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  • Accidental Innuendo: A construction worker in the Pyrite Hotel says "Apparently some rich fellow ordered the colosseum built. I'm amazingly stiff."
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The last post-game Shadow Pokémon you have to snag is... a Lv 20 Togetic. That's considerably lower-level than the Pokémon you started the game with, and Togetic isn't a particularly strong Pokémon at that. The biggest danger in snagging it is not accidentally knocking it out. (Which is very easy to do, as you're expected to have a Lv 65-70 team at that point)
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    • Inity, the Mt Battle Master in Battle Mode Doubles. His team isn't terrible, but coming after battles 98 and 99, which have Groudon and Kyogre respectively, he's a total joke. Contrast that to Infin, the end boss of Singles Mt Battle, who has a Kyogre.
  • Awesome Music: Due to the increased space allowed by being on a console instead of a handheld, the soundtrack is much more grandiose than in any other Pokémon game.
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  • Best Boss Ever: The final battle against Evice is one of the hardest bosses in the series, but unlike some bosses, the fight contains legitimate strategies that actually have you think off your feet. The music is amazing, and highlights the end of the adventure and difficult fight ahead and the background and tension for the battle is awesome.
  • Breather Boss: After several tough rematches with the four Cipher Admins and before the battle with the head of Cipher, Gonzap is actually not that tough at all. He even has some Artificial Stupidity, spamming Earthquake on the three of his Pokémon that have it, even though every time he does it, it knocks big chunks out of whoever else he has out at the time. Using Flygon makes it even funnier, since Levitate makes it immune to ground moves. His Shadow Skarmory can be a pain to catch, though. (Unless you swap-duplicate the Master Ball, then it's a cinch.)
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  • "Common Knowledge": The Big Bad villainous organization in this game is never once referred to as "Team Cipher", only "Cipher" with no "Team" in front of it. The confusion likely comes from most other villainous team in Pokémon following this trend, including Team Snagem from the same game.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: There are a little over 50 Shadow Pokémon, a lot of them aren't particularly powerful, and the purification mechanics mean investing in ones obtained later in the game is a hassle. While they're still perfectly useable, most players prefer to just run with teams consisting of one or both starter Eeveelutions, Makuhita/Hariyama, a Johto starter (usually not Bayleef), Flaafy/Ampharos, and Quagsire. All of them come at the beginning of the game and pull their weight throughout. Any or all of the Legendary Beasts may also get used since they're far more powerful than most of the Pokémon the game has to offer. The only standard late-game Pokémon that frequently sees use is Vibrava/Flygon, since it actually benefits from being a latecomer due to skipping its Magikarp Power period.
  • Cult Classic: One of the biggest for the series. Colosseum (and to a lesser extent Gale of Darkness) remains very popular with long-time Pokémon fans, to the point where its fandom is almost as big as one of the main series handheld games.
  • Difficulty Spike: The two final bosses have a significant level advantage over the fights immediately preceding them. Most of the battles you face before are in the high 40s maximum, but the last two are in the 50s and 60-61 respectively. You'll likely have to grind a bit before you can stand a chance of beating them.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: See here.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Wes and Rui. They don't go anywhere on-screen but it's hard to find fanworks that don't ship them together.
  • Game-Breaker: The infinite ball glitch takes out any difficulty trying to catch Shadow Pokémon once you obtain the Master Ball.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Check the main page.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: 99.9% of all discussion of this game is focused on its Story Mode, with Battle Mode (which is essentially Stadium 3) being forgotten despite the fact it was likely meant to be the main point of the game. The developers seem to have been aware of this, as the sequel was made with story mode in mind and only has a tiny, tacked-on Battle Mode.
  • Memetic Badass: Wes, even moreso than Red depending on who you ask. Between his very first action in the story being a Crowning Moment of Awesome, to taking down the single most evil villainous organization in the history of Pokémon who effectively already controls the entire region, to the fact that he's a teenage Anti-Hero with a Badass Longcoat who steals Pokémon, he is arguably the single most badass character in the series history.
  • Narm:
  • Nightmare Retardant: Nascour is a tall, demonic and uncanny-looking man that is also a top executive of Cipher, but because of how out of place he looks like especially in a Pokémon setting, he inversely looks too ridiculous to be taken seriously.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Due to a lack of wild Pokémon and the extremely limited choices available to the player in this game (a total of 52 at the very end of the game) many Pokémon who are seldom used due to lack of usefulness in competitive play get the opportunity to shine here. One reviewer said it best in that this game forces you to use Pokémon you would usually never even think twice about just because of how few choices you get, especially early in the game.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Every Shadow Pokémon knows the move Shadow Rush, which inflicts recoil damage to the user. The catching mechanics heavily encourage bringing a Pokémon's HP down as low as possible without letting them faint to maximize the chance of success, so a badly timed Shadow Rush from the AI may knock out your quarry and deny you a Snag.
    • Hyper Mode forces you to forfeit a turn to dispel it, which can be frustrating if the Shadow Pokémon that contracted it is at low health and gets KO'd as a result.
    • All battles are Double Battle. The format isn't as streamlined as it would be in later games, so matches can drag on much longer than they should.
    • Multiplayer requires GBA cartridges, there's no rental Pokémon roster, and Quick Battle is only one player.
    • The fact that shiny Shadow Pokémon probably won’t remain shiny once caught because of the mechanics behind shininess. It was actually an oversight relating to the personality value and fixed in the sequel with a shiny lock for Shadow Pokémon. Non-Shadow Pokémon actually retain regular shiny chances like in other Generation 3 Games.
    • Unlike every other game in the franchise, one must go to a PC in order to save.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Well, Spin-Off Difficulty Spike, anyways, but the game has much higher stakes than the core series.
    • Most games start you with a single Level 5 Pokémon. Wes starts with the two Johtonian Eeveelutions at a level 25, (for comparison, most starter Pokémon reach their final evolution at 36), with correspondingly higher-level tactics right out of the gate.
    • Before Generation V, EXP gain made it viable to focus on level-grinding your starter until type advantages didn't matter. Despite Colosseum being a Generation III game, the perpetual Double Battles mean that individual Pokémon are only receiving half as much EXP, and so gain levels slower.
    • Speaking of, Double Battles require a whole different level of tactics compared to Single Battles; whereas Single Battles dominate the core series with only sparse Double Battles per game, Colosseum has no Single Battles throughout the story mode. This means that, even if you manage to achieve a level advantage, you can't just blindly bum-rush battles and expect to come out victorious and unscathed.
    • Trading is not available until the post-game. Without Badges to mark obedience as the game progresses, all Pokémon obey Wes without question - but without being able to trade, you can't swap Plusle for a Lv 100 you ground up in Hoenn and curb-stomp Cipher with it.
  • Special Effect Failure: Despite Jumpluff's body being made up of four spheres, its shadow is four squares. The sequel fixed this.
  • Spoiled by the Format: Most of the trainers, most notably two towards the end, use Pokémon that were technically available to you when the game was released. So, you'll see evolutions or pre- evolutions of Shadow Pokémon all over the place before you can snag them, sometimes way before. You'll see Spinarak all over the place, including one in the first city, but you get to snag Ariados just about halfway through. Colossseum uses Pokémon that are available in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire plus all the Gen II ones, including ones that evolve from Gen I Pokémon that are unavailable in Ruby and Sapphire.
  • That One Boss:
    • Miror B. and his four Ludicolo. The only weakness they have that you have access to at this point in the game is Flying, and only through a near-purified Noctowl/Swablu's Fly. They all have Rain Dish and know Rain Dance plus a group of restoring moves (Absorb, Leech Seed and Mega Drain) which make the fight take a long time even with Fly, since it's a two-turn attack. You do have access to the Toxic TM as a prize for winning the Pyrite Colosseum, which given enough time can drain the HP from the Ludicolo faster than they can regain it, but this battle is a true challenge of patience.
    • Dakim has three Pokémon with Earthquake and Protect, and they will alternate between them so one hits the entire field with Earthquake and the other doesn't take anything by Protecting. Earthquake also hits his Shadow Entei super effectively and it doesn't have Protect, so if you're not careful he'll knock it out and prevent you from catching it.
    • Venus is among the most tedious bosses to fight in the whole game. Her entire team except her Shadow Suicune knows Attract, which makes Pokémon of the opposite gender unable to attack 50% of the time. Her Delcatty hits surprisingly fast and hard, and on top of infatuation, her Vileplume can paralyze your Pokémon with Stun Spore, making them only able to attack 20% of the time if affected by both. To make matters worse, her Pokémon have a sudden level spike from the Pokémon you fought previously by about 5 levels, which makes the fight more difficult to those who haven't grinded in preparation.
    • Ein has three Confuse Ray users and two Toxic users to try and hax you out of turns and stall you out of HP with the passive Poison damage. His Lanturn and Huntail know Rain Dance to boost their Water attacks (and give Huntail a Speed boost since it has Swift Swim) and give Raikou and Lanturn 100% accurate Thunders. Like Venus, his team is also about 5 levels higher than the next strongest trainer you fight, so he may also overpower you by level advantage if you haven't been grinding.
    • Evice is very challenging even by Final Boss standards, especially if you allow Slowking and Slaking out together. Slowking WILL use Skill Swap and Slaking will use its high base stats and freedom from Truant to destroy your team. His others are no slouch either, since they all know moves that will boost their Attack. Examples are his Salamence with Dragon Dance and Double Edge and his Scizor with Baton Pass so it can pass Swords Dance boosts to a teammate, as well as Silver Wind which hits both of your starter Pokémon for super effective damage. Besides from your Espeon your Pokémon are highly unlikely to outspeed his Salamence and Slaking, and there is a massive level gap between him and Nascour. Due to his unique strategies and strong Pokémon he is considered one of the hardest final bosses in the series, alongside Ghetsis, Cynthia and Volo.
  • That One Level:
    • The abandoned mine hideout of Miror B. is a maze of tunnels and bridges and caverns and they all look alike. The random trainers scattered throughout will have you jumping for joy when you stumble onto the heal machine before the boss battle. Although you get a cutscene skip to Duking's house after battling Miror B, you have to find your way in and out on your own when you go after Mirakle B. And if you thought you could use an Escape Rope like in the handheld games... you can't in this game.
    • The Shadow Pokémon Lab has a very linear layout but has two major annoyances. First there is only one PC where you can save with, located at the beginning and no heal machine at all. The only way to heal your Pokémon without exiting the Lab outright is by very tediously depositing your party into the PC and withdrawing them afterward. Then there is the other problem of Cipher Peons dropping in (literally) and ambushing you when your Pokémon are weak.
    • Realgam Tower has a lot of tough battles to get through, several of them with Cipher admins, and the level spike of Nascour and Evice means you have to grind to stand any chance of beating them. Nascour is in the 50s, and Evice at 60-61. Plus, you can't save after each battle in the final part, meaning you have to deliberately lose to one of the normal trainers and then save to secure snagged Shadow Pokémon (fortunately you're healed after each battle). However, Nascour and Evice are both much higher than anyone else you've faced, and you likely won't be strong enough the first time you fight them.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The Plusle that Duking gives you is a Joke Character in-game. However, if the developers had made Minun obtainable, as Dummied Out text from Nett suggests they had at one point planned to, it could have been a rather good option. The abilities of Plusle and Minun, Plus and Minus respectively, raise the Special Attack of both Pokémon if they are allied with each other. Considering this game is all Double Battles, it's rather frustrating that they didn't end up including Minun.
    • For how heavily they were featured in Wes's backstory and how prominent they were in the opening scenes, Team Snagem really isn't featured in the game all that much until post-game. In fact they aren't even mentioned once you get more involved in Cipher's activities, aside from a surprise battle with Gonzap right before the final boss fights. Thankfully, the sequel rectifies this by giving Snagem a bigger role in the story.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Theoretically, Snagging allows the player to capture any Pokémon. In the game proper, though, Rui prevents the player from trying it on non-Shadow Pokémon, and there are only around 50 Shadow Pokémon. It would have provided an interesting dynamic if players had the freedom to Snag whatever they wanted, possibly with a reward to Snagging only Shadow Pokémon. They even could have programmed it so Snagged non-Shadow Pokémon can't be traded over to the main series games.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Nascour is easy to mistake for a woman, having long flowing hair, wide hips, and a sizable bustline due to being muscular, in a game where female bodybuilders are rather common as trainers and NPCs.
  • Vindicated by History: On release, mainstream outlets decried Colosseum for straying too far from the formula of the main series games. At the time the series didn't have a full-3D single-player adventure, so expectations were very high. Once Pokémon's main games did make the leap to 3D, the series began being accused of the opposite trope, and the Gamecube 3D models were often cited as more characterful and charming than the style later entries used. Combined with the heavy Sequel Difficulty Drop of the main series, Colosseum's Nintendo Hard story mode was also vindicated. This game is now looked back on very fondly, rather than being just a Cult Classic.
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