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Pokémon Snap is a video game developed by HAL Laboratory with Pax Softnica and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It is part of the Pokémon series, and was first released in North America on June 30, 1999.

It was released in Japan on the Wii's Virtual Console on December 4, 2007, in North America on December 10, 2007 then in Europe and Australia on the next day, three days earlier than previously planned. The Virtual Console version features the ability to send pictures taken in the game to the Wii Message Board and send them to friends. This is the first Pokémon game to get a Virtual Console release, and the first Virtual Console title which has been modified to take advantage of features of the Wii console. The default name of the main character, Todd, was changed to Todd Snap for unknown reasons, likely due to retcon as he was called Snap in the home video versions of the Pokémon anime. It is currently available for 1,000 Wii points.

Pokémon Snap was originally revealed as a Nintendo 64DD game. The game features 63 of the Red and Blue original generation of 151 Pokémon.

Story

Todd Snap, a fledgling Pokémon photographer, is summoned by Professor Oak to an unusual island to help him with a report. Oak needs quality pictures to accompany his scientific findings, and knows from past experience that Todd is the right person for the job. Pokémon Island, which contains a variety of climatic and geographic regions, is a place where Pokémon live relatively undisturbed by humans. Using a motorized, amphibious buggy named the Zero-One, Todd explores the island and takes photographs of the wide variety of Pokémon that inhabit its environments.

From Professor Oak's research hub, the player can select between the game's levels and features using a menu system. The path through the levels is linear, similar to a rail shooter. Up to 60 pictures can be taken per visit to a course. After completing a course, the player selects their best picture of each Pokémon to be rated by Professor Oak and added to the Pokémon Report. Scoring takes into account various aspects of the pictures, such as the Pokémon's size, its pose, and Todd's technique (keeping the Pokémon centered in the frame). Extra points are awarded for capturing a "Special" pose or Pokémon, and if there are multiples of the same Pokémon within the frame. Scoring well in the Pokémon Report and photographing a wide variety of Pokémon is required to make progress in the game.

The game features seven levels: Beach, Tunnel, Volcano, River, Cave, Valley, and the special course "Rainbow Cloud". However, the staggered acquisition of items from Professor Oak ensures that the player must re-explore the courses to discover new material. Levels must be replayed in order to locate hidden Pokémon, alternate routes, or photographic opportunities that yield the best scores. Each of the first six levels also contains the hidden likeness of a certain Pokémon in the environment, called a "Pokémon Sign." When the player photographs all the signs and presents them to Professor Oak, the seventh level is unlocked.

Because of the limited mobility of the Zero-One, Professor Oak will aid you in capturing better pictures by providing a variety of items:

  • Apples - by throwing apples close to the wild Pokémon, they will become attracted to the Pokémon food and begin to eat it. This gives the player a better, closer shot of the Pokémon as they joyously begin to eat the apples. Apples may also be used to hit Pokémon as well.
  • Pester Balls - a type of balls which are filled with gas. When thrown, they can knock out and cause Pokémon to faint and behave in a comical way. Also, pester balls can be used to force Pokémon out of their hiding places.
  • Poké-Flute- a special flute that awakens Pokémon from their sleep. It can also irritate the Pokémon as well. The Poké-Flute also plays different tunes and melodies.
  • Dash Engine- a device attached to the Zero-One that causes the Zero-One to accelerate through the course levels.

The game also features an "Album mark" where players can mark their favorite pictures to view at a later date or show to friends. In the Virtual Console version for the Wii, players have the ability to send photos to the Wii message board, other people with Wii consoles, or the photo channel. Also using WiiConect24 you may send pictures on the Wii Message Board to other registered Wii Consoles.

Release

Upon the game's release, Nintendo launched a marketing campaign in which owners of Pokémon Snap could bring a memory card with game data on it to a retail store and print a sheet of 16 stickers featuring the photos they'd taken. Nintendo partnered with Blockbuster in North America, Lawson in Japan, and Toys "R" Us and Myer in Australia for the promotion. Stores in these franchises carried "Pokémon Stations" which could print the stickers for a fee of $3. In North America, the promotion ran through the US Thanksgiving of 1999 in more than 4,500 Blockbuster stores.

Warner Bros. Movie World also had a briefly running ride based on the game to promote its Australian release.

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 8/10
IGN 7.8/10
Nintendo Power 8.7/10
Official Nintendo Magazine 85%

Pokémon Snap received generally positive reviews from the media, although Matt Casamassina of IGN noted that "Pokemaniacs are bound to be disappointed with the selection of Pocket Monsters in the game -- roughly 62 out of a possible 151 in all." The following is a collection of screenshots featuring the game Pokémon Snap.

Pokémon

List of Pokémon

Area Pokémon in that Area
Beach Butterfree - Commonly flying around the beach.

Pidgey - Commonly flying around the beach. Near the end, they use Gust on Meowth.

Pikachu - Some Pikachu can be lured and can also use Thunderbolt.

Meowth - One can be seen running throughout the island.

Doduo - Can be seen jumping from grass suddenly on the beach.

(Bonus) Kingler - A set of mossy rocks at the start looks like a Kingler.

Chansey - Hitting the ball that Eevee is playing with reveals it to be a Chansey.

Kangaskhan - Near the end of the stage, you can see it by throwing a Pester Ball at it.

Scyther - Use a Pester Ball on some grass to reveal a Scyther using Slash.

Magikarp - Throwing a Pester Ball or Food into any body of water will reveal Magikarp.

Lapras - If you take a picture when you first see Lapras, three more will appear.

Eevee - Plays with a pink ball, which is revealed to be a Chansey with a Pester Ball.

Snorlax - Using the PokéFlute will allow it to wake up and dance in different ways.

Tunnel Kakuna - Several Kakuna dangle from the ceiling and drop when Electrode explodes.

Pikachu - Using the PokéFlute when near the egg will make it use Thunder Wave.

Zubat - Though the metal doors in the tunnel, Zubat occasionally fly when they open.

Diglett - Near the end, Pikachu is playing with a Diglett.

Dugtrio - If you take pictures of Diglett enough, a Dugtrio may appear near Pikachu.

Magnemite - Uses Supersonic to distort the photo, but you can distract them with food.

Magneton - Luring all the Magnemite together makes them evolve into Magneton.

Haunter - In the form of a purple orb floating around the stage sometimes.

Electrode - Near the end, they use Explosion when hit to unlock a new stage.

Electabuzz - Often found near the middle of the tunnel with electrical machines.

(Bonus) Pinsir - A shadow in the middle of the tunnel looks like Pinsir.

Magikarp - Throwing a Pester Ball or Food into any body of water will reveal Magikarp.

Zapdos - Hatches from a giant egg when attacked by Pikachu.

Volcano Charmander - Near the egg, food will lure in a pack of six Charmander.

Charmeleon - If the Charmander at the beginning is attacked by Magmar, it will evolve.

Charizard - Knocking Charmeleon in a lava pool shows Charizard, using Flamethrower.

Vulpix - After Rapidash, a happy Vulpix can be seen playing.

Growlithe - Near the end, they pop out of the lava pools with Pester Balls.

Arcanine - Just like Growlithe, Arcanine may appear instead behind a lava pool.

Rapidash - Some Rapidash gallop past you near the beginning.

(Bonus) Koffing - Throwing a Pester Ball into a volcano reveals a Koffing-shaped-smoke.

Magmar - Can be seen attacking Charmander or near the egg.

Magikarp - Throwing a Pester Ball or Food into any body of water will reveal Magikarp.

Moltres - When Magmar knock the egg into some lava, it hatches a Moltres.

River Bulbasaur - Two bulbs sticking out are actually Bulbasaur when you use a Pester Ball.

Metapod - Metapod will occasionally dangle from the top of a tree.

Pikachu - Near the end, taking a picture of Pikachu will make it use Quick Attack.

Vileplume - Using the PokéFlute will reveal it, waking it and making it dance.

Psyduck - Can be seen swimming occasionally around the stage.

Poliwag - A group of them appears on the right. Pester Balls makes them dive together.

Slowpoke - Two can be lured with food, where they will then fish for Shellder.

Slowbro - When a Slowpoke fishes up a Shellder, it will evolve into Slowbro.

Shellder - Will jump out of the water. Can also be seen when Slowpoke goes fishing.

Cloyster - Similar to Shellder, Cloyster will jump out of the water.

(Bonus) Cubone - A tree that looks like a Cubone can be seen.

Magikarp - Throwing a Pester Ball or Food into any body of water will reveal Magikarp.

Porygon - Will be camouflaged in the vegetation. The second one unlocks a stage.

Cave Bulbasaur - Even though these are Ditto, they count as a Bulbasaur picture.

Pikachu - Can be seen being attacked by a Zubat.

Jigglypuff - Three are attacked by Koffing. Saving all the Jigglypuff will make them sing.

Zubat - Several of them fly by the player at the start of the course.

Weepinbell - Can be seen floating near a lake of water.

Victreebel - Knocking Weepinbell into the lake will make it evolve.

Grimer - You can lure several of them with Food.

Muk - When a Grimer is hit with three Pester Balls, it will evolve into Muk.

Koffing - Can be seen chasing three Jigglypuff. They fly away when hit with Pester Balls.

Jynx - Using a PokéFlute around them will wake them up and make them dance.

Magikarp - Throwing a Pester Ball or Food into any body of water will reveal Magikarp.

Ditto - Hitting a Bulbasaur with a Pester Ball reveals it to be a Ditto using Transform.

Articuno - Making the Jynx dance around the egg with make it hatch into Articuno.

(Bonus) Mewtwo - Several crystals form a Mewtwo when looked at with the camera.

Valley Squirtle - Hitting some brown shells at certain angles reveals them to be Squirtle.

Sandshrew - They can be seen briefly before digging, but can be lured with Geodude.

Sandslash - Same as Sandshrew, and can be lured out by Geodude and Graveler.

(Bonus) Dugtrio - A giant mountain that looks like Dugtrio can be seen.

Mankey - Three can be seen throughout the stage.

Geodude - Can be knocked off of the ledges they hang onto with Pester Balls.

Graveler - Can be seen once both Geodude are knocked down with Pester Balls.

Goldeen - Throwing a Pester Ball or Food into any body of water may reveal Goldeen.

Staryu - Three can be seen. Taking a front picture will cause them to circle the player.

Starmie - If a Staryu circles the player till the end, they will dive and become Starmie.

Magikarp - On land, one can be hit with an item to send it flying into a waterfall.

Gyarados - If you send Magikarp flying into a waterfall, it will come back as a Gyarados.

Dratini - Throing a Pester Ball or Food into any body of water may reveal Dratini.

Dragonite - Throwing three Pester Balls into a whirlpool reveals a Dragonite flying out.

Rainbow Cloud Mew - The only Pokémon on this stage. The entire course is a longer encounter with it.

Trivia

  • The Charmander line is the only Starter line that has all of its evolutions appear.
  • Rainbow Cloud is the only course in which Magikarp doesn't appear.
  • This is the only game to show Slowpoke using its "other evolution method" (fishing its tail until a Shellder bites).
  • According to Satoru Iwata, the original concept of the game was simply "a normal game in which you took photos, but the motivation for playing the game wasn't clear." This was until Pokémon was introduced, giving the game a bit of purpose.
  • A song in the game files named "Fantastic Horror" states that there was originally a Ghost-type themed stage featuring other scary Pokémon, but it was scrapped due to the only Ghost-types at the time being were the Gastly line.
  • Strangely, Ekans was planned in the game but was removed for unknown reasons.

Gallery

Nintendo 64 Screenshots

Wii Screenshots

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