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What is Pokemon?

The world of Pokémon is a world much like our own but filled with fantastic creatures called Pokémon. Certain special people in this world decide to become Pokémon trainers. Trainers capture wild Pokémon and train them to do battle with other Pokémon.

The world of Pokémon began as an adventure game for the Game Boy (a hand-held electronic game player). In the adventure game, a child plays the part of a Pokémon trainer wandering through the world, collecting and training Pokémon. Then came the Pokémon trading card game (more on that later), and then the Pokémon television show. The Game Boy, the card game, and the TV show all became very popular in Japan. In 1998, they came to the United States, and things just haven't been the same for kids (and their parents) since! 

There are 150 different kinds of Pokémon, and it's a trainer's job to catch as many as possible and to train them for battle. Each different Pokémon has different powers and abilities. To train Pokémon well takes courage, perseverance, and kindness. As a trainer's Pokémon grow, they will become stronger, learn new attacks, and will sometimes even evolve into new and different Pokémon! 

Two people play the Pokémon trading card game, each player with his or her own deck. A game represents a battle between two trainers, and each deck represents the Pokémon that trainer has and the special tricks and tactics that he or she knows. In some ways, the Pokémon trading card game is like other card games--you have a deck of cards, you draw cards and hold them in your hand, and you play the cards in your hand when your turn comes around. But there are some differences also. For example, the cards with Pokémon on them are really game pieces like in chess or checkers--once you've played them from your hand, they stay on the table and continue to fight for you turn after turn.

But probably the biggest difference between a regular card game and a trading card game like Pokémon is that in Pokémon, every player can make his or her own personalized deck. There are lots of different cards, and a player can make up a new deck out of the cards he or she owns. A lot of the fun of the game comes from making different decks that reflect different themes or try out different strategies. 

Pokémon Trading Card Game Demo
(Requires Flash 4 Plugin)

Pokémon Online Rulebook
In English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese

Anatomy of a Pokémon Card
(Requires Internet Explorer 4.0+ or Netscape Navigator 4.0+)

Pokemon SA
Local website of Pokemon Tournaments


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