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Series as a Whole

  • Complete Monster: Cipher is more or less built around this trope, since making Shadow Pokémon means abusing them to the ninth degree. The more Shadow Pokémon, the higher your rank and the more likely that you're an utter bastard. Big Bad Boss Evice and Ein are therefore the worst of the whole lot.
    • Ein in particular deserves mention, seeing as he's the Evil Genius behind Shadow Pokemon in the first place, comes off as a cold and callous sociopath who cares nothing for life other than experimenting on it, and even wants to perfect the process of turning Pokemon into heartless killing machines just to show he can.
    • Ardos is one of the more evil members of Cipher, surpassed only by Ein, Evice, and possibly his own father Greevil. He suggests to Greevil after his defeat that they murder the ten-year-old protagonist, as well as all the Cipher personnel and Pokemon present, by blowing up their base to escape arrest. Even worse, Ardos tells you post-game that he is fully intent on resurrecting Cipher, which means they are scheduled for a third coming. So far, nothing's developed, but the people of Orre certainly aren't sleeping as well as they should.
  • Creepy Awesome: Cipher is pure evil and the patron saints of Paranoia Fuel for the cold, calculating efficiency with which they do their work, subverting as many protection fallacies as they think they can get away with. On the other hand, said cold, calculating efficiency and genre savviness has drawn them a number of fans.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Miror B. in both games has great battle music. The salsa-ish beat to go with his Ludicolo team in Colosseum is fitting and popular. And the funky disco of his XD theme can get stuck in your head for days. Having two such popular themes contributes to Miror B.'s status as an Ensemble Darkhorse.
    • There are quite a few epic battle themes in this game. The Cipher admin theme and Evice's theme stand out in particular.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Venus and Lovrina are this in-universe, each having in-game fan clubs devoted to them.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Miror B. in both games.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Ein, Venus, and Lovrina. All of them evil to varying degrees but all of them so good looking.
  • Mis Blamed: Game Freak didn't work on these games; although a Nintendo and Pokémon-company owned franchise did.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Orre's the only region to have its own section.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Fans were asking for a more plot-driven and Darker and Edgier take on the series since Gen I. Colosseum comes out and what's it criticised for? "It's not like Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire". They were not nice to Colosseum... however they lightened up around time for Mystery Dungeon and Ranger, and Colosseum gets a lot more love nowadays for its innovation.

Colosseum

  • Accidental Innuendo: A construction worker in the Pyrite Hotel says "Apparently some rich fellow ordered the colosseum built. I'm amazingly stiff."
  • Breather Boss: For being the boss of Team Snagem, Gonzap isn't all that hard of a guy to battle, especially compared to the Cipher Admin rematches you had before him. While he loves having his Pokémon use Earthquake like Dakim, he isn't able to protect his other Pokémon from friendly fire, so he ends up crippling his team while his Pokémon can be easily picked off.
    • Out of the Cipher Admins, Venus while not easy, certainly isn't anywhere near as bad as the other Admins since her Attract-spam strategy isn't anywhere near as dangerous as Dakim's Protectquake spame or Ein's Thunderdance strategy.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Colosseum allows you to use any Ball an infinite number of times by using it on your first mon's turn and switching your item list around in the second - and yes, this includes the Master Ball. XD fixed this.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Dr. Ein crosses this just by inventing the Shadow Pokemon system (without a shred of remorse, and actually with a desire to improve it), and Evice just by leading the whole operation. Particularly since he oversaw all these despicable actions while posing as the friendly mayor of Phenac City and allowing Cipher to operate in his city.
  • Play the Game Skip the Story: Fans and former fans demanded a more plot-driven Pokémon game or for a Darker and Edgier entry to the series. They get Colosseum and...the responses are either "WTF where are the wilds?" "Why is this not like Pokemon Red or Blue?", "Shadow Pokémon? WTF are they babbling on about I wanna EV train!", "Double Battles? I HATE Double Battles!", while the Darker and Edgier stuff was mostly completely ignored by the "Pokémon is kiddy" age-ghetto types.
    • Although some people actually did pay attention. This is like the Ensemble Darkhorse of games in the franchise, after all.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Shadow Rush in Colosseum inflicted recoil damage, which the computer tended to use to deny a Snag by forcing a self KO (Which is really annoying with Colosseum's use of Save Points and leads to much back tracking). This is fixed in XD. Now there are more Shadow moves than Shadow Rush and only Shadow Half (reduces the HP of all Pokémon on the field by half) and Shadow End (deal great damage but reduces the user's HP by half) have recoil (both appear only on end-game snag targets), but they have the same lethality as False Swipe, which benefits the player.
    • Hyper Mode in all its lose a turn glory - especially if said Pokemon is low on health and likely to get K Od before being able to take the opponent down first.
    • Can be seen as a blessing if you're interested in purifying all pokemon quickly; the pokemon at a cost of a lost turn will also gain happiness points, reducing the amount of time needed to purify it.
  • That One Boss: Applicable to any and all bosses who own Legendary or third-stage/uber Pokémon. However, a rather early game, and very maddening example, is Dakim, who uses a brutally effective strategy to utterly destroy you: One Pokémon Protects (making itself immune to damage), the other uses Earthquake. Next turn, the roles switch. So you either eat Earthquakes until they run out of PP for Protect, or use somthing like Encore to screw their strategy up. When you take into account that Dakim has Entei, and Entei is Fire-type, which takes supereffective damage from Ground-type attacks, which is what Earthquake is, well...
    • Ein as well, given how the guy's team relies on Rain Dance, which boosts the Water moves of his, well, Water type Pokémon to insane levels while his others can use the powerful Thunder now with perfect accuracy.

XD

  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Did the game have to re-use so much from Colosseum?
  • I Thought It Meant: No, the name of the game doesn't mean "Pokemon, LOL".
  • Moral Event Horizon: Cipher as a whole crosses it in the first scene (as if they weren't on the other side of the line already) with the destruction of the S.S. Libra, which is confirmed to kill several people.
    • Individually, we have Snattle's imprisonment of an entire town's population (apparently using violence no less), Lovrina's experiments on XD001, and Ardos attempting to get Michael and everyone else within the area killed.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In XD, Cipher Peons have a tendency to drop down from the ceiling when you least expect it. There's also one time where you get on an elevator alone, and you come out of said elevator with a Peon behind you.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Michael.
  • The Scrappy: Michael's little sister Jovi. Big time.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Poke Spots defeated the entire point of Shadow Pokemon and Orre, and gave rubbish Pokemon anyway.
  • That One Boss: Snattle's 2nd fight is brutal on its own, with his Shadow Starmie being an insane sweeper and being fought a long way away from a healing machine on either end, but you fight the smartest grunt in the franchise right afterwards.
    • His first fight isn't exactly a walk in the park either.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The things they didn't keep the same rubbed some fans the wrong way, particularly changing Orre into a much more habitable place, thus losing its "edge."
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