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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