Tag Archives: Pokewalker

Possible Jirachi Nintendo WiFi Download

The Winner’s Path download event ended on Saturday, but not new event has yet been announced on Pokemon.com.  So I decided to check and see what was up.

I started up Pokemon SoulSilver, chose the Mystery Gift option, selected Receive Gift , and specified Get Via Nintendo WFC.

After a few seconds of checking, the screen came back and said it was downloading Make a Wish Jirachi.

Jirachi Arrives

It looks to be the similar to the Jirachi they were giving out in the GameStop download event back in March.  It is level 5 and holding the same item, a Liechi Berry.  The original trainer (OT) is listed as SMR2010, no doubt for Summer 2010.  It knows the moves Wish, Confusion, Rest, and Draco Meteor.

Having a Jirachi is Pokemon HeartGold or SoulSilver opens up a new Pokewalker route.

I expect that Nintendo will announce this as their current WiFi download at some point soon.  Right now, however, the site is focused on the Pokemon Video Game US National Championship, which took place this past weekend.

This download is only for Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.  It does not appear to work with Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum.  Instructions for setting up Nintendo WiFi on your DS are in the instruction booklet that came with your game.

More on this when Pokemon makes an announcement.

The Ongoing Pokewalker Tragedy

I was going to put up a post about how quickly Nintendo sent out the replacement pokewalker after my daughter’s initial one went through the wash this past weekend.

I put in the order on Sunday night and it was here on Wednesday.  Not bad, considering I chose the cheapest shipping option.

But then, less than 24 hours after the arrival of the new pokewalker, something happened.

My daughter and I were headed to the park.  I was walking and she was racing ahead on her scooter.  She had her new pokewalker with her, clipped to outside of her pants so as not to forget it in the wash, for its first venture into the outside world.  Before we made it to the park, which is less than a mile from our house, she stumbled trying to do a trick and fell.

She sustained a couple of scraps to one hand, but nothing serious.  They were light abrasions with no blood.  Then I saw the pokewalker.

Pokewalker Scraped Do Not Heal

There was a big, ugly set of scrapes across the front of the unit.

My daughter was very upset.  While her new pokewalker still worked, the screen was marred in such a way as to make reading any messages on it very difficult.

What to do?

I hated to go out and buy another new unit.  So I began to look into taking apart the washing machine victim so as to use its unblemished (and now very clean!) front plate to replace the damaged one.

Unfortunately, I was back to those tri-blade screws.  A run through Home Depot came up empty.

But the internet… the internet provides all.

I was able to find a vendor who sold exactly the right screwdriver.  Nintendo has been using this type of screw for a while now, or so it seems.  (The vendor in question, VPGames, has a lot of interesting Nintendo DS related items, along with parts for other game systems.)

And the screwdriver was cheaper than buying a new pokewalker, which any male knows is all the justification he needs to buy a new tool.

Now we’ll see if I can take apart and reassemble a pokewalker successfully.  Once the screwdriver arrives, that is.

Pokewalker Washout

There are relatively few instructions provided for the care of the pokewalker device that comes with Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.

The biggest picture on the guide… in fact the only picture on the guide… that comes with the pokewalker indicates that you should not immerse the device in water.

How not to clean your pokewalker

Okay, the message is a little confused.  I mean, the picture seems to indicate that you should place the pokewalker in the washing machine, a sentiment backed up by the phrase “Do Not Wash” which is inside a circle with a line through it.  In symbol logic, that means you should wash the pokewalker, right?

The peril of ending up with a double negative when trying to emphasize something I suppose.

Anyway, despite that, the message was clear: Don’t dunk your pokewalker.

My daughter’s pokewalker had gone unseen for a few days, as things of hers have a habit of doing.  No big deal.  These things always turn up.

Unfortunately, this time the pokewalker turned up in the washing machine.  My wife was emptying it and there, on the bottom, was the little red and white device.  A pokewalker full of water.

Wet Walker

Those lines you see on the screen, those are pockets of water that managed to work their way through the device.  The thoroughness of modern, front loading washing machines!  (Yes, that link goes to our model of washing machine.  It is a wonderful machine and you can play music with the setting buttons!)

I took the back off, removed the battery, and tried to see if I could take it apart to dry it out.  I was thwarted in this effort by some special tri-wing screw head, for which I do not have the appropriate tool.  So the pokewalker sits still out in the kitchen, water sloshing around in its display.

And while you can recover the Pokemon that was in the pokewalker, should something happen to it (my daughter was very concerned about this, but it is covered on page 52 of the HeartGold/SoulSilver instruction booklet) we were still down a device.

Nintendo, who obviously could foresee this eventuality, given their guide, allows you to purchase a replacement pokewalker through the Nintendo parts store online.  The device plus standard shipping runs to $15.

Since my daughter separated her own laundry and had been reminded to turn things right-side out and to check pockets, the incident was deemed to not be covered by the Daddy Universal Insurance plan.  She has to buy a new pokewalker out of her own money.

Of course, before you feel sorry for her, she just lost another baby tooth.  Proceeds from the tooth fairy, grandparents, aunts, and the like will more than cover the cost.  In fact, I had to break a double sawbuck for her.

Anyway, a new pokewalker should be headed our way soon.  In the mean time, check your pockets before you wash your clothes.

Wrath of the Kitties

No, not those kitties.  Our own, real life cats.

I arrived home this afternoon to find our LEGO pokewalker project had been knocked off its location and lay smashed to pieces on the floor.

No Free Steps Today!

This appears to be part of an ongoing anti-cheating campaign initiated by one of our cats.

The suspect in this brutal attack on our LEGO project declined to answer questions from his daytime perch atop the six foot tall bookcase in my office.  I’m pretty sure the little one put him up to it.  She’s a trouble maker.

Maintaining his right to remain silent

My daughter and I will not be deterred by this misfortune.  A better and stronger LEGO pokewalker system will emerge from the ashes of this setback.

Pokewalker Twinking Environmental Hazards

As mentioned in the comments on the previous post, our cats seem to enjoy breaking our LEGO projects.

That is our cat Fred.  Over the weekend he didn’t pay any attention to the Pokewalker machine.  This morning, however, it became the center of his world.  If the Flip Video battery had not been drained I would have made a movie out of this assault.

Pokewalker Twinking

The title of this post has two words.  The second is “twinking.”

The definition of “twinking” varies, usually landing somewhere between “cheater” and “opportunist. ”  Generally though, in gaming, it is a term used to describe the action of using every resource available to boost the strength, power, level, or wealth of a character or other in-game player manifestation.  The resources in question are not always available to other players, which is when descriptions tend towards the cheating end of the spectrum.

The first word is “Pokewalker.”


The Pokewalker is a pedometer device that comes with Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver.  You carry the Pokewalker with you and it counts the number of steps you have taken.

So what.

So, through an IR port on the back of your Pokemon HeartGold or SoulSilver cartridge, you can move one of your pokemon into the Pokewalker and “take it for a walk.”  This does a few things.

First, it increases how much your pokemon likes you.  Some pokemon will only evolve if they are really devoted to you.  Your pokemon will also go up one level every day you walk a certain number of steps.  One level a day seems trivial until you get into the 40s or so, then it starts to feel pretty useful.

Second, you can gain “watts” by walking.  Every 20 steps the Pokewalker records, you gain a watt.  Watts are the currency of the Pokewalker.  You can do things on the Pokewalker by spending watts.  You also need to collect watts to open new routes.

Third, you can play the dousing game, which costs 3 watts a try.  This is a guessing game where you try to find an item.  The more steps you have taken on a given route, the better the item is likely to be.

Fourth, and probably most important, you can catch pokemon.  Each Pokewalker route has a certain set of pokemon which you can try to catch.  Each catching attempt, which is a little game itself, costs 10 watts.  To get the more rare pokemon on a given route, you need to have taken a lot of steps before start trying to catch them.  As noted in the Winner’s Path post, to get the two rare pokemon on that route, you need to take 8,000 steps and only THEN do you have a small chance of catching either of those pokemon.

More steps are better.  And more steps also unlock more routes and more pokemon to catch, with the final route opening up to you after the 1 million watt mark, or 20 million steps.  Measuring my own stride, each step is about 2 feet, which gets us past 7,500 miles of walking to be done to get that last Pokewalker route.

I do applaud Nintendo for adding the incentive to get out and exercise to their game.  And it has gotten my daughter to go out and walk some just to get a few more steps on the Pokewalker.  But some days we forget to bring it along when we go out, or we have other things going on, and 20 million steps is a lot to rack up.  So my mind moved to cheating twinking.

One of the first things I noticed about the Pokewalker is how liberal it is in what it views as a step.

I’ve been carrying my Pokewalker in my pocket every day.  I opted not to put on the optional belt clip accessory, as my daughter wanted that on her Pokewalker and I thought that would make the two of them easy to distinguish.

Sitting in my pocket, it registers most movement as steps.  Being somewhat fidgety when I’m concentrating (I do that whole leg shaking thing, bouncing my leg up and down while seated at my desk) I noticed I was racking up a lot of steps while seated.

So this past weekend, as we were watching my daughter play soccer and I was trying to figure out how to safely attach two Pokewalkers to her to capture all that running, I started thinking along a different line.  Could I make something that would move or shake the Pokewalker enough to simulate steps?

My mind immediately went to our many LEGO parts.  We have the electric motor set and I have used it to make a number of silly contraptions.  Could I make a Pokewalker device?

My initial plan was to make something along the lines of a trip hammer that would jolt or shake the Pokewalker to simulate steps.  My mind was fixed on that up and down motion.

However, working in the medium of classic LEGO (we don’t have any of the Mind Storm sets) made this difficult.  Various teeter-totter and rotating cam prototypes would work initially, but would quickly (and sometimes violently) tear themselves apart dealing with the weight of the Pokewalker.

Then I had my moment of inspiration.  I found that by merely rotating the Pokewalker, I would get a step recorded.  Rotation seemed a much easier solution to implement.

Of course, the first impulse was to spin that sucker as fast as possible.  Too fast, however, and the Pokewalker won’t record steps.  Eventually, through the use of different sized gears, I slowed the rotation down to a more sedate pace, but one which steadily recorded steps with each turn.

Once the prototype was proven, we spiffed it up a bit and set to work racking up steps at the rate of about 120 per minute.

Music provided by YouTube, since otherwise all you heard was the whine of the electric motor.

That lasted through Saturday, although a problem became quickly apparent.  We have two Pokewalkers.  Only one could be on the device at a time.  Bickering about whose turn it was ensued.

Sunday, we turned our thoughts to upgrading the device to spin two Pokewalkers at once.  Simple enough was my thought.

But then I forgot about the cast iron law of LEGO projects: You can have a million LEGO pieces, but you’ll always run out of the ones you need for your current project.  We have quite a deficiency when it comes to gears.  I eventually had to take apart the X-Wing kit that has survived intact (mostly) for nearly 3 years to get the gears that move the wings.

With those gears and a little tinkering, I was able to achieve the double Pokewalker spin.

Again, music provided by YouTube.

You can also see my daughter’s DS Lite in its giant pink Nerf brand protective shell.  I highly recommend that case.  It has saved her DS from many falls.  And there is also one of the LEGO part storage units as the background.

And while posting that video, I found that I was not alone.  Searching on Pokewalker cheat on YouTube brings up a whole list of videos about getting steps without actually going out for a walk.  But I don’t think any of them look quite as cool as out own machine.

I don’t think this will stop my daughter and I from going for walks, the thing is rather annoyingly loud if nothing else.  But we’ll probably unlock all the Pokewalker routes a lot sooner.  And she is quite keen to show our contraption off to her friends.

Pokewalker Winner’s Path WiFi Event

The Pokewalker Yellow Forest event ended yesterday, but in what may be a sign of things to come with Pokewalker routes, a new WiFi download was announced today.

Called the Winner’s Path, it features more pokemon that you may need to complete your national pokedex.

This download event runs from May 6, 2010 through to June 26th, 2010.  Nintendo has included a guide to the pokemon and items you can collect on this route and how many steps you need to take to have a chance of finding them.

Pokemon Rarity

Item Rarity

As with the Yellow Forest event, this is NOT an in-store event.  This route can only be obtained via Nintendo WiFi, which requires you to have WiFi access to a real internet connection.  Instructions on how to configure your DS for that sort of connectivity are in the instruction booklet which comes with Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver. (Page 35 in the SoulSilver booklet.)

Once you have your WiFi access configured, full details on how to obtain the Winner’s Path route are available on the Nintendo Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver web site.

Pokewalker Yellow Forest WiFi Event

Pokemon.com has announced the first post-release WiFi event for Pokemon HeartGold and Soulsilver.

From April 1st through May 5th you can download a Pokewalker route called the Yellow Forest.

OMG Pikachu!

This new Pokewalker route features, as the name implies, Pikachu.  There are even some special variations of Pikachu you can catch when walking this route.

This is NOT an in-store event, this is only available through direct Nintendo WiFi, which means you have to have configured your DS to connect to the internet via WiFi.

Details on how to do that are in the manual that came with your game. (Page 35 in the SoulSilver manual.)

Once you have that setup, step by step download instructions are available at the Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver web site.

[Edit: This event is now over.  The next event has been announced.]

Amazon.com You’re Killing Me…

And wrecking my credibility.

A couple of months back my daughter and I took all of the loose change in the house to a nearby CoinStar station with the intent of getting an Amazon.com gift certificate.  CoinStar takes a percentage of your total amount if you want cash, but if you will take a gift certificate from any one of a number of retail establishments, that fee gets waved.

In pouring out our LEGO store bulk brick container full of coins, our hope was to have enough to buy Pokemon HeartGold and Soulsilver.

As it turned out, we had more than enough, coming up with a little over $109 in coinage.

When we got home, we put in our pre-order with Amazon.com.  We got the package deal that included both versions of the game and the official guide book.  And then we went off to other things.

Now though it is the end of the fourth day of availability for the games, and what do I have?

Well, I have the guide book.  That got to us right away.  We can read about the game.  But when I go to Amazon.com and look up my order, all I see is:

And they have been “shipping soon” since Monday, which leads one to wonder what definition of “soon” they are using.

All of which wouldn’t be the end of the world except of course that we have the book sitting around now reminding us that we don’t have the game.  And, naturally, some of my daughter’s friends who went down to GameStop on Sunday have their copies in hand and their Pokewalkers strapped to their belts.  And T-shirts.  They got free T-shirts and GameStop.

Come on Amazon, ship today!  Please?

Quote of the evening, “We’re not ordering from Amazon again.  This is taking us forever.”

Yes, the impatience of youth, but it is impinging on the reputation of gamer dad here.

Jirachi Download Event Dates Announced

Pokemon.com played coy for a week, then finally let us know the dates for the last download event before Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.

You will be able to download Jirachi at GameStop from February 27th through March 13th, just one day off from the timeline I predicted in my previous post on the subject.

As has been the pattern in the past, there is a promise of something special when you transfer Jirachi to HeartGold or Soulsilver as part of the promotional ad copy:

One of the most elusive Pokémon is soon going to be available: receive Jirachi into your Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum Version game for a limited time at participating GameStop stores in the United States and Puerto Rico! This Jirachi is very special, with unique moves and items that will make it a must-have for your Pokémon collection! Plus, Jirachi holds a secret that will be revealed when you trade it into a copy of Pokémon HeartGold or SoulSilver Version!

The secret, according to Pokemon.com, is a special Pokewalker route that can only be unlocked by Jirachi.

The Pokewalker is, of course, the pedometer device that was previously announced as part of the Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver package.  We’ll see how much this adds to the game in just over two weeks when HeartGold and SoulSilver are released.