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Video Game / Pokémon Reborn

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Pokémon Reborn is an episodically released Pokémon fan game set in the newly created Reborn region. Interestingly, Pokémon Reborn is not a ROM hack, but an RPG Maker game. Not only that, its plot and characters are based on the former players of the now defunct Pokémon Reborn League online role-playing group.

The story takes place in a world struggling with the aftermath of an environmental disaster. In Reborn City, Pokémon are scarce, the lake has more poison than water, plant life consumes whole wards quickly and without warning, and the population rarely ventures outside of the city. What's more, the local villainous team already has the region in their clutches. Enter our protagonist, a new Trainer hoping to take on the Reborn League who finds themself caught up in much, much more.

The game is notable for having a mature story compared to the main Pokémon series, with a terrorist attack happening right in the intro. It's also mind-bendingly difficult, at least in relation to the canon games. For example, a level cap is enforced by the badge system in a much more strict manner, in that you aren't allowed to Level Grind past every leader or the overlevelled team members begin to disobey you. Moreover, there are some absurdly powerful bosses almost coming out of nowhere. They're far stronger than you'd ever expect at that point in the game, with teams and strategies straight out of the Competitive Multiplayer environment.


The game can be downloaded on its official website. There's also a fairly active forum, which has developed its own internal memes. (Just ask about Terra's couches.)

On June 16, 2015, a Pokémon Reborn forum user named Solarance created a mod for the game called Pokémon Reborn Hardcore (although he later passed control of the project to Commander, another Pokémon Reborn forum user). The mod seeks to make the already Nintendo Hard base game even harder; for example, it gives Gym Leaders from the fourth Gym on (as well as certain other bosses) Mega Evolutions. The download link for the most recent version can be found here.

See also Pokémon Rejuvenation, which is another RPG Maker Pokémon fan game that was inspired by this one.


Tropes used in Pokémon Reborn:

  • Anyone Can Die: And do they. Human, Pokémon... no one is safe in this game. Thus far, Corey, Kiki, Tara, Eclipse, Ame, and (depending on your choices) Taka have all perished.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: In the canonical Pokédex, it is said that Chandelure can burn away a person's soul with its flames. Team Meteor Commander Sirius has a Chandelure. Come Eclipse's betrayal, take a wild guess what happens.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Starting with Episode 15, it's possible to re-battle the Trainers found at the start of the game (with constantly scaling teams full of mons that give out ample experience) over and over again.
    • After completing a series of events that involves traverses a huge field and a puzzle involving Tauros and Boufflant, eventually you can speak to one of the former and get a time saving instant bypass from one side to the other.
    • Due to all Pokémon disobeying you if they're overleveled, a very cheap item that drops a Pokémon level by 1 is available not long after the start of the game.
    • The password system introduced in Episode 19 is all about adding more of these to the game. The options you can activate range from disabling experience gain once you hit the current level cap, to starting the game with several items like the EXP All and a set of nature-changing mints to make grinding easier alongside making all gifted Pokemon have perfect IVS. Some of these will disable online play, however.
  • Arc Symbol: A circle surrounded by 4 rectangles resembling the wheel on Arceus's back appear almost everywhere in the game including a host of doors that cannot be opened. Similarly, The colors Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and Amethyst also seem to appear everywhere. It is revealed by Solaris that at least one of the doors was built by a civilization where Reborn now resides to enshrine where Arceus fell to earth and is sealed by the four respective stones in the form of jewelry, which later become the main Mac Guffins for the ongoing plot.
  • Alice Allusion: Luna, the Dark-Type Gym Leader, has her Pokémon nicknamed after Alice In Wonderland characters. The first female protagonist's official name is also Alice.
  • All for Nothing: By the half-way point of the Magikarp side quest, after you purchase it for two Blue shards, it gets stolen by Dashing Rouge Corin-Rouge, sends the player off from a wide goose chase just for them to get away from him and his ill-gotten gains, and after a few battles and some impostor shenanigans, you finally have one final showdown with him at the Tourlamine Desert, during the last battle with him in this sidequest (specifically when he's down to his last Pokémon), he reveals what the supposed Pokémon is, expecting it to be ultra-powerful... only to be confused and disappointed that he did all of this, just to get a Magikarp. He decides that, out of embarrassment, he decides to turn himself in after the battle after how much he pulled off just to get a pathetic Pokémon like Magikarp
  • Ambiguous Gender: Ace of Team Meteor and Adrienn the fairy gym leader, who are non-binary. Also, ZEL, who is actually 2 women and a man stuck in the same body. You can choose to play as a non-binary protagonist, as well.
  • Anti-Grinding: Similar to the main series games, Pokémon that have their levels too high will not obey you if you do not have enough gym badges. Unlike the main series however, it does not matter if they are trade or not.
  • Author Avatar/Creator Cameo: Ame, who serves as the administrator for the Reborn region. The actual Amethyst (a.k.a. the game's creator) has stated that she will have no major role in the game beyond that.
    • Almost all of major characters are members of the site's own Pokémon League.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: A field effect—grounded non-Fire types take Fire-type Stealth Rock-esque damage, Fire moves are powered up, and Abilities activated by or related to Fire attacks activate automatically.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: If you defeat the boss battle against Solaris, on top of Pyrous Mountain, which is meant to be lost, as the boss has a Garchomp at least 30 levels higher than your Pokémon, he shrugs it off and acts as if he ended the fight because he was bored.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Lumina, who had a genetic disease that would kill her, desperately hoped that she wouldn't die and wouldn't be alone. One PULSE fuckup later, she, her sister Evelynn and Team Meteor member Zero are all stuck in the same body, which doesn't have the disease.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Amaria saves you from a Garchomp.
  • Black Out Basement / Big Boo's Haunt: The abandoned Power Plant is both.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: As part of an early quest chain spanning middle and south Obsidia Ward, it's possible to fight a Lv. 45 Tsareena as early as with one Badge, when your Level cap is 25.
  • But Thou Must!: During Sandy's sidequest, she plans to flood an office to destroy some paperwork, believing the act will somehow help the environment. She asks the player, "Does that sound like a great idea, or does that sound like a great idea?" The player has two options, but they're both "Yes". (Pressing the cancel button doesn't work.)
  • Cassandra Truth: When Amaria reads Titania's diary, she comes across some entries that Titania claims are simply ideas for a story, but which Amaria takes as proof that Titania doesn't love her. If you read the diary afterwards, you find out that it's kind of both- the entry really is ideas for a new story, but it's also very obvious that Titania based it off her and Amaria's relationship.
  • Cigarette Burns: Charlotte burns Dr. Connal before escaping the Orphanage.
  • Crapsack World: At the start. It does get a lot better, though.
  • Crutch Character: Hardcore adds one in the first Hardcore-exclusive sidequest—a Spinda with the move Hyper Voice. Said move has a base power of 90note , gets a power buff due to being the same type (Normal) as Spinda, and is a spread move, making it a godsend for the Hardcore-exclusive optional double battle against Julia. Unfortunately, Spinda has god-awful base statsnote , so it Can't Catch Up to the other Pokémon you find after only the first gym.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: One definite and one possible one after the other. Taka on Azurine Island explains that the PULSE Pokemon Team Meteor needs is caged in the observation post there. After defeating Taka, he lampshades that the player character could grab the PULSE Pokemon right then and there to stop their plan... and then the player character just stands there and lets them all get away for no apparent reason. A bit later at Pyrous Mountain the player could then defeat Solaris' Garchomp, upon which the player character just stands there while Solaris uses an item to heal it and then kills Kiki with it.
  • Darker and Edgier: The establishing moment for the game is a terrorist attack on the train you were on.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The beginning of the game shows how dangerous the world of Pokémon would be if it were real life—Pokémon are essentially sentient weapons of mass destruction, villains would be a lot smarter and act as terrorists rather than flashy super villains, people would fare horribly if they actually got hit by a Pokémon attack, and so on forth. However, around the halfway point things start to get reconstructed—the heroes have Pokémon too, and they're able to use them to keep the villains in check and secure victories, slowly making the world a better place. Perhaps the best example of this is Team Meteor's attack on Fiore Mansion, which ends in an utter defeat for Team Meteor and Solaris, who previously wiped the floor with you atop Pyrous Mountain.
  • Developer's Foresight: You're given a choice concerning where your sympathies lie regarding a conflict at one point. The game will remember and modify dialogue for a surprisingly long time afterward based on what you picked.
    • Whether or not you've joined up with the Magma or Aqua Gang will be reflected once you meet the famous Gossip Gardevoir.
    • Dialogue is modified based on rather or not you've become an honorary police officer in a few places, as well.
    • Dialogue is also modified depending on whether you change the Grassy Field to a Burning Field in your Gym Battle against the Normal Leader, Noel.
    • During a puzzle involving Tauros, Boufflant, logs, and ledges, you might get stuck without a mount behind a ledge. In every place where this is possible, strange flowers can be stepped on that will warp you back to somewhere you can continue the game.
    • The field effects are surprisingly in-depth—use Cut during a Forest field effect, and Cut increases in power and becomes dual Normal/Grass due to cutting down trees. Use Area of Effect Fire moves during the same, and the forest catches fire, transforming into an effect altogether far more useful for Fire types, and likely detrimental to Pokémon (and Trainers) more used to the forest. But summon rain during the aforementioned, and the fire will be extinguished, transforming back to its previous forest effect. And that's just one set of chain reactions possible.
      • There are also several instances where changing the arena gets acknowledged by your opponent, such as setting the grass on fire during Noel's gym battle. Breaking Serra's mirror arena will also lead to the arena being broken on the overworld
    • One of the gym leaders will have a chess-based challenge before you are allowed to challenge him. Don't know how chess works? Don't worry! His butler is in the next room over ready to explain the basics.
    • during the Lin route postgame there is a part where she asks for you to thank her and your only dialogue options are to say thank you. However if you decide to press the cancel button to exit the conversation Lin will actually react to it and lets you off the hook
    • The foresight applies to scenes exclusive to Pokémon Reborn Hardcore, too. In one Hardcore-exclusive sidequest, you get a message from Corey's ghost, asking you to and "bring the ring" to the spot where you ruined his life. You're supposed to pick up the Silver Ring from Corey's gym and try to give it to his ghost, who tells you that you were supposed to bring Heather's Ruby Ring and attempts to murder you with the remnants of his team. If you bring the Ruby Ring in addition to the Silver Ring, he notices... and tries to kill you anyway, since him getting the Ruby Ring was secondary to him murdering you.
  • Dungeon Bypass: What Team Meteor wanted to do with the PULSE Abra. It didn't work out, and was responsible for causing a massive amount of chaos around Spinel Town and their own base due to Abra's teleporting powers going out of control.
    zeL/Lumi: "Well, um… we need to get into a certain place, but it’s sealed tight, so… We figured maybe if we amplify Abra’s power, and ask it nicely… that maybe it could teleport us into there."
  • Eldritch Location: The Citae d'Astra, where the meteor of Arceus is enshrined, apparently can sometimes count as a Year Outside, Hour Inside sort of place. The void you're sent to by Gardevoir in the Glass Workshop shows you multiple versions of the inner emotions of some of the other characters in Reborn.
  • Everyone Has Standards: An Punch-Clock Villain orderly at the Orphanage of Fear expresses his thoughts in this way.
    Orderly: "I tried. Truth be told, I don’t feel all that inclined to stop you guys. Some of the things that go on here… they’re not right."
  • Evil Counterpart: PULSE machines seem to be this to Mega Evolution—mechanically they're the same thing, but PULSE is almost exclusively a bad thing for the Pokémon involved. That it was developed by local evil team Team Meteor doesn't help things.
  • Fetch Quest: An exhausting one: After helping the kids from the Orphanage escape, you have to go get a door open by turning the power on. Once you've beaten Shade, he turns the power on... and then shows you that your friends have been captured because Team Meteor was waiting for them behind the door you just got opened. In order to get to them, you need the HM for Strength, so you just need to go get it and beat the next leader, right? Haha, wrong. First, you have to go help Amaria track down the source of the poison polluting the lake. Once that's done, she gives you a boat so you can cross the lake. Second, you get to the next Gym Leader, Kiki, who you beat... but she doesn't give you the badge. Instead.... third, you have to go rescue Cain, who managed to get himself kidnapped by Team Meteor, and once you've beaten them, you find out that they're going to destroy Kiki's Academy. So fourth, you have to go back there and help fight off Team Meteor before they destroy the place. Then, while you get the HM, because Kiki was killed in the attack, you can't get the badge. Instead, fifth, you have to go find the next Gym Leader and beat her. Then you can finally go rescue your friends.
    • Another unnerving wild goose chase involved a Pokémon you can "buy" at the start of the game. It gets stolen from the vendor before he can give it to you. After that, every person who had it either sold it off or had it stolen from them by the time you track them down. Guess what Pokémon it is! A Magikarp.
  • Field Power Effect: Tying in with the below Geo Effects, particular fields somehow amplify or weaken moves of particular types. Sometimes this is logical (an icy field makes Ice moves stronger) other times it's bizarre (a chess-themed field enhances Psychic moves, and makes them super effective against "dumb" Pokémon, or those with stereo-typically unintelligent abilities like Klutz, Simple, or Unaware.)
  • Four Is Death: Shade is the 4th gym leader to give you a badge, and to battle him, you must access 4 monitors that foreshadow, or call back to, important events in the game.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: At the end of Episode 18, a voice (exactly whose voice is unknown) speaks directly to the player, threatening to leave them stuck in the empty void where Episode 18 ended. It decides to let the player go, but warns them that they need to be more grateful for everything the voice did for them.
  • Final Boss Preview: Not the final boss, but at one point at the game you team up with Amaria, a late-game gym leader. The enemy levels at this point in the game are in their mid-30's. Her Pokémon are in the mid-70's to 80s.
  • Foreshadowing: Three of the four screens in Shade's Gym show events that have yet to happen in the game (and two of which have taken place afterwards...), as well as Corey's suicide, which already took place.
    • Also, near the end of Episode 15, he shows up in the Water Treatment Center and gives you a cryptic poem. What it means is not yet clear.
    Shade: Forget not: Four screens foretold four souls fortune forsaken, for forsooth, from foreshadowed, only two will be taken.
    • Anna can sense people with her psychic powers, but whenever Lin's near her, Anna can't see her at all, and says that there's nothing there. The end of episode 19 reveals that 'Lin' is a puppet being controlled by the real Lin in the New World. In addition, Lin's screen in Shade's Gym showed her body falling apart without anything touching it, more like an inanimate object than a living being.
  • Frictionless Ice: Now weaponized! With the Icy field effect active, increased priority physical attacks gain extra power due to it.
  • Funny Background Event: Certain cutscenes will have amusing happenings in the background, such as Julia spinning circles around Florina as you scale the waterfall back from the Water Treatment Plant.
  • Gaia's Lament: The titular city of Reborn. Team Meteor is the cause of it.
    • By the time you return to Reborn City from Agate Circus, the city is in middle of renovation.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Attacks by plants have destroyed several wards. Team Meteor invoked this.
  • Geo Effects: Moreso than usual in Pokémon as of Episode 13. Rollout and other rolling moves increase in power on icy fields, Cut will become a dual type Grass/Normal move in heavily wooded areas, and dozens more.
  • Ghibli Hills: Route 1 and the areas directly to its south are so Ghibli, their Grassy field effect actually restores health to all grounded Pokémon every turn. You can, however, corrupt it with Poisonous attacks until the end of any given battle if you so wish. They're something of a Breather Level compared to the dreary environments you've seen prior as well, up until you reach the two gym leaders waiting along the way, anyway....
  • Grande Dame: Mrs. Craudberry.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: More specifically, Grey Vs. Grey and Black Morality. A good chunk of the heroes (most blatantly, Saphira and Titania) are Anti-Heroes, and most of the grunts (as well as some of the Admins, like Taka and ZEL's Eve and Lumi personalities) of Team Meteor are actually really nice people. It even turns out that Solaris, Team Meteor's Dragon, is a Knight Templar who seeks to remake the Reborn region. Despite this, many of the higher-ups in Team Meteor (ZEL's Zero personality, Sirius, and most of all Lin) are rotten to the core, so the heroes are A Lighter Shade of Grey.
  • Guide Dang It!: While far from the only example, the process to obtain the game's first available pseudo-legendary (at level 1 during a time when your Pokémon are likely pushing their 50s) requires such a long series of counter intuitive actions that border on Metroid-esque Sequence Breaking levels of lateral thinking that the game itself literally calls bullshit on it once you're successful. Specifically... 
    • The second available psuedo-legendary, Goomy and its line, are less complicated, but the questline only becomes available after you've defeated Adrienn, the Fairy gym leader, when your Pokémon are likely nearing the 80s. To start, you need to choose to repair the Obsidia Slums in the Grand Hall of Reborn City, which requires you to make a payment of roughly 60000 Poké. Next, you need to talk to a certain person in the renovated Slums to obtain the GUM key for the Water Treatment Center. This will allow you to enter a room that was previously locked up, where you will see Goomy. Then, you have to solve a very complex pipe puzzle (and be at a certain place when it's done), before pressing a button, to finally obtain a level 30 Goomy, which joins your team for freeing it from the pipes.
    • Zig-zagged with the storyline branch in which you reveal Corey as a member of Team Meteor in front of his daughter. To do this, you have to find and rescue all the Policemen before completing the double battle against Taka and ZEL. This is pretty obscure because it's entirely possible to never even start the sidequest, but most players who know about it will do it anyway since it rewards you with two very good Pokémon. Then again, you won't know that you'll get these Pokémon from this sidequest unless you look it up on the forums, so...
    • Getting Heracross and Pinsir's Mega Stones requires you to talk to Nyu with only Blue Moon Ice Cream available as a consumable treat. Nothing remotely indicates this to be the case.
    • If you have started on later versions, the Mega Z-Ring quest requires you to have certain Black Market Pokémon in the state you obtained; if you have evolved or lost them, the quest is impossible to finish without using another save file. There is a large gap between when you can first buy these Pokémon and when you can start this quest; odds are you might have locked yourself before it even becomes available (and one of these Pokémon is from a line that otherwise appears only in event that is available only during very specific part of the story).
    • But all of these pale in comparison to getting the Anna route for the postgame. In order to get it, you have to expose Corey as a Meteor agent, win the first fight against Solaris, not fight Dr. Connal at the Yureyu building, have Sapphira be the one that gets kidnapped during the Belrose mansion raid, side with Radomus over El, defeat the fake Arceus, not give Blake the Ruby Ring, not fight Taka at the Water Treatment Plant, team up with Taka in the desert and finally beat both final fights against Lin on your first try. Thankfully, the game creates a backup save within your save file directory before fighting Lin, so if you fail at this last hurdle, you can reload it and try again. If you happen to miss a single step along the way, you're not getting it.
  • Harmful to Minors: Shelly accidentally comes across the scene of a very gory suicide, and is understandably shaken up by it.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • When you battle Solaris atop Pyrous Mountain, it's expected that his Garchomp will sweep you without breaking a sweat. However, to achieve either of the two Golden Endings, the player must defeat it.
    • The Darkrai quest in the post-game has another one. More specifically, the first battle against Shiv. His team is nothing to write home about; the main issue is that your entire team is turned back to Level 1 once you begin the fight. Meanwhile, his own team is around Level 130, due to the game increasing the level cap even further during the post-game. Fortunately, there are no benefits to winning this battle, bar minor dialogue changes.
  • Implacable Man: Lin. You can't outrun her. You can't outfight her. You can't kill her- whatever you do, she'll come back. There's a reason why everyone's terrified of her, including her own team.
  • Informed Attribute: Reborn's Pokémon population is supposedly in great decline. The most this means to the player is that nearly every Pokémon worth using in the early game requires a special event to obtain, rather than simply appearing randomly. Dozens upon dozens of Trainers still use the things, and it's not hard to amass hundreds yourself.
  • Jerkass: While he may not seem that way when you first meet him, after you get your first badge, Fern quickly establishes himself as one of these when you next meet him.
  • Just Between You and Me: Subverted—The (apparent) head of Team Meteor is only explaining his plan to distract you while his Garchomp kills you.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • A Team Meteor Ace shoves Shelly down a staircase at Mount Ametrine at one point.
    • You yourself have the capacity of this. You can steal a Ponyta or Buizel belonging to a woman when you join the Magma or Aqua Gang. Likewise, you can meet a Aether scientist woman named Nadira in a project to create Type:Null, which involves sacrificing three of your Pokémon. For added bonus, one of these Pokémon can be the Carvanha given to you by Archer as a gift for joining them.
      • It is worth noting, however, that the woman from whom you "acquire" the Ponyta/Buizel later is found buying stolen Pokémon on the black market, and she is noted on the Pokémon summary as not being the original trainer of the Ponyta/Buizel. Future encounters with her further drive home how awful she is. In all likelihood, you were doing the Pokémon a favor by stealing it.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After Amaria throws herself off a waterfall, Titania follows her down, telling the player to follow them with an escape strategy. However, actually getting that strategy takes a long time, given that you have a lot of things to do in the meantime. Once you finally make it down there, the first thing Titania says to you is "Do you know how fucking long I've been down here?" She also lampshades and invokes the player's Kleptomaniac Hero status regarding the key she needs, saying that she's heard they have "a habit of picking up random objects that don't belong to you".
  • Level Drain: Common Candies are introduced in Reborn. The polar opposite of series mainstay Rare Candy, these inexpensive sweets will drop a Pokémon's level by one in case you've been level grinding too much and none of your team listens to you any more.
  • Light-Flicker Teleportation: Shade does this randomly if you wait in the center of his gym.
  • Mama Bear: Saphira is this for her younger sisters Charlotte and Laura. Threaten them, or anyone she cares about? You die.
  • Moral Myopia: Team Meteor have been killing defenceless people left, right and centre. When Saphira and Titania return the favour, many of them are shocked and horrified that they're the ones being attacked.
  • Mythology Gag: Julia's future self in the Champion Shelly timeline says that Techie Johnathan, who accidentally had a Rayquaza in E14, is "as reckless as a Rayquaza in an antiques store".
  • No Ontological Inertia: Zigzagged with the creations of PULSE-empowered Pokémon. While some of them disappear immediately (such as the Avalugg-generated iceberg), the forests created by the three PULSE Tangrowth stay where they are and have to be removed normally, and the poisoned water in the lake created by the PULSE Muk takes a very long time to remove, and it's stated in Episode 16 that the lake still hasn't recovered fully even with the PULSE Swalot removed from the Water Treatment Center.
  • One Trainer Army: Most of the higher ranking gym leaders tend to be able to take down several weaker trainers in a row with very little resistance.
  • Orphanage of Fear: The Lapis Ward Orphanage.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: You can meet Eclipse’s father in Calcenon City after her attempted betrayal of Team Meteor. He doesn’t take the news of what happened to her well, accusing you of lying. Later on, it’s possible for Aster to come and confirm to him what occurred.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Invoked. You can easily level up any Pokémon you need by returning to the center near the start of the game and fighting the Trainers there ad nauseam, who provide decent sources of both money and experience and get stronger as you progress through the game, as well as the Rainbow Challenge clown Indra at the Agate Circus.
  • Permanently Missable Content: A lot moreso than the early generations of Pokémon, where only a handful of Pokémon were once off. Here nearly every noteworthy early game monster is, if they're available at all, and if you faint them during their special event, say goodbye to your chance at one. However, in some cases, you can later catch its evolved form. Emphasis on some.
  • Polluted Wasteland: The Byxbysion Wasteland is an unusual example: It was not created by humans and is continuously growing despite few people dumping their trash there. An attempted cleanup for the expansion of the city was met with failure when all the trash that was there reappeared overnight when they attempted to clean it up. it is heavily hinted that this is the result of a talking Garbodor, Mr. Bigglesworth, finding and empowering itself with a discarded PULSE.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Dr. Sigmund runs an Orphanage of Fear and puts his charges through literal shock therapy.
  • Red Herring: Partway through the game, it's revealed that Team Meteor has a female hacker in their team codenamed 'Titawin'; Amaria thinks it must be Titania, even though Titania denies it, because the names are so similar and she's seen Titania talking to Meteor grunts. In actuality, Titania was giving Team Meteor false information to keep Amaria safe; 'Titawin' is actually Terra, and the name is just a coincidence- Team Meteor uses astronomy-based codenames.
  • Shout-Out: After the Grand Stairway is destroyed in Northern Obsidia Ward, you can find a civilian who will say "On this day, humanity received a grim reminder..."
    • One of the fishermen on Apophyll Beach, when commenting on all the Grimer in the water, mutters "One grime to rule them all, and in the murkness, bind them".
    • In Lapis Ward, there is a lady named Lenore who uses a Luvdisc and a Murkrow.
    • The highest rank you (or a combatant Pokémon) can reach on High Striker? Over 9000, of course.
    • A woman recites a modified version of Avatar: The Last Airbender's opening narration in Coral Ward before the Gym Leader, Adrienn, returns. This is actually a subtle hint as to why and how they disappeared, as well.
    • You can join the Magma Gang or Aqua Gang, lead by Maxwell and Archer respectively. It's lampshaded to hell and back by both leaders.
      This rehash of the Magma and Aqua conflict ends here!!
    • On 7th Street there is a cult dedicated to The Helix Fossil. Additionally there is a Trainer with a Charmeleon named ABBBBBBK.
    • In Ametrine City, a guy is having a problem with his computer. Once the problem is fixed, he says it's time to get back to solo queue.
    • During a sidequest in Episode 16, you get a crystal ball worth 100 million yen and with a 30% prediction rate.
    • In the Onyx Arcade, the staff watching over the roulette tables paraphrase one of the songs from Persona 5, The Whims of Fate.
      Let's spin the wheel. See where it might fall? Give into temptation!
    • Ametrine Mountain plays host to Lapras on Fridays, much as Union Cave did in Pokémon Gold and Silver.
    • Among the many Shout-Outs given by Terra, during the Labradorra Tournament, she mimics an iconic scene from Troll 2:
    • There's a kid in Spinel Town staring at a train who says "I like trains."
      During the Labradorra Tournament, Terra does her own version of the "man your man could smell like" commercial.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • When you are captured in Episode 16 and Lin goes Hannibal Lecture mode on you, Victoria, and later, DJ Arclight, both of them have something to say about her attempts. Sadly, Lin wasn't there in person, and she didn't seem to hear them.
      Lin: You thought you were strong together. And here you are now. Let this be a lesson. Numbers do not help. Friends do not help. Spirit does not help.
      Victoria: What does someone like her know about spirit?

      Lin: Do you understand yet?
      Arclight: Tch, here we go.
      Lin: You have no control. You never did, even if your glass-spun egos depend on convincing yourselves otherwise. You are pigs to be herded. You are pigs to be hurt. Sputter, shiver, and squeal. It changes nothing. You know what to do.
      Arclight: She's gonna eat those words when one of us "little piggies" catches up to her.
    • Later on, during the siege of Labradorra, Lin is actually there to hear the group's rebuttals.
      Lin: Numbers will not help.
      Florinia: A statistical improbability.
      Lin: Tactics will not help.
      Saphira: As if anyone operates without them.
      Lin: Friends will not help.
      Shelly: Watch us!
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: In the post-game, during the Celebi quest, when he and the player are sent ten years into the future, Elias and Radomus fall into this in the absence of more violent conflict, passive-aggressively sniping at one another over whatever they can, from age to pomposity to skill (or lack thereof) at parenting.
    Radomus: Look at me, I'm Elias! I'm so repugnant that the idea that somebody could be selfless enough to treat me well is totally alien! So much so that I convince myself a random youth is Arceus because that's the only explanation!
    Elias: Well, my name is Radomus! I spent so long spouting pseudo-philosophical nonsense everyone thought I was some kind of intellectual. So I just lied and told them I was a chessmaster. I'm not even very good at chess, but nobody can stand my company long enough to play a game to find out!
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Due to Reborn more or less being a showcase of the roleplaying group's characters, many of the "cool" actions seen in the story are done by said group's characters...often with the main character a bystander or not even present during said events.
    • For example, despite you taking down the mook of the giant Steelix, it's Saphira who winds up taming the Steelix after spending a good amount of time at the bottom of the chasm.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character:
    • In a sense. Certain scripted encounters have more than one Pokémon to choose from; after you battle Victoria for the first time, the game randomly picks which Pokémon to use for all of them.
    • During some sequences, the partner with whom the player battles can vary. For example, depending on whether the player defeated Solaris's Garchomp atop Pyrous, they may be partnered with either Florinia or Julia during the Meteor attack on Fiore Mansion.
  • Story Branching: There are few times where the story can change depending on your actions. Among these are:
    • Defeating Solaris at Pyrous Mountain will slightly affect Meteor's raid on Fiore Mansion, including Julia teaming up with you instead of Florinia. It also has a significant impact on the post-game, as defeating Solaris is required for Anna's route and the "Lin Reshiram Determination" route.
    • Whether or not you save all police officers Beryl Ward will change whether Corey is exposed as Meteor Admin, difficulty of his Gym, and the reason why he commits suicide
    • Whether or not you cover up for Taka at Water Treatment Center changes the whole tone of Episode 17, splitting it into the Zekrom and Reshiram paths. If you don't cover for him but refuse to let him accompany you in the desert, you are put on a version of the Zekrom path with some elements of Reshiram.
    • There are two post game routes: Lin's and Anna's. The former being the default while the latter requires you to meet a large list of prerequisites. Additionally, the Lin route has a number of different possible endings, with the most satisfying also being locked behind prerequisites, though not nearly as many as with Anna's route.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Hoo boy, where to start...
    • The game doesn't shy away from the fact that Pokémon are essentially sentient weapons of mass destruction. For example, one Tangrowth (albeit one that was powered up by the PULSE System) was able to destroy an entire city ward. One.
    • The game also doesn't shy away from showing how badly a human would fare from a high-level Pokémon attacking them. Best-case scenario (in Amaria's case), you get some busted ribs. Worst-case scenario (in Kiki's case), it's fatal.
    • Amaria is very depressed, and Titania only dated her because she was afraid that Amaria would kill herself if she didn't. When Amaria finds out that Titania never loved her, she jumps off a waterfall. Worse, while Amaria survives, she wakes up with amnesia, having forgotten the last few months of her life, to just around the time you arrived. Titania doesn't take it well.
      • And while trying to keep her alive was a noble goal, being forced to be Amaria's Living Emotional Crutch—and her lover—has been a very painful ordeal for Titania.
    • Corey's story shows what happens if you take away someone's reason to live: either he's exposed as a Meteor Admin and his daughter runs away because she's horrified by his actions, or he's not exposed and his daughter runs away because she's sick of his controlling nature. Either way, having lost the only thing keeping him alive, he throws himself off a bridge. The result is not pretty.
      • Worse, one of the people in the crowd who found the body is Shelly, another Gym Leader... who's 12. The poor girl has a breakdown from the sight.
    • During Team Meteor's attempt to use a PULSE Camerupt to make Pyrous Mountain erupt, Cal pulls a Heel–Face Turn and saves the day by destroying the PULSE before it fires up. Unfortunately for him, he does this after it's revealed that he was working for Team Meteor and he was forced to throw Kiki's Medicham into a pit of lava, so he's remembered not as a hero but as a coward who betrayed both his friends and Team Meteor. By the time you meet him again, he's been forced to work as a third party, unable to reveal that he sabotaged the PULSE when he installed it. Solaris even lampshades this:
      Solaris: Do you think such a reckless act redeems you? On the contrary, it condemns you.
    • When you storm Yureyu HQ to free your friends, two Grunts threaten to cut Shelly's throat if you get closer. As later pointed out by Charlotte, you can easily make someone lose control simply by making them believe that they don't have any: after telling the Grunts that she didn't care if they killed Shelly and just walking up to the panel and unlocking the gate, the Grunts were left with no idea of what to do, giving Charlotte an opening to rescue Shelly.
    • Team Meteor hooks an Abra up to a PULSE machine to see if they can amplify its teleportation powers enough to get them where they want to go. But as it turns out, the Abra doesn't want to play along, leading to it randomly teleporting things that it wasn't meant to teleport. Worse, they can't turn it off because as soon as they try, it just teleports them away from the machine.
    • Team Meteor's attacks are designed to drive people out of the places they attack. Given that they don't care about killing innocents, they kill and hurt a lot of people. But while some of the Grunts are OK with that, others aren't, especially when it comes to the people they care about. Unfortunately for Eclipse, Sirius does not take desertion well.
    • Blake extorts the Ruby Ring away from the player and flees up the peak of Ametrine Mountain. At the top, once the player beats him, Shelly suggests that since Blake lost, he has to give the player the ring... only for Blake to refuse and mock her. Not only is he an enemy, but he's an enemy with no respect for the rules—why the hell would he play along? On the other hand his pokemon all being fainted also means that he doesn't have any way to defend himself when Cal and Heather swoop in on the backs of their flying pokemon to take back the ring from him.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Blake walks in on Shelly and the player reading Lumina's diary in Ametrine City, Shelly immediately exclaims, "We weren't reading any diary!"
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: In-universe, the Rainbow field effect is apparently this—sleeping Pokémon recover health due to sleeping peacefully, and Nightmare and the ability Bad Dreams are ineffective.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Despite the myriad of terrible things Team Meteor does, the game goes out of its way to make it clear they're not completely evil villains. Even the mooks have names for one, a fact that is actually used at one point to humanize a pair of confused Meteor Grunts, and you wind up in an enemy mine situation with them regarding an out of control Abra. Lumi, the "nice" personality of ZEL's even thanks you for it, and is reprimanded by one of the meaner ones. Hell, even Lin herself gets this treatment once her backstory is revealed.
  • Theme Naming: Team Meteor uses astronomy-themed codenames for its members.
  • Totally Radical: A lot of the street punks and gang members.
  • Villainous Harlequin: The clowns found in the circus try to be creepy (for no apparent reason), but mostly come off as silly.
  • Violation of Common Sense: While trapped in a cage, your obnoxious rival offers to help you out if you kneel and beg for it. Opting not to leads to him leaving, and what is assumed to be Taka's Chatot freeing you roughly 3 real time minutes later anyway, but there's no way for you to know beforehand that that would happen.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Shelly is the first Gym Leader that clearly covers her team's weaknesses, and has Rain Dance to prevent from you destroying her field so easily.
  • Wham Episode: By the end of Episode 18, Agate City is now freed from Team Meteor, Lin has taken control of Gardevoir and is using her black hole power to imprison her enemies, Cain, Luna and Samson/Ciel are all stuck in said black hole, Eve and Lumi are back in their own bodies and helping you, it's revealed Anna and Noel are Radomus's children, and a mysterious voice is threatening the player. The game ends there until Episode 19 releases.
  • Wham Line:
  • A World Half Full: The Reborn Region is a Crapsack World, make no doubt about it; however, as the game goes on and Team Meteor's plans start to get foiled, things slowly get better. Even the titular city gets fixed up by Episode 15.
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of the Meteor grunts threatens to cut Shelly's throat if you don't back off. He can't really go through with it, though, when Charlotte calls his bluff.
  • Wretched Hive: The overwhelming majority of Reborn City, though the cake goes to 7th Street, filled with junkies, caged black market Pokémon, and stolen goods. By the time of Episode 16, it's getting better, though.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • The entirety of the Magikarp sidequest. Buy it from a salesman right after getting your first Pokémon? It gets stolen immediately afterwards. Chase the thug who stole it down and bribe him to give it back to you? Surprise! The whole ordeal was a ponzi scheme that the thug and the original salesman thought up to rip off innocent Trainers. Beat them up and make them give it to you? Turns out it got stolen from them for real. Chase down the Youngster who stole it and fight him? Well, that's good and all, but he already sold it to a gang. Join the rival gang and run the first gang out of the city? They already sold it to a guy in Seventh Street. Buy it from the black market Pokémon dealer? It gets stolen... again. Catch up to the thief and beat him in a battle? Turns out you just caught a decoy, and the real thief has already escaped the city. The worst part is, as of Episode 16, the sidequest isn't finished, so you never do get your Magikarp.
    • As of Episode 17, this sidequest is finally put to rest, allowing you to catch the thief and claim the Magikarp for your own years later.