Bootleg Pokemon: Fake Games & Products

As with many very popular series, Pokemon has spawned its fair share of knock-offs, ripoffs, and bootleg merchandise. While some of these items are decent quality, others are very cheaply made. Everyone knows about the fake Pokemon cards that were everywhere a few years ago, but did you know that there are also fake Pokemon Game Boy games? In addition, be careful when you browse sites like Ebay for Pokemon merchandise - many sets of action figures and toys are very badly-done bootlegs!

TOYS: Check that the characters look right. If they are badly painted or misshapen, they're probably fakes. Look for the official Pokemon logos and trademarks (not just the words "Pocket Monster" with random kana around it). The Japanese Pokemon logo is shaped like a green downwards arc. TOMY and Bandai make Japanese Pokemon toys, so look for that logo on your toy. Also check for logos from Nintendo, Game Freak, etc. Additionally, check that the packaging looks real. If the pictures on the package look too bright or overexposed, there's a good chance they were printed on a color copier (which tends to add too much brightness to images). You can also check for official packaging of these products and compare what the real toys look like.

If you're buying loose figures, make sure they "look" right. I once purchased a set of 2 figures (Skitty and Delcatty) from Ebay in a single auction - the Skitty was official, but the Delcatty was not.

MUSIC CDS: Authentic Japanese Pokemon CDs are produced by Pikachu Records. CDs produced by SonMay or EverAnime are fakes. The CD may have all the music tracks, but you will not get any of the extra materials, which include mini-posters, trading cards, stickers, and books.

GAMES: The following games are real: Pokemon versions Blue, Red, (Japanese: Green), Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed and LeafGreen. Other GameBoy games include Pinball (1 and 2), TCG (Japanese: TCG2), Puzzle League, Pokemon Dash, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Red/Blue, Pokemon Ranger.

Known fake games:

Some other fake games spotted on Ebay include Pokemon Blue Diamond, Pokemon Green Diamond, Pokemon Metalic/Metallic, Pokemon Arcoiris, and Pokemon Frigo Returns. Some of these fakes started life as ROM hacks (fan-created games that are edited versions of the real Pokemon games) - these include Pokemon Chaos Black, Pokemon Quartz, Pokemon Naranja, and Pokemon Shinygold/Shinysilver.

You can find many of these fakes on Ebay - although they have tried to crack down on sales of bootlegged products, a few copies slip through the cracks (often from the same sellers). It's interesting to note that searching for the title of one fake usually leads to suggestion searches for other fakes - for example, a search for "Pokemon Chaos Black" usually suggests searches for "Pokemon Jade" or "Pokemon Quartz". Many of the images I've found and posted here came from these kinds of related searches. I had no idea that some of these games even existed - and I don't know what the game plays like. Any information regarding these fake games (origins, screenshots, etc) would be appreciated!

English-language versions of Pokemon Green (not LeafGreen, just Green for the original GB) are also fakes - that game was exclusive to Japan. Any English Green Versions that you find (in ROM form or otherwise) seem to limit the Pokemon's names and attacks to five letters, and the dialogue is badly translated.

Fake Games usually have labels that contain random pictures of Pokemon and trainers (usually from the anime). The artwork on the boxes of real Pokemon games is always (to my knowledge) drawn by Ken Sugimori - the official Pokemon artist - which differs from the anime art. Sugimori's artwork isn't as brightly-colored as the anime artwork, and has more of a shaded quality to it. Real Pokemon games do not have any images on the label - just the name of the game. Also, make sure the imprinted words at the top of the cartridge say "Game Boy" or "Game Boy Color" or "Game Boy Advance". Some fakes might say "Game Color", "Game USA", "Game", etc.

"Pokemon" games also appear frequently on illegal combo game systems, although they are usually a classic game with the graphics changed to resemble Pokemon.

Fake Toys!

The bad paint jobs and cheesy knock-off packaging mark this as a bootleg instantly.
These toys are modeled after the actual Trainer figures that were released in the US back when Pokemon was new.
And is that thing between Misty and Jessie supposed to be a Meowth? Jigglypuff? Real Pokemon toys are easily identifiable.

Ugh. What hideous toys. The TR toys are, like the set above, based on the official Japanese and English Rocket toys.
Who knows where Joy and Jenny came from.
The toys look unbalanced. James is about to topple over backwards, and Jessie's body is out of whack.
Joy's got the ugliest legs ever and Jenny has beady little evil eyes.

It's never a good sign when every toy looks demented. This isn't the Pokemon Special Olympics, you know.
A better Joy and Jenny than last time, but that's not saying much. We've got a bootleg Oak this time!
Why do Jessie and James have different R's on their shirts? Ash looks like a monkey. Is Misty nagging?

Ugly TR, Thunder-thighs Joy, and Evil-eyes Jenny return, and they've brought a crowd of rejects along for the ride.
Oak looks cold, and Brock has eyes and an unknown yellow disk (soap maybe?)
Ash looks pretty unhappy to be a trainer, but Gary's done decently. Mew and Lugia aren't too bad either.
Wait! Why are Gary and Misty doing the same pose? Could they be the same hideous base model?

This set are badly-painted knock-offs of a very cute Pokemon toy set (see below).
It looks like they used the same models, but didn't put any effort into painting them.

This is the real set of the toys bootlegged above.
Done in the SD (Super Deformed) style, these capture the essence of the characters in chibi form - released in Japan only.

On Ebay, I noticed something new - fake toys of May and Brendan!
It's too bad they're such awful fakes, because I'd love to have May and Brendan toys.
The Pokemon are awful as well - Cacnea's got tiny eyes, and Altaria and his purple cloud are just bad.
And let's not even get started on Milotic. Is that what happens if a Feebas doesn't get enough Blue PokeBlocks?
I like how Castform is twice as big as Groudon and Kyogre. ^_^

Fake Music CDs!

Many of the official Pokemon CDs are listed on my CDs page, along with the cover artwork and track listings. Be very careful when buying CDs from an auction site like Ebay as there are more fakes than real CDs out there. Real CDs usually come packaged with neat extras - character sheets, trading cards, hardcover storybooks, and more. Bootleg CDs will give you the cover insert only. Known manufacturers of bootleg CDs are SonMay Records and EverAnime. Legitimate Japanese Pokemon CDs are produced by Pikachu Records.

When I purchased the Rocket-Dan CD Drama, I didn't realize it was a bootleg (although I thought $15 was a little on the cheap side). I opened it up and the CD played fine - but where were all those full-color pictures of Mondo that I'd seen online? I later learned that I'd bought the bootleg version by mistake, and I did seek out the real copy. The covers are very similar-looking, but only the official version comes with the extras.

All Pokemon CDs sold through are official; however, the Japanese CDs are expensive because they are imports.

Fake Games!

Word of warning on buying Pokemon games: If you don't see a game in a 'real' store (like Wal-Mart, Target, etc) it's probably fake.
Make sure the plastic on the cartridge says "Game Boy" and not "Game".
Anything you see only on Ebay is probably fake - not a "super amazing Japanese import" or "rare unreleased game".
Make sure the "Only for Game Boy" text is correct: R/B/Y/G/S worked for regular GB, but Crystal was GB Color only.
When in doubt, check Nintendo's official websites like and to check.
If the game you see on Ebay isn't on Nintendo's official site, it is a fake!

Pocket Monsters Go! Go!

One of the few advantages to living in El Paso, TX is that the downtown shops are full of treasures you'd never believe (due to the closeness of Mexico's border). Some call this the "gray market" as in "not quite the black market but close". You'll find all kinds of bootleg merchandise here, including ripoff Shrek dolls called "Monster" in the same font , knockoff Barbie dolls, plenty of Engrish products, and bootleg GameBoy games. Locked in a glass case at the front counter in one shop was a stack of 'combo' games, meaning each cartridge contained several games on each. Authentic GB games never do this (tipoff #1). Tipoff #2 came from the system description: the box read GameBoy Color Advance USA. I'll say that again. GameBoy Color Advance USA.

One of the cartridges claimed to contain the legendary Pocket Monsters Go! Go! game, something I'd only read about in gaming magazines. This game isn't too bad to play. I've got the ROM, and I've played it a few times. This is a platformer game starring Pikachu. Our friendly electric rat has to battle against the evil Bellsprouts and Meowths, collecting lightning bolts to increase his jumping power. Pikachu can ride inside a bubble, climb spinning poles, and swing from posts to reach higher platforms. These actual cartridge games were priced at $80 each, so I didn't satisfy my curiosity and buy one. Mama didn't raise no fool.

The truth behind Go Go!: a game magazine writer, upon examining Go! Go!'s code, discovered that this game was a well-executed version of an old Smurfs game that came out for GameBoy a long time ago. The graphics were changed into Pokemon instead of Smurfs. This game's decent, although I've never invested too much time in it. There are some... odd things about this game though, particularly the intro speech by Meowth that seems to quote Celine Dion's Titanic song. The reprogrammers didn't change all the game's aspects to Pokemon, though. There is a reference to sasparilla leaves (not lightning bolts) that will enable you to jump higher. There is also an enemy creature that is very un-Pokemon. I think it looks like a bouncing ribeye steak. Maybe it's an Unown that let itself go.

The game's really not bad, if you can get past Pikachu's plodding pace. The little rat obviously hasn't learned "Quick Attack" yet, and the game just drags on as you slowly walk from place to place. There isn't even a "run" button. Would probably be more fun on a GameBoy than an emulator, but not $80 worth of fun.

Pocket Monsters Go! Go! ROM - .gbc file (524K)

Note from Mewninetytwopointfive:

  • "I have played up to level 8 in GoGoGo, and it just gets funner. Level 3 is where you ride some weirdo dude, and dodge misquitos and thorny branches. Level 7 is a water level, where you have to get bubbles for an air supply, or you'll run out of air and die. Levels 4 and 5 are in haunted houses, with black one-eyed weirdos, Mankeys, and (gasp) flying books. Level 2 has a living fork and things you swing on, but other that that, it's the same stuff as Level 1."

Box Bootleg Tipoffs:

  1. No Pokemon - Gotta Catch 'Em All! logo.
  2. "Pocket Monsters" usually denotes a bootleg.
  3. Isn't the ESRB usually in the corner? And the Seal of Quality only should appear on the back of the box.
  4. What does the back of the box look like?
  5. Where's the ONLY FOR GB COLOR teaser? Pokemon is 1st party software.


Tubby Pikachu plods along. SLOOOOWLY.

Kill the Bellsprout! Cause it's, you know, evil and stuff.

Pretty much, if it's not Pika yellow, it's bad. Meowth is no exception.

Meowth flings a Pie of Doom!

Bubble Pika.

Pokemon Adventure

This was another game featured on one of the bootleg combo games at the "gray market". When you load it up (on the ROM, at least), you are treated to screens of G/S Pokedex entries entirely in Japanese. The level start screen has a picture of "Kevin Gold", the G/S hero. This suggests that this game was made (er, bootlegged) when G/S was new in Japan.

Although I've never read anything about this game, it's easy to trace its origins. Adventure is a ripoff of a Sonic game, with the main character changed to be what I guess is supposed to be Pikachu. It's pretty horrible looking, actually. I've never played this game much, since I can't get past the first batch of baddies without dying instantly. You can use Sonic's trademark "duck, charge up, and roll forward" move, but that's all I got the ugly yellow rat to do. He collects Pokeballs instead of rings, and does Sonic's "lose your stuff when you get hit" life system. Worth the download as a curiosity only, you won't be playing this one much.

Pocket Monster Adventure ROM - .gbc file (512K)

Note from Starrodkirby86:

  • "Well, I was looking at your Bootleg Pokemon thingie (Which is pretty cool), and saw Pokemon Adventure. I downloaded it off the site I get my ROMs off and played the game. I finished it by using save states and slowing down the speed. I'll tell you the levels....and it sucks basically.
    Round 1: Machine level; robots as enemies.
    Round 2: Desert Level; the only enemy I remember in the desert one is some flying mosquito thing that just flies straight in a very boring way. It flies back and forth. Oh, and Pikachu can only hit it by rolling. Although it was significantly than the first level (Amazingly).
    Round 3: The weirdest level in the game. Note that there are two enemies per level. Anyway, one enemy is a Koopa from Super Mario Bros. 3 (The sprite) and when you jump on the dies! No shell-popping fun! The other enemy is that crab thing from the first Sonic game. It's a weird palette level kind of blue black or something...
    Round 4: Don't remember much about this level but it's like a water level. Very hard to jump because of the walls but managed to finish. The enemies in here is the crab and the spiked thing from the first level....or so I think. It's like a beach. Oh yeah, every 100 Poke Balls increase your life but then the balls go to 0, similar to the Game Gear Sonic Games.
    Round 5: Reminiscent of the Mario Castle. Fireballs and some other enemy, I forgot. ^_^
    Anyway, it was a lava kind of thing with a torch-like background. All I know it's similar to castle or fortress.
    When you finish Round 5, a G/S Professor Oak will be there with End. Press a button will go to the title screen. Wowee..."

Note from Matt:

  • "Pokemon Adventure looks like it's "Sonic Chaos" on the game gear, but I'm not entirely sure. Both contain 5 levels, all of which are very similar. Even though, Tails' sky patrol also seems to bear a resemblence to this game." 

Note from KingPepe:

  • "Hi, I'm KingPepe and I was looking through your bootleg article. I noticed you've played Pokemon Adventure. This is really a major hack of another bootleg called Sonic Adventure 7 (Sonic on the GBC) which is a hack of Sonic 3D Blast 5 (Sonic on the GB, do not confuse this with the NES pirate)

    It's produced by the same company though (company name is believed to be Yong Yong due to Sonic Adventure's ending) because the enemies in the game are reused from their other games. Level 2's Dragonfly enemy came from Rockman 8 (horrible port of Megaman 8 to the Gameboy). Level 3's Koopa came from Super Mario 3 Special (horrible port of SMB3 to the Gameboy Color) and the Metool also came from Rockman 8. The crabs that appear in Level 4 are from Sonic Adventure 7. Heck, when Pikachu bounces off of an enemy in Pokemon Adventure, you can see Sonic's face from SA7/S3DB5!

    And I know 2 more Pokemon bootlegs. One called Poke Tetris which is pretty much Tetris with Pokemon slapped on and another known as Pocket Monsters which is an original platform game. (Both are for the NES and no, Poke Tetris is surprisingly not a hack of either Nintendo's or Tengen's Tetris games)"

Note from Rebecca:


It would be nice if I could read this.

Hey, a trainer! What's he doing here?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the world's ugliest Pikachu. Looks more like someone in a bad Pikachu costume to me.

The rat can jump! And spin!

Unknown Pokemon Games on "Combo" Systems

Another 'treasure' found in many El Paso mall kiosks and downtown shops are bootleg video game systems that claim to contain "thousands" of games. Many of the titles are old 8-bit NES classics like Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. At most, though, you're looking at about 30-50 different game titles on a system; the extra thousands of games are actually repeats of those same few, but with odd letters and numbers tacked onto the end of the name. So you'll have Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros A3. Maybe a few sprites are changed (one variant had Mario with an extra pixel under his nose), but it's essentially the same game. Another of these consoles took Super Mario Bros and turned it into "Super Shrek Bros" with some graphical adjustments. If you ever buy one of these "systems" don't pay more than $20 for it, especially since it's not authentic. It's probably also illegal.

  • Most demonstrations of this system show a well-known game like Mario or Tetris. On one of the TV monitors that was 'advertising' the game, however, was a full-color, full-screen image of Pikachu. This was fairly well-drawn too - Pika looked like he came right off an authentic product (unlike the "Pika" that starred in Pokemon Adventure). What was this game? Perhaps a port of Pocket Monsters Go! Go! or Adventure? I doubt it would be a full version of Red or Blue. If I ever see this again, I will investigate further!

  • There is at least one more "Pokemon" game on a combo system - this one was spotted at a weird little toy store in Bassett Center, El Paso (which is now, coincidentally, out of business). The title screen of the console read "Digimon Adventure", and displayed badly-sprited pictures of several Digimon, Buzz Lightyear, and Pikachu. After this screen was the list of games, and near the bottom of the first page was "Pokemon". I selected it and hit start.

    The game had no official name, there were just the options for a 1- or 2-Player game (A and B), and a "Game Editor" feature. Hm. Upon starting Game A, I noticed that this game looked to be a ripoff of a Donkey Kong-type game. There were two "Pikachus" on screen, I was controlling the green one (that's right, a badly-sprited green Pikachu). There was a house at the top left corner of the screen that didn't seem to have any purpose (reaching it wasn't the goal). Surprisingly, the TIME bonus counter was changed to "MILK". The controls were awkward and I kept dying without knowing why. I have no idea how to win the game or move to another level.

    • Kaidelong writes:
      "The game which occured as part of a combo system which featured the green pikachu seems to in fact be one of my old favorites, a game called Milk and Nuts. If I remember right, you played as a monster that sort of looked like a scrubbing bubble, milk was pink and nuts was green. The object was to play as nuts and collect all the fruit on the screen. After that, the timer would show "MILK" and you would be free to advance to the hut where the pink scrubbing bubble, "milk," would go out of the hut and stand next to the green one, causing a heart to appear above both and the level to be cleared. It was probably simply resprited and hacked apart.

      It was for the NES (I played it on a Taiwanese bootleg which was compatible and at the time easily available in any South African electronics market) and it would have come out probably before 1994, but honestly I would have no idea. The thing that really tipped me off is that you mentioned there was a level editor. I went nuts over this when I was a kid. Incidentally, the reason you couldn't jump very high was because part of the gameplay was using trampolines to traverse to higher platforms."

  • Note from Yameneko549: "You mentioned a fake game calling itself "Pokemon" in one of those combo systems. A friend of mine actually had one of those combo systems, and it looked similar to a Playstation 1. I beleive it was called the "X Game System", or something like that. It had a "Pokemon" game on it, but it was a shooter game that reminded me of the classic game "Sheriff". It had you playing as something similar to a Pikachu that shot lightning bolts at Bellsprout, Marill, and possibily others. We didn't play for long, but what we did play of it we didn't like. I beleive it is illegal, though. I seem to remember an article in a magizine, probably Nintendo Power, that mentioned that Nintendo was going after the creators of these ripoffs, as well as any vendors that sold them."

Pokemon Jade and Diamond

I've played Diamond (in ROM form) and the game is just terrible. It starts off with an endlessly long intro sequence where the hero talks about going to "electric monster's world", which is located inside a tree? And there's a phone ringing under the tree, which is what gets him inside. I'm completely serious - and you have to scroll through "Engrish" text for TEN FULL MINUTES (I know, because there's an in-game clock on your main screen) before you can make a single decision on your own, and that's aimlessly walking around trying to find somebody.

The game looks like a standard RPG in many ways, but I couldn't get into it. The game is horribly translated, for starters. Sample: "Regard the 'map' with a START button" or something like that. The translation is laughable. Perhaps to avoid copyright issues (other than the name "Pokemon" on the title screen), Pokemon are not mentioned once in the game. They must say "electric monsters world" about fifty times in the ten-minute intro dialogue. As any Pokemon gamer knows, the game -should- start with Oak talking about the world of POKEMON. Not electric monsters.

The "electric monsters" can talk to you, but it doesn't even call them Pokemon inside the game. A big feature of the game is some cell-phone thing with "DShoot" that your character has. I don't know what "DShoot" is, but they go on about it at length. Too bad I couldn't understand what they were talking about. Perhaps in whatever this game was in the original Japanese, the wireless adapter (used in Japanese Pokemon Crystal) was a key selling point, so they wanted to give your character the phone as well. I wonder what this game was originally supposed to be... obviously this is not an original creation. More than likely this was a Japanese exclusive video game, and someone tried to translate it (badly) to make a quick buck.

When you walk in the grass (or anywhere else), you may encounter a wild creature. Battle it, and win, and you 'get your opponent's phone number', which (I think), means that you can call it when you want it to battle for you. No Pokeballs, no choosing whether you want the thing or not, it becomes yours. Oh, and these 'electric monsters' will randomly call you up and prattle about stupid stuff. One asked if I'd eaten curry.

Note that these games have no similarity to the real Pokemon Diamond/Pearl games for the Nintendo DS. If you are looking to buy one of the real games on Ebay, be absolutely certain that you're getting the real thing instead of this.

If you feel like downloading this, be warned that the intro is long and drawn-out (and you'll have to scroll through it all). You won't understand much of the game due to bad translations, and even at that, the game's not much fun. The Engrish is fun to laugh at, though.

Pokemon Diamond Version ROM - .gbc file (2M)

Screenshots (Engrish from TR Rose, Kanji from Ca5e):

This thing is supposed to be a Pokemon? Guess the League will take anyone these days...

It's dangerous when somebody is "playing at the baseball" and loses control over it.

No Pokemon to be found here! Just the infamous electric monster's world.

I don't know, Turtle-san, is it?

Yep. I'm a selected one, all right. Selected to sit through this endless intro sequence.

The mysterious "DShoot"-equipped phone. I better not be charged for the inane calls I get on this thing.

Turtle-san and friends. Sheesh, 27 minutes into the game, and still nothing has happened.

Wow, an OSIE! Just what I always wanted!

"Position"? Erm, I thought this was a kids' game... *sweatdrop*

Engrish 101.

We have overthrown the OSIE! Rejoice!

Excuse me, what the **** is this about?

I've received different pictures of these games and boxes from dragonslayerboy. There isn't even continuity in these fakes! And from what I can tell, neither of these monsters actually appear in the games.


Box Bootleg Tipoffs:

  1. First box: What were they thinking? This looks nothing like any of the other Pokemon games, and it doesn't even have the "gotta catch 'em all" tag, or a Nintendo logo. It also says "Pocket Monsters", a big tipoff for a bootleg. Monster looks like Blastoise's face on a snake body.
  2. 2nd box: Aside from the fuzziness of the image, this one's done decently. The biggest problem is the inclusion of the GS logo above "Jade Version". Why would they make gold, silver, and jade as a set? The monster slightly resembles Milotic.
  3. 3rd box: Fairly convincing, if you didn't know they pulled the monster right off the first box. Why are there gemstones on the image? Same problem as Jade with the GS logo. But even at that... this one's convincing.
  4. Cartridge: Sombody did their homework. This looks very authentic, if you ignore one crucial flaw: all Pokemon games are color-coded. That is to say, the carts themselves match the version color. This one's gray, and the version is "diamond". Shouldn't it at least be white? And one last thing: the cart label is identical to the box. Games themselves don't have all that extra crap with the "only for GB Color", and all those logos.

Note from Izwzyzx:

  • "I found some interesting things about the Diamond and Jade fakes.
    They were translated from the Japanese games Keitai Denjuu Telefang: Power Version and Keitai Denjuu Telefang: Speed Version. Other than the doctored Pokemon title screen and Zero Wing-style translation, Diamond and Jade are the same as these Japanese ones. (Which aparently had a GBA sequel.)"

Note from dancing_spongemonkey:

  • "The creature on the front of the pokemon jade box in the fakes section is the forest spirit from princess mononoke."

Note from hyperpeppy880:

Note from Beldin:

  • "I just wanted to say that to evolve a pokemon or lightning monster or whatever, you have to fuse them with weapons like flamethrowers and m16s and all sorts of rifles! You also can only contact pokemon in certain places and if you are far away they won't come! A pokemon will always follow you. You get to choose which one but you have to have an aquatic pokemon to swim but you can change in the middle of the ocean and not sink!

  • There is extensive swearing and the levels are huge,once I got stuck for 2 hrs and I couldn't get out of a room. You go into a giant tree as a level and the legendaries you have to kill but can't catch them until you finish the game! If you run you can kill the grass but still get attacked! The bosses are amazingly hard and mostly a game of luck. You learn how to break pots but you can't do it afer you leave the room or turn off the power!"

Note from Ca5e:

  • "I ran across your "Bootleg Pokemon" site today while trying to identify a few bootleg ROM's I had downloaded. At first I thought the games were genuine since I have never really played any pokemon games and just wanted to try them out, since the screenshots I have seen have always reminded me of the Final Fantasy Legend/SaGa series for Gameboy, which were my favorite games when they were new. Anyway, my first tipoff was hearing the Smurf's theme in "Pocket Monsters Go! Go! Pikachu Nightmare" and seeing an intro which mentioned the Smurfs' villain Gargamel. Then when I loaded up "Pocket Monsters Go! Go! Go" (apparently a sequel or perhaps the predecessor) and read some weird dark love poem supposedly by Meowth in the intro. Very strange. Fascinated, I quickly did a web search for "pocket monsters go smurf" (hmm that sounds kinda dirty), and came up with your site in the results.

    Anyway, the point of my email is to provide one additional little piece of information regarding the bootlegs based on the "Telefang" series. I also downloaded one of these ROM's, under a completely different title than any mentioned on your site. The ROM is entirely in Japanese Kanji (including the title), leading me to believe that this may be the "original" bootleg version from Japan. The really interesting thing is the title, though: the only titles you mention for these games are "Pokemon Diamond Version" and "Pokemon Jade Version." If the English translation of the title used for the file name is to be believed (my Kanji isn't good enough to verify this, but I am enclosing screenshots in case you know someone who can read them), then the original title of this bootleg is "Pocket Monsters - Crystal Version." Undoubtledly, they were trying to cash in on people mistaking this for "Pokemon - Crystal Version." Pretty damn sneaky, huh? It's a bit lower than the usual pirate technique of creating "new" titles, when they try to actually trick the customer into thinking they are buying the newest genuine game.

    At any rate, I am including a few screen shots. It is just as you described, with the cell phone, a ringing tree that leads to the electric monster world, etc, and the screen shots match what is on your site (but untranslated). If you'd like to examine this ROM for yourself, please let me know, and I will give you access to my private HTTP site where you can download it."

Note from 0dd1:

  • "The diamonds on the Pokemon Diamond box look like the Chaos Emeralds from the Sonic the Hedgehog games. And if you look on E-Bay, there's an american green version ripoff! And it say's it's compatible for GB Color, GBA, AND Nintendo DS! Everyone knows GameBoy Color games are incompatible with the Nintendo DS! (Well, almost everyone...)" 

Note from Mewninetytwopointfive:

  • "I have Diamond (as a ROM, duh), and it isn't that bad. It's not as good as GoGoGo, but it's so-so. Jade and Diamond were ripoffs of Japanese games called Telefang Power and Speed versions. Some guy tried to translate it (and did a terrible job), and threw 'Pokemon' onto the title. It's the only time they even mention Pokemon. Because this isn't an original, well lets say that's why the Pokemon are so different. There's one flaw in the games where if you save and do a continue, the emulator crashes. Other than that, the game is not bad. Hey, am I the only one who likes these games?"

Note from Arohk Jawszoom:

  • "Greetings. I happen to own one of the fake games that are on your site. I read the tip about 'color coding' the cartridges, and how the diamond version is not color-coded. I have Jade Version. This cartridge however, is quite convincing as it IS color-coded. It is a sparkling green color, much like most of the elemental/metallic Pokemon games. It is no different than the one without color-coding, but I thought you ought to know, just in case.

    And actually... I kind of enjoy it.... Minus the bad music/graphics/translations/storyline/'electric monsters'/names.... But hey... It's just me. Just a little tidbit of information... Not really helpful.. But nonetheless... Hope it was informative? I have acompanied this e-mail with a scanned photo of my Pokemon Jade game as proof. You can find it in the attachment. You'll notice that if you look carefully on the plastic at the top of the cartridge, it not only says 'Game Color' instead of 'Gameboy Color'; but it also is embossed, not engraved like most Pokemon games." 

Note from Mr. Mime:

Note from The Creator of Bob and Bill / The Hungry:

  • "Hello. I visited your site, and wanted to tell some people that I happen to own the Bootleg Game 'Pokemon Diamond'... as a 2-in-1 with the REAL Pokemon Crystal. Yep, a working Game Pak for Game Boy Colour with a bootleg and a real Pokemon game. Here's a picture.

    On the back of the box, it was clear that the creator attempted to make Pokemon Diamond seem like a real Pokemon game - one picture included the monster thing that is on the picture for Pokemon Diamond in Cerulean City. The other picture was of an e-monster named Kuribute, (It's on your site, the one fighting the 'OSIE' - the starting 'Pokemon' for the game) that looked like a Sandslash (The Picture was a battle screen, saying 'Sandslash used Poison Sting!") - attacking a very different. thing. Both were at level 118! Maybe that picture was a little overdone.and both pictures were fakes.

    The 'Pokemon Diamond' Version is a very different game compared to real Pokemon games, - With no Cerulean City - just a different world, with a different game. Nothing Pokemon here, folks. Sorry.

    It is like the other accounts on your website - it is very confusing to understand (not helped by the Engrish wording used), 'e-monsters' (electric-monsters - the equivalent of Pokemon in this game) phone you and talk about random things like curry, evil things and such, and the items ranged from guns and flamethrowers to computers and hammers, which are used to evolve certain e-monsters into deformed creatures, unlike the Pokemon we know and love. The fights and mazes in the game are very challenging - many battles involve 2 on 2, 3 on 1, up to 3 on 3 battling! I finished the game - defeated the final evil e-monster who wanted to control that world and several other worlds using a 'life tree'. Though it's not such a bad game, just confusing and random.

    However, the Pokemon Crystal works fine, besides the viruses here and there, and the fact that occasionally, both games freezes, and sometimes restarts all over again. this is happens more and more often now. Some of the other viruses on Crystal include - Time remains the same for a while, then jumps to a new time You can change the day by going to the town map or flying (useful for going to certain events in the game that only happen on certain days, etc) Box 8 on the PC was unusable - unless you wanted to have a pokemon that became unusable and froze the game I couldn't climb the Tin Tower to catch Ho-oh. despite catching all 3 dogs and everything one has to do - I managed to catch Ho-oh on another Crystal game.

    All in all, if you want a perfectly working Pokemon Crystal, don't get a 2 in 1 with Pokemon Diamond - it will have side effects.

    Yeah, I found this in a market overseas. The box and game had no manual, so it was rather confusing, figuring out Diamond.

    Yeah, the save battery worked perfectly every time. And some of the glitches I used to my advantage." 

Note from samuel88882001:

  • "I saw your Bootleg games page, and seeing that I've played Pokemon Diamond (Telefang Speed i think), i sent this in. I've realized swearing, broken english, and stuff like that in the game. It looked interesting, so i played through it. it is kinda like a Pokemon game, but only 1% as good. Your starter is always Kuribute, and you can get other ones(on a phone) but it takes them some time to arrive if you call them for a battle. There's also this really insane dude called Nekikara, who seems to be teamed up with Tabasuko, another bad guy (or actually, girl). Except when he said "Stop Tabasuko!" and stuff like that. The bosses are also wicked hard. You have to train for an hour to even stand a chance against Tabasuko the first time. She has 3 Lv.10 e-monsters! Plus before that you have to fight a Kakuzato dude (with 2 common Lv.6 e-monsters (Osie % Kesi)), and this monster called Nejiro (LV.6) who is the brother(?) of Netaro (water-bringer?), who you get at Lv.10 after beating Tabasuko. Your next (mission?) is to free some prisoner, though i never did anything like it. I first had to fight this Sukori monster at Lv.12 which i found near the water. No big challenge. Then i got this key. Then my (rival?-owner(or friend) of Sukori) came along and wondered why Sukori (stole?) the key. Then to get into this cave i fought this Gumi dude at Lv.8. Cakewalk. I got in. I had to fight tone of Kakuzato dudes. I got stuck on the first one, who had this Lv.9 Rodansa. Horrible defense, but practically unachievable attack and speed. I later found that i could (befriend, not catch) them too. Then at the end of the cave, i found Nekikara, somehow opposed to whatever Tabasuko was doing down there. He gave me another key. Then i fought Tabasuko. She had really good monsters, but actually wasn't too tough. I beat her before her Sukori arrived at least. Then, i had to do something on this Alice Coast. I talked to absolutely everybody, and tried everything, but nothing happened. I stopped there. I've collected a lot of info, which i might send in too (later). Bye! " 

Note from tr nightmare:

  •  "I been working on pokemon diamond aka telefang power well i was at belbi mountains when I got a call to give a item to a emon but i was on a edge but when i gave it to him he was flouting on the bottomless pit here's proof I'm the first person to report a glitch"

Note from OrangeLatios:

  • "It is a complete ripoff of one of my favorite RPGs (I notice a ripoff of it when I see one), Monster Warrior A.K.A. Dragon Quest. Same base sprites, same barrels and stuff in the beginning, same fight sequence, and same way of catching pokemon (or should I say electric monsters)!" 

Note from Kanadian Kyuubi:

  • "Little clarification about your Telefang section in the Bootleg Pokemon section, DShoot IS the Phone."

Fake Pokemon Crystal

Laura writes: "I bought a Pokemon Crystal game for the Gameboy Colour only to discover when I played it it was a fake! The Pokemon were called Elfs, instead of saving you wrote a report and when you tried to catch an Unknown it was called a funny name, a whole lot of jumble came up and it reset! The Pokemon looked like the ones you get on Pokemon Green and Professor Oak was called The Elf Monster! It was quite humerous to play (Like when 'Mom' told me how to use the phone 'Plug in the Xazafier and select the Holy Figure') and the only name you could call your character was LS. It was in perfect English (Though not very good grammer) but it looked like someone had made it themselves at home by changing around a proper version. Has anyone else got a version like this or is it just me?"

Pokemon Sapphire for GBC

Numbuh 128Bit writes: At the end of last year, I found a Pokémon Sapphire tape for GameBoy Color. It plays fairly well for such a game. I could give you info in the game in you want.

Hopefully, this doesn't bore you. It's kinda long...

When you turn the system on, the copright symbol will be scrambled as if the game isn't fully inserted. Oddly, it'll start anyway. You're taken to an intro sequence about how the Rocket Brigade stole the Improbity Badge and destroyed the "Magic Baby"'s World. "Xaoshi" and his pals tried to stop them, but in the end the only one left who could stand up to them is Pikachu.

The Title Screen lets you start off from where you last saved, or even load directly like a Save State! Think of that as Wario Land 2 GBC's save feature. Anyway, you have 2 files. When you begin, you walk around the world, going to various buildings to either evolve your "Magic Baby", approve of one, or battle on the field. When your "Baby" gains a certain ammount of experience, you can evolve them at the Professor's Lab, but you need a badge to do so. Battles don't end until you clear all of the opponents. I've battled up to about 20, but combat is turn-based for each monster. You move an increasing ammount of spaces(tiles) and stop there, choosing to attack, use an item, or rest(do nothing until the next turn). You can also rest on a house space to earn items and hints. As your monster levels up, they can learn one skill per evolution, so don't evolve them until they learn it.
I hope you're still awake =)

The front and back of the tape

-The Title Screen

The first part of the opening

The ChangPanWoods Battlefield

The World Select

Hope that helped! If this game is a hack or something, please let me know. I couldn't get anymore screenshots, so lemme know if you need extra information on the game.

Pokemon Cyber (Nintendo DS)

technosurfer writes: "hey rose! i saw yet another bootlegged game. it was called pokemon cyber for nintendo ds and i instantly bought it. its a pity i dont have a camera but i can tell you that it is so well made, it could be legitimate. it was completely devoid of ANY engrish with a totally original script for npcs.

each npc had a different character in battle. the game portruded by about 11/2 inches from my DS for some freakish reason. it was 3D and it was completely unique. you saw the world in first person mode and could see yourself only at the beginning of the game and in a mirror or water. at the beginning, you got to completely customise your character in any way you wanted. for some reason, we have a crosshair that resembles the one in my metroid prime game and you could shoot different kind of pokeballs that realeased random pokemon upon impact. for some strange reason, the random pokemon didnt do any damage but the pokeballs did. battle had to be conducted in a metroid prime type shooter death match. you get a randomly selected pokemon to do battle with and you actually become the pokemon. all the ones coloured orange can, for some very wierd reason, turn into giant rolling pokeballs that leave even smaller pokeballs to explode them into the air. all the ones who are grey or black start crawling on the groung like worms and leave behind some spike things. its truly bizzarre but well done.

i think its a hack of metroid prime hunters."

Pokemon Chaos Black (Nintendo DS)

Chaos Black

Chaos Black version

SnowLeoperd writes: "Pokemon Chaos Black - was originally a hack of Fire Red, where the hackers just basically made 3 new starter Pokemon, and edited some of the other Pokemon."

back of box

New Pokemon

Pokemon Quartz Version (Nintendo DS)

Quartz Quartz version

SnowLeoperd writes: "Pokemon Quartz - this game is somethin else. Originally a hack of ruby/sapphire, a spanish guy named Sergio hacked it, he just rewrote the entire script, changed the story and layout a lot, and changed each pokemon's names. the engrish is soo vulgar and poor that it's hilarious! Oh also, the gyarados on the cover that you thought might've been fan art, is the pic to the Pokemon Trading card game booster packs Holon Phantoms. So cheap."

Click - contains profanity

Click - contains profanity

Click - contains profanity

Pokemon Naranja

Naranja version

Naranja version
Text appears to have been taken from a review or writeup of FireRed/LeafGreen. Notice that the "Naranja" font doesn't match the "version" font.
And also note the "not comp atible" - a real product wouldn't have that formatting issue.
And anime Ash and Suicune on the box? The G/S/C legendaries aren't even catchable in FR/LG.
Hey! No Nintendo Seal of Quality either!

strawberry_kitten_1994 writes: "Naranja mean orange in Spanish.  The fruit orange, however the box is green!  The color orange is a different word (Anaranjado).  On the back of the box, it boast a screenshot of the male D/P trainer battling a wild Starly, a strange R/S battle shot of Pikachu battling an Eevee.  The other screenshots also appear to be D/P overworld shots."

SnowLeoperd writes: "Pokemon Naranja (orange en espanol) - is another hack by that Sergio guy, it's a hack of ruby/sapphire to fit the storyline of the orange islands, he did a good job too, you're given a lapras by tracey, earn a coral eye badge, see the crystal onix, travel to the orange islands via blimp, etc etc. nicely done, too bad it isn't a real game! you get to play as misty, as well."

Pokemon Perla

SnowLeoperd writes: "Pokemon Perla (pearl en espanol) - nothing great, in fact i sold this to someone shortly after buying it, whoever started hacking it didn't get very far, the 3 random starter pokemon you're offered is mightyena, beautifly and swampert (i think), they changed the main characters, and a few of the town names, but didn't do much more than that. however i ran into rediculous wild pokemon, such as deoxys, charizard, groudon, etc"

Pokemon Ruby Version 3

Brandon writes: "I'm emailing about a bootleg pokemon game that my friend traded with me. He says he got it from Cyprus. It's a sidescroller and you shoot electric ball things. I have attached 6 screenshots of the game. It seems to be an OK game. I can't really say much, as I've only played it twice."







Other Bootleg Games

A few bootlegs I found on Ebay. It seems that once you find a seller with a few bootleg games, they're often selling others as well. Some of these are Pokemon ROM hacks dumped to cartridges (such as Chaos Black and Quartz versions), but the origins of others are unknown. Certain games are listed only on the UK Ebay site.

Frigo ReturnsPerla version

Arcoiris version
The Dark Lugia appeared in Pokemon XD, not any GameBoy games.
Arcoiris means "rainbow" in Spanish, strange to show a Dark Lugia.
Note that this game and the "Naranja" version above it were taken on the same table. Bootleg sellers tend to have more than one fake in their collection.

Arcoiris version
Vague, nebulous description that could refer to ANY new Pokemon game. Terrible grammatic mistakes (note the excessive commas and misplaced capitalization).
Who's that trainer/character?
The "battle" screenshot appears to show a new trainer character. Very strange. Is this a full-out hack, or just a Photoshopped box image?
No Nintendo Seal of Quality to be found!

strawberry_kitten_1994 writes: "In the Arcoiris version, the "trainer / character" is Gardenia, the Grass-type gym leader of Eterna City, and is also the 2nd gym in Diamond and Pearl.  Arco iris (with a space) means rainbow in Spanish.  Also on the back of the box (in the lower left-hand corner) is another overworld screenshot of the female character from Diamond & Pearl. The battle screenshot shows what I'm guessing is a badly-sprited image of what the female trainer was imagined to look like, and a recolered sprite of the male Team Aqua admin.  The "Are you a BOY or a GIRL" shot is probably another resprited image.  These bootlegs were most likely made before the Diamond & Pearl games were released, and feature some of the pre-game release graphics and screenshots.  "

Freezair SilverEye writes: ""Arcoiris" is a rainbow, though there is also a variety of cookie called "Arcoiris" with pink and white marshmellows on top and a mascot wearing a pair of briefs on its head. "

whovian13 writes: "For Pokemon Arcoiris version, the bottom left screenshot on the back of the box is an overworld shot from Diamond and Pearl, while the two picture on the right are from the hack Pokemon Quartz by "Teh Baro" (his Youtube account name, not sure what name he prefers to go by).

Also, not sure if you can use this, but in the actual ROM for Quartz (And the sequel, Marble), it actually says something to the effect of "Hey, this is a ROM Hack, if you payed for this, sucks for you =D."


More Bootlegs from Dragonslayerboy

Mr. Mime writes:

  • "I won some bootleg games on eBay, and they just arrived!
    They include a pirated copy of Crystal (the cartridge just says "Game"), Jade version (I finally get to see the title screen!), and the Diamond Special Pikachu Edition pictured at the bottom of your page (it's a ripoff of Super Mario Bros. 3)." 

More bootlegs from SnowLeoperd

BACK to TR's Rockin!