Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire (Japanese: ポケモンピンボール ルビー&サファイア Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire) is a spin-off pinball game for the Game Boy Advance. It expands upon the game mechanics used in Pokémon Pinball and features the Pokémon in the Hoenn Pokédex.
It was originally released in Japan on August 1, 2003, in North America on August 25, 2003, in Australia on September 26, 2003, and in Europe on November 14, 2003. It was later released on Wii U Virtual Console in Japan on December 10, 2014, in Europe on December 11, 2014, in Australia on December 12, 2014, and in North America on January 1, 2015, making it the first Pokémon game to be released for the Wii U Virtual Console.
More than a regular pinball game, Pokémon Pinball combines fast flipper action with a unique way to catch your favorite Pokémon. Control the flippers to shoot the Poké Ball at targets on one of two PlayFields. Play on either the Ruby or Sapphire field to rack up as many points as possible. Catch over 200 Pokémon - featuring characters from Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire!
- Play pinball with your favorite Pokémon!
- Shoot the Poké Ball to find & catch Pokémon!
- Use the Game Boy Advance Game Link cable to share your Pokédex and Hi-Score with a friend! You'll need a Game Boy Advance Game Link and two Game Paks to link up with a friend (sold separately).
- Play on both the Ruby & Sapphire Fields.
- Try to catch over 200 Pokémon!
Beyond getting a high score, the main aim of the game is to complete the Pokédex. All of the Pokémon in the regional Hoenn Pokédex are available in the game except for Deoxys. Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, and Aerodactyl are also catchable in the game, though they are not able to evolve. This totals to 205 Pokémon.
There are three methods of obtaining Pokémon, all of which must be used to complete the Pokédex:
- Catch 'Em Mode: This mode begins with a shadowed image which is uncovered by hitting the Pokémon bumpers three times. The Pokémon will then appear and must be hit three times before the two minutes run out to be caught.
- Egg Mode: As soon as the Egg on the field hatches, the newborn Pokémon will start moving around the field. It must be hit twice within the time limit for a successful capture. Some, but not all, hatched Pokémon with three forms can also be caught in their middle form in Catch 'Em Mode.
- EVO Mode: Most top-form Pokémon can only be obtained by evolving Pokémon caught through the above two methods. Once the Pokémon to evolve has been selected, three items must be collected in turn and the ball must then enter the Center Hole within two minutes. These items represent how the Pokémon evolves in the games.
- There are a few Pokémon that have a unique way of being caught. To catch Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza, their bonuses need to be completed twice in one game. To catch Jirachi, one must get into the start slot while in the Ruins area and match it on the Jirachi bonus. Jirachi moves around the field and must be hit three times in only thirty seconds.
Catching 15 Pokémon earns the player an extra ball.
Fittingly with the other Pokémon-inspired tweaks to the basic pinball formula, the ball is a Poké Ball. Each table has three lights near the top of the upper half that, when lit simultaneously, will upgrade the Poké Ball temporarily to the next better basic Poké Ball; the upgrades are the Great Ball, the Ultra Ball, and the Master Ball. Each upgrade multiplies the points gained on the table by a different multiplier: 2×, 3×, and 4×, respectively.
Catching a Pokémon in Catch 'Em Mode will cause one Poké Ball icon to light up below the display on the lower portion of the field. Evolving a Pokémon in Evolution Mode will cause two of these lights to light up instead (or one if there is no room for two). Three of these lights can be lit at a time; when all three are lit, the player can shoot the ball into the center hole to access one of several bonus stages that are progressed through in a linear fashion; if the player completes one bonus stage, then when he lights up the Poké Ball lights again, he can enter the next stage. Each table has a separate progression of three bonus tables, with only the final stage on each table (the Rayquaza stage) being the same for both tables.
Kecleon bonus stage
This is the first bonus stage on the Ruby Field.
Kecleon will turn invisible with its Color Change ability and can hide in tall grass. A Devon Scope can be knocked out of the tree to make it visible for a short time. Kecleon must be knocked over and then hit with the ball ten times in two minutes to win the bonus stage. 30,000,000 points are added after completion and multiplied by the type of Poké Ball.
Groudon bonus stage
This is the second bonus stage on the Ruby Field.
Groudon will throw rocks down from the ceiling to add obstacles to the field and create an eruption to surround itself in four pillars of fire. The rocks take three hits to break while the fire pillars take four hits to break. During this time, Groudon will also throw fire balls at the Poké Ball to stall it further. The eruption does break any rocks still on the field. Groudon must be hit 15 times in three minutes to complete the bonus stage. Completing this bonus stage will earn 50,000,000 points and multiplied by the type of Poké Ball. After beating the round twice, Groudon will be captured.
Dusclops bonus stage
This is the first bonus stage on the Sapphire Field.
Similar to the Gengar Bonus Stage in Pokémon Pinball, this stage is set in the graveyard. Two wild Duskull appear at the same time. Twenty of them must be hit in order to make Dusclops appear. Then Dusclops must be hit five times to complete the bonus stage. Dusclops can only be hit in the back or while moving and can devour the ball if directed towards the front. 30,000,000 points are added after completion and multiplied by the type of Poké Ball.
Kyogre bonus stage
This is the second bonus stage on the Sapphire Field.
Kyogre will first use Sheer Cold to freeze the ball in place. It will then create whirlpools to trap the ball further. Finally, it will dive into the water to evade being hit completely. However, air bubbles will appear where it is about to rise out of the water. Kyogre must be hit 15 times in three minutes to win. After beating the round twice, Kyogre will be captured. Completing this bonus stage will earn 50,000,000 points and multiplied by the type of Poké Ball.
Rayquaza bonus stage
This is the third bonus stage on both the Ruby and Sapphire Fields.
It can only be challenged after capturing Groudon or Kyogre and will then join the circuit of bonus fields. Rayquaza will bounce along from left to right, allowing the ball to roll under it if it is up. It will sometimes use Thunder to paralyze the ball if it is not moving fast enough, though it does stay still while it is unleashing the attack. Rayquaza will also sometimes use ExtremeSpeed to create two tornadoes that cause the ball to fly up into the air for several seconds if contact is made. Rayquaza must be hit 15 times in three minutes to win. After beating the round twice, Rayquaza will be captured. 99,999,999 points are awarded after completion and multiplied by the type of Poké Ball.
Once the Rayquaza stage is completed, the rotation will cycle back to the first bonus stage for the table being played. Also, the music will change on both fields.
- The Sapphire Field has a Zigzagoon that can stop the slot roll, while the Ruby Field has a Makuhita that can send the ball through the coin loop.
- The requirements for getting to the Spheal Bonus Stage are different.
- All bonus stages are unique to one particular field except Rayquaza's and Spheal's.
- There are two areas per field that are only accessible from that field.
- The Ruby Field has a ball upgrade available on the field, while the Sapphire Field does not.
- Latios is the Ball Saver for the Ruby Field and Latias is the Ball Saver for the Sapphire Field.
On each field, various Pokémon appear, taking the place of more traditional pinball obstacles like switches and bumpers.
- Chinchou or Lotad: Three appear at the center of the top screen. They serve as bumpers for the Poké Ball and also break silhouette tiles in Catch 'Em Mode. This can be switched to Chinchou rotating counterclockwise, clockwise, moving up and down, one Chinchou, or Lotad replacing the Chinchou. This is done by pushing the yellow button to the left of them.
- Sharpedo: If the ball is sent to the right side of the table, Sharpedo will eat the ball and release it; if at least two GET lights are lit, Catch 'Em Mode begins when this happens.
- Makuhita: Makuhita appears in the middle right of the field. When the ball is near it, press the button for the right flipper to send the ball to a loop with Nuzleaf. Hitting the Nuzleaf twice will form a loop in which a ball upgrade, or, rarely, an extra ball can be obtained. This works only when Makuhita is in attack stance.
- Cyndaquil: Hitting Cyndaquil will knock it back. After a few hits, Cyndaquil will be knocked into the Egg stand and the flame on its back will start heating the Egg. Hitting Cyndaquil one more time will cause the Egg to hatch and the player will have a chance to catch the newly hatched Pokémon.
- Chikorita: Hitting a button near Chikorita will cause Chikorita to use Razor Leaf in which two Linoone pop out on each side of the field.
- Linoone: Two Linoone hide on each side of the field, a Chikorita must be hit for the Linoone to pop out. The left Linoone will cause a Gulpin to appear and the right Linoone will change Makuhita's stance.
- Gulpin: Make three of these appear to trigger Travel mode. One will appear when the left Linoone is hit.
- Whiscash: Whiscash replaces the bumpers at the top of the field, sending the ball to the Spheal bonus stage if the ball is directed toward its mouth. Hitting Whiscash at the top will make Whiscash angry and cause an Earthquake, shaking the field.
- Latios: Latios is the Ball Saver for the Ruby Field.
- Shroomish: Three appear at the center of the top screen. They serve as bumpers for the Poké Ball and also break silhouette tiles in Catch 'Em Mode.
- Wailmer: If the ball is sent to the right side of the table, Wailmer will eat the ball and release it; if at least two GET lights are lit, Catch 'Em Mode begins when this happens.
- Plusle and Minun: They block access to the Poké Mart with electric barriers. Hitting the plus and minus buttons on each side will cause the barriers to switch off, allowing access to the shop.
- Zigzagoon: By hitting the right button, Zigzagoon can force the slot to stop.
- Seedot: Making three appear will trigger Travel mode. Hitting the left button makes one appear.
- Pelipper: Pelipper can take the ball to the top of the table or to the Spheal bonus stage.
- Latias: Latias is the Ball Saver for the Sapphire Field.
- Spoink: Spoink serves as the launcher for the ball.
- Pikachu: Pikachu can appear under either one of the exit lanes (from which the ball cannot normally be saved); Pikachu's location is toggled with the flipper buttons. If the ball would exit the table via the exit lane that Pikachu is under, if Pikachu is ready, then instead it will rebound the ball onto the field by using ThunderShock. Pikachu is readied by spinning a spinner on the right side of the large loop on each table. There is a gauge with a lightning bolt symbol in it to indicate how ready Pikachu is; it can only rebound the ball if this gauge is full.
- Pichu: If obtained via the slot or the Poké Mart, for the rest of the ball, the Pichu can assist Pikachu if the ball reaches the exit lines.
The species of Pokémon that are available in Catch 'Em Mode are dependent on the areas, though this is the only effect that areas have on the gameplay. The current area is represented through the image between the Catch Counter and center hole.
There are nine areas, of which seven can be reached on each field. The Forest, Ocean, Plains, Cave and Ruins are available on both fields with only a slight variation in the available Pokémon between the two. The Volcano and Safari Zone are unique to the Ruby Field while the Wilderness and Lake are unique to the Sapphire Field.
The first area is chosen at random at the start of the game. After this, a new area can be reached through Travel Mode. Once the mode begins, the Poké Ball must be sent round a loop and then sent into the Center Hole within one minute. The areas are in a set order, though two are available in one Travel Mode; the next in line is reached though the left loop while the second in line is reached through the right loop. The Ruins cannot be reached until the sixth journey.
By lighting up all four "HOLE" lights at the top of the four lanes, the player makes the "Slots" bonus available. This makes the center hole open, and by shooting the ball into it, the player activates the slots. A slot reel will spin around and the player can make it stop by pressing 'A' (it can be forced to stop by using Zigzagoon in Sapphire Field). The player is then awarded one of the following bonuses:
- Small: A bonus of 100 - 900 points.
- Big: A bonus of 1,000,000 - 9,000,000 points.
- Get: Starts Catch 'Em Mode.
- Evo: Starts Evolution Mode.
- Saver: For the next 30/60/90 seconds, if the ball is drained, Latios or Latias will return the ball to the Spoink and the ball can be launched.
- Pika: For the rest of this ball Pichu will assist the Pikachu in saving the ball if it goes into the out lanes.
- Upgrade: The ball is upgraded to the next level, increasing the score multiplier.
- Max: The ball is upgraded to the max level (Master ball), increasing the score multiplier.
- Extra: The player receives an extra ball (an extra life).
- Bonus multiplier: The bonus multiplier is increased.
- Go to bonus: The player immediately plays the next bonus stage.
Note that the player can light up the four "HOLE" lights at any time, however the slots will only become available when the player is not in Catch 'Em, Evolution or Travel modes and the bonus stage is not available.
A new feature to this pinball game is the shop. Coins are earned by sending the ball through the Coin loop and can be spent on items:
- 30 Second Ball Saver (10 coins)
- 60 Second Ball Saver (20 coins)
- 90 Second Ball Saver (30 coins)
- Ball Upgrade (40 coins)
- Timer Up (40 coins) - This adds 30 seconds to the next timed event.
- Pika (50 coins) - Pichu joins Pikachu. For the rest of that ball, the Poké Ball is guaranteed to be rescued if it falls to the sides of the fields.
- Bonus Challenge (60 coins) - The ball will be transported to the Sealeo Bonus Field.
- Extra Ball (99 coins) - The player receives an extra ball (an extra life). Available once after starting and then again after each time Rayquaza has been caught.
When EVO mode is possible, the activation of it will replace the shop.
The Japanese version of Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire was made compatible with the e-Reader accessory. There were five cards released for use with Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, all of which were available through promotions. The cards provide tweaks to the game to grant players access to in-game events which could be very difficult to trigger. Due to incompatibility issues, the e-Reader functions are removed in the Virtual Console release.
|Card ID||Card Name||Card Effect||Promotion|
|09‑A001||Bonus Stage Card||Allows players to play the bonus stage of their choice||Pokémon Scoop (Summer 2003); Pokémon Festa 2003|
|09‑A002||GET Special Guests Card||Unlocks one of the following Pokémon for capture: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile or Aerodactyl||Demo cards placed in selected stores in Japan throughout September 2003 (not for distribution)|
|09‑A003||Ruin Area Card||Allows players to start their games from the Ruins||Distributed to customers who purchase the game at Pokémon Centers|
|09‑A004||DX Mode Card||Allows players to start with 9 balls (lives), Master Ball and 99 coins; in addition, Pichu rescuer will always be enabled throughout the game||Distributed to customers who purchase the game at Pokémon Centers|
|09‑A005||Encounter Rate UP Card||Forces Pokémon with low encounter rate to show up more often||Distributed to customers who purchase the game at Pokémon Centers|
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire sold approximately 39,400 units on its first week on the Japanese market. By December 28, 2003, the end of its 22nd week, it had sold 291,501 copies.
|Week||Week ending||Ranking||Units sold||Total units sold|
|1||August 3, 2003||4th||39,400||39,400|
|2||August 10, 2003||5th||38,400||77,800|
|3||August 17, 2003||4th||54,400||132,200|
|4||August 24, 2003||4th||18,500||150,700|
|5||August 31, 2003||6th||19,400||170,200|
|6||September 7, 2003||10th||11,500||181,800|
|9||September 28, 2003||21st||-||-|
|17||November 23, 2003||37th||-||-|
|22||December 28, 2003||-||-||291,501|
- Main article: Staff of Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire
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|This article is part of Project Sidegames, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon Sidegames.|