Games: Nintendo, The Pokémon Company
Games: September 30, 1998 (Red and Blue) - March 6, 2010 (Black and White)
Pokémon is a series of video games, anime series, movies, and just about anything else you can think of. This little series is "owned" by Nintendo, also known for Mario, Donkey Kong, and other old video game characters. In Japan, they are called Pocket Monsters - possibly due to the fact that they are creatures who are kept captive in a Pokéball which can fit in one's pocket.
There are about 493 species of Pokémon creatures themselves, with the most popular being Pikachu. The video games, which lay in the center of the franchise, range over a bunch of consoles: from a Game Boy Color to a Nintendo 64 to a Game Boy Advance to a Nintendo Gamecube to a Nintendo DS to a Nintendo Wii, etc. It's Nintendo's biggest franchise, behind only Mario. Pokémon have also appeared in the Super Smash Bros. video game series, which is a collaboration of various Nintendo video games.
The Video GamesEdit
The very first Pokémon video games came out in 1996 for the Game Boy. 'Twere Pokémon Red and Blue. You can call them RPGs (role-playing games), but I'll call them... um... I don't know what the heck I'll call them. I guess I'll call them RPGs too. There's also an updated version of these two games called Pokémon Yellow, where the player is followed around by Pikachu for the whole game. It also includes references from the TV show.
The objective of this game - and almost every other game in the series - is you control some random kid as he or she collects Pokémon and becomes a Pokémon master! You usually start out with your first Pokémon in the lab of some Professor whose name varies over the various games. In some games, the Professor has a grandson or something who thinks he's all that and will try to challenge you at various points in the game. Make sure to kick his butt. You can choose between three creatures as starters - each usually bearing the power of fire, water, or grass. Afterward, you can venture out into the unknown with your Pokémon. Using these fancy doohickeys named Pokéballs, you can capture wild Pokémon who randomly appear to take you down and raise them as your own. But what if your Pokémon dies in battle? Well, 1. A Pokémon doesn't die; it faints (this is an "Everyone" rated game, what do you expect?) and 2: Just take them to a nearby Pokémon Center, a little hospital for the creatures where they can rest and feel better. Also accompaning you is a Pokédex, a device that includes information on every Pokémon you see and catch. When you arrive at various towns, there is occasionally a "Gym" where a Gym leader dwells. You can battle the Gym leader in a duel and get a badge. When the player gains a certain number of badges, they can compete in the Pokémon League. There, if you defeat all of the challengers, you are officially crowned a Pokémon Master and the game is over. Pretty easy, huh? No. It takes years to complete one game. But it's worth it.
The best part of the games is probably the trading. Yes, trading. Now trading is not in just the cards games - it's interactive now! Using a game link, one can link two Game Boys or DSes together (making sure that each game system has a cartridge in it, of course) and they can trade. That is to say, if one kid had Pokémon Red and the other had Pokémon Blue, they could trade their Pokémon from each game to each other. Which is actually quite useful, since each game has Pokémon that the other does not - which is also quite useful is you wish to complete your Pokédex. Not only can you trade, but you can battle also. Fun, is it not? Battling an old pal with Pokémon and whatnot... Sigh. I think I'll get a game link and go battle Herald.
But this is just for the first pair of games . There are many other games in the series. For example, they were soon followed by Pokemon Gold and Silver in the year 2000. It included better graphics and more Pokemon. Plus, an updated version of the two (Pokemon Crystal) was also released, following in the vein of Pokemon Yellow. The game later made a switch to Game Boy Advance with the release of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire in 2003, and Pokemon Emerald as the update. Then Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen were released in 2004 as GBA remakes of Pokemon Red and Blue. For the new Nintendo DS, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl were released in 2007 with a chockful of new Pokemon and abilities, as well as the update Pokemon Platinum. In 2010, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver were released as DS remakes of Pokemon Gold and Silver. Lastly, Pokemon Black and White will be released for the DS in Spring 2011. However, one must ask, will a "Gray Version" accompany it? O_O
Each game also takes place in a certain region. Each region has its own native Pokemon. The Kanto region appears in Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, FireRed, LeafGreen, HeartGold, and SoulSilver. The Johto region appears in Pokemon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver. The Hoenn region appears in Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. Sinnoh appears in Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. And the soon to be released Isshu shall be in Black and White.
Well, handheld games can't hog all the Pokemon glory, now can it? Well, they can but that wouldn't be nice. It'd be quite foolish, actually. So a few games have been made for the consoles. Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Stadium 2 are for Nintendo 64, whereas Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness are for Nintendo Gamecube. And Pokemon Battle Revolution is for Nintendo Wii. Also, there are other spin-offs of Pokemon such as Pokemon Ranger and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and others. But I've no time for stupid spin-offs so I'll just skip those. But if you want 3D Pokemon, I'd suggest these console items.
And that's the video games in a nutshell. Or paragraphs, more like it.
Main Game Series
Following the success of the video games, a TV series had to be broadcasted about these so-called "Poked mon", no? Yes. Yes, it should. Thus this wish was fufilled in 1998 with the premiere of Pokemon! The show would feature Ash Ketchum, a young Pokemon trainer, his Pokemon pal Pikachu, along with his friends Misty (Cerulean City gym leader in the games) and Brock (Pewter City gym leader) as they go on many adventures and such. Also, are members of the evil Team Rocket, Jessie and James along with their talking Pokemon Meowth as they try to kidnap Pokemon in their acts of evil. Each season of the series can pretty much be treated as its own show, since they have different names and theme songs. In each series, a "Pokemon coordinator" joins the team: In the Advanced Generation, it's a girl named May (who travels with her younger brother Max). In the Diamond and Pearl series, it's a girl named Dawn. Keep in mind that in each season they are replaced "i.e.: May replaced Misty; Dawn replaced May; etc). Brock has been a main character in all seasons - excluding the "Orange Islands." He is to be replaced in the Black and White series.
Below are the seasons in the anime. Feel free to further search them somewhere else:
In the original series, there are 5 seasons.
- Pokemon: Indigo League
- Pokemon: Adventures on the Orange Islands
- Pokemon: The Johto Journeys
- Pokemon: Johto League Champions
- Pokemon: Master Quest
The original series was followed by the "Advanced Generation", of which May and Max are introduced.
- Pokemon: Advanced
- Pokemon: Advanced Challenge
- Pokemon: Advance Battle
- Pokemon: Battle Frontier
Following this was "Diamond and Pearl", which you can guess came out after the release of the video games "Diamond and Pearl." Dawn is also introduced now.
- Pokémon!: Diamond and Pearl
- Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension
- Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles
- Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors
Set to be released, a series based on the "Black and White" games will come out, featuring Cilan and Iris who replace Brock and Dawn, respectively.
- Pokémon: Black and White!
To add with all of this, an additional series Pokemon Chronicles focuses on OTHER Pokemon trainers. But since it has nothing to do with Ash & friends, it's not considered canon. And if you didn't know, canon means it actually happened. So that's it. What? You expected more? What do you want, the theme songs? OK fine! I'll give you a song! It's called "Get the heck out of here!"
Here's a list of theme songs in the anime in high-definition (incomplete). I'll upload the actual videos when I have time.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLx9f-15lgU– Indigo League
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T79FCbnygb8– Adventures in the Orange Islands
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI13HbWnZ3Y – Johto Journeys
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwvhqc5OXvU – Johto League Champions
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7i_DvXAyZA– Master Quest
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsPgyuRIYck– Advanced
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JdyUHpH0Xk – Advanced Challenge
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0ATPpDbRVc – Advanced Battle
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J_MCxfoGPU – Battle Frontier
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgF46TXAgtA – Diamond and Pearl
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnaDGgGcsrk – Battle Dimension
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUXuWQwZXOA – Galactic Battles
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BZOcJ71CNA – Sinnoh League Victors
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9y8Oi318C4 – Black and White
The Pokémon anime was just beginning though! With the series' even more rising popularity, Nintendo knew what was next... a film adaptation! However, rather than make it a live-action movie much like the earlier Super Mario Bros. movie, they decided to have it tie in with the anime series, sort of a feature-length episode, if you will. And that's what they did, with Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back! hitting Japanese theaters July 1998 and American theaters September 1999! There was no doubt the movie would be a hit with the children, and it paved the way for future feature films in the series.
These feature films hit theaters each year, tying in with the new Pokémon shows also airing around that time. However, after the fifth Pokémon movie in American theaters, it was decided that the movies would not be released in theaters in American due to low gross sales (and I don't mean "gross" as in yucky, I mean "gross" as in the amount of money taken in from the box office). The movies then went on be shown on Cartoon Network, then released straight-to-DVD. Japanese folks weren't so picky, and each Pokémon movie hits Japanese theaters in July of every year to this day.
NOTE: Each Pokémon movie usually has a legendary Pokémon as the main focus, though there are some exceptions.
Here are the movies for the Original Series:
Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998 [Jap]/1999 [US])
Pokémon: The Movie 2000 - The Power of One (1999/2000)
Pokémon 3: The Movie - Spell of the Unown (2000/2001)
Pokémon 4ever - Celebi: The Voice of the Forest (2001/2002)
Pokémon Heroes - Latios and Latias (2002/2003)
And the movies for the Advanced Generation:
Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker (2003/2004)
Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys (2004/2005)
Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew (2005/2006)
Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea (2006/2007)
As well as the movies for the Diamond and Pearl series:
Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai (2007/2008)
Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior (2008/2009)
Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009/2009 [American TV Premiere]/2011 [American DVD Release])
Pokémon: Zoroark - Master of Illusions (2010/2011 [American TV Premiere]/TBA [American DVD Release])
And finally, the movies for the Best Wishes series:
Pokémon The Movie: White - Victini and Zekrom (2011)
Pokémon The Movie: Black - Victini and Reshiram (2011)
The Trading Card GamesEdit
Da Pokemon Themselves!Edit
An extensive passage with info on all Pokemon starters and legendaries, as well as series' favorites.