From RSE to ORAS – Top Ten Wanted Improvements

A lot of people got terribly excited when Game Freak finally went and announced remakes to the Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald games. We’ll be able to revisit Hoenn in all its watery, tropical glory on the 3DS with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. But naturally, even in remakes there will be changes and improvements. FRLG embraced the running shoes, and added in the Sevii Islands. HGSS arguably went further in implementing little changes, additions and improvements – from having Pokémon follow you, to adding in a Safari Zone and Gym Leader rematches. 

And we can expect new additions in ORAS as well. We already know that the other 3rd gen starters get Mega Forms, as does Sableye. But what things in RSE will carry over to the remakes, and how will they change? This list are some of the things I’d like to see improved upon in the remakes, and why. Note that this list only involves aspects that were part of RSE; while things like Amie were great fun, they’re not being considered here. There’s also a follow-up article which examines which of these did improve, and more.

10 – Give us both bikes!

Yes, we know. Rydel.

The Mach bike and Acro bike were great fun. The Mach bike got you to that next town or through a particular route really quickly. You could even explore extra areas by zooming up otherwise impossible slopes. And who didn’t kill time on Cycling Road trying to get a new best time with your Mach Bike?

The Acro bike meanwhile gave you the ability to bunny hop all over the map, which always seemed cool and amusing when you were just a kid. Like the Mach bike, it was the only way to access a few hidden places as well, such as areas in the Safari Zone, or hidden alcoves in routes leading to a neat place for your Secret Base or a TM. And the bunny hop trick was a nice way to look for roaming Pokémon without wasting many Repels. 

But it was annoying having to go back to Rydel to change your bike every time you wanted to check out a new place you came across, some of them rather out of the way from any town or Fly point. And if you had a few friends who had secret bases only accessible by using one of the bikes, then to be able to check those out you’d need to go and swap bikes again! Give us both this time around, please! It’s not like we can’t fit them into our bottomless bag after all. 

9 – Update that PokéNav

The PokéNav (PokéNavigator in full) was a neat feature of RSE, and a step up to the PokéGear from GSC. It had a map, a stat display for Pokémon Contest stats, and a list of trainers you could rematch and check at a glance, in case you wanted to grind some more. Emerald then added in a call function that also allowed you to talk to these trainers, and… uh…

Well, I guess you can always call the President…?

That’s the problem – that’s all there was to it. No fancy radio that would play bonus tunes, no time display – just Contest stats and a list of trainers to fight. So one of the things I hope gets attention from Game Freak in the remakes is the PokéNav. Let’s see them give it touchscreen implementation, and add in some extra functions. For example, if the ability to grow berries all over the map remains in ORAS, let us be able to check which berries are ripe for the picking or need watering with the PokéNav, rather than rely on us to travel all over the region every few hours! DPPt had such a feature with its Pokétch, and some of the twenty-odd apps that appeared on that would be nice to have here. 

8 – Wifi with contests

Well, first thing first. I hope the remakes will bring back the RSE contests. They were a much loved distraction from the main quest. And on that note, please don’t add in any dressing up or dance numbers segments to them as well. Super Contests in DPPt just… felt less ‘super’ despite those additions, and the removal of moves that could take appeal points off your opponents overly simplified the way the main section worked as well, I felt. 

But assuming contests are back in, let’s hope we see ORAS make use of wifi capabilities. Taking on friends or random people from around the world with our Pokémon in contests would be quite fun I think, and offer a challenge the AI wouldn’t be able to on its own. 

Along with that, allow wifi to be used with Pokéblock making. It’d promote growing all those berries, and may make for a good minigame to kill some time over as well. And we all know how much Game Freak like to promote using wifi every generation, what with features such as the GTS, Battle Spot, and Wonder Trade.

Not really.

7 – More involvement from the Gym Leaders

One of the parts I rather liked about Black and White was how the games made actual characters out of the Gym Leaders. No longer were they seemingly attached to their Gym buildings by a ball and chain. No, they actually got involved with fighting Team Plasma, and exploring the world around them. Jasmine was an exception back in the GSC games – here, Gym Leaders doing something were the norm, not the exception. This also proved to be the case to some extent in the sequels B2W2, and in HGSS while they kept things largely the same in roles Gym Leaders had, they did expand on them as characters, allowing them to be found postgame all over the two regions. They’d talk to each other, or a visiting trainer from Sinnoh. You even could pose with them for photographs!

#Blue #Selfie #Legendary

Sadly, they went backwards with X&Y, with Gym Leaders put back to their buildings without giving a glance to the world outside. And RSE were similar. There were only two exceptions in total. One was the protagonist’s father, who leaves his Gym once – to visit your house when you become Champion. The less said about this guy the better – he wouldn’t even go and help Wally catch his first Pokemon, instead just lending him a Zigzagoon and making you go help him! 

The other example was Sootopolis’ Gym Leader (Wallace or Juan, depending on which game you played), and that’s probably because there was a natural disaster going on at the time, right where their Gym was.

Mr Legendary Pokemon go away so the Gym Leader can sleep, please.

It’d be grand if they can be expanded upon in the remakes. If they don’t have more of a role during the story, at least let us learn more about them postgame. Otherwise, they’re nothing more than filler characters who we can easily forget about simply serving the role as a boss, and nothing more.

6 – Add to all that ocean

It makes sense for Hoenn to be full of water given the tropical theme they went with, and the ability to make use of diverse environments with the GBA and its increased capabilities over the Game Boy and Game Boy Colour. And the aims of the two teams in RSE complemented it nicely too – Magma wanted less ocean so that land-based creatures could have more space to live, and Aqua wanted more space for sea creatures. Ignoring the world is 70% ocean, of course.

Some may feel 70% of Hoenn is ocean too.

But it would be nice to have more to explore in the latter part of the game besides a few isolated underwater areas that mostly looked the same as each other. Sure, there was Shoal Cave, and the ruins that had a connection to the Regis, but all the same, that is a lot of water to transverse. A slower speed when swimming underwater with Dive just further frustrates the matter given how many underwater sections there are which are easy to miss as well – yet what there was to see underwater amounted to largely repetitive environments. 

And a bit more variety in the Pokémon encountered while surfing would be nice as well. Wingull, Pelipper, Tentacool and Tentacruel were practically it. I’m sure people were sick of the sight of them very quickly, and that PokéMarts made good business on selling Repels.

Not you again.

5 – Improve the Team Magma/Aqua plots

It would be nice to see some more sense to their plans and how they go about them. That’s not to say that I’d rather change everything about them. After all, ORAS are going to be remakes, so it’d be unreasonable to want drastic changes to the story RSE had. And fighting groups that basically amount to misguided eco-terrorists is a pretty neat concept to play around with. They’re not so blatantly ‘we are bad’ as Team Rocket were, and presented their own desires and aims that differed from exploiting Pokémon for money.

It’s just hard to take such a gang seriously when the leader tells you they want to either increase or decrease the land mass which will benefit Pokémon by… making a volcano erupt. What’s more, he attempts to do this by using the energy from a meteorite. 

So very happy.

No, that is not how anything works.

And even the Groudon and Kyogre plots seem to be missing a crucial step in logic with a little bit of thought. Magma wanted Groudon’s ability to impose instant sunny conditions to reduce the sea level. Well sure, evaporating the water from the ocean will take water out of it… and where is that water to go? Why, the same place it does when it evaporates normally – into the sky, forming clouds, before coming back down as rain. Oh. So basically, all you are doing is making everything hotter in the long run. Kyogre is similar – by making it rain more, that water has to be coming from somewhere… namely, the ocean it’s swimming about in the first place.

And Team Magma and Aqua take the wrong coloured orb as well.


While Pokémon never has been that strong with their plots, it would still be nice to be able to appreciate the story some more between catching and beating up critters. A bit of tidying up would go a long way. Maybe they could even paint Magma and Aqua as somewhat more insane with their ideas, rather than just passionate about the environment when what they do suggests otherwise, and says more about how many brain cells they have.

4 – Proper trumpet samples

RSE really does have a lot of great tunes. There’s some wonderful route and town tunes, the Rival battle theme is fantastic, and pieces such as the Museum and Credits themes are popular among song remixers.

But if there’s one thing RSE is known for, it’s the sound of the trumpets they use. 

Sums it up.

Or better yet, just listen to this standard route theme!

Barp-barp-barp-BAARP, ba-ba-ba-baarrp, Ba-barrp-ba-barp, barp barp BAAARP, BA-BA-BAARP

It’s the basis of many a meme. It’s not even a particularly excusable fault, seeing other video game titles on the GBA which used trumpets didn’t quite sound like… well, that. Thank goodness then that these days with the 3DS, X&Y showcases a far superior set of soundfonts. Listening to the likes of, say, the Elite Four battle theme with brass instruments that actually sound like brass instruments, will hopefully make the music that much more enjoyable.

3 – Where’s Wally?

Where indeed was Wally in RSE? 

Not that Wally.

Jokes aside, it’s a valid question. Wally, a green-haired sickly kid, shows up about four times in the game. A pretty small number for a guy who seemingly has a role as a rival!

To refresh your memory, he first appears early in the game, when you help him catch a wild Ralts as his first Pokémon. It was a neat way to do the ‘how to catch Pokémon’ tutorial. At least he was more likable than an old man who previously yelled at you because he ‘didn’t drink his coffee’.

The next time you see him is around the third Gym. He’s standing right by it, and wants to battle you with his sole Ralts. You can then see him shortly afterwards the next town over and talk to him and his family. After that, he disappears until you reach the end of Victory Road. He’s now healthy and has a full team with a fully evolved Gardevoir. 

Who are you again? 

It is plain to see that any chance to build him up with character development was thrown out the window, so it would be nice to actually see more of him during ORAS so we can appreciate that. It’s hard not to dig the whole ‘I was sick but with the power of friendship and Pokémon I became a confident person able to match it with the best’ story, except when it turns out that all that growing happened off-screen. Besides, it’d be something to appreciate compared to the other rival trainers. Speaking of which…

2 – More interesting rivals

Personal opinion incoming – RSE, in my opinion, had one of the weakest set of rival characters from all the games.

I don’t mind their designs. I’m fine with Brendan’s weird hat and all. But whoever was the rival from the two (depending on who you picked to play as), they turned out to be just so darn boring and underwhelming. Your rival was overly friendly and just seemed as a way to give you items to get you past roadblocks or help you. South of Mauville they give you an ItemFinder. In Lavaridge, the Go-Googles allowing you to go through the next area. Later on, the HM Fly. It goes on. 

What’s wrong with a nice friendly rival? Sure, Blue and Silver in the first two games were mean and fun to hate, but that doesn’t mean a nice guy or girl is going to be a bad character as well. And that’s true – the problem is that it is all there is to the RSE rivals. Compare Cheren and Bianca in BW for example – they have their own aims and own character development. Their roles in the game are not just to revolve around you, but themselves and other characters. They even come with their own personalities! This is not the case with Brendan or May however. They just travel around, lose to you in battles, and then give up on the journey considerably before the 7th Gym, and before their starter had fully evolved. They go back to help their dad with his Professor duties, something they had been doing in their first place, which begs the question – why were they travelling with you? To help you out when a desert restricts you and proclaim just how good you are at winning?

You may want to avoid Littleroot and instead go to other towns and train more to get more badges… Just a thought.

And at the end of the game they show up after you beat the Champion, to give you advice on how to beat them. I think we can handle this… After all, they’re the ones with their starter not fully evolved, and they won’t even battle you again. Hopefully ORAS may add some more depth to them. Give them a purpose, allow us to fight them beyond the 7th Gym, and don’t use them as a spewing gift machine.

1 – Streetpass for Secret Bases

Secret Bases were one of the best side features of RSE. In numerous places in the overworld, you could use Secret Power to create your very own hideout. You could then decorate it with a range of items, which was neat. But the best part was that you could ‘mix records’ with friends who had RSE as well, and visit their bases in your game! And furthermore, you could battle that person’s in-game team at the time you mixed records, adding a great way to grind for more experience. 


They were also arguably better than DPPt’s secret bases. For one, removing all those rocks in your way in the 4th gen secret bases was a real bother. Rooms also lacked variety as they were all made underground, while in RSE you could make a base near a river, or the beach, or caves, or even in a treehouse. But the bigger negative with them was an inability to battle your friends’ teams in their secret bases. 

Luckily we know that secret bases appear to be in the games, as someone spotted during one of the trailer videos. So that’s great news.

Who puts those indents into the walls anyway?

But will the secret bases come with the ability to visit friend’s bases at any time, and battle their teams? That is unknown, and would in my opinion really hurt the allure of them. So my greatest hope, that is probably more likely to occur than a revamp to the rival characters, is that Game Freak utilities the 3DS StreetPass function as a way to mix records with people you meet with a 3DS, just by walking by them. How they used it in X&Y was a missed opportunity as the sole reward was a single Pokémile given for each person you passed by, which can buy you a whole lot of nothing. If anything, actually using Streetpass with Secret Bases is the obvious choice, so here’s hoping. All the other benefits of mixing records like reading what other people have done in the games on the in-game televisions would be neat as well.

They could opt to use the friend code function as well, where you get the secret bases of people who have added you as a 3DS friend – like how the Friend Safari in X&Y worked. However, having it update only when you hopped online in the game would be more troublesome in my opinion. Better than nothing though, and arguably better for people who don’t live near an urban area and would hence lack in Streetpass opportunities.

EDIT: Now confirmed, not even two weeks later! At least, there’s connectivity with people around the world for secret bases, AND the ability to battle and rebattle people’s teams. And a whole lot more. If that’s the effort they’re putting in Secret Bases they’ve already doing great with ORAS.

That’s my list for what I would like to see improved upon from the RSE games. Check out the follow-up article which sees which of these came true! Leave a comment with your thoughts on the list, or contribute your own changes!


Written by bobandbill
Edited by Bay Alexison and Hoenn

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2 Responses to “From RSE to ORAS – Top Ten Wanted Improvements”

  1. Liz Lancaster Says:

    10. I think we could see the Mach/Arco bike working like the bike in DPPt, where it would switch between the two speeds with a press of the Y button.

    9. HG/SS gave us the GB sound key item that made it possible to hear the MIDI tunes of all zones, it would be nice to see an item like that be intergrated in the PokeNav as a radio

    8. God yes.

    6. Hope chain fishing stays in and that we get underwater horde battles

    4. Again, GBA sound item. Also, more orchestral, because trumpets.

    3. X and Y loved to cram side-characters down our throats so we’ll have to see. Also, totally calling him getting either Mega Gardevoir or a Mega Altaria/Delcatty.

    2. They better.

    1. Reddit would literally explode with joy.

    I hope we also get clothing stores again, mostly because I find May’s swimwear outfit to look ridiculous. Also ofc the Battle Frontier makes a glorious 3D return.

  2. bobandbill Says:

    Thanks for the comments, Liz!

    10 – Yeah, that would be a neat solution as well in combining the two bikes into one. I’d be fine with that.

    9/4 – Would it make it the GBA sounds? XD I suppose it would be a good reminder of what the old tunes sound like.

    6 – Hmm, underwater horde battles would be indeed neat. Horde battles in general as well would be nice to see again. Less of a fan of the Sky battles myself though, they don’t have to come back.

    3 – Indeed @ mega gardevoir. I hope if they do cram more side characters they at least make them interesting… =/

    Clothing stores would be neat, but if so I would like some more clothing options for the male protagonist this time around. From what I’ve seen the female protagonist in X&Y had _so many clothing options_ while most of the male options were kinda boring.

    Hell yes to battle frontier.

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