Video Game: Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
In the fabric of time and space...comes a new adventure.
"Welcome to the next generation of Pokémon! As a rookie Pokémon Trainer, you will need to catch, train and battle Pokémon on your journey to become the Pokémon League Champion. You will face many challenges along the way, as you search for the Pokémon that rules time or space..."
— Blurb on the back of the boxes of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions
The fourth generation of Pokémon
games, Diamond and Pearl
hit the Nintendo DS
in 2006. Taking place in Sinnoh, the Pokémon world version of the Japanese island of Hokkaido, the plot is familiar territory for the series: you
, a child from the modest little village of Twinleaf Town, and your hyperactive best friend
, have a fateful encounter with Professor Rowan, the local authority on Pokémon, and his well-meaning but inexperienced assistant. Said encounter leaves you both with your first Pokémon
, so naturally you set out To Be a Master
, collecting monsters and badges and challenging/defeating opposing Trainers along the way.
At some point you also encounter Team Galactic, a group that claims to be researching new forms of energy, but isn't above unabashedly illegal acts in broad daylight
... what exactly are their goals? As the Player Character
, naturally your hero's on a crash course to find out...
A third version
, titled Platinum
, came out a couple years down the line. Platinum
tweaked the storyline a bit, adding more characters, remodeling several Gyms, and naturally including new challenges for players.
Not to be confused with seasons 10 through 13 of the Pokémon
, but Pokémon from this era do show up in the show. For the bootleg under the name "Pokemon Diamond"
, see Telefang
Tropes used in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum:
- 108: Diamond version's Pokedex description of Spiritomb is "A Pokémon that was formed by 108 spirits. It is bound to a fissure in an Odd Keystone." It's Regional Pokedex number is 108, too.
- Anti-Frustration Features:
- From these games and onward, your Bag of Holding no longer has a limit.
- If you knock out a Legendary, it will return to the place you encounter it after beating the Pokémon League again.
- Adult Fear: A post-game encounter in Platinum with an elderly man who laments that he knew his grandson was living in an emotionally unhealthy home (whether it was abusive or just that severely neglectful is left to speculation), but didn't do anything to help until it was already too late to save him. It's heavily implied that his grandson is Cyrus, the Big Bad of the game. Imagine living with the guilt of knowing you could have prevented that and didn't.
- Apathetic Citizens: Downplayed. Most people said that Team Galactic was "up to no good". A lot of them probably didn't realize the scale of their mission, since the worst they did in public was steal a Pokémon from a kid. In Platinum, it does seem that the government is at least trying to do something by sending a detective/secret agent on their trails. Inverted in that most of Team Galactic's own members had no idea what they were actually doing and would have probably freaked out if they had known.
- Artificial Brilliance: Enemy trainers tend to give their Pokémon moves that can cope with their weaknesses. And yes, they will use it on you.
- Bonus Boss:
- Getting a win streak of 20 in the Battle Frontier facilities (50 in the Battle Hall) lets you fight that facility's Frontier Brain. Getting a streak of 49 (170 in the Battle Hall) lets you fight them again with a different team. In Diamond and Pearl only Tower Tycoon Palmer can be fought since the Battle Tower is the only facility available in those games.
- In Platinum, there is an area called the Battleground in the Survival Area where you can rematch all of the Gym Leaders with new teams and fight the Guest Star Party Members you've encountered.
- The P.I. Trainer class were originally Gamblers; pay attention to how they talk about chance and how they are flipping a coin in their sprite. Their resemblance to a detective was purely coincidental.
- A literal translation of one of the myths you can read in the Canalave Library says that people and Pokémon used to get married to each other. The localization replaced it with phrasing that is much more vague.
- Breakout Character: Lucario's popularity surged to the point where it essentially became the mascot of the Generation. It got a movie focusing on it, was included in Super Smash Bros. as a playable character, and was even given a Mega Evolution in Pokémon X and Y.
- Broken Bridge:
- Route 210 is blocked by a group Psyduck, in which you could've defeated easily, but instead you have to get a Secret Potion because they have headaches.
- A man next to route 222 won't let you pass because of a blackout in Sunyshore City until after you've beaten the Big Bad. This one is at least slightly justified by the fact that not only did Volkner cause the blackout, it likely would have shut down his gym, meaning there would be little point in going to Sunyshore anyway.
- Random people block your way for no legitimate reason. Route 212 is blocked from the northern side, even after you've beaten Hearthome City's Gym, just to make you take a longer path. No badges, no special events, nothing.
- In Platinum, a battle is blocking the entrance to Canalave City if you manage to Surf there before picking up the HM from Celestic Town.
- Also in Platinum, after you escape from the Distortion World, you're placed outside the entrance to Turnback Cave. Cynthia just happens to be standing in front of the entrance, and will remain standing there until you defeat her at the Pokémon League.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: The Great Marsh, as well as some of Route 212.
- But Thou Must:
- When you get the Old Rod and Good Rods on Routes 218 and 209 respectively, the Fishermen will ask you if you need an explanation on how to use the rods. Even if you say no, they'll still blab on about them.
- When you get to the end of Iron Island and Riley offers you the Riolu egg, if you say no, he'll "insist". You have to say yes, even if you have a full party, in which case he'll wait until you come back with a free spot.
- In Platinum, Cynthia will stop you from going to the bike shop unless you accept the Togepi egg.
- Canon Discontinuity: In Black and White Cynthia refers to Dawn/Lucas fighting Giratina, implying Platinum is the canonical game.
- Capture the Flag: A minigame in the Underground.
- Character Select Forcing: There are only 2 Fire-type families in the region before the post-game, the Ponyta and Chimchar lines, one of which is a starter. This had to be known by GameFreak, as they made one of the Elite Four a Fire-type user and only 2 of his Pokémon are actually Fire-type, and it doesn't actually include every Pokémon introduced in Generation IV. This was fixed in Platinum.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
- A P.I. on Route 214 has a Level 30 Goldeen in Platinum with Horn Drill, which doesn't learn that move until Level 41.
- The Team Galactic admins have Pokémon at levels way before they should be available— Purrugly and Skuntank at level 17 or so when neither is supposed to evolve until its 30s.
- Damage Typing: These games introduced the Physical/Special split, which determine this based off the individual move rather than the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors chart (i.e. previously all Water moves were Special but now some aren't).
- Darker and Edgier: The story is noticeably darker than previous entries in the series, with the Big Bad being a manipulative psychopath aiming to destroy the universe and recreating it.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
- Arceus has data for a ???-type forme, despite said type being exclusive to one move and is impossible to access without hacking in a corresponding Plate.
- If you run away from Giratina when you're supposed to fight/catch it in the Distortion World in Platinum, Cyrus will comment on it.
- Difficulty Spike: The Elite Four and Champion are much harder compared to the eight Sinnoh Gym Leaders, due to a sizable level difference between them and the trainers in Victory Road which may leave your team under-leveled if you didn't do any Level Grinding.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Geographically, Sinnoh is a counterpart to Hokkaido, Japan.
- Forced Tutorial: Annoying as always, but the really annoying part is that you can have already captured Pokémon by the time it is given and your tutorial giver makes no mention of it.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Platinum only, and carried over to HeatGold and SoulSilver; the Acid Rain glitch will cause every weather to activate at once if a Pokémon faints to Pursuit while attempting to switch out if a weather is in play during a Player Versus Player battle. If Castform or Cherrim are sent out after the glitch has been triggered they will constantly transform due to their abilities being weather-dependent and cause the battle to lock up, requiring a restart.
- Gravity Screw: The Distortion World in Platinum has various sections where the gravity will shift.
- Guest Star Party Member: There are 5 trainers you can team up with over the course of the game. They'll accompany you through the area you meet them up in, participating in Tag Battles with you against other trainers and Random Encounters and healing your team after every battle. You can also team up with them in the Battle Tower (all games) and fight them in the Battleground (Platinum only), but only if you've traveled with them to the end of their area.
- Guide Dang It: There's a trick to make the same Mon pop up repeatedly while using the Poké Radar and (eventually) increase the likelihood of a Shiny appearing. Naturally, neither trick is alluded to anywhere in-game and isn't even mentioned in official guides.
- Incredibly Lame Pun:
- "As we skiers like to say, 'spur thing!'"
- Also, from a Birdkeeper with a Noctowl: "We'll show you 'owl' best!"
- Interspecies Romance: In the Japanese version, one of the Sinnoh stories found in the Canalave Library says humans and Pokémon used to marry each other.
- Loads and Loads of Loading:
- This set of games has small, but noticeable, wait times everywhere, including 15 second save times. There's also considerable lag in battles between animations, even with the animations off. Fixed in Platinum.
- Diamond and Pearl may give you a message when you save that it's "saving a lot of data," which means it will take about three times as long to load. This caused by the Box System. If you catch a Pokémon and it's sent to the box, prepare to take a while to save. If you look at the Box System for one second and don't even bother touching anything, prepare to take a long while to save. If you go hours on your journey without bothering to mess with the Box System, you'll save in a few seconds. This is because doing anything with the boxes triggers a flag that causes the game to calculate the checksums of all boxed Pokémon data on the next save, to make sure nothing got corrupted. It's a good programming practice taken into overdrive.
- Luck-Based Mission:
- If you want the TM for Explosion, you have to play the slots in the Game Corner. Not just to grind for enough coins, but to trigger TEN straight bonus rounds, and your chain can be broken simply due to bad luck.
- Super Contests, most of all the Acting Competition since bonus points are awarded based on how few other Pokémon choose the same judge. The Visual Competition, though primarily dependent on Poffin feeding, also depends on what theme you get since the opponents choose the same accessories every time (and which accessories correspond to which theme are not always intuitive). The only part that isn't particularly luck-based is the Dance Competition, which can possibly make up for lost ground in the other two sections.
- The 5-Maid Knockout Exact-Turn Attack Challenge in Platinum pits you against a series of five Maids, all of whom have a single Clefairy. In order to beat the challenge, you have to defeat all five in a randomly-determined number of turns — no more, no less. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, every single Clefairy has access to moves like Endure or Bounce that they can use to stall for time. Even with the most powerful party capable of single-handedly wiping the floor with the Elite Four, if your opponents use those moves often enough, you fail. Of course, your only reward for beating the challenge is another battle against someone who has a Blissey (though they shell out plenty of cash and you can steal a Rare Candy from the Blissey, if you're so inclined).
- Mascot Mook: Dialga for Diamond, Palkia for Pearl, and Giratina for Platinum.
- Mythology Gag:
- Three Trainers from the Pokémon: Jirachi: Wishmaker and Pokemon Destiny Deoxys movies appear as Ace Trainers in the Battle Zone. Butler and Diane from movie 6 appear on Route 229, the two of them sharing four of the Pokémon Butler owned in the movie. Rebecca (named "Hitomi" in Japan) from movie 7 appears on Route 224 with her Metagross. The English translation team did not notice this Easter Egg however, as Butler and Diane are renamed "Felix" and "Dana", respectively, and Rebecca/Hitomi is renamed "Jamie" instead.
- Diamond and Pearl open up with a TV documentary about a sighting of a red Gyarados.
- One of the guards in the houses connecting routes will complaining about his thirst. Luckily, he's not on duty, so he can't stall your progress.
- Nerf: Hypnosis' accuracy was reduced to 60% in Platinum after Diamond and Pearl increased it to 70%.
- Never Recycle a Building: The Old Chateau was abandoned several decades ago (at least), yet still stands more or less untouched since it was vacated despite being literally on Eterna City's doorstep. This probably has something to do with the fact that it became overrun with Ghost Pokémon at some point.
- Obvious Beta: The battles take a long time even with the animations off and saving takes a while. This is despite the fact that the Nintendo DS was much more powerful than the Gameboy Advance, so these games shouldn't have been that taxing on the newer system due to how simplistic they are in comparison to something like Super Mario 64 DS
- Old Save Bonus:
- Dual-Slot Mode allows you to encounter Pokémon that normally don't show up in the wild (like Gengar) by having a copy of one of the Gen III games in the bottom slot of the DS. This only works when played on the original Nintendo DS or DS Lite, since the DSi onward cannot play Game Boy Advance games.
- The Pal Park feature allow the player to transfer Pokémon from the third generation by inserting one of the games in the GBA slot.
- By completing Pokémon Battle Revolution, the player can receive a Pikachu that knows Surf via Mystery Gift.
- Olympus Mons: These games take it to the logical conclusion by making the Title Legendaries Physical Gods with extreme reality-warping powers.
- Police Are Useless: Looker, the International Police officer, doesn't accomplish much besides telling you where Galactic is so you can go beat them up. In Platinum, it's subverted: he appears out of nowhere at Stark Mountain with a squad of cops and drags a Galactic commander off to prison before you can fight him.
- Rewrite: Platinum changes the circumstances of how you obtain your starter, possibly to avoid any Fridge Logic when you meet Looker. note
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: The post-game battle facilities. Previously, you had to make sure that all your Pokémon were at the same level (the NPCs' levels would be the same as the strongest Pokémon in your team, similar to the Stadium games), and this level had to be above the base level for all NPCs, 60. Now, you simply have to get them to at least Lv. 50, and the game will bring down any higher leveled Pokémon. The Frontier has been reduced from 7 facilities to 5, none of which have gimmicks anywhere near as frustrating as in Emerald, like the Battle Palace shunning player input so the Pokémon can attack based on their Natures, or the Battle Pyramid's Blackout Basement.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: This is the point when NPCs really started taking advantage of TMs, Tutor moves, and Egg moves. Combined with the highest level curve since Gen I (which had poor AI and generally restricted move pools to naturally learned moves), Gen IV proved to be quite the challenge.
- Sequel Hook: Cyrus is never apprehended and is still somewhere in the Distortion World. His last lines to the player imply he'll try something again.
- Shared Family Quirks: The Rival, like his father, is always in a hurry and always bumps into people.
- Sheathe Your Sword: An interesting variation. It is perfectly possible to move the plot forward in Platinum by defeating or capturing Giratina, but you can also simply refuse to fight it by running. The game, through Cyrus being astounded at simply choosing to not fight it making Giratina come to its senses, will acknowledge this decision.
- There's a Trainer in the post-game part of Victory Road that wants to judo chop you.
- One of the Galatic Grunts makes a reference to Sony's 2006 E3 presentation, specifically the "for massive damage" line.
- The lead translator was a Something Awful regular, and decided to throw in a reference to a Let's Play from the site. The female Interviewer that can be battled in the Jubilife TV station had her name was translated as "Roxy" since she uses a Wooper, after the player character from Chorocojo's run of Pokémon Crystal.
- The area in which the most powerful Steel Pokémon is found is called Stark Mountain.
- The Pokémon Rotom is clearly based on Pulseman, and one possible translation of Team Galactic's name is "Galaxy Gang". And speaking of Pulseman, a bit of the Pulseman overworld music is used in the 2nd last part of the rival's (Barry's) battle theme.
- On Iron Island, there is a worker named Noel who says that he is a working-class hero.