With the start of the DS era of games, Wifi changed everything. Need a starter? Breed yours and offer it for another one. Need a version exclusive? Catch an extra one from your game and put it up for trade. The one trick to this was that you had to have seen the Pokemon you were looking for. The nice thing about is that in DPPt, they basically forced you to encounter every Pokemon by game completion. This didn’t account for any Pokemon not in the game.
From here on out, I am going to take the hard road and assume you only have games from the discussed generation without Wifi (since that is the way you would have to complete a Gen 4 or 5 Pokedex. I will attempt to hit everything, but there are SOOO many Pokemon at this point, I will probably miss something… Here goes…
Generation 4 – Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Heart Gold and Soul Silver
Quick note: All of the things I wrote about Johto Pokemon are still relevant for HGSS, so count those as commented on!
Vespiquen: Catch a Combee by putting honey on a tree and HOPE that it’s female. Then level up to 21. Male drones don’t evolve.
New Evolutions: Gen 4 introduced many new evolutions to Already established lines. Some of these evolved by holding new items and trading, leveling up in a special place, and leveling up with a particular move. The most interesting of all of these is Mamoswine. You needed to level Piloswine up knowing Ancient Power. But Piloswine doesn’t learn this on its own. You have to breed it with a Kecleon or Dunsparce that know the move! Until this point, I hadn’t put much thought into breeding past using a Ditto. This forced me to look at breeding and egg moves a little differently.
More incense breeding: You will need incense to breed for Munchlax, Happiny, Mime Jr., Chingling, Bonsly, Budew, and Mantyke.
Friendship: Buneary evolves into Lopunny and Riolu into Lucario via friendship.
Drifloon/Drifblim: In DPPt, go to Valley Windworks on Fridays to find Drifloon. Level up to 28 for Drifblim.
Spiritomb: This is, like Milotic, one of those gimmicky Pokemon to get based on a new mechanic in the game. In DPPt, there was the Underground, which allowed you to go below the overworld anywhere in the map. In order to get Spiritomb, you had to meet 32 players. Not just 32 players you met on Wifi anywhere in the world, 32 players within close range. Thankfully, you could meet the same person multiple times and this would count toward meeting 32 people.
Fossils: Speaking of the Underground, that is where you could explore and find fossils! In these games, the Skull and Armor fossils were version exclusives, but once you opened the National Dex, all previous fossils became available in unlimited quantities. (Side note: Many evolutionary stones were also available in unlimited quantities here, as well.)
Starters: For the Sinnoh starters, you do the trading/breeding thing mentioned in the previous article. Same for the Johto starters. The tricky part is the Kanto and Hoenn starters. You will need 3 separate save files in HGSS. After you defeat Red, you can go Professor Oak and he will give you the Kanto starter of your choice. At this time, you can also go to Silph Co. and meet Steven Stone and he will give you one of the Hoenn starters. The tricky part is you need 2 other friends who have defeated Red, and they needed to pick the right starters to complement the ones you picked.
Feebas/Milotic: Feebas is back with great difficulty to torment you. This time there is a lake in Mt. Coronet. Feebas will be found in 4 tiles on this lake by fishing. This is the same tedium that you found in Gen 3, except those 4 tiles change every day. Didn’t find one today? You can start over tomorrow! Watch to catch another one? Better do it on that single spot you found before it changes tomorrow. Feebas evolves into Milotic when its beauty is maxed out using poffins.
Legendaries: There are a BUNCH of legendaries introduced in Gen 4. In DP, Giratina is one of the more interesting ones as it is not a plot based event, like in Platinum, but is found in Turnback cave, which is a labyrinth of similar looking room. The big differences is that there are 3 pillars to be found. Once those pillars are found, you can encounter Giratina… as long as you found those 3 pillar before you enter 30 rooms. Also, all Gen 1 legendaries can be found in Kanto is HGSS (awesome!). Gen 3 legendaries are interesting! Kyogre can be found in HG, Groudon in SS, and if you bring both of these Pokemon (specifically from HG and SS) into one game, you can also catch Rayquaza.
Roaming Pokemon: Mesprit and Cresselia roam the region once you encounter them. All of the difficulties of roaming pokemon still exist. It is terrible in Platinum as they added the Legendary Birds as roaming Pokemon too. But you can just get them in HGSS, so… Oh, and Latios and Latias are roaming in Kanto, while Raikou and Entei still roam Johto.
Regis: The 3 golems are obtainable in Platinum, but only if you have a specific event Regigigas. To my knowledge, these are the only Pokemon unavailable in 4th Gens without an event.
Events: The following Pokemon can only be obtained via event or cheating. Arceus, Shaymin, Mew (also available by transferring 999 to My Pokemon Ranch on Wii), Celebi, Jirachi, Deoxys, and Darkrai. The things I liked about Gen 4 is that many of these events gave you an item and allowed you to pursue the Pokemon in game or there was a piece of story tied to that even Pokemon.
Manaphy and Phione: This Pokemon is one that I have some issues with. There are very few ways to obtain Manaphy. Either you have to play one of the Pokemon Ranger games and transfer the Manaphy egg to one of the other games or I believe there was an event for this. To get Phione, breed Manaphy with a Ditto or deposit 250 Pokemon into My Pokemon Ranch. I am sure most of you know, the relationship between these Pokemon is very interesting. Manaphy breeds Phione but Phione does not evolve into Manaphy. As far as I understand, this has been the only way to obtain Manaphy, ever. So, in later generations, you have to transfer from 4th gen to do this.
Difficulty Rating: 5 out of 10 when Wifi was still active, 8 out of 10 otherwise, technically impossible to do within the games themselves
Generation 5 – Black, White, Black 2, and White 2
Gen 5 was almost a reboot of the series giving over 150 new Pokemon and not allowing you to obtain Pokemon from Gens 1-4 in anyway until you completed the main story in the original games. In this way, Gen 5 Pokemon are relatively easy to obtain, but, as you will see, some Pokemon from previous generations are near impossible.
As an overall note for this generation
Some of the worst offenders are Pawninard into Bisharp at level 52, Larvesta to Volcorona at level 59 and Dieno to Zweilous at 50 (!) and then to Hydreigon at level 64. Mind that most pseudo-legendaries reaching their final evolutions at 55. The grind is real!
Starters: Like previous generations, you could breed/trade to get the starters you didn’t pick at the start of the game. But, curiously, there is no way to obtain the others starters in this game. It seems as though you could have gotten these in the Dream World but I haven’t don’t much research into this. Since the Dream World has been decommissioned, at this time, you CANNOT complete a National Pokedex in Gen 5 exclusively.
Friendship: Friendship evolutions are found in evolving Woobat into Swoobat and Swadloon into Leavany.
Karrablast and Shelmet: This is probably one of my favorite evolutions. In order to get these to evolve is to trade them with each other! On the other side, Karrablast turns into Escavalier and Shelmet evolves into Accelgor.
Roaming Pokemon: This is the last game to date that has seen a true roaming Pokemon. Tornadus roamed Black and Thundurus roamed White. The trick with these was that you could enter and exit the same building several times until you found that either of these Pokemon was in your area. How would you know? It would rain when they were present. Bring these two Pokemon together in one game and bring them to the Abundant Shrine to catch Landorus.
Fossils: Same as in Gen 1 and 3, pick the Cover or Plume fossils, restore and breed, trade with a friend who got the other one. All previous fossils are available in unlimited quantities.
Legendaries: Like the starters, there are some Pokemon noticeably absent from Gen 5 games. Honestly, it will be easier to mention the ones that are in the game, than out. You can find Latios and Latias as version exclusives. You are also able to obtain the legendary Golems in B2W2 (but you need one version of each, completed, if memory serves). Once you visit the Cave of Being, the Lake Guardians (Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf) will be scattered about the region, also in B2W2. In the same games, have the Lunar Wing and go to the Marvelous bridge after defeating the Elite 4, Cresselia will appear.
Event Pokemon: The following were even Pokemon for Gen 5. Through Gamestop (in the US), you could obtain shiny versions of the legendary beasts (in Gen 4) as well as shiny versions of Creation Trio (Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina). I bring up the shiny beasts from Gen 4 because if you transferred them via time capsule to Black and White, they would unlock a Zoroark event in game. In a similar manner, if an event Celebi from Gen 4 was transferred into BW, it would unlock a Zorua event. If you had the BW games at launch, you had access to the Liberty Ticket which allowed you to get Victini early in the game. You also had access to Keldeo, Genesect, Meloetta, Darkrai, Mewtwo and Arceus this way.
Feebas/Milotic: This will be the last time I mentioned these two, as from this generation forward, they are increasingly easy to obtain. On Route 1, if you fish for Feebas on any tile, there is a 5% chance of getting it. If you fish on rippling water, there is a 60% chance of getting Feebas and 5% chance of getting Milotic. Still a pain in the butt, but not nearly what it used to be. Also, Feebas now evolves by being traded when holding the Prism Scale, as Beauty is no longer a mechanic in this game. Sad that the difficulty of getting this Pokemon was reduced so drastically.
To be perfectly honest, I might be missing something that might be difficult in these games since at this point there were around 650 Pokemon. What I did not realize until writing this article is that you cannot completed the Pokedex using only Gen 5 games. You would have to rely on games from Gen 4 in order to be able to finish the National Pokedex. Not since Gen 2 was it necessary to go back to a previous generation to complete a Pokedex.
Difficulty Rating: 6 out of 10 when Wifi was still active, 9 out of 10 otherwise, technically impossible to do within the games themselves
Generation 6 – X, Y, (maybe Z?), Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Finally, we are to the current generation! As far as Pokedex completion, it seems as though the creators learned from their mistakes in Gen 5 and made everything available between these games (even if it did get a bit ridiculous in ORAS, but I’ll get into that soon).
Starters: In XY, you were given your usual choice of 3 starters for the region, but also, before you obtained your second badge, Professor Sycamore offered you one of the Kanto starters. As an event Pokemon, you even were given a Torchic (which, in my opinion, forced your starters to be Froakie, Bulbasaur and Torchic, if you were planning strategically, but … nevermind). Also, many of these (if not all) can be found in Friend Safaris too!
In ORAS, Professor Birch gives you your Hoenn starter. After the game, after various events, he distributes to you a starter from Johto, Sinnoh, and Unova, by basically repeating the scene from the start of the game in a pretty ridiculous fashion. As of right now, Wifi is still active for these games, so you could just go to the GTS and easily offer a bred version of these Pokemon for one that you are missing, but should Wifi ever be shut down on these games, as it was for all of the DS era games, you would need to find 2 other players who completed these games and chose different starters from you.
Legendaries: I loved how Kalos kept it simple and only introduced 3 new legendaries into these games. After DDPt introducing 14 legendary/mythical Pokemon, I was kind of getting sick of them. But they also included the legendaries from Kanto, as well. Depending on the starter you picked, one of the legendary birds would “roam” the region. I don’t count these as roaming Pokemon as you simply need to find them 10 times (you’re even guided by you Pokedex) before you can have a real battle with them. Once they are caught though, the tricky part might be findings someone to trade the others to you. Once you completed the game, you could encounter Mewtwo in the Unknown Dungeon.
ORAS allowed you to capture every other single non-event Pokemon in the post game using Soar with Latio/as or simply being native to the region. Now, this isn’t easy by any means. Some Pokemon are only available at certain times. Sometimes the Mirage Spots aren’t where you need them to be. Some Pokemon, such as Landorus, Giratina, and Kyurem, needed you to obtain the two other parts of their respective trios from a 6th gen game in order to unlock them. If I recall correctly, there is something like 25 legendary Pokemon available in these two games. OH! and something that has never happened before! Deoxys, which was only an event Pokemon before, is now simply part of the game in the Delta Episode.
Fossils: As in previous games, you have to choose between the Jaw fossil and the Sail fossil in XY. In ORAS, again, you have to choose between the Root and Claw fossil. Most of the other fossils are available in unlimited quantities, but do know that many of these fossils are version exclusives.
Unique Evolutions: Gen 6 introduced some very creative ways to evolve Pokemon. I will briefly discuss those next.
Pancham evolves into Pangoro at level 32, but you must have a Dark type in your party. Such a sweet little thing until something rubs it the wrong way. 😉
Inkay evolves into Malamar at level 30, but you have to be holding your 3ds upside down.
Tyrunt and Amaura evolves at level 39 during the day and night respectively.
Sliggoo evolves into Goodra at level 50, but only when it is raining.
Sylveon: Once Eevee knows a Fairy type move, you need to increase its affection in Pokemon-Amie two hearts it will evolve into Sylveon.
Event Pokemon: As of the time that I am writing this, only Diancie and Hoopa have been distributed as event Pokemon for Gen 6. And Hoopa has only been released in Japan. Celebi was distributed to anyone who at least tried the Pokemon bank. And relatively recently, a Shiny Rayquaza event happened, giving everyone the opportunity to have the magnificent black dragon. Volcanion has yet to be released legitimately.
The Kalos regional Pokedex has 450 Pokemon in it to begin with. I know that once the National Pokedex is open in ORAS, several other Pokemon from various generations become available. I haven’t looked at every single one to make sure it is obtainable between games, but it seems as though the makes of these games have made it at least somewhat feasible to catch’ em all in the 6th generation. Again, if you did not have access to Wifi and the GTS, this would be a very difficult task, but definitely possible.
Difficulty Rating: 8 out of 10 (at this moment when Wifi and Friend Safaris exist, who knows in the future)
My advice, if you intend to completed any future Pokedex, is to have a “living Pokedex” (one of each Pokemon reserved just for posterity) kept in your Pokemon Bank. In completing each Pokedex from Gen 3 onward, I did the silly thing of only sending the most evolved version of each Pokemon forward to the next game with the intention of breeding. While this worked just fine, it was a pain to continue to breed (incense :-s) and level up some Pokemon in order to complete my Pokedex. But since I knew there would be the Pokemon Bank, I finally took the time to have a living Pokedex. Because of this, I was able to fill my Pokedex in OR in roughly 10 minutes. When the 7th generation of Pokemon comes out, I assume I will be able to link it to my Pokemon bank and only need to collect the Pokemon from Gen 7.
For those of you who have, thank you for taking the time to read this. Best of luck to you if you intended to complete a Pokedex in any generation. It can be a very time consuming feat. But you know what they say:
As always, you can find this article and others at my blog: http://snagspokemonblog.blogspot.com/
Don’t forget to check out the article on “The Fluff” on the same topic from The Fluffiest Whimsicott.
And as an added bonus, if you made it to the end, I have included pictures of the diplomas I have received in game for completing each Pokedex (and yes, the ones for Gen 3 & 4 are mine).
Smell ya later!