Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions

Ruby and Sapphire redirects here. For the Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion, see EX Ruby & Sapphire (TCG).

Pokémon Ruby Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスタールビー Pocket Monsters Ruby) and Pokémon Sapphire Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスターサファイア Pocket Monsters Sapphire) are the first paired core series of Generation III games that are set in the Hoenn region. They were released in Japan on November 21, 2002, in North America on March 19, 2003, in Australia on April 3, 2003 and in Europe on July 25, 2003.

Pokémon Ruby Version
Ruby EN boxart.png
Pokémon Ruby Version's boxart, featuring Groudon
Pokémon Sapphire Version
Sapphire EN boxart.png
Pokémon Sapphire Version's boxart, featuring Kyogre
Basic info
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Category: RPG
Players: up to 4
Connectivity: Game Link Cable, e-Reader
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: Generation III core series
CERO: Not applicable[note 1]
ACB: G8+
PEGI: 3+
GRAC: Not applicable
Release dates
Japan: November 21, 2002[1]
North America: March 19, 2003[2]
Australia: April 3, 2003[3]
Europe: July 25, 2003[4]
South Korea: Unreleased
Hong Kong: N/A
Taiwan: N/A
Japanese: Pokémon.co.jp
English: Pokémon.com
Nintendo.co.uk (Ruby)
Nintendo.co.uk (Sapphire)
Japanese boxart
Ruby JP boxart.png
Boxart of Pocket Monsters Ruby
Sapphire JP boxart.png
Boxart of Pocket Monsters Sapphire
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The then recently founded The Pokémon Company originally announced the games as the single-version Pokémon Game Boy Advance (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ゲームボーイアドバンス版 Pocket Monsters Game Boy Advance Edition) or simply Pokémon GBA (Japanese: ポケモンGBA Pokémon GBA) alongside the e-Reader on March 7, 2001, with a tentative release date of 2002.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] President Tsunekazu Ishihara revealed the company's lack of optimism towards the future of Pokémon during this announcement and Junichi Masuda, former veteran employee of Game Freak and director of the games, has expressed the hardships posed by their development in post-release interviews.[12][13] The aforementioned tentative title would be used alongside the final titles during Pokémon Festa 2002.[14][15]

On March 15, 2003, the Pokémon Center New York held a party at which players could purchase Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. The games were not sold in stores across North America until March 19, 2003.[16]

Like all paired games beforehand, Ruby and Sapphire were followed by a third version, Pokémon Emerald, two years later, and together they became the best-selling Game Boy Advance games of all time. Remakes of the games, in the form of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, were released three generations later for the Nintendo 3DS in November 2014 worldwide.


Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.

The player starts their journey in Littleroot Town, where the family has just moved from the Johto region after the player's father, Norman, became the leader of the Petalburg Gym. The story starts off with the player riding in the moving truck, which arrives in Littleroot. After exiting the truck, the player's mother explains that they have just arrived at their new home; they then enter the house together, and there are Machoke movers carrying boxes. The player's mother suggests that the player introduce themselves to Professor Birch, a friend of Norman's.

Upon arriving at Birch's house, his wife greets the player, and upstairs the player meets Brendan or May (whichever is the opposite gender as the player), the child of Professor Birch who will become one of the player's rivals. After the introduction, Brendan or May soon leaves to join Birch, who is out in the field. The player then finds Birch on Route 101, where he is being chased by a Poochyena. Birch asks the player to take a Poké Ball out of his bag, which is lying on the ground; the player then chooses between Treecko, Mudkip, and Torchic as their first partner Pokémon. After choosing, a battle immediately begins with the wild Poochyena. After rescuing Birch, he lets the player keep the chosen Pokémon as thanks for saving him. He then tells the player to meet up with his kid on Route 103 for pointers on how to be a Trainer.

Once the player finds Brendan or May on Route 103, they have their first battle, after which they return to Birch's lab, where the player receives a Pokédex and some Poké Balls. Outside of the lab, the player's mother gives them the Running Shoes. Once the player arrives in Petalburg City, they meet with their father at the Gym, where he tells them that he is happy to learn that they have become a Trainer like him. During the conversation, a local boy named Wally enters the Gym and asks Norman to help him catch a Pokémon. Norman loans Wally a Zigzagoon and a Poké Ball. He then asks the player to go along and help Wally with his task. On Route 102, Wally catches a Ralts, and the Trainers then return to the Gym, where Wally gives his thanks before being called home by his mother. Norman then encourages the player to travel Hoenn and challenge the region's Gym Leaders: Roxanne, Brawly, Wattson, Flannery, Norman, Winona, Tate and Liza, and Wallace.

The player then travels through Route 104 and Petalburg Woods; just before the exit from the woods, the player encounters the nefarious Team MagmaR or Team AquaS. After battling, the grunt reveals that their team is after something in Rustboro City.

At the Rustboro Gym, the player battles Roxanne and earns the Stone Badge; afterwards, the player runs into the Devon Researcher from Petalburg Woods. He tells the player that he has been robbed by Team MagmaR/Team AquaS and that the player must get the Devon Goods back from the evil team. The player then heads out onto Route 116 and discovers an old man named Mr. Briney who tells them that the villainous team has also taken his Wingull Peeko hostage and gone into the Rusturf Tunnel. The player confronts the grunt inside the tunnel and retrieves the Devon Goods, as well as rescuing Peeko.

Once the Devon Goods are returned, the researcher asks the player to deliver them to the shipyard in Slateport City. The player then meets Mr. Stone, the president of the Devon Corporation, who asks that the player stop by Dewford Town and deliver a letter to his son Steven; as thanks for the player's earlier work, Mr. Stone gives the player a PokéNav. Outside, the player meets Brendan or May, who explains that Mr. Briney had formerly been a sailor. The player then heads back through the Petalburg Woods to Mr. Briney's house, where he gives the player a ride down Route 105 to Dewford Town. Just north of Dewford on Route 106 is the Granite Cave where Steven is exploring. The player obtains HM05 (Flash) at the entrance, but it will not work without the Dewford Gym's Badge. After earning the Knuckle Badge from Brawly, the player can now use Flash to find Steven in the Granite Cave and deliver the letter. Steven rewards the player with TM47 (Steel Wing) and tells the player that they could potentially become the Pokémon League Champion.

After leaving Dewford Town, Mr. Briney takes the player across Route 107 and Route 108 to Route 109, just south of Slateport City. When the player arrives in Slateport, there is a noticeable crowd of Team MagmaR/Team AquaS grunts blocking the entrance to the Oceanic Museum. When the player tries to drop off the Devon Goods at Stern's Shipyard, they learn that Captain Stern is in the Oceanic Museum. Once the player finds Captain Stern, they are confronted by two villainous grunts, and after defeating them, the villainous team's leader MaxieR/ArchieS appears and tells the player of their plans before warning not to get in the way again.

After giving the Devon Goods to Captain Stern, the player leaves Slateport City and travels Route 110; after encountering and battling Brendan or May, the player arrives in Mauville City. Outside of the Mauville Gym, the player finds Wally and his uncle; Wally challenges the player to a battle to prove to his uncle that he is ready for the Gym. After the battle, Wally's uncle invites the player to visit Verdanturf Town sometime. Once the Dynamo Badge has been earned from Wattson, the player heads to Verdanturf Town and uses Rock Smash to clear the previously blocked Rusturf Tunnel, earning HM04 (Strength) as a reward. Next, the player returns to Mauville and travels through Route 111 and Route 112 to the Fiery Path, on the other side of which the player continues through Route 113 to Fallarbor Town.

Inside the Fallarbor Pokémon Center, the player meets Lanette, who invites them to her house on Route 114. At the end of Route 114 is Meteor Falls, where the player finds Team MagmaR/Team AquaS, who have stolen a valuable Meteorite from Professor Cozmo. Suddenly, the scene is interrupted by the appearance of the opposite-version's team, which causes the thieves to retreat to Mt. Chimney with the stolen meteorite. At the top of Mt. Chimney, Team Magma and Team Aqua can be found fighting; after fighting the male admin of the primary evil team (Tabitha in Ruby, Matt in Sapphire), the player finds the leader of the team using the meteorite in a strange machine. The leader then battles the player.

Taking the southern path that was blocked by the battling teams, the player exits Mt. Chimney and reaches Lavaridge Town, home of the Lavaridge Gym. After receiving the Heat Badge from Flannery, the player then meets Brendan or May, who gives them the Go-Goggles and suggests that they challenge their father at the Petalburg Gym. After getting the Balance Badge from Norman, the player visits Wally's father, who gives the player HM03 (Surf).

As the player then travels through Route 118 (just east of Mauville City), they encounter Steven once again. Afterwards, the player continues through Route 119, reaching the Weather Institute, which is being attacked by the evil team in search of the weather Pokémon that the institute has created. After battling the grunts and facing off with the female admin (Courtney in Ruby, Shelly in Sapphire), the player saves the institute and is given the Pokémon Castform as a reward. Shortly after leaving the Institute, Brendan or May appears, battles the player, and gives away HM02 (Fly) upon defeat.

The player arrives in Fortree City but cannot challenge the Gym because something invisible is blocking the entrance. On Route 120, the player once again meets Steven, and he gives the player the Devon Scope, which allows them to enter the Gym by revealing the invisible thing to be the Pokémon Kecleon. After the player defeats Winona and receives the Feather Badge, the quest continues through Route 120 and Route 121 to Lilycove City. On Route 121, there are some grunts from the evil team discussing their plan to go to Mt. Pyre, and upon arriving in Lilycove, the player finds it crawling with more grunts. Outside of the Lilycove Department Store, the player battles Brendan or May for the last time, who upon defeat announces his or her intention to return to Littleroot.

After the battle, the player heads to Mt. Pyre to drive off the evil team. At the summit of Mt. Pyre, the player finds the leader of the team, who has taken the Blue OrbR/Red OrbS and proclaims that the young Trainer has arrived too late to stop him; the team then heads for Slateport City. The old couple that watch over the orbs beseech the player to stop the evil team, and they give the player the stolen orb's counterpart. Upon returning to Slateport, the player finds that Capt. Stern has discovered an undersea cavern on Route 128. The evil team then suddenly appears and takes over the captain's research submarine. The leader of the evil team once again taunts the player, and he mentions that the team's hideout is in Lilycove City. Once the player fights their way through to the center of the hideout, finding the Master Ball along the way, they encounter the male admin who battles the player to stall until the leader takes off in the submarine.

The player must then travel Route 124 to Mossdeep City. Steven's house is at the northwestern edge of the city, and here the player receives HM08 (Dive). Next, the player challenges Tate and Liza of the Mossdeep Gym to earn the Mind Badge. Heading to Route 128 and using Dive, the player finds the Seafloor Cavern, where the evil team has gone. In the deepest reaches of the cavern, the player has a showdown with the team leader, who then uses the Orb to awaken the sleeping GroudonR/KyogreS there. After being awakened, the ancient Pokémon vanishes, and the weather all over Hoenn goes out of control. Just then, the leader of the opposite team appears, and the leader of the primary evil team finds that he is unable to control the Pokémon. The two bosses then team up to try to stop the rampage.

After the bosses leave, Steven appears and tells the player to head to Sootopolis City, to which Groudon/Kyogre has gone. Heading to Route 126 and using Dive again, the player finds the entrance to Sootopolis City. Inside the city, the player finds Steven, who introduces them to his friend Wallace, the Sootopolis Gym Leader, who is also entrusted with the duty of protecting the Cave of Origin. Upon seeing the Orb that the player possesses, Wallace grants them entrance to the cave, where the rampaging ancient Pokémon is waiting. After capturing or defeating the Pokémon, the weather returns to normal.

Afterwards, Steven is found waiting outside of the Sootopolis Gym to thank the player on his and Wallace's behalf before the player faces the final Gym challenge. After defeating the Gym and leaving with the Rain Badge in tow, the player now has all eight Badges, and they head down Route 128 to Ever Grande City, where Victory Road and the Elite Four await. Wally battles the player one last time before they exit the cavern.

The Elite Four are the strongest Trainers in the region, and they can only be battled by challengers who have all eight Badges of Hoenn. They are Sidney, who specializes in Dark-type Pokémon; Phoebe, who specializes in Ghost-type Pokémon; Glacia, who specializes in Ice-type Pokémon; and Drake, who specializes in Dragon-type Pokémon. After defeating the Elite Four, the player must then battle the Pokémon League Champion, Steven.

After the battle, Professor Birch and Brendan or May arrive to congratulate the player. Birch examines the player's Pokédex, the player is registered in the Hall of Fame, and the credits roll.

After the credits, the player is returned to Littleroot Town. Downstairs, Norman gives the player the S.S. Ticket to take the S.S. Tidal over to the Battle Tower. The player also now has the ability to encounter Rayquaza at the Sky Pillar and find LatiosR/LatiasS roaming around Hoenn.


Immerse yourself in the beautiful region of Hoenn, a place of masterful heroes and mysterious teams, of friendship and battles. As the new kid in town, you set off your journey as a Pokémon Trainer. Who knows what wonders and dangers await you? Now it's time to grab your gear and head out on your own...

  • Over 200 Pokémon appear with over 100 newly discovered species—you'll have to link up and trade with a friend who has SapphireR/RubyS Version to catch them all!
  • 2-on-2 battles—use two of your Pokémon in battle at the same time!
  • Engage in intense multi battles with up to four friends!
  • Pokémon Contests let you groom your Pokémon to be the Best of Show!
  • Stunning Game Boy Advance graphics display the world of Pokémon with more detail than ever!



There are eight Pokémon Gyms in Hoenn, each with their own type affiliation. The Gym Leaders are Roxanne (Rock), Brawly (Fighting), Wattson (Electric), Flannery (Fire), Norman (Normal), Winona (Flying), Tate and Liza (Psychic), and Wallace (Water).

Elite Four

Ruby and Sapphire introduced a brand new Elite Four syndicate, which is found in Ever Grande City. The Elite Trainers are Sidney (Dark), Phoebe (Ghost), Glacia (Ice), and Drake (Dragon); the Champion is Steven, who uses Steel-type Pokémon.


Like Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions before them, Ruby and Sapphire introduced many new Pokémon. With 135 additions, the total is 386 in these games. However, Ruby and Sapphire are incompatible with previous games, due to the lack of communications between Game Boy and Game Boy Color games with Game Boy Advance games.

Version-exclusive Pokémon

Regardless of version, players must trade in order to complete their Pokédex. Latios (Sapphire event only), Latias (Ruby event only), Jirachi and Deoxys are the only Generation III Pokémon in Ruby and Sapphire that must be acquired through external means, such as attending a Nintendo sponsored event or using a cheating device. Other Pokémon, such as Bulbasaur, are not featured in the Hoenn Pokédex, and must be traded from a Generation III game in which they are found.

0273   Seedot
0274   Nuzleaf
Grass Dark
0275   Shiftry
Grass Dark
0303   Mawile
0335   Zangoose
0338   Solrock
Rock Psychic
0381   Latios
Dragon Psychic
0383   Groudon
0270   Lotad
Water Grass
0271   Lombre
Water Grass
0272   Ludicolo
Water Grass
0302   Sableye
Dark Ghost
0336   Seviper
0337   Lunatone
Rock Psychic
0380   Latias
Dragon Psychic
0382   Kyogre


The PokéNav is received shortly after the beginning of the game from Mr. Stone. It has several functions which are used throughout the game. The PokéNav displays a map of Hoenn, the Condition of the player's Pokémon, and also has the feature Trainer's Eyes, which keeps data on various Trainers and alerts the player when the Trainers want rematches. The PokéNav also displays the Ribbons that a Pokémon has earned.

New Poké Balls

More specialized Poké Balls were introduced in these games. The Premier Ball is a commemorative Poké Ball, a Repeat Ball makes it easier to catch Pokémon that the player has already caught before, the Timer Ball makes catching Pokémon easier the more turns have passed in the battle, the Nest Ball makes lower-leveled Pokémon easier to catch, while the Net Ball makes Water and Bug Pokémon easier to catch. The Dive Ball has a high catch-rate with sea-dwelling Pokémon, and the Luxury Ball makes the captured Pokémon more comfortable and friendly to its Trainer much more quickly. These balls are sold at various Poké Marts throughout Hoenn.

New features

Ruby and Sapphire introduced a number of features to the Pokémon video game franchise, many of which set a new standard for every game in the series that followed. Ruby and Sapphire expanded the Pokémon Storage System by adding a much more user-friendly graphical interface. The games also introduced individualized menu sprites for every Pokémon species. Weather may be found on the field in some areas, which will activate that weather at the beginning of battle. A new type of weather, hail, has also been added.


Main article: Ability

Ruby and Sapphire introduced Abilities for each Pokémon, such as non Flying-type Pokémon being immune to Ground-type attacks, or a Pokémon's STAB attacks being boosted when their HP is low, even the ability to absorb certain attacks and recover HP or boost a stat. The introduction of Abilities added new depths of strategy to the battle system.


Main article: Nature

Ruby and Sapphire also introduced Natures for Pokémon. Natures shift the stats (excluding HP) of Pokémon by subtracting 10% in one stat, and adding that 10% to another. For example, a Modest Nature means 10% will be subtracted from the Attack stat of a Pokémon, and 10% will be added to the Special Attack stat. This mechanic allowed for levels of customization not previously seen.

Double Battles

Main article: Double Battle

Ruby and Sapphire introduced Double Battles. These types of battles are heavier on strategy than Single Battles because each Trainer battles using two Pokémon at a time, so the Abilities and moves of all Pokémon on the field have to be considered.

Stat changes

The EV and IV systems were refined in Ruby and Sapphire, the maximum IV a stat could have was boosted from 15 to 31, and a Pokémon's gender was no longer determined by the IV of its attack stat, which made it possible to have female Pokémon with maximum attack IVs, something that hadn't been possible before. The EV system is altered from the former stat experience system, with all Pokémon giving 1, 2, or 3 effort points in one or more of the six stats after their defeat in battle, with a cap of 255 per stat and 510 overall. A Pokémon with 510 EVs will be awarded with the Effort Ribbon if it is shown to a girl in Slateport City.

Pokémon Contests

Main article: Pokémon Contest

Ruby and Sapphire were the first in the series to offer a secondary means of interacting with Pokémon, in the form of Pokémon Contests. In these competitions, the goal is to show off the skills of a Pokémon before a judge in the various categories (Beauty, Cool, Cute, Smart and Tough). After winning a Pokémon Contest in a certain category the player and Pokémon advance to the next rank in that category (Normal, Super, Hyper, and Master). This also brought about the first confectionery goods that could be made by the player and fed to their Pokémon, Pokéblocks.


Main article: Ribbon

These games were also the first to offer Ribbons to the player's Pokémon for achieving various goals, or to commemorate special events in the game, including winning in Pokémon Contests, beating the Champion, and maxing out the EVs of a Pokémon.


Game Link Cable

  This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Language restrictions on Contests, Berry Blending, Colosseum, XD, Box, and the Berry Program Update (if any)

In the Pokémon Cable Club, located on 2F of every Pokémon Center, the player can trade, battle, and mix records with Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen via Game Link Cable. There are no language restrictions on trading and battling. However, Japanese Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire cannot mix records with non-Japanese games, and non-Japanese Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire cannot mix records with Japanese games; non-Japanese games can mix records with each other regardless of language, however.

The player can use the Berry Blender to make Pokéblocks with up to three other players of Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald via Game Link cable. The player can also participate in a Link Pokémon Contest with three other players of Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald via Game Link cable.

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire can receive data from Pokémon Battle e cards via the Mystery Events feature by connecting them to an e-Reader via a Game Boy Advance Game Link Cable. e cards were used to send data about Trainer battles (conducted in Mossdeep City or the Battle Tower), exclusive Berries, the Eon Ticket, decorations, and the Berry Program Update. The e-Reader (and its cards) was only released in Japanese and English, and the e-Reader can only send data to games of the same language as the card, so this feature is only available to the Japanese and English versions of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.

The GameCube games Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness can communicate with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire via a Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Game Link cable. Pokémon Colosseum and XD can use the Trade Center in the Phenac City Pokémon Center to trade with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire; the Pokémon Ruby or Sapphire game must be saved in a Pokémon Center. The trade is conducted entirely within the GameCube game's user interface.

The GameCube game Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire can communicate with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire via Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Game Link cable. If the player of the Pokémon Ruby or Sapphire has obtained their Pokédex, Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire can deposit Pokémon from that game in its own Pokémon Storage System and withdraw those Pokémon to the game that deposited them. If a Pokémon Ruby or Sapphire game has 100 Pokémon registered as owned, Pokémon deposited into Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire from other games can be withdrawn to that Pokémon Ruby or Sapphire game.

Additionally, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire can receive event Pokémon distributions. While several distributions were conducted as trades, some distributions were one-way gifts. To receive a non-trade distribution, the player of Pokémon Ruby or Sapphire must have an empty space in their party; the received Pokémon will simply be placed in this empty slot. These distributions can only be received by games of the same language as the distribution device. The Pokémon Colosseum Bonus Disc and the PAL region (Europe and Australia) version of the GameCube game Pokémon Channel can send gift Pokémon in the same way.

Dual-slot mode

In the Generation IV core series games, dual-slot mode can be used to permanently migrate Pokémon from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire to that game via Pal Park; once sent to a Generation IV game, the Pokémon can never return to a Generation III game. Additionally, if a Generation IV game is played in a Nintendo DS system which has a Generation III core series game in the Game Boy Advance slot, the wild Pokémon that can be encountered in the Generation IV game will change slightly due to the dongle method.

If Pokémon Dash is played on a Nintendo DS system which has a Generation III core series game in the Game Boy Advance slot, it is possible to make custom cups based on the party of the Generation III game. The Japanese, European, and American versions of Pokémon Dash can communicate with Generation III games regardless of the game's language; however, the Korean version of Pokémon Dash can only communicate with Japanese Generation III game cartridges.

Berry Program Update

Main article: Berry glitch → Fixing the glitch

In early versions of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, a glitch known as the Berry glitch can prevent time-based events from occurring, such as the growth of Berries. A patch was developed to fix this issue in the games, but due to the lack of internet connectivity at the time, the patch was distributed via other games and special events, among other methods.

A patch could be sent by the following games:

A special event distribution of a Shiny Zigzagoon holding a Liechi Berry was held that applied the patch at the same time as the distribution. Like other non-trade distributions, the player had to have an empty space in their party to receive the Zigzagoon; the Zigzagoon could be received regardless of whether the patch had already been applied. Units running this software were available at special events in countries including Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

In Japan, a set of e-Reader cards were released which applied the patch.

Additionally, until August 2012, players could mail their Pokémon Ruby or Sapphire game to Nintendo, who would apply the patch and return the cartridge.

Localization changes

  • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the ledge in southwestern section of Victory Road B1F was made one tile shorter in non-English European versions of the game, making that part of the floor two-way instead of one-way.

Localization changes shared by Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald

  • In Japanese, the map seen on the wall of some buildings is said to be a Town Map of the Hoenn region. However, the name "Town Map" is not seen in English, as this is simply called a "Hoenn region map".
    • In the Generation VI remakes, the map at the wall is once more called a Town Map, this time both in Japanese and English.
  • In Sidney's room at the Pokémon League, the lights at the background flash quickly in the Japanese version. These lights slowly turn on and off in the localized versions.
  • Several glitches were fixed in the international releases.
  • The VU Meter in the Pokédex was altered depending on which international version was being played.
  • Pokémon Battle-e Trainer cards request screen was changed in international releases.
  • Some of the Trainer sprites are different in Japanese and international versions.
Hex Maniac sprite from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald (JP) Hex Maniac sprite from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald Female Psychic sprite from
Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald (JP)
Female Psychic sprite from
Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald
Male Cooltrainer sprite from
Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald (JP)
Male Cooltrainer sprite from
Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald
Sailor sprite from
Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald (JP)
Sailor sprite from
Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald

Localization changes shared by Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire

  • In Japanese, a boy says: 「くうきが うまーい!」which could mean that the air is either good or tasty. In English, it was more specifically translated as "The air is tasty here!"
    • He says that the air is "fragrant" in French ("L’air embaume ici!"), "properly pure" in Italian ("Qui si respira un’aria proprio pulita!"), "fresh" in German ("Die Luft hier ist wunderbar frisch."RSE; "Die Luft hier ist so frisch!"ORAS), "very clean" in Spanish ("¡El aire de aquí está limpísimo!"), or "refreshing" in Korean (공기가 마시쪄ORAS).


Both games were well received, getting perfect ratings from GamePro and Cinescape.[17] IGN rated the games an "Amazing" 9.5/10 and commented that they were a "wonderful GBA follow-up to the immense Game Boy blockbuster."[18] However, some reviews criticized the repetitive nature of the games, with Eurogamer commenting that "apart from the occasional tense battle with a Gym Leader and the more sophisticated opponents later on in the game, the constant fighting and collecting mechanic gets very tired, very fast."[19] Gaming magazine Famitsu gave them a score of 36 out of 40. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire hold a rating of 84.21%[20] and 84.03%,[21] respectively, on GameRankings.


Ruby and Sapphire were the second and third bestselling games of 2003 in the US, with Pokémon Ruby selling more.[22] In the fiscal year of their release, they sold 6.6 million units.[23] As of March 31, 2013, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire have sold 16.22 million copies worldwide.[24]

Japanese sales

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire sold 1,093,299 units on their first week on the Japanese market, being 543,962 from Pokémon Ruby and 549,337 from Pokémon Sapphire, with a sell-through of 89.79% and 90.11% respectively. By December 31, 2006, the end of their 215th week, they had sold 5,160,765 copies, being 2,550,021 from Pokémon Ruby and 2,610,744 from Pokémon Sapphire.

Pokémon Ruby Version

Week Week ending Ranking Units sold Total units sold
1 November 24, 2002 2nd 543,962 543,962
2 December 1, 2002 3rd 174,876 718,838
3 December 8, 2002 1st 116,900 835,800
4 December 15, 2002 4th 180,200 1,016,000
5 December 22, 2002 3rd 200,000 1,216,100
6 December 29, 2002 2nd 168,300 1,385,400
7 January 5, 2003 1st 220,753 1,606,200
8 January 12, 2003 2nd 60,798 1,667,000
9 January 19, 2003 1st 47,200 1,714,200
10 January 26, 2003 5th 33,100 1,747,300
11 February 2, 2003 7th 26,774 1,774,100
12 February 9, 2003 7th 23,149 1,797,300
17 March 16, 2003 8th 18,200 1,897,300
31 June 22, 2003 10th 9,300 2,097,100
215 December 31, 2006 - - 2,550,021

Pokémon Sapphire Version

Week Week ending Ranking Units sold Total units sold
1 November 24, 2002 1st 549,337 549,337
2 December 1, 2002 4th 173,575 722,912
3 December 8, 2002 2nd 110,900 833,900
4 December 15, 2002 3rd 180,600 1,014,500
5 December 22, 2002 2nd 201,800 1,216,300
6 December 29, 2002 1st 188,200 1,404,600
7 January 5, 2003 2nd 213,626 1,618,200
8 January 12, 2003 1st 61,046 1,679,200
9 January 19, 2003 2nd 46,600 1,725,900
10 January 26, 2003 4th 33,400 1,759,300
11 February 2, 2003 6th 28,401 1,787,700
12 February 9, 2003 6th 23,229 1,810,900
13 February 16, 2003 10th 28,100 1,839,100
15 March 2, 2003 9th 21,800 1,882,200
16 March 9, 2003 10th 17,800 1,900,100
17 March 16, 2003 7th 19,100 1,919,300
31 June 22, 2003 9th 9,800 2,125,200
34 July 13, 2003 10th 10,800 2,157,200
215 December 31, 2006 - - 2,610,744


As with all Pokémon games, Ruby and Sapphire have a fair number of glitches. One of these is the infamous Berry glitch, which made most time based events, such as Berry growing, impossible after the game had been owned for a year, or played for over 100 hours. This glitch is able to be corrected, however, by downloading the Berry patch from either the Pokémon Colosseum bonus disc, or FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald.


Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire got the 10th spot on IGN's top 25 Game Boy Advance games of all time.[25]


Main article: Staff of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire


Main article: Pokémon Ruby & Pokémon Sapphire: Super Music Collection

The soundtrack contains all of the background music from the games, composed by Junichi Masuda, Gō Ichinose, and Morikazu Aoki. However, the soundtrack does not include the remastered music from Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal or the other unused music, all of which are present in the games' internal data.

Version history


Version Changelog
1.0 Initial release


Version Changelog
1.0 Initial release
  • Implemented a definite version of the Berry Program Update in non-English European localizations that supersedes the save patching method.[26]

The following changes are exclusive to the English release.

  • Added a check to the game's code so that the species names of non-English Pokémon are treated as nicknames on evolution in English versions to prevent possible freezes and/or crashes.[27]
  • Fixed the typos in the Togepi Doll's description and Mawile's Pokédex entry (the latter applies only to Ruby v1.1).[27]
  • Changed Paras's Pokédex entry to mention both its types.[27]
  • Altered the reference to shops in Today's Smart Shopper to more accurately reflect the original Japanese text.[27]
  • Corrected the translation of the message returned by the game when using Softboiled as a field move on a Pokémon that is fainted or at full health.[27]
  • Various font changes and adjustments.[27]
  • An instance of text that refers to the Record Corner as "Record Center" by mistake was rectified.[27]
  • Fixed a bug that could cause incorrect rendering of the text used by the backup memory.[27] The misleading localized text about the process (which incorrectly mentions the internal battery) remains the same, however.

This version was only released in English.

Development cycle

Main article: Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire beta

Internal battery life

  This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.

Clock-based events in these games as well as Pokémon Emerald are controlled by a CR1616 lithium battery in the game cartridge. When starting up a file, players may receive a notification that the internal battery has run dry, and that clock-based events will no longer occur. This does not affect the save file or progress in the game, only events that happen in real-time, such as berry growth or the Shoal Cave tides.

Even after replacing the battery, symptoms may persist in existing save files. This is because as soon as the battery runs dry, the timestamp associated with real-time events (that had been increasing steadily since the file was created) reverts to its initial value. This means that if the game was played for 5 years before the battery ran dry, it would take 5 years with a new battery for the new timestamp to catch up to the old value and for time to "progress" once more. Furlock's Forest details this issue and possible solutions.

Starting a new save file after the battery is replaced will fix the problem because all events will be triggered relative to a new timestamp.

It should be noted that the same symptoms, but lacking the notification about the internal battery, may be caused by the Berry glitch.



Title screens


  • Along with Pokémon Emerald and the remakes Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, these are the only Pokémon games to feature both parents for the main character.
  • Along with the remakes, these are the only games to have version-exclusive villainous teams.
  • These are the first core series games where the name of the rival cannot be chosen by the player.
  • These were the first Pokémon games released for the Game Boy Advance.
  • These were the first games where it was not possible to catch all non-Mythical Pokémon by trading from other games at the time of release. The Pokémon outside the Hoenn Pokédex later became available once other Generation III games were released as well.
    • The term "National Pokédex" was introduced in these games, after it was known as the "Old Pokédex" in the previous generation. However, at the time of the release of Ruby and Sapphire, it was not possible to activate or complete the National Pokédex since it would require trading with some later Generation III games.
  • These were the highest selling games on the platform they were released on, a distinction claimed only by these Pokémon games.
  • These games introduce the most Pokémon of all games where the new Pokémon do not make up the entirety of the regional Pokédex.
  • These games were released in Japan on the third anniversary of the Japanese release of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
  • A special promotional coin featuring Groudon and Kyogre was available with American preorders of Ruby and Sapphire, respectively.
  • These were the last core series games without item sprites as seen in the player's Bag. However, these games introduced the large sprites for the Berries in the "Check Tag" feature (which remained available in Generations III and IV).
  • Pre-release American boxart for these games depicted the version name below the mascot Pokémon with the same font used in the Generation I and II games, with the "Gotta catch 'em all!" slogan present below the Pokémon logo. This was dropped for the final boxart, which features the version names directly below the Pokémon logo and in a different font, dropping the slogan entirely.
  • Due to the font used in the international versions, the marker for when a move is selected for usage in the battle screen differs from that of the Japanese version. Whereas the Japanese version uses an arrow to indicate the current selected move, like all later releases of the Generation III games would use, the international versions of Ruby and Sapphire utilize a red rectangle with the same purpose.
  • The intros of Ruby and Sapphire differ slightly: Ruby features Brendan or May, depending on the gender chosen, riding a bike near forest and mountains, when Latios appears (and afterwards shows them battling against a Sharpedo and a Duskull), while Sapphire has instead Brendan or May (again, dependent on the gender chosen) riding a bike near an ocean, with Latias appearing (and then, similarly to Ruby, they are shown engaged in a battle).



Early Ruby box art - note the version logo Early Sapphire box art - note the version logo

In other languages

Language Title
  Japanese ポケットモンスタールビー・サファイア
Chinese Cantonese 精靈寶可夢 紅寶石/藍寶石
Mandarin 精靈寶可夢 紅寶石/藍寶石
精灵宝可梦 红宝石/蓝宝石
French   Canada Versions Ruby et Sapphire de Pokémon*
  Europe Pokémon Version Rubis et Version Saphir
  German Pokémon Rubin-Edition und Saphir-Edition
  Italian Pokémon Versione Rubino e Versione Zaffiro
  Korean 포켓몬스터 루비・사파이어
  Portuguese Pokémon Versão Rubi e Versão Safira
  Spanish Pokémon Edición Rubí y Edición Zafiro

See also


  1. CERO's website states that it began operations in October 2002. These games were released in November 2002 but were not rated.


  1. Pokémon.co.jp
  2. Pokémon.com (US)
  3. Nintendo of Australia (archive)
  4. Pokémon.com (UK)
  5. GAME Watch
  6. ASCII.jp
  7. 電撃オンライン DENGEKI ONLINE
  8. ねとらぼ
  9. IGN
  10. CoroCoro's April 2001 issue (published on March 15, 2001) on ゾイド総合ランド
  11. Game Freak website's update from March 23, 2001
  12. Game Informer interview from August 14, 2017
  13. Dr. Lava's translation of a Famitsu interview from May 23, 2019
  14. RAI-GER's footage from July 20, 2002, reuploaded by xdanielDZD to YouTube on June 3, 2010
  15. Pokémon Festa 2002 website's events section as of August 2, 2002 (differs from the June 28, 2002 copy)
  16. Pokémon.com - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR! - 3/14/2003 (archive)
  17. Pokémon Ruby Version Critic Reviews for Game Boy Advance - Metacritic
  18. Pokémon Ruby Version - IGN
  19. Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire • Eurogamer.net
  20. Pokémon Ruby Version for Game Boy Advance - GameRankings (Archive)
  21. Pokémon Sapphire Version for Game Boy Advance - GameRankings (Archive)
  22. NPD Press Release - January 26, 2004 (Archive)
  23. Nintendo Co., Ltd. - Annual Report 2003
  24. Pokémon X and Pokémon Y Sell More Than 4 Million Units Worldwide in First Two Days | Business Wire
  25. Top 25 Game Boy Advance Games of All Time - IGN
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Archived copy of the Glitch City Laboratories Forums thread on the Berry glitch and Berry Program Update
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 27.7 Archived copy of the Glitch City Laboratories Forums thread about the differences in the English revisions

  This game-related article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.