As a Pokémon fan in 2003, you are in a dilemma. After the cool adventure in Johto with Gold and Silver, which many gamers still look back on with pink glasses, it is a bitter pill that you cannot immediately get a completely filled Pokédex in Hoenn. We’re talking about the region from Ruby and Sapphire, which has basically been a kind of soft reboot for the Pokémon franchise. A lot of Pokémon from Gold and Silver just can’t be caught in those games and there’s no way to transfer your previously captured beasts from the Game Boy (Color) to the Advance.
At the time, that issue wasn’t as widely covered as it was in 2019, when Pokémon Sword and Shield faced the Dexit campaign. A lot of Pokémon fans were more angry in 2019 than in 2003 and really felt that they were being screwed by developer Game Freak. Many fans of the series decided not to buy the games and urged people to leave it. Probably in vain: Nintendo’s most recent quarterly figures show that Sword and Shield have sold more than 20 million times. This makes them a bigger success than Diamond and Pearl.
Pokémon Colosseum solves Dexit first
What all this has to do with Pokémon Colosseum? That game plays an important role for Pokémon players in 2004. Not only is it the first time that we get a full-fledged RPG of Pokémon for a console, Colosseum also solves the problem of the first Dexit. Even though Colosseum is a spin-off, for many trainers this is the first time that they can walk in a three-dimensional environment and can also catch and train Pokémon there. As a result, the game always holds a special place in many a trainer’s heart.
What makes Pokémon Colosseum so important for players of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire is the fact that you can catch almost all the missing Pokémon from the Advance games in it. As if you, as a Pokémon fan, need another reason to play a three-dimensional adventure on Nintendo’s cube-shaped game console in 2004! The fact that you can see your favorite Pokémon, both old and new, shine in much better graphics is reason enough for many gamers. And that you can also spend 25 to 60 hours on a narrative adventure in a new region is more than delightful. Or so you probably thought about it in 2004 …
What makes Pokémon Colosseum so important to Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire players is the fact that it can capture almost all of the missing Pokémon from the Advance games
The real icing on the cream cake is that you get access to tons of those missing Pokémon from Johto. For example, you start with an Umbreon and an Espeon – two Eevolutions. Next up, you can get the evolutions of the starter pokémon, as well as favorites like Flaafy, Sudowoodo, Forretress, Gligar, Heracross, Piloswine, Entei, Raikou, Suicune and Tyranitar. It is really a feast of recognition. After completing the main game, you can transfer the Pokémon to Ruby and Sapphire. And if you keep playing Pokémon Colosseum for a while, more cool monsters will be added.
In addition to a big adventure, you also have the task to Save Pokémon from the evil team Cipher, which operates in the exclusive Orre region. That team makes so-called Shadow Pokémon. Not only do you have to take them by catching them with a catcher on your arm (normal Pokéballs don’t work), but also clear their hearts with a special stone. Once you have cleared all 48 Pokémon, you can venture out to Mt. Battle. This is a place where you compete on your own against a hundred other trainers in (sometimes boring) two-on-two fights. But in between you will also encounter Entei, while a coveted Ho-Oh awaits you at the end.
Back then, Pokémon were like Entei and Ho-Oh reason enough to slog on. Seventeen years ago, we might not want to admit it, but Pokémon Colosseum wasn’t that great. Of course it was great to be able to play a 3D adventure on the GameCube, but fair is fair: successor XD: Gale of Darkness did a lot better. The obligatory double battles, the purifying of hearts that lasts miserably long and Mt. Battle that never ends … you had to really want that rare Pokémon to be able to play the game completely.
That you had to buy an extra game to replenish your Pokédex was until then. The prospect of a great adventure motivated. Plus, you understood why certain Pokémon couldn’t be ported due to the technical limitations. Of course you could argue that it is ridiculous that some Pokémon simply weren’t present in Ruby and Sapphire, but it wasn’t like Pokémon Colosseum a simple cash grab used to be. It was a full-fledged Pokémon adventure on your television, with Pokémon that you have been missing for a while.
Filling the Pokédex
This makes Pokémon Colosseum a product of its time. It was the way to fill your Dex, until later Fire Red, Leaf Green and Emerald appeared. The game demanded a lot from the player. You had to spend extra money on a game, own a GameCube, have the link cable for the Gameboy Advance and finish the game completely. In 2021, you don’t actually have to play the game anymore, because Pokémon Go, for example, sometimes hands out legendary Pokémon, including Ho-Oh and Entei, as if they were candies. You can now transfer them very easily via Pokémon Home. If you still want to venture into a Pokémon adventure on the GameCube, look up Gale of Darkness. However, both games have lost their important position for Pokémon fans and have been overtaken by modern technology.
Looking at Pokémon in the year 2021, then we are in a similar situation. Sword and Shield do not offer all Pokémon that players want to use. New games do offer new possibilities and we assume that the next games in line are the remakes of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl; be it a Let’s Go game or a remake like Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Those games can fill the gaps in the Dex. Then we have to buy an extra game again, separate from the already purchased games and the subscription to management software Pokémon Home. But in the end we know what we’re doing it for: the Pokédex.
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