Pokémon Puzzle Challenge

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Title Screen

Pokémon Puzzle Challenge

Also known as: Pokémon de Panepon (JP)
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy Color
Released in JP: September 21, 2000
Released in US: December 4, 2000
Released in EU: June 15, 2001
Released in AU: June 15, 2001


MinigameIcon.png This game has unused modes / minigames.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.


Question: What do you get when you combine Pokémon and Tetris Attack? Answer: Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, one of Nintendo's attempts at increasing the marketability of a game by rebranding it.

Contents

Panel de Pon GB

Hmmm...
To do:
Descriptions of the menu entries are needed here


For those who don't know, Pokémon Puzzle Challenge is pretty much the same thing as Tetris Attack, which in turn is the international rebranding of the Japanese game Panel de Pon. Characters from the latter game can be found in the ROM, suggesting that this game was originally meant to be a Panel de Pon game, but got rebranded partway through. (In case you're wondering, this was a Pokémon game in Japan as well.)

That said, Panel de Pon GB does exist in a very early generally unpolished state, as the characters and music are all there. The game can even be accessed on a regular Game Boy or Super Game Boy. Interestingly the game's CGB Bootstrap ROM palette is remarkably similar to Tetris Attack for Game Boy and its Japanese version, Yoshi no Panepon, except that it is more yellow than green.

Japan US Europe
Pokemon de Panepon J Panel de Pon GBC Menu.png Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Panel de Pon Select.png Pokemon Puzzle Challenge E GBC Panel de Pon Menu.png

The European version of this hidden mode removes a misplaced "ぇ" character introduced in Western localization and renames some of the menu options.

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Panel de Pon Game.png

If using a pre-Color Game Boy, Panel de Pon GB can accessed from the GBC-only screen by pressing A (24x), B (24x). (You will hear a chime after pressing each button the required amount of times.) If on a Game Boy Color or newer, the GBC-only screen must first be triggered from the title screen by entering Up (2x), Right (4x), Down, Left (10x), Up (4x), Right, Down (6x), B. Once the screen is displayed, pressing A (24x), B (24x) will launch Panel de Pon GB.

Alternatively, it can be accessed by using Game Genie code 1F0-23B-80E which will start Panel de Pon in GBC mode, or 1F0-3AB-91E in any other GB mode.

(Source: Mezmorize, nensondubois)

Other Leftovers

Hmmm...
To do:
This game has a lot of compressed graphics; documentation and decompressor on Jul.


In addition to the above, very barebones version of Panel de Pon GB still buried inside the game, there are many leftover graphics from a more complete version, which likely would've had features similar to the final Pokémon Puzzle Challenge.

Some of the mugshots in the middle image are even loaded into VRAM on the puzzle level select screen. All but three of them are then replaced with Professor Oak's head.

Besides the uncompressed mugshots, there are many blocks of compressed graphics still left over from Panel de Pon, including the title screen, which reveals that the game was supposed to be called Panel de Pon GB before the Pokémon rebranding. (All offsets are for the Japanese version.)

(Source: Jul)

Debug Menu

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Screen Debug.png Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Pokemon Test 1.png Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Pokemon Test 2.png Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Garbage Test.png

Game Genie code ??0-23B-80E (where "??" is 22 or 23) will start Pokémon Puzzle Challenge in a screen setting viewer/CHR set viewer.

You can view all stage backdrop sets, special events and Boss introductions. Pressing either Left or Right depending on the screen allows testing of various functions such as listening to Pokémon cries, scrolling the garbage vertically, setting the menu cursor and other specific functions.

  • Character and Pokémon portraits can also be displayed from screens 0C-2E.
  • Test Pokémon animations and listen to their cries from screens 2F-48. The blinking Pokémon is the current animation event.
  • Save, game over, and congratulations screens 00-03.
  • Stage introduction previews. No special function. Screens 04-0B.
  • Character and Pokémon portraits. No special function. Screens 0C-2E.
  • All garbage block sets are a for display on screens. Scrollable. 2F-7C.
  • Stage introduction previews. No special function. Screens 7D-85.
  • Pokémon Hall preview. Scrollable. Screen 86.
  • Round Clear ~ Introductions. No special function. Screens 87-8E.
  • Stage Backdrops. No special function. Screens 8F-10E.
  • Stage Backdrops. Screens 8F-10E.
  • Round Clear ~ Pokemon. No special function. Screens 10F-116.
  • Stage introduction backdrops. No special function. 117-11F.
  • Ending. No special function. Screen 120.
  • Results. No special function. Screens 121-128.
  • Pokémon Eggs. No special function. Screens 129-12C.
  • Pokémon profiles. Menu cursor sound plays. Screens 12D-146.
  • Boss battle introductions and defeat cuscenes. No special function. Screens 147-155.
  • Test animation. No special function. Screens 156-157.
  • Pikachu. No special function. Screens 158-159.
(Source: Mezmorize, nensondubois)

GBC-Only Screen

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Only Palette GBC.png

There is a black-and-white GBC palette programmed for the GBC-only message screen, likely added for the aforementioned Easter-egg game mode Panel de Pon GB. Game Genie code 1D0-23B-80E will start the game on this screen in GBC mode.

(Source: Mezmorize, nensondubois)

Unused Music

There are three unused music tracks in the game's data. Game Genie codes ??3-C3B-F72 ??4-88B-F72 (where "??" is the song ID number) will play your selected song at the main menu. Song ID 54 is a duplicate main menu track, while the Panel de Pon track ID values are 1E, 1F, and 20.

Unused Song 1

ID 01, GBS track 1.

Unused Song 2

ID 04, GBS track 4.

Unused Song 3

ID 1C, GBS track 26.
(Source: nensondubois (access method)

Regional Differences

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge E Language Select.png

The European version has a language select option, as expected. It is screen 1A and sub-screen 3C, the latter of which is a congratulations screen in the American and Japanese versions.