The Nintendo DS was first released in 2004. By far the most anticipated games for the system were the inevitable fourth generation of Pokémon titles. Fans finally got their wish in 2006, with the release of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl. These games allowed the player to complete another Pokémon journey, in the brand new Sinnoh region.
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl are some of the most divisive games in the series. They undoubtedly represented a huge technical leap forward for the series, with the new addition of online functionality. Pokémon Diamond & Pearl was also known for its problems, such as the game running unbearably slow, especially in battles. Sinnoh is a love it or hate it kind of place.
We are here today to look into the most controversial Pokémon games among the fanbase. From the god that we weren’t allowed to meet, to the Pokémon that only the craziest of fans would try and catch.
Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Pokémon Diamond & Pearl!
15. The Unused Arceus Event
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl introduced the god of Pokémon to the series. Its name was Arceus and it is said to have been the creator of the universe. Arceus has the unique ability to change its type, depending on the item it has equipped at that moment.
In order to obtain Arceus, you needed to have attended a Nintendo giveaway or (in later games) received it as a free download. There was originally a lot more planned for Arceus. There is an item programmed into the game, called the Azure Flute. This would have allowed you to access a new area at the top of the Spear Pillar. A level 80 Arceus would be waiting for you at the summit. You would have had a chance to catch him during battle. The Azure Flute was never officially distributed, however, and this event cannot be seen without cheating.
This wasn’t the first time that we lost out on an event. The Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal allowed you download a GS Ball through the use of a mobile phone adapter. This could then be taken to the shrine in Ilex Forest, in order to battle with a wild Celebi. As with Arceus, the Celebi was directly given away, rather than using the programmed event.
14. The Gambling Ban
One of the recurring features of the earlier Pokémon games was the Game Corner. This was an area where the player could gamble for coins. This usually involved trying to win big on the slot machines. The coins earned from gambling could then be traded for rare Pokémon and TMs.
As time went on, the presence of the Game Corner became an issue for the Pokémon series. In Europe, the laws concerning gambling in video games became stricter. This was especially true for games that were intended to be sold to children.
The South Korean version of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl removed the slot machines from the Veilstone Game Corner. The European version of Pokémon Platinum did the same. As time went on, all gambling was removed from the Pokémon series.
13. The Weakening Of The Elite Four
Of all of the different Elite Fours in the series, the one in Sinnoh may be the toughest of all. The first member is Aaron, who uses Bug-type Pokémon. His Vespiquen is notorious for its array of unique moves, that make it difficult to take out. He is followed by Bertha and her Ground-type team of highly defensive Pokémon. The third is Flint, with his team of heavy hitting Fire-type Pokémon. The final member is Lucian, with his cadre of powerful Psychic-type Pokémon.
The main reason that the Sinnoh Elite Four are so powerful is due to their high level. It is recommended that you grind on the Victory Road before taking them on. Game Freak seemed to realise that they made the Sinnoh Elite Four too strong, as they were toned down in Pokémon Platinum. In that game, all of the Elite Four’s Pokémon had up to ten of their levels reduced.
12. Draco Meteor’s Name
One of the most powerful Dragon-type attacks in the Pokémon series is called Draco Meteor. In exchange for its high damage, Draco Meteor has the drawback of reducing the Pokémon’s Special Attack. It’s a double-edged sword, that is best saved as a final move of the match, or if you don’t think the Pokémon will survive the next turn. Draco Meteor can be taught to a Pokémon with the aid of a Move Tutor, though that Pokémon would need to feel maximum friendship towards the player (at least in Diamond & Pearl).
Draco Meteor has the unusual distinction of being named by the fans. Before Pokémon Diamond & Pearl were released, Coro Coro magazine ran a contest that allowed the readers to choose the name for an upcoming move. The Japanese name for the move translates to Meteor Shower, but it contains the character for the word Ryu, which means Dragon. Changing the name to Draco Meteor may have been an attempt to keep the original meaning.
11. The Most Hated Move
The fourth generation of Pokémon games introduced one of the most hated moves in the competitive scene. It is called Stealth Rock and it creates an entry hazard when used. This means that it stays in effect for the rest of the match (unless destroyed by a specific move). Once Stealth Rock is used, the other player’s Pokémon will take damage equal to their weakness to Rock-type. This means that some Pokémon will lose half their health, just from entering the field.
Stealth Rock quickly dominated the competitive scene. The fact that its effect could stay on the field throughout the whole battle (unlike weather effects, which are temporary), meant that opening the match with a Stealth Rock was a smart tactic. Old favourites like Charizard and Scyther became unplayable, due to their quadruple weakness to Rock-type attacks. They would lose half their health before even having a chance to move.
10. Ash Never Stood A Chance
Fans of the Pokémon anime were abuzz in 2016, as Ash Ketchum made it to the finals of the Kalos Pokémon League. He had never been closer to achieving his dream of being the best, like no one ever was.
Sadly, it was not meant to be. Ash lost in the final round. He was soon off on his next adventure to the Alola region, where he would continue his never-ending Pokémon journey.
While many fans were saddened by Ash’s loss, it actually wasn’t his worst defeat. After defeating the eight Gym Leaders of the Sinnoh region, Ash was allowed to compete in the Lily of the Valley Conference. Ash made it to the semifinals, where he faced a mysterious Pokémon trainer, named Tobias.
Tobias managed to defeat Ash with only two Pokémon. He pulls out two Legendary Pokémon and absolutely wipes the floor with Ash. Tobias uses a Darkrai and a Latios to annihilate the team that Ash had been building all season. Ash never even stood a chance at victory.
9. The Worst Weather
The third generation of Pokémon games introduced the concept of weather effects. It was possible for a Pokémon’s move to affect the weather in the area, in order to change the battlefield. Hail, for example, creates a snowstorm that deals damage to all Pokémon that aren’t Ice-type. It also has the additional effect of giving Blizzard 100% accuracy while active.
Pokémon Platinum featured a nasty glitch, known as “Acid Rain“. It was activated by knocking out an enemy Pokémon with Pursuit as it is being switched out. If a weather effect is in play, then all of the weather effects will activate at once and will remain there for the rest of the battle.
8. The Censored Human & Pokémon Marriage
The Canalave Library is one of the most interesting places in Sinnoh. It is here that you can learn the myths and legends of the region. For a certain DeviantArt loving portion of the fanbase, the Canalave Library is interesting for a whole bunch of other, more perverted reasons.
In the original Japanese version of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, one of the books in the Library states that humans and Pokémon used to get married to each other. This is because no distinction existed between Pokémon and humans in the past. When the games were localised into English, this was changed to humans and Pokémon eating at the same table.
This was likely changed to remove any sexual overtones that might be suggested from a human & Pokémon marriage. It’s bad enough that we still don’t know how Pokémon breed with each other. We don’t need to add people to the mix.
7. The Gambling Detectives
The slow removal of the gambling elements from the Pokémon series began with the fourth generation of games. When it comes to actual gamblers appearing within the game, the change started a little earlier.
In the first two generations of Pokémon games, there was an enemy trainer class called the Gambler. They looked like an old man holding a set of dice and a cup to roll them in. When Pokémon Fire Red & Leaf Green brought us back to the Kanto region, the Gamblers were changed into Gamers in the English localisation of the game.
When Pokémon Diamond & Pearl were released, the Gamblers were changed again. As the Gamblers in the Sinnoh region were shown flipping a coin whilst wearing a brown raincoat, they had their name changed to PI. This is because their appearance just happened to match the stereotypical depiction of a private eye from the movies.
6. Team Galactic Loves To Cheat!
Game Freak loves to cheat. This is why the Pokémon series is full of trainers who use illegal Pokémon. These are Pokémon that have evolved to a certain form without being the right level, or possess a move that they cannot normally learn. This happens as early as the Brock battle in Pokémon Red & Blue, with his Onix that knows Bide a few levels too early. The cheating goes all the way to the top, with Lance of the Elite Four and his illegal Dragonite that knows Barrier. All of the cheating was allowed to continue into the sequel, as four of Lance’s six Pokémon are illegal. He has three Dragonite’s that are all below level 55 and an Aerodactyl that knows Rock Slide.
The resident crime syndicate of Sinnoh are known as Team Galactic. The Team has four commanders, who are each named after a planet. Two of these use illegal Pokémon in battle. Jupiter uses a level 20 Skuntank, even though Stunky doesn’t evolve until level 34. Mars uses level 18 Purugly, even through Glameow doesn’t evolve until level 38.
5. The Let’s Play Name
One of the most popular pastimes on YouTube is playing through a video game whilst commenting on it. These are referred to as “Let’s Plays”. While these have been associated with streaming video, they actually have their origins on text-based forums. The users of the website Something Awful are often credited with creating the Let’s Play genre. These started out as screenshots of the game that were posted in the forum, with the person running the Let’s Play often running polls, asking the readers to decide on upcoming decisions.
In Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, you can encounter a pair of interviewers in the Jubilife TV Station. One of these is a reporter, named Roxy, who uses a Wooper in battle. This is a reference to a Let’s Play of Pokémon Crystal that was done on the Something Awful forums, by a member named Chorocojo. His character in the Let’s Play was named Roxy and she used a Wooper. The lead translator of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, Nob Ogasawara, is a member of the Something Awful forums. He named the reporter Roxy as a reference to Chorocojo’s Let’s Play.
4. Surfing Through Aaron’s Door
The recent Pokémon games tend to release in all three main regions (Japan, North America and Europe) within close proximity of each other. Nowadays, you won’t have to wait more than a fortnight after the other regions to play the latest Pokémon games. This wasn’t always the case. The Pokémon games used to be released in Japan first, with the other regions having to wait between six months and a year.
One of the benefits of having to wait longer for Pokémon games was the removal of any nasty glitches. Any issues that the Japanese players discovered would be fixed in time for the international release. One such bug was the “Surf Glitch” found in Pokémon Diamond & Pearl. When you enter Aaron of the Elite Four’s room, it is possible to Surf into his door. This allows you to enter the blackness beyond the boundaries of the map. By checking your steps with the pedometer and moving to certain positions, you could arrive at the Event exclusive locations in the game and catch Darkrai & Shaymin.
3. The Pulseman Connection
Before Pokémon became one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, its developer, Game Freak, was known for creating other games. Once Pokémon became a success, they have mostly stuck to creating new Pokémon games. This might be annoying for them, as they rarely get a chance to work on anything new and exciting. They probably don’t complain too hard, however, after they see the bags of cash that Pokémon brings in for them every day.
While Game Freak is pretty much part of Nintendo at this point, they don’t always solely develop for them. They have made games for the Sega Mega Drive, the PC Engine, the PlayStation, iOS & Android, and even the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
One of Game Freak’s earliest games was an action/platformer, called Pulseman. You played as the titular hero, who was a teenage boy with the power to control electricity. His enemy was an evil organisation, known as the Galaxy Gang. Team Galactic of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl is a shoutout to this group, as their Japanese name is also Galaxy Gang.
2. The Censored Registeel Salute
It might seem like an odd notion, but the Pokémon franchise has had to censor potentially offensive imagery that is associated with the Nazi Party.
The Pokémon Trading Card Game had cards that depicted the Manji on them. The Manji is a Buddhist symbol which looks like a reverse-Swastika (as it was the inspiration for the symbol). These were changed to generic red shapes. There have also been instances of Team Rocket needing to be edited, due to them performing a gesture that resembles the Nazi salute.
When Registeel was introduced in Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, its right arm was depicted as being held up, with the flat of the palm being seen. This was thought to look like a Nazi salute, leading to Registeel’s sprite being edited in the European version of the game. The altered version of Registeel was used in all versions of the following games (starting with Pokémon Platinum).
1. The Queen Of The Shiny Pokémon
The second generation of Pokémon games introduced the concept of shiny Pokémon. These were incredibly rare variants of the regular Pokémon, that had different colour schemes. The most famous of these is the red version of Gyarados, which is important to the story of Pokémon Gold & Silver.
When it comes to acquiring shiny Pokémon, the odds are stacked against the player. In the first few generations of games, the base chance of meeting a shiny Pokémon in the wild & through breeding is 1/8192. The fourth generation of games included a way of reducing this, known as the Masuda Method. If you are trying to breed a shiny Pokémon, the odds can be increased to 1/1638, if one of the parent Pokémon comes from another real world country.
This brings us to the most difficult shiny Pokémon to acquire. In Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, a new Bug-type Pokémon named Vespiquen was introduced. In order to get one, you need to evolve a Pokémon called Combee. Only female Combee can evolve into Vespiquen (these can be identified by the red diamond on their head). So what are the chances of a Combee being female? 12.5%
Even if you use the Masuda Method, the chances of you getting a shiny female Combee are incredibly low. If you have any aspirations towards collecting shiny Pokémon, then just give up before reaching Pokémon Diamond & Pearl.