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North America

Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire

by Max Lake - March 9, 2001, 4:53 pm EST

The "Pokénomenon" continues to spread with the announcement of a new Pokémon game for GBA

Pokémon is now a worldwide phenomenon and is easily one of Nintendo's biggest franchises. A Pokémon game for Game Boy Advance was inevitable and been hinted at for a long time, one that would feature new monsters, new gameplay and would likely interact with the NGC. On March 7th, 2001 the game was been made official at a Nintendo Press Event in Japan.

The (tentative) Japanese name for the new game title is Pocket Monsters Game Boy Advance version. For now, we're calling it Pokémon Advance though we expect these general monikers to change to give way to something a bit more flashy.

Pokemon general producer Tsunekazu Ishihara strongly emphasized: "We have already started developing the new Pokemon title and it's progressing very steadily."

The simultaneous announcement of the GBA E-Card and the role this device will interact with the game adds even more excitement to the new game. We heard about this tidbit ages ago from Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi, when he disclosed some of the first info concerning Nintendo's online plans:

"We are planning to introduce an Internet business next March or April. The first step will be online sales of a brand new type of Pokémon cards."

So while we were expecting some kind of new Pokémon card, who knew that that they would be incorporated into actual gameplay?!? If you've read our hardware profile of the E-Card Reader, you get the general idea of how this will work. Its role in Pokémon Advance will enable gamers to read data from each E Card to check each Pokémons status, evolution, characteristics and even their voice! Each specialized card will serve as a tutorial of sorts, allowing gamers to fully appreciate how to best use each of captured creature.

We presume the game will otherwise play very similarly to the previous Pokémon GB titles & be a RPG with monster collection elements. However, no gameplay details have been solidified, although Nintendo has revealed a few of the new characters. (The following are the Japanese names and are subject to change for the U.S. release):

Luri Luri - A small, round blue mouse; its thin tail has a tip as big & round as its body.

Kakureon - This Pokémon looks like a lizard, with "Charlie Brown shirt" markings on its chest and a curled up tail.

Hoeruko - A mix between a mushroom and killer whale

Trainer - Not a new Pokémon but a brand new human character. This ain't your older brother's Pokémon trainer! Ash has been replaced by a new trainer character, who looks more futuristic. A Pokémon trainer for the new millennium!

Poké-fans in Japan can catch a sneak peek of these characters will appear in the Japanese Anime Pokémon feature film called - "Seleby: Toki wo Koeta Sogu" or "Celebi: Encounter Over Time." The film will open in July in Japan.

Because the cards have enough storage space to hold even mini-games, it's reported that the cards will incorporate this type of feature too. Because the E-Card Reader will not be out until Fall 2001, it is possible that Pokémon Advance will not be released until then, or just won't utilize the feature when it comes out. The former seems more likely however…

Whenever Pokémon Advance is released, expectations are already running high. As Poké-producer, Mr. Ishihara stated, "This game will be very important and will be the origin of a new Pokémon World."

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Genre RPG
Developer Nintendo
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire
Release Mar 18, 2003
jpn: Pocket Monsters Ruby & Sapphire
Release Nov 21, 2002
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