Pokémon Trading Card Game is a Game Boy Color video game released by Nintendo. It is based on the Pokémon Trading Card Game. It is similar to the main series Pokémon games in that you start as a boy and go to a professor to get your first Pokémon/Deck. People unfamiliar with the Pokémon TCG can still play this game because unlike some other card video games this game teaches you to play, and the system of playing is quite simple. A sequel to this game was released in Japan but the sequel never made it overseas. This game was released in America on April 10, 2000. The game was re-released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2014.
The game is straightforward in plot: after getting one of three starter decks (Bulbasaur and Freinds; Charmander and Friends; Squirtle and Friends) and a practice duel from Dr. Mason, the protagonist, Mark, has to obtain Medals from the leaders of 8 clubs:
- The Grass Club uses Grass-type Pokémon with a weakness to Fire. Mark has to win duels against all of the members before one of them tell Mark where the leader, Nikki, is. Upon meeting Nikki at Mr. Ishihara's House, Nikki would be available for dueling in the Grass Club.
- The Science Club uses Grass-type Pokémon with a weakness to Psychic. Mark has to win a dual against one of the members before being able to deal the leader.
- The Fire Club uses Fire-type Pokémon. The leader, Ken, needs Mark to have a lot of cards before accepting a duel from Mark.
- The Water Club uses Water-type Pokémon. Mark has to duel Joshua before Mark can duel the leader.
- The Lightning Club uses Lightning-type Pokémon. Mark has to duel all 3 members of the club before dueling the leader, Newton.
- The Fighting Club uses Fighting-type Pokémon with a weakness to Psychic. Mark needs to battle its members, which reside in other clubs, before dueling the leader.
- The Rock Club uses Fighting-type Pokémon with a weakness to Grass. There are no special requirements for dueling the leader, Gene.
- The Psychic Club uses Psychic-type Pokémon. Its members require the trainer to have already won a certain number of medals before accepting a duel. A duel with the leader, Murray, requires Mark to both have 3 medals and having have won duels against the other members of the club.
Obtaining a medal would grant access to recipes of special decks related to the theme of its respective club. For example: the Fire Club Medal has recipes for decks based on Fire-Type Pokémon. Obtaining all 8 would allow Mark to battle the Grand Masters and obtain their Legendary Cards: Moltres, Articuno, Zapdos, and Dragonite. The Grand Masters themselves use decks based around their respective Legendary Cards.
Mark also has a rival, Ronald, that, at times, duels Mark (sometimes after Mark gets a certain number of medals). While these duels do not need to be won, winning them would have Ronald gift Mark promotional cards. After dueling the Grand Masters, though, Mark would have to duel Ronald, who has all of the Legendary Cards, before Mark can enter a room that has both a Deck Machine and the Legendary Cards themselves, thus finishing the main plot.
After winning the game, Mark can deal with anyone at his leisure, though Mark can also duel against a series of randomized opponents in a row through a machine that Dr. Mason has made.
The game features Imakuni?, a character based on a real-life song-artist who also drew some art in a few cards of the real-life Pokémon Trading Card Game, alongside featuring in a few cards, himself. In the game, Imakuni? travels around the club lounges randomly. Winning every 3rd duel against him will win Mark an Imakuni? card. Otherwise, Mark would get one of each pack.
Mark can also trade cards with people in the lounges, though the trades may be arranged differently. (Mark may have to give all of his Energy cards to someone, or again, give someone else 5 cards throughout the game). Also, after fulfilling certain requirements, other people may be simply given certain cards. One of the most prominent traders is Mr Ishihara, who would trade rare cards in exchange of the highly rare Flying Pikachu and Surfing Pikachu cards.
Of course, real-life players of the game can connect with each other through the GameBoy Color Link Cable and either duel or trade. They can also achieve Card Pop! through IR.
This feature uses the IR feature of the Game Boy Color. Two people who have their own copies of the game would get one random card each. Despite this feature being the only way to obtain the Phantom Cards, two cards that are the rarest of the game), two people can not Card Pop! with each other again, requiring both of them to find other people with a copy of the game.
Changes from the official Card Game
- If one of the duelists gets a Mulligan, the opponent does not draw cards.
- Very frequently, duelists duel Mark for less than 6 prizes. (The usual case is a club member dueling Mark for 4 prizes.)
- The rarities of the cards can differ from their real-life counterparts.
- A few cards are exclusive to the game, having no real-life counterpart.