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Video Game / Pokémon Brown and Prism

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Pokémon Brown and Pokémon Prism are two huge ROMHacks of Pokémon games by KoolBoyMan, based on Pokémon Red and Pokémon Crystal, respectively. They are by far among the most well-known Pokémon hacks out there (they appear on The Other Wiki, and Bulbapedia) and that's not without good reason. They are by far the most edited Pokémon hacks out there, with only the sprites and Pokémon themselves the same.

Prism works as a "sequel" to Brown, including more features and better graphics. Both games can be linked to each other, which allows the player to exchange Pokémon or battle.

These hacks add two new continents, a new story, improved graphics, Pokémon up to Generation IV (plus Sylveon), Pokémon-only segments (Prism only), and a frickin' awesome new soundtrack. (Again, Prism only)

While Brown was finished in 2009 (although an update was released in 2014), Prism nearly finished development (several working betas can be downloaded). Prism in a near-complete form premiered on Twitch Plays Pokémon note  but was unfortunately Cease and Desisted by Nintendo five days before it was set to release (however, the release build and source code were both leaked on 4chan's /v/ and /vp/ boards within 24 hours of the C&D). In 2017, a team dubbing itself "Rainbow Devs" took up the project and continues to update incomplete content and implement bug fixes with the original creators' consent.


There was another sequel, called Rijon Adventures, which was be modified from Pokémon FireRed, and currently places itself 20 years after Brown's events - however, the conditions of the C&D means that production has ceased.

If you are curious, there is a Let's Play of Brown here. All games cannot be obtained on the original website anymore, but a cursory Google can lead you to the patches.

Tropes used in multiple games:

  • Balance Buff: Many Pokemon have been enhanced by the new type combinations they've received, including Wigglytuff's new Sound-based offense and Weezing's boosted resistance to Fighting- and Bug-type moves.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Haunted Forest north of Botan City houses a Creepy Cemetery with Ghost-type Pokemon. Prism adds a Haunted House that contains more types of Pokemon, including a Gengar that sends the player off into a Dream Sequence.
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  • Bilingual Bonus: Jaeru City might seem like it has another nonsensical name like most cities in Rijon that aren't named after real cities from the San Francisco Bay Area (Eagulou and Owsauri come to mind), but in actuality, it's a japanese verb meaning to fully complete, which is quite fitting, as the the Rijon Pokémon League is located just north of the city.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: These trainers often appear in optional endgame dungeons, such as the trainers with level 70+ Pokemon the trainer is required to beat before they can reach Moltres/Entei. However, Prism at least has one that appears much earlier in the game: a Milotic-welding fisherman that's required to fight before continuing.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Averted with the traditional example of Magikarp, in which they couldn't be captured until much later than they would be in the main games.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Played very much straight with the Sound-type, which has no effect on itself.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The casinos make a return in these games. Prism also introduces a whole-new Pachisi board game, where players are at the mercy of the dice roll that determines whether or not they make it to the end of the board.
  • Mutual Disadvantage: Fire and Gas types are super-effective towards each other.
  • Nerf: While not as common as the Pokemon that have been boosted by the new typings, there have been those that have been negatively impacted by them. Most notably, the Gastly, Beldum, and Bronzor lines have all developed 4x weaknesses to Sound-type moves.
  • Original Generation: Features both the (common in fan works) Sound-type and the more unique Gas-type. Sound is strong against Gas, Psychic, Ghost, and Steel, but is also the only type weak to Normal, and Sound cannot effect Sound. Gas is strong against Fairy and Fighting, and mutually super-effective against Fire, while not being very effective against Sound, Grass, Ice, Rock, and Ghost. Reclassified Sound-types include the Jigglypuff and Whismur lines while reclassified Gas types include the Gastly and Koffing lines.
  • Noob Cave: Both games have the player begin their quest in a cave. Brown has Merson Cave, the tunnel that links Gravel Town to Merson City; while Prism throws the player in the middle of Acqua Mines, where they first meet their Larvitar.
  • Punny Name: The Rijon region.

Tropes used in Brown:

  • Bonus Boss: The Pallet Ranger at the end of the Bonus Dungeon, with a team of Level 100 Pokemon. After beating him, the game informs you that you have basically completed everything.
  • Call-Forward: Certain Pallet Rangers cameo in the end stages of the game.
  • The Cameo: A couple of significant individuals (including Giovanni), and even a place - you can visit Azalea Town (Rijon is south of it), but not the rest of Johto since Azalea was sealed off by an earthquake.
  • Glitch Entity: While koolboyman did his best to keep actual glitches from showing up throughout the course of the game, it is still affectionately parodied in one dungeon. An (intentionally) glitched looking Hypno sprite is used in place of the ghosts that appeared in Pokémon Tower. They still terrify your Pokémon, but by spouting garbled nonsense instead of demands for you to leave.
  • Heroic Mime: Averted with the player character, who also speaks in Prism as part of the Mystery League (Red and Gold/Ethan do not).
  • Obvious Rule Patch: New types were added to better balance the game, including the Dark type to counter Psychics as in all subsequent generations, and even a new type that is weak against Normal moves.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: There is one accessible even before the first Gym, a small single patch of tall grass inside a town with level 17 to 20 Pokémon (some rare ones like Pikachu, Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan), conveniently in the front of a Pokémon Center.
  • Truth in Television: Although it's most likely a coincidence, there is, in fact, a real Castro Valley.

Tropes used in Prism:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: As mentioned above, you can walk around the overworld as individual Pokémon in a few areas.
  • Animal Talk: A Pokémon's speech is translated to perfect English if you talk to them as a Pokémon (some parts of the game let you walk one of your party members around the overworld).
  • The Artifact:
    • The game runs on a heavily modified version of Crystal, and while a lot of the features from later generations (such as Fairy types, Abilities, and the Physical/Special split) are added into the game, some other quirks of the Gen II games (such as limited bag space, stat experience instead of Effort Values, the archaic Box system of the pre-Gen 3 games, and having DVs instead of IVs alongside determing a pokemon's gender by their Attack DV and determining shininess by having a specific set of DVs) remain as is, because the engine would need to be fundamentally reworked to change those aspects.
    • Sun Stones are still in the game, but all of the pokemon that evolve by the Sun Stone, such as the Sunkern line and Oddish line, were removed, and none of the new pokemon added in their place use the stone either, making it completely uselss. It can't be made into any ring either unlike the other evolutionary stones, leaving it as pure Vendor Trash.
    • For some reason, KoolBoyMan kept Lance as the champion, even though he removed the Dragonite line, the pokemon that always been Lance's ace pokemon in every official iteration.
  • Bathos: The Palette Patrollers have personalities ranging from petty criminals to ambitious Well Intentioned Extremists, not unlike the other criminal organizations in the Pokémon universe. However, all of them are wearing ridiculous Power Rangers-esque body suits, despite the leader insisting it's actually traditional Naljo garb.
  • Bookends: After beating the Champion, there's another campsite scene. This time with both your mother and Lance, your father. Also, the first gym and the final postgame gym are both Fire-type.
  • Boss Rush: The eighth gym has the player rematch against four of the Naljo gym leaders before facing off against the Climax Boss.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Or at least where you're camping. When you leave to get firewood, there's a landslide, and you can't get back. Then you ride a minecart offered by a suspicious man in a tunnel, and it breaks, trapping you alone in a cave. But then you run into a Larvitar blocking your path; it jumps into a Pokéball and comes along on your adventure.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Pallet Patrollers are very blatant Power Rangers knockoffs, complete with an 8-bit rendition of the Power Rangers theme as their encounter music. One Patroller wishes they could be called the Prism Rangers, and laments that another team beat them to the name.
  • Character Development: Various characters undergo this. Some antagonistic characters have undergone a Heel–Face Turn after thinking about their wrongdoings in Saxifrage Island, while others have abandoned their original goals in favor of other means. Even the player character has their moments when their reverence for Pokemon is tested by the sage in Magikarp Caverns, and later when a Gengar throws them into a Dream Sequence that enlightens them about their importance to the Naljo region.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower/Crazy Survivalist: Andre and his followers are capable of building and destroying architectural structure (burrows, bridges; etc.) with their bare hands. This is partly motivated by their vehement disdain towards technology, as they believe that it will leave society unprepared for a collapse in civilization.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Due to Crystal being hardcoded to only be able to handle 255 pokemon slots, a large amount of Gen 1 and 2 Pokémon were overwritten to make way for the Gen 3 and 4 Pokémon, Sylveon, and the five Fakémon legendaries (Brown still has all 151 of the originals).
  • Climax Boss: The eighth gym leader, Steel-type user Bruce, is presented as this. The first room emphasizes this with the title theme playing in the background instead of the usual gym theme. The lower level has the player solving puzzles based on past places, and engaging in a Boss Rush with some of the previous gym leaders before going up against the final Naljo leader himself.
  • Colorful Theme Naming: The Palette Patrollers are named after different colors, and the Pokémon they use (including the Eeveelutions) are in the same color group the Pallet Patroller using them is.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Earlier builds went this route: characters swear readily, the rival is first encountered while he is torturing a Bagon, the co-leader of the Quirky Mini Boss Squad threatens to kill the player character when their Pokémon aren't around to protect them, and some characters are just gratuitously obnoxious and nasty. All of this is toned down in the 0.91 build, which brings the tone closer to that of an actual Pokemon game.
    • The Gas-type attacks, however, still have names like "Sarin", "Mustard Gas", and "Lewisite". As one beta tester put it:
      VorpalNorman: Are all the Gas-type attacks war crimes?
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Marill can be caught early on and can come with the Huge Power ability, which doubles its Attack stat. Tackle is already dangerous at that point, but at level 10, it learns Double Slap, which is a STAB Fairy move here. Then it evolves just 8 levels later to Azumarill, which hits extremely hard with Huge Power by the time you get it and can remain relevant through the rest of the game.
    • Wild Sneasel and Gligar can be found just after the first Gym in Mound Cave, with each having a small chance of carrying the held item required to evolve them. If the player's lucky enough to find either, they'll have a strong, fully evolved Pokemon before even reaching the third city in the game, and even without the items to evolve them, Sneasel and Gligar will make very strong pokemon for the early game, aince they have the stats for what were originally suppoed to be serious single-stage pokemon. Gligar and Gliscor also have Sand Veil, an ability that combines well with the starter Larvitar once it fully evolves into Tyranitar and gets Sand Stream.
    • Also in Mound Cave you can find wild Eevee as a rare encounter, which can then be immediately evolved into Jolteon, Vaporeon, or Flareon if you are lucky enough to mine up one of the requisite evolutionary stones early, evolved into Glaceon if you take it back to the starting Route 70 and level it up there, or just run around until its friendship gets high enough to evolve it into Espeon or Umbreon before progressing.
    • After Mound Cave when you reach Spurge City, there's an orpanage that you can donate pokemon to for "orphan points", which you can then use to get pokemon from them. Through this you have another means to obtain the aformentioned Eevee early, and you can also get Riolu from here if you catch and donate a ton of pokemon to the orphanage. Then you can run around a lot and repeatedly teach TMs to Riolu to gets its happiness high enough to evolve, allowing you to possibly have a Lucario before you even reach the second gym.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Brown (the player character of the hack of the same name) appeared identical to Red in the Brown hack, but here, he has received his own design with longer sleeves and different hair, further helped by the Game Boy Color’s palette.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The rival forcing a terrified Bagon to fight for its life sets the tone for his character very firmly.
  • Extra Turn: Some spaces on the Pachisi board give the player additional rolls.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the available visuals for a male player character bear a close resemblance to kantonian Elite Four's Lance. Hardly a coincidence, since he's the player's father.
  • Glitch Entity: Phancero is based heavily on MissingNo, to the point it's animation briefly turns into Missingno. It's encountered in the "glitch" city from the original games, and is part flying, in reference to Missingno being bird type.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Even after you're released from prison, certain guards will still call you a prisoner and throw you back in your unlocked cell if you try to enter a restricted area. None of the guards will stop you from releasing other prisoners, or capturing incarcerated Pokémon.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: A Caterpie joins the player briefly to meet back up with his mother as a Shout-Out to the tutorial stage of the first Mystery Dungeon game.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: You begin the game with the first stage of a pseudo-legendary.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: The "cage key" item.
  • Knife Nut: This installment's rival, who employs a pocket knife for torturing Pokémon, and is on the search for monsters well suited to cutting and killing people (and Pokémon). Yet, most of his early team can learn only blunt attacks as opposed to slashing ones.
  • Leet Lingo: Naljo's professor spoke in this in one of the earlier builds. Fortunately, this was averted by the time the hack got leaked.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The protagonist's father is Lance, the league champion. There's a little family reunion scene after you beat him.
  • Meaningful Name: Phancero from "Phantom" and "Cero", spanish for zero, as its positioned as a fourth member of the Legendary Birds.
  • Meta Guy: Edison. Before his gym battle, he tells the player that the Pokemon Prism universe "isn't some fictional anime", making a reference to the Pokémon anime without showing any actual awareness of said series (see Take That!). Later at the Boss Rush, he describes how he meticulously studied your battle style and sought to counter it, something that any savvy boss character would (attempt to) do.
  • Minus World Glitch City appears in the game and is where the player finds and catches Phancero.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The "Boxart" for Prism depicts Mega Tyranitar yet Mega Evolution is not possible. It could however have been a planned mechanic had the project still been allowed to be worked on.
  • New World Tease: The first time you go to Rijon, only Botan City is accessible. It's only after beating the Elite Four that the rest of Rijon is accessible.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Quite literally with Edison, whom describes having his dreams being eaten by a Gengar (the same one that sent the player character in their own plot-significant Dream Sequence) as "the most pleasant dream."
  • No OSHA Compliance: Justified with the sixth gym, which houses Gas-type trainers. Also deconstructed, as the toxic fumes within have caused the trainers to become lethargic and dim-witted.
  • Nostalgia Level: Because Rijon is south of Johto and west of the Sevii islands, parts of those regions can be visited in later builds. Naljo is also to the south of Tunod, the region from Pokémon Glazed, and the southern parts of it can be visited as well.
  • No Smoking: Averted, unlike the main series, as there is a cigarette item that can be held to increase the power of Gas-type moves. The Black Ranger was also a smoker in earlier builds (and also gave you the item himself).
  • Original Generation: The game has five original "Fakemon" legendaries that can be encountered and caught; the plot of the Naljo region centers on the four Naljo guardians, while Phancero is an Ascended Glitch based on Missingno.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: While Andre puts up a fierce fight in his own right, neither his Machoke nor Machamp can touch Ghost-type Pokemon at all.
  • Oxymoronic Being: All of the Naljo guardians have paradoxical typings. Varaneous is Fire/Water, Fambaco is Ghost/Fighting, Raiwato is Rock/Electric and Libabell is Steel/Poison.
  • Patchwork Map: Justified, as the Naljo region is ruled by elemental guardians that impact its climate and geology. The extreme climate variations are frequently mentioned by Naljo locals.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • Some of the elemental rings boost a certain stat while reducing accuracy. While this stat wouldn't be as necessary to stall-based Pokemon, one of the rings boosts special attack, making it useful only to those that can learn the Always Accurate Attack Aura Sphere.
    • While the move tutor often gives Pokemon useful moves they wouldn't otherwise be able to learn, sometimes they're either lackluster or don't fit the needs of those Pokemon.
    • "Prism" is a new type which is only used for the move "Prism Beam", with the gimmick being that it is not super effective or resisted by any type. However when it comes to coverage moves, you typically want moves that will compliment the user's STAB types by hitting their counter types super-effectively, covering whatever holes is in your party's type coverage, moves that are specifically tailored towards countering whatever opponent you're about to fight, or otherwise trying to maximize your pokemon's super-effective type coverage in general; if you have other options you'll pretty much never want to settle for just always hitting neutrally with a coverage move, and pokemon can often learn enough varying types to hit nearly everything neutrally anyway. Plus since no pokemon is Prism type, no pokemon can get STAB off it.
  • Quirky Mini Boss Squad: The Pallet Patrollers.
  • Raised By Machamps: This was Andre's upbringing, and is also why he's both super-strong and very firmly technophobic.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Brooklyn's Totodile pulls this off twice, the first time being it runs away to Laurel Forest just to get away from the ever-so-irritating Brooklyn, something Totodile itself tells the protagonists' Pokemon upon first meeting it, and after Brooklyn has been defeated for her badge. It is because of how annoying Brooklyn is that her Totodile decides to join the protagonist, and they never say a word about where Totodile is.
  • Scissors Cuts Rock: A recurring theme with some of the new moves added are those that have the effect of hitting a type super effectively that would normally resist it (such as the new Fire move, Boil, which is super effective against the Water type), or allows it to hit a type that would normally be immune (such as Crystal Bolt, an Electric type move that can hit the Ground type for neutral damage).
  • Side View: Used in some areas.
  • Take That!: After allowing Edison to dream again, he tells you:
    "Well, this isn't some fictional anime, so I can't just give you my badge."Explanation 
  • Take Your Time: Taken to a ludicrous degree with the Naljo Guardians. Even though the release of Varaneous by the Palette Patrol is supposed to threaten Naljo with complete annihilation, the player can ignore all of the Guardians, and the region will remain as it was since the player first arrived there.
  • Third-Option Adaptation:
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Every other NPC in the Naljo region, due to some unknown apparently supernatural influence spreading throughout the area.
  • Totally Radical: Josiah, leader of the first gym. He lapses out of his 90's lingo when he's explaining what the TM that he gives out does.
  • Tutorial Failure: An NPC in the Jeweling house tells you that while making rings is a big money sink initially, you'll eventually be able to make a profit off of Jeweling. However it isn't just the starting Grass Ring that sells for a measely 50 yen, it's every ring that sells that low, even the high level ones that require multiple stones to make. Now since every evolutionary stone can be sold for 1050 yen, you'll be burning away a massive profit by turning them into rings instead, making the whole Jeweling mechanic pointless after you got all the rings you want to equip your party with.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: On top of defining a gender, the sprite of the player character and its palette can be modified into a wide variety of colors.
  • Walking Spoiler: Subverted with KoolBoyMan's first Fakemon character, Prismeon. It was supposed to be a well-hidden original addition to the Eeveelution line, but was scrapped some time before the 0.91 build.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: In-Universe. An NPC at Spurge City Mall mentions that Pokémon Quartz has a lot of profanity it in despite being rated E for Everyone - A nod towards the hack's prominence as a bootleg cart, with the box falsely claiming it to be given that rating.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: The move Crystal Bolt uses blue lightning.
  • You Are Number 6: Members of the Scientist trainer class are identified as such.

Tropes used in Rijon Adventures:

  • Big Eater: An NPC in Moraga Town's diner mentions Karpman as being one.
  • Blackout Basement: The bottom floor of Silk Tunnel is a darkened cavern where you can find Ice types.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Rijon Adventures' producer appears in Goldenrod City to stop you from going past the Game Corner building, due to the rest of the city not being accessible in the most recent beta.
  • Festival Episode: The Golden Flower Festival is taking place when you arrive in Goldenrod City.
  • Mythology Gag: Youngster Samuel on Route 34 is now older and in high school.
  • Quietly Performing Sister Show: A given considering that Brown and Prism are two of the most critically acclaimed Pokemon ROM hacks ever. While it doesn't have the same degree of innovation as the aforementioned games, it's still held in high regard in its own right.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Azalea Town's charcoal kiln is spelled as "charcoal klin."
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World:
    • Lily's gym, being an Ice type leader.
    • One part of Rijon Tunnel is an ice passage.
  • Time Skip: Takes place 20 years after Brown.

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon Brown, Pokemon Prism


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