Pokémon Emerald Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスターエメラルドPocket Monsters Emerald) is a solitary version to Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and is the fifth and final Generation IIIcore series game. Like its predecessor, Pokémon Crystal, it added many features not present in the earlier paired versions. It was released in Japan on September 16, 2004, in North America on May 1, 2005, in Australia on June 9, 2005 and in Europe on October 21, 2005.
It was the second highest-selling video game of 2005 in North America. It was also the third best-selling game for the Game Boy Advance, losing to the other Generation III games, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.
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The Hoenn region is unstable — Rayquaza has awakened! Your skills as a Trainer will be challenged like they've never been challenged before as you try to maintain balance between Kyogre & Groudon. Prove your skill by earning Badges & gaining access to Battle Frontier — the front line of Pokémon battling that offers a whole new level of competition. Never-before-experienced battles await you!
The third adventure with new episodes in the Hoenn region!
Tons of new features, including surprising plot twists and changes to where and how often you can catch certain Pokémon!
e-Reader support is removed from the international releases, requiring players to mix records with a Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, or LeafGreen cartridge containing e-Reader-exclusive items in order to obtain them.
Groudon and Kyogre are now respectively captured at the new locations Terra Cave and Marine Cave and at higher levels.
The entrances to the Team Magma and Team Aqua Hideouts are not sealed after defeating Tate and Liza.
The Legendary titans' puzzles are slightly different, though the same in principle.
Multi Battles are available outside link-cable battling, being featured in the Battle Tower with a computer player (or, using the Wireless Adapter, a human player), as well as through an in-game plot event at the Mossdeep Space Center, battling alongside Steven.
Double Battles are more common as different Trainers can team up if the player is able to be spotted by two Trainers at once.
Gym Leaders may be rebattled in Double Battles, with new Pokémon on their teams that are not normally found in Hoenn.
The Trainer's Eyes in the PokéNav is replaced by Match Call, which integrated a calling system similar to the Pokégear cellphone.
All the Gym Leaders from Ruby and Sapphire, including former Gym Leader Wallace, have upgraded Pokémon teams. Changes include the addition of Pokémon they did not have in Ruby and Sapphire, or in rare cases the removal of some of their previous Pokémon.
When encountering either of the villainous team leaders, the game will now play the encounter theme and battle animation of their respective team, unlike in Ruby and Sapphire in which they had no encounter theme and used the standard battle animation.
The Fossils (Root Fossil, Claw Fossil) in the desert are now found in a short-lived tower called Mirage Tower that sinks into the ground once a Fossil is chosen. However, the other Fossil can now be acquired after the Elite Four challenge.
The Desert Underpass and new areas within the Safari Zone appear, introducing 19 Pokémon native to Johto and Kanto. 12 of these Pokémon consist of Johto Pokémon that can only be found in this version other than the Johto Starters, Sudowoodo, and Smeargle, while the other 7 can also be found in FireRed and LeafGreen.
Terra Cave and Marine Cave, accessible only after defeating Elite Four, are home to Groudon and Kyogre, respectively. The caves are not fixed to one location, and in order to track them, it is necessary to investigate the unusual patterns concluded by the Weather Institute.
Mew appears on Faraway Island, an island that is located remote from Hoenn. Reaching the island requires a special promotional item, the Old Sea Map, which was only distributed to Japanese players for a limited time.
Both Team Magma and Team Aqua are featured as the villainous teams, each stirring trouble at different stages in the game. The objective of each team, to awaken Groudon and Kyogre, respectively, is eventually fulfilled.
Rayquaza is prominent plot-wise, awakened in order to stop the destructive battle between Groudon and Kyogre. It is now the one out of the three ancient Pokémon that can be caught prior to the Elite Four challenge, while still at the same place and at the same high level as in Ruby and Sapphire.
Brendan and May have slight changes to the design of their outfits, primarily from the change in color scheme from red to green (tying into the game being named "Emerald").
Vigoroth move boxes into Brendan's or May's house instead of Machoke (though the cries are not changed in the Japanese version due to an oversight, but this was corrected in the localizations).
A new Gym Leader in the Sootopolis Gym, Juan, while its former Gym Leader Wallace is now the Pokémon Champion.
The former Champion Steven can be fought in Meteor Falls after the Elite Four challenge, with all of his Pokémon at exactly 20 levels higher than in Ruby and Sapphire.
Scott, a new character introduced in Emerald, will meet the player numerous times throughout the game, ultimately inviting the player to the Battle Frontier after beating the Elite Four.
Animated Pokémon front sprites return for the first time since Pokémon Crystal. This feature was defined as standard for the core series Pokémon games ever since. Emerald is also the first game to have animated back sprites.
The cave floor design has slightly changed.
Every Gym has received at least a slight renovation due to the addition of Trainers for the option of Double Battles. Some of these Gyms received complete overhauls in their designs, such as the Mossdeep Gym, which was given a new, rearranged puzzle that the player must navigate through. All Gyms now have the Badge mounted on the wall behind the Leader.
The color of the Champion's room at the Elite Four was recolored from its original shade of purple to blue.
The text and required actions in Sealed Chamber have changed slightly.
The Pokémon List interface was updated to match the one in FireRed and LeafGreen. The background color was changed but other elements like the larger HP bar and colon-less level indicator are unaltered. Field move entries also appear in the Pokémon List's menu after the entry for the Pokémon's status screen, as in FireRed and LeafGreen.
This creates some inconsistencies, however: the HP bar shown during the battleHUD is the smaller one from Ruby and Sapphire, and in the Japanese version, the HUD's level indicator also uses a colon for levels lower than 100 like Ruby and Sapphire (e.g.: Lv:45 as opposed to Lv45).
The text font has been changed to one very similar to that of FireRed and LeafGreen.
The PP counter for a move now changes color depending on how many points are left.
These Hoenn Pokédex Pokémon are missing from Emerald and must be traded to the game from another Generation III game to be obtained. While wildSurskit can appear in Emerald, the player needs to mix records with a copy of Ruby or Sapphire in order for Surskit to appear by way of swarming; otherwise, Surskit cannot be legitimately caught without the aid of another game.
Many reviews criticized Emerald for being too similar to Ruby and Sapphire, with Game Informer stating that "there simply aren't enough changes to make this a must-buy." However, IGN gave the game a "Great" rating of 8.0/10, stating that there are "special, newly-created treats sprinkled throughout the experience to make experiencing this repeat worthwhile." Gaming magazine Famitsu gave Pokémon Emerald a score of 34 out of 40. It holds a rating of 76.65% on GameRankings, based on 29 reviews.
As of March 31, 2007, Pokémon Emerald has sold 6.32 million copies worldwide.
Pokémon Emerald sold 790,527 units on its first week on the Japanese market, with a sell-through of 91.37%. By January 2, 2011, the end of its 329th week, it had sold 1,916,505 copies.
Several music tracks exclusive to Emerald went officially unreleased until 2012, when they were included with the official soundtrack of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. These Emerald-exclusive tracks comprise tracks 1-17 of Disc 4 of the soundtrack.
The game uses a faulty implementation of the pseudorandom number generator used in Generation III and IV games, which allows literally identical personality values for a Pokémon even after multiple resets. The game neglects to reseed the PRNG on startup (only doing so when the adventure is begun), which means that the personality values of an encountered Pokémon follow a predictable sequence once the seed is found and/or forced.