Pokémon is a deeply beloved franchise, but its lasting success has never been a guarantee. After incredibly popular releases in the 90s and early 2000s, The Pokémon Company released two games that propelled the series into the modern era – Pokémon Diamond and pearl were released for the Nintendo DS in 2006 and were the first to connect to the Internet. For many, these titles have been touchstones for so many new Pokémon players and laid the foundation for a new generation of fans.
When The Pokémon Company originally announced the remakes, which are now playable on the Nintendo Switch, the fandom came alive. Online responses ranged from classic exaggerated “Let’s go OOOOOOOOOOOO”, for condemnation and disgust on her cute art style. These impassioned responses reflected a fandom clamoring for the remakes of diamond and pearl, or “Sinnoh remakes” as fans call them, for years. They’re highly anticipated thanks to a generation of nostalgic gamers, as well as a purist fandom looking to bring Pokémon back to what it “should” be. Beyond that, the internet connectivity of these classics created a thriving meme culture that lives on today.
Fans have been waiting for this remake for a long time, and the anticipation has had time to build. It’s been over 15 years since the original diamond and pearl were released in the United States. For reference, the time between the original and the remakes for Pokemon Ruby and Sapphireand pokemon gold and Silver, was about 12 years and nine years, respectively. But this expectation only served to create anticipation. diamond and pearl have long held a special place in the fandom, as the games make a claim about Pokémon’s stamina. Namely that “Pokémania” – a term used to describe the Pokemon boom of the 90s and early 2000s – was going nowhere. Pikachu and his sidekicks were here to stay.
After the release of the hit games, Pokemon Gold and Silver, some told producer Junichi Masuda that Pokémon was on the back burner. “Everyone was like, ‘This is it. The Pokemon fad is over! It’s dead!’ Masuda said in a interview with Game Informer. But Game Freak, the main developer behind the Pokémon games, and Masuda took these claims as a challenge and created a three-game plan from 2002 to 2006 – starting with Pokemon Ruby and Sapphireand ending with Pokémon Diamond and pearl to refresh the Pokémon franchise and show that it could be an enduring international brand.
Fans eagerly welcomed these novelties. Steve Black Jr., host of Pokemon Podcast It’s super effective and streamer, told Polygon how the games reignited his interest in the franchise. “The original diamond and pearl are special to me because it gave me confidence in not being ashamed of what I loved,” Black told Polygon on Twitter. “I was one of the kids who was bullied because they liked Pokemon when Ruby and Sapphire came”, but diamond and pearl brought it back to the series.
Pokémon is largely a nostalgia-fueled franchise, and Pokemon Shiny Diamond and shiny pearl cater to the generations of gamers who grew up with these titles. What makes these remakes special goes beyond what they do; they’re special because they represent a sort of generational reset within the franchise, as each title brings new players into the fold for the first time. It also didn’t hurt than the original diamond and pearl also received a boost due to the overwhelming success of the Nintendo DS – to date it is the best-selling all time portable console with over 154 million units sold. These games had a large and distinct audience of newbie gamers, which made them ripe for nostalgia.
“Pokémon was massive around Gen 1 and 2, but Pokémania died out around Gen 3 and wasn’t considered ‘cool’ anymore,” pixel artist and streamer Tahk0 told Polygon on Twitter. “It led to what I personally believe to be the real ‘second generation’ of kids getting into Pokémon because they got a new cultural start with Generation 4.”
diamond and pearl were longtime Pokémon fan Josh K.’s first foray into the franchise. “Personally, being 9 years old when they came out, diamond was my ultimate obsession,” he told Polygon, via Twitter. Josh K. had fond memories of playing the game with people at school and camp. Since he was so young and the internet wasn’t as accessible to him, he always felt like the gaming world was vast and mysterious. “When someone told me about Arceus, Shaymin or Darkrai in 2007, I didn’t believe them until they showed me on their own DS. These games still had the last secrets and mysteries of gaming for me,” he said.
diamond and pearl were the first Pokémon games game to allow people to connect to the Internet. The original fandoms were some of the first Pokémon players to create and contribute to the culture of memes around the games as they were released. From left to right, fans posted jokes about the lack of Fire Pokemon or the overwhelming strength of Elite Four leader Cynthia’s Garchomp. A die most liked tweets in reply when the remake was announced, was a repost from the 2011″Cybergoth Dance Partyvideo that combined the once-popular meme with the battle theme of Cynthia and her team.
But not all of the hype has to do with the intense personal connections people develop with the game. to preserve their idea of what a Pokémon game “should” look like – for example, each subsequent Pokémon game should include every Pokémon that ever came. out, and in the most extreme cases, good games must have beautiful trees. These requirements are often ambiguous, but this particular form of fan interaction has crystallized around the release of Pokémon Sword and Shieldduring an event known as “Dexit”, where fans expressed their anger online at the lack of Pokémon in the games, accused developer Game Freak of lying, and floated conspiracy theories about what happened to the Pokémon cut.
“I think the hype around [Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl] revolves around the general aversion to Sword and ShieldPokémon writer and fan Grant Stoner told Polygon on Twitter. “Fans wanted these games to rectify the mistakes of previous titles, even though diamond and pearl were not as favored as Platinum.”
Others just think it’s good to get a standard Pokémon game from an earlier era.
“From what we’ve seen with other remakes and new IPs, Nintendo has the power to make those games thrive and bring new faces to the Pokemon scene, but very often the quality just isn’t not up to it,” lifelong Pokémon player Saira told Polygon on Twitter. “Because this is a remake and not a remaster, many of us just want Nintendo to do the Gen Four games justice and bring back the iconic music, minigames to play with friends. and everything we’ve come to love. Pokémon.”
It doesn’t matter where you fall, it’s clear diamond and pearl played a central role in the legacy of Pokémon. It created an online fan base and served as the model for one of the most successful series of all time. As Tahk0 said, these two games were the first “entirely ‘Pokémon’ (as we know it now)” Pokémon games.
The rest is history. The franchise not only survived, but continued to reach new heights of success with spin-offs like the mobile app Pokemon Go and continued commercial success with its core games. The Pokémon fandom has a seemingly endless well of fans it can attract, and the original diamond and pearl the games were the first carriers of this ambition.