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Video Game / Pokémon Radical Red

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Inspired by Drayano60 and created by Soupercell and koala4, Pokémon Radical Red is a difficulty ROM hack of Pokémon FireRed that adds modern mechanics like Mega Evolutions and Dynamax and Pokémon from all the way up to Generation IX and redoing the Kanto adventure at a much higher difficulty. Many Pokémon also received various buffs to their capabilities, although a few received nerfs instead.

The game can be found at The PokéCommunity. The most recent version as of this writing is 4.1, released March 22nd, 2024. There's also a special client of Pokémon Showdown featuring the buffs added in Radical Red, which can be played here.

Tropes used in Pokémon Radical Red:

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  • Adaptational Badass: Overall, many of the Pokémon in this ROM hack are much, much stronger in some manner, ensuring that even a Pokémon you may have ignored before might make you think twice.
    • Several Pokémon went from zero to hero thanks to the buffs they received, like Wailord receiving Blubber Defense (a clone of Multiscale, which provides damage reduction at full health) and Bouncy Bubble (a Life Drain move) and higher defensive stats overall, Typhlosion receiving a new ability in Blazing Soul (+1 priority to Fire type moves, similarly to Gale Wings), or Jumpluff receiving Aerilate (turns Normal type attacks into Flying type attacks) and getting a huge Atk boost.
    • Some Pokémon that were already pretty good before became even more powerful with new move additions, new abilities, or type changes. Examples include Drapion receiving Wicked Blow, whose guaranteed Critical Hit pairing well with Drapion's Sniper ability (which boosts Critical Hit damage), or Electivire receiving the Fighting type, Iron Fist, and Plasma Fists, making its moves far more formidable.
    • Dialga, despite never being in the player's hands, got a few extra buffs. Roar of Time was once just a powerful attack that requires a turn to recharge. Here, it's more like Dragon Tail, switching the opponent out after attacking. In that sense, it's like a Roar of Time, like the actual move Roar. Dialga also gets a new form in Primal Dialga, boosting its defenses and huge Sp Atk further, while also getting a new ability that halves the damage from super effective attacks.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Many of the bosses are far more strategic in their Pokémon teams than their vanilla game counterparts, and will usually switch out their Pokémon if they're in a disadvantageous spot.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In this game, Whitney and Clair are over their Sore Loser phases, something they both lampshade when you defeat them.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The story is mostly the same as the original game, but after Cinnabar Gym, rather than going to the Sevii Islands, you enter a new story event where you're forced to go to Cerulean Cave to put a stop to Team Rocket once more. Also, Rocket Admins Archer and Ariana make appearances and challenge the player at Silph Co. and in Cerulean Cave. Since Giovanni is fought at Cerulean Cave, Gym Leader Clair from Johto takes his spot as the eighth Gym Leader instead.
    • Some areas are now blocked off by Rock Smash rocks, which were not present in the original game. These areas usually include Raid Dens with rarer Pokémon or rare items. Like the other HMs however, you don't actually have to teach Rock Smash to your Pokémon to access these areas, you just need to acquire the HM and have a Pokémon that can learn it.
    • In this game, Archer and Ariana were apparently homeless before Giovanni took them in, and the two liken him as family. No such backstory was ever given in their actual games. The two are also a bit more expressive than just being your typical conniving, scheming criminals, as the two have a moment where they banter with each other before their fight at Silph Co.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: In the actual Johto games, Bugsy is just The Smart Guy when it comes to everything relating to Bug-types, as he likes to research them. Here, he's kind of just a lonely and jealous guy, envious of the couples that show up at Route 25.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Blue's fights in the S.S. Anne and Lavender Tower aren't available in this game. The former was later retooled to be a mandatory Brendan fight in Version 3.0.
    • Prior to Version 3.0, the Sevii Islands were also not present in this game.
    • Many Pokémon that have Gigantamax forms received a Mega Evolution that's based on that form instead, like Machamp, Drednaw, and Garbodor. Some Pokémon that have Gigantamax forms did not receive such Mega Evolutions however, which includes the likes of Grimmsnarl, Hatterene, and Melmetal. Some of these Pokémon already have Mega Evolutions anyway like the Kanto starters and Gengar.
  • All or Nothing: Whenever engaging in a Boss Rush, you have to either defeat all of the trainers in a row or risk starting all over again; and only the Elite Four provides full team heals in-between matches.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Many quality-of-life changes have been added to this ROM hack:
    • If you need to find one specific Pokémon in the wild, simply use your DexNav, then enter the shaking grass/dust cloud/whirlpool.
    • You no longer need to teach HMs to any of your team members; as long as someone in your team is capable of learning said HM, just press A in the overworld to trigger it.
    • All Evolutionary items can be purchased in the Celadon Department Store; many Evolution methods have been simplified as well (i.e. Sinistea evolving into Polteageist with a Moon Stone instead of with a Cracked/Chipped Pot).
    • After you've defeated him in Cerulean City, Blue gives you a Poké-Rider to easily get around places you've visited before—no need to use the late-obtained Fly HM anymore.
    • Brendan will give you two Lucky Eggs after beating him near Diglett Cave, which double the experience your Pokémon gain. Equip one on a low-level Mon that's falling behind, battle wild Audino near Cerulean City or in Lavender Town, and watch as they catch up to the rest of your team in seconds.
    • The mazes on the second floor in the Cerulean Cave are far more simplified as well, although this could be justified as it is an endgame story dungeon and the player wouldn't want to get too lost inside.
    • Similarly, there is no gym puzzle in the Viridian Gym after the mandatory Cerulean Cave Team Rocket boss battles.
    • The move relearner is in Cerulean City, and requires two Tiny Mushrooms or one Big Mushroom for you to relearn a move. Incidentally, just below Cerulean City is Route 5, which has Morelull, who usually carries either one for you to steal for yourself with Thief.
      • As of Version 3.0, the Move Relearner no longer requires Mushrooms for his service after you beat him in a puzzle battle. He also grants you the ability to teach relearned moves to your Pokémon yourself like in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, saving you the trouble of having to go back all the way to Cerulean to reteach a move.
    • Evasion moves are removed from the game. No more Double Team, Minimize, or anything of the sort. Moves that dropped accuracy either have a new effect (Flash, which is now Electric and drops Attack) or that part of the move is simply dropped (Mud-Slap just being a weak Ground type move and nothing else). While this is partly so that you can't rely on these kinds of moves to win, it also means that your opponent will never rely on evasion, barring a few abilities.
    • Wild Kanto and Alolan Meowth are almost 100% guaranteed to carry Nuggets as long as your lead mon has the Frisk or Compound Eyes abilities, allowing you to grind money fast by stealing with Thief or Covet. After defeating Sabrina, you can encounter wild Pelipper, who carry Lucky Eggs and Damp Rocks at the same rate, which sell for twice as much.
    • Bosses do not use healing items, unlike the original game and even most main series games.
    • As of 3.0, some starters now carry the move False Swipe with them in order to make catching weaker Pokémon far less risky.
    • Nurse Joy no longer has dialogue before healing your Pokémon, she will just heal as soon as you speak to her. You will also be turned around after the healing to prevent accidentally getting healed twice from impatient button mashing.
    • There is another nurse next to Nurse Joy who will change Natures for free, inform you about the level cap, and change genders for certain gender-based evolutions such as that for Gallade, Froslass, Vespiquen and Salazzle.
    • There are also now in-game cheat codes you can enter at the beginning of the game for easier gameplay. First, there is one for infinite Rare Candies and Pomeg Berries (respectively 400 and 100 at a single time) given by a Youngster in Viridan City. This allows for faster levelling for those who don’t have the patience or time to grind and makes switching around team members and getting new ones to catch up much easier. The Pomeg Berries make friendship evolutions occur much sooner as they will easily level up your friendship. There is another cheat code for care packages that you received throughout your journey, getting type boosting items, different Poké Balls and Berries. And last but not least, the third cheat code allows you to see all the encounters in the DexNav to save you the trouble of blindly walking in and finding encounters, as well as to focus on finding any particular Pokémon right away, especially the rarest spawns.
    • The PC is now able to be accessed remotely, so you can switch up team members at your own liking. You will need to take items away from any members you deposit however, as moving items can only be done in the Pokémon Center.
    • There are now certain features able to be activated by the L button. Such as Auto Run, which makes your default movement running and saves on holding down B all the time, with Turbo Boost applying for the Bicycle. Another is the Infinite Repel, which saves on having to stock up on various Repels and makes DexNav searching significantly easier as you don’t need to fear a random encounter interrupting your search. The third feature is the Poké Vial, a healing aid inspired from fellow Game Mod Inclement Emerald, that heals the entire party up to six times and makes long dungeon journeys easier to handle. Said aid will also be refilled every time you heal at a Pokémon Center.
  • A.I. Breaker: For as brilliant as the AI is here, knowledge of how the AI works can lead to this, which can help you get the upper hand.
    • One example is that they're somehow aware of whenever you bring a type resisting Berry, which will usually dissuade them from using moves of that type unless they're strong enough to break through it despite the damage reduction. You could bring a Pokémon that's only weak to a coverage move that isn't that strong, equip the appropriate Berry, and stand strong against the rest of their moves.
    • Another example is that the AI will generally try to go for whichever move does the most damage, and will always try to use a set up move if it doesn't see that they can get a KO. Other than entry hazards getting in the way, you could then proceed to drain the opponent's PP by switching back and forth between Pokémon that are resistant or immune to the opponent's moves. The AI will be none the wiser and won't think to try something else.
    • Another thing is that the AI will almost always go for priority moves if they can see a kill with it and your Pokémon outspeed. This can be exploited with the move Sucker Punch, which only works if the opponent used an attacking move. With this in mind, you can spam a status move until you have drained all PP from the move, which isn’t much to begin with (only eight usages).
  • Anti-Grinding: Played with. There is a level cap set in place, which raises after each Gym Leader or major boss fight, preventing you from simply grinding and overleveling to overcome the game's challenges. Upon reaching the level cap, your Pokémon will gain such minimal EXP so that it's essentially stuck at that level until the cap raises again after another boss fight. However, there are lots of other things to grind for, namely EVs, money, everything to help build up your team, and you are indeed expected to grind for these. This is all to encourage you to strategize and plan out each boss fight rather than try to brute force it with high leveled Pokémon, and various resources like the EXP and EV grinder in Lavender Town and several Move Tutors throughout Kanto all help encourage you to build proper teams. As of version 2.3, there is a Minimal Grinding mode that cuts down the grind immensely by giving every Pokémon maxed IVs to begin with and removing EVs from the game (for both the player and the bosses), letting the player focus more on team building, finding the right moves and items, and preparing the right strategies to win.
  • The Artifact: The Game Corner is locked until you beat Erika. The Gym guide is in there, and tells you that Erika specializes in Grass types and isn't meant to be taken lightly. Problem is, you would already know that, since you had to fight her to talk to the Gym guide to begin with. In the original, the Game Corner is free for you to enter right as you get to Celadon City, meaning his advice is helpful there, leading to this discrepancy.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Humorously lampshaded by a girl in the Indigo League:
    Girl: Mate... the Elite Four here is on some wack shit. Thankfully the AI can act like some doodoo, use that to your advantage.
  • Ascended Meme: The "so I herd u liek mudkipz" meme is referenced here, where a kid who makes this reference is a surprise boss fight, and fittingly, the kid commands a Mega Swampert. Prior to V4.0, You get the Swampertite and a Mudkip for winning. In V4.0 and beyond, you get TM26 Earthquake for beating them, and Swampertite for showing them a Swampert- doing the latter also unlocks a post-game rematch once you have the Z-Power Ring, and winning that fight (which has them throw an Ash-Greninja at you without having to transform it first) nets you a Cosmog.
  • Balance Buff: Nearly every Pokémon got some sort of major buff, whether it's a stat boost, new typing, new abilities, and/or new moves. Notable examples include Floatzel getting Technician and moves like Surging Strikes and Flip Turn, and Drapion receiving Wicked Blow, which pairs well with its Sniper. Some abilities were even reworked to give some lesser used Pokémon a better fighting chance, like Slaking's Truant allowing it to use Slack Off during the rest turns.
  • Book Ends:
    • The first Johto Gym Leader Falkner is mandatory to fight, as is the last Johto Gym Leader Clair.
    • Like in the originals, your rival is the first and last opponent. Brendan, a new rival, is also fought near the beginning in Viridian Forest, and then near the end right before you enter Victory Road.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing:
    • Ace Trainer Mary in Erika's gym has a variety of different types of Pokémon besides Grass (plus Stealth Rock from her Graveler) guaranteed to trip you up.
    • Hardcore mode introduces boss fights against various mooks throughout Kanto, which is visually indicated by the portrait cut in just like any other boss fight. They always guard the entrances and exits to new areas, meaning they are mandatory to fight.
    • The "so you liek mudkipz" kid in Saffron City just looks like a regular ol' kid, and indeed, there aren't any other trainer classes that use the kid sprite, making the ensuing boss fight to be quite a surprise.
  • Boss Rush:
    • Version 3.0 features unavoidable back-to-back trainer battles that take place on Routes with permanent weather conditions and on the Sevii Islands, with no opportunity to heal up in-between.
    • The Ace Trainers in Victory Road also qualify as this, each one having a nearly full team with competitve sets and Mega Evolutions much like the various bonus bosses.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The postgame introduced in Version 3.0 has an expanded Pokémon Tower and the Sevii Islands, featuring many consecutive boss battles—and unlike the Elite Four, your Pokémon won't all be completely healed, if there is even an opportunity for any chance of healing at all.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Normally, progressing through Kanto can be a bit open-ended after Cerulean City, and choosing to fight Erika, Sabrina, and Koga can be done in any order. Here, the player is literally forced away from Fuchsia City until Erika and Sabrina are defeated, and the Team Rocket plot cannot progress until Erika is defeated. If you try to walk over to Fuchsia City anyway even after waking up the Snorlaxes, the game will force the player to turn back and make a statement about getting the badges first.
    • After beating Blaine, normally you'd just go to the Viridian Gym and fight the last Gym Leader. However, before you set foot inside the Gym, Brendan will stop you and ask you for your help, as Team Rocket were spotted in Cerulean Cave. You're then whisked away to the cave, but you are allowed to leave it the moment you enter. However, if you try going to Viridian Gym again, you'll be forced to turn back, with the player having some internal dialogue about wanting to go help Brendan instead.

  • The Cameo: Brendan and May from Hoenn appear, as does Ethan from Johto. May's only fought once and Ethan is only an NPC ally in Raid Battles. Brendan is a full on secondary rival, challenging the player throughout the game several times, and helping you against Team Rocket. The Johto Gym Leaders also show up here as extra bosses to fight, and Clair even takes up the spot as the eighth Gym Leader, replacing Giovanni.
  • Canon Immigrant: Primal Dialga appears as an alternate form for Dialga, which originally came from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • The endgame bosses will use Legendary Pokémon that you will never have access to, like Groudon and Eternatus. Hardcore mode takes this a step further, by giving Legendary Pokémon to more bosses, giving some illegal moves, and outright preventing the player from using certain moves and abilities (mainly stat boosting and weather moves and abilities, as well as few others) but the opponents are able to use them just fine. In addition, any weather or terrain the opponents set up is permanent, and some battles even have special rules like giving the boss permanent Tailwind or permanent Tinted Lens (boosting the power of not very effective attacks). The Champion is the worst with this, as he has a permanent weather that benefits his team as well as obscenely powerful Legendaries such as Xerneas, Ultra Necrozma, and Eternamax Eternatus.
    • Some bosses will also have access to powerful Z-Moves, giving them either a super powered move to hit you with or a move that boosts all of their stats. You don't have access to Z-Moves whatsoever until after you beat the main game.
    • In a more minor example, several mooks throughout Kanto will also have illegal access to moves that just serve to be an annoyance, usually Smokescreen (which is reworked to simply lower your Attack).
    • The AI will somehow know if you have a type resistant berry equipped, and will not use the move of that type because of this. However, you can also use that knowledge to your advantage, if your Pokémon is able to withstand the rest of the opponent's moves.
    • The AI is significantly more likely to wake up from Sleep the very next turn than the player, making Sleep almost useless. (This issue was eventually fixed in Version 3.0, however.)
    • As of Version 4.0, the Hardcore version of Misty's rematch will have a Palafin that is automatically in Hero form with no prior switch-out required. To make things even worse, its ability is Mold Breaker, which negates any abilities that would otherwise grant immunity to its Water attacks. Which means you now have to deal with an instantly transformed Palafin that can hit you with Rain-boosted Waterfalls and Jet Punches, which can deal some serious pain even when resisted and completely ignore immunities. Have fun.
    • If you thought your rival was already bad enough, one boss in the postgame is able to Mega Evolve four different Pokémon. It's Red, and he's able to Mega Evolve his Charizard, Venusaur, Blastoise, and Mewtwo.
    • In Version 4.0, the post-game rematch against the Mudkip kid has him use an Ash-Greninja against you without needing it to transform by scoring a KO first.
  • Creator Cameo: The hack's main dev, soupercell, will appear right before you enter the Indigo Plateau, to test you to see if you're strong enough to take on the Elite Four. He sends out a Lv 100 Gigalith. ...That almost immediately knocks itself out with Explosion. And then he sends five Shedinjas, which all die from the sandstorm Gigalith set up, just to mess with you.
  • Crutch Character: Snover—no longer having the harmful Ability of automatically summoning Hail upon entry—can be obtained as early as Viridian City and has great matchups against the first four gyms (except Brock, and even then most of his mons don't like taking a Razor Leaf to the face), often being able to sweep much of their teams. Unfortunately, it drops off pretty hard after that due to its horrendous Ice/Grass typing giving it oodles of weaknesses. Even with Abomasnow's Mega form getting buffed via an increase to its Speed, its performance is still quite underwhelming, even on Hail teams. As a Hail setter it's also terribly outclassed by Alolan Ninetales.
  • Developer's Foresight: If you choose to get a starter from another region, the cutscene of your rival picking his starter is expanded upon to justify why he still has a Kanto starter.
  • Early Game Hell: Early in the game, you might struggle to find good Pokémon with good stats while the opposing trainers all have perfect Pokémon right from the get go. The further you progress into the game and the more money you earn however, the more services that will be offered for you to better train and improve your Pokémon. Minimal Grinding mode, introduced from Ver 2.3 onward, does alleviate the early game hell a little bit by taking EVs and IVs basically out of the equation, letting you focus more on finding the right Pokémon to help you throughout your journey.
  • Easy Level Trick:
    • Misty's Water Pokémon often pack Ice attacks to deter Grass-types; enter Snover, a Grass- and Ice-type that can serve to easily counter her team.
    • Most of Bugsy's and post-game Falkner's Pokémon can be weakened by a good amount if someone sets up Stealth Rock (a move obviously not available for the player to use in Hardcore Mode).
  • Elite Mook: Ace Trainers in Victory Road have five Pokémon each, and they all use Mega Evolution. In Hardcore mode, they get upgraded to proper mandatory boss fights, complete with six Pokémon each instead.
  • Final Boss Preview:
    • Teaming up with Lance in Cerulean Cave will show off the Pokémon he'll use against you later, namely Mega Salamence and Dialga, giving you an idea of what to expect, although his Dialga is in its new Primal form during his actual fight instead.
    • On Hardcore mode, Clair uses Ultra Necrozma and Eternatus, letting you face off against and prepare to fight such titans before you have to fight them again during the Champion fight, wherein your rival also uses Ultra Necrozma, as well as Eternamax Eternatus.
    • As of Version 3.0, if you talk to the Gym guide at the Pokémon League, he'll tell you which Pokémon he saw Lorelei with, as she has two different possible teams to use (namely a Rain or a Hail team). The rest of the Elite Four also have two different teams to choose from, but Lorelei is the first to fight, is the sole Double Battle of the Elite Four, and her teams are completely different while the rest have different but still mostly similar teams, so it helps to know what to expect.
  • The Ghost: After defeating Giovanni, his son Silver is brought up and referenced, but he makes no appearance in the game. This gets hilariously lampshaded by the Dumbass Jojo fan when you bump into him on the Sevii Islands.
  • Guest Fighter: As of Version 4.1, Chillet has been added to the hack.

  • Harder Than Hard: In Ver 2.3, difficulty settings were added. Adding a hard difficulty to an already incredibly difficult ROM hack counts as this. The new Hardcore difficulty gives bosses much stronger Pokémon, and you're at the mercy of their rules, like being unable to remove entry hazards, or being able to Mega Evolve more than one Pokémon in a single match while you can only do one. On top of this, you also cannot use certain moves like stat boosting moves, or certain status moves like weather and Taunt. The only even playing field you have is that there are no EVs in this mode for both the player and the bosses, as the Minimal Grinding mode is implemented by default.
  • Healing Checkpoint:
    • Right before you fight Archer and Ariana in a Double Battle in the Silph Co., you will get a warning and a free heal from the creator himself (albeit only in text boxes) of what is about to go down.
    • Near the entrance of Victory Road is a nurse who will heal up your team for free. Near the exit of Victory Road is another nurse, which is a bit conspicuous. Since you just got through Victory Road, then you're just mere steps away from healing again at the Pokémon League itself. The second nurse is to help you prepare for one last fight, this time against soupercell himself, the game's dev. Though it's not much of a fight.
  • Irony: On Hardcore mode, Clair has a special rule where you can’t use Fairy types against her. One of her Pokémon, Magearna, is a Fairy type itself.
  • Jump Scare: Unintentionally, but turning the Infinite Repel on does not also repel the roaming Legendaries, so the player may have to be prepared to be taken off guard if they happen to bump into one while running though the open grass or travelling across the water. On the other hand, a savvy player who is aware of this fact can use it to their advantage to make sure that if they're hunting for a roaming Legendary in a route, the Infinite Repel will make sure that only that Legendary will appear.
  • Just Following Orders: One Team Rocket Grunt says this word-for-word in the Cerulean Cave, as he's just as much in the dark about Giovanni's new plans as the rest of the henchmen.
  • Lethal Joke Character: At Level 50, Chimecho is now able to learn Forbidden Spell, which has the 1/8 chance of it being able to use one of each of the following moves: Shell Smash, Healing Wish, Dark Hole, Tail Glow, Quiver Dance, No Retreat, Soul Robbery, or Roar of Time.
  • Level Scaling: Bosses scale to your team's highest leveled Pokémon, and there is also a level cap set in place after each major boss fight, all essentially meaning that you can't overlevel to surpass your opponents, nor does it mean you're completely screwed if you seem to be a bit underleveled, since the boss will just scale to your highest level. Generally though, you're expected to go into each boss fight right at the level cap, trying to get as much levels as you can to learn a specific move or evolve a certain Pokémon.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Be prepared to fight a lot of these kinds of Pokémon late in the game. Bosses will often use Pokémon that are fast, strong, and have good coverage. Best exemplified in Sabrina and Koga's boss fights on Hardcore mode, where they both employ slow but tanky, powerful Pokémon, but because of their permanent Trick Room and Tailwind respectively, their speed issues are nonexistent and you have to contend with teams full of these incredibly strong Pokémon.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Like in the Galar games, there are Raid Dens throughout the region where you can fight Dynamaxed Pokémon, and you can Dynamax your own Pokémon as well. The mechanics are as close to the original as they could get, only that you only have one partner this time, who has a set team of three. The Dynamax mechanic is only present in these battles though, and are absent in the rest of the game.
  • Meaningful Name: This ROM hack is called Radical Red because it is a very radically different game from the original in almost every single aspect. The story is mostly the same, though even that diverges a bit towards the end, and every single mechanic and Pokémon are all updated to the modern day and then some.
  • Mascot: This ROM hack is represented by a Mega Houndoom, which is incidentally Archer's Signature Mon, meaning you will fight it at least a few times in the story.
  • Mirror Boss: As of Version 3.0, your rival will have a Ditto (with the Imposter ability, meaning an insta-Transform) during the Champion battle.
  • Money Sink: Many NPCs throughout Kanto offer services to improve your Pokémon like Move Tutors, selling special items, or even grinding for EVs or EXP. These all come at a cost, but the greatest money sink is the IV maxer in Celadon Apartments. If you want to max your Pokémon's IVs, you have to shell out $350k. Averted if you're on Minimum Grinding mode or Hardcore mode, as all Pokémon (exempting the ones you get from trades) have perfect IVs by default and EVs are removed.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Unlike in the vanilla games, Brock carries a Vulpix in addition to his Rock-types. Aside from throwing off anyone who thought they could sweep the gym with a Grass-type, this also doubles as a reference to the anime, where Brock had a Vulpix for a good chunk of the original series.
    • Your first encounter with Archer occurs just as you're about to leave Mt. Moon, in the same spot Jessie and James confront you for the first time in Yellow.
  • Nerf:
    • Some Pokémon were nerfed, with a few Mega Evolutions losing a few points of their main attacking stat, Aegislash's King Shield not dropping the opponent's Attack stat anymore, and Corvisquire not evolving into Corviknight until Level 60 or so, which can only be reached after fighting Sabrina.
    • As of Version 2.3, Typhlosion learns Eruption at Lv 100 (long after the game would be over) as opposed to Lv 85 (which is the final level cap before the final bosses), essentially meaning it gets its strongest move far too late, whereas before it could have it just in time for the Elite Four.
    • Similar to Typhlosion, fellow Fire Starter Delphox has its best move Mind Blown moved up to learning at Level 100 as well.
    • In version 3.1, Sceptile learned Dual Chop at Level 69 instead of right after Grovyle evolves. A further nerf was introduced in 4.0, in that the Sceptilite has now been moved back to right after beating Victory Road Brendan. This lead to the original Dual Chop nerf being reverted, as base Sceptile is rather underwhelming as a Pokémon and most players likely would not be using it prior to being able to Mega Evolve it anyway (barring some trolling with Endeavor).
    • Eternamax Eternatus was originally just a Unique Enemy that the player would never have access to on account of its gargantuan 1125 BST. For the record, Mega Rayquaza and Mega Mewtwo both have 780 BST. Here, Eternamax Eternatus is more in line with the likes of Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre: still incredibly powerful, even getting the Levitate ability to remove its Ground weakness, but it only gets about a 100 BST boost instead.
      • That being said, while the vast majority of Eternamax Eternatus' stats (primarily the defensive ones) were heavily nerfed, it got a significant buff to its offensive stats, specifically a blistering 140 Speed stat and a positively gargantuan 185 Sp. Atk stat. So while this version of Eternamax Eternatus is far less durable than the original, it can also kill you far more quickly too.
    • As of Version 4.0, Qwilfish no longer has its Prankster ability, meaning that you can no longer cheese the Totem Alolan Marowak battle with Destiny Bond.
    • As of Version 4.1, Cosmoem evolves to Solgaleo/Lunala at Level 64 instead of 53 to prevent cheesing with a Disc-One Nuke.
  • New Game Plus: As of Version 3.1, you have the option to start one of these on your old save file, with the ability to add Mystery Gift codes in the Pokémon Center to further enhance your playthrough.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Brendan's lead Pokemon for the fight against Archer and Ariana at Silph Co. is a Masquerain with Intimidate, which is normally a great ability to have in Double Battles. However, Archer's lead Pokemon (Gothitelle in standard mode and Galarian Articuno in Hardcore) has Competitive, which boosts its Special Attack by 2 stages when any of its stats are dropped, meaning Brendan basically gives Archer a +2 buff for free to start the match.
  • No Fair Cheating: Strangely, mixed with Anti-Frustration Feature. Your team will be silently healed before fighting a Gym Leader, which is done to prevent specific setups, such as bringing a Pokémon with low health to use Endeavor or Flail, or bringing in a Guts Pokémon with a status already inflicted.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Despite Koga being known as the Poison-type Gym Leader, his roster is more based on a ninja theme, with only two Poison-types actually being on his team. His dialogue even changes, where instead of talking about how his team uses status effects, he instead talks about how his team are speed demons, especially thanks to his permanent Tailwind in Hardcore mode.
  • no punctuation is funnier: Healing at the Indigo League's Pokémon Center has the nurse bluntly tell you "Now go get your ass beat lmao" afterwards.

  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • Prior to Version 4.0, DexNav is disabled in the Safari Zone to prevent exploiting its features to easily seek the one rare Pokémon you want.
    • To prevent players from trying to capture it well ahead of the story arc, your bag is disabled during the Mew fight in Berry Forest. (But then again, you don't have your bag for the duration of this Brutal Bonus Level anyhow.)
  • Olympus Mons: The endgame bosses all use Legendary Pokémon. In Hardcore mode, bosses start using Legendary Pokémon earlier, while more endgame bosses use stronger Legendary Pokémon with different forms like Mega Rayquaza, Ultra Necrozma, and Eternamax Eternatus, although the latter is nerfed to more reasonable, albeit still very strong levels.
  • Optional Boss:
    • The Johto Gym Leaders, barring Falkner and Clair who are mandatory. They reward helpful items upon defeat.
    • Various trainers can be challenged in Kanto who usually have full teams of six to fight you with, a Mega Evolution, and some sort of in-battle gimmick that they try to rely on. You'll usually get rewarded with the items they were using against you, like Mega Stones and held items like Rocky Helmet.
    • In the postgame of Version 3.0, Red of all people can be challenged on the Sevii Islands.
  • Original Generation: Version 3.0 adds the Sevii Islands back into the game, and with some new Seviian forms exclusive to Radical Red.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Victory Road is full of high-level Audinos, making it one of the best places to level grind.
  • Piñata Enemy: Audino, like in the main series games, gives out lots of experience points. For a fee of $10k, there's a house in Lavender Town that makes grinding EXP off them even easier; there's a team of six Audino that all knock themselves with Memento and they scale to your level.
  • Precision F-Strike: When you heal at the Pokémon Center in the Indigo League, the nurse has this to say:
  • Red Herring: Silver, the rival of the Johto games, is brought up indirectly after Giovanni's last stand in Cerulean Cave, wherein Giovanni refers to his son, and then he's outright name dropped, complete with a name highlight, in the scene after. Giovanni tells you that if you see Silver, to say that he's deeply sorry, and Lance mentions that he's encountered Silver and that he's one tough opponent. Given the appearance of Ethan and the Johto Gym Leaders, you'd think Silver would be around too, but despite the mentions in dialogue, he's absent from the game.
  • Retcon: A good number of Pokémon have had their typings altered:
    • Arbok is Poison/Dark instead of pure Poison.
    • Venomoth is Bug/Psychic instead of Bug/Poison.
    • Volbeat is Bug/Electric instead of pure Bug.
    • Electivire is Electric/Fighting instead of pure Electric.
    • Golduck is Water/Psychic instead of pure Water.
    • Meganium is Grass/Fairy instead of pure Grass. This is also true of Bellossom.
    • Sunflora is Grass/Fire instead of pure Grass.
    • Falinks is Bug/Fighting instead of pure Fighting.
    • Unovan Samurott is Water/Steel instead of pure Water.
    • Kantonian Farfetch'd is Fighting/Flying instead of Normal/Flying.
    • Luxray is Electric/Dark instead of pure Electric.
    • Granbull is Fairy/Fighting instead of pure Fairy.
    • Sudowoodo is Rock/Grass instead of pure Rock.
    • Mega Absol is Dark/Fairy instead of pure Dark.
    • Galarian Ponyta and Rapidash are Fire/Fairy instead of Psychic/Fairy.
    • Lapras is Water/Dragon instead of Water/Ice.
    • Huntail is Water/Dark instead of pure Water.
    • Gorebyss is Water/Fairy instead of pure Water.
  • The Rival: Like in the original, Blue is your rival, always aiming to be one step ahead of you. Two of his boss fights (the one aboard S.S. Anne and in Lavender Tower) are Adapted Out though. In this game however, there's a new rival in Brendan, who you fight just as frequently.
  • Sand Worm: Seviian Milotic is a different take on this trope, as it swims through mud instead. Fittingly enough, it's now part Ground instead of Water and learns both Sandstorm and Shore Up through leveling.
  • Sanity Slippage: Dialogue during the Cerulean Cave event suggests that this has happened to Giovanni, although this might just be his admins and grunts being left in the dark of Giovanni's true plans of controlling Mewtwo, as his dialogue is still more or less the same Affably Evil crime boss as it has been.
  • Scaled Up: Seviian Wishiwashi one-ups its regular counterpart by transforming into a giant dragon with its Schooling ability, gaining the Dragon type as well.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One trainer in the Power Plant has a team that is just one big Jojos Bizarre Adventure reference, with Pokémon like Machamp with its Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs and Celebi with its ability to manipulate time.
      Dumbass Jojo Fan: Oh? You're approaching me...? Instead of running away, you're coming right to me? [Select Yes] Oh ho! Then come as close as you like!
    • In Version 4.1, the Blood Moon Ursaluna you can get in a trade is nicknamed "Freddy".
  • Signature Mon: Since there's been different versions of the game, bosses usually have different rosters, which also leads to different ace Pokémon. Even your rival, while keeping his starter for most of the game, ditches it during the Champion fight to use Legendaries instead. However, a few trainers manage to keep their ace in every version of the game.
    • Archer and Ariana always have their signature Pokémon in the Houndour line (Houndour, then Mega Houndoom) and Mega Mawile respectively on all their teams.
    • Brendan always has the Treecko line as his ace, with any of its evolution line being present on all of his teams.
  • Sinister Stingrays: Whereas normal Mantine is a friendly manta ray, Seviian Mantine is an Electric/Poison stingray that emphasizes Special Attack over defenses.
  • SNK Boss: Bosses in the Hardcore difficulty play by their own rules which mainly exist to screw you over, usually setting up permanent weather or Terrain that you cannot remove whatsoever, complete with teams that take full advantage of these effects. More and more bosses also use Legendaries, especially during the final battles, wherein every Elite Four member and the Champion having several Legendaries each.
    • Special mention goes to Sabrina and Koga, both of whom use very strong, bulky, but slow Pokémon, but their field effects (permanent Trick Room and Misty Terrain, and permanent Tailwind and Psychic Terrain respectively) make their Pokémon absolute speed demons, which Koga himself even lampshades. You are almost guaranteed to be outsped by their powerful Pokémon in some manner. In addition, Koga's Psychic Terrain means that you can't even use priority to get the jump on his Pokémon.
    • The Champion himself, fittingly as the Final Boss, is the ultimate example of this. He leads with either Primal Kyogre or Groudon, meaning permanent heavy rain or harsh sun respectively, and he has a Mega Evolution that takes full advantage of the weather (Mega Swampert for Primal Kyogre teams, Mega Houndoom for the Primal Groudon team). He also has an Arceus form, the monstrously powerful Geomancy Xerneas if you didn't choose a Fire type starter, some extremely powerful Dragon types that can potentially include Proto-Sp. Atk Walking Wake, Ultra Necrozma, and Koraidon depending on the team you face, and his ace mon is Eternamax Eternatus. Yes, THAT Eternamax Eternatus. The latter is thankfully nerfed and isn't the gargantuan BST monster that it would have been, but it's still very formidable and has Levitate to remove its Ground weakness.
  • Stealth Pun: In Hardcore mode, Whitney uses a Pyroar with a Timid Nature. It's a Cowardly Lion.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Waterfall HM is unavailable on account of there being no waterfalls to climb in Kanto. This unfortunately means that a Pokémon like Gyarados is missing it as a strong physical Water-type move for it to use. Thankfully for it and a few other Water-types, there is a new move in Aqua Fang, which has the same base power, is also physical, and while it lacks a flinch chance, it is boosted by Strong Jaw, which Pokémon like Bruxish and Drednaw appreciate more than the flinch chance.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: After one of Prof. Oak's aides gives you the Flash HM on Route 2:
  • Super Mode: Mega Evolution makes a return in this game. Some Pokémon that previously received Gigantamax forms, like Machamp and Lapras, get a Mega Evolution based on that form instead.
  • Take That!: In this game, Lostelle finds herself lost deep in the woods only because of her abuse of the "walk through walls" glitch.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Every major trainer has access to every Pokémon up to Gen IX, giving them much more of a Pokémon selection as a result, with some even using Legendary Pokémon towards the end of the game.
    • Team Rocket usually used the same old Pokémon like Raticate and Golbat, but here, they have just about anything, including stronger Pokémon like Excadrill and Hydreigon.
    • The Gym Leaders all use competitive strategies and very formidable Pokémon, and as early as Lt. Surge, they all have a Mega Evolved Pokémon to use.
    • The ghost Marowak in Lavender Tower is an Alolan Marowak instead, fittingly being an actual Ghost type, but it's also at a much higher level (50+ instead of 30!), has its Thick Club equipped to double its Attack, and has a new ability that lets bone based moves ignore immunities and deal double damage against resisted moves. It also gets a boost to all of its stats, much like the Totem fights in the Alola games.
    • Giovanni himself ends up taking command of Mewtwo. And then he Mega Evolves it.
    • During the Version 3.0 postgame, Bugsy of all people somehow manages to take control of Genesect and Arceus at one point.
  • Underground Monkey: In addition to the Alolan and Galarian forms making their appearance (as well as Hisuian forms in an upcoming update), the game has Original Generation Seviian forms make their debut in Version 3.0. For example, a Mud Worm Milotic, an insectoid Clawitzer, and a cave centipede Centiskorch are included. All of these Pokémon have rare (or even unseen) type combinations:
    • Milotic: Fairy/Ground (a completely new type combo)
    • Clawitzer: Bug/Dark (at the time completely new type combo, now shared by Lokix)
    • Carnivine: Poison/Steel (at the time completely new type combo, now shared by Varoom line)
    • Dodrio: Fire/Ground (only shared by the Numel line and Primal Groudon)
    • Centiscorch: Bug/Ground (only shared by Nincada and Sandy Wormadam)
    • Dhelmise: Water/Grass (only shared by the Lotad line and, later, Wellspring Mask Ogrepon)
    • Zebstrika: Ice/Electric (only shared by Rotom-Frost and Arctozolt)
    • Mantine: Electric/Poison (only shared by the Toxel line)
    • Ursaring: Ghost/Fighting (shared by Marshadow and, later, Annihilape)
    • Wishiwashi: Ghost/Dragon (only shared by Giratina and the Dreepy line)
    • Noivern: Rock/Ghost (Completely new type combo, added in V4.0)
    • Lokix: Bug/Dragon (completely new type combo, added in V4.0)
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Misty can be a major roadblock for inexperienced players for numerous reasons: she can easily switch in her Clodsire to absorb Electric attacks, her Frogadier has Protean (which easily changes its typing into the type of the moves it uses), and the members of her team pack Ice-type moves to deter Grass-type Pokémon.
  • Your Mom: The Play Rough move tutor makes said joke in relation to the move's name.


Video Example(s):


Pokemon Radical Red

As of Version 4.1, Palword's Chillet has been added to the hack.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / GuestFighter

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