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Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions

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When the game begins, the {{player}} watches a [[television|newscast]] about a sighting of a [[red Gyarados]] in [[Johto]]'s [[Lake of Rage]]. The player then heads to his or hertheir best friend {{ga|Barry}}'s house and heads to [[Lake Verity]] with him to search for [[Legendary Pokémon]]. When they arrive, they notice [[Professor Rowan]] and his assistant ({{ga|Lucas}} or {{ga|Dawn}}, depending on the player's [[gender]]) discussing the professor's work and his search for something in the lake. The pair notice the player and hurry off, leaving behind a briefcase. As Barry approaches the briefcase, two wild {{p|Starly}} attack. The player and Barry open the briefcase, which contains [[Starter Pokémon|three Pokémon]] they must choose from to fight off the attacking Pokémon. Barry, who later becomes the rival, takes the Pokémon that has a type advantage over the player's choice. After the battle, the professor's assistant will briefly appear and comment that the Pokémon have been used before exiting with the briefcase. The player and Barry return to [[Twinleaf Town]]. Back in Twinleaf Town the player's mother gives him or herthem a pair of [[Running Shoes]] before the player leaves for [[Sandgem Town]]. When the player meets Professor Rowan in Sandgem Town, the professor gives the player the Pokémon chosen at the lake and a [[Pokédex]]. The player then sets off to explore Sinnoh and defeat [[Gym Leader]]s in order to advance further in the plot, challenge the [[Elite Four]], and become the {{pkmn|Champion}} of Sinnoh.
During the course of the game, there are many conflicts with the evil [[Team Galactic]] and its leader, [[Cyrus]]. When the power of {{p|Dialga}}{{sup/4|D}} or {{p|Palkia}}{{sup/4|P}}, summoned by Cyrus, begins to overwhelm Sinnoh, {{p|Uxie}}, {{p|Mesprit}} and {{p|Azelf}} appear and negate the power flow, and the player is then forced into a battle with the [[Legendary Pokémon]].
The day-night system first appearing in [[Generation II]] returns, with the same three [[time]] periods, but better transitioning between them. A new multifunction device called the [[Pokétch]], short for Pokémon Watch, is also introduced. The regional {{pkmn|Professor}}'s name is [[Professor Rowan]], after [[wp:Rowan|a tree]] like the others, and he allows the player and his or hertheir rival to keep the [[starter Pokémon]] they used against attacking wild Pokémon at the beginning of the game.
A new battle system is used for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. In this new battle system, attacks are declared either physical or special by how the attack itself operates, i.e. whether the attack touches the enemy or not, instead of the attack type, as was previously the case. For example, {{m|ThunderPunch}} is now [[physical move|physical]] and {{m|Hyper Beam}} is now [[special move|special]]. This was initially highly controversial with fans of the series, as it was considered to "waste" some of the Pokémon that were more powerful in [[Generation III]], like {{p|Blaziken}} and {{p|Sceptile}}, though it now allows for a more versatile set of moves to be viable for these Pokémon.
In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, a significant amount of changes have been made to the [[Pokémon Contest]]s introduced in [[Generation III]], now known as Pokémon Super Contests.
Instead of making [[Pokéblock]]s with {{Berries}}, Berry-flavored muffins called [[Poffin]]s are made. This is done in [[Hearthome City]], though not within the [[Contest Hall|Super Contest Hall]], instead it is done at the [[Poffin House]]. Using the [[Nintendo DS]]'s {{wp|Stylus (computing)|stylus pen}}, players must stir the Poffin mixture as directed by arrows that appear. Before the player enters his or hertheir first Super Contest, [[Jordan]] gives the player a Mild Poffin that improves all five [[Contest condition|condition stats]].
The first round, known as the [[Visual Competition]], is similar to the first round in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, but instead of relying solely on condition stats, Pokémon must be dressed up using [[Accessory|Accessories]] with the stylus within a time limit. Each particular Contest will require different Accessories, and higher {{OBP|rank|Contest}}s may require more to be put on the Pokémon.