Let's Try To Explain The Pokemon Timeline

With over 20 years of Pokémon games, it can be hard to keep track of the ongoing story happening throughout every game. While all of the Pokémon games each have their own individual stories, they all make up small parts of a much larger universe. It can be confusing when trying to figure out how all the puzzle pieces fit together, so I wanted to break down the order of events in the Pokémon games.

In May of 2014, Game Freak Scenario Director Toshinobu Matsumiya tweeted out an official order of the mainline Pokemon games. 

With added context from the games themselves, this is the current chronological order of the games.

  • Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald Leaf Green, and Fire Red take place concurrently

  • Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver take place 3 years after the events of the former games, with Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum taking place shortly after.

  • Pokémon Black and White take place an unknown number of years after the events of the previous games, but it is assumed to be quite a few.

  • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 take place two years later, alongside the events of Pokémon X and Y.

These all make sense when put together. I’m not going to dive deep into the tiny tidbits of information that string this timeline together, but many conversations throughout the many games can confirm this order.

Now I know what you may be thinking. “Jared, you forgot Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire!”

This is where it gets complicated.

Before the release of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, it was commonly believed that the remakes trumped the originals when it came to being canonical in the timeline. Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow were replaced by Leaf Green and Fire Red in the timeline, while Gold, Silver, and Crystal were replaced by Heart Gold and Soul Silver. Makes sense right?

Going into Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, many expected this idea of replacing the old games canonically to continue. That is until you beat the Elite Four and begin playing an additional story that turns the idea of the Pokémon timeline upside down.

This additional chapter introduces a character named Zinnea. Again, not going too deep into the lore, she warns the hero and their friends about actions they make affecting alternate worlds similar to their own. Alternate worlds where Mega Evolution does not exist.

These statements bring into question the idea of multiple timelines in the Pokémon games. One timeline, where Mega Evolution exists, and one where it doesn’t.

This timeline sure got all Zelda-fied didn’t it?

Long story short, the timeline is very mixed up currently. There has not been an official confirmation on the timeline since Matsumiya’s original tweet, leaving fans to speculate on their own.

I want to leave you with an infographic created by Tumblr user Azzyfox. I believe this best sums up the multiple timeline idea the best.

Will the release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon clear up any confusion in the timeline? We will have to wait and see!