Tag Archives: National Pokedex

National Pokedex – It Is Done

It is done.

I have managed at last to complete the National Pokedex achievement in Pokemon SoulSilver.

I had twelve Pokemon to go about a week and a half ago.  I have been working on it since then.

At 8:40pm this past evening, having obtained an item called a “razor fang,” I gave it to my Gligar and went out to battle some wild Pokemon.  Several battles later, Gligar obtained enough experience to level up.  Since it was after 8pm and he was in possession of the razor fang, he evolved upon leveling up, becoming a Gliscor.

Gliscor

That was the last Pokemon I needed.

I ran off to Pallet Town and spoke to Professor Oak.  He congratulated me and now my trainer card is green and has two stars on it.

The Mark of Success

My wife and daughter were both underwhelmed with the prize.  But it was more about the sense of accomplishment.  Plus what was Professor Oak going to do, give me another Pokemon?

I have now captured, evolved, or otherwise managed to obtain all of the 485 Pokemon that are directly accessible in any of the standard Pokemon RPGs. (Plus 6 of the special even Pokemon, for a total of 491.)

This has taken quite a bit of work.  We received Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver back in late March, and by the end of June I was working on the last big fight in the story line.  Since then, my main focus in the game has been to complete the National Pokedex.

This has meant me sitting on the couch in the evenings with my DS in my hands and my Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver player’s guide next to me while I hunted in the Safari Park or dowsed for special items needed to evolve specific Pokemon.

The player’s guide for a Pokemon game is an absolute necessity for finishing the National Pokedex, though it does have a mistake or two… like the one about where to obtain the razor fang.  I would have been done a day earlier if it had not been for that.

You can find all the information online, but the presentation is rarely conducive to finding specific details.  The player’s guide is nicely laid out, indexed, and full of tables for finding just the item for which you are looking.  My only complaint is that the print in some parts of the guide is so tiny that I have to go stand under a bright light and hold the book practically up to my nose to read some key details.  I would say that it might be time to look into reading glasses, but I never have a problem with print in a standard paperback for example.

But the effort that went into completing the National Pokedex goes beyond playing Pokemon SoulSilver.  I was able to finish the National Pokedex because I had already started working towards it in other games.

Games that contributed to finishing the National Pokedex:

I spent quite a bit of time with Pokemon Diamond attempting to finish the National Pokedex.  That really laid the groundwork for me, as I managed to collect 380 Pokemon there.

And of those 380 Pokemon, some came from having access to the older Game Boy Advance (GBA) cartridges.  In Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, having one of the older games in the GBA slot of your Nintendo DS caused otherwise unobtainable Pokemon to appear in game so you could catch them.

My daughter and I also played through quite a bit of Emerald, LeafGreen, and FireRed, during which we captured and migrated quite a few Pokemon to Diamond.

And then there was the Global Trade Station in Diamond, a source of many of my rare Pokemon.  It turned out that Meowth, a popular Pokemon that is featured on regularly on the Pokemon TV series (where it is the only regularly appearing Pokemon who speaks English… I haven’t quite figured that one out), was not available in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, but was easily obtained in FireRed.  So I used to harvest and migrate Meowths to use for trade fodder in the Global Trade Station.

I was able to obtain some hard to find Pokemon for my many Meowths.  People in Japan seemed especially eager to obtain them, as I ended up with quite a few Japanese named Pokemon.

In all my daughter and I played through to at least the regional championship and National Pokedex kick-off in the following titles:

  • Pokemon FireRed
  • Pokemon Diamond
  • Pokemon Pearl
  • Pokemon Platinum
  • Pokemon SoulSilver
  • Pokemon HeartGold

But now I am done.

There are other goals to pursue in Pokemon.  There is a long list of other “end game” activities, enough to put any MMO to shame.  But the National Pokedex is enough for me.

Besides, I have to rest up.  Pokemon Black & White are due out in the Spring.

Gotta Catch ’em All, Dammit!

I am going to do it.

I am going to complete the National Pokedex in Pokemon SoulSilver.

That involves catching all of the catchable Pokemon.

Hence the famous tag line. (I almost wrote “catch phrase.”)

An Example of Pokemon Mania

There are a total of 493 Pokemon in the game.  However, 9 of them are only available through special events.  These 9 are not required for the National Pokedex.  You only need 484 for that.

Only 484.

I wrote about catching those Pokemon back when I was playing Pokemon Diamond.  It seemed impossible.  I capped out at around 380, or over 100 Pokemon short of the goal.

With Pokemon SoulSilver, I had a new opportunity, and a few advantages.

First, I had a my copy of Pokemon Diamond with nearly 380 caught Pokemon.

Really, that is part of the whole experience, having to transfer Pokemon that you cannot get in your current game over from your old Pokemon game.

And to help things along, I finished up Pokemon Pearl and Platinum, since both offer a couple of special Pokemon.

Then there is the fact that we have two Nintendo DS Lite units in our house, mine and my daughter’s, so I can easily transfer Pokemon back and forth between games.  Plus certain Pokemon only evolve when you trade them. (And to get that 484 number you have to get each Pokemon in all of its various stages of evolution.)

And then there is the fact that my daughter is/was playing Pokemon HeartGold this time around, which has some Pokemon in it that you cannot get in SoulSilver.

And even with all of this, I have been holding my Nintendo DS in my hand every time my wife and I have sat down to watch TV because I have to hatch a Pokemon egg or level a Pokemon up so it will evolve or check the Global Trade Station to see if anybody has accepted my current trade offer. (I have been breeding and trading Piplups fairly successfully.)

I spent a couple hours in Pokemon Diamond, in the underground, trying to dig up a fossil that could be turned into a specific Pokemon (a shieldon, if you must know) because I couldn’t find one for trade.

And after all of this, my Pokedex shows I have caught 479 Pokemon.  Of course, I have 7 of those special event Pokemon, so the number I need to hit is 491.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.  I have just 12 Pokemon left to go.

I need a the following 12:

  • #176 Togetic – Once my Togepi is at “high friendship” leveling it will evolve it into this
  • #303 Mawile – I have to check the game daily to see if this one is available
  • #454 Toxicroak – A matter of leveling up a Croagunk to 37, easy
  • #460 Abomasnow – Again, just need to level up my Snover to 40, in progress
  • #461 Weavile – Have to find a special item, have a Sneasel hold it, and level it up between 8pm and 4am local time… I’m not making this up
  • #464 Rhyperior – Have to my Rhydon hold a special item and trade it to another player, but have to find the item first
  • #466 Elecivire – Another special item hold and trade, but I have the item this time
  • #468 Togekiss – Need Togetic, first one on the list, to get this
  • #470 Leafeon – Need to evolve an Eevee in Pokemon Diamond then trade it over, easy
  • #472 Gliscor – Similar story to Weavile, need an item and a time frame
  • #474 Porygon-Z – A Porygon2 has to hold a special item then be traded, ala Rhyperior, with the same issue
  • #488 Cresselia – Have to go catch this in Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum

And if I want to be a completionist and get all 493, I also need a Manaphy, which is only available at special download events.  And once I have that, I can breed it to obtain the final Pokemon, a Phione.

Aside from those last two, not an impossible task at this point.  And then I will be finished.

At least until the next version of Pokemon, Black & White, shows up in the US.  It is already available in Japan and is selling very well.

And when I get it, who knows how many Pokemon I’ll need to catch.  But it looks like the Pokemon are numbered up to 649 with the new games.

Pokemon Mew Download Event

Pokemon.com has announced a new Pokemon download event for Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver players.

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the launch of Pokemon Silver and Gold, the games on which HeartGold and SoulSilver based, Nintendo is offering up Mew, the original secret Pokemon for download.

Get him while you can

The download event runs from October 15th to the 30th.

This is one of the Pokemon I do not yet have, so we’ll be grabbing Mew on our copies of HeartGold and SoulSilver this Friday.

Instructions on how to download Mew are available at Pokemon.com.

This is not an in-store download.  You must connect to the Internet via your Nintendo DS using the WiFi option in order to download Mew.  Instructions on how to configure your DS are in the instruction booklet that came with Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver. (page 35)

If you need help configuring Nintendo WiFi, please check on the Nintendo site for further information.

Pokemon Enigma Stone Download Event

Pokemon.com has announced a new Nintendo WiFi download event for Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.

From July 31st through August 27th you can download the Enigma Stone for HeartGold and SoulSilver.

By default, the Pokemon Latias only appears in HeartGold while Latios only appears in SoulSilver.  But the Enigma Stone sets off a chain of events in the game that leads to an encounter with the Pokemon that does not generally appear in game.

So if you have HeartGold you will encounter Latios, while SoulSilver players will encounter Latias.

To get the Enigma Stone, you have to have obtained the National Pokedex in HeartGold or SoulSilver, which means you have completed the Johto portion of the game and have defeated Lance and the Elite Four.

This is not an in-store download.  You must connect to the Internet via your Nintendo DS using the WiFi option in order to obtain the Engima Stone.  Instructions on how to configure your DS are in the instruction booklet that came with Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver. (page 35)

If you need further help, please see the Nintendo WiFi site.  Do not post questions about Nintendo WiFi in the comments here.

Return to Pokemon Platinum

Pokemon Diamond first showed up about two years ago.

It came with my daughter’s Nintendo DS Lite back on St. Valentine’s Day of 2008, all of which was part of the plan to keep her busy on the plane for our trip to Maui that year.

And it was a huge hit.  Big enough that I ended up with a DS Lite of my own for my birthday that year along with a copy of Pokemon Diamond.

That immersed us in the Pokemon subculture and we have been Pokemon fans ever since.  We formed our own little Pokemon gyms at home, finished the main storyline of the game, and kept on in the seeming eternal struggle to finish up the national pokedex along with all of the other end game achievements.  We go to all the download events and generally still play Diamond on a regular basis.

The popularity of Pokemon Diamond at home lead, of course, to other Pokemon games.  There was Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, which is sort of NetHack meets Pokemon.  It was a decent game, but the promised WiFi play proved to be so limited that it was a joke, which soured me on the game. (My daughter still plays it.)

My daughter also picked up Pokemon Ranger, which didn’t appeal to me so much, but which she seemed to quite enjoy.

We even picked up some of the GameBoy Advance games like Pokemon FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald because those need to be available to have a prayer of completing the national pokedex.

On the Wii there was Pokemon Battle Revolution, which got a lot a play time from us.  We spent more than a few weekends battling each other or strangers over the Nintendo WiFi connection.

And there was Pokemon Ranch, which was more of a video toy than a game, but which helped drive the national pokedex effort by setting goals and occasionally coughing up a needed Pokemon.

We even got Pokemon Snap from the WiiWare shop, which is a rail shooter of sorts, only you take pictures of Pokemon rather than shoot them… regardless of how much you would rather be shooting them some days.

But nothing ever really supplanted Pokemon Diamond.  Our travel gear always included our DS Lites, our Pokemon Diamond cartridges, and the Prima guide to the national pokedex to help us continue our hunt.

We had hope for Pokemon Platinum though.  Being a classic Pokemon game, we thought that when it came out, we’d give up on Diamond and start playing that instead.

But we never quite made that transition.

Pokemon Platinum is one of those odd games in the Pokemon niche.  The pattern of game release usually has a pair of games (Diamond/Pearl or Ruby/Sapphire) which each have Pokemon exclusive to one or other of the pair, followed up by a re-work of the game (Platinum or Emerald) which keeps the same basic storyline and only adds features and access to more Pokemon.

So when it arrived, Pokemon Platinum fell flat.

We got through the first couple of gym badges, then went back to Diamond where we were having fun battling and catching those remaining Pokemon.

So when we were packing for our recent trip to Maui, I was sorting through which DS games to bring along.  Our Diamond cartridges went into the case, naturally.  So did a few other games.  And, which a couple of slots left, I decided to throw in our Platinum cartridges as well.


It turned out to be a good idea.  On the plane my daughter and I, with five hours to kill, started getting back into the game.  We moved along, collecting up a gym badge each while getting our bearings.

And once on the ground in Maui, when we had some time to play, we began to work out our strategy to get through Platinum.

With each gym badge you are able to control Pokemon that are traded to you of a higher and higher levels.  This meant that, with our Pokemon Diamond cartridges along for the ride as well and two DSs on hand, we started upgrading our Pokemon with each new gym badge by trading back and forth from Diamond to Platinum.  This accelerated our progress considerably.

Sure, you can use ugly words like “cheating,” but the game allows it and you are limited to a given level cap with each gym badge.

We both now sit at 6 gym badges and our goal is to finish off the base game by defeating the Elite Four and the Sinnoh League champion before Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver come out.  However, we would really like to finish it before the special Pichu download event ends on February 14th.

So this weekend might see some serious Pokemon action at our house.  We’re stuck in the Distortion World area, which is something that wasn’t in Diamond.  Once we find our way through that though, we should be good.

Arceus is Coming!

Pokemon.com announced that a new Pokemon will soon be available that will occupy position 493 in the National Pokedex.  Described as an “Alpha Pokemon,” this new entry in the game is called Arceus.

Arceus is Coming!

Arceus is Coming!

Arceus will be available for Pokemon Diamond and Pearl as well as Platinum, which means it will be part of a store event at some point.  My guess is that we will see a Toys R Us event announced at some point in the future to coincide with the release of the next straight-to-DVD Pokemon movie.

And when this 12th Pokemon movie is out we’ll finally know if its name is pronounced “Are-Key-Us” or “Are-See-Us.”

[Addendum: according to the Pokemon Wiki, it is pronounced “Ar-Cee-Us…” but they don’t say if it is a hard “C” or not either… I assume not, but we’ll probably have to wait to see how Ash says it in the movie.]

The Tyranny of Professor Oak

With Pokemon Platinum coming out near the end of the month and recent Shaymin and Regigigas Pokemon events, there has been a resurgence of Pokemon activity at our house.

The Nintendogs and Cooking Mama cartridges have been set aside and Pokemon Diamond has occupied the Nintendo DS of at least one young person around our home.

When it comes down to it, I only ever really play Pokemon Diamond on my DS, so if I am not playing that, my DS is sitting on the charger and waiting.  Sure, I might be up for Mario Party DS once in a while, or maybe Mario Kart, but Pokemon is where it is at for me.

We started playing Pokemon Diamond about a year ago, my daughter getting a DS and a copy of the game on Valentine’s Day last year while I got me own DS and copy on my birthday, a little less than a month after that.

My daughter and I enjoyed the main storyline of the game.  It takes you through the Sinnoh region where you catch Pokemon, challenge other pokefans, defeat gym leaders, fight the nefarious Team Galactic, and fill out the Sinnoh Pokedex for Professor Rowan.

It is Professor Rowan who starts you down the path in this game.

And, at the end of the main storyline, when Team Galactic is thwarted and you have defeated Cynthia the regional Pokemon League Champion, you run off and fill out the last entry, the 150th, in the Sinnoh Pokedex and earn a star on your trainer card.

The essential part of the game is done at that point.  You can say you have played Pokemon Diamond (or Pearl).

There is a follow on story and some more to do along that line.  There are contests to enter, people to challenge, and a few more places to explore, but you have that star.  You could walk away satisfied.

The thing of it is, you can get more stars.

Stars.  Why is it always stars with Nintendo?

And the next and most obvious star to get is the one for completing the National Pokedex.  Professor Rowan hands you over to his mentor, Professor Oak, who upgrades your Pokedex so you can catalog all of the known Pokemon.

You think you’re ready for the National Pokedex just because you’ve finished up the Sinnoh Pokedex?

Think again!

Here is a way to measure what you are up against.

There are two Prima guides to Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.

The first one, which is 269 pages long, is devoted to teaching you how to play the game, including how to do all the side activities you run into along the way, as well as guiding you through the main story through to that first star.

The second one is 456 pages long and it is mostly devoted to completing the National Pokedex.

You see, Professor Rowan is a softy.  He let you fill out the Sinnoh Pokedex by just “seeing” the 150 Pokemon native to Sinnoh.

Professor Oak though is a cast iron bastard of the old school.

To complete the National Pokedex you have to personally capture or otherwise obtain and have in your possession all of the Pokemon.  That is 493 Pokemon, and you gotta catch em all.

And many of them aren’t even in the game!

And I am not talking about the few that are in Diamond but not Pearl and vice versa.

I set out to master the National Pokedex.

Some Pokemon are just evolutions of the Pokemon you already have, though sometimes you need a particular stone or situation to bring on the evolution.  I have farmed the underground for such stones and worked to develop friendship levels that would all evolution to occur.  I am lucky that my daughter and I both play, as some Pokemon need to be traded to another person via wireless for them to evolve.

Some Pokemon you need are actually in the game, but are rare or only show up at special times or under special circumstances.  I have jumped through hoops to trigger events. I have set my Outlook calendar to remind me of special dates.  I have checked the game every day to see if today was the mass outbreak event that would yield an as yet uncaught Pokemon.  I have spoken the owner of the Pokemon mansion regularly to see if there was a needed Pokemon in his garden that day.  I have stalked the Pastoria Great Marsh in search of the daily rare rotation.

Some of them can be brought into the game via an Pokemon breeding program that involves putting two Pokemon in daycare.  The an egg mysteriously shows up and you have to get it to hatch.  This does not involve sitting on it, but rather traveling with it as part of your Pokemon team.  I have hatched many an egg now.

Some Pokemon only appear in game if you have one of the older GameBoy Advance versions of the game inserted in the front slot of your Nintendo DS.  I initially scoured eBay for low cost, used copies of those games.  I found that there is such demand that they go for almost retail.  So I have purchased some new off the shelf when I have had a Toys R Us coupon or the like.  I have hunted down all of those that could be obtained while having FireRed, LeafGreen, Emerald, or Sapphire inserted.

Some Pokemon must be migrated from those older games.  That means you have to have played that game and captured that particular Pokemon.  In a bit of luck, the copy of FireRed I got used had a game in progress on it and I was able to snaffle a couple of Pokemon that way.  My daughter also played quite a ways into Pokemon Emerald and picked up a couple of needed Pokemon.

Some Pokemon you can only get through special Nintendo events, all of which I announce here to help spread the word.

You can obtain Pokemon via an international wireless trading network that Nintendo has set up, the Pokemon Global Trade Station.  You can visit the website for it and see statistics on how many Pokemon are being traded on a given day, which ones are popular, and so on.  From the Global Trade Station I have obtain Pokemon from all over the world.  Japan is the most common location, but I have Pokemon from Australia, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Antigua, Egypt, South Africa, and places in between.  I had quite a long string of success farming Meowths from FireRed and trading them for rare Pokemon.  People in Japan will trade you anything for a Meowth it seems.

And after all my end game work… I “finished” the game and got that first star back in May 2008… I have obtained 358 Pokemon. (I have seen 403, but that won’t get my anywhere with Professor Oak.)

That is 134 short of being done.

And while there are another 40 I could get with a little work on each one… get around to hatching another few eggs… get a few more levels for some… trade a few with my daughter… that still leaves me nearly 100 shy of being done.

I am sure I am not alone in failing to complete the National Pokedex in Diamond/Pearl.  I have never met anybody who has completed it.  Not honestly, anyway.

I always ask the kids hanging around at the Pokemon download events if they have finished it.  The only one who said yes also said he had to cheat to do it.  I did not ask how he cheated, but I have no doubt there are ways.

I just have to face it.  I am not going to complete the National Pokedex, not before Pokemon Platinum comes out.  I am worn out from trying.  Once Platinum shows up, I look forward to starting a fresh storyline, unconcerned with finishing the National Pokedex, at least for a while.

But once I have finished the main storyline in Platinum I bet Professor Oak will be there, waiting for me, ready to upgrade my Pokedex, ready to send me out in to capture nearly 500 Pokemon.

Will I be ready for the challenge?

I’ll have 358 in my pocket, so to speak, ready to transfer into the game.

There will be a new and improved Global Trade Center with which to obtain those final hundred and thirty four.

I’ll have a couple of years before the next version of Pokemon comes out.

It could happen.