Completed POCKET GAIDEN (current: v1.1)

#1

POCKET GAIDEN
current version: v1.2​

My name is Pulp. I'm a farmer in a rural, poor area in the middle of nowhere.

POCKET GAIDEN follows a Berry farmer, Pulp, in a subset of a unnamed region based on China. Pulp is tired of exhausting rural life where nothing seems to ever change, so he wants to bring his Berry growing business to the bustling Honzhu City. But he needs to find a way of funding this dream, and also, his truck broke down, stopping him from making any deliveries. The story will take Pulp through both the wilds surrounding his home village and mysterious places called the Color Ruins. Resources we take for granted such as Poké Balls and Potions are extremely coveted where Pulp lives, so his journey is going to be a tough and gruelling one.

POCKET GAIDEN is my entry for the first Winter Jam. It's been a few years since I released any projects, so hopefully this is enjoyable. It's actually a GBA hack created with the pokeemerald disassembly (https://github.com/pret/pokeemerald/), which you should totally check out.

No resource pack, you can find all resources at (https://github.com/Mantager/pokeemerald/tree/gaidenone). The entire gaidenone branch is free to use. Just credit me, and more importantly, pret. Or just copy all the credits in this thread. Don't take anything from any other branches.
For patching: use BEAT (https://byuu.itch.io/beat/)
Download (v1.1): https://mega.nz/#!4ZwiTIKT!VM7fvIXp0B5C1YSWWTKWWDIoqhqkhaAQ4q2RSbe1zas
Apply the patch to an Emerald (Trashman) ROM. You know where to find it.

Game might be a little rough round the edges in some places, because obviously, I had time constraints. Report all bugs you find, including small ones such as decapitalisation errors or text not fitting in boxes. I'm pretty sure that there's no game-breaking bugs, but if you encounter any, tell me.




v1.2:
- Fixed the first Log event triggers in Cho Village to run properly
- Additional interactions with the giant wall in Color Ruins B1F (Yellow & Blue) will no longer revert story progress
- Fixed collision error in Pulp Field & Shendown Path
- Fixed Hall of Fame text misplacement, removed Brendan sprite, added # of whiteouts to player info
- Log's final team and Arum's team were given original movesets & high IVs, abilities also specified
- Removed the dummy item ball in Pulp Byroad
- Decapitalised more strings
- Cave background forced in Color/Dark Ruins
- Arena Trap displays correct name when switch blocked
- Added music to final Log event & removed HoF graphics showing in overworld
- Fixed oversight where the Lucky Egg would be given even if you have no space
- Fixed oversight where you could return to Dark City by interacting with the giant wall again
- Added more NPCs to Cho Village including a Move Tutor
v1.2:
- Fixed oversight where you could fight Arum without completing all 4 puzzles
- Fixed collision errors in various maps
- Fixed a bug where a certain tile used the wrong behaviour
- Rearranged Quick Claw's position to be more obvious
- Fixed a bug where a certain wall's text would display out of the textbox
- Dedenne comes with Tackle instead of Tail Whip

If I forgot you, then please tell me, I can be forgetful and the credit lists for these projects can get so long.
  • all contributors to pret for the pokeemerald disassembly
  • DizzyEgg for his Emerald battle engine, and all contributors to that
  • Pokécommunity for various small bits of code (such as coloured Natures)
  • anyone that helped me at any point on the pret Discord (answering my questions, etc)
  • Slawter for dynamic overworld sprites
 
Last edited:
#3
Patch v1.1 is out now at this link: https://mega.nz/#!UApGUShb!elwDhWRNivFOdDP1kBW_LU-5oJVJBxmUADfO0LUZvGc
This will most likely be the final update for the game.

v1.1:
- Fixed the first Log event triggers in Cho Village to run properly
- Additional interactions with the giant wall in Color Ruins B1F (Yellow & Blue) will no longer revert story progress
- Fixed collision error in Pulp Field & Shendown Path
- Fixed Hall of Fame text misplacement, removed Brendan sprite, added # of whiteouts to player info
- Log's final team and Arum's team were given original movesets & high IVs, abilities also specified
- Removed the dummy item ball in Pulp Byroad
- Decapitalised more strings
- Cave background forced in Color/Dark Ruins
- Arena Trap displays correct name when switch blocked
- Added music to final Log event & removed HoF graphics showing in overworld
- Fixed oversight where the Lucky Egg would be given even if you have no space
- Fixed oversight where you could return to Dark City by interacting with the giant wall again
- Added more NPCs to Cho Village including a Move Tutor
 

Ranko

Eternal Idiot
Member
Posts
39
#5
Congratulations on making a full game! That's really difficult. Time for my review.

This game was freakin' awesome. I loved this game. I grew a bit attached to the setting?? You did an great job with the game's pacing combined with the plot that didn't feel too heavy or too light. The game design was lovely and unique, and I had a lot of fun playing the game in general. That being said, I do have some things to point out.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion. Everyone has their own tastes and perspectives, and this is just how I feel about the game from my perspective as a player. I could've been playing the game completely wrong, but I feel highlighting how I felt should be said.

It's been awhile since I've played a Rom Hack, and this one was definitely quality. Some bugs and errors though, Fling doesn't seem to work as it should (I kept my Black Sludge and stuff) and Knock Off resets the game versus certain enemies (The Dugtrio trainer in the Puzzle and the Torkoal) which is a total bummer because this game THRIVES on items in my experience.

Speaking of items, I loved how the game's design focused so much on items. I actually was using stuff like Natural Gift and the Itemfinder, scouring around, looting as much as I can, and putting them to use as best as possible. I really did feel like a poor farmer with big dreams, trying to make the best what I could find. And you emboldened that really well by having so many unique items and such, to the point I explored as much as possible. This was pushed even harder by the fact some of the items, if you looked hard enough, were items that benefitted specific wild Pokémon, such as Stick, or Leaf Stone. You made a really good incentive to use the Itemfinder, and the items were cleverly placed to not be too annoying or too plentiful as to overwhelm me trying to find things. It felt great. I couldn't point out any part of the maps where it was too big or too small, or even the item placement. It was all reasonable. It's a lot of the little things like that! It's such a solid experience that's also unique, which I feel can be really hard to do. I actually can't point out ways to improve these parts of the game.

Moving to gameplay, this game is challenging! It definitely kicked my ass many many times, especially early on. And I love challenging games, but that's not actually a good thing. HOWEVER, you did the balancing really well, as I never felt completely overwhelmed and I had a lot of good options to play with. Great Pokémon variety and each Pokémon had items that were REALLY good for them too I noticed (If you decided to get a Croagunk, there's a Black Sludge to find if you look hard enough, etc). Was a really big fan of that attention to the details, a lot of pieces of this game placed right. There's usually the issue where Game Jam Pokémon don't grow enough to be able to evolve by the end of the game, but you were kind enough to have the enemy trainers not be too overwhelming you on that aspect. For example, I had a Yamask, who evolves later than the game would let you play. But the bosses still had Pokémon like Baltoy. Torkoal was tough, but reasonably tough. I was on an even level mostly, and thus, not being able to evolve didn't hinder me much.

The level curve. I felt like it was just right though, y'know? Well, almost, it did feel a bit much at times. However, this wasn't really an issue early as it was late. Early game, you're very instantly reminded to build a team with whatever PokéBalls you could find, and then things became much smoother. Pokémon leveled up quickly and the level curve was just right, so nobody really got left behind (Except Shiftry, but I'll talk about that later). Thankfully, you did provide a Lucky Egg eventually too, which made things a bit easier, but that was almost end-game. Maybe it's because I try everything without grinding, and even skip a few trainers, but it only took me a few tries for the two "big trainers". Thankfully didn't have to grind much, but I did have to suicide for levels unfortunately. That Drought Torkoal was super tough, and the rest of his mons had good coverage moves (although weren't much of a problem to faint).

My experience fell off a bit during these late game segments basically, knowing that the journey was almost ending, I felt a bit discouraged to grind because the game was going to be over soon, so I just pulled off some MLG expert tactics (Mud-slap, Nuzzle, the fun stuff.) to beat the overleveled stuff. I'm not sure if I'd say to fix the curve, but I don't know. Maybe some more trainers in the Dark City would be nice. I train my Pokémon evenly, so maybe 3-4 more optional trainers would be just enough to get them to 26ish, and handle the guy much easier. I didn't have to grind at all for the final battle, so I must thank you for not making the gap between him and the last guy very large. I did acknowledge that this is was a Game Jam game, and you probably had to rush these parts since they came last. They still came out great, but they weren't as strong as the mid-game exploration. Also maybe I evolved Nuzleaf too early, but Shiftry didn't learn any good moves and the move tutor was not kind to him either. Oh well.

A bit disappointed Dedenne wasn't story relevant at all. But hey, that's just the stuff I like. It's not that big of a deal at all. Great Pokémon choice for this game though, and was a very useful Pokémon that held its own. The setting of this game was executed great. It didn't overstay it's welcome but it was still taken seriously, and there was neat world-building being made. The Colored Ruins and all the lore behind them were really cool, and it's at these parts where I really really loved the game and loved the setting. It sold me. I'm very close to asking for more.

Pacing wise, things were great. Some critique though, I did feel a tad bit lost at one point. A lot of the texts are copied going from left to right, so when I was at one of the Colored Ruins, I didn't read the one that told me what to do until I individually read each one. I think there should've been a gap or maybe putting the inscription on its own wall to signify "This has different text that the one next to it". I feel like the player also wasn't exactly hinted hard enough that you had to figure out the puzzles behind each ruins to lift the roadblocks, and since there were multiple roadblocks, I think it got a bit confusing which roadblock was for which puzzle. This was after the first ruins, where I wasn't sure where to go, or if the other ruins even had puzzles. I think maybe a disclaimer that you're supposed to waste time at the ruins would help a lot. Scratching that though, the puzzles in this game were great. All of them were really really cool, well at least the ones that were new and unique. The Colored Ruins puzzles especially gave me much nostalgia from my Gen 3 childhood, like I was uncovering some deep secrets and lore. I feel a bit inspired by them actually.

This will probably be my vote unless something changes. Thanks for making this game. I really liked it.
 
Last edited:
#6
Congratulations on making a full game! That's really difficult. Time for my review.

This game was freakin' awesome. I loved this game. I grew a bit attached to the setting?? You did an great job with the game's pacing combined with the plot that didn't feel too heavy or too light. The game design was lovely and unique, and I had a lot of fun playing the game in general. That being said, I do have some things to point out.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion. Everyone has their own tastes and perspectives, and this is just how I feel about the game from my perspective as a player. I could've been playing the game completely wrong, but I feel highlighting how I felt should be said.

It's been awhile since I've played a Rom Hack, and this one was definitely quality. Some bugs and errors though, Fling doesn't seem to work as it should (I kept my Black Sludge and stuff) and Knock Off resets the game versus certain enemies (The Dugtrio trainer in the Puzzle and the Torkoal) which is a total bummer because this game THRIVES on items in my experience.

Speaking of items, I loved how the game's design focused so much on items. I actually was using stuff like Natural Gift and the Itemfinder, scouring around, looting as much as I can, and putting them to use as best as possible. I really did feel like a poor farmer with big dreams, trying to make the best what I could find. And you emboldened that really well by having so many unique items and such, to the point I explored as much as possible. This was pushed even harder by the fact some of the items, if you looked hard enough, were items that benefitted specific wild Pokémon, such as Stick, or Leaf Stone. You made a really good incentive to use the Itemfinder, and the items were cleverly placed to not be too annoying or too plentiful as to overwhelm me trying to find things. It felt great. I couldn't point out any part of the maps where it was too big or too small, or even the item placement. It was all reasonable. It's a lot of the little things like that! It's such a solid experience that's also unique, which I feel can be really hard to do. I actually can't point out ways to improve these parts of the game.

Moving to gameplay, this game is challenging! It definitely kicked my ass many many times, especially early on. And I love challenging games, but that's not actually a good thing. HOWEVER, you did the balancing really well, as I never felt completely overwhelmed and I had a lot of good options to play with. Great Pokémon variety and each Pokémon had items that were REALLY good for them too I noticed (If you decided to get a Croagunk, there's a Black Sludge to find if you look hard enough, etc). Was a really big fan of that attention to the details, a lot of pieces of this game placed right. There's usually the issue where Game Jam Pokémon don't grow enough to be able to evolve by the end of the game, but you were kind enough to have the enemy trainers not be too overwhelming you on that aspect. For example, I had a Yamask, who evolves later than the game would let you play. But the bosses still had Pokémon like Baltoy. Torkoal was tough, but reasonably tough. I was on an even level mostly, and thus, not being able to evolve didn't hinder me much.

The level curve. I felt like it was just right though, y'know? Well, almost, it did feel a bit much at times. However, this wasn't really an issue early as it was late. Early game, you're very instantly reminded to build a team with whatever PokéBalls you could find, and then things became much smoother. Pokémon leveled up quickly and the level curve was just right, so nobody really got left behind (Except Shiftry, but I'll talk about that later). Thankfully, you did provide a Lucky Egg eventually too, which made things a bit easier, but that was almost end-game. Maybe it's because I try everything without grinding, and even skip a few trainers, but it only took me a few tries for the two "big trainers". Thankfully didn't have to grind much, but I did have to suicide for levels unfortunately. That Drought Torkoal was super tough, and the rest of his mons had good coverage moves (although weren't much of a problem to faint).

My experience fell off a bit during these late game segments basically, knowing that the journey was almost ending, I felt a bit discouraged to grind because the game was going to be over soon, so I just pulled off some MLG expert tactics (Mud-slap, Nuzzle, the fun stuff.) to beat the overleveled stuff. I'm not sure if I'd say to fix the curve, but I don't know. Maybe some more trainers in the Dark City would be nice. I train my Pokémon evenly, so maybe 3-4 more optional trainers would be just enough to get them to 26ish, and handle the guy much easier. I didn't have to grind at all for the final battle, so I must thank you for not making the gap between him and the last guy very large. I did acknowledge that this is was a Game Jam game, and you probably had to rush these parts since they came last. They still came out great, but they weren't as strong as the mid-game exploration. Also maybe I evolved Nuzleaf too early, but Shiftry didn't learn any good moves and the move tutor was not kind to him either. Oh well.

A bit disappointed Dedenne wasn't story relevant at all. But hey, that's just the stuff I like. It's not that big of a deal at all. Great Pokémon choice for this game though, and was a very useful Pokémon that held its own. The setting of this game was executed great. It didn't overstay it's welcome but it was still taken seriously, and there was neat world-building being made. The Colored Ruins and all the lore behind them were really cool, and it's at these parts where I really really loved the game and loved the setting. It sold me. I'm very close to asking for more.

Pacing wise, things were great. Some critique though, I did feel a tad bit lost at one point. A lot of the texts are copied going from left to right, so when I was at one of the Colored Ruins, I didn't read the one that told me what to do until I individually read each one. I think there should've been a gap or maybe putting the inscription on its own wall to signify "This has different text that the one next to it". I feel like the player also wasn't exactly hinted hard enough that you had to figure out the puzzles behind each ruins to lift the roadblocks, and since there were multiple roadblocks, I think it got a bit confusing which roadblock was for which puzzle. This was after the first ruins, where I wasn't sure where to go, or if the other ruins even had puzzles. I think maybe a disclaimer that you're supposed to waste time at the ruins would help a lot. Scratching that though, the puzzles in this game were great. All of them were really really cool, well at least the ones that were new and unique. The Colored Ruins puzzles especially gave me much nostalgia from my Gen 3 childhood, like I was uncovering some deep secrets and lore. I feel a bit inspired by them actually.

This will probably be my vote unless something changes. Thanks for making this game. I really liked it.
I enjoyed reading this review so much I had to respond! Thank you for playing, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I'm happy I was able to communicate that feeling of being a rural farmer well - I thought that was one of the things that was important to include whilst making the game. As for the bugs, I heard about the Fling glitch already, it looks like it's not actually implemented in the engine I'm using. Oops, I should add that if I update the game. The Knock Off problem is strange though - I'll have to look into that.

I agree that the end-game can get grindy. I wanted to add a proper cave area before the Dark Ruins with Trainers in, but I opted not to due to very little time remaining at that point in development. I was able to amend the grind a little by messing with the EXP formula, but I can understand that it jumps up a little too much. I'll definitely take that into account in the summer.

I agree, Color Ruins needed more polish, a lot of people seemed to get stuck there. It was difficult to think up puzzles, and I wasn't happy with all of them by the end, but they seem to be recieved well, so I'm glad you enjoyed them. Color Ruins was an idea I had in my head for years, so I'm glad I got to utilise it in the end.
 

Ranko

Eternal Idiot
Member
Posts
39
#7
I enjoyed reading this review so much I had to respond! Thank you for playing, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I'm happy I was able to communicate that feeling of being a rural farmer well - I thought that was one of the things that was important to include whilst making the game. As for the bugs, I heard about the Fling glitch already, it looks like it's not actually implemented in the engine I'm using. Oops, I should add that if I update the game. The Knock Off problem is strange though - I'll have to look into that.

I agree that the end-game can get grindy. I wanted to add a proper cave area before the Dark Ruins with Trainers in, but I opted not to due to very little time remaining at that point in development. I was able to amend the grind a little by messing with the EXP formula, but I can understand that it jumps up a little too much. I'll definitely take that into account in the summer.

I agree, Color Ruins needed more polish, a lot of people seemed to get stuck there. It was difficult to think up puzzles, and I wasn't happy with all of them by the end, but they seem to be recieved well, so I'm glad you enjoyed them. Color Ruins was an idea I had in my head for years, so I'm glad I got to utilise it in the end.
Whatever you did to the EXP Formula was worth it. In short games like these, it makes so much more sense to have Pokemon level quickly. It was probably one of the biggest factors of keeping me fighting trainers rather than skipping them.

Also on the Knock Off bug, I replicated it to length and was using a Knock Off wielding Farfetch'd. Every time i used Knock Off on certain foes, the game would reset after the item gets tossed. It would on other Pokemon just fine though. Sometimes i intentionallY used it to reset a losing battle vs Torkoal haha
 
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