Reviewing Sapphosian Pokémon From “Ephemerald”

Okay, I’ve had some time with this hack I mentioned a little while ago, I’ve played it, I’ve finished it, I’ve become possibly the first person in the world to legitimately complete the Pokédex (I was the first person known to the creator, at any rate), so I think I’m in a good position to talk about some of the Pokémon designs a bit.

In case you’re just now joining us, or need a reminder, Ephemerald is a ROM hack of Emerald where almost every Pokémon has been redesigned and had its type changed.  The result is a bizzarro alternate-universe version of the classic Hoenn region experience, featuring “Sapphosian” forms of every Pokémon from generations I-III, crammed into a single region.  All the dual-types are unique and every possible combination is covered, but there are multiple single-typed Pokémon of each type.  Because this is generation III, attacks are classed as physical or special based on their type, rather than individually; for this reason, a lot of Sapphosian Pokémon have had their usual attack and special attack stats flipped to whatever suits their new type and movepool best (a courtesy that was not always given to officially designed Pokémon pre-gen IV).  There are also a couple of changes to the type chart balance, a heightened level curve, smarter movesets on most bosses and a couple of fun little extras here and there (although the story and most of the dialogue are basically untouched).

Anyway.  I can’t, and frankly don’t want to, discuss every last one of Ephemerald’s 382 redesigns, so I’m going to get a random number generator to pick ten of them, and hopefully this will serve as a rough barometer of How Good, collectively, all the Sapphosian Pokémon are.  I propose we tackle this enterprise as a field test of a perfect new rating system for Pokémon that came to me in a dream.  This system is based around five key attributes that were revealed to me through mystical channels as the cornerstones of good Pokémon design.  These are:

  • Cunning
  • Mystique
  • Disco
  • Chewiness
  • Curiousness

All of which are, I think, self-explanatory.

I will also mention a sixth attribute of each Pokémon, which is not part of what makes a Pokémon good but is very important anyway, and that is how much Respect I have for it.  Thus, we shall arrive at ultimate Truth.

So, let’s fire up the numberationer and get started! Obviously, do not read on if you wish to play this hack unspoiled.

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bold0727 asks:

Remember when you made Squiddy? Maybe you should ask your fans to make a rom hack with an entirely new region and Pokemon the community made! It would be a really great project.

Oh gods no.  I mean… not like it wouldn’t be kind of cool but no way do I have the time to coordinate something like that.  Besides, it’s not like there aren’t other people doing that.  What would me and my readers specifically bring to that kind of project?