Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl are 2021 remakes of the 2006 Nintendo DS titles, Pokémon Diamond & Pearl. Released exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, the games transformed the sprites of the original with brand-new 3D graphics, but for the most part, are considered to be extremely faithful remakes.
Overall, critics were mixed on the remakes. Both games currently hold a score of 73 on Metacritic, indicating generally average reviews. Still, given the amount of positive changes the remakes made, it’s safe to say that Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl remain the best way to experience Generation IV.
Despite being just a few years old, there’s plenty that people forget about Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl. We’ve found ten amazing facts about these remakes that seem to go under the radar in modern discourse.
1. You Can Find Hidden Legendary Pokémon
Being a dedicated fan pays dividends in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl. If your Nintendo Switch has saved data from other games on the platform, you can claim a legendary Pokémon from an NPC in Floaroma Town, located in a field of flowers next to the Pokémon Center. These are:
- Mew (If Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu or Let’s Go Eevee saved data exists)
- Jirachi (If Pokémon Sword or Shield saved data exists)
This is a great way to get an extremely overpowered Pokémon for free. If you have the option available to you, why not take it?
2. Gamers Were Mixed on the Art Style
Upon the release of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, gamers were massively divided over their chibi art style. Unlike modern 3D releases such as Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, the developers were looking to capture the essence of the sprites from the original game. For some, it worked. For others, it really didn’t.
To this day, they are the only Pokémon games to use this art style. Although it remains to be seen if it will make a return in future games, its controversial response among the community suggests we may have seen the last of it – at least for now.
3. You Can Complete Them in Under 15 Minutes
This sounds like a total lie, right? Wrong. With the use of an incredible amount of glitches, some speedrunners have managed to beat Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl in under 15 minutes.
If you want to do it for yourself, prepare for a long grind ahead. The current world record for the Any% run stands at 14 minutes and 31 seconds, completed by speedrunner Buster_poke. If you could achieve the feat, you’d join an exclusive club. Only one other player, FONR, has managed to complete Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl in such a speedy timeframe, at 14 minutes and 45 seconds. Still, if you really want to, you can definitely try it.
4. You Can Rematch the Gym Leaders
In the original Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, Gym Battles were one-and-done. You would defeat them early on in the game to get their badge, and never encounter these Gym Leaders ever again. However, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl switch things up and allow you to rematch them.
You can’t just do this straight away, though. There are a few requirements you must first fulfill. You’ve got to become the Pokémon Champion of Sinnoh after defeating the Elite Four and Cynthia. You must also have access to the National Pokédex, which involves encountering every single Pokémon in the Sinnoh Pokédex. Once you’ve done this, you can face off against every Gym Leader in the game once per day, using them as a way to switch up the grind of all your Pokémon to Level 100.
5. They Almost Outsold the Originals
While not everyone was fully pleased with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, the sales figures speak to a massively successful release regardless. As a matter of fact, they almost outsold the original Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, missing out by some small margins.
For context, the original games sold a grand total of 17.6 million copies. This was when they were a flagship release for the series, as well as the start of Generation IV. Comparatively, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl sold 15.06 million. Considering they’re remakes, it’s not a bad figure, especially when the price of Nintendo Switch games is considerably higher than that of Nintendo DS titles. Taking this into account, it’s entirely possible that Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl were actually bigger financial successes than the originals.
6. You Can Only Wonder Trade in the Remakes
This feature was actually somewhat of a regression, in our view. By using the Global Trade Station in the original games, you were able to know exactly what you were getting in a trade prior to confirming it. You could even filter for certain trades, so you could look for exactly what you want.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl replaced this feature with the Global Wonder Station. Now, you just need to have blind faith, because Wonder Trades are the only type of trades you can do in these games. If you don’t know, a Wonder Trade is where you trade a Pokémon with neither party having any idea what they’ll be receiving in return. You can put up a Level 100 legendary, and get a Level 1 Bidoof in return. This is easily abused too. You can head out into the world early in the game, catch a ton of low-level Pokémon, and send them off for Wonder Trades until you get a Level 100 team. This makes all of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl a breeze to complete.
7. HMs Have Been Removed (Sort Of)
Let’s face it. In earlier Pokémon games, HMs were a nuisance. To use them, you had to teach one of your Pokémon the corresponding move, which took up one of their precious move slots. They also had to be the right Type, which could restrict the type of Pokémon you could have in your party. Most players ended up having what was known as an HM slave, whose only purpose was to learn HM moves for use out of battle. All-in-all, it was just an annoying process to deal with.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl took the step of removing them from the game. Instead, they were replaced with the Hidden Moves app, which allows you to call a wild Pokémon to perform the move instead. You still have to earn the respective HM through gameplay, as previously, but this is an amazing solution. Not only does it open up the move slots, but it gives you great flexibility in how you build your team composition. No longer are you worrying about keeping an HM slave around. It’s just a better system.
8. They Added the Fairy Type
The Fairy type was first introduced in Generation VI’s Pokémon X & Y, so it wasn’t anything new by the time these remakes arrived. However, the original Pokémon Diamond & Pearl were Generation IV, so the Fairy type didn’t exist yet. It only makes sense to go back and add them in the remakes!
Certain Pokémon were retconned to become Fairy type, such as Mime Jr. and Togekiss. Other small gameplay changes were made to facilitate this too, like the addition of the Roseli Berry, the Pixie Plate, and Arceus’s Fairy-type form.
9. You Can Catch Giratina
Giratina was originally added as the legendary from Pokémon Platinum. However, it makes a return here as part of the base game. To find Giratina, you must head to Turnback Cave, where you can then catch it. As a legendary, it’s a tough battle, but well worth the effort if you can manage it.
10. Some Pokémon Are Version-Exclusive
No, we’re not talking about Dialga and Palkia, the two mascots of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl – obviously, they’re version-exclusive. However, there are a ton of other Pokémon that you can only find in one version or the other. To find the others, you need to trade them from other games.
We’ve got the full list of Pokémon only available in either Pokémon Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl:
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond Exclusives
|0012||Butterfree||Bug / Flying|
|0087||Dewgong||Water / Ice|
|0123||Scyther||Bug / Flying|
|0198||Murkrow||Dark / Flying|
|0207||Gligar||Ground / Flying|
|0212||Scizor||Bug / Steel|
|0246||Larvitar||Rock / Ground|
|0247||Pupitar||Rock / Ground|
|0248||Tyranitar||Rock / Dark|
|0250||Ho-Oh||Fire / Flying|
|0274||Nuzleaf||Grass / Dark|
|0275||Shiftry||Grass / Dark|
|0303||Mawile||Steel / Fairy|
|0338||Solrock||Rock / Psychic|
|0430||Honchkrow||Dark / Flying|
|0434||Stunky||Poison / Dark|
|0435||Skuntank||Poison / Dark|
|0472||Gliscor||Ground / Flying|
|0483||Dialga||Steel / Dragon|
Pokémon Shining Pearl Exclusives
|0013||Weedle||Bug / Poison|
|0014||Kakuna||Bug / Poison|
|0015||Beedrill||Bug / Poison|
|0079||Slowpoke||Water / Psychic|
|0080||Slowbro||Water / Psychic|
|0144||Articuno||Ice / Flying|
|0145||Zapdos||Electric / Flying|
|0146||Moltres||Fire / Flying|
|0199||Slowking||Water / Psychic|
|0249||Lugia||Psychic / Flying|
|0270||Lotad||Water / Grass|
|0271||Lombre||Water / Grass|
|0272||Ludicolo||Water / Grass|
|0302||Sableye||Dark / Ghost|
|0337||Lunatone||Rock / Psychic|
|0373||Salamence||Dragon / Flying|
|0410||Shieldon||Rock / Steel|
|0411||Bastiodon||Rock / Steel|
|0484||Palkia||Water / Dragon|