Pokemon Hacks are, in this case, fan made games that may or may not have fan made Pokemon characters. The particular hack, Pokemon Quartz, is one of the most famous of these hacks, as it is one of the few to have been completed and contain an entirely original Pokedex. The game is a hack of Pokemon Ruby, meaning it visually resembles the game Ruby yet the similarities end there. The towns, buildings, story, and Pokemon are all original, though unofficial, being a fan made game.
I can’t say I’ve finished the game, but I’m already far enough along to say this: it’s fun and a whole new experience compared to a Pokemon game… and you should save often if you’re on a Mac, the emulators tend to crash. The game contains, as in the description, two hundred thirty-seven unique Pokemon to catch and another one hundred forty-nine to see. There is, also, a new home for the new Pokemon, the Corna region, which is essentially Hoenn, with some minor changes in each area. Furthermore, there’s a whole new set of baddies to handle in this version, whether it’s the nine, yes, nine, gym leaders or the Ambar Band, though referred to as the Band Ambar, as the creator’s native language is Spanish rather than English. The translation troubles appear a few times in the game, turned into a joke and noted a number of times. In fact, after saving the region’s professor, Baro, he begins speaking Spanish in frustration, saying not to mind what he says. Along with the technical changes, though, there are also the changes that truly set the game apart from its source.
From the script to the neighbor to Pokemon changes, it makes for an interesting time. Foremost, it should be noted the dialogue in the hack isn’t quite so rated E as the official counterpart. In fact, upon first meeting the neighbor boy, his womanizing nature is obvious, going so far as to call you “Babe” and daydream about officer “Jeni” not a few sentences later. I can’t say for sure on how a female counterpart will act, though from the game description (“…your new sexy neighbor Ran/J.Akira….”) I’ll assume it’s some flirty parallel to the boy’s dialogue. Much of the script follows that sort of pattern, the boy continuing to hit on the player and the Professor far from professional and even absent minded at times. In addition to all the curious interaction, there’s also, as mentioned before, a new selection of Pokemon. From the first encounter, it’s easy to see the spriter didn’t entirely agree with the looks of official Pokemon. In fact, all three starters, while still grass, fire, and water variations, are near identical eggs, cracked with eyes peeking out and colors corresponding to their type. Contrary to other eggs, fortunately, these eggs are capable of attacking and leveling. While strange, it is indeed convenient when one goes to save the professor. For those who are looking forward to spoilers, go ahead and Google, “Pokemon Quartz starters,” though I needn’t ruin it for the rest.
All in all, an enjoyable game, certainly one worth checking out if you’re a player who’s getting tired of the entirely innocent dialogue of official Pokemon games, or maybe just interested in something different. If you are among the majority who are unfamiliar with Pokemon hacks and emulators, I suggest making full use of web searches and video tutorials. Good luck in the world of Corna!