Pokémon Ranger (video game)
- This article is about the Nintendo DS game. For other uses, see Pokémon Ranger.
Pokémon Ranger (Japanese: ポケモンレンジャー Pokémon Ranger) is an action-adventure game for the Nintendo DS developed jointly by Creatures, Inc. and HAL Laboratory, Inc.. It is the first game in the Pokémon Ranger series. It was released on March 23, 2006 in Japan, on October 30, 2006 in North America, on December 7, 2006 in Australia and on April 13, 2007 in Europe.
It was released for the Wii U Virtual Console in Europe on February 25, 2016, in Australia on February 26, 2016, in Japan on April 13, 2016, and in North America on July 21, 2016. This release became unavailable after the Wii U Nintendo eShop's discontinuation on March 27, 2023.
- Basic gameplay involves traveling all over the land of Fiore and capturing Pokémon using the Nintendo DS touch screen and stylus.
- Players can choose to play as a male or a female protagonist, and they can choose the name of their protagonist, the defaults of which are Lunick (male) and Solana (female).
- Rather than Pokémon Trainers, players take the role of Pokémon Rangers, people in charge of solving ecological issues, defeating and arresting criminals, and helping the citizens of their regions.
- Instead of capturing Pokémon in Poké Balls, players use a device called the Capture Styler to add Pokémon to their party by calming and controlling wild Pokémon.
- Depending on the gender of their character, players have a Minun (for males) or Plusle (for females) for a partner Pokémon.
- Players can makes use of Pokémon's various capabilities to help them on their adventures but only once; after using them, the Pokémon leave the party. The only exception to this is the character's partner Pokémon.
- Poké Assists are abilities that, when used, give the Capture Styler extra power from a Pokémon, ranging from immobilizing Pokémon to strengthening the Capture Styler. Being based on the seventeen types, Poké Assists can be used effectively on Pokémon weak to certain types. There are, however, no Normal, Dragon, or Steel Poké Assists, and the Discharge Poké Assist remains exclusive to the player's partner.
- Field Moves are used mainly to get by obstacles players come across, and they are comparable to HMs. Certain obstacles may be tougher than others, requiring players to make use of stronger Field Moves; most Field Moves have three levels of power. Unlike Poké Assists, not all Pokémon have Field Moves.
- The Fiore Browser is built into the Capture Styler and acts like the Pokédex in the game, listing the 213 Pokémon native to the region. Its consists of Pokémon up to Generation III, and it lists various information, including the Pokémon's Poké Assist and Field Move.
- Ranger Net is unlocked by pressing
R + X + Leftafter finishing the game. In the Japanese version, the Ranger Net missions could only be downloaded after pre-ordering a ticket for the ninth movie. Ranger Net provides players post-game missions that feature the legendary Pokémon Deoxys, Celebi, and Mew.
- By using region-specific codes, players can unlock a mission that will allow the transfer of a Manaphy Egg to Generation IV games using their Mystery Gift feature. Because it is impossible to reset Ranger Net, there can only be one Manaphy Egg per copy of the Pokémon Ranger game. It is, however, possible to completely delete the savegame using additional hardware (or homebrew software), therefore allowing an additional transfer after each complete deletion and playthrough.
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The game begins with the player getting off of the boat in Fall City. The player then meets Spenser, the Leader of the Ringtown Base. Suddenly, the two hear commotion and find a Houndoom terrorizing a Minun/Plusle (depending on the player's gender). To help calm the Pokémon, Spenser gives the player a Styler and demonstrates how to use it. After the player successfully captures and calms down the Minun/Plusle, Spenser makes the player a full-fledged Ranger and flies him, the player, and the stowaway Minun/Plusle to Ringtown on his Fearow.
After arriving in Ringtown, the player meets Murph and Lunick/Solana (again, depending on the player's gender) along with the rest of the Rangers at the base. A man introduced to the player as Larry enters asking for help finding his missing Pokémon, prompting Spenser to give the player their first mission, "Trial Mission: Fear No Failure!" After capturing a few Pokémon and presenting them to Larry, he will tell the player that they did not capture his Pokémon and then Taillow will appear - this is the one he was looking for.
Before the player goes back to the Ranger base, a boy will appear and tell them that trees are on fire. Spenser will show the player how to use the Field Move for Water type Pokémon and once both trees are back to normal, they all can head back. When they arrive back at the Ranger base the player will be asked to patrol together with Lunick/Solana and they will find Taillow chasing Minun/Plusle (depending on the gender, as always). When they go back, Lunick/Solana will tell Spenser about it and Professor Hastings will enter - the player will be asked to check on Spenser's Fearow. Because it isn't fit enough yet to carry Hastings back to Fall City, the player will be assigned their first real mission, "Mission One: Escort the Professor!"
They will have to walk through the Krokka Tunnel after overcoming a few hurdles (the Professor will explain the player how to overcome all of them) and then they will be met by the Go-Rock Squad for the first time. They will cause a rock fall between they player and the Professor and steal his prototype for the new Stylers. The player needs to find a way around the rocks to the Professor and once they do that, the two Go-Rock Squads will cause another rock fall but this time the player and the professor are not closed in and the Go-Rock Squad members run off, apparently angering a Rhydon in their way which the player will have to capture.
Once that is done, the player, the professor and the Partner Pokémon can go to Fall City and although the Professor was robbed of his Styler, the mission is complete and the player achieves Ranger Rank 2.
While the Professor tells Joel, the Ranger Leader of Fall City, about the Go-Rock Squad and every Fall City Ranger goes on a mission to find out more about them, the player is asked to go patrolling again ("Mission 2: Fall City Case Log"), including finding a Makuhita to push away a box, finding a bunch of Skitty for an overbearing Skitty-lover - on the search for the Skitty the player runs into a member of the Go-Rock Squad, harshly training a Pokémon but the player can't do anything about it. The last thing to do on patrol is to find a Staryu for the Professor's assistant to light up the lab's basement. The Go-Rock Squad member's Machoke the player encountered earlier will be trying to destroy the tower in the north of the city and after they capture it, the player can go back to the Ranger base and Joel will upgrade them to Ranger Rank 3.
The player will be assigned the next mission, "Mission 3: Grimer Outbreak!", meaning to rid the Waterwork Bureau of Grimer. While they capture Grimer after Grimer, another Ranger comes to escort them out so they don't need to waste the number of available Pokémon-Friends on them. On the way through the Waterworks they will run into Aria, on her mission to gather information on the Go-Rock Squad. She leaves shortly after saying she hasn't found anything. When the player cleans the entire area, they will find another two Grimer and a Muk in the entrance. After they capture them, they will leave and the camera shows that a member of the Go-Rock Squad had watched the whole thing. When they go back to the Ranger Base, Joel will upgrade the player again, this time to Ranger Rank 4.
Spenser will send the player a message, saying that they are needed in Summerland but due to the players's low rank, they are not allowed to fly there. They will go down to the pier and ask the man there if they are allowed to use his Lapras, which he will grant. In Summerland one of the rangers will go to find the Ranger Leader for the player and when the leader, Cameron, arrives, the ranger will also come back and tell everyone frantically that his Politoed was stolen by "weird-looking Rangers" with weird Stylers. Cameron assigns the player the next mission, "Mission 4: Where's Politoed?!" and the player heads into the jungle to retrieve the Pokémon. They run into a group of four musicians, calling themselves the Go-Rock Quads and introducing themselves with music. Garret plays bass, Tiffany plays the violin, Clyde a single drum and Billy plays an electric guitar. They let the player know that they intend to create Super-Stylers so all Pokémon will listen to them and that they want to destroy the Rangers. The player finds the Go-Rock Grunt who stole the Politoed and chase him for a while until they end up in the Jungle Relic where the player can finally capture it. Upon leaving the Jungle Relic again, the player runs into Billy again. When the player arrives back at the Ranger base, Cameron assigns them Rank 5.
Once again Spenser lets the player via message know that he needs them back in Fall City. The player will be asked to clear the Krokka Tunnel of the rocks that were set of in the first mission, now leading to "Mission 5: Clear the Rockfalls!". Aria is using a Hariyama to clear the first rocks and leaves the player to do the rest. After running around on the hunt for Hariyama, the player will run into the Go-Rock Quad again and they will tell the player that there is supposedly a legendary Pokémon somewhere in the tunnel. After finding Hariyama and clearing the rocks, the player yet again receives a message from Spenser to meet him at the Dugtrio statue and when the player arrives there, they will find Tiffany of the Go-Rock Quad waiting there with a Camerupt. The player needs to capture it and once that is done, Tiffany will leave and then Spenser will appear. Back at the Ranger base in Ringtown, Spenser will compliment the player on completing and assigns them Rank 6.
After patrolling the city again, the player will be asked to complete another mission once they talk again to Spenser - "Mission 6: The Wayward Wanderer". Apparently an old man is lost in the woods and the player is asked to find them and escort them out of the forest. Solana/Lunick joins them on a little bit of the way and they find a crying girl that has lost her Jigglypuff so while Lunick/Solana waits with the little girl, the player looks for the Jigglypuff. When the Pokémon and the girl are reunited, Lunick/Solana will leave as well. Soon the player should find the old man named Gordor and together they will try to leave the jungle. A Murkrow will play tricks on them and then hides into a tree - in order to get it out, the player has to catch Phanpy and shake the tree, then the player can catch the Murkrow and they can leave the forest. Murph, one of the Rangers of the Ringtown Rangers, comes and escorts the player out of the forest after Gordor leaves on his own. Spenser congratulates the player and assigns them Rank 7.
Cameron sends the player a message and asks them to come to Summerland - now that the player is Rank 7, they can use the Dragonite bus and after catching the Dragonite, it will fly the player to Summerland. Cameron tells the player he has a present for them, which turns out to be a submersible but it has parts missing. Lunick/Solana turns up and Cameron tells them and the player they should try out the challenge in the Jungle Relic, which Joel and Spenser tried as well when they were younger, warning them not to complete the fourth challenge.
The two Rangers head to the Jungle Relic, where the player caught Politoed earlier on in the game, and inside they find a statue of an Entei. The challenges can be held in whatever order the player prefers, however there are two mysterious men standing outside one of the doors to the challenges, claiming to be scientists but they are dressed in Go-Rock Squad uniforms.
Challenge of Wind: In the challenge of Wind, the player must choose the correct ways in a maze. A statue gives the hint "at times you shall oppose them, at times you shall accept" (the directions the wind is blowing). Once the player completes the maze, they will find themselves in a round room where a Flygon waits for them; upon capturing it, this challenge is complete and a set of flames appears at the Entei statue.
Challenge of Destruction: In this challenge, the player needs to use Pokémon (which fall from the ceiling) to clear different hurdles with the Pokémon's Field moves. Afterwards, the player is once again in a round room and this time they encounter a Salamence. After capturing it, the challenge is complete and another set of flames appears at the Entei statue.
Challenge of Water: There is a straight line to walk for the player but a couple of Gyarados spit water balls at the player, trying to throw them off. However, if the player manages to walk towards the end of the line, they will encounter two Kingdra. After the capture, the challenge is complete and a third set of flames appears at the Ente statue.
The scientists have left now and Lunick/Solana suggests just to take a look at the challenge but not to complete it. In there, the player meets the Go-Rock Quads again and they tell Lunick/Solana and the player that the Charizard, which is standing behind them, is in pain so the player's goal is now to capture the Charizard to calm it down. Afterwards the Go-Rock Quads tells them that capturing the Charizard was the last challenge and when Lunick/Solana and the player leave the challenge, they see that all flames are lit and as they look at the Entei statue, it disappears. They leave the Jungle Relic but after an earthquake, they run back inside and the Jungle Relic is now a volcano. Aria appears and is angry with the player and Lunick/Solana for solving the last challenge. She runs of to save the situation and the player has to catch up with her; when they finally do, Aria tells them that she failed to beat the Go-Rock Squad member upstairs. It turns out to be Clyde and he attacks the player with a Slaking. When the player defeats him and walks forward, they meet Gordor again, the old man they found in the Lyra forest. He sends Entei at the player and they need to capture the legendary Pokémon; after a successful capture, Gordor tells them that his mission was a success because he can capture legendary Pokémon but he is not yet able to fully control them - after a normal Ranger captures them, they can still run off.
Back at the Ranger base in Summerland, the player is asked to head back to Fall City and at the Ranger base there, they are met with Professor Hastings, who gives the player the mission to go to the Factory together with the Professor, leading to "Mission 7: Investigate the Factory!" The Professor will find out the pass code to enter the factory very quickly and with the help of a Meowth the two are able to walk inside the factory. As they walk over a bridge that connects the two-part building on the outside, they see the Go-Rock Quads practising their introduction and after that Garret stays at the factory while the other three leave to go into the city. Inside the player and the professor find a Pikachu inside of a cage - the Go-Rock Squad use the Pokémon for the electricity in the building. The player needs to catch Pinsir to cut open the cage and free Pikachu. Soon after they find a second Pikachu under the same circumstances in another part of the building and a second Pinsir helps them free the Pikachu. After that they discover a Raichu in a cage with thicker bars and with the help of a Scyther, they shut down the last generator, hence bringing the factory to a standstill. When the player and the professor are on their way out, Garret stops them with their Scizor; after catching it, Garret runs off and the professor decides it is time for them to leave as well. He assigns the player to Rank 8.
Soon after Joel and the professor send the player to Wintown but because the player hasn't been there yet, they can't use the Dragonite bus so the player makes their way to Summerland, where Cameron gave him a submersible. Some parts are missing, though, so the player goes into the jungle together with Summerland's mechanic - however, due to the mechanic's fear of bugs, he runs off every time the player interacts with a Bug type Pokémon. If the player manages to avoid the bugs they will end up at a small pond with the missing parts for the submersible - a Magikarp which the mechanic accidentally kicks. The hurt Magikarp calls an Gyarados for help and after the player manages to capture the Gyarados and a few Magikarp, the mechanic and the player head back to Summerland with the missing parts.
The mechanic then fixes the submersible, which Cameron calls Aquamole, and waits at the pier for the player, where he can jump inside and travels through a tunnel to Wintown; which just so happens to be the next mission, "Mission 8: Aquamole to the North". A man named Silent Chris meets the player once they get out of the Aquamole and tells them to follow him. On their way out they notice an earth quake and it turns out to be caused by a Steelix, which then falls asleep in the middle of the way. After waking it up, it flees and Silent Chris and the player meet up with Elita, the Ranger leader of Wintown. The player continues on their own for a little bit and run into the Steelix again, which they have to capture to calm it down and once again the Go-Rock Squad turns up and admits they enraged the Pokémon for their own benefits. Elita and Chris run after the Go-Rock Grunt but he runs away too quickly and Elita promotes the player to Ranger Rank 9 for solving the problems.
Afterwards, Elita assigns the player the next mission, "Mission 9: Hideout Infiltration", which means they have to cause trouble in the Go-Rock Squad's hideout while Spenser steals their Superstyler prototype. The player meets Aria once again and they see the Charizard from the Jungle Relic challenges, which is still upset and burning the trees. After the player captures the Charizard once more, Aria and the player continue to find the Go-Rock Squad's hideout in the mountains and when they're almost there, Aria receives a message from Elita that she is needed back in Wintown. The Hideout has a lot of traps for the player, including floor tiles that recognize movement and alert the Go-Rock Squad, a lot of free-running Pokémon, Go-Rock Grunts that fight the player and teleportation floor tiles that make it confusing to remember where the player has already been and how to find the right way ahead. At one point, the player runs into Lunick/Solana who tells them, "I was ordered to assist your mission. But you know what? I would've come even if I wasn't ordered. Eheheh." Together they continue and first they need to fight Tiffany, who has two Camerupt this time. When she is defeated, she runs into her brother Clyde's room. He then tries to avenge Tiffany by sending Slaking, Vigoroth and Slakoth into the fight. The two siblings then run into Garret's room, who attacks with two Scyther and a Scizor. The three of them go downstairs after that where Billy's room is. The oldest brother sends the hardest enemies into the game so far; Larvitar, Pupitar, and Tyranitar. After the player catches the Pokémon, they set of a self-destruct button and run off. Spenser catches up to them and orders Lunick/Solana and the player to flee the crumbling hideout as well. Back in Wintown Elita promotes the player to Ranger Rank 10.
It is time for the player's tenth mission, "Mission 10: The Fiore Temple". Together with Lunick/Solana, the player walks back into the mountains and a Go-Rock Grunt shuts a door in front of their face - a three-fire Field Move is required but none is near when suddenly the Charizard turns up and repays the player for helping it by opening the door for them. There is another mystical door which opens if three chosen Pokémon are placed on pedestals and the player needs to capture Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon to proceed. At the top of the temple is Gordor and he has now completed his Super Styler which is used like an instrument, subtly revealing that the instruments the Go-Rock Quads used were Stylers as well. Gordor sends Raikou at the player who then has to capture it and afterwards Suicune as well. Gordor claims it does not matter because he can still control Entei with his Super Styler, which Plusle and Minun then destroy by jumping on it. Entei becomes angry and attacks Gordor. By capturing it, the player both calms down Entei and saves Gordor. Spenser appears at the top of the temple after Gordor runs off and Lunick/Solana explains what happened. A scene shows Gordor and Professor Hastings talking, revealing that Gordor used to work together with the professor but he was angry that his inventions and his genius were always over shadowed by the professor. The professor offers him to work together with him in the lab but Gordor refuses and walks away angrily. Outside the temple, people are waiting and cheering on the player when they emerge from the temple. With that the main story line of the game is over.
After completing the main game and viewing the credits roll, the player has the opportunity to capture Kyogre and Groudon. Afterward, there is a final mission where the Go-Rock Squad has returned and has angered Rayquaza. If the player is able to overcome the challenge of capturing Rayquaza, then the player has completed the plot of the game.
After completion of the Main storyline, several new Pokémon can be obtained along with a handful of new features. These new features include the ability to take friend Pokémon to other areas (as you can in the rest of the series) and the new record feature on your styler. The Records feature can be found in the menu between the Release and Map options. Both these are bestowed upon the player the first time they load their cleared save file. Quite a few new Pokémon also become available post game. Arguably the most important are Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza, whose quests are discovered and completed in that order.
Pokémon Ranger received mixed reviews from the press. The game was praised for its innovation and lengthy main quest, however the repetitive nature of the gameplay was criticized, with NGamer UK commenting that it was "narrow-minded and frustrating". The lack of challenge the game provided was also criticized, Nintendo Power stated that "Pokémon veterans will breeze through the comparatively light challenge Ranger provides". Gaming magazine Famitsu gave Pokémon Ranger a score of 32 out of 40. The game holds an average rating of 69.63% on GameRankings, based on 20 reviews.
As of March 31, 2008, Pokémon Ranger has sold 2.70 million copies worldwide.
Pokémon Ranger sold 193,337 units on its first week on the Japanese market, with a sell-through of 55.47%. By December 31, 2006, the end of its 41st week, it had sold 737,174 copies.
|Week||Week ending||Ranking||Units sold||Total units sold|
|1||March 26, 2006||2nd||193,337||193,337|
|2||April 2, 2006||5th||83,244||276,580|
|3||April 9, 2006||7th||44,391||320,971|
|4||April 16, 2006||7th||38,030||359,001|
|5||April 23, 2006||10th||31,640||390,641|
|6||April 30, 2006||10th||36,777||427,418|
|7||May 7, 2006||6th||69,415||496,834|
|8||May 14, 2006||8th||12,072||513,906|
|9||May 21, 2006||9th||17,935||531,841|
|10||May 28, 2006||12th||-||-|
|11||June 4, 2006||12th||13,050||562,585|
|12||June 11, 2006||10th||11,646||574,231|
|13||June 18, 2006||13th||-||-|
|14||June 25, 2006||16th||-||-|
|15||July 2, 2006||15th||-||-|
|16||July 9, 2006||16th||-||-|
|17||July 16, 2006||18th||-||-|
|18||July 23, 2006||20th||-||-|
|19||July 30, 2006||26th||-||-|
|20||August 6, 2006||25th||-||-|
|41||December 31, 2006||-||-||737,174|
Virtual Console Icons
- Main article: Staff of Pokémon Ranger
- Prior to its release, the game was often known as Pokémon Ranger: The Road to Diamond and Pearl (Japanese: ポケモンレンジャー ダイヤモンド・パールへの道).
- Because the Pokémon Ranger games were not released in Korea, the equivalent of the met location of Pokémon Ranger in the Korean games is 다른 지방 dareun jibang.
- Official PDF-file instruction manual for Pokémon Ranger (English)
In other languages
- Pokémon.com (US)
- Nintendo of Australia - news (archive)
- Pokémon.com (UK)
- Pokémon Ranger Review - GameSpot
- Pokémon Ranger Review - IGN
- Famitsu scores Pokémon Ranger - Bulbanews
- Pokémon Ranger for DS - GameRankings
- Nintendo Co., Ltd. - Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ended March 2008
|This article is part of Project Sidegames, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon Sidegames.|