Pokemon is an international game – and I say that from my own personal experiences. I first became aware of the game in the Summer of 1996 while working a contract in Japan. I went outside to have a smoke (back then I smoked, I have been smoke-free now for 15 years – smoking is bad for you) and I noticed a group of Japanese office workers off in a corner and clearly they were using Nintendo Game Boys that were tethered together.
It was not a group of teenagers – these were adults. There were a dozen or so and they all seemed to be excited, cheering one or the other player on when something happened in the game they were playing. So naturally I had to go and have a look, right? And what I found was a pair of office workers playing a game called Pocket Monsters.
One bloke who spoke excellent English took me aside and explained the entire thing to me in about 20 minutes. I was hooked from that point – by the time I went to bed that evening I had a Game Boy and a copy of Pocket Monster Green and a bunch of scribbled notes for key words in Japanese.
Since then I have played the games for every generation – and I have proudly fashioned myself a professional Pokemon Master Trainer, who fills every Pokedex. Including many of the rarer and Legendary Pokemon. Well, early in the series that was a major feat – but since the games became Internet aware? Not so much.
I will admit that there were Summers when the family took mini-holidays to visit New York City for events at the Pokemon Center, and Winter Vacations in which we attended official Pokemon TCG events because they were distributing Legendary Pokemon for the games. More than a few day-trips to Toys-R-Us or Pokemon Centers happened to get a Legendary or special regular with unique abilities or items, and I can say with some pride that on more than just a few business trips I ended up battling with other Pokemon Trainers my own age in hotel bars!
I’ve taken part in battles in the USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, and most of Western Europe. So yeah, it’s an International Thing.
Completing Your Pokedex
There are rules about this – you cannot just run around willy-nilly getting the ‘mon to complete a dex – your game has to be READY to do that.
What I mean by that is that you simply don’t show up to a gathering or event with a game that you have not even obtained all of the badges in, or traveled Victory Road in. Because why? Because the other Trainers will think you are either an amateur or worse, a poser.
Once you have beaten the League, obtained the title for your game, and more to teh point, unlocked the full National Dex (Pokedex) only THEN can you legitimately seek out other trainers for trades. Or at least that is the way most of the trainers I have interacted with view the matter.
One of the rites of passage for a new game / generation is getting your game to the point where you have obtained all of the Pokemon that CAN be obtained in that game – found every single type off of every single route and etc. Then you do the same for its companion game, and trade in the types that are not normally present in your main game for that generation.
In addition to that, there are Pokemon you obtain from other games in the series to transfer into your base game – a base game being the game for that generation you consider your “home” game. That is the one whose Pokedex you care about.
The Path To Pokedex Mastery
Ordinarily the process of completing your Dex goes like this: you play through the story and when you arrive at each new route or town, you make an effort to obtain every single Pokemon that is available there.
When you reach the end of the story and have beaten the Elites, you then carefully review your Pokedex to see if you missed any – then make a list of every Route you need to revisit. Then you revisit those Routes and catch those last few elusive Pokemon.
Once you have done that it is time to purchase the complimentary title for your game (if you have not already done so) and then repeat the whole process over again, playing through the story mode, getting all of the ‘Mon you can get in each Route – paying special attention to capture extras for the game-exclusive Pokemon so you have them to trade to your home game.
While all that is going on, you should be keeping an eye on your favorite News Site so that you connect to the Internet with your game when a special Pokemon is being offered via various sources – news about which can be obtained from the official source for Pokemon online: www.Pokemon.com.
On the official Pokemon Website you will want to click the Video Games button on the top bar, then check the main news box for any special give-away for Legendary Pokemon via the Nintendo Network (that is the online Internet connected distribution system you can access from the start menu of your Pokemon Game).
As I write this the final Legendary is on offer via the Nintendo Network – that being the Mythical Pokémon Meloetta who is the final Legendary being given away to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the game (they have been giving a different Legendary away every month for the past year).
You access the Nintendo Networks by selecting the “Mystery Gift” button on the main loading screen for your game and then select “Receive Gift” and “Get Via Internet” – saying yes to confirm each step.
When there is a Mystery Gift / Nintendo Network Pokemon you will be asked if you want it – you say yes of course – and the Pokemon will be added to your game via the green-hat-wearing delivery person at your closest Pokemon Center in game.
To actually receive the Pokemon you log into your game and head to the Pokemon Center, make sure that you have an open spot on your team by depositing one of the Team into your storage computer at the Center, and then speak with the delivery person.
They will transfer the new Legendary to your Team at which point you can go store it in your PC and reclaim the regular Team Member you put there to make room for this new Pokemon.
I was able to obtain Melotta for and on my following games:
- Pokemon X
- Pokemon Y
- Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
- Pokemon Omega Ruby
Moving Pokemon from Previous Generations
Pokemon may be transferred from the previous gen games using whatever system or scheme was created for that purpose, for that generation starting with Generation 3. I thought you might appreciate the details – so here they are:
Generation 3 to Generation 4
To make these trades – and they are a one-way trip you need to know – you will require a Nintendo DS that has both the Cartridge AND the Card slots.
Cartridge: Insert your copy of Ruby / Sapphire / Emerald / Fire Red / Leaf Green into the Cartridge Slot on your DS.
Card: Insert your copy of Diamond / Pearl / Platinum / HeartGold / SoulSilver into the Card Slot.
You then use the Pokemon Pal Park mechanism to trade the Pokemon forward from Gen3 to Gen4. Pal Park is a special Pokémon preserve that is located in the five Generation IV core series games, and can be found at the east end of Route 221 in Sinnoh and in Fuchsia City in place of the Safari Zone in Kanto.
In Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, you can only travel to the Pal Park after you have a Pokemon who knows the move Surf, and you have earned the Relic Badge Fen Badge, you have unlocked the National Pokedex, and you have seen all the Pokemon for the Sinnoh Pokedex.
Once you fully qualify, Professor Oak will meet you on Route 221 and invite you inside the building that contains the Pal Park offices. Oak will explain how Pal Park works, and when you load the games in the future that you have unlocked Pal Park in, you will find a new command — “migrate from (game name)” as an option from the main menu. Pal Park in HeartGold and SoulSilver is located where the Kanto Safari Zone is in the previous games, and functions like the Pal Park in the main games.
Bear in mind that when you transfer Pokemon via the Pal Park to the next gen game it is a one-way trip. The Pokemon you send CAN NOT BE RETURNED!
To migrate from Generation III to Generation IV games, you insert a Gen 3 game into the GBA slot of the same Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite system that you have your Gen 5 game in. Select the “IMPORT FROM (GAME NAME)” option, and you will access a lite version of the player PC in the Gen 3 game.
From here you select the Pokemon you want to move and migrate, and then as long as the Pokemon being selected do not know an HM (if they do you have to go into the Gen 3 game, take them to the Move Deleter, and remove that HM first).
You must choose 6 Pokémon to do this, and once you have 6 valid Pokemon that can be migrated, the game will confirm the choices and you will send those Pokemon to the Gen 4 game. You then must use the Pal Park and capture all six Pokemon before you can use the Pal Park to migrate any more. If you have migrated Pokemon in the Pal Park you have NOT captured in a Pokeball, it will not allow you to migrate any more.
Using this system you can move all types of Pokemon – regular, special, and Legendary – to your Gen 4 games. That may be crucial if you mean to complete your Gen 4 Pokedex since it can be hard to attend all of the events for previous Pokemon in Gen 4 (well, impossible now anyway).
Generation 4 to Generation 5
To transfer (migrate) Pokemon from Gen 4 to Gen 5 you will need to gain access to the Poke Transfer Lab on Route 15 in Unova, and then play the mini-game there to effect the migration.
Step 1. Place the desired Pokemon you want to transfer in your Gen IV (HeartGold, SoulSilver, Diamond, Pearl, Platinum) game’s PC Box.
Step 2. Visit the Poke Transfer Lab on Route 15 in your Gen V game (Black, White, White 2, Black 2.) When you’re ready, start the Poke Transfer System in your Gen V game. Once your Gen V game begins searching for a Gen IV game to transfer Pokemon from, take a second 3DS, insert your Gen IV game into the slot, and select “DS Download Play” on the Home Menu.
Step 3. Select the Download Play for DS rather than 3DS once it’s loaded. Wait until your 2nd DS detects the Gen V game. A Pokemon Black / White / Black 2 / White 2 icon will appear. Tap it.
From there, you should be able to pick 6 Pokemon from your Gen IV game’s PC and transfer those to your Gen V game.
Step 4. Play the mini-game using the crossbow to capture the migrating Pokemon.
There is no limit to how many times you can use Poke Transfer; you can keep transferring lots of 6 Pokemon until you have transferred your desired Pokemon from any Gen IV game.
Generation 5 to Generation 6
Download the 3DS application Pokemon Bank from the Nintendo eShop.
This application allows you to move Pokemon from any Generation 5 or 6 Game, and store them inside of the app. You can then insert your Gen 6 card and transfer the Pokemon from the Bank to your game.
Generation 6 to Generation 7
Download the 3DS application Pokemon Bank from the Nintendo eShop.
This application allows you to move Pokemon from any Generation 5, 6, or 7 Game, and store them inside of the app. You can then insert your Gen 7 card and transfer the Pokemon from the Bank to your game.
Pokemon Gen I to Gen 7
First, you can not transfer or migrate Pokemon from the Gen 1 Carts to Gen 7 Cards. It cannot be done. But very soon you WILL be able to migrate your Pokemon from the Digital versions of the Gen 1 (Pokemon Blue, Red, and Yellow) games to the Pokemon Bank, and then to your Gen 7 game from Pokemon Bank. I suggest you keep an eye on the official news at Pokemon.com for when that will happen.
Pokemon Bank is a special App you can buy from the Nintendo eStore and install on your 3DS that allows you to transfer and store Pokemon from your games to your 3DS and then back again. It also allows you to migrate Pokemon from gen to gen for the later gens, and soon will allow you to migrate from the original digital Gen I games to the Bank and onward.
Bank is a subscription based service and app – I think it costs around $5 a year – so yeah, there is that.
Once you have exhausted all of these options, only THEN should you start thinking about looking elsewhere and interacting with other trainers for trades… Because real-life trades online is fraught with peril since you never can know if that rare Pokemon you are getting is legit. Was it hacked? Was it created by an app? Or did they really attend the Pokemon Event at the Space Center near Houston to get that Legendary?
I hope that this article helps you in your quest to complete your Pokedex. Personally I am in the process of wrapping up my game play in both Pokemon X and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire in preparation to my move to Pokemon Sun and Moon – the two new Generation 7 games.
I have not yet decided which of the Gen 7 games I will be calling home. It is a big decision. But I do know that I am going to be bringing my favorite Pokemon – and all of the Legendary ones so far – into the game. It is going to be awesome!