It became clear early on that I would need to coordinate capture efforts across several Pokémon games in order to realize my goal of catching them all.
Modern titles feature the ‘GTS’, or Global Trade System, which allows players to deposit monsters in a register while specifying what they’d like in return. The tool sounds incredibly useful in theory, as you could make an immediate acquisition if you have what the other person wants. Unfortunately, the most frequently requested Pokémon, even on the most common and mundane listings, are ultra-rare legendary creatures that you can’t actually trade through the GTS, effectively rendering the system worthless. It’s baffling why so many people go out of their way to ruin the GTS, and disappointing for me since I thought I’d be able to significantly boost my collection through it. With the available Pokémon in Omega Ruby alone leaving me far short of my goal, I was going to need to do the bulk of this the old-fashioned way by diving into past titles and somehow trading up through the series.
Amazingly enough, moving monsters between generations is possible, but it is by no means convenient. There’s a particularly fantastic guide that very neatly lays out how to transport Pokémon, a process that relies heavily on having beaten the Elite Four in Pokémon Black/White/2 and either HeartGold or SoulSilver, not to mention owning at least one of every iteration of Nintendo handheld hardware. Luckily, I still have my DS Phat in addition to my New 3DS, and a GameBoy Advance SP. I gathered my copies of Ruby for the GBA, HeartGold, SoulSilver, and White 2 for the DS, Y and Omega Ruby for the 3DS, and then decided to do something a little crazy as the final preparation for this whole endeavor: shifting between the Pokémon Bank application and local storage in Omega Ruby, I arranged my current inventory of captured critters by their National Pokédex number, leaving spaces for those I haven’t yet tracked down. It took 24 boxes (30 spaces per box) to cover all 721, and although a time-consuming task, it has proven to be more convenient than using the actual in-game Pokédex for tracking my progress.
I first wanted to transport Pokémon from HeartGold up, including the shiny Gyarados you acquire through that game’s story. The process gets initiated in White 2‘s Transfer Lab, utilizing the old DS Download Play option to run an app on a second system where you select exactly six monsters to move from HeartGold. There’s an unskippable mini-game built into the process that has you drawing the string of a bow on the touch screen and releasing it to shoot Pokéballs at the six Pokémon you selected, who are now all hopping between bushes on the upper screen. While not difficult, it’s annoying to have to do this for every single transaction. Once they’ve been re-caught, the game warns you that the transfer will be permanent, and asks if you’re really, really sure you want to proceed, presumably in case you’d only come this far because you just wanted to play that bow mini-game.
The trip from White 2 up to Omega Ruby is a bit easier, but not free. You need the Pokémon Bank 3DS app, which requires a $5 yearly operational fee, and the PokéTransporter app, which comes as a free download through Bank. The sole purpose of PokéTransporter is to rip the entire contents (not just six, but as many as are present) of Box 1 from the PC in your copy of Black/White/2 and send it to the Transport Box in Bank, and from there you can freely move your Pokémon to X/Y/Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, back and forth between these modern titles as much as you like.
After a few successful transfers from HeartGold and White 2, and bringing in the few monsters I’d collected in Y, my Pokédex was at 484 total caught Pokémon. I’m just two acquisitions short of completing the Hoenn Pokédex specific to Omega Ruby, which seems like a reasonable short-term goal to aim for next on this crazy mission.
While I cover the collecting side of Pokémon, Deb will be chronicling her exploits with the battling side in her PokéMonsters articles.