Pokemon Stadium, or in Japan, is an RPG-styled strategy game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It was released on April 30, 1999 in Japan, February 29, 2000 in North America, and December 31, 2000 in Europe.
Though known in the United States and Europe as Pokemon Stadium the game itself is actually a sequel to a Japan-exclusive title released in 1998.
First (Japan only)
The original title, called , was released in Japan
on August 1
, 1998. This version featured only 42 Pokémon available for battle, instead of the full 151 Pokémon from the Game Boy
versions. The remaining Pokémon were viewable in a Pokédex, but the models lacked the required animations for battle. This version was not released outside of Japan, and as such the numbering of subsequent Japanese releases is ahead of the North America
This game was originally intended for the Nintendo 64DD
format, but as the Nintendo 64DD
was a commercial failure, Pokémon Stadium transferred to cartridge format. There was also a Pocket Monsters Stadium Expansion Disk proposed as an add-on for the Nintendo 64DD
but was unreleased.
Second (first outside of Japan)
The second game in the series was called in Japan
and was released as Pokémon Stadium
in North America
. This version features all 151 original Pokémon featured in the original Game Boy games. The North American version of this game featured support for transferring Pokémon from Pokémon Red, Blue
, and Yellow
via the N64 Transfer Pak
The first game had met widespread criticism for its difficulty, and in Pokémon Stadium 2 the AI was toned down to make it easier for average players to beat.
If the player used the Yellow game, the talking Pikachu from this cartridge was a hidden character. The North American version could also be purchased in a bundle that included the game with Transfer Pak, an N64 with controller, a second purple controller, a small Pokémon magazine, and a "Cool Porygon" Pokémon trading card.
While Pokémon Stadium does not have a storyline per se, progress in the game can only be made by winning Cups in the Stadium and completing the Gym Leader Castle. When all Cups have been won and the Gym Leader Castle completed, Mewtwo
will appear in the sky over the Stadium. Defeating Mewtwo will unlock Round 2, in which the player must re-challenge the Stadium, Gym Leader Castle, and Mewtwo in order to complete the game.
Pokémon tournaments take place in the Stadium. There are four Cups to participate in. Players choose a team of six Pokémon, comprised of any combination of pregenerated rental Pokémon and Pokémon imported from a Game Boy cartridge. Each round consists of eight three-on-three battles, and the Poké and Prime Cups consist of four rounds, named after Poké Balls, that must be cleared to win that Cup.
- Pika Cup: Battle using Pokémon from levels 15 to 20.
- Petit Cup: Battle using Basic Pokémon from levels 25 to 30 who fall under a certain height and weight. The most restrictive Cup.
- Poké Cup: Battle using Pokémon from levels 50 to 55.
- Prime Cup: Battle using Pokémon of any level. All opponents' Pokémon are at level 100.
Gym Leader Castle
The player can challenge the eight Kanto Gym Leaders
of the video games, as well as the Elite Four
and the Champion (Rival). Each time that the player defeats the Elite 4, a Pokémon selected at random will be awarded as a prize, which can be transferred to the player's Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow game using the Transfer Pak. Some of the prize Pokémon are Eevee
, and Omanyte
. Gym Leader Castle is one of the most difficult aspects of the game.
Pokemon Stadium features all 151 Pokemon from RBY including Mew. Mew however can only be used in Free Battle, Prime Cup and Gym Leader Castle. He can only be rented out in R2 in the Prime Cup. To use him in Gym Leader Castle players must import him from RBY.
Pokémon Stadium has many features aside from the main battling sequence, such as mini-games, a Game Boy player on the N64 cartridge, and more.
In Free Battle mode, players may conduct practice battles. Players can select rules from any of the tournament cups, or use modified rules. Up to four players may participate, using any combination of rental Pokémon and those imported from cartridges plugged into a Transfer Pak.
At the Game Boy Tower, the player can play Pokémon Red, Blue, or Yellow on the Nintendo 64. Winning tournament cups in the Stadium and completing the Gym Leader Castle will eventually unlock Doduo Mode (double speed) and Dodrio Mode (triple speed).
The Hall of Fame contains statues of Pokémon who have beaten the Elite Four in Gym Leader Castle or completed the highest round of a tournament in the Stadium.
Link Battle is located outside of Stadium City. Two to four players with Transfer Paks plugged in can use Pokémon from their Game Boy games and battle with custom rules.
The Pokémon Lab is only accessible if a Game Boy cartridge is plugged into the Transfer Pak. If the game is saved in a Pokémon Center, the player may access the PC and can arrange boxed Pokémon and items. The Lab also features an interactive Pokédex and a machine for trading between two cartridges connected by Transfer Pak.
Quick Battle is a single battle located outside of Stadium City. One player and the CPU or two players battle with pre-selected Pokémon.
Nine Pokémon themed minigames can be played in Pokémon Stadium, either as stand-alone games or as part of a tournament. One to four human players may participate, with the rest controlled by the computer. Many of the games utilize button mashing