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Pokémon Dark Rising is a Game Mod romhack of Pokémon FireRed created by DarkRisingGirl in 2012.

The game takes place in the Core region, you begin the game not by speaking to Prof. Oak, but Arceus! Arceus reveals you to be The Chosen One that must save him and the Pokémon world from an ancient evil.

Besides the main plot, you and your rival are about to start your respective journeys to become Pokémon Masters by defeating all eight Gym Leaders.

The game is Darker and Edgier that the regular series, and it loves to throw a Difficulty Spike or two at the player. Another noticeable aspect of the hack is the inclusion of Pokémon from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Pokémon Black and White, but without the Physical/Special attack split from these games.

Has a sequel, aptly named Dark Rising 2. Dark Rising 3 is currently in the works, and to tide fans over, the team released Dark Rising: Order Destroyed, whose story functions as a prequel to DR3. There is also Pokémon Dark Rising: When Worlds Collide, and Pokémon Dark Rising Kaizo.

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Pokémon Dark Rising contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Expansion: In Dark Rising Kaizo, there are numerous in-story changes:
    • The 4 knights have re-purposed roles and names beyond penultimate challenges, and are confronted earlier.
    • Light and especially V have more redeeming qualities.
    • The Elite 4 Sins are changed to 7 Sins represented by mooks using Pokémon related to their vices (eg. Wrath uses Gyarados, Greed uses Honchkrow, etc.)
    • Darugis and Vladimir are both encountered earlier, the former possessing more people in contact with his forces.
    • Atem's gym trainers references his old foes, such as Weevil.
    • Kayo's betrayal of the villains is expanded upon, and immediately joins up with the Dark Rising group.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Hoopa, a character who is actually friendly, but slightly out of control, is now the Greater-Scope Villain.
  • Big Bad: Darugis, the ancient entity Arceus sealed away eons ago who is now corrupting the world.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Giovanni in Dark Rising 2, who unites the other villain team leaders to take over the world, but since Darugis and his majestic gym leaders outclass them in scale, power, and better teams, he really comes off as very insignificant filler.
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    • Vladamir tries so hard to commit evil acts, but V and Light has committed more heinous actions, and Vladamir's plans never work.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Max in the Dread Swamp. His Pokémon are in the mid-late 30s and fighting him doesn't affect the plot.
    • Giovanni can be found on the Aroma Path. His Pokémon are in the 90s at a point where you'll be lucky to have anyone in their 40s.
    • Your mother is located at the end of the optional Training Grounds in Montage Fortress. Victory earns you a Shaymin.
  • The Brute: Kaiden and Sakura, V's children, who are one of the strongest members of the organization; each of them uses two extremely powerful Kyurem formes.
    • Wrath, the gladiator looking knight, who embodies every aspect of this trope. In addition to physical powerhouse Pokémon with boosting moves, has a huge power Regigiggas.
    • In DR Kaizo, Sir Nero (Wrath sprite) is a big, loud, and vicious gladiator even outside of battle, who tries to overpower the player in battle. Light qualifies, relying on powerful Legendary Pokémon and widespread attacks.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It just wouldn't be a Pokémon game if this weren't in play in some form. Infrequently, you'll face trainers that posses Pokémon you cannot capture in the game.
  • The Dark Chick:
    • Vladamir, who served as a temporary leader, though he isn't very smart, and is treated as a joke by the protagonist.
    • Lust, the only girl of the knights.
    • In DR Kaizo, V, despite truly despising Jean Blake, is a slave to Darugis, forced to commit actions he doesn't like. Unlike his original incarnation, he actually loves his children, and even praises the protagonist for his victories. Sir George (Gluttony sprite) and his Slowbro are the most odd members of the knights.
  • Darker and Edgier: The series as a whole compared to the main series, but the sequel, despite being more self-aware and having more jokes, is also noticeably darker in some ways than the first. And Order Destroyed is even worse with people dying left, right and center; Trainers and Pokémon dying if you defeat them; free-roaming Pokémon can no longer be caught, so the player has to rely on pre-caught Pokémon and the only means to heal your Pokémon, outside of items, is a Machine that you need to find.
  • Decomposite Character:
    • Leafeon and Glaceon do not evolve from Eevee, instead they are encountered in the wild as their own Pokémon.
    • Darmanitan's Zen Mode is counted as a separate Pokémon from Darmanitan itself instead of being an ability.
  • Devil, but No God: In Pokémon Dark Rising: Order Destroyed, Hoopa turns out to have destroyed Arceus before the series began, and tricked the main character in the previous games into defeating Darugis. Since they were God and Devil, and Hoopa is no less of a devil in this scenario, this trope is in play.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: At the end of Dark Rising 2, Arceus reveals himself to be Hoopa, who then drains the protagonist of his life to fuel his own power.
  • Difficulty Spike: The levels of enemy trainers, Gym Leaders, and rivals will jump pretty far from what you'd expect them to be when you face them over the course of the game.
  • The Dragon:
    • V, the team dark boss with a personal enmity with the protagonist and his father, and made a pact with Darugis. Even after being sent to the underworld, he is resurrected as his younger self.
    • Envy, the leader of the Knights of Ebony and penultimate boss. He has alot of dragons on his team.
    • In DR Kaizo, Lady Ebony (Lust sprite) serves as the penultimate boss, and a personal lurking enemy to the protagonist, enacting the wishes of Darugis, and is responsible for a few of her own atrocities towards the region.
  • The Dreaded: Sidney quickly becomes known only as "the girl with an Axew" and the NPC's will warn you to stay out of her path.
  • Dream Sequence: The introduction after stating a new game is framed as Arcues talking to the player in a dream.
  • Early Game Hell: You won't be able to restock on supplies until you clear the Twist Woodlands, the Poké Mart in the Mainland Cave (the first dungeon you visit) won't sell to you.
  • The Evil Genius:
    • Light, but he isn't as loyal to Darugis as the others, but he assists him and has figured how to use "dark evolution." He is arguably Darugis's most competent ally, and much smarter than all of the others.
    • Gluttony, who claims to be the most strategic of the knights.
    • In DR Kaizo, Sir Midas (Envy sprite) and Vladimir fills this role, acting as strategists and administrators of the organization, with unorthodox battle strategies. The former responsible for creating Kyurem B and W clones among other things; the latter being a bit more competent general of the mooks.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: Some encounters will be so much higher in level than you that this will be your only course of action at some points.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Hoopa appears without warning or foreshaowing after the climax of Dark Rising 2, having pretended to be Arcues the entire series.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Hoopa reveals himself as the true villain of the series, having killed Arcues before it began, and orchestrated Darugis' defeat at the end of Dark Rising 2..
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • Your first battle with Light is against his level 50 Tornadus. This happens early in game when you cannot capture other Pokémon.
    • The final battle in Order Destroyed has your team of maybe level 30-40 Pokémon against Hoopa, whose is not only at level 100 but has the Wonder Guard ability. You are told before the battle starts that you must accept defeat.
  • Invincible Villain: Darugis for all of Dark Rising 1, and for a good portion of Dark Rising 2. In-universe, he can possess anyone he wants, anytime he wishes, has multiple organizations working for him, and defeating him in battle doesn't hinder him in the slightest. When he appears in the flesh, he boasts that he can destroy the world in six seconds if he fully powers up. Ingame, he is by far, the most overpowered boss in the entire game, possessing some truly overpowered legendary Pokémon with unimaginably high base stats, and an attack that is almost as powerful as Explosion, yet has no drawbacks at all, for his signature Pokémon. He can use multiple mega-evolutions in the sequel, including one for a manifestation of himself, making it have base stat total near 1500.
    • Once Darugis is finally defeated, Hoopa essentially controls reality, making it impossible for the player to defeat him. Even if you somehow defeat Hoopa in what is supposed to be an unwinnable battle, he just shrugs it off and taunts the player.
  • Karma Houdini: Light never got any comeuppance for what he did in Dark Rising 1, which included kidnapping children and draining their souls.
  • Kick the Dog: Quite a number of villains...
    • Nearly everything V does, though mocking his children's fate worse than death is rather tasteless.
    • Light torturing Landorous, after kidnapping children and draining their souls.
    • Mason ordering his henchmen to play a sport of breaking Cloyster shells and stabbing them in the eye.
    • Omega Utopia villains torturing fairy type Pokémon, with an injured Clefairy in their HQ.
    • Anytime Darugis possesses people, and forces them to commit evil acts. He forced a girl to beat the player, and when she failed, he destroyed her hometown.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: unintentional example, but Ghetsis killing V qualifies.
  • Nintendo Hard: Enemy trainers and Gym Leaders sometimes have Pokémon you can't capture, the levels of these trainers jump from are to area in a way that requires Level Grinding to deal with, and even then the strategies of some of the bosses are efficient to the point of brutality.
  • NPC Roadblock: A guard will block the way to Twist Woodlands until after the player delivers the parcel to the professor.
  • Obviously Evil: Adrian. The player gets the sense that the OMNI region champion has a very dark aura... as if he couldn't tell how sketchy the 10 foot tall, silver haired, and dark cloak wearing giant was.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Some 4th and 5th gen Pokémon and attacks aren't as powerful as they could be in this hack thanks to the lack of certain abilites and the physical/special split. Some 4th and 5th gen Pokémon are even more powerful. Even some 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen Pokémon get a lot of mileage out of the 4th and 5th gen moves given the lack of the split. The lack of abilities from the future gens also make certain 4th and 5th gen Pokémon more powerful.
  • The Rival: The player has several rivals, each with their own signature Dragon-type Pokémon.
    • Your initial rival's dragon Pokémon is a choice of Dratini/Bagon/Gible, taking the one you don't.
    • Pete is the second rival you have, but his Trapinch doesn't become a Dragon-type until much later.
    • Sidney is the third rival you gain. Her Dragon Pokémon is an Axew.
    • Kano is your final rival, with a Deino as his dragon Pokémon.
  • Smug Snake: Vladamir. He thinks he is a better leader than V, but proves to be the most incompetent servant to Darugis. Mason in Dark Rising 2 is perhaps the greatest example, being the most patronizing, needlessly sadistic antagonist, and is a completely sycophantic lackey to Darugis.
  • Stupid Evil: Mason, who does needlessly evil deeds in the name of Darugis, like ordering his minions to kill wild cloysters, attempting to kill his sister, or make random references. Why? Because he is evil and completely psychotic.
  • Sycophantic Servant: Mason, leader of a cult that worships Darugis, is quite a smug buttkisser to Darugis, enacting his wishes and eventually giving up his soul to Darugis.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: You need to use Fly to escape from Millennium City to get your final Badge in the Twist Woodlands. To use Fly outside battle, you must defeat Serena in Mystic Falls. Serena can be skipped entirely (to the point where you might not be aware there is a Gym Leader to fight in Mystic Falls). The 4th Gym Leader's dad shows up to battle you for a Master Ball after you clear Volair Forest, inside Numassity City's gate. He will stay there after the event, blocking your path back from Numassity City's gate to the route you need to head back to Mystic Falls, preventing you from completing the game.

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