Part 53: The Ridiculous Rabbit Hole of the e-Reader (Part 2: Endless Battles)Side Notes 12: The Ridiculous Rabbit Hole of the e-Reader (Part 2: Endless Battles)
oh hi nimbus
Last time we delved into the e-Reader, there was a lot of side stuff to cover, but this time, we're talking about all the crazy things you can do in the main games to battle hundreds upon hundreds of trainers. If you were in Japan, or in America for RS. Otherwise, fuck you, no ridiculous amounts of content for you!
Let's start with RS, which did get half of its cards released in North America and Australia. It sold pretty poorly, so it never went anywhere else, but still, you could get some unique berries and fight trainers in the house in Mossdeep or in the Battle Tower, it had some neat stuff to it, you could even see Pokemon from other regions. You knew what most of the Pokemon the trainer would use since it had that info on the card, but it still had some surprises to it and they were definitely tough battles, with Pokemon at high levels with proper sets and everything. There were also gimmick trainers, such as a full Castform team, or a team with high Speed that held King's Rock, that sort of stuff. Only one card could be scanned at a time to battle in the basement and that was about it, you didn't get any money, experience, Pokedex entries, nothing. It was just some postgame battle stuff in a game that REALLY didn't have any postgame. It was divided into six subsets.
The second RS set was never released outside of Japan and was pretty similar to the first set, with 48 trainers and 6 berries. New to this set were shiny Pokemon, though only a couple really appeared, such as Gardevoir. It was a way to give you even more battles in those two games, but they didn't really offer much aside from that. Even the various berries from both sets weren't that interesting, though some had some fun Contest applications. The whole thing was again divided into six subsets. Anyway, let's move onto the actual good stuff.
The FRLG set was fourth (after the Colosseum set) and featured 32 new trainers to fight in the Trainer Tower, some of whom are included in the international versions to not make that place four floors big and incredibly shitty. There were also some important changes made, now trainers have a pool of Pokemon they use instead of just the standard 3, depending on which order they were scanned in, since you can now scan in up to eight cards at once. The first card scanned determines the prize you get at the end, from EV drinks, to evolution items, to competitive items, there was a lot of replayability, since you could customize the floors in whichever order, to do Single, Double or Knockout battles.
There were also Target cards that had no dot codes and so couldn't be scanned it, but suggested the trainers you could scan in in a specific order and the target time to aim for for a completely optional challenge. This set had shiny Pokemon, ones from Kanto and Johto and had a lot of variety to it despite being much smaller than the RS sets. It was divided into four subsets, each the colour of the original Gen 1 games.
Thanks to Admiral H. Curtiss for just... having these on hand to scan!
Finally, the fifth set was for Emerald and the Trainer Hill, so it seems the basement of the house in Sootopolis uses the Japanese RS cards, or just goes unused? It wouldn't surprise me. It's similar to the FRLG set in that it modifies the Trainer Hill from the default two floors, though there's only four floors and there's always two trainers per floor, so if you scan an odd number of cards, then a set default trainer will appear on a floor that doesn't have enough trainers. Also on the back of the card is a floor plan that gets added if it's the odd numbered card scanned.
Add in the new rewards of various TMs depending on which card you scanned in when, different trainers using different Pokemon when scanned in when and unique map cards that put part of the Hoenn region or Battle Frontier as the background for rooms and you have got a lot of options. There are 64 new trainers, with no real sets dividing it, along with 19 cards that make up various maps when put together, though they can't be scanned in due to having no dot code. Shiny Pokemon are out, but there are a lot of new Pokemon to battle against and some of them are pretty nasty. It's just mind boggling how much content we missed out on because of various peripheries that just don't sell.
And that is finally everything to do with the e-Reader, at least for the main Gen 3 games, no including Colosseum, the TCG and the various other properties that used the e-Reader. It's pretty crazy how much we never got to see, let alone used in our games, so this was definitely one hell of a rabbit hole.