CoroCoro on January 13, 2010, and officially announced by Nintendo Japan two days later, with screenshots and artwork. It was released in Japan on March 6, 2010 and in North America on October 4, 2010. It was also released for the Wii U Virtual Console in Europe and Australia on June 9, 2016, in Japan on August 3, 2016, and in North America on August 18, 2016. The Virtual Console release became unavailable after the Wii U Nintendo eShop was discontinued on March 27, 2023.
The game follows the same pattern as previous installments in the series, following the story of a new Pokémon Ranger in a new region named Oblivia as they investigate a villainous team known as the Pokémon Pinchers and works against their plot to control the region.
As with the previous Pokémon Ranger games, the player uses a Capture Styler to befriend Pokémon by drawing loops around them on the DS's touchscreen. Each loop raises the Pokémon's Friendship Gauge by a certain amount, depending on the Styler's Power, and the Pokémon is captured when the Gauge is filled entirely. The player may lift the stylus between loops, as in Shadows of Almia. If the Capture Line is hit by a Pokémon's attack, the Styler loses Energy, and if the Energy Gauge is depleted entirely, the player loses. The Styler gains experience points with each successful capture and levels up, raising its Energy and Power.
Up to seven captured Pokémon may follow the player as Friend Pokémon, and can use their abilities to help the player in the form of Field Moves on the field and Poké Assists during a capture. The player is partnered with a Pichu carrying a ukulele, nicknamed Ukulele Pichu, who follows the player around in addition to any Friend Pokémon.
The player must complete various Missions as a Pokémon Ranger over the course of the game. In addition, the player may help the citizens of Oblivia in 51 shorter, optional Quests. Completing Missions and Quests rewards the player with Ranger Points, which may be used to raise the Styler's Energy and Power.
- Ranger Signs allow the player to summon various Pokémon, including the Legendary birds, the Legendary beasts, and the Eon Pokémon corresponding to the player's gender. This allows the player to rebattle the birds and beasts, or alternatively befriend and keep certain other Pokémon in the player's party.
- Friend Pokémon are placed on the field for Poké Assists, and are released if they take damage during this time rather than being automatically released afterward. After a short recharge period, the Poké Assist may be used again.
- Certain targets now require the use of Field Moves by multiple Pokémon.
- Up to four players may tackle Missions together via a multiplayer mode. These Missions are accessible after Celebi takes the player into Oblivia's past for the third time.
- Certain Pokémon now have the Fly Field Move, which allows the player to roam Oblivia's Sky and capture various Flying-type Pokémon. By speaking to Supurna in the Aqua Resort, Pokémon captured in the Sky can be added to the player's party. It is also possible to fly directly to locations that the player has already visited.
- Occasionally, the DS must be held vertically to chase certain people and Pokémon underwater.
- Sometimes, wild Pokémon will be "agitated" and the player will need to deplete an agitation meter with the stylus or the Poké Assists before it can be easily captured with the Capture Styler. Until that happens, it is impossible to flee.
- Previously encountered boss Pokémon can be captured again by speaking to Nema in Rand's House. She will use her invention, the "Many Times Any Time Capture Machine", which brings the player to a model of Dolce Island.
- Main article: Ranger Net
Special downloadable missions allow players to receive a Deoxys, whose form is determined by how quickly it is captured (multiplayer only), a Manaphy Egg, a fateful encounter Shaymin, and a Heatran with Eruption, which can be transferred to any Generation IV game. The game can only send one of each Pokémon except Deoxys. Deoxys can be sent without limit by clearing its mission repeatedly, but each game can only receive a Deoxys once. Except for the Manaphy mission, none can be played until the player finishes the game.
These other missions do not involve transferring a Pokémon to a Generation IV game. "Find Giratina's Griseous Orb!" involves capturing Giratina's formes, and "Pledge to Arceus" involves capturing Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina to later capture Arceus. Until Nintendo Wi-Fi shut down, they could be downloaded on the Ranger Net, but cannot be played before the player beats the game.
The game takes place in the Oblivia region, a peaceful archipelago. The Pokémon Pinchers, who capture and control Pokémon using devices called Control Gauntlets, have been operating individually in the region for some time, but have recently started to act as a group. Professor Hastings sends two new Rangers, Ben and Summer, to Oblivia to investigate the Pinchers' actions, and stop them if necessary. Either one may be chosen as the player character; the other will appear as an NPC with his or her default name.
Several characters from the first two Ranger games make appearances, including Professor Hastings, Murph, and the Go-Rock Quads. The Legendary beasts, the Legendary birds, the Eon duo, the Tower duo and Celebi play important roles in the game. After the main game, there is a postgame involving Celebi taking the player to the past to stop the Steelheads from taking over Oblivia. In this, the player must complete timed quests with certain goals, and have a boss battle at the end.
While flying to Oblivia, the player and their partner encounter two Pinchers chasing Latias or Latios, depending on the player's gender. The player stalls them long enough to let the Pokémon escape, but the Pinchers' leader, Red Eyes, appears and attacks the player's partner with his plasma cannon. The player intercepts the blast and is knocked off his or her Staraptor into the ocean.
The player washes ashore on Dolce Island, in southwest Oblivia, where the Pokémon Pinchers have just captured many Pokémon. They meet Ukulele Pichu and a shipbuilder named Booker, who witnessed the event from afar, explaining that he came when he saw the "UFOs" and was worried about the Pokémon. He invites the player back to his home in Cocona Village, on Renbow Island to the north, and Ukulele Pichu, worried about its captured friends, joins them.
Back at Booker's house, shortly after the player explains the situation, a village boy named Ralph rushes over and says that the "UFOs" have returned, headed towards Teakwood Forest, and that a local lumberjack named Arley pursued them and has not returned. The player and Ralph head after them as well and find the Pinchers in Rasp Cavern, stealing a piece of a stone monument. An angered Raikou appears and chases the Pinchers away.
The piece of the monument is revealed to be something known as an Involith. The Pokémon Pinchers plan to retrieve Involiths from monuments around Oblivia in order to awaken the Legendary birds. Once the three Legendary birds awaken, a strong Pokémon will appear and help them in their scheme to control the Oblivia region. However, this angers the Legendary beasts. The player must calm down the Legendary beasts, while trying to foil the Pinchers' plan. Although the player manages to prevent Blue Eyes and Red Eyes from completing the Pinchers' plan, the leader Purple Eyes does not want to give up on controlling the Oblivia region.
After the three Legendary birds awaken, the player encounters the Societea, a group of four retired thieves behind the actions of the Pokémon Pinchers. They decided to revive their group and took control of the Pokémon Pinchers in hopes of obtaining eternal youth by summoning the Golden Armor. The Societea revives the ancient Sky Fortress that was the power source of an Ancient Ruler, and vaporize Dolce Island to show the citizens of Oblivia their power.
Before the player can infiltrate the Sky Fortress, They must find the Rainbow Grail and take it to the Rainbow Dais on the sea floor to summon a Ho-Oh. After they capture Ho-Oh, it destroys the barrier around the Sky Fortress. The player may now enter the fortress, which acts as the game's final dungeon, and challenge the Societea. After capturing the Mewtwo controlled by the leader of the Societea, Edward, Purple Eyes appears again and takes control of Mewtwo. After defeating Mewtwo again, the Sky Fortress begins to fall, which would cause a tsunami that can destroy Oblivia. However, Ho-Oh lends the player its power again, making the fortress land safely in the ocean. After this the credits are shown. The player can still catch Pokémon and complete quests. By talking to a man on Renbow Island, the credits can be seen again.
A mighty alliance is all that can save Oblivia from darkness! Join forces with Legendary Pokémon and restore peace. Team up with friends in Wireless Multiplayer Missions!
Guardian Signs was met with somewhat positive reviews, receiving an average rating of 70.11% on GameRankings and a score of 70 from Nintendo Power. However, its story and gameplay were criticized; IGN reports "if you've played the previous versions and hated them, there isn't much here that will change your mind", and GamePro commenting on "the repetitive puzzle solving and uninteresting story" and stating that it "isn't much of a departure from the last two titles in the series." Gaming magazine Famitsu gave the game a score of 36 out of 40.
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs sold 160,532 units on its first week on the Japanese market, with a sell-through of 40.63%. By December 29, 2013, the end of its 200th week, it had sold 500,615 copies.
|Week||Week ending||Ranking||Units sold||Total units sold|
|1||March 7, 2010||1st||160,532||160,532|
|2||March 14, 2010||1st||65,355||225,887|
|3||March 21, 2010||3rd||49,548||275,435|
|4||March 28, 2010||3rd||51,233||326,668|
|5||April 4, 2010||8th||33,510||360,179|
|6||April 11, 2010||6th||20,359||380,538|
|7||April 18, 2010||6th||15,961||396,499|
|8||April 25, 2010||10th||12,408||408,907|
|9||May 2, 2010||12th||-||-|
|10||May 9, 2010||8th||20,007||446,339|
|11||May 16, 2010||11th||-||-|
|12||May 23, 2010||22nd||-||-|
|13||May 30, 2010||33rd||-||-|
|14||June 6, 2010||32nd||-||-|
|15||June 13, 2010||31st||-||-|
|16||June 20, 2010||34th||-||-|
|44||January 2, 2011||-||-||490,630|
|96||January 1, 2012||-||-||499,040|
|200||December 29, 2013||-||-||500,615|
Virtual Console Icons
- Main article: Staff of Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs
- The game distinguishes between regular "legendary Pokémon" (Japanese: 伝説のポケモン) and "rare Pokémon" (Japanese: 幻のポケモン), the latter term describing what would eventually be called Mythical Pokémon in non-Japanese media.
- In this game, Phione is classified as neither and is found as a regular Pokémon in the wild, despite later being classified as a Mythical Pokémon.
- Bronzor is capable of teleporting in this game, despite the fact that it shouldn't be able to legally learn the move.
In other languages
- Tweet from Saitou about drawing the box art
- Pokémon.com (US)
- Nintendo of America
- Nintendo of Australia
- Pokémon.com (UK)
- Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs for DS - GameRankings
- Nintendo Power magazine. Issue 260; page 89. November 2010.
- Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs Review - IGN
- Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs Review from GamePro (archive)
- Famitsu scores (Japan) 2/16-2/23: 3rd Pokémon Ranger top-scoring game - System Wars - GameSpot
- Tweet from Saitou about drawing Key Art for Guardian Signs
- Tweet from Saitou about drawing the key art for Ukulele Pichu
|This article is part of Project Sidegames, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon Sidegames.|