Video Game / Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness

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Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness is a spinoff of the Pokémon series and the sequel to Pokémon Colosseum. It was developed by Genius Sonority and released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2005. Similar to its predecessor, the gameplay revolves less around battling wild Pokémon and more around stealing them from the bad guys in the Double Battle format.

Despite the Darker and Edgier look presented by the cover, XD scales things back a few notches by replacing the Anti-Hero main character with a Kid Hero named Michael, and cleaning up Orre so that it's not quite as gritty as before. The plot this time revolves around "XD001": a Lugia transformed by the reborn Cipher crime syndicate into a Shadow Pokémon supposedly immune to purification.

XD: Gale of Darkness added a few new features, such as "Poké Spots", small areas where you could lure and catch wild Pokémon, and a method for mass purifying Shadow Pokémon. In addition, Shadow Pokémon now have a much greater variety of moves than just Shadow Rush and there are more to catch than before.

Tropes present in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Cipher Peon Rixor is a fan of the newscaster, Ancha. During Cipher's invasion of ONBS, he can be found trying to get Ancha's autograph.
  • Ascended Extra: Miror B. went from relatively minor but memorably quirky Starter Villain to a decent sized part of the plot and gameplay in XD.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • One for Pokédex completionists: The majority of endgame Shadow Pokémon are of species that, while they can be found in the wild in FireRed and LeafGreen, have notoriously low (1-5%) chances of appearing (and some have the added annoyance of being found only in the Safari Zone). Additionally, the Hoenn Dex Pokémon unavailable in Emerald (Surskit, Roselia, Meditite, Lunatone and Zangoose) are available here, eliminating the need to trade with Ruby and Sapphire.
    • In Colosseum, Shadow Pokémon often KOed themselves using Shadow Rush, since it has recoil. Here, while some Shadow moves do hurt the user, they cannot cause the user to faint (Shadow Half and Shadow End reduce the user's HP by half its current value). Tracking down missed Shadow Pokémon is also easier, since they'll go straight to Miror B. for an immediate second chance rather than requiring you to wait until a postgame rematch.
  • Art Evolution: The graphics have notably improved since Pokémon Colosseum. Human characters now have smoother, higher-quality models with more facial animations.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Robo Groudon. Sure, Chobin looks awesome and gets boss battle music in it, but it doesn't make him a better trainer (though he does evolve his Sunkern and get two more Pokémon when you first battle him with it). Every time you defeat Chobin when he's controlling Robo Groudon, it malfunctions and starts smoking from its mouth.
  • Bag of Spilling: While the player character is separate between the two games, a few returning NPCs have had their levels fall hard. Miror B. in XD no longer possesses his trademark Ludicolo quartet and is nowhere near the level seen in his endgame appearance in Colosseum (at least until XD's postgame, where he's stronger than he was in Colosseum). The same is true for various other Trainers fought (as XD starts with Level 10 opponents instead of 25/26). Eagun's Pikachu takes the largest hit, as in Colosseum it was Lv. 50, but in XD it's only Lv. 12 (and it's actually implied to be the same Pikachu). Though Eagun states before battling you that it's his first time in five years, so the reduced level is probably supposed to represent Pikachu being out of shape.
  • Bookends: The game begins with the player getting the Snag Machine. It ends with the player putting it back where they found it, never to be used again.
  • Boss Bonanza: Lovrina rematches you near the beginning of the final area, while the end is a nearly uninterrupted series of boss fights. Once you reach the top, Snattle rematches you. After beating him, you can fight Ardos right away, but you'll likely need to heal after Snattle and the Door to Before is rigged with a Cipher Peon encounter. After Ardos is a rematch with Gorigan, followed by a brief interruption in the bosses with a Cipher Peon battle. The boss fights resume with Eldes, Shadow Lugia, and finally Greevil.
  • Boss Rush: The Orre Colosseum consists of 7 challenges, the final round of each being against a boss from the game (Not just the Cipher Admins, but also ones like Robo Groudon Chobin). They can be re-challenged freely, too, but bear in mind these are those "enemy team is scaled to yours" kinds of fights, so you'll likely need to import heavy-hitters from other games.
  • Brick Joke: Some with the minor background characters of Colosseum, actually.
    • First, and plot relevantly, the lady who lived with Es Cade during Colosseum is revealed to be a Cipher Peon in XD, which makes sense Es Cade, or rather Evice, was Cipher's boss in Colosseum. In XD, you need to distract and then fight her.
    • Second, and really minor unless you remembered every minor trainer's dialogue involves a cooltrainer in front of the Agate Village Pokemon Center. In Colosseum, its a male named Dury (Takato in Japanese), whose a battle-able trainer. In XD, the cooltrainer is a female named Cida (Takami in Japanese, for maximum Stealth Pun) who explicitly mentions she's the younger sister of Dury and has come to the village to study like he did because she's jealous of how strong he became after studying here.
    • Next is Makan, who did appear in a minor role in Colosseum as Perr's grandfather, is essential to defeating Cipher in this game.
    • Similarly Ancha the star newscaster from ONBS, is the one who had the battle against Wes's imposter filmed at the very end of the game, saving his reputation.
    • Lastly, is the story from an old man in The Under in Colosseum where he discusses that some guy got VERY RICH from mining in The Under, and left and hoped he did it for good. This is foreshadowing Mr. Verich or rather Grand Master Greevil of Cipher, who most definitely did NOT use it for good.
  • Ceiling Cling: Just like in Pokémon Colosseum, Cipher Peons like to hang from the ceiling just out of sight while waiting to ambush you.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • While Miror B. returns in this game and is no longer part of Cipher, and Evice is stated to still be behind bars, what became of the other Cipher Admins from Colosseum is never mentioned. And while Folly and Trudly still work for Miror B., Reath and Ferma are absent.
    • Wes and Rui from Colosseum only get vague mentions, and there is no indication of what happened to them after the end of their adventure.
  • Convection Schmonvection: One room in Cipher's lair on Citadark Isle is a lava puzzle that you solve by pushing steel crates to the ground. With the lava blocked, the ground is instantly cool enough to walk on, and the crates don't show any signs of getting red-hot either. You are told it's too hot to approach the chest if you try to get it before you drop the chest, and the peon who drops down as you're about to run through the door says he got hot waiting for you, but that's it.
  • Cool Ship: The Robo Kyogre, an Olympus Mon-shaped Humongous Mecha reworked into sea craft. It's the only way to get to Cipher's base.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Shadow Pokémon have moves super effective against everything but one another, but they can't level up until they're purified.
    • Poochyena gets Bite + Dig for decent coverage early on, but it will quickly get overtaken by other Shadow Pokémon you catch.
  • Cue the Sun: In the final cutscene after you defeat the Final Boss, the clouds dissipate and the sun breaks through, likely symbolizing the end of Shadow Pokémon.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
  • Damage Over Time:
    • Shadow Pokémon who enter "Reverse Mode" in battle sustain damage per turn.
    • Non-Shadow Pokémon take a little damage at the end of each turn while the "Shadow Sky" weather is active.
  • Darker and Edgier: Ironically enough, from Colosseum. In XD, Cipher is quite obviously playing for keeps: they've got an army of more Shadow Pokemon than ever, led by a legendary Pokemon so corrupted that it's form has been dramatically altered; they're pulling off dramatic, showy heists in full-view of the public; and they're pushing Shadow Pokemon so hard that Michael has to steal them back from innocent people. (But see Lighter and Softer below).
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • Lovrina, Snattle and Gorigan all come to respect you once you defeat them in the Endgame+ colosseum.
    • Eldes starts to respect you before you fight him, and ultimately brings down Cipher and performs a Heel–Face Turn after his defeat.
  • Demoted to Extra: Many characters in Colosseum get little or no plot mandated screen time and are only present to avert No Endor Holocaust. The list includes Silva, Beluh, and Dash the Athlete, who all had major, if short, appearances in the previous game, are now at best random NPC's (Silva, Beluh) or part of an optional post-game sidequest (Dash).
  • Difficulty Spike: Shadow Lugia and 3 of the final boss's Shadow Pokémon have catch rates of 3 (out of 255) while, with the exception of a Shadow Snorlax and Chansey (which are still 30, or 3.9% with no damage and a default ball), everything else has catch rates that can easily be gotten to 20+% (sleep + Ultra/Net Ball). It seems as though catch rates for Legendary Pokémon may have been modified for this game, however, as they're at least easier to catch than in the main games.
    • The Hexagon Brothers and Miror B, postgame. The Hexagon Brothers hang around the Cipher lab in case you feel like battling them again or have to snag any Shadow Pokémon you missed the first time around. However, after you beet Greevil, they're all at level 50, save any Shadow Pokémon. Miror B, in the final battle at Gateon Port, has five level 57 Ludicolo and one level 55 Shadow Dragonite. (Fortunately, if you have Shadow Salamence, and it has been purified or relearned Wing Attack spamming Wing Attack keeps the Ludicolo from being too annoying, as long as you watch out for the one that knows an ice-type move.)
  • Disappeared Dad: The player's "late" dad, who is explicitly said to be dead ("passed away").
  • Emoticon: Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. It stands for "Xtra Dimension".
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: The Cipher Key Lair to a degree, although it generally becomes apparent once you discover the boss at the end is simply another Cipher Admin.
  • Disc One Nuke: Espeon once again, if you choose to evolve your Eevee into one. It's arguably worse due to the lower starting levels, but this Espeon has access to Bite for added coverage. Jolteon may count as a milder example, also being a fair notch above the early game foes statistically.
  • Dummied Out: Data exists for Battle CDs 51-60, though they can only be obtained by hacking. CDs 51-55 are incomplete, kicking you out of the challenge upon startup since you don't have a team (the game effectively treats this as a loss). CDs 56-60, meanwhile, are identical to some of the Battle Sim tutorials.
  • Enemy Mine: Gonzap keeps his word by returning Michael's Snag Machine after being defeated, and explains that Team Snagem doesn't need to make things difficult for Michael; since Michael is trying to take down Cipher himself, they're both on the same side. They even end up helping Michael out later on.
  • Eternal Engine: The Cipher Lab returns here but there is also the Cipher Key Lair which is the new place where shadow Pokémon are created.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Greevil. He may be the leader of Cipher, but he still cares for his sons. Eldes even convinces him to disband the team.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted. Dr. Krane gives Naps, Lovrina's number two, an earful about the misdeeds he's committing with Cipher. Naps acknowledges that it's evil, but nowhere near enough to quit his day job. Apparently, Poochyena soccer is the bare minimum to remain employed in his line of work.
    • Played Straight later with Hordel who signed up for Cipher but was horrified when he actually saw the Cipher Key Lair. And later with Eldes, who put up with a lot out of loyalty toward his father but drew the line at blowing up Citadark Isle to get rid of Michael.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Prof. Krane and Mr Verich. Just before the final battle Verich AKA Greevil opens them to reveal his huge, yellow eyes.
  • Final Boss Preview: The same Alakazam that saves Jovi from Zook's Zangoose (which coincidentally is also fought later on in the game) is on Ardos's team when you fight him. It's even the same level.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the citizens of Gateon Port notes that Mr. Verich has a lot of money as his name suggests. Not to mention his powerful bodyguards.
    • When Zook is at the factory bodyguarding, he questions how Gorigan heard of the fact that he was flaunting his Shadow Zangoose in Gateon Port, leading him to get punished. It's because he showed off that Zangoose right before the Grand Master Greevil's eyes, under the guise of Mr. Verich.
  • Funny Afro: Miror B., again. It seems to be even larger than it was in Colosseum.
  • Futuristic Pyramid: Cipher Key Lair
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: After you snag and purify all 83 Shadow Pokémon, if you go re-battle Greevil, you get a little additional scene in the ending. It has Michael, looking at the no-longer-needed snag machine, which is lying on a table in the lab. However, after the credits roll and the game re-starts, he's still wearing the machine. Hard to explain, since a plot point of the game ensures there is data for Michael without the machine programmed in.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Silva assures Michael that he was not saying that he likes to wear women's clothing.
    • There is a woman in the first area that says she sleeps with her Pokémon. She's standing next to a Kirlia.
    • Several strip club parallels/euphemisms are made in reference to the Krabby Club's Magicians.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Gorigan has two pairs. One he wears as intended, the other he wears on his neck.
  • Golden Ending: A minor one after you snag and purify all the Shadow Pokémon. The last cutscene has an addition where Michael's in the lab, looking at the now unneeded snag machine, lying on a table.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Hexagon Brothers, who are a bunch of Cipher Peons with colorful outfits. They end up becoming this with repeat appearances.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Two scientists who have designed a method for serial abuse of Pokémon use "gosh" and "gadzooks."
  • Green Hill Zone: Agate Village returns from the first game just as it was in the first game.
  • Ground Punch: This is how Earthquake is animated: the user punches the ground and ripples travel out to break the ground under everyone else.
  • If My Calculations Are Correct: One Cipher Peon always quotes probabilities, which are clearly just pulled out of thin air. Although the one about how likely the player is to wreck their plans if not stopped seemed pretty accurate.
  • Inconsistent Dub: When Colosseum was translated, Battlus had his name changed to Somek, but when XD was translated, his name was left as Battlus.
  • Infinity+1 Element: Shadow moves are not effective against other Shadow Pokémon, but super-effective against everything else.
  • Informed Ability: Apparently Razell and Dazell, two performers at the Krabby Club, "sing, dance, and perform a decent magic act," but they're only ever seen juggling.
    • If you look closely, you'll see that the pins are changing color. I guess that's a magic act.
    • Also, when they're performing at ONBS, they spin while they're juggling. That's probably the best way they could really animate dancing.
  • Joke Character: One of the Battle Bingo cards only contains Pokémon with a secondary Flying type. One of them is a Gligar... whose only move is Earthquake. Earthquake doesn't work on Flying types. And if you plan out your moves wrong, you could be forced to catch it just to have enough EP to continue.
  • Karma Houdini: The main villains get off scot-free in the end, even being free for battle in the post game.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Citadark Isle is a large island with a volcano which is home to Cipher's headquarters.
  • Lighter and Softer: Orre is cleaned up in this game (but it is still fairly dark, particularly at the beginning and at the end), more grass and trees are growing, water is spreading, there seems to be more Pokémon League presence in the region, while one Wretched Hive is shut down and the other has a now clean white building in it whose inhabitants are dedicated to being helpful. The game makes it pretty clear that Wes shook up the region's status quo pretty good. (But see Darker and Edgier above).
  • Locomotive Level: Outskirst Stand is still here but it does not play quite as big a role as in the first game.
  • Lost Woods: Yes the Relic Path returns as the way to the Relic Stone.
  • Luck-Based Mission: To win Battle CD 8, you are required to get Critical Hits to overpower the opponent Cradily and its Defense boosts.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Greevil is this to Evice. Chief Sherles states that Evice was only the boss of the Orre region.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • In Japanese, the hero is Ryuuto, which is very close to ryuutou, which are sacrificial lights placed on an alter to the gods. In English, he's Michael: "who is like God?". His other default English names are Adam and David.
    • Also, Greevil.
  • Mister Big: Greevil.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Eldes after realizing his own father used him as a pawn for evil.
  • Mythology Gag: One trainer within Mt. Battle tells the player that she heard about another trainer who used the same team as she did. Sure enough, the Pokémon on her team are Chimecho and Cacnea, the same team Team Rocket's James from the anime had during the Hoenn saga.
  • Nerd Glasses: Chobin wears the spiral variety, and is also Blind Without 'Em.
  • Never Say "Die": It's made blatantly obvious that Cipher used Shadow Lugia to outright murder the S.S. Libra crew down to the last man, but since this is still an 'E' game, the story does its best to gloss over this fact.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Some bimbo doesn't get a job as an Admin in the lab coincidentally. Lovrina must be one crazy scientist, especially if she claims to have made XD001 unpurifiable. She just pretends to be a Valley Girl so people underestimate her ginormous brain. She still maintains a Genki Girl demeanor in the postgame, so she might be a very high-functioning Genius Ditz.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Due to the fact that any Shadow Pokémon knocked out immediately go to Miror B., and he does not bother to level up his non-Shadow team members until the Bonus Boss battle for the Shadow Dragonite, rather than immediately catching a Shadow Pokémon like the game suggests, it's often easier to knock one out, then hunt down Miror B. and tank/sweep through his pitiful Ludicolo collection while focusing on catching the Shadow Pokémon instead of trying to fend off more powerful regular foes while doing so.
  • Percent Damage Attack: The Shadow move "Shadow Half" reduces all combatants' HP by 50% — friends and foes all included. It also requires an additional turn to recharge after use.
  • Perky Female Minion: Lovrina is so this.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Picking the wrong questions in an interview (you have to answer all completely truthfully) will make the Amulet Coin inaccessible without trading (you instead get a much less useful item that can be found elsewhere) and evolving the Shadow Togepi will make the special Elekid you can trade it for a plain old Elekid.
    • The Togepi. That Togepi is the only one in the entire series who can learn one of Togekiss's best attacks: Tri Attack. Many players trade it back to the scientist without realizing how sought-after that specific Togepi is.
    • Averted with the Shadow Pokémon themselves — you may only have one or two chances to Snag a given one, but you can track down Miror B. later on, who will have whatever Shadow Pokémon you missed out on. Trainers who can be rematched infinitely (such as the final boss or the Hexagon Bros.) keep their Pokémon, generally.
  • Port Town: Gateon Port.
  • A Protagonist Is Ryu: Michael is "Ryuto" in Japanese.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Hexagon Brothers, again, who each have their own Shadow Pokémon of a different element. Ironically, their leader Resix has the least amount of Pokémon (though they are the highest level).
  • Recurring Riff: A segment of the Cipher Admin theme from Colosseum can be heard during the opening cutscene with the S.S. Libra.
  • Running Gag:
    • The Hexagon Brothers can't do roll call to save their lives.
    • Eagun's exaggerated ineptitude with computers, as proven by the antics related to him either accidentally sending a blank e-mail or him accidentally sending e-mails that are cut off. (Incidentally, the gag started off in Pokémon Colosseum when he sent an e-mail to Wes to request his presence so that he could give him the Master Ball in person).
  • Saharan Shipwreck: Where the Libra is discovered. Apparently XD001 dropped it by accident.
  • Sequel Hook: Once you beat the Big Bad and win the game, Ardos storms out of Citadark Isle vowing to resurrect Cipher. If defeated in the Orre Colosseum (accessible in the Endgame+), he also brands you as Cipher's Biggest Enemy and notes that he will be watching you.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Of course Orre is a vast desert region.
  • Ship Level: The desert wreck of the SS Libra.
  • Shotacon:
    • A surprising number of female grunts flirt with Michael (who, unlike Wes, is likely underage).
    • The receptionist at the HQ Lab seems to be a young woman, yet she starts the Michael fanclub and giggles at the thought of being rescued by him.
  • Shout-Out: An item called the Reed Flute which can snap a Pokémon out of confusion is a shout out to a Muslim belief where in a person is much like a flute make from a river reed. Cut from its source and wanting to return where it came from, and can make the sweetest music when properly wielded.
  • Slasher Smile: Greevil, once he is no longer hiding his status as Cipher's mastermind.
  • Sleazy Politician: Snattle's dreams of governorship over Orre were all-consuming for him — so much so that he joined with Cipher to achieve it... and stayed onboard because Evil Feels Good.
  • Start My Own: Miror B. is no longer a Cipher admin but has started his own evil organization, which consists of ... him and his two minions.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: Aside from the series's existing "Haze" move, the Shadow move "Shadow Shed" instantly dispels barriers like Reflect and Light Screen from the opposing party.
  • Surprise Creepy:
    • Moreso than Colosseum - the game starts out much more lighthearted, and Orre's been cleaned up quite a bit. Then it sinks in that Cipher murdered an entire boat crew offscreen.
    • In Colosseum, you start in the south-eastern corner of Orre and work your way northwest, while in XD you work backwards. The game keeps you waiting before you make it back to familiar locations like Phenac City... so as to maximize the dissonance when you realize that there's something not quite right.
  • A Taste of Power: Right after the introductory cutscene you're treated to a battle with a Lv. 50 Salamence against an NPC's Lv. 50 Metagross. It's only a simulation, however — your real starter Pokémon is a Lv. 10 Eevee. Incidentally, a Salamence is one of the Shadow Pokémon in the game.
  • Third-Person Person: Jovi and Chobin both speak in the third person.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Citadark Isle is Cipher's lair and the location of your final confrontation with them. It's enormous, to the point where you get to rematch Lovrina, Snattle, and Gorigan, and get to face the Big Bad and his two bodyguards.
  • Vice City: Pyrite Town returns like it was in the first game.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind:
    • When Ardos defeats Zook in Gateon Port at the beginning of the game, his uses an Alakazam at Level 44. When you battle him on Citadark Isle, it's still Level 44.
    • When you first meet Miror B., his team is at a level that's a slight challenge. If you rematch him for Shadow Pokémon outside of the Bonus Boss fight at the end, his core team is still at the same level as his first appearance, making him a more and more trivial battle as you progress through the game.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The head of Cipher is Mr. Verich, who plies everyone who frequently patrons the Krabby Club with free drinks. Nobody suspects his true intentions.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Averted. As you progress through the story, NPCs will have different remarks on what's been happening. For example, if you return back to Krane after Snagem steals your Snag Machine, both him and your mother will notice it, even though you're not required to talk to them during that part of the game.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Snagem members Wakin and Agrev have seemingly swapped bodies since Colosseum.

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon XD

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/PokemonXDGaleofDarkness