Pokémon is one of the most popular game franchises in history, ranking in as the third best-selling video game series released (as long as we’re not counting mobile apps). With Pokémon Conquest recently released in Europe and America and Pokémon Black and White 2 just released on Japanese shores, the Pokémon community is still in full swing. As an avid fan and player myself, here are my top five moments in the game (spoiler alert!).
5) Starting a New Game
There’s something very nostalgic about starting a new game. This might just be me, but knowing I’m about to pour another fun twenty hours into a game (if you play through quickly, that is) always gives me a good feeling. Picking a name, gender, starter, and collecting the first few Pokémon of the team are always fun. At this point in the game, you don’t have to worry too much about training strong Pokémon—just relaxing and learning how to play again.
4) Beating the Elite Four and Champion
This is essentially the same as beating the game, so of course it would make it to this list. These trainers are all quite tough, and facing them with no Pokémon center at your disposal is a change compared to the Gyms you’ve fought until this point, so beating them is always a triumph. Recent games have the Elite Four strengthen their teams for a second round, which makes training and playing fun even after you beat them the first time.
3) Catching a Legendary
Legendaries are few and far between, and players have to search through caverns, volcanoes, labyrinths, and whole regions to find and capture them. Whittling down their HP is only half the battle, and the rest is surviving their attacks while waiting to get lucky enough when you throw your Ultra Balls (or your own weapon of choice). Only one Master Ball exists per game, so collecting legendaries is a difficult but rewarding task. Once you catch them, you have a powerful Pokémon on your team that could easily sweep the Elite Four and any in-game trainers you come across.
2) Completing a Trainer Card
I have never met a single person who did this, online or off. You might find some people by sifting through more popular Pokémon communities, but it’s a task greater than anything else the games have to offer. Not only do you have to beat the Elite Four and complete your Pokédex, but you also have to defeat hundreds of trainers in whatever battle system your game has, collect whatever ribbons or collectables the game’s minigame gives out, and so on. Beating the Elite Four is the easiest of the five trainer card tasks, and the other four take far more time than beating the game does. Finishing it is the most difficult achievement you can get in the game, and only a select (and very patient) few 100-percenters will be able to get it.
1) Beating Red
Anyone who played through both the first and second generation of Pokémon remembers facing Red. Of course the final boss of a Pokémon sequel would be the protagonist and Champion from the last game! Red has the strongest team out of all the games and his team is made up of starters and event Pokémon from the first generation. He’s the toughest trainer there is to beat in the entire game, and once you do, the credits roll. Red disappears from the mountaintop you find him in. Knowing that you’re stronger than you started out as and finally being able to beat the final boss and see those credits roll is one of the best feelings in any game, and Pokémon is no exception.
With the amount of customization and sheer number of things to do in each main Pokémon installment, there are plenty of things that this list doesn’t cover. Not everyone plays the game the same way, and some only like a few games in the series. Planning a team, picking a starter, beating gym leaders, and evolving Pokémon are just a few more things that make the series awesome. Feel free to list your own favorite parts in the comment section!