Generation III (
Chronologically, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald take place around the same time as Generation I.
The gameplay of Generation III follows the standards set by Generation I, with a child in a starting town obtaining their first Pokémon from the local Professor. However, keeping with the feature introduced in Crystal, the player can choose to be either male or female. A brand-new region, Hoenn, with its own set of eight Gym Leaders and Elite Four. The graphics got a complete overhaul, the cities beginning to have a slight 3-dimensional feel (that would not be completely achieved until Generation V), and the battles now had "battle-backgrounds" instead of the opposing Pokémon and their health bars being featured on pure white space.
The Pokémon storage system has changed from a crude, text-based interface to a full-color graphical user interface. Boxes, while remaining at 14, now have 10 extra spaces, allowing for storage of 140 additional Pokémon (for a total of 420 Pokémon). Something different from the Pokémon Gyms, Pokémon Contests, were introduced, allowing for the player to show off their Pokémon in ways different from battles. This also introduced Contests Stats and Pokéblocks (replaced by the Poffin and Aprijuice in Generation IV). The Apricorns and Apricorn Poké Balls are completely removed from the game, and seven new Poké Balls are introduced. Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, while having a built-in clock, lack the day and night feature introduced in Generation II, and the day of the week is no longer tracked.
The Berries introduced in Generation II have been rejected in favour of Berries which grow as plants and can be picked and planted elsewhere. The effects of the first ten new Berries are similar to the ten Generation II Berries. Two new villainous teams, Team Aqua and Team Magma two rival groups, whose focus is on capturing the legendary Pokémon Kyogre (Team Aqua) and Groudon (Team Magma), respectively. Generation III remains the only Generation with two villainous teams. Double and Tag battles (set to be topped by Triple and Rotation battles in Generation V) are also introduced.
Pokémon may now have one or two of 77 different abilities, many of which can be the reason why a player wins or loses a battle. In-bag sprites are also introduced in FireRed and LeafGreen, allowing players to see for the first time what many of their items look like. Also in FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokémon can be moved throughout the PC. Emerald also introduced Scott, and the very first Battle Frontier.
In Hoenn, they kept to the model of Grass, Water, and Fire for the starter Pokémon, introducing Treecko, Mudkip, and Torchic respectively. One of these Pokémon is received from Professor Birch after saving him from a wild Poochyena (Zigzagoon in Emerald ) at the start of the game which, at the time, was a deviation from previously getting it in the professor's lab. This was also done in generation IV & V where in Diamond/Pearl it was at a lake front inside a briefcase left behind by the professor Platinum had the professor giving them just outside Twinleaf Town, Black/White had them inside a present delivered by the professor to the players home, Black/White 2 had Bianca giving them from inside a container in Aspertia City.
Gym Leaders, Elite Fours and Champions
- So far, Generation III, Generation V, Generation VII and Generation VIII are the only Generations not to have Eeveelutions.
- Generation III introduced the most amount of Pokémon to later receive a Mega Evolution, that number being 20.