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Video Game / Pokémon Rumble

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Pokémon Rumble is an Action-Adventure Pokémon Spin-Off series developed by perennial Pokémon spin-off developer Ambrella. Unlike most Pokémon games, in which you directly control or interact with real Pokémon, the world of Pokémon Rumble is inhabited by Toy Pokémon, small Super-Deformed-like Pokémon figurines. Much of the series' core gameplay consists of real-time battle similar to that of Smash TV using a simplistic control scheme, taking command of a party of Toy Pokémon to cut through swaths of hostile Toy Pokémon and challenge their boss at the end of a dungeon. By fighting against Toy Pokémon, you can potentially execute a Non-Lethal K.O. on them via "wobbling", which will allow you to befriend other Toy Pokémon and add them to your ranks.

The series consists of five games:

  • The first game in the series debuted as a WiiWare game, prominently featuring Pokémon that debuted in Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
  • Pokémon Rumble Blast (Super Pokémon Rumble in Europe) was released on the Nintendo 3DS featuring all then-available Pokémonnote  and new game modes.
  • The third game in the series, Pokémon Rumble U is available for download. New features include Pokémon missing from Rumble Blast, 4-player, and near-field communication, allowing interaction with separately purchased figures (compare Skylanders).
  • A fourth game, Pokémon Rumble World, was released for the Nintendo 3DS, and is free-to-play with a microtransaction system similar to that of Pokémon Shuffle. Based on the Generation VI games.
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  • Pokémon Rumble Rush is a mobile game entry in the series, released in May 2019 and was discontinued on July 22, 2020. Features Generation VII Pokémon.

Tropes relating to these games include:

  • Acrofatic: Snorlax with Body Slam. The attack causes the user to jump high into the air and land a few paces ahead. Similarly, Pignite/Emboar with Heat Crash, which uses the same animation.
  • Ambition Is Evil: The magician in World has little motive beyond taking over the kingdom.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Ranking Up in World sometimes unlocks new outfits for your Mii, alongside new backgrounds and frames for your profile card. Completing certain Challenge Levels also unlocks special outfits that you can't normally buy.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Instead of forcing players to constantly spend money to get better in World, It sets a max cap of 3,000 Poké Diamonds you can buy, that adds up to $30 which amounts to a full priced game. After you reach said limit, instead of forcing you to wait a couple of days to hopefully get at least one Poké Diamond using the Spot/Street Pass features, the game gives you a mine with an unlimited amount of them that you can obtain 40 (20 prior to the update) from once a day.
    • In addition, hitting the buying cap grants you the option to buy 2 permanent VIP passes, one that makes cost of re-inflating Balloons 1 Poké Diamond, and the other reducing the cost of the roulette's ability to let you stop where you want to 1 as well. Normally the prices would cost 2~5 for Balloons depending on the Balloon type (up to 10 in the update), and 2 for the stopper.
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    • The August 6 update adds a free new balloon that serves as a Luck-Based Mission which is weighted toward catching new Pokémon, as well as increased Diamond production from the digger, increased rate of collecting P, and a code worth 100 free Diamonds on the website.
    • Additionally, if a legendary pokemon has a signature move, the moveset of a captured pokemon is biased to nearly always give you that move.
  • Anti-Grinding: The possible numeric range of a Pokémon's power level before being captured is determined by your current Adventurer Rank, which prevents you from getting strong Pokémon quickly unless you really put in the effort to raise your Adventurer Rank by raising the number of species that were discovered and obtained.
  • Artifact Mook: A justified example and arguably an Anti-Frustration Feature given some of the Titles in World. All of those Pokémon formes that have canon explanations limiting which ones you should encounter (eg, Gastrodon's Eastern Sea and Western Sea formes, which shouldn't naturally be found in the same sea, let alone right next to each other) are completely disregarded, because these are wind-up toys rather than actual Pokémon.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The visitor bonuses where you rescue visiting Miis and guide them to the end of the level. They are programmed to hang back at a safe distance, but their pathfinding is based on the player's route rather than what the enemy is doing, so they often end up literally standing there and letting bosses kill them or even actively walking into clearly telegraphed attacks.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The magician in World thinks that he should be the king because he has mastered the Mega Evolution. Averted by the king himself, who doesn't fight the magician himself and instead sends you as his champion.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Getting Manaphy in the game is nothing more than a chore. It requires you to release three Phione at the same time. But in order to get a Phione, you need to release a Lapras and a Vaporeon at the same time, both of which are rare to begin with (the former is a boss in one area, but it's rarer to befriend bosses). To top it all off, Manaphy have average Attack and only a little higher Defense than Phione.
    • Mewtwo. Which would you rather have? Three Dragons that can learn signature attacks that destroy the game, or one Pokémon that's basically an Alakazam with better Defense and a bigger range of moves?
    • Instant-kill moves, due to long charge times and their inability to affect bosses.
    • Healing moves in the sequels, due to the low amounts healed per move.
    • Mega Rayquaza. It's fairly mediocre, mainly due to being held back by Dragon Ascent, which is significantly worse in Rumble World than in the main series. It's fairly hard to obtain, and usually requires the Legend Balloon, the most expensive balloon, to obtain. The only thing Mega Rayquaza has over other Mega Evolutions in this game is Delta Stream.
    • The special trait Steady. It No Sells any stat changes, including friendly ones, making stat-boosting or health restoring moves pointless. In World, even the items the Miis use on your Steady toy when they tag along will be for naught. Subverted if paired up with a move that normally decreases the toy's own stats, like Close Combat or Overheat, as the stat drop is negated due to the special trait.
    • Reshiram's Fusion Flare in World is ludicrously powerful, but moves very slowly, recharges even slower, and is so small that it only hits one target at a time, which is anything but helpful when you're being swarmed by dozens of Toy Pokémon from all sides.
  • Badass Army: Pokémon Rumble Blast features a new mode called "Charge Battle", where you make your own army of Pokémon to fight others. It also has Team Battle, where you can take a three-man army to fight mini-bosses.
  • Big Bad: Dark Rust in Pokémon Rumble Blast.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: While Dark Rust is purely evil, Cobalion steals the Glowdrops in order to fight it, and the Pawniard accused of doing so is portrayed as a villain (until he's proved innocent, of course).
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Dark Magician in World likes to do this to people to fight for him.
  • Broken Aesop: The typical Pokémon moral is that you should love and take care of your Pokémon, not just abandoning Mons once they're weak and trading up for stronger Mons. Rumble pretty much requires you to abandon your weaker Mons and trade up for stronger Mons in order to pass, treating your Pokémon as tools.
  • Commonplace Rare: Whimsicott in World, which is only found as the boss arena mook for Shaymin.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In World, at least, hitting the electric border of the playfield in Battle Royales will damage you and cause you to flinch, but the computer-controlled Pokemon can back right up into it without any negative affects (which can be seen with the Marshtomp and Swampert in "Royal Competition, Round 3"). Either that or they're really good at not bumping the border while running around right beside it.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Whether a Pokémon can be killed quickly or not depends not on which 'mon it is, but rather on how many of them there are.
  • Continuing is Painful: In World, at least - if your Pokémon is Knocked Out during a level, you can choose to continue at the cost of 2 Poké Diamonds. They're easy enough to get if you do a lot of challenges and streetpasses, and if you have the Mine you may be getting them far faster than you can spend them, but it's still coming out of the game's premium currency.
  • Cool Key: The various designs of the Wonder Keys. One is even called "Cool Key"!
  • Crutch Character: In World, all of the password Pokémon are strong if you're starting a new game, but get outclassed very quickly. All of them have power levels in the ~230 range, except for Meowstic (~300), Kangaskhan (~500), and Hydreigon (~700)
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Right at the beginning of the first game, your only playable 'mon is a Rattata, which decides to try and fight in the Battle Royale. It will die in two hits. Good luck!
    • In Blast, your starting Pokémon are a pitifully weak Pikachu and slightly less weak versions of the Gen V starters and Victini. The first boss? Zekrom. Three guesses as to how well that turns out.
    • It's important to note that, even if you do a good job in fighting Zekrom, you automatically lose thanks to Dark Rust crashing the party.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments:
    • Each rank is simply the same 7 stages with stronger Pokémon. Blast has unique stages, but only about 10-15 themes.
    • In World, each stage can be a entrance, back, or center, while some can also have a Special area. However, they're all based on a handful of specific rooms per world with the only difference being where the holes leading to other rooms are located and what rooms they lead to. (And the rooms themselves are reused from Blast, taking this trope Up to Eleven.)
  • Defeat Means Friendship: You recruit 'mons mainly by defeating them in battle, then picking up the toy they leave behind. It's even referred to in-game as "Befriending" them.
    • In Rumble U, upon defeat, Keldeo offers to help you get to the Toy Shop.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • Rank C Bosses are normal enemies in Rank B, Rank B Bosses are normal enemies in Rank A, etc.
    • Blast also has many early bosses show up in the later stages. Some get to be Mooks in their final evolution's boss battle.
    • Partly subverted in World: Many of the two-star bosses only appear as bosses in the two-star areas even when game-logic implies otherwise. Expecting to finally be able to capture Aegislash easily after umpteen tries because it's going to be the flunky this time? Sorry, but have a half-dozen Honedges.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Any Pokémon you obtain by using a password will often one-shot anything that isn't a boss. Said Pokémon include Giratina, Shaymin, and Mew.
    • Also, the Pre-Order Bonus Toy Pokémon in Rumble U, Black Kyurem and White Kyurem, can be used before clearing the first area of the game. They can one-shot the earlier bosses and wipe out most Pokémon. Also, if used as a Helper, it can also one-shot almost anything.
  • Distressed Dude/Damsel in Distress: In World, visiting Miis may appear in normal levels, where they are stuck in perilous situations such as being chased by Toy Pokémon or being held captive by a group of unusually strong Toy Pokémon. If you save them, they'll give you either some Poké or Poké Diamonds and tag along to throw you buffs.
  • Escort Mission:
    • One of the Challenge Levels in World requires you to protect your Mii while mowing down every Toy Pokémon in sight. While the Mii only takes 1 damage per hit, it doesn't have a lot of HP, it's completely defenseless, and unlike normal levels where Miis appear, some of the enemies will actively try to harm your Mii.
    • A later challenge is to protect Diancie, but at least she has a bit more HP and also fights back.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: In World, you'll sometimes see one to three rainbows in the background during the cutscene showing your Toy Pokémon and your Mii riding the hot-air balloon back to Castle Town. This is important because the more rainbows you see in the background, the higher the chance that a Fever or Super Fever will occur upon selecting a stage, which increases the star rating of the stages in the selection roulette. Fevers and Super Fevers are also the only way you can increase the star ratings of certain stages high enough to encounter Legendary Pokémon.
  • Excuse Plot: The story in World essentially amounts to "The king is jealous of a Magician with ten Toy Pokémon! Get some Toy Pokémon for him!". There's also a small story told through Challenge Levels involving said Magician and his attempts to take the kingdom, but it essentially amounts to this.
  • Fake Longevity: If you play World without a physical copy or without paying any money for the free digital copy, expect to be severely inconvenienced by RNG and the exorbitant prices for Poké Diamonds.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Can happen in World if any of your friends' Miis are in your friend list, as they'll sometimes fall victim to the Dark Magician's brainwashing.
  • Final Boss: Mewtwo in the first game appears in both Normal and EX modes as the final boss, while Dark Rust is the final boss of the second game, though in the EX Battle Royal and the EX Team Battle modes, beating the 5 EX levels will open up the last EX levels on each side, where the boss fights are Mewtwo and Arceus respectively. The third game has the legendary ice dragon Pokémon Kyurem (Black Kyurem) as the final boss.
  • Flunky Boss: The bosses at the end of each stage have respawning guards. note  This is potentially favorable if you hadn't yet befriended that particular Toy Pokémon, or in World if you want to get the achievement for capturing fifty pokemon of a given species.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Charge Battle is essentially this. Many moves, especially Normal or Fighting type moves, are this as well. The Feisty attribute (increases knockback on attacks) combined with certain attacks can also have this effect.
  • Gotta Catch Them All!:
    • It's a Pokémon game. One of the machines in the towns keeps track of all the Pokémon you have seen, lighting up the images when you actually obtain each one.
    • Each of the sequels has all available Pokémon up to that point. Rumble Blast had 646, Rumble U had 649note , and Rumble World has 721note .
  • Guide Dang It!: Getting some of the Legendaries, which requires a specific combination of Pokémon. The sequel replaces this with the equally frustrating task of finding Legendaries in the stages, which is compounded by their 1 in 20 appearance rate and the intense difficulty of the fights. And you'd better hope the exit doesn't land on top of you before you can pick up the toy when you're done...
    • In World, the trouble is the various formes of the legendaries. For instance, Black Kyurem and White Kyurem can only be fought at specific times of day, in completely different stages than normal Kyurem.
  • Helpful Mook: Audino in the sequels is of the Accidentally Assisting variety. It's a Mook Medic that uses Heal Pulse, which heals all targets in a radius around it. However, if you get in close to Audino, it'll end up healing you instead of the enemies.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When fighting Dark Rust in the sequel, Cobalion sacrifices its Wind-Up Key to prevent Dark Rust from healing, making it beatable. This allows you to get Cobalion post-game after acquiring Virizion and Terrakion.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The opening battle in the Royale. It's not possible to win in the fight, as you have to kill the bosslike Pokémon that show up (in this case, it's the Kanto Eeveelutions), which isn't possible with Rattata.
    • In the sequel, the first battle with Cobalion. The beginning battle with Zekrom double subverts that — it's very hard at that point of game, but if you're good, you can win. The stage collapses anyway.
  • Hub Level: The Terminal in the original, the towns in the sequel.
  • Improbable Power Discrepancy: It's possible to fight a Golbat which takes six hits to kill on one floor and on the next, fight a Golbat which takes one.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Pretty much any Pokémon with an Attack and Defense rating of 3 each.
  • Joke Character: Ditto in the original Rumble. Can't damage anything for crap, dies if you so much as blink at it, and its only move in the game is Struggle, which damages itself even if you don't hit anything. Fixed in the sequels, since its only move is Transform instead of Struggle, though others from the main series like Unown, Delibird, and Luvdisc fill their usual roles.
  • King Mook: The bosses of most of the stages are larger evolved versions of Pokémon that you can find in that same level.
  • Make My Monster Grow: All bosses are giant-sized versions of either an evolved form of a Pokémon you fought throughout the dungeon, or a Legendary.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The Battle Royales, where even the enemy Pokémon attack each other.
  • Microtransactions: Used in World, but subverted in a way. You can buy extra Poké Diamonds with microtransactions. However, you can only buy Poké Diamonds with real money, and after buying 3000 Poké Diamonds with real money, the game stops taking your money. 3000 Poké Diamonds is $30. In other words, you can only spend as much as an actual game on the game.
    • The game even has a measure for buying the max 3,000 Poké Diamonds and you somehow end up needing more. Instead of forcing you to wait a few days to hopefully get one Poké Diamond from the Spot/Street Pass features, the game just gives you a mine full of unlimited Poké Diamonds where you can get 40 of them once a day.
  • Mook Medic: Audino. Odd in that its attack also heals you, so Shoot the Medic First absolutely does not apply.
  • More Dakka: Any ranged attack with a fast recharge time (for example, any of the multi-hit moves from the original game, like Bullet Seed or Spike Cannon) are prone to spamming.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The Battle Royales.
  • Mythology Gag: The game was developed by Ambrella, the same company that made Hey You, Pikachu!. Anybody who's played that game will recognise the terminal music as a remix of the Viridian Forest Edge theme. The sequel features most of the first game's music and some sound effects from Hey You, Pikachu!. Also, some of the tracks in Rumble U are lifted directly from the aforementioned Nintendo 64 title as well as Pokémon Channel, by the same developers.
    • The confirm/deny sound in World is the same one used in My Pokémon Ranch.
  • Not Completely Useless: Non-killing health depletion moves like Endeavor and False Swipe may seem like a waste of time, especially in a game where you are taking down dozens of Pokémon at a time, but they are extremely useful when attempting to catch boss Pokémon. After all, the best method is to keep hitting them until they start wobbling and then defeat them quickly for a guaranteed 100% success rate.
  • One-Man Army: Single-player turns the player into this, having them fight off dozens of enemy toy Pokémon at once.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Meta-example: Pokémon Rumble Blast is the first time in the Pokémon series — counting both the games and the anime — to have neither a Pokémon nor a Human as the Big Bad, but instead a geniune monster called the "Dark Rust". Granted, it's of the Generic Doomsday Villain variety, but it's still something the series had never seen before, and still the only time the series has one outside of the Mystery Dungeon games.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • A lot of bad stuff in Blast could have been avoided if Cobalion and Krookodile had explained that the Glowdrops were needed to stop the Big Bad...
    • In the "Catch The Garden Intruder" mission in World, the King discovers that someone (Mow Rotom) is wrecking the garden and sends you out to stop it. Once you defeat it though, the Princess shows up and tells you to stop as it was just getting her some flowers. Apparently, she didn't feel like telling you beforehand before you went to town on it and the other Pokemon in the garden. (It doesn't help that she's in the courtroom when the King is telling your character about the mess and doesn't make a peep at all.) The King calls her out on this after the mission.
  • Power Glows/Law of Chromatic Superiority: When getting new Pokémon. If the defeated Pokémon has no special ability, it'll have a bluish-white aura. If it has an ability, the game will slow down ever so slightly and the Pokémon will have a yellow aura before you pick it up. If, in addition to this Dramatic Pause, the screen zooms in on the defeated Pokémon and it has a glowing red aura, it has multiple abilities. If the aura is purple instead of red, it has the "Epic" ability which means that it will have six different regular abilities, usually with a good number of + icons as well. Subverted with the "Superstar" ability, which puts a spotlight over the Pokémon but is ultimately a useless if not detrimental ability. Doubly or triply subverted with the Rusty special trait; Rusty pokemon have the same Dramatic Pause as one-trait Pokémon and have a coppery-red aura but can only learn Struggle, until you clean them off with a present received from story progression (at least in World), at which point they become as powerful as red-aura or even purple-aura Pokémon.
  • Random Number God: In World:
    • You can't choose a specific destination unless you pay Diamonds to slow down the roulette spinner.
    • Pokémon can only be caught if they're knocked out while being wobbly. This leads to frustrating moments where you can't seem to catch a new species that you haven't caught yet but end up catching lots of other ones that you already have. It can be especially gut-wrenching to wobble a boss Pokémon too early and still end up not catching it after winning the battle. (If a boss Pokémon has an aura of yellow sparkles around it, then you're 100% guaranteed to catch it even if it's not wobbly.)
    • After cleaning, a rusty Pokémon will get a randomly assigned special trait.
  • Redemption Demotion: Zig-zagged. Certainly, if you successfully recruit a boss, it'll have fewer hit points than when you fought it. And regardless of what move it was using when you fought it, a befriended 'mon may have pitiful moves like Pound instead of whatever cool move they had been using against you. Alternately, recruited mooks will have more health on your team, and there's the possibility of suddenly learning a pair of extremely powerful moves upon recruitment.
    • In World, Pokémon can be befriended with a special trait of "Rusty", which means that they can only use Struggle, no matter what move they were using just a second ago. Despite the huge demotion, they can be cleaned up and become far more powerful.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: In Blast and World, every boss has an attack where they become invincible for a short while, before producing a shock-wave that tosses you away and has the potential to wobble you. However, they are far weaker than their non-secret moves.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the Area Anchors in Rumble U is called "You Pierce The Heavens", with the Pokémon mainly being ones with drills, and the interesting inclusion of Diglett and Dugtrio (the Kanto moles).
    • There's also a Chill Battle titled The Three Little Tepig in which the player most protect three Tepig from Houndour, Houndoom, Poochyena, Mightyena, Electrike, Manectric, Zorua, and Zoroark.
  • Spam Attack: Can be used by the player, if they have a Pokémon with a move like Shadow Claw, Dragon Claw, Poison Jab, etc. Rapidly tapping the attack button creates an endless stream of slashes that literally tear through groups of enemies. Some Special Traits in the sequels, such as Chop-Chopnote  or Turbonote , are made for this kind of attack.
  • Start My Own: After repeated failed attempts to steal the crown from the King in World, the Magician decides to start his own kingdom and become the Dark Emperor so he can challenge the King with his own army. Naturally, the King sends you to stop the Dark Emperor once again.
  • Stock Subtitle: Pokémon Rumble World.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Pokémon Rumble U for the Wii U.
  • Toys-To-Life Game: U used the NFC chip in the Wii U for this effect.
  • Toy Time: The whole game. The main characters are toy Pokémon, and the levels are set out like playsets inside a toy store.
  • Villain Ball: Despite World being a plot-light game, the Magician displays an utterly astounding case of this in the Restaurant Opening Challenge Level. He, disguised as a chef, opens a restaurant and invites the King to visit, but the King has you visit in his stead. When you arrive and sit down to eat the waffles he prepared, he laughs evilly, then gloats about how you'll become his slave forever and he'll take the crown... until he notices that you haven't eaten the waffles yet. He then challenges you to a surprisingly hard Escort Mission.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Cobalion in Blast.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: The "Picky" special trait in the sequels only allows the Pokémon to learn one move, but greatly increases its power and speed, especially if it's a weaker move to begin with.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In World it's possible to have your character wear any of the available outfits, no matter their gender.
  • Wind-Up Key: It functions as the life source for Toy Pokémon.
  • Wolf Pack Boss: Sawsbuck in Rumble U is this, as you have to fight all four seasonal forms of Sawsbuck. Another example is the first stage in Variety Battle, which has you fight an Emboar, Samurott, and Serperior.
  • World's Best Warrior: Any Pokémon with an Attack and Defense rating of 5 each, such as Tyranitar.
  • Zerg Rush: The enemies' method of attack.


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