- This article is about contests in Generations III and VI. For the contests in Generations IV and VIII, see Pokémon Super Contest.
Pokémon Contests (Japanese: ポケモンコンテスト Pokémon Contest) are a type of competition often contrasted with Pokémon battles and held in Contest Halls. Pokémon are judged on their condition and moves in two rounds, to determine which one is the best of its category.
In the games
Pokémon Contests are in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, and in their Generation VI remakes Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire under the name Pokémon Contest Spectaculars (Japanese: ポケモンコンテストライブ Pokémon Contest Live). A Coordinator enters a Pokémon in one of five categories: Coolness, Beauty, Cuteness, Cleverness, or Toughness and compete against three other Coordinators in two rounds. In Generation IV, these basic ideas were expanded upon with Pokémon Super Contests.
In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, photos can be taken at any point in a Contest Spectacular, and the player is able to save the last photo taken into the Nintendo 3DS Camera. In addition, the 3DS Camera can be used to provide a real-life background during the Talent Round of a Pokémon Contest. This option can be turned on or off by speaking to a man in the Contest Hall who describes this special effect as projecting a "hologram" through the entire hall.
In the first round, the four Pokémon are rated based on their condition. The audience votes on the Pokémon that looks the coolest, most beautiful, cutest, most clever, or toughest, depending on the category of the contest. Condition stats that are liked by the audience and the Pokémon's sheen also beneficially influence the votes. To raise a Pokémon's condition, Coordinators prepare Pokéblocks of specific colors and feed them to their Pokémon. In Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, how well a Pokémon does in this phase is shown by the number of hearts that appear over the audience members' heads.
This portion is known as the Introduction Round (Japanese: おひろめ Unveiling) in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. In these games, how well a Pokémon does in this phase is shown by the amount of clapping, whistling, and glow sticks that appear in the audience. Additionally, a special introduction is shown for the Pokémon with the highest condition stat of the respective contest.
Within the game itself, the audience score is based on the sum of the following:
- The full value of the condition in the contest's primary condition stat
- 50% of the value of the condition in each of the contest's secondary condition stats
- 50% of the value of the Pokémon's overall sheen
Scarves held by the Pokémon raise the condition stat by 20 points. Thus, if the Pokémon is holding a scarf corresponding to the contest's primary condition stat, it will gain 20 points in the final total, but if the Pokémon is holding a scarf corresponding to either contest's secondary condition stats, it will gain 10 points in the final total.
The table below shows the minimum number of points required to achieve a given number of hearts.
|Rank||# of hearts|
- Main article: Appeal
In the secondary judging, the four Pokémon take turns appealing (i.e. using certain moves in front of an appointed judge). They are able to affect the performances of each other. Effects on other Pokémon include reducing their number of hearts, making them nervous, and so forth. Moves that are of the same category as the contest the user is competing in may excite the audience, and if the audience becomes extremely excited, the Pokémon scores extra hearts.
Move combinations also score extra hearts. The amount of extra points vary between generations; in Generation III, the follow-up move of a combination receives double the amount of Appeal Points it would have earned otherwise, while in Generation VI the follow-up move earns 3 additional Appeal Points.
Using a move repeatedly will bore the audience in the hall, resulting in point deduction. In Generation III, the Pokémon will lose two hearts the first time a move is repeated, three hearts the second time, and so on. In Generation VI, the Pokémon will only lose one heart every time a move is repeated.
In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, this portion is known as the Talent Round (Japanese: アピール審査 Appeal Examination), during which Coordinators can Mega Evolve their Pokémon when the crowd's excitement reaches its peak. Additionally, pressing the touch screen to the left of the camera button causes the audience to clap, while pressing to the right of the camera button causes the audience to hoot.
After the second round, the four Pokémon's results are shown. Here, stars represent how well the Pokémon did in the primary judging, while hearts indicate how well the Pokémon did in the secondary judging; both fill up the four Pokémon's meters. Each star represents 63 points obtained in the primary judging (rounded up to the nearest star), while each heart represents 40 points (four appeal hearts) obtained in the secondary judging.
The Pokémon whose meter becomes the highest (has the highest cumulative score, formed from the points obtained in the first round and double the value of the points obtained in the second round) is announced as the winner of the competition. In Pokémon Contests, the winning Pokémon is awarded a Ribbon for each of the four different ranks. In Pokémon Contest Spectaculars, however, a Ribbon is only earned after beating the Master Rank.
A small portrait of the winner is painted and placed in the Contest Hall. Additionally, an artist will paint a large painting if the winner of a Master Rank contest wins with at least 800 points. These larger paintings are displayed in the Lilycove Museum. In Generation III, if a Master Rank winner has already earned the Ribbon for that category and rank, the player will be given a Luxury Ball.
- Main article: Rank (Contest)
There are four contest ranks: Normal, Super, Hyper, and Master. Every competition, as well as having one of the five categories, has one of these four ranks. In the Normal Rank, any Pokémon may enter. Any Pokémon that won a Normal Rank contest may move up to the Super Rank in the same category. Likewise, a Super Rank winner can move up to the Hyper Rank, and a Hyper Rank winner can advance to the Master Rank in the same category. In Pokémon Contest Spectaculars, any Pokémon may enter any unlocked rank.
In Ruby and Sapphire, Pokémon Contests of each rank are spread around the Hoenn region. In Emerald, however, Pokémon Contests of all four ranks are held in Lilycove City. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, there are four Contest Halls across the region, but the player may enter Pokémon Contest Spectaculars of any rank in each Contest Hall.
In Ruby and Sapphire, Pokémon Contests can only be held with four players. However, in Emerald, there are two multiplayer modes: E-Mode (Emerald Mode) and G-Mode (Global Mode). E-Mode allows two to four Emerald players to participate in multiplayer contests. If there are less than four players, the remaining slots will be filled in by computers. In G-Mode, four Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald players can participate.
In Generation VI, after a contest has ended, the player may talk to the audience members gathered near the entrances to Contest Halls to receive gifts. These NPCs serve as the player's fans. The higher the rank, the greater the number of fans gathering in the lobby. The maximum number of fans waiting for the player is 10. The following are lists of gifts the player may receive. Note that certain items and Berries are given out only after competing in certain contest ranks.
In the anime
Pokémon Contests were introduced early on in Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire and, according to DPS01, they originated in the Hoenn region. The competition is organized by the Pokémon Activities Committee and allows Coordinators to show how skilled their Pokémon can be. Winners are presented with a Ribbon.
A Pokémon Contest is divided into two parts. In the first round, called the Performance Stage, Coordinators have their Pokémon performing their moves in order to showcase their style and skill. The appeals are awarded points by a panel of judges, usually formed by Mr. Contesta from the organizing committee, Mr. Sukizo from the Pokémon Fan Club, and the Nurse Joy from the local Pokémon Center. The Coordinators with the highest scores proceed to the next round. The number of Coordinators that advance to the second round varies. The second round is the Battle Stage, in which Coordinators compete in Pokémon battles while continuing to show off their Pokémon's style and skill. Each battle lasts five minutes and the object of the battle is to decrease the opponent's points. Coordinators lose points when their Pokémon are hit by an attack, when their Pokémon's attack fails, when the opponent's Pokémon performs a particularly appealing move, or when the opponent's Pokémon uses their Pokémon's attack to its own advantage. A battle can also end when one of the Pokémon is unable to battle, called Battle Off by the judges. In this case, the Coordinator with the remaining Pokémon is declared the winner.
A Coordinator needs a Contest Pass from a particular region to enter Pokémon Contests there. Coordinators who win five Ribbons of a specific region are able to enter that region's Grand Festival. A Ribbon won from events such as the Wallace Cup can be used in any region. Also, Ribbons do not expire, and multiple years can be used to collect the five needed for the Grand Festival. However, after being used to enter the Grand Festival, the five cannot be used again. Winners of the Grand Festival earn the Ribbon Cup and become Top Coordinators.
In Hoenn, Coordinators have to use the same Pokémon for both rounds—although there are exceptions—and the master of ceremonies is Vivian Meridian. When May participated in the Hoenn Grand Festival, two other Nurse Joys from Hoenn came as guest judges. The event was held in Slateport City and ran for three episodes.
In Kanto, Coordinators may enter different Pokémon for each round and the master of ceremonies is Lilian Meridian. The Kanto Grand Festival was held at Indigo Plateau during May's participation. For the competition, the Hoenn announcer, Vivian Meridian, joined the panel of judges while three other Nurse Joys gave scores. Jessie, as Jessadiah, also hosted the event with Lilian. The competition also ran for three episodes.
In Sinnoh, Coordinators may enter different Pokémon for each round and generally dress up to compete. They also use Ball Capsules and Seals to enhance a Pokémon's entrance. Pokémon Contests in the Sinnoh region include both Single and Double Performances, with the Grand Festival featuring the Double Performance format. The master of ceremonies for these events is Marian. During Dawn's participation in the Sinnoh Grand Festival, Top Coordinator and Gym Leader Fantina joined the judges as a guest judge. The event was held at Lake Valor and ran for four episodes.
The following is a list of all known locations hosting Pokémon Contests in the anime:
|Beach Rose Town||Nando|
In The Unbeatable Lightness of Seeing!, Drew and Harley announced that they, along with Solidad, were heading to Johto to participate in Pokémon Contests there, and May decided to follow suit in Home is Where the Start Is!.
In A Full Course Tag Battle!, May was revealed to have been participating in Johto Contests along with her rivals and already won three Ribbons. She returned to Johto following the end of the Wallace Cup in Strategy with a Smile! to continue competing in Contests there.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Pokémon Contests were introduced in this chapter. Somewhat experienced Pokémon Coordinator Ruby moved to the Hoenn region and ran away from home to participate in Pokémon Contests there, since his father was against him competing in such events. Ruby arranged a bet with Sapphire, vowing to win all the Contest Ribbons in the region in 80 days. He was able to win every Ribbon, thus completing his part in the bet.
The formula of competition follows the one set in the games closely, sharing its two segments.
Ruby is credited with the development of several features of the Pokémon Contest Spectacular, alongside Lisia. These include the designs of the Cosplay Pikachu costumes as well as the Contest Costumes to be worn by participating Trainers.
- The contest ranks are named after the original Generation I Poké Balls, although it seems the translation team did not catch this, as the Japanese Poké Ball names (Normal, Super, Hyper, and Master) are used in English versions. This was rectified in Generation IV in the ranks of Super Contests (Normal, Great, Ultra, and Master). However, the original names of the ranks were kept in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
- For Mounting a Coordinator Assault! and Arrival of a Rival!, Professor Oak's Big Pokémon Encyclopedias are about the Performance Stage and the Battle Stage of Pokémon Contests, respectively. He writes this senryū about the Performance Stage: 「ポケモンが かれいにまわるよ コンテスト」 The Pokémon are spinning magnificently; a contest. He writes this senryū about the Battle Stage: 「ごふんかん みせてしょうぶだ コンテストバトル」 It's a five-minute battle for show; a Contest Battle.
- The move Struggle has contest stats, despite the fact that Struggle cannot be used in contests, as it can only be used if the attacking Pokémon has no PP.
- This is most likely to prevent the game from crashing if it is hacked in, since it is impossible to use Struggle in contests through normal gameplay. The contest stats seem to be the defaults.
- Contests are one of the few places in the Pokémon games one can find nicknamed Pokémon. All Pokémon used by NPC Coordinators have nicknames.
- In the anime, both series that featured Pokémon Contests featured 15 each. However, in Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, all of them took place in Sinnoh, while Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire featured seven in Kanto and eight in Hoenn.
- Although the Contests are not held in Orre, the player can see a move's Contest data in Pokémon Colosseum.
In other languages
Pokémon Contest Spectacular
Pokéblocks • Poffins
Cool • Beautiful • Cute • Clever • Tough
Appeal • Battle • Dance • Visual
Contest • Super Contest
Coordinator • Contest Hall • Contest Pass
The Grand Festival
Kanto • Hoenn • Sinnoh
Top Coordinator • Ribbon Cup
Combinations • Opponents (III • IV • VI) • Double Performance • Jamming
Ribbons (list) • Stickers • Ball Capsules • Ranks • Judges • Announcers • Wallace Cup
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