It was originally released in Japan on April 30, 1999, in North America on February 29, 2000, in Australia on March 23, 2000, and in Europe on April 7, 2000. It was announced during the September 13, 2022 Nintendo Direct that the game would be rereleased as part of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack in 2023. However, this version of the game is unable to connect to the original Game Boy or Virtual Console games. It was released on April, 12, 2023.
This game is called "Pokémon Stadium" in English, as it was the first Pokémon Stadium series game released outside Japan. However, it is named ポケモンスタジアム２ (Pokémon Stadium 2) in Japan, as it was released after the game ポケモンスタジアム (Pokémon Stadium), which was never released internationally.
For comparison, the third Japanese game in this series is known as "Pokémon Stadium 2" in English.
The ultimate Pokémon battle is about to begin... At long last, all of your favorite Pokémon are ready to go head-to-head on the N64! Whether you're battling a friend, a Gym Leader or a tournament contestant, you're about to witness some of the most spectacular battle scenes in history! Select a team from a huge stable of "rental" battlers, or use the included N64 Transfer Pack to upload your own team from Pokémon Red, Blue or Yellow! This stadium is packed and ready to rock!
Game mode selection
An open battle mode where players can battle with each other or the CPU with their favorite Pokémon. Players can use the Stadium rulesets (plus the available rentals), or choose "Anything Goes" for only the basic rules with no level limit.
Exclusive to Anything Goes is the ability to bring any number of Pokémon from one to six into battle, and play team matches with three or four players. When two players are on a given side, each selects up to three Pokémon to control.
This is the main game mode. There are four different cup rules to win; Pika Cup, Petit Cup, Poké Cup, and Prime Cup. In the latter two, there are four levels of difficulty; Poké Ball, Great Ball, Ultra Ball and Master Ball.
In this mode, the goal is to climb to the castle's top by facing, in order, all eight Gym Leaders from Kanto, followed by the Elite Four, and finally the player's rival. Each of the Gym Leaders has three apprentices that the player must defeat first in order to battle the Gym Leader themselves.
When the rival is finally defeated, the player will be rewarded one of the following eight Pokémon at random, each of them uncommon in Generation I and usually only available once in a particular Game Boy game without trading. The starters are at level 5, the Fossil and Dojo Pokémon are at level 20, and Eevee is at level 25.
Once the player has completed the Stadium Mode and Gym Leader Castle, Mewtwo's silhouette will appear in the sky over the Stadium for selection. This is simply a showdown against Mewtwo itself, under essentially "Anything Goes" rules: up to six Pokémon (the player's own or Prime Cuprentals) can be brought to the battle, but Mewtwo is the only opponent. It has full PP Ups applied to all of its moves (in round 1), or to both of its attacking moves (in round 2).
Defeating Mewtwo launches the credits, changes the title screen and unlocks Round 2. Re-unlocking and defeating Mewtwo in Round 2 (where its stats are increased to the max) awards special hidden stickers available in the Gallery mode.
The Kids Club area is home to nine different mini-games, which may be played with one to four human players (the remaining players are controlled by the computer).
This feature, which only exists in the North American version of the game, is used to take pictures of Pokémon from a Red, Blue, or Yellow cartridge inserted into the Transfer Pak or any rental Pokémon. Any of the game's arenas can be selected for a backdrop and the photos are stored in an in-game album. These pictures can be printed out as stickers (in 16×1 or 4×4 sizes) via the same Sticker Station that was used for Pokémon Snap.
This can only be used if the player has a copy of Pokémon Red, Blue or Yellow inserted into a Transfer Pak. Here, the player can access boxes to organize and store Pokémon and items, trade Pokémon between game cartridges (with two Transfer Paks), and accept prize Pokémon won elsewhere in the game. Using this feature will cause any Pokémon above level 100 (obtained either by hacking or via the Old man glitch) to be permanently reverted to level 100.
This is used to play an emulated version of Red, Blue, or Yellow on the Nintendo 64. Different borders can be applied, some exclusive to particular versions. In addition, a Doduo Game Boy Tower can be unlocked by completing either the Poké Cup or Prime Cup in Round 1, which allows the game to be played at double the speed. A Dodrio Game Boy Tower can also be unlocked by beating both the Poké Cup and Prime Cup in Round 1, allowing the game to be played at triple speed.
Hall of Fame
When the player clears the final division of a Stadium Cup or defeats the Rival in the Gym Leader Castle, all of the Pokémon on the player's team will be registered in the Hall of Fame, recording its nickname, level, and Original Trainer name and ID, as well as the tournament it was on the winning team for. Each species can only have one entry in the Hall of Fame at a time, and attempting to register a Pokémon that already has an entry there will cause the previous entry to be overwritten.
When the Vs. Mewtwo battle is cleared, Round 2 can be toggled on and off by pressing C-Right on the main menu. Round 2 challenges the player to battle through the game all over again, against the same opponents with different Pokémon and a much higher difficulty. Mew can also be rented in the Prime Cup. The surrounding Stadium area in Round 2 is set at night.
Trainer class changes
As there is a seven-letter limit for Trainer names, some Trainer classes go by different names.
Now causes a Pokémon's rage to build only if successful. The disabled move's PP is not replaced with a "disabled!" message, though attempting to select the move will still result in a notice that the move is disabled.
No longer fails when difference between the user's maximum HP and current HP leaves a remainder of 255 when divided by 256 (such as 255 or 511). It removes stat drops from burn and paralysis and resets the Toxic counter.
All 151 Generation I Pokémon are playable in battle, as opposed to only 40 Pokémon.
This game was localized in English, as well as multiple European languages, while the previous game was only available in Japanese.
The Pokémon Lab was introduced in this game. The PC, trade machine, and machine to switch Game Boy games were also introduced in this game.
The Pokédex is now located in the Pokémon Lab. The "List" feature (a large table listing Pokémon), and the features to arrange Pokémon, items, and Boxes are now located in the PC. (All these features were introduced in Japanese Pokémon Stadium, but they were simply found at the main menu.)
The Nintendo 64 Pokémon storage in previous game had 4 Boxes for 30 Pokémon each (total 120). This was expanded in this game, as the Japanese version has 8 Boxes with 30 Pokémon slots each (total 240) and the English version has 12 Boxes with 20 slots each (total 240).
In the previous Stadium game, the player was required to save at a Pokémon Center (in the connected core series game) in order to use the Pokédex. In the current Stadium game, the player can freely use the Pokédex, no matter where they saved.
The starter Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow says its name in battle (voiced by Ikue Ohtani), as opposed to other Pikachu, which have the usual electronic noise cry. The starter Pikachu's idle animation is also different from that of other Pikachu. It keeps swinging its head to the sides, with its ears slightly uneven. The starter Pikachu's voice and pose are also seen at the Gallery (only available in the English version).
In the previous game, two Pokémon could repeatedly use Transform against each other (replenishing their own PP with each use), potentially causing an endless battle. In this game, Transform fails if used against a Ditto. However, two Mew can still freely use Transform against each other.
Like the Generation I handheld games, Pokémon Stadium had several changes from the Japanese version.
This was the first home console game to have all Pokémon in its generation usable in battle.
Rocket's Pokémon have numbers in their nicknames, even though this was not possible until Generation III. The same applies for Team Rocket Grunts in the sequel.
This was the first Pokémon game that allowed more than two players to battle at one time. This feature would not be implemented into the handheld games until Generation III.
This is the only game where Lance does not use a Dragonite at any point in the game.
Unlike in the handheld games, if due to glitches (like Pokémon "growing" from Lv. 255 to Lv. 0, thus lowering HP) a Pokémon's current HP is below 0, this displays properly (like 64569).
Clearing the Gym Leader Castle and Prime Cup on Master Ball mode will unlock an alternate title screen.
Although there is a 1'4" (0.4 m) difference between Nidoking and Venonat, the two appear to be the same height in battle.
If a Pokémon knows four HM moves, using a TM in the menu allows the first move to be overwritten. This is the only way to replace HM moves in Generation I.
Jynx's body color was changed from black to purple between the 1.0 and 1.1 English releases to avoid further controversy.
According to an FAQ page that was available in February 1999 on Pokémon.com, there were no plans to release an American version of Pokémon Stadium, as well as any other Pokémon games that have been only released in Japanese at the time. This referred to the first Pokémon Stadium game (the version with only 42 Pokémon available for battles), which was never released in English.
Moves that are flagged as illegal by the game are displayed in purple in the battle menu, and the Trainer's name is displayed in purple as well.
The VS portraits for the Gym Leaders all resemble their headshots drawn by Ken Sugimori, with Blaine's being from the Red and Green manual, as opposed to his original design found in early promotional material.