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Party of the Decade (Page 4)


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Page 4


Picture 1: That's the gift bag I got after the Lucario and the Mystery of Mew movie that I mentioned in the beginning. The gift bag included: a very large Pokemon poster with all the Pokemon on it (all 386 Pokemon, plus 5 new Pokemon: Munchlax, Bonsly, Mime Jr., Weavile, and Lucario), a Pokemon back pack, three Poke Dolls (Mime Jr., Weavile, and Lucario), two Pokemon figures (Mime Jr. and Lucario), two Pokemon notebooks, two packs of Pokemon stickers, a box of Pokemon pencils, and two Pokemon straps.


Pokemon Mystery Dungeon:

Anyways, off to Pokemon Immersion day, which was at the hotel inside a suite. Pokemon Immersion day was basically a chance for all the webmasters to try out the upcoming games: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and Pokemon Ranger. I didn't get the chance to play it at Party of the Decade (didn't have the time), so this was a great oppurtunity. All of us was given a Nintendo DS Lite with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Force (this was the full version). A few extra Nintendo DS Lites had the demo version of Pokemon Ranger. The game is definitely a really unique Pokemon game. One of the main selling points for the game is that you'll be a Pokemon in a world inhabited only by Pokemon. You do a personality test in the beginning of the game, it asks you questions about yourself and it will determine which Pokemon you will control in the game (of course, if you don't like what the game picked for you, you can simply restart the game and answer the questions differently). After you determine which Pokemon is you, then you get to pick a partner Pokemon that will be along with your journey. For me, it turned I got Charmander, and that's what I went with (Psyduck would have been nice though). The possible options for male trainers are: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu, Meowth, Psyduck, Machop, Cubone, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Torchic, Treecko and Mudkip. The possible options for female trainers is slightly different, it's the same 13 options as male trainers, except instead of Meowth, Machop, and Cyndaquil, the possible three changes are Eevee, Chikorita, and Skitty. As your partner, you can choose from: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, and Pikachu. You can't choose a partner Pokemon that is the same type as your Pokemon though. I had a Charmander, so I went with Totodile (since he's one of my favorite Pokemon as well). When you battle other Pokemon in the game, it's possible that they will want to join your rescue team, so you can have more Pokemon on your rescue team. However, you can only have three or four Pokemon with you at a time depending on the place you're going to.


The game is pretty easy to figure out. You go on rescue various rescue missions, and there's an interesting plot that develops. You will receive prizes for going on rescue missions, such as items and money. The "dungeons" you go into are actually various locations in the game. These places are randomly generated each time you enter, so it will be different every time you enter. When your Pokemon gets knocked out, you will lose all your money and items, unless you have a Revival Seed that will automatically revive your Pokemon, very expensive and relatively scarce item (that's why, in the town, you are able to deposit your money and items, highly recommended, almost a must). However, here's the fun part, even if you die, that doesn't mean you can say goodbye to the items and money you got. You have a dungeon password for the place you entered. If you give that password to somebody, like a friend or whatever, he/she can play Mystery Dungeon on their game, enter that password, and go on a rescue mission to save you. Once the person saved you, that person can then give you a password you can enter in the game so you can continue your game without losing your items and money. This opens up a lot of possibilities. I'm already planning a section on the forum or a thread on the forum of some sort, that will allow players to communicate with other Mystery Dungeon players so that in case they need to be rescued, they can just ask for help there on the forum. This was the full version of the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game, so I got pretty far. We played for most of the morning/afternoon. My Pokemon, Charmander, was at level 15, and I got to the part where I saw Zapdos (though I didn't battle Zapdos).


The game is fun, I enjoyed playing it. And when you finish the game, you get to choose whatever Pokemon you want to be as the "leader" of the rescue team, the Pokemon you control. And of course, go back and recruit the Pokemon you never got.


Pokemon Ranger:

They had the demo version of Pokemon Ranger available, not the full version like Mystery Dungeon. Still, it was fun to try this game out. This is definitely a much different game than Mystery Dungeon. You don't really need the stylus for Mystery Dungeon, but for Ranger, you use it all the time. How you walk, how you capture the Pokemon, how you select various things on the screen, are all controlled by the stylus using the touch screen. I couldn't get too far in the game since it was the demo version. I still need to play a bit more to get a good feel of the game, but I still liked what I saw with the unique game play.


I asked Seth, the Product Localization Coordinator for Nintendo of America, how long it usually takes to translate a Pokemon game. He said about six weeks. But in total, it takes about four months to complete the finished product. He said translating the instruction manuals are one of the most challenging tasks. He also joked about how his job is mainly removing exclamation marks in dialouges from the Japanese version to the English version. Apparently the Japanese version of the games uses a lot of exclamation marks, and one of his duties is to reduce the number of exclamation marks in the game (I'm sure he does more than that). And of course, since he's the in charge of product localization, that means he in charge of the task of naming those Pokemon. He began his job in Pokemon Crystal, so any Pokemon before then, you can't praise/blame Seth. So the new Pokemon in Ruby/Sapphire, and the new Pokemon for Diamond/Pearl, those Pokemon names, that you can praise/blame him for. The question of the status of Diamond/Pearl was brought up with Seth, he actually had to confirm whether or not he can reveal anything, he said that they're working on the English version of Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl already, but that's all he can say about it for now.


Picture 2: The gift bag I got after at Pokemon Immersion day. It contained a 10th anniversary Pikachu plush, Pokemon Trozei, a Pokemon figure (Mudkip), a Pokemon handkerchief with the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon logo, and a Nintendo World Store cap.


Picture 3: Pokemon Immersion day was over, but they gave me a demo copy of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon (both versions, the Blue Rescue Force for the DS and the Red Rescue Force for GBA).


Pokemon USA Headquarters: 

The Pokemon USA headquarters are in New York City, so we dropped in for a tour. We were greeted there by Lawrence Neves, who is the Editorial Director for Pokemon.com. Just a quick story about Lawrence Neves. Back in May 2004, I emailed Pokemon.com about a question I had about Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen. So here's the situation: the game's name appeared as "FireRed/LeafGreen" without a space separating the words "Fire" and "Red," as well as "Leaf" and "Green. Earlier in April 2004, Nintendo made an announcement that included the space in the name, however, the most recent announcements later on, coming from both Nintendo.com and Pokemon.com included no space. So in May 2004, I emailed both Nintendo.com and Pokemon.com with my questions (just to be sure, I contacted both). I got a response from Nintendo.com that said: "At this time, all of my official notes do not have a space between the color and item. They appear as FireRed and LeafGreen so that seems to be the way they should appear. However, until the release in September, details can still change." And Lawrence replied back to my email and said: "Thanks for asking! Officially, the games will be FireRed and LeafGreen. It's the style indication we have received from TPC in Japan. Thanks again for asking. PS: We will be at E3 -- if you're attending, please shoot me an email, I'd love to meet up with you." Well, I couldn't go (though I would love to), since I don't went to spend the hundreds of dollars on a trip like that. So anyways, who would have imagined over two years later that I would finally get to meet him. He even remembered that email I sent him about FireRed/LeafGreen.


So Lawrence gave us the grand tour of the Pokamon USA offices. The entire place was decorated with everything Pokemon. Posters, Poke Dolls, figures... everything Pokemon. Even the names of the rooms were named after Pokemon, like the Zapdos room. We met briefly with the staff at the office, including the marketing staff. Lawrence pointed out the guy in the marketing staff that was responsible for bringing in Hulk Hogan to the Party of the Decade event. After a complete tour, Lawrence was planning for us to meet the President of Pokemon USA, Akira Chiba, but his office door was closed, so it was probably a good idea not to disturb him. In the end, we all sat down as Lawrence talked about his history with the company and what he does, and other relating issues. One of the most interesting things he mentioned was that many people, like in the senior and vice presidents levels, are required to complete their Pokedex in their games (yes, they have to play and complete their Pokedex, it's their job), and that included Lawrence himself. He said it took him five years to complete his Pokedex. I think that's a great thing to do because you can't really understand Pokemon unless you really experience it. And getting a Pokedex completed is definitely the way to really experience Pokemon. It was too bad we didn't have more time to talk to Lawrence, since we were on the a tight schedule, but it was great to see the Pokemon USA office and get to know Lawrence.


Immediately after that, went back to the hotel, I got my stuff, and hopped into the car that took me to the airport, and back to California.


Conclusion - Anything Else I Need To Add...

And I want to mention another story while I was at Party of the Decade. A fan was talking to Tyrone Rodriguez, one of the PR (public relations) people for Nintendo of America. He mentioned to the fan that I was the webmaster of PokemonElite2000.com, and the fan then went over to where I was sitting and told me that he goes to my website frequently and liked my website. We talked for a while (found out that his friend is one of the finalists in the Video Game National Championships), and then he asked for my autograph. So I signed his Pokemon booklet (it was a booklet they gave out for free that contained information on the movies, games, and news). If I ever get a chance to be at these kind events again, I will probably wear something with the name Pokemon Elite 2000 on it, like on a hat or a shirt. This way, I could meet more fans of the website. I probably bumped into a lot of fans of the site, it's just that they didn't know and I didn't know. Meeting new people is definitely part of the fun at events like that.


Anyways, I had a blast during my three days in New York City. It was my first time there, and it was definitely an exciting and unique experience. There goes 10 years of Pokemon, let the next 10 years of Pokemon begin!


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