Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
- Pokémon Ranger Vatonage redirects here. For the manga adaptation, see Darkrai Mission Story: Pokémon Ranger Vatonage - the Comic.
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (Japanese: ポケモンレンジャー バトナージ Pokémon Ranger Vatonage) is an action-adventure game for the Nintendo DS and the second entry in the Pokémon Ranger series, being the sequel to Pokémon Ranger. It was released on March 20, 2008 in Japan, on November 10, 2008 in North America, on November 13, 2008 in Australia, and on November 21, 2008 in Europe.
It was released for the Wii U Virtual Console in Europe and Australia on June 9, 2016, in Japan on July 27, 2016, and in North America on August 4, 2016. The Virtual Console release became unavailable after the Wii U Nintendo eShop was discontinued on March 27, 2023.
The game is set in a new region called Almia where the base of operations is a Ranger School that the main characters have just graduated from. The selection of partner Pokémon has risen from solely Plusle and Minun to a choice between 17 different species, each representing the 17 types of Generation IV. Additionally, there are several side quests and a card collection system used to power up the Capture Styler.
Special missions were available from the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, via Ranger Net, prior to the service's discontinuation on May 20, 2014.
- It takes place in the region of Almia. In the story, the player character starts out as a student in a Pokémon Ranger School. After a few tasks, they then graduate.
- The player can choose to play as a male or a female protagonist. Players can choose the name of their protagonist, the defaults of which are Kellyn (male) and Kate (female).
- The game primarily features Generation IV Pokémon, but it does feature a few Pokémon from other generations.
- The player will have a selectable Pokémon partner. After doing certain quests, the player can choose if they want the Pokémon to come with them. Selectable partners include Munchlax, Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup, Kricketot, Mime Jr., Cranidos, Shieldon, Croagunk, Machop, Pachirisu, Starly, Hippopotas, Snover, Misdreavus, Sneasel, and Gible. They can be changed by talking to them in the player's family farm south of the player's house. It should be noted that each Pokémon is of one of the 17 types of Pokémon, and that each Pokémon has a different length of a Partner Energy bar. The partner's energy may also be filled faster when it is in a happy mood, signaled by black or multicolored music notes rising above it.
- The villainous team is named Team Dim Sun.
- Team Dim Sun uses computers called Miniremo Units to hypnotize Pokémon and put them under their control.
- The game has sixty optional, non-story-progressing missions called Ranger Quests where the player helps citizens of Almia.
- A player may only take on one quest at a time.
- When a player completes each quest, they get a reward, such as a power boost to their Capture Styler or a new partner Pokémon.
- Quests are divided into two types: Pokémon befriending and Quests that players receive a power boost for their Capture Styler.
- After capturing the first 266 Pokémon in the Browser, the player can challenge Regigigas. The player must currently have in their party Regirock, Regice and Registeel to initiate the battle. Regigigas is found in a quicksand pit, hidden in the Hippowdon Temple.
- A system of collectible cards can power up the Capture Styler.
- The player is able to ride on Pokémon in some environments, including lava, rivers and icy waters.
- There are five Pokémon that a player can ride on to progress to other locations: Doduo, Torkoal, Empoleon, Staraptor, and Floatzel.
- There were three Pokémon unlocked in this game by Special Missions in Ranger Net, in the vein of the Manaphy Egg mission in the prequel. These missions are no longer available. The Pokémon available were a Manaphy Egg, a Riolu with Aura Sphere and Darkrai with Dark Void.
- Additionally, there is another group of missions called Extra Missions. The rare Pokémon encountered during these missions are Dialga, Palkia and Shaymin (Land Forme). Unlike in the special missions, the Pokémon captured in extra missions are not allowed to be transferred to Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
- The game was able to utilize the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for unlocking both special and extra missions, but only for a limited period of time and prior to the discontinuation of the service in favor of Nintendo solely supporting the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS's Nintendo Network. They did not work for different regions; only the specific game version when the event is held would be able to use the function.
- Special Missions can be repeated but sending the Pokémon can only be done once. This is an improvement over the original, as replaying the Manaphy mission only played a cutscene in which Lunick, Solana, and the Professor's assistant discuss Manaphy.
- A Capture Arena is available after the game for players to hone their skills.
The game follows the protagonist, a young Pokémon Ranger as they graduate from Ranger School and take on the duties of a fully fledged Ranger. The male character is called Kellyn and the female character is called Kate.
Missions advance the story, which is centered around the antagonists Team Dim Sun and their unknown intentions involving Pokémon mind-control machines called Gigaremos powered by dark crystals. Quests usually consist of the player traveling around the Almia region, performing varying tasks requested by citizens in exchange for rewards.
The game starts at the Ranger School, with the player enrolling as a student after expertly capturing a Pikachu. The player quickly makes friends with two of classmates, Rhythmi who dreams of being an Operator, and Keith, a rival, who dreams of becoming a Top Ranger. After the player and Keith nearly discover what Mr. Kincaid, a teacher, is doing in the basement, Mr. Kincaid seals it off from all students. Both the player and Keith show strong potential as Rangers, and graduate with full honors after defeating two Tangrowth, that escape from the basement, at their graduation ceremony. The player stays in Almia, while Keith and Rhythmi go to Fiore as part of their training. The player's family moves into a nearby town known as Chicole Village, and the player goes to live with them.
The next day, the player becomes an Area Ranger in the local village of Vientown. After recovering a Partner Pokémon, Pachirisu, Munchlax, or Starly at the beach, the player begins their first major mission by patrolling a nearby cave. The Pokémon inside the cave are unusually aggressive and resistant to capture by the Ranger's styler. At the back of the cave, the player finds a strange machine (later called a Gigaremo) that appears to be controlling the Pokémon. The rangers promptly destroy the device, freeing the Pokémon, and begin researching its abilities. Subsequently, the rangers discover that the Gigaremos are being set up by Team Dim Sun, suggesting wider criminal activities. The player travels to the Ranger Union, the headquarters of all Ranger operations in Almia, to warn the Rangers about the Gigaremo. On the way, the player sees Altru Inc., a powerful oil company that is building a massive tower in the center of the Almia region.
Soon afterward, the player is informed of a forest fire in the Vien Forest, north of Vientown. After going into the forest, the player will have to capture a Blastoise and use its Rain Dance move to douse the fire. Afterwards, the player is congratulated on how well they have done, and can progress onto the city on the other end of the Vien Forest-Pueltown.
A few days later, the player is sent on a mission to retrieve their missing team leader, Barlow. Barlow was last seen in Boyleland investigating a volcanic cave. The player will have to go to Pueltown and take a boat to Boyleland. Deep inside the cave, the player finds members of Team Dim Sun deploying new Miniremo devices to control all of the Pokémon on the island. The player dodges the guards and learns that Barlow has been captured and is being placed on a ship along with the Pokémon. The player sneaks on board, locates Barlow, and the two launch an assault on the ship's bridge. Although Barlow's Styler is destroyed in the ensuing attack, the player forces Team Dim Sun, including its leader, Mr. Kincaid, to abandon the ship, saving all of Boyleland's Pokémon. The ship crashes into the yard of the Ranger School, never to sail again.
Recognizing the threat posed by Team Dim Sun, the Ranger Union promptly promotes the player to the rank of Top Ranger. At the Union, the player discovers that Keith has also been promoted to Top Ranger, and that Rhythmi has achieved her dream of becoming a Top Operator, where she serves as the player's guide. During the player's first mission as a Top Ranger, they help another Top Ranger, named Sven, investigate a Dim Sun mining operation in the Chroma Ruins, east of the Ranger Union. They discover that Dim Sun is searching for dark crystals for powering the Gigaremo devices.
After defeating a Spiritomb, they also discover a massive hole, apparently left from removing the legendary "Shadow Crystal" whose current location is unknown. While studying the dark crystal retrieved from a captured Gigaremo, several Union workers accidentally discover that the crystals can be neutralized by a set of red, blue, and yellow shards. The player and Keith go on to separately collect the sources of these shards; the blue gem from Almia Castle, the red gem from Boyle Volcano, and the yellow gem from the Hippowdon Temple. Although the player takes both the blue and red gems, Keith is captured by a member of Team Dim Sun's Sinis Trio, who uses him to blackmail the player into surrendering the yellow gem.
Meanwhile, Sven raids Dim Sun's undersea base, stealing plans for an "Incredible Machine". The plans reveal that Altru Inc.'s tower is actually a massive Gigaremo powered by the Shadow Crystal and that Altru has been behind Dim Sun's activities. Realizing that the tower will become operational within hours (i.e. during the tower's "opening ceremony"), the Ranger Union orders all of its Rangers to attack the tower. Equipped with a specialized Styler designed to overcome the Gigaremo's influence, the player succeeds in deactivating the tower's force fields and rescues the yellow gem, allowing the other Rangers to launch an airborne assault on the Shadow Crystal at the tower's top. However, the tower reaches operational capacity before the Rangers can reach the Shadow Crystal. Altru Inc.'s president, Blake Hall, takes the chance to destroy the Rangers' only hope of disabling the tower (the three colored gems) by charging the crystal to its maximum power level and summoning his strongest Pokémon, Darkrai. Darkrai instead goes insane from the intense power overload, attacks Blake, and darkens the area, preventing the rangers from approaching the Shadow Crystal. By empowering their Styler with the gems, the player stops Darkrai's rage, allowing the other Rangers to disable the tower by converting the Shadow Crystal into a "Luminous Crystal" which undoes the mental torture inflicted on Almia's Pokémon. In the end, peace returns to Almia and its inhabitants, and the characters enjoy a concert originally planned for Altru Inc. (ironically played by the Go-Rock Quads from the original Pokémon Ranger game) while the player returns home to their family. The game ends showing Darkrai circling the Luminous Crystal, signifying the return of peace.
Only you and your Pokémon can protect Almia!
As a Pokémon Ranger, your duty is to fight the shadows that threaten the peace of the Almia region. With the help of you Pokémon, every mission is an adventure!
Use the Stylus to befriend Pokémon and spin up a storm of action!
Capture Pokémon with your friendship. Use Pokémon to help you enhance your Ranger skills and, together as one, protect Almia!
Shadows of Almia received mixed reviews in the press. It was described as being "more accessible and enjoyable than its predecessor" by Official Nintendo Magazine and as "a no-nonsense fun game" by N-Europe Magazine. However, it was criticized for its similarities to the original Pokémon Ranger, with IGN commenting that "for the Pokémon fans that already got their fix two years ago, this isn't necessary" and GamePro stating that "there's nothing compelling or new enough." Gaming magazine Famitsu gave Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia a score of 32 out of 40. The game holds an average score of 71.00% on GameRankings, based on 23 reviews.
As of March 31, 2009, Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia has sold 2.04 million copies worldwide.
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia sold 241,663 units on its first week on the Japanese market, with a sell-through of 53.72%. By December 29, 2013, the end of its 302nd week, it had sold 662,155 copies.
|Week||Week ending||Ranking||Units sold||Total units sold|
|1||March 23, 2008||1st||241,663||241,663|
|2||March 30, 2008||2nd||105,855||347,518|
|3||April 6, 2008||6th||58,399||405,917|
|4||April 13, 2008||5th||30,159||436,076|
|5||April 20, 2008||6th||21,364||457,440|
|6||April 27, 2008||8th||19,553||476,993|
|7||May 4, 2008||6th||30,675||507,668|
|8||May 11, 2008||6th||27,035||534,703|
|9||May 18, 2008||11th||-||-|
|10||May 25, 2008||16th||-||-|
|11||June 1, 2008||27th||-||-|
|12||June 8, 2008||19th||-||-|
|13||June 15, 2008||19th||-||-|
|14||June 22, 2008||23rd||-||-|
|15||June 29, 2008||40th||-||-|
|16||July 6, 2008||28th||-||-|
|17||July 13, 2008||43rd||-||-|
|18||July 20, 2008||36th||-||-|
|19||July 27, 2008||42nd||-||-|
|41||December 28, 2008||-||-||645,778|
|94||January 3, 2010||-||-||660,005|
|302||December 29, 2013||-||-||662,155|
Virtual Console Icons
- Main article: Staff of Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
- According to the game's director, Katsuyoshi Irie, as written on the Uxie card printed in the Pokémon Card Game 25th Anniversary Creatures Deck, the game's Japanese subtitle "Vatonage" was suggested by Tsunekazu Ishihara as a homage to the winemaking term "bâtonnage."
- Fiore is mentioned many times in the game, as are characters from the previous games.
- The main character's family moved from the Fiore region.
- Keith and Rhythmi were originally stationed in Fiore after graduation.
- Marcus, an Operator in the Ranger Union, says he's in charge of Rangers in Fiore.
- Professor Hastings returns, as does Murph, though he has since retired as a Ranger.
- There are references to Spenser and Elita on the Pledge Stone; they both wrote their goals on it.
- The Go-Rock Quads return as a famous band; they also mention that their name isn't "Go-Rock Squad".
- The Ranger Browser no longer gives flavor text. It now only gives the Pokémon's attack data.
- When describing the quest "Murph's Ranger Contest", Murph uses the word "Eeveelution", which had never previously been used in the games, despite longtime usage as fan terminology.
- When looking through Brighton's Diary, Murph says Brighton... Brighton... Isn't that some kind of candy?. This is likely a reference to the popular English candy called Rock, which is mainly found in the city of Brighton along the South Coast of the United Kingdom, and is sometimes referred to as Brighton Rock or Brighton Rock-Candy.
- Failing to stop the sinking of the Cargo Ship is the first occasion the player character in a Pokémon game can die.
- Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is the only Pokémon Ranger game in which the opposite-gender counterpart of the main character does not appear in the game.
- The Virtual Console release of the game incorrectly gives it the title "Pokémon Ranger: Shadow of Almia."
In other languages
- Pokémon.com (US)
- Nintendo of Australia
- Pokémon.com (UK)
- DS Review: Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia - Official Nintendo Magazine (archive)
- N-Europe: Review: Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (archive)
- Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia Review - IGN
- Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia Review from GamePro (archive)
- Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia for DS - GameRankings
- Nintendo Co., Ltd. - Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ended March 2009
|This article is part of Project Sidegames, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon Sidegames.|