Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 @ 7 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Update (8:00 PM): Added exciting new info and made a few points clearer.

We have just learned some exciting LEGEND: HeartGold and SoulSilver news concerning new game mechanics and set info thanks to our longtime contact in Japan, Kareda. The news is as follows...

  • The EX / LV.X of the "LEGEND" era will be called "Great Pokemon." They are Pokemon that "specialize in battling." There will be eight of them in the set. Their names will be in holofoil.
  • A new game mechanic will be placing two individual Legendary Pokemon cards together to form an even stronger card with better attacks and HP. Ho-Oh and Lugia are confirmed to be combinable in this manner. We are not too sure how this will work yet. The cards may be named "Lugia LEGEND" and "Ho-Oh LEGEND" in reference to the set block's title (speculation).
  • As we reported previously, the set consists of two mini-sets which will be combined to form our English set. There are 70 cards in each of the two mini-sets.
  • One secret card per set.
  • No overlap between the two sets, except for eight basic Energy cards.
  • The sets will feature redesigned basic Energy cards. Each Energy type will also apparently feature silhouettes of certain Pokemon. We're not exactly sure how this will turn out - collectible Energy?
  • Each booster pack contains 11 cards, two of which are holo (one regular holo and one holo Energy card).
  • The Random Basic Pack sold along the release of the set has 60 cards. 30 are random cards from the mini-sets, and six of those are holos. The other 30 cards are basic Energy (not the redesigned ones). The pack also comes with a bonus Red Gyarados card not from the sets.
  • Using the miracle of math, our English set should have 135 cards (71-8, x2, +1, +8).
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Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 @ 11 AM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Nintendo has issued a press release stating that at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle tomorrow, attendees who visit the Nintendo booth will be able to play Pokemon Rumble, the English name of Melee! Pokemon Scramble. You can read an excerpt of the press release below. No release date is known yet.

Additionally, Nintendo will debut a new WiiWare game at the booth: Pokemon Rumble. Pokemon Rumble lets you battle with Pokemon like never before. Up to four players at once can team up and unleash powerful attacks as enemies surround them in this action-packed game.

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Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 @ 8 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master
HGSS Girl Beta

Our HeartGold and SoulSilver coverage begins next week! Last time when we covered Platinum, we provided the quickest and most thorough coverage you could find anywhere on the internet, playing through the game nonstop. This time there will be four of us playing the two new games - Bangiras, Yaminokame, Jason, and myself, so you can bet we will have all the news, all the changes, and all the excitement covered for all you fans as we have in the past. Be sure to check back here next week and make sure to tell your friends!

The artwork in the new banner above has been drawn by Xous, our favorite site artist! We hope you like it! Xous had to go through a lot of trouble translating my terrible artwork into a recognizable image, as you can see to the right. Lugia is a reference to a certain monster Lapras is based off, Ho-Oh's pose comes from the first episode of the show, and HGSS girl is under attack because we miss Kris' old design (I added the blood at the last minute; hope no one is offended). Think you can draw better than Xous? Well, you may be able to show off your skills soon...

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Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 @ 5 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Getting ready to move into my new apartment this week so we can cover HeartGold and SoulSilver's release next week.

Uxie from Legends Awakened (#43)

The official Go-Pokemon website has announced that starting with this year's Pokemon League, players will be able to earn two special promo cards per season. At least one of the cards will be a highly-sought after card that competitive Pokemon players use in their decks all the time; both promos will be printed on a new holofoil pattern never seen before.

Starting with the first season, Pokemon Leagues will give players who meet certain requirements Uxie from Legends Awakened and an unidentified Snorlax card. Uxie can go for $10-$25 on eBay as can other staple cards, such as Claydol from Great Encounters. Thus, Pokemon Leagues will make it easier to obtain important cards in competitive decks while also bolstering attendance. In addition to the two promos, players can also earn exclusive Pokemon-themed DS skins.

Thank you POP and TPCi! Now more players will be motivated to attend League and it will actually benefit our decks! To find a League near you, you can use the League Locator on the official Go-Pokemon website.

The 2009-2010 league cycle launches on September 21st, and Trainers everywhere will be grabbing their cards and gathering at their local leagues to have fun!

Starting with the Rival season, players of all ages will be able to enjoy all-new seasonal themes based on the toughest Pokémon Trainers in the Sinnoh region, earn all-new league rewards, and even earn credits toward our revamped Player Rewards program! This cycle also marks the first time that the Pokémon League features prizes specifically for Pokémon video game players!

Each season, players will have a chance to earn two different promotional cards. The cards will be printed in a new foil pattern never before used on any other Pokémon card, and not only do they look amazing, but they are also cards that competitive players will be happy to include in their favorite decks! For example, Rival season will offer players a chance to earn Snorlax and Uxie—both of which are popular and instantly recognizable!

In addition to the promo cards, players who play in multiple league seasons and meet certain goals will also have the opportunity to earn unique league-themed Nintendo DS™ skins! These DS skins are available exclusively through league participation and will be rewarded every other season.

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Sunday, August 30th, 2009 @ 9 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

The past week's quiz question was, "Which of the following popular 'animals' has NOT been made into a Pokemon?" The correct answer was Buckbeak from Harry Potter. All of the other "animals" were absorbed into the Pokemon franchise in some shape or form.

  • Buckbeak (41.0%, 2,064 Votes) - There is no Pokemon that looks or is designed in spirit of Buckbeak.
  • Uri Geller (15.0%, 754 Votes) - His "ability" to bend spoons using psychic powers (trickery) was used to make the Pokemon Kadabra, whose Japanese name is Yungerer as a nod to his inspiration. Unfortunately, Geller discovered a Dark Kadabra card and took insult: "Nintendo turned me into an evil, occult Pokemon character. Nintendo stole my identity by using my name and my signature image." He took Nintendo to court and sued for millions, but the case was apparently thrown out. However, Kadabra was never made into a Pokemon card again after Skyridge. At Worlds 2006, I asked Pokemon Card Laboratory why Kadabra was absent from the card game and got a "my-lips-are-sealed" motion, despite them telling me other things about the TCG that I asked. In 2008, I interviewed Masamitsu Hidaka, the old director of the show, and he stated that the case was not in fact settled and that Kadabra was put aside for now. Either way, we still don't have a Kadabra card! To top all of it off, Geller can't even bend spoons with his mind or detect water like he claims.

  • Godzilla (13.0%, 642 Votes) - Uh, hello? Tyranitar? Rawrrrrr.
  • Totoro (11.0%, 546 Votes) - Totoro is the mascot of Studio Ghibli and the creation of Hayao Miyazaki, the same guy who made Nausicaa, Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, etc. Totoro sleeps a lot like Snorlax, and chibi Totoro is obviously the inspiration for Munchlax. Compounding this is the fact that both companies (Ghibli and Pokemon) know each other on a personal level, as seen in this radio show that aired before the Shaymin and Ponyo movies came out in Japan last year. By the way, if you've never seen a Ghibli movie (whether you are a child, adult, teen, or old person), you are seriously missing out!
  • Yeti (8.0%, 377 Votes) - Yeti, or the abominable snowman, is the obvious inspiration for Abomasnow.
  • Kappa (7.0%, 355 Votes) - Kappa is a Japanese monster that lives in lakes - it likes to eat children and sometimes adults. When I went to Japan and stayed at Lake Biwa for a few days with my school, which is in a rural area, some of the locals actually believed it exists. I asked what to do if you come across it and they said it has a dish on its head that you have to break, which will drown it. Golduck's PokeDex entries state it is often mistaken for Kappa, but the Ludicolo line seems to more physically resemble what a Kappa would be.
  • Nessie (6.0%, 288 Votes) - Nessie, or the Loch Ness monster, is the inspiration for Lapras (it is a sort of Plesiosaurus). Its original English name was even going to be Ness, as seen on that promotional sticker given out before Pokemon was released in America.
  • Total Voters: 5,026
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Saturday, August 29th, 2009 @ 1 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

A new reverse-holo POP 9 Raichu is now available at stores like Target in a Supreme Victors blister pack. The Raichu uses the same holo paper as the POP 9 Rotom, except it's reverse holo. The blister pack comes with a booster pack of the set, a POP 8 pack, and a coin, and retails for $4.99. Click the thumbnail below for a larger scan, courtesy of Omahanime.

Raichu from POP 9 (#3, holo)
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Thursday, August 27th, 2009 @ 8 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Dialga promo #49 is now available at stores like Target and Wal-Mart. It comes in a poster pack with two Supreme Victors booster packs, two POP 9 packs, and a poster featuring Supreme Victors card images. The package retails for $9.99. Click the thumbnail below for a larger scan of Dialga. Thanks go to Omahanime for scanning the card!

Dialga Diamond and Pearl Promo #49
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Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 @ 7 AM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Three new trailers for HeartGold and SoulSilver are available to people who have Japanese Wii consoles, and someone on YouTube has kindly put them together into one video and uploaded them. The first trailer reveals the cut-shot of Ho-Oh's perch, the Break Block Pokethlon game, Gym Leader Jasmine's sprite, the interior of Violet City Gym, and a double battle against Entei and Raikou. The second trailer features impressive commercial CGI of Lugia, its three Legendary Birds, Ho-Oh, and its three Legendary Beasts. It reveals that headbutt trees return in the two remakes, as an Entei is seen ramming one, and then shows Suicune's previously unseen sprite in a double battle. The final trailer begins with new CGI of the Johto starters and Pichu, then shows a wild Suicune in Kanto. The trailer also reveals that Munchlax, despite being a Diamond and Pearl Pokemon, can be captured on the PokeWalker. You can watch all three trailers in the video below.

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Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 @ 1 AM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

The last quiz asked, "Which of the following is least likely to happen in Pokemon movies?" The correct answer was "Characters using their fists to defeat the villain rather than their Pokemon." While it has happened before, it is the least likely to occur. I realize that "Characters experiencing amnesia regarding movie events when in the TV show" does not actually take place within the movies, but the spirit of the question was obvious. Try this week's quiz! If you know exactly who each of those popular names are, consider yourself a pop culture expert!

Wild Pokemon running out of their habitat following a crash or explosion.
Celebi movie, Darkrai movie, Shaymin movie (and all of the time in the show). If something crashes in the wild, expect the next shot to show Pokemon running out with high-pitched voices.

A revival or death.
Being in a Pokemon movie is hazardous. Ash dies and is revived in Mewtwo, Lugia is "revived" or healed in 2000, Celebi dies and is revived in 4Ever, Latios "dies" in Heroes, Lucario dies, Darkrai "dies" (sort of), Giratina 99% "dies," and *SPOILER* Pikachu "dies" in Arceus. When I talked to a Pokemon official at Worlds in 2005, they stated that Pokemon never die. Lucario would disagree, though the movie came out just a month before Worlds that year.

Ash running into a barrier to break it.
First movie punches Mewtwo's barrier, second movie runs into Moltres' cage barrier, third movie runs into the Unown's barrier, fifth movie runs into Latios' cage barrier. Note that he has never broken any of the barriers. Maybe that's why he stopped after the fifth movie.

A misunderstanding or communication error.
Do I really have to list them all?

A plot focusing on traveling to somewhere.
Beginning of Mewtwo movie, all of the Lugia movie, on a smaller scale in the Entei movie, on a smaller scale in the Celebi movie, all of the Jirachi movie, half of the Lucario movie, most of the Manaphy movie, all of the Shaymin movie, *SPOILER* through time in the Arceus movie.

Legendaries beating the tar out of each other.
Self-explanatory. Mewtwo vs. Mew; Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres vs. Lugia and each other; Deoxys vs. Rayquaza; Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai (the name of the movie!); Shaymin vs. Giratina (sort of); Dialga, Palkia, Giratina vs. Arceus.

Everything resetting to how it was before the problems started.
Mewtwo stopping the storm and erasing Ash and crew's memories, the world's natural balance being restored in Lugia, the crystallization disappearing in Entei, Altomare's defense mechanisms shutting down and the Fossil Pokemon returning to their bones, Groudon returning to the earth and Jirachi going back to sleep, the Tree of Origin in Lucario returning to normal, Alamos Town restored in Darkrai, *SPOILER* Arceus restoring Miichina. It's like the stories unwind a thread of yarn, bad stuff happens, and then the thread is woven back to normal as if nothing ever happened.

Characters experiencing amnesia regarding movie events when in the TV show.
A recent example would be Officer Jenny explaining to Ash and crew about Darkrai in "Sleepless in Pre-Battle" (the Darkrai vs. Cresselia episode). Other times they either don't acknowledge that they have seen the Legendary Pokemon before or pull out their PokeDex as if they have never heard of it.

Telepathy used as an excuse to forego animating mouth movements.
Every movie involving Pokemon who talk. Mewtwo, Lugia, Entei, Jirachi, Lucario, Darkrai, Shaymin, and Arceus all conveniently use telepathy. No Legendary Pokemon that speaks has ever used its mouth to predominantly talk.

Bad guys except for Team Rocket getting arrested.
Lawrence III, Annie and Oakley, The Phantom, Zero. Avoiding arrest is about the only thing Team Rocket is successful at. Of course if they were arrested, there would be no more show, as almost every single episode revolves around them giving our "heroes" some action or trouble.

Characters using their fists to defeat the villain rather than their Pokemon.
Practically never. The closest we get is Ash trying to punch Mewtwo in the first movie and *SPOILER* him struggling with Giishin in Arceus.

  • Characters using their fists to defeat the villain rather than their Pokemon. (61.0%, 7,563 Votes)
  • A revival or death. (10.0%, 1,262 Votes)
  • Bad guys except for Team Rocket getting arrested. (5.0%, 619 Votes)
  • Characters experiencing amnesia regarding movie events when in the TV show. (5.0%, 569 Votes)
  • Legendaries beating the tar out of each other. (4.0%, 528 Votes)
  • Wild Pokemon running out of their habitat following a crash or explosion. (3.0%, 425 Votes)
  • A misunderstanding or communication error. (3.0%, 364 Votes)
  • Ash running into a barrier to break it. (2.0%, 308 Votes)
  • Telepathy used as an excuse to forego animating mouth movements. (2.0%, 254 Votes)
  • A plot focusing on traveling to somewhere. (2.0%, 249 Votes)
  • Everything resetting to how it was before the problems started. (2.0%, 224 Votes)
  • Total Voters: 12,365
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Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 @ 8 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Last... time's quiz question asked, "Which of the following Gym Leaders did Ash most legitimately defeat to earn his badge?" This question was essentially asking which Gym Leader Ash defeated using his skills rather than some reason unrelated to defeating Pokemon to win. There are several ways to argue which badge Ash most legitimately earned. A Trainer should defeat the Gym Leader the first time around and by only defeating their Pokemon. That means the more interruptions, rematches, etc. that occur, the less legitimate winning the badge is.

After heavy discussion in our chat room, we have concluded Ash is a loser and that he did not defeat a single Gym Leader 100% legitimately. If we had to pick, he probably defeated Lt. Surge and Blaine using the most skill. Want to debate which badge he won most fairly? Discuss it on our forums!

  • Brock - Lost to Brock in the first match. Used an electric machine to power-up Pikachu rather than battle Pokemon to make it stronger. Caused sprinklers to weaken Onix. Chose not to finish the second match. Was handed the Boulder Badge despite not having defeated Brock.
  • Misty - Battled Misty instead of the technical Gym Leaders. Match interrupted by Team Rocket. Handed the Cascade Badge for defeating Team Rocket and because he "would have" won if he used Pikachu against Misty.
  • Lt. Surge - Lost the first match badly. Won the second match using speed and given the Thunder Badge.
  • Sabrina - Lost the first match badly. Went to Lavender Town and "borrowed" Haunter. Ran out of the second match when Haunter disappeared. Did not finish the third match. Handed the Marsh Badge for immobilizing Kadabra in Haunter making Sabrina laugh herself silly.
  • Erika - Tangela paralyzed Bulbasaur and Ash recalled it, she switched to Weepinbell and Charmander defeated it, Ash recalled Charmander for Pikachu after Gloom stunk up the place. Team Rocket burned the gym down and Ash saved Erika's Gloom. She handed him the Rainbow Badge not for defeating her, but for his bravery.
  • Koga - Pidgeotto lost to Venemoth and Ash sent out Charmander, but the battle was interrupted by Team Rocket. The match continued after Psyduck sent Team Rocket blasting off and Charmander defeated Koga's Golbat, granting Ash the Soul Badge. However, that would make them tied, meaning that either Koga cannot count or the continuation was actually considered an entirely new match.
  • Blaine - Lost to Blaine the first time. Ninetales defeated Squirtle, Pikachu zapped Rhydon's horn ("Aim for the horn!") and knocked it out, Magmar defeated Pikachu. Charizard defeated Magmar in the rematch.
  • Giovanni - Did not even battle Giovanni. Battled Team Rocket using Giovanni's Pokemon but defeated them.
  • Lt. Surge (35.0%, 8,008 Votes)
  • Brock (15.0%, 3,368 Votes)
  • Blaine (15.0%, 3,360 Votes)
  • Giovanni (11.0%, 2,414 Votes)
  • Koga (7.0%, 1,682 Votes)
  • Misty (7.0%, 1,668 Votes)
  • Sabrina (5.0%, 1,214 Votes)
  • Erika (4.0%, 885 Votes)
  • Total Voters: 22,598
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