Pokemon – A Return To Johto!

On Friday May 1st, 2009, the official Pokemon web site made an announcement that on Sunday, May 10th, the newest Pokemon game would be revealed to the world. The announcement will be made on the Japanese TV show Pokemon Sunday during the Pokemon Game Arena segment. You can read the announcement (if you can read Japanese) by clicking on the link above and scrolling down to information about the May 10th Broadcast (it’s the one with the red jpg I posted above.).

An announcement teaser was shown featuring Chimchar, Lucario and the cast of Pokemon Sunday gazing up at two party balls, one gold and one silver. This is, of course, a direct reference to the second generation of Pokemon games, Pokemon Gold and Silver, along with the remix, Pokemon Crystal. Fans have been waiting, demanding and salivating over a remake since 2004, and come May 10th, you’ll finally be getting the official announcement.

Of course, if you’ve been reading Diehard GameFAN or Beckett’s Pokemon Collector Magazine for a while, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been dropping hints as to the official announcement since the beginning of the year. I was even pretty blatant about it in my Pokemon Platinum review in mid March. I also gave the exact date of the announcement in a feature entitled Best. Pokemon. Game. Ever. a week later.

Longtime readers also know I receive two different Pokemon paychecks for work that I do both here in the States and across the ocean, as I disclose this information everytime I write a Pokemon review. As such, I’m sure you’re expecting me to spill the beans before CoroCoro publishes screenshots and information on May 15th. Unfortunately, although I know the exact nature of the game and the titles, I can’t reveal them here due to some confidentiality requirements. What I can do is dispel a few rumours for you all.

1. The games (yes, there will be two) are NOT called Pokemon DuskGold and DawnSilver. These names are not trademarked by Nintendo, Creatures Ltd., Game Freak OR the Pokemon Company. Part of the reason this rumour came about is because of the Dusk and Dawn stones introduced in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. However a simple check shows neither website domain is owned by any of the parties that would (Creatures Inc., Game Freak, The Pokemon Company, or Nintendo). This is a bad rumour based on poorly written Pokemon articles claiming both stones evolve Johto related Pokemon. This is not true. The Dusk Stone does evolve the Johto originated Pokemon Misdreavus and Murkow, but the Dawn Stone evolves two Pokemon from Hoenn aka Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire (Snorunt and Kirlia).

2. There is a rumour floating about that PokemonWhiteGold and MoonSilver would be the names. No. This is not the case either. Pokemonwhitegold IS a redirect to Nintendo.com, but notice PokemonMoonsilver.com is not. Nintendo of America purchased Pokemonwhitegold.com in 2002.

3. The game’s release date is still hush-hush, but I will remind you all that this November is the 10th anniversary of Pokemon Gold and Silver in Japan. So there’s more than a slight chance you’ll be seeing these remakes hit Japan then.

4. There have been rumours that this will be a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game set in Johto. THIS IS INCORRECT AND 100% false. This is confusion by Western readers and journalists between the upcoming Johto games and the recently released Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky which was released on April 18th, 2009. This is an understandable confusion when you’re trying to sift through Pokemon websites written in a language you don’t understand. To learn more about Eots, you can read my review of the Japanese version of the game , which will be hitting US stores around the same time the Johto games will be released in Japan.

5. There were some rumours that the return to Johto would not be a game ala Fire Red and/or Leaf Green, but instead something akin to a new Pokemon Snap or other Pokemon spin off that just HAPPENED to be set in the Johto region. I can confirm this is not the case, although I really would like another Pokemon Snap or Pokemon XD/Coliseum.

6. No, the anime is not going back to Johto, unless it’s for a special one-shot or the like. I will say that Pokemon: The Johto Journeys has the greatest theme song out of all the seasons of the anime. No, I have no idea when or if the Johto Journey episodes will be compiled into a full DVD set. I have nothing to do with that in any way, shape, or form.

So there you go. A quick rundown of what you can expect to hear on Pokemon Sunday next week. I’ve tried to dispel all the big rumours around the Pokefan communities with this editorial. For those of you wanting the solid title and screenshots, you’re going to have to watch Pokemon Sunday on the 10th, or you’ll have to check out sites like this, Serebii, Pokebeach, and Bulbapedia for screencaps and a breakdown of the episode once it has aired. Diehard GameFAN will also have game screenshots for you next week the same day CoroCoro hits the stand in Japan, so as not to step on their toes.

Until next time Pokemaniacs…

EDIT: May 6th, 2009 @ 8:55pm

As the point of this piece was to dispel rumours rather that start them, I just wanted to add another little piece to this. For those of you curious on how to check the validlity of a possible Pokemon game name, you can do one of two things. The first is to check a domain ownership search site and see who owns what. For example, if you type in Pokemonwhitegold, you’ll see that not only does Nintendo own it, but it is a redirect to Nintendo.com. You can also check with the US or Japanese Trademark registry websites and see who owns those exact terms, if anyone.

Pokemonmoonstone.com however is not owned by Nintendo. In fact…I own it. That’s one of the reasons I’m pretty sure Game Freak is not naming a Pokemon game Pokemon Moon Stone any time soon. If they had, they would have owned the domain and trademark. If you check to see who owns PokemonMoonStone.com you’ll see that well….I just bought it a few minutes ago for ten dollars. There is NO WAY this could have happened if this was going to be the eventual US name for the game. Nintendo and Pokemon are smarter than that and this would have been purchased YEARS ago. Of course, I only purchased this to prove a point regarding this and how each and everyone of you can test possible game titles and if they are real, or someone pulling your leg. Look, here’s my confirmation email from GoDaddy.com!

EDIT: May 6th 10:58pm

I just realized I bought Moonstone instead of Moonsilver. D’oh. That’ll teach me to write an update with a killer migrane. I suppose it’s a good thing that I own PokemonMoonSilver.com too. See what I do for you kids? I just spent twenty dollars on domain names I’ll never use to explain how to try and debunk or prove rumours.

Edit: May 8th, 9:42am

Oh look, everything I wrote above was 100% correct without the slightest bit of error! Thanks to the majority that believed me and no offense taken to the minority that didn’t. You guys have to start trusting me though.

P.S. Yes, that is me over at Pokecommunity.



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30 responses to “Pokemon – A Return To Johto!”

  1. tdawg Avatar

    awsome i hope

  2. David Avatar

    As a huge Johto (and gsc) fan, I have to say this piece of news has made my day!

  3. pedro Avatar

    As a huge Johto (and gsc) fan, I have to say this piece of news has made my day!

  4. Grotle Avatar

    I heard that Lucario’s name spelled backwards in Japanese (with like the sylabbles reversed) was “Oracle”, and the English name was simply a romanization of that?

    That sure is a coincidence that your name in Japanese happened to be that close that it worked out that way, huh?

    But wow, that sure is an honor! I would never have guessed Gamefreak would name such a headlining Pokemon after a guy who works for American publications, but I guess you can never know!

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Hi Grotle. You’re obviously new to DHGF or my writings.

      I should point out that the “Lucard = Lucario” is a running joke with my long time readers and other people that I work with that dabble in Pokemon. It started off with other Beckett staffers and some Pokemon employees making the comment that he was named after me because of how close it is to my name (The nsme reason I sometimes get Arikado due to being A.Lucard). I don’t think they were necessarily serious, but it’s a cute story and so I asked if I could occasionally make the claim with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek and was told, “Hey, why not? It funny.” So the name linkage stuck.

      Truth be told, It’s more than likely just a freaky coincidence that a lot of us play off of similar to the vampire jokes I get from my friends at Konami. I would STRONGLY advise not to take the “Lucario is named after me” comments seriously. I realise that the internet sometimes muffles the tone in which one writes, especially if it is your first time reading someone. If someone in creative really did name it after me due to my previous work and relationship with the franchise, then I’m flattered. If the comments were orignally made as a joke due to the sheer conincidence, then that’s fine too. Either way, it’s a fun story to share with friends, co-workers and readers. And it’s far superior to the “ARE YOU DRACULAZ?” comments I’ve been saddled with since Symphony of the Night. :-)

      Just you know, please don’t think I own a Jackal fursuit or anything. EW.

  5. TTEchidna Avatar

    Guess who’s dying waiting for Saturday evening (here in the US).

    Yeah, me.

    Mostly it’s so that I can perform the necessary updates to BP, including making new templates for these games (I’ve got the colors picked out already), the page for them, and everything…


    Please Ninty, don’t wait for the US’s tenth anniversary. As much as I’d love to start from New Bark on October 15, 2010 as I did on that day in 2000, I want my GSDS nao.

    …speaking of that abbreviation. Do they throw it around at the GF offices? Do the creators call it GSDS, or do they use the actual abbreviations that we’ll find out on Saturday?

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Hey TTEchinda! How are you doing? I think Bulbapedia is a really nice site. It’s a great little fan community.

      I’m really looking forward to the announcement being public as well. I think I asked over a dozen times this weekend, “Are you sure it’s not Arceus related? Areceus is Gold and Silver (kind of), so is this a swerve about the movie or the final download opportunity? Are you guys screwing with me?” Each time I was told, “Just keep dropping Johto hints.” It was the Pokemon Platinum reveal all over again. I remember the nasty comments I got when I was allowed to reveal Pokemon Platinum in Beckett’s mag and how many people thought I was lying or a douche. Now that 1UP, Joystiq, Gamespot and the like have picked up and are running with the Johto story, I feel a lot less stressed then I was Saturday night writing this piece.

      Of course I’m still bitter about the Pokemon Groundbreakers incident. I wrote like six different articles on those figures and how to best use them or make teams with them…and they never came out properly. Curse you Figures division! It’s just proof that just because you’re told something and you trust your sources, that what you’ve been told isn’t always going to be the end result.

      I can’t comment on anything related to the announcement save that it is Johto related. Even one Sunday hits in Japan, CoroCoro still has first dibs on a lot of the information.

  6. Fox Avatar



    So that’s out of my system. Anyway, yeah I’m pumped. Silver‘s my all-time favorite game, so I’m quite literally giddy with anticipation in regards to the announcement. Though realistically, I have to admit that I don’t think a remake could topple the originals, but I say this only because I’ve already established ties with the GBC versions, so yeah I’m biased.

    This article quite possibly made my week.

  7. Omar Ben-Ali Avatar

    for the pokemon announcement on may 10, what time does the show start???

  8. Omar Ben-Ali Avatar

    for the pokemon announcement on may 10, what website can you watch the show at?

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      You can’t watch it online, unless someone torrents it afterwards or puts it on YouTube. At least not to my knowledge.

  9. Nebula91 Avatar

    WOW! My first time visiting this site and the best nws I could possibly hear.
    I loved G/S so much when I was younger and bought Pokemon Gold the day it came out. I’ll surely doing the same for it again! ^_^

  10. hellmetal789 Avatar

    damn there are no live streams xD.

    nice post Alex this article makes a lot of sense thanks for taking out some of those rumors :)

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      I told you guys! My post was 100% correct!

  11. Fox Avatar

    So I have a question–not sure if you’re allowed to answer it, but.

    I remember reading on IGN how Gamestop was told, by Nintendo, to reserve extra shelf space for an unannounced title, for the 2009 holiday season, or thereabouts. Now, you mentioned that the release date for SoulSilver–and HeartGold, I guess, but Silver was better, so–would likely be in November in Japan. I guess my question is, is there a chance that these’ll be released at approximately the same time, in both the U.S. and Japan?

    Or am I taking crazy pills.

  12. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Fox – I don’t usually check out IGN, but I emailed them after reading your question to see if they meant Explorers of the Sky, which is a new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game as the TENATIVE date is around November and would fit into that Holiday schedule.

    No response back yet but that’s probably what they meant.

    No real chance of a simulataneous release if only due to localization and translation. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of happening with a Nintendo published title actually.

  13. Fudge and Chips Avatar
    Fudge and Chips

    Kotaku.com reports that the games are called Pokemon HeartGold and Pokemon SoulSilver.

  14. jpc1918 Avatar

    omg can you go in platimun to johto (verry big ijes)

  15. jpc1918 Avatar

    its old but stil cool
    ps its to in netherlands

  16. jpc1918 Avatar

    : how long to get to netherland??

  17. Ace Avatar

    yo, Alex. nice job on having the news about these games before their announcement. before hand i was 99% sure, but you convinced me completely. cant wait until release.

    on a side note, i recently got a magmortar with the OT’s name “Alucard” and ID# 43098. just wondering if it was yours at one point?

  18. Ace Avatar

    wow, scratch that, i feel stupid lol the guy is an anime character

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Ace – It’s okay. I get a LOT of jokes about my name being A.Lucard. It happens regularly, especially with my friends at Konami.

  19. Ace Avatar

    Oh, i see. Well that’s pretty interesting.

    So what field of work are you in that gets you all of this inside info on pokemon?

  20. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Ace – I do a lot of work with video game companies besides writing and Editing DHGF.com. I’ve worked pretty extensively with Konami in the past, but I also work with Nintendo, Creatures Inc. and Game Freak. I pull in a paycheck directly related to Pokemon along with another one for writing for Beckett’s Pokemon Collector Magazine. As Game Freak’s favourite white boy, I’m generally privy to information before most people. Similar to how I broke Pokemon Platinum in Beckett’s mag months before it was announced. I’m generally allowed to leak things to start hype, but also to squelch certain rumours.

    Generally I’ve leaked things to other sources in the past, but this was the first time I leaked it on my own site simply because there wasn’t enough time to get it to press in the magazine beforehand.

    Basically when a company pays you and also considers you a friend, you know things before the general public. However, there are a lot of nondisclosure agreements to sign. Oy, the paperwork and legalities.

  21. […] and Silver ball that the people in the Pokemon costume this is a little teaser here is the link Diehard GameFAN | Pokemon – A Return To Johto! tell me what you guys think I just got the released date and it is on September 12th 2009 […]

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  23. […] of Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver for a quite some time before the Japanese release date. I was the first to break the announcement of its release, and by the Japanese launch day I had FAQ’s and Strategy Guides for both sets of Gym Leaders […]

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