ByMichael Mitchell, writer at
Former Staff Writer for Now Loading. Currently tweeting things here:
Michael Mitchell

Pokémon Sun and Moon may be on the horizon, but that doesn't mean the upcoming entries (like all new Pokémon games) don't owe a bit of thanks to their predecessors. After all, in a series that continually builds on old games and formulas, Sun and Moon wouldn't be where they are without everything that came before them.

Which is why today, we're going to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the two games that not only brought Pokémon to the Nintendo DS, but also the games that introduced us to an entirely new generation of Pokémon.

So let's take a step back and look at what made these two games so great!

'Diamond and Pearl' Added 107 New Pokémon To The Roster

A new generation means a new batch of Pokémon, and Diamond and Pearl certainly delivered on that front. Adding 107 new Pokémon, Generation IV's debut puts it solidly in the middle in terms of additions, in front of Generations II and VI (100 and 72 additions, respectively) but behind Generations III and V (135 and 156 additions, respectively)

Among those additions are the above starter Pokémon, Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup. Personally, I went Piplup because it's adorable and how can you say no to a baby penguin?

But those weren't the only additions, and there are several that deserve shout-outs:

  • Arceus, the Pokémon no one I know seems to pronounce the same and the god of all Pokémon
  • Dialga, another freakin' deity that can control time
  • Darkrai, a Pokémon that causes nightmares and is creepy in the best ways
  • Lucario, a.k.a., the worse version Mewtwo in Smash Bros.
  • The new Eeveelutions, Leafeon and Glaceon
  • Munchlax, the chubby-baby version of Snorlax and also an adorable little scamp

The Sinnoh Region Was Introduced

Fitting with the game's theme of deity Pokémon, the Sinnoh region was introduced as the alleged first of all regions to have ever existed. Basically, it's kind of a big deal.

Before there was anything, there was nothingness. And in that nothingness, an Egg appeared and hatched from it Arceus. A little while later, Arceus decided to create a few more god-like Pokémon and gave them the abilities to control time or space (as one does).

A few Pokémon later, and Arceus decided to make some land to live on as well. This is the region of Sinnoh. Then, he took a big long nap.

In all seriousness, the origin story for Diamond and Pearl is one of the craziest and most interesting. It explains where Pokémon came from, how Pokémon gods work, and how the first human and Pokémon interacted with each other. For lore lovers, Diamond and Pearl were more valuable then, well, diamonds and pearls.

More Abilities To Make Battle More Complex (And Fun!)

This one is exactly what it sounds like: Pokémon gained more abilities in Diamond and Pearl, and these changed how players played the games. Different from moves, abilities allowed some sort of passive effect either while out in the world or while in combat. For example, the following abilities were added in Generation IV with the corresponding effects:

  • Solar Power: Boosts Sp. Atk, but lowers HP in sunshine.
  • Poison Heal: Restores HP if the Pokémon is poisoned.
  • Mold Breaker: Moves can be used regardless of Abilities.

There were several more added, but you get the idea. To top off the additional 47 abilities added in this generation, it was also changed so that Pokémon could have more than one possible ability (as opposed to just one in Generation III). On top of all this, there were still 113 new moves added with Generation IV, which meant a much larger diversity in which attacks you might encounter during battle.

Team Galactic Had Lofty Aspirations

Another generation, another team of bad guys. This time, however, the goals are much simpler than taking over or altering the Pokémon world: Team Galactic merely wanted to recreate the entire universe!

...Wait. Did I say simpler?

That's right, as leader of Team Galactic, Cyrus wants to destroy the universe so he can recreate it completely. In his own words, "It's far easier to create an entirely new world than to change this one! A new world in which I am the ruler of all things! I shall become a deity!"

Yeah. No big deal. Like most games, however, he doesn't ultimately succeed (duh), but I do find it kind of funny that after being defeated for the final time, Cyrus just sort of disappears. You'd thing trying to utilize the god of all Pokémon to destroy and rebuild the universe might land you some jail time, but I guess he found a way to circumvent that particular punishment.

Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection

Sadly, this is a feature that was shut down in May of 2014, but at the time, it was still an incredibly welcome addition. For the first time, players could trade Pokémon without the need to actually be near each other. It was a huge advantage that anyone looking to complete the Pokédex would want to capitalize on.

Additionally, it meant that if you owned both Diamond and Pearl, you could theoretically trade with yourself without needing a second DS system to do so. It wasn't a perfect system by any means, but it changed the way players interacted and thought about trading Pokémon.

All in all, Diamond and Pearl added a significant amount to the Pokémon series, and the games are better for it. While it's hard to capture every little detail in one list, hopefully we've helped remind you what made these games so great.

From us to you, Diamond and Pearl: Happy 10th birthday!

What Were Your Favorite Parts Of Diamond and Pearl?


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