Welcome back to Anything Goes! This week we start a 2-part article that will finish next week. In these articles, I will discuss the difficulty of completing a National Pokedex in each generation. I will discuss specific Pokemon and why they are difficult to obtain in that generation. The first part will go over completing the Pokedex in simpler times, before Wifi was introduced. This week we will do Generations 1-3.
So, when Pokémon first came out the tagline was “Gotta Catch ‘Em all,” which, back in the day, wasn’t such a big deal. 150 Pokémon! Not too bad! But at this point in the series, obtaining 700+ Pokémon can be a daunting task. In the following article, I am going to discuss the difficulties in completing a National Pokédex in each generation (which I have done) and maybe give you some pointers if you decide to attempt completing the Pokédex. Let’s Go!
All Generations – Version Exclusives
As you all know, each generation has Pokémon that are exclusive to each version. In each game, the best way to obtain version exclusives is to trade for it with a friend (from here on out “friend” will also imply that you have multiple versions of the game and trade with yourself) with other version and exchange the version exclusives.
Generation 1 – Red, Blue, & Yellow
The basic idea in Pokémon of trading and interacting with other players was perfected in this generation. There are some days where I wish you could go back to this style where you had to meet up with someone else and see if they had a specific Pokémon for you (as opposed to current day where you can find anyone online to trade you something or you can simply search for something on the GTS).
Starters: If you wanted each starter and all of its evolutions, there were really only two good ways to do this. If you were playing Red/Blue, you would need a friend to start a new game, trade you one of the starters you don’t, and do it all over again with the last one. This has to be done at the start of a game because if your friend trades you his evolved Blastoise at the end of the game, you are stuck with only Blastoise and not Squirtle or Wartortle because breeding didn’t exist. Or just main Yellow version where you get all of the starters in game anyway
Fossils: At Mt. Moon, you have the choice of obtaining either the Dome Fossil, which will become Kabuto, or the Helix Fossil, which becomes Omanyte. You need to trade with a friend who obtained the opposite of your choice and make sure they don’t evolve it for the same reasons as I explained in the starters section.
Hitmonlee/chan : As with the fossils, find a friend who chose the opposite of what you got and trade.
Eeveelutions: It is because of Eevee that you need at least 3 different games to complete the Pokédex. In Gen 1, Eevee only had the 3 evolutions of Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon; each of these evolved via elemental stone. But of course, you only got one of these per game.
Safari Zone: Oh, the Safari Zone. A place to obtain some rare Pokémon. There were several Pokémon obtainable only in the Safari Zone and many of them were extremely difficult to get. Chansey, Tauros, Scyther, Pinsir, Kangskhan, and Dratini are all Pokémon that are found exclusively in the Safari Zone (with a few exceptions I will discuss in the next section). This has been the cause of many hours of walking around, Bait, Rock, Ball, Rinse, Repeat… And many of these Pokémon run at the slightest flinch of anything. There is hope though! There is a glitch that occurs on the mysterious Cinnabar Island that allows you to encounter the Pokémon from the last area you entered. Using this trick, it becomes a lot easier to get these.
Game Corner: Team Rocket’s way to take money from customers (like any casino works) and sell some rare Pokémon in the process. At the Celadon Game Corner, you could trade in you coins (won or purchased) in exchange for Dratini, Scyther, Pinsir and Abra, to name a few. But the real purpose of this section as you may know is Porygon. I will also take this moment to rant a little bit about how those who had Red version got the short end of the stick. In Red, Porygon was worth 9999 coins while in Blue it was worth 6500 coins (roughly ⅔ the cost it is in Red). Also, Scyther is worth 5500 coins while its counterpart in Blue, Pinsir, is only a measly 2500 coins. What the heck Gamefreak! Anyway, Porygon is really hard to get either way.
Mew: Legitimately, the only way to get Mew in this generation (and just about any other generation) is to get it via event. Unless you do the “Mew Glitch” shown in this video. Using this glitch, you can also get a whole variety of Pokémon, if you do it right.
One more thing I should mention is that you can obtain many of the Pokemon listed (starters, Eevee, fossils, Hitmons) by playing through Pokemon Stadium, as well.
Difficulty Rating: 5 stars out of 10
Generation 2 – Gold, Silver, Crystal
For this generation, it is assumed you can trade Pokemon from a Gen 1 game, but there will be a few that I will mention that you could obtain in this generation. On that note, there are some Pokemon have to come from a Gen 1 game, most notably the starters, the fossils, the Legendary Birds, Mewtwo, and Mew.
Starters: Starters have become easier with the the advent of breeding. Now you can play your whole game and whenever you want you can ask your friend, “Hey could you breed me your starter? I get you one of mine.” In this way, you can also trade Gen 1 starters, fossils, and Eeveelutions and obtain their basic forms.
Friendship: This new mechanic made it so your Pokemon had to have a high level of Friendship with you in order for it to evolve. To bring this up, you could walk with your Pokemon, give it haircuts or massages or a variety of other things to show that you “cared” for the Pokemon just to get it to evolve. Pokemon that evolved this way (and were needed to fill your dex) were Crobat, Togetic, Espeon, Umbreon, and Blissey. Speaking of Eeveelutions, that brings me to…
Stones and other items that have limited occurrence: In this generation, evolution stones were rare resources. There were only a few you encountered in game, unlike in Gen 1 where you could buy as many as you wanted. With this as the case, you had to find someone from Gen 1 or 2 to trade for any evolutions you didn’t use your stones on. More significant were the held items that allowed trade evolution. You could only find one Kings Rock and Metal coat in one spot during the game so you had to chose between Scizor or Steelix and Sloking or Politoad (or hunt down Slowpoke and Magnemite which had a 5% chance of carrying the Kings Rock and Metal Coat, respectively).
Roaming Pokemon: This is the first time Roaming Pokemon were in a game. Once you met Raikou, Entei, and Suicune in Ecruteak City, the next time you meet them will be randomly in grassy patches in Johto. Oh, and when you find them, they will run away. But they do show up I your pokedex to indicate their location. Except the move every time you change routes or enter a building. Roaming Pokemon have been the bane of many a trainer. When I completed my Gen 2 dex, it was simply finding Raikou that made it a major pain to finish. At least in Crystal, they made Suicune an in-game event to make this a little easier.
Celebi: To get Celebi, you either needed to be in Japan to get the event for Celebi or hack it. The other way to do this is to use a glitch (or hack) Celebi into your game. Here is a link to a video that goes over the steps of one way to do this. Note: I have not done this glitch and a Celebi in Gen 2 has eluded me to this point. It is the one blemish in my series of completed Pokedexs.
Difficulty Rating: 7 stars out of 10
Generation 3 – Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Fire Red, Leaf Green (and Colosseum/XD)
Generation 3 is, in my opinion the hardest generation to complete a Pokedex. Nearly 400 Pokemon to collect, no previous games to mooch from and no GTS. Plus there are some other factors that make this generation extra difficult.
Generation 1 Pokemon: Everything from the Generation 1 section still applies, with the exception of breeding now happens which makes obtaining starters, fossils, Hitmons, and Eeveelutions are easier to do. Also, Mew is an exception, but I’ll talk about that.
Starters: Generation 3 starters are just like the ones in Gen 2. I will get to Gen 2 starters later.
Shedinja: Without a guide, this Pokemon could easily be missed. When Nincada evolves into Ninjask at level 20, it will shed its skin. If you have a Pokeball and an open spot in your party, you will get the special Shedinja.
Feebas and Milotic: This is probably the hardest part of Gen 3 Pokedex completion. In case you didn’t know, Feebas can be found by fishing (with any rod) on 6 random tiles on Route 119 which has nearly 300 tiles. It can take hours to find that. Not only is Feebas difficult to catch, but it evolves in a very obscure way. You have to make blue Pokeblocks of a relatively high quality and max out its Beauty stat. Level it up and now you have Milotic. This is probably the most hoops that have to be jumped through to get a Pokemon.
Fossils: Pick either the Root fossil for Lileep or the Claw Fossil for Anorith. Find a friend to trade for the other.
Clampearl: Again, you are faced with choice of taking a Deep Sea Tooth, which will evolve Clampearl into Huntail, or a Deep Sea Scale, which will evolve it into Gorebyss. Whichever one you choose, you need to make sure you have a friend with its counterpart.
Regis: Unless you understand Braille or have a guide, this is going to be hard. I’m not going to go into the specifics, but there is a Sealed Chamber that has Braille in it and it opens the tombs of the Golems. Each tomb has a puzzle, in Braille, that are cryptic even if they weren’t Braille.
Lati(o/a)s: They are roaming Pokemon. At least there is only one of them in each game.
Jirachi: If you preordered Pokemon Colosseum for the Gamecube, you got a bonus disc where you could send a Jirachi to a save file of Ruby or Sapphire. Not bad if you preordered the game back in 2003, but if you came late (as I did), eBay is your friend. With this, you can easily spam Jirachis by reseting a game a bunch of times. This is much easier than its Japanese counterpart…
Deoxys: There was an event that gave you a ticket to go to Birth Island for Emerald and Fire Red/Leaf Green. I originally missed this event, but was lucky to get a trade from someone that I met at an event for…
Mew: There was an event for Mew at Toys R Us, which I was able to make it to! Woohoo!
Generation 2 Pokemon/Colosseum/XD: Johto doesn’t exist in Generation 3. So, in order to complete the Pokedex, you can do a couple things. The best way I found to do this was to complete Colosseum (catch and purify every Shadow Pokemon). Doing this will give you the Legendary Beasts and access to the starters of Johto. You can get the majority of Johto Pokemon this way, but the Safari Zone in Emerald also has a lot of these. You also have to complete the 100 battle challenge in Colosseum to get Ho-oh (even though Ho-oh did have an event). Get Lugia by completing the main story for Colosseum XD. Oh but don’t forget in order to get any of these you need a special Gamecube to GBA cable link. 😀
Celebi: Again, a very elusive Pokemon, as it should be. Do you have a Japanese GameCube? Do you have the Japanese Bonus disc that came from Preordering Colosseum? Did you complete the entire Colosseum game purifying all of the Shadow Pokemon? If you have done all of these things, awesome! You can have a Celebi! If not… You need to get lucky. At the Mew event listed above, I met someone who was very willing to do a trade to fill dex information. From what I remember, he had a Japanese GameCube and played through the entire Japanese Colosseum game. He had a friend in Japan who sent him the bonus disc (or maybe sent him everything, I don’t know for sure), but he had a legitimate Celebi and let me have it for a fleeting moment to get the dex information.
Oh! And I almost forgot…
Incense breeding: This generation started incense breeding. You were given a Wynaut egg that would hatch in Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. If you wanted another one, you would have to breed a Wobbuffet holding Lax Incense. But the trickier one is to get Azurill. The only way to get Azurill is to breed a Marill or Azumarill holding the Sea Incense.
Difficulty Rating: 10 out of 10 stars since you have to trade between 5 GBA games and 3 GameCube games!
Thanks for reading! If you think I missed something significant, please comment! Come back next week where I will discuss completing the Pokedex for generations 4-6. Also, don’t forget to check out the article from The Fluffiest Whimsicott on the same topic and also check out my blog that features this articles and others. I have something really good in the works for my blog so keep checking back!
Smell ya later!