After RPG Mode's opening cut scene, in which a mysterious hero rips off a Pokemon Snagging device from petty crooks, blows up their hideout, then speeds off into a desert wasteland, you'll be thrown into the new region of Orre. What sets Orre apart from Kanto, Johto and Hoenn is that there are no wild Pokemon.
You'll play a loner hero and ex-villain named Leo, accompanied by your Umbreon (Level 26) and Espeon (Level 25), until you rescue a young woman named Mirie from kidnappers. The Team Shadow grunts want her because she has the special ability to be able to distinguish Shadow Pokemon from regular Pokemon. You'll have to rely on her special ability since from appearance there's no way to distinguish a normal Pokemon from a Shadow Pokemon.
It's imperative that you have your partner to help you since you can only Snag Shadow Pokemon, not the many regular Pokemon that you'll battle. When your psychic sidekick sees a dark aura, you'll know that you have a rare Snag opportunity.
Snagging a Shadow Pokemon is just like catching a regular Pokemon in Ruby/Sapphire with a Pokeball. You'll need to battle the Pokemon until it's weak, then launch a Poke Ball through your handheld Snag Machine to add it to your team.
After you Snag a Shadow Pokemon, you'll need to purify it by including it in your six-member team or using it in battle. The only problem is that the Shadow Pokemon will only have one move, Shadow Rush, not the four moves you'd expect for its level. The more you purity it, the more of its four moves it will reveal for your battle use.
|Shadow Rush||--||90||100||--||Damages foe, but with a severe recoil to your Pokemon|
Your Shadow Pokemon will often get overexcited during a battle, disobey you and launch into Hyper mode. When it does, it can use its Shadow Rush battering-ram attack with even more devastating effect and a higher chance of scoring a critical hit.
To get your Pokemon out of Hyper mode and calm it down, you'll have to use the Call Out command. You'll notice that Call Out has replaced the Run command and that's because its vital when you need to make your Pokemon come out of Hyper mode, which will help lower Shadow bar, as well as help awaken sleeping Pokemon.
The remaining taint on your Shadow Pokemon is shown on a five-bar blue meter. When your Pokemon's taint bar dips below four bars, it reveals the first of four typical moves for its level. You'll need to purify it more to reveal additional moves.
A Shadow Pokemon won't gain levels or learn level-up moves until it's fully purified. You'll need to purge every trace of taint from its meter, then take it to an ancient relic hidden in Ageto City. When you submit the Pokemon to the relic's power, it'll indergo a huge transformation. It will then reveal its fourth hidden move to you, usually one of tis most powerful.
Purifying a Pokemon will not only add its true power to your team--allowing it to level up, learn new moves and evolve--it will also qualify the Pokemon for entry to Battle mode and after you've finished the main RPG Mode mission, you can transfer all purified Pokemon to your Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire Game Pak. You'll also be able to rename it and it will receive a Ribbon showing that it has been purified.
The RPG Mode is a lot more difficult from the normal RPG game play in Ruby/Sapphre because you won't find a PokeCenter or PokeMart around every bend. You'll have to remember where everything is because when you want to save, you'll want to be able to find the nearest PC, which will save your progress thus far.
Another thing that makes RPG Mode unique is that your exploration and encounters will be confined to cities. You won't have to walk miles on routes to encounter Pokemon like in previous Pokemon RPG's. Instead you'll need to select your target from the map, watch a cut scene that shows you racing through the desert, then arrivea your destination.
In the previous games, battles rarely occured within cities. In Orre, towns are packed with Trainers who want to prove themselves and criminals who want destroy you. Two-on-Two battles may not have been prominent in Ruby/Sapphire, but in the RPG Mode every battle will be a double battle. You'll keep two Pokemon on the battlefield at all times, which demands a complex strategy.
Orre is home to the most adanved tutorials available in a Pokemon RPG. Its located in n Phenac City, one of the first areas you'll explore on your journey. It'll prove invaluable for those who've never studied the Pokemon battle system and want to learn the basics. as well as those who want to fine tune their skills.
RPG Mode finally presents a way of obtaining the unavailable Pokemon from the Johto region found only in Gold/Silver/Crystal. You'll now be able to try and "Catch 'em all" and complete your Pokedex with their addition. There are a total of 48 Pokemon that you must save from the evil trainers. That includes the trio of legendary elemental Pokemon Raikou, Entei and Suicune who you'll be able to Snag from Team Shadown Executives.