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Video Game / Pokémon Colosseum

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Pokémon Colosseum is a Spin-Off of the incredibly popular Pokémon franchise for the Nintendo GameCube. Developed by Genius Sonority and released in 2003, the game and its sequel Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness are notably Darker and Edgier than the rest of the series. The subseries takes place in the desert region of Orre, where there are no wild Pokémon to be found. So how do you accomplish the usual task of catching and raising your own small army of adorable little forces of nature then? You steal them, mainly from the bad guys.

The main character of Colosseum, Wes, is a top operative of an organization known as Team Snagem. Using a device known as a Snag Machine, this gang is infamous for "snagging" Pokémon from Trainers all across Orre. All is well until Wes pulls a spectacular double cross on the organization, stealing their only portable Snag Machine and blowing up Snagem's headquarters. Upon reaching the town of Phenac, he stops two thugs in the middle of kidnapping a girl called Rui: a girl who can perceive a strange black aura around certain Pokémon that indicates that they have been corrupted into heartless fighting machines known as "Shadow Pokémon". She pleads with Wes to use his "snagging" expertise to help her purify all the Shadow Pokémon and uncover the conspiracy behind their creation.


Pokémon Colosseum is notable for being the first fully-3D Pokémon RPG (with a storyline and everything!) and for some unique gameplay features: such as the fact that every fight in Orre is a double battle, requiring a whole new set of tactics from regular play.

The sequel, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, was released two years later.

Pokémon Colosseum contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Warehouse: The Pyrite Building Miror B.'s minions operate out of.
  • Aerith and Bob: The two main characters have the fairly normal-sounding names of Wes and Rui. However, everyone else has really weird, made-up-sounding names like Gonzap and Nascour. This is in very sharp contrast with the Game Freak games, where human characters have regular names that follow a theme or pun.
  • After-Combat Recovery: When doing the optional Colosseum matches and taking on the Mt. Battle challenge, your team will be healed after each battle.
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  • Americans Are Cowboys: Nintendo and Genius Sonority give the basis for the crime ridden wasteland of Orre as Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The bosses have Pokémon teams designed around specific strategies, such as taking advantage of beneficial weather effects.
    • A particularly brilliant example is the final boss. He uses a Slaking—which normally has the ability Truant, preventing it from attacking every second turn—and a Slowking with the move Skill Swap, which allows Pokémon to trade abilities. This effectively turns Slaking into a Lightning Bruiser; in fact, this was an actual competitive strategy at the time.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI, particularly in the early game, tends to attack Pokémon with moves that they resist or are immune to. Case in point: "It doesn't affect MISDREAVUS..."
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Shadow Pokémon cannot be lost, as you can eventually rematch all Shadow Pokémon Trainers.
    • Items are transferred to your PC if there’s no room in your inventory.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Miror B., a Disco Dan with a huge Pokéball colored Funny Afro. He's also a hell of an Early-Bird Boss that will flatten you if you are not ready for him.
  • Big Bad: Nascour is the head of Cipher and the main antagonist. He's later revealed to be working for Evice, the mayor of Phenac City.
  • Black and Gray Morality: While Cipher is undeniably evil, the protagonist Wes is no saint. He was a member of Team Snagem and was one of the best at stealing Pokémon for them. However, while he does continue to steal them, it's for the purpose of saving them from the forced corruption Cipher inflicted on them. Not a Saint, perhaps, but certainly on the road to redemption.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The player can talk to NPC Pokémon but their dialogue in the English version consists of cries transliterated from the Japanese version. This often leads to bizarre dialogue choices such as Jigglypuff saying "Pururin!" which is based on its Japanese name Purin.
    • Rather infamously, despite having the same name in both English and Japanese, Pikachu's cry was mistranslated as "Biggah Biggah" instead of "Pika Pika" likely due to the characters for "P" and "B" looking very similar in Japanese.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Snagem Hideout becomes accessible as an optional dungeon during the Endgame+.
  • Bookends: Both the first and last battles of the game take place outside of the Outskirt Stand.
  • Boss Bonanza: Before you ascend Realgam Tower for the Final Battle, you have to rematch the four Cipher Admins: Miror B., Dakim, Venus, and Ein (but you can heal your Pokémon between the battles or do anything else you need). Then you have to fight Gonzap, the leader of Team Snagem. After that, you must take on a Colosseum challenge where you battle four trainers in succession, then Nascour, and then finally Evice.
  • Bowdlerise: In the Japanese version, Rui's shirt shows off her navel and she sports a pretty short skirt. The international versions lengthen her shirt and skirt.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Miror B. He has a Poké Ball afro. He loves to dance. He's also an Admin of an evil Pokémon organization.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • When Rui requests to tag along at the beginning of the game, you cannot progress without agreeing to let her.
    • When Gonzap asks you to rejoin Team Snagem, you can say "Yes", but he doesn't believe you and gets angry. Whether you accept his offer or decline it, the result is the same: You have to battle him.
  • Canon Immigrant: The PC's physical design in the Orre games is the standard design in Generation 4.
  • Ceiling Cling: Many Cipher Peons hang from the ceiling, waiting for you to pass by to ambush you.
  • Check-Point Starvation: Although it isn't much longer than the average dungeon, the Shadow Pokémon Lab doesn't have any healing machines or PCs halfway through to make the trip easier. But at least your enemy encounters don't respawn.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Miror B. seems to be in his own little world most of the time. When you find him in the back of Pyrite Cave, he's practicing his dance moves with his Ludicolo instead of doing administrative duties of any sort.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Cipher is regularly indicated to have Pokémon physically attack humans (Trainers can be found on the ground in pain saying how they lost).
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Because all battles in the game are exclusively Double Battles, the flaws of Generation III's Double Battle system are on full display.
    • In all Pokémon battles prior to the 4th generation (as in this game), when you use an item in battle it takes effect immediately, while you're still on the menu screen — the actual round of combat hasn't started yet. In double battles this means that you can't cancel/undo the item and make your first Mon perform another action instead. But it does mean that the AI hasn't picked its moves either, so it can make decisions based on results of any items you use. This means that when you use an item to cure a status effect (such as Poison or Confusion), the AI can re-afflict your Pokémon with that status on the same turn.
    • Another example in double battles is that if you're down to your last Mon and use a Revive, you're required to send the revived Mon out immediately (also before the AI decides its moves), which means that the AI can attack (and possibly KO) the Mon on the same turn it was revived.
  • Cool Bike: Wes' hoverbike (his primary mode of transportation) is a monstrosity with one wheel and has the motor placed at the very front. The laws of physics say that that thing shouldn't be able to move, but of course the Rule of Cool trumps this.
  • Cool Sidecar: During the first two trips, the side car has Espeon and Umbreon in it, with both of them sticking their heads out the top into the wind like real-world dogs.
  • Covers Always Lie: You see Groudon and Kyogre on the cover with Wes? You can't actually obtain either of them without transferring them in from another game.
  • Crapsack World: There are no wild Pokémon to be found in Orre, a large portion of it is desert, and the only known source of law enforcement consists of 2 officers in a backwater town they can't even keep in control. The Cipher crime syndicate basically runs the entire region thanks to having footholds almost everywhere.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: The Pyrite Town theme, emphasizing that it's a seedy and dangerous town.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Eagun and his Pikachu handily lose to a Cipher Peon and his Shadow Hitmontop despite Pikachu having a large level advantage.
  • Darker and Edgier: Oh boy, see the intro for the tip of this iceberg. Very noticeable, as it premiered right after the Lighter and Softer first three generations.
    • This is the first game to show a trainer using physical violence against another trainer. Unless you count Silver pushing Gold/Kris away at the start of Gold/Silver/Crystal.
    • Even the main character, Wes, is darker and grittier than the usual fare of Pokémon protagonists. He's a master thief, a former member of a criminal organization, and owns a badass hoverbike that puts every other bike in the Pokémon universe to shame. The fact that he starts the story by bombing Team Snagem's Hideout really goes to show far he'll go as a newly-reformed vigilante.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: With a face like that and a Badass Longcoat to match, our protagonist Wes could very much pass for a standard Pokémon villain (and he was a member of Team Snagem, after all).
  • Dark Reprise: After Es Cade is revealed to be Evice, his theme switches to a sinister version.
  • Defector from Decadence: It's unknown how long Wes had worked for Team Snagem but he stayed with the organization long enough to learn their criminal ways and become a close associate with Gonzap before having a change of heart and leaving them.
  • Desert Punk: Especially the first few parts. Virtually no law (only two real cops in all of Orre!), bone-dry wastelands, criminal gangs tearing up the place... prototypical Desert Punk. Agate Village is the only exception to this. Exactly why Orre is so bone-dry is never explained.
  • Deus ex Machina: In the ending, Evice's helicopter escape is thwarted by Ho-Oh, who comes out of nowhere with no foreshadowing to blast the aforementioned helicopter into smithereens.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Pokémon Colosseum only has three boxes for storing Pokémon, since there are a finite number available in the world, totaling fewer than 90. Normally, this would mean that the boxes can never be completely filled. However, the game accounts for the case where the player manages to fill up all three boxes (only possible through importing dozens of Nincada from a GBA game and evolving them all into Ninjask and Shedinja) and prevents you from snagging more Pokémon.
    • The game only allows you to capture one Johto starter during the first part of the game. If you were to capture one Johto starter, faint your entire team (hard to do by accident) and then a fight with a Peon that has a different Johto starter than the one you caught, they won't have the starter on them.
    • The Espeon and Umbreon you start with are locked to always be male. This is to prevent players from breeding them to get Eevee before FireRed and LeafGreen was released. Ditto was unavailable in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire so female Pokémon were vital to breeding. The Scizor that's only available from an e-Reader card is also always male to prevent the players from getting Scyther before the Kanto remakes came out.
  • Difficulty Spike: The two final bosses have a significant level advantage over the fights immediately preceeding them. Most of the battles you face before are in the high 40s maximum, but the last two are in the 50s and 60-61 respectively. You'll likely have to grind a bit before you can stand a chance of beating them.
  • Disc-One Nuke: You start with Espeon, which begins with Return (and maximum happiness), and the STAB boosted Confusion.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The mayor of Phenac City is the leader of Cipher.
  • Dramatic Wind: Every single battle seems to have high speed winds coming from the center, given the way the Trainers stand.
  • Elite Mooks: Cipher Peon Skrub, who is battled three times and is given a leadership role in relation to his fellow peons during the first two.
  • Endgame+: After beating the game, Wes starts receiving email from the Kids' Grid members hinting about where to find more Shadow Pokémon, including the old Team Snagem hideout which he blew up during the opening movie. On the other hand, nobody acknowledges the defeat and arrest of Cipher's leaders, and you may return to Realgam Tower Colosseum to challenge the final battles again.
  • Enormous Engine: Wes probably stole the engine for his hovering motorcycle thingy from a Greyhound bus...or a Top Fuel dragster...or a diesel locomotive. It's mounted at the very front of his vehicle; only Rule of Cool keeps the machine from nose-diving forward and catapulting Wes and Rui face-first into the sand.
  • Establishing Series Moment: Rather than start with a professor giving you the standard "Welcome to the world of Pokémon" speech, this game opens with a cutscene of the player character blowing a hole in a canyon hideout full of goons and stealing the snag machine. He then rides off on a gravity-defying Cool Bike, whips out a detonator and finishes off the base before zooming off into the desert. Right away you know that this isn't your standard Pokémon game and this isn't your standard protagonist.
  • Eternal Engine: The Cipher Pokémon Lab where shadow Pokémon are created. There is also the Snagem Hideout that Wes destroys at the start of the game
  • Expy:
    • Ein is basically Hojo in the Pokémon universe.
    • Rui resembles, and even acts, like Misty from the anime.
  • Faceless Goons: Cipher Peons wear masks, obscuring their faces. Ironically, they are the only evil team grunts in the series with individual names.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Wes and his trench coat/snag machine combo.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A couple of easily missed dialogue lines reference a man who got very rich in the mines of The Under and a rich man building the Tower Colosseum (Cipher's HQ). These seem like throwaway lines until you realize, no one encountered in the Cipher Administration of Colosseum is wealthy. They're referring to Mr. Verich aka Grand Master Greevil, the Big Bad of XD: Gale of Darkness.
    • You first meet Nascour outside of the Phenac City Mayor's office. It turns out that Nascour was meeting with his boss and real head of Cipher, Mayor Es Cade (aka Evice).
  • Funny Afro: Miror B.'s massive, Poké Ball-colored afro.
  • Game Face: When Evice is revealed to be the true conspirator, his features turn evil and horrific right before he battles you.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: There's a trainer in this game named "Rich Boy Diek".
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence: The one, the only, Miror B. (whose theme is latin).
  • Green Hill Zone: Agate Village is a lush forested grassy village located in northern Orre. The abundance of water is probably why the town is a spot for retirement and tourism.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Wes kicks off the story by bombing the Snagem Hideout and finishes it by destroying the remnants of Cipher and Team Snagem.
  • Greasy Spoon: The Outskirt Stand, a diner/gas station that used to be a locomotive.
  • Ground Punch: This is how Earthquake is animated: the user punches the ground and ripples travel out to break the ground under everyone else. Unless it's something without arms, like Vibrava/Flygon; then it just starts shaking and makes the ground shake.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • There are official strategy guides for the game that make no mention of Mirakle B.'s existence, let alone how to fight him. (To fight Mirakle B., go to where Miror B. was after he is defeated, but before the final boss. A bit of an Easter Egg.)
    • There's also how to get Ho-oh, which is never hinted at anywhere in the game. You have to beat Mt. Battle in Battle mode with your in-game team after purifying every Shadow Pokémon.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Wes breaks off from Team Snagem at the beginning of the game (stealing the Snag Machine and bombing their hideout). Whether this constitutes a full turn or not is queationable, given the opening of the game leaves him in an Ambiguous Situation. He doesn't officially turn to Face until after Rui ropes him into her mission to collect Shadow Pokémon. It's unknown what he would've done if he'd never met Rui, since he seemed pleased to get his hands on the Snag Machine in the beginning.
  • Heroic Mime: Like most protagonists in Pokémon games, Wes doesn't speak much, but there is one exception during Pokémon Battles when the player uses the Call command, in which Wes simply shouts the Pokémon's name.
  • Inevitable Tournament: Want to get into Miror B.'s hideout? Go win the Pyrite Colosseum challenge first so they can reward you with a Shadow Pokémon.
  • Interspecies Romance: There's an NPC in Agate that is dating her Mightyena.
  • Jiggle Physics: Miror B.'s afro. Also, Sealeo's fat, Muk's sludge and Miltank's udders.
  • Joke Character: The Plusle you get from Duking starts off horribly below everything else in the game in terms of levels, has terrible stats, and is outclassed by the Shadow Flaaffy you can catch from a trainer right outside Duking's house.
  • Karma Houdini: It's implied that none of the members of Cipher's leadership — bar Nascour and Evice — are ever apprehended. Miror B. even shows up in XD: Gale of Darkness as a Recurring Boss.
  • Kick the Dog: Cipher's entire plan revolves around being cruel to Pokémon to turn them into Shadow Pokémon, and they occasionally go out of their way just to be jerks. For example, during Cipher's attack on Mt. Battle, Dakim knocks a Trainer to the ground with a huge punch.
  • Kid Hero: Averted for the first time in the franchise with Wes. He's at least a teenager, if not a full-on adult.
  • Last Disc Magic: At the end of the Shadow Pokémon Lab, the second-to-last dungeon, you find the TM for Earthquake. Earthquake is one of the game's strongest moves, being a Herd-Hitting Attack with a Power of 100 (150 with Same-Type Attack Bonus)... but the power of spread attack will be reduced by 50% if it targets multiple Pokemon.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Mt. Battle is an active volcano.
  • Locomotive Level: Outskirt Stand is a broken down locomotive in the middle of a vast desert. The inside has since been converted into a bar and restaurant.
  • Lost Woods: The Relic Forest under Agate Village which leads to the Relic Stone that purifies Pokémon.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Realgem Tower's theme only appears when within the small entrance area (as the other areas within it use the theme song for shady areas due to it being under Cipher's control).
  • MacGuffin Super Person: Rui, the girl who can identify Shadow Pokémon by sight.
  • Magic Skirt: The camera is quite careful about this for every female opponent, but it becomes really noticeable if you play VS mode with Leaf, who still has a skirt that just barely covers the hips and has a pose (one foot out forward and leaning in, as if bracing against wind) that should provide maximal viewing. The skirt is posed in just the right way for it to reveal nothing at any camera angle.
  • Magikarp Power: The Shadow Remoraid comes horribly under-leveled, being available for capture at Level 20 when you're fighting trainers with Pokémon in the early 30's. However, it has a really diverse movepool in a game where many Pokémon don't have a lot of options, and its stats are decent upon evolving into Octillery.
  • Marathon Level: Mount Battle has 100 battles to the top, but you may heal every 10.
  • Master of Disguise: Silva, a rare purely good example.
  • Mind Rape: The methods involved in Shadow Pokémon production, with Empty Shell, Superpowered Evil Side, and The Corruption as the inevitable result.
  • Missing Secret: The demo that plays after waiting on the title screen shows the "Card e room" which was Dummied Out in international versions due to the failure of the e-Reader outside Japan. In the Japanese version, players could access it via the left door in the Phenac Stadium lobby after completing the main story, where they could battle VR Trainers by scanning Battle e cards. In international version, both doors in the lobby lead to the battle area.
  • The Mole: Es Cade is actually the head of Cipher.
  • Morality Chain: Rui to Wes, kind of. She won't allow Wes to use the Snag Machine on anything but Shadow Pokémon .
  • Morality Pet: Wes's Espeon (and possibly Umbreon) starts with max happiness, as if to assure the player Wes cares for his Pokémon despite his status as an ex-Snagem member. There's also the fact that Espeon and Umbreon only evolve from Eevee in the first place if they have high affection for their trainer.
  • Mythology Gag: Rui's grandfather. Aspired to be a Pokémon master? Granddaughter's a redhead? His oldest, strongest, and closest Pokémon is a Pikachu? A reference to Ash, the protagonist of the anime.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: An early Nintendo Power ad made out Wes to be an outright villain.
  • Nintendo Hard: The story mode is a huge Difficulty Spike compared to the rest of the series, because of the small pool of available Pokémon, and the fact that bosses are not suffering from Crippling Overspecialization. They use legitimate—and often very effective—strategies which can easily decimate your party. A common one in the late game is for one of their Pokémon uses Protect, while the other unleashes Earthquake.
  • Non-Elemental: Shadow Rush (90 power, incurs recoil) is completely exempt from type matchups.
  • Not Completely Useless: Colosseum replaces the "Run" command with "Call", which snaps a Shadow Pokémon out of Hyper Mode... and can also be used to awaken a Pokémon. This has the side effect of making Awakenings largely useless. However, there are a few select situations where Awakenings can still come in handy:
  • Obviously Evil: Nascour has a sinister appearance with his a dark outfit, red eyes, and white Anime Hair. He's easily identifiable as the Big Bad when he's first encountered, thus hiding the identity of the Man Behind the Man (Mayor Es Cade aka Evice) until the end of the game.
  • Olympus Mons: The Cipher Admins’ (minus Miror B) Shadow Pokémon are the legendary beast Pokémon (Entei, Suicune, and Raikou).
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Trainers throughout Orre can be rematched after certain points in the game, with higher levels to correspond to your progress. Duel Square in Pyrite Town is the best example, however, as the Trainers there can be rematched immediately upon leaving the area and returning.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Averted; if you fail to Snag a Shadow Pokémon the first time, you will eventually get a chance to rematch the trainer and try again, although it will be much later in the game.
    • Played straight with the Mirakle B. Bonus Boss fight; he leaves forever after you beat the game.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Wes' model consistently displays him with a frown, making him look solemn and dour... in stark contrast to the wicked grin he has at the beginning of the game when he's stealing the Snag Machine.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Wes and Rui... probably. Rui doesn't seem to speak of him romantically, and Wes doesn't speak at all, so they seem to be this way.
  • Point-and-Click Map: Rather than the usual free-roaming between each town, the player instead moves between areas via a map-selection screen, with cutscenes of the player character driving between locales.
  • Police are Useless: There are exactly two cops, both of which work the same crime-infested city and are unable to do much about any of it; a local group of kids are more successful at fighting crime. One of the cops is also a complete moron who runs into people (specifically, Wes) and somehow mistakes Wes for the chief.
  • Power at a Price: Hyper Mode increases the chance of getting a Critical Hit, but it also prevents using items on the Pokémon that has it. There's also a chance that a Pokémon in Hyper Mode will disobey you.
  • The Power of Friendship: Cipher's master plan of closing the hearts of Pokémon to turn them into mindless killing machines can be completely reversed by simply caring for the Pokémon.
  • Primal Stance: There is no reason for Dakim to be walking around like a gorilla, aside from the fact that he is characterized as a brutish thug.
  • Punny Name: A few, seeing as this is a Pokémon game. (Silva, a silver-haired character, is one example.)
  • Quieter Than Silence: When you battle Nascour, there is no battle music whatsoever, only the distant sound of the crowd.
  • Random Encounters: Averted, unlike the main series. There are no wild Pokémon whatsoever in Orre until XD— the only Mons you battle in Colosseum belong to opposing Trainers.
  • Regional Bonus: Zig Zagged - the Bonus Disc in the Japanese version grants players a Celebi (well, up to 48) that can be transferred to any Game Boy Advance Pokémon game, but only if they actually own Colosseum itself and have purified all Shadow Pokémon. If they did that, then the game receiving Celebi has to have beaten the Elite Four and saved in a Pokémon Center. The American release, by contrast, replaced Celebi with Jirachi, but the process of getting it is far simpler - neither Colosseum nor the game to send Jirachi to have to be beaten first, an empty party slot is all that is needed and Jirachi can be received multiple times so long as it's not the same save file. The downside is that only Ruby/Sapphire can obtain it.
  • The Reveal: The mayor of Phenac City—that fat, balding old man you meet a grand total of once before he goes back to being a useless NPC? He's the Big Bad.
  • Recurring Riff: There is a 13-note melody that appears in the Pyrite Town music (at the beginning), the normal battle theme (just before the turnaround), and the Cipher Admin battle theme (partially at the beginning and later at the climax), as well as at least partially in some other songs in the game.
  • Rule of Cool: This is the only thing keeping Wes's one-wheeled Cool Bike from falling over from how front-heavy it is.
  • Save-Game Limits: You have only one save file per memory card. The file is also locked to the card it was created on; you can't copy it off to a different card or even move it.
  • Save Point: The PCs normally used for Pokémon/item storage also save your game.
  • The Scottish Trope: "A distant land" (listed in "Met" in a Pokémon's profile page) is the only reference made to Orre in the rest of the series.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: When you face a Shadow Pokémon in battle, they have three normal moves and the signature move "Shadow Rush", but once you've Snagged them, they've apparently forgotten everything but Shadow Rush. (They do get those other moves back during purification.)
  • Secret Character: Ho-oh. You have to purify all the Shadow Pokémon, then beat Mt. Battle — not within the story mode itself but in Battle Mode from the frontend menu, using Mons from from your Colosseum save file.
  • Ship Tease: Though Wes' feelings on the matter are obviously unclear, Rui at least often expresses how cool she thinks Wes is, and seems drawn to him pretty much instantly, which makes sense considering he Wes saved her from getting kidnapped. A lot of characters also like to comment on the two being a couple, which Rui never seems to have a problem with.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The entire region of Orre is a vast desert region but it does have an oasis in the form of Phenac City and a canyon.
  • Slasher Smile: A rare good example comes from the protagonist as he roars off from the destroyed Snagem base.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Much more cynical compared to the main series and Mystery Dungeon games.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Phenac City, the Shadow Pokémon Lab, and Realgam Tower are shiny, while everywhere else is very gritty.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Somewhat serious, but XD gets even more serious.
  • Space Western: Well, futuristic western. The game makes use of western style archetypes (vigilantes against town controlling gangs), setting (crime-ridden desert with little to nothing between the mostly independent towns that only have a state and federal government above the local law in theory) and music (there is a large amount of harmonica in the tracks, sometimes using underneath a techno and piano combination, which works shockingly well.)
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Nintendo 64 Stadium games.
  • Strictly Formula: Subverted. While you're still fighting an evil syndicate, you've still Gotta Catch Them All, and the story ends with a Boss Bonanza, that's where the similarities end. There are no Gym Badges to collect, no wild Pokémon to catch, and no League to challenge. Instead of a generic kid, you play as a teenaged reformed criminal who is out to set things right. The only Pokémon available are your two starters, plus whatever Shadow Pokémon you manage to steal from other trainers. Lastly, all battles are double battles.
  • Stripperiffic:
    • Some of the female civvie and hood Trainers dress in this fashion, but no more than the average Rockette. Cipher Peons averted this before Galactic Grunts did - slimmer Faceless Goon suits are all you get if you're XX. Venus is somewhere between the two.
    • Rui's original Japanese design was noticeably more revealing, with her midriff showing and a miniskirt.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
    • Before the mechanics for Timer Balls were revamped in Generation V, their catch rate modifier increased agonizingly slowly; it wasn't as good as an Ultra Ball until 20 turns had passed, and maxing it out at double-Ultra efficiency took 40 turns. Most wild Pokémon worth such a good Ball are going to be reduced to Struggle before such time has passed... but in Colosseum, with enemy trainers possessed of Artificial Brilliance, it's entirely possible to be well into 30 turns before a Shadow Pokémon even comes out, and Shadow Rush doesn't have a PP limit; its recoil inflicts 1/16 of the user's HP, rounded down, which makes it safe to wait out another few turns even if the AI doesn't deplete the Pokémon's other moves first.
    • Plusle is the lowest-levelled Pokémon in the game, joining at level 13 when the starter Espeon and Umbreon joined at level 25/26. The next lowest-levelled Pokémon is the game's last Shadow Pokémon, the Shadow Togetic used by Wes' impostor, which starts at level 20 and only appears after you've watched the credits roll and snagged every other Shadow Pokémon in the game. By keeping Plusle at a low level, you're guaranteed to have someone who can safely damage Togetic without landing a One-Hit KO.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Using a Time Flute instantly purifies a Shadow Pokémon, regardless of the state of its Heart Gauge, but the Flute is consumed after a single use and there are only three available in the game. To top it all off, one of them is a reward for completing one of the hardest (optional) parts of the game.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Characters from the Bodybuilder Trainer class only seem to focus on their upper body muscles. This also applies to Dakim, who is so top-heavy that he's perpetually hunched over like a gorilla.
  • Underground City: The Under, as its name would imply, is an underground city found below Pyrite Town.
  • Useless Item: Or rather, Useless Ability. Due to the lack of wild Pokémon battles, one of Furret and Aipom's two possible abilities, "Run Away," which gives you a guaranteed escape from wild Pokémon, is completely useless in this game.
  • Vice City: Pyrite Town is almost totally lawless and rundown. The Under is even worse, being run by Cipher.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Miror B. in Colosseum, as you can't level up any Snagged Pokémon yet, and you have precious few moves that are effective against his team. At least his battle theme is Awesome Music.


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