Gotta Steal them All: Pokémon Fire Red Rocket Edition

Prepare for Trouble! Horsea use Bubble!
 To protect Kanto from Devastation! To steal peoples pokémon across the nation!
To denounce the evils of Oak and Lance!  I now play a Rom-hack on Gameboy Advance!
Pinkie

Plays!
Team Rockets  New Rom-hack of Fire Red!
So boot up the Rom.. and start with a rat!

Pinkie! Reviews that!

For the first time since pokémon Gold, I am a male Pokémon Trainer! And not just any pokémon trainer.. A Team Rocket Grunt… with pink hair! His name is Pinkie… how fitting! Pinkie is not me because he is one mean S.O.B… well he had the chance to be either a good spirited Rocket who doesn’t steal much Pokémon or be one who steals everything.. given how this game is actually about being evil it did not seem to make sense to go with the goody two-shoes route as it would invalidate one of the special mechanics of the game.

That would be kind of like installing a mod in Skyrim that improves human custom characters.. and then you play an Argonian. Or installing an extra hard difficulty level.. and then play on Normal. So this Pinkie had to be one S.O.B.  But let me stress that this guy is not me! He gets a Rattata out of a box of Rattata as we start our adventure in the Cerulean Game Corner Rocket Hideout.  That is such a clever idea! We also meet Ronnie.. an enthusiastic looking fellow that is a new recruit as well. He teaches that since we are lowly grunts we can only steal from young children and old people! As we can intimidate those into handing us their pokémon!

He takes me out to Celadon City Square and we find a girl playing with her two new pokémon she got for her birthday! Rattata  beats up  her Pidgey and her Spearow and I get to steal one of her beloved new friends!…Oof This is going to be harder than I thought. I just have to remember I am not this Pinkie! I reluctantly steal her Pidgey. Troughout the remainder of the adventure I would never steal from someone who only has one pokémon. Because Ronnie stole her Spearow.. leaving the girl with 0 friends.. the poor thing.  I wasn’t even going to use the Pidgey but I had no choice!  I decided to nickname my Pokémon very random names. Like Xibu and Ipsor.. just a random collection of consonants and vowels so I don’t see them as other peoples pets! Still getting Pokémon this way is kind of interesting! It reminded me a bit of the Coliseum games! Yet more evil! A few towns in and I was stealing left and right.. with the only rule never to leave someone without a single pokémon! Because everyone deserves a friend!

Otherwise I tried to be as evil as possible.. in a game where you have to be mean , you better be mean so I beat up people’s boyfriend, I snatched someone’s gold tooth , I robbed a Pokémart and more! Evil. it pained my heart at times but sometimes it felt good! like when I stole a hooker from a Pimp and gave her a better life in a pokécenter whose Nurse Joy was fed up with it all. It felt wrong.. but also right! I was so happy I was a male trainer.. because this guy was not me! He was someone else.. that became my most important rule in this game and I would need it for the story that was to come.

Pokémon Fire Red: Rocket Edition follows the story of Red and how he stops Team Rocket and Giovanni’s scheme to take control of Kanto and the Pokémon Mewtwo. Yet we do not follow it through the eyes of Red.. we follow it through the eyes of Pinkie who is not me! Fresh off the boat we get send to Mount Moon to obtain some fossils when the group gets stopped in their tracks by a Spikey Haired kid with a Wartortle and an even stronger kid with a cap and Charmeleon. We then get to meet Giovanni for the first time who wonders why these two kids have War-Pokémon. We then realise something.. the world Red sees is not the actual world. It’s the world through the eyes of a kid the actual world is much more dystopian. Bill, Oak, Blaine, Surge, Koga heck even that old guy with back troubles in Viridian city.. everyone has secrets but they would never tell that to a kid. The kid would not be able to comprehend… He also never really speaks to asks questions he is just a good boy to Oak.

It doesn’t take long for us to meet Bill. Apparently Blaine had been making Porygon for Team Rocket.. as a way to provide them with income..having an infinite supply of porygon for their game corner ..so people waste their cash for such a rare but secretly not so rare pokémon.
Since Blaine is to scared to help the crime organization we have to ask Bill.. bribing him with some goodies which include two tickets aboard the S.S. Anne Cruise. He doesn’t like that gift ..but he likes the other stuff we give him so it’s all good. We also sell trade steroids to LT Surge so we can use the SS Anne to smuggle Pokémon.. stuff like that. Yet we discover there is more about Team Rocket than we originally thought. They are not just criminals.. they want an Independent Kanto. We find out that Kanto lost the great war to Johto and it’s general Lance has taken over from the Elite Four of Kanto. Oak, Fuji, Giovanni.. and Shingeki.. or something.. a name I keep forgetting and that doesn’t come into play until much much later.  During the war these were involved to create the ultimate weapon. A Pokémon that could destroy Lance.. based on the DNA of Mew.. codename Mewtwo.

I will not spoil the story any further but for those interested in finding out I am more than willing  to spoil on demand, let me just say that the story of this game is quite amazing. It utilizes so many fan theories along side with later made revelations. We see how Silver became the douche he is in Pokémon Gold and Silver, seeing the toxic relationship with his father Giovanni and his mother Arianna. We see the man Giovanni and his convictions to bring back the Kanto he once loved through extreme measures. We even see the dark side of Professor Oak. No one in the Pokémon World is a saint. The team Oak had in Blue and Red that got scrapped but still was in the code..comes into play here. We see Oak use these pokémon. We see why  characters walked away from the Mewtwo project and we even see what link that old man in Viridian city has with the creature on the east coast of Cinnabar island. There is so much lore here, it is very impressive.

The game offers some interesting new mechanics. Due to how easy it is to steal Pokémon, managing your team is quite a bit harder. We get less XP , Less Money and more Pokémon.. as a Rocket it doesn’t take long to feel like we are behind the curve in levels.. to reflect your status as a Rocket.. we may be able to beat trainers but it’s a lot harder for us than it was for Red.  There is a promotion system that actively changes our sprite as we move from Grunt to Executive to Admin and even beyond. 

Ranking up allows us to steal pokémon from a wider pool of trainers. Like Teens and girls when we become an executive, males when we become an Admin.. and eventually we can even steal from Gym Leaders and Elite Four members. Yet there is always an upside and a downside to things. Steal a Pokémon from a Gym Leader and you do not get a Technical Machine. Get a high enough bounty and team rocket will reward you with powerful battle items like a life orb, or a kings rock. Keep your record clean long enough and the police might reward you with an Exp Share, A lucky egg or powerful moves.

So there are several ways of power, the Rocket way allows you to battle more viciously while the good way makes the game a bit easier.. as if you where playing an actual normal main character.  It is also interesting how the world acts around a character that in the original game would be considered an “npc”. You can not get the coin case you normally get because that is meant for Red.. people do not want to give it to a Rocket Criminal. People rip on Surge gym puzzle because when you are not a kid you realise how stupid that particular puzzle is.  We see how people interact with you while you do not have a trainer passport.

We do not have a pokédex either so our inventory feels so weird. As a result this game feels so unique yet so familiar and right. A lot of thought went into this and while the plot really delves deep into fanfiction and fan theory .. every piece of dialogue and every option you have fits into that.. they even go as far as to explain why mechanics in the original games worked like they did.. stupid little things you never wondered about suddenly fall into place. To a certain extend even going as far as to explain why Samuel doesn’t know his grandson’s name.

This game is such an easy recommendation to anyone who loves the franchise but thinks it’s just a bit to kiddy and to lighthearted. It’s great for anyone who thinks Pokémon is just a bit to easy. It’s amazing to everyone who at least knows the story of the first generation a bit basically. It’s infinitely better if you read some theories though, Missing No for example is a story element, if you at least know how to get it things will resonate more strongly.  If you noticed that Blue suddenly stopped Raticate in his team and afterwards he can be found in Lavender city.. things will immediately click.. it’s faith has always been a popular theory but here you finally get the talk from the other side. We see why Blue is so bitter and why he eventually becomes the Viridian Gym Leader. There is so much to experience..and for an amateur it’s just .. a simple more mature version of pokémon with a crime mechanic.. for those who know Kanto trough and trough.. this is the ultimate fan fiction experience.

The strongest point is the story, but also the gameplay has been updated. Even though it’s fire Red.. all the 18 typings, including fairy types and new movesets exist. So they even dealt with my biggest gripe, having to remember old systems. Special Attack and defence is split,  moves can hit physical and specially regardless of their type and all those things have been brought into pokémon as we know it. Add a backstory in the veins of.. Pokémon as we  suspect it was.. and a twist story that reveals the existence of a counterpart of Mewtwo and these are a few hours well spend to anyone who either watched the first pokémon movie or played the first game. The more you know about Pokémon the more there is to love!  I had a blast! Even if my character ended up in jail for 46 years!  That’s a good thing.. he was a bad man.. and definitely not me! He got what he deserved.. and with this game. .as a fan I got what I deserved too!

This game is such an easy recommendation to anyone who loves the franchise but thinks it’s just a bit to kiddy and to lighthearted. It’s great for anyone who thinks Pokémon is just a bit to easy. It’s amazing to everyone who at least knows the story of the first generation a bit basically. It’s infinitely better if you read some theories though, Missing No for example is a story element, if you at least know how to get it things will resonate more strongly.  If you noticed that Blue suddenly stopped Raticate in his team and afterwards he can be found in Lavender city.. things will immediately click.. it’s faith has always been a popular theory but here you finally get the talk from the other side. We see why Blue is so bitter and why he eventually becomes the Viridian Gym Leader.

There is so much to experience..and for an amateur it’s just .. a simple more mature version of pokémon with a crime mechanic.. for those who know Kanto trough and trough.. this is the ultimate fan fiction experience. While strongest point is the story, but also the gameplay has been updated. Even though it’s Fire Red.. all the 18 typings, including fairy types and new movesets exist. So they even dealt with my biggest gripe, having to remember old systems. Special Attack and defence is split,  moves can hit physical and specially regardless of their type and all those things have been brought into pokémon as we know it.

This game is us!.. Pokémon as we  suspect it was.. and a twist story that reveals the existence of a counterpart of Mewtwo and much more! These are a few hours well spend to anyone who either watched the first pokémon movie or played the first game. The more you know about Pokémon the more there is to love!  I had a blast! Even if my character ended up in jail for 46 years!  That’s a good thing.. he was a bad man.. and definitely not me! He got what he deserved.. and with this game. .as a fan I got what I deserved too!

I got everything I expected and so much more! There are some glitches..but for what this is I could not expect more!

I would like to thank you all for reading! Feel free to ask questions about the game if you are interested! Or tell me your experience with in the comments. Did you feel as badly as I did when you stole pokémon?! Do you not like to steal? Do you prefer to reverse steal?! Well have I got good news for you! I have a Ko-Fi thingamajig! Just saying! Not robbing you here!

This is now a button!

3 thoughts

    1. It really was! One of the better Rom-Hacks out there. still Lighthearted ..some of the other rom hacks that do a very serious story can get a bit pedantic and preachy.. this really felt like a community game

      Liked by 1 person

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