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Pokémon Trading Card Game/zh-hans

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This page is a translated version of the page Pokémon Trading Card Game and the translation is 8% complete.
Other languages:
English • ‎italiano • ‎中文(简体)‎ • ‎한국어

Title Screen

Pokémon Trading Card Game

Also known as: Pokémon Card GB (JP)
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Nintendo
Platforms: Game Boy, Super Game Boy, Game Boy Color
Released in JP: December 18, 1998
Released in US: April 10, 2000
Released in EU: December 15, 2000
Released in AU: April 7, 2000

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

Pokémon Trading Card Game is a Game Boy rendition of the classic card game played on schoolyards around the world.

Capital Letters


While all the text displayed is in capital letters only, the text in the American version of the game is actually stored in mixed case ASCII. There is a hidden switch to enable the use of small letters, by using the Gameshark code 00000DCD. This also makes it the first game to spell the word Pokémon as "Pokémon" and not "POKéMON", at least internally. The European versions, however, have all their text stored in upper case only.

Unused Room

To do:

There is also an unused room located behind the duel room in Challenge Hall. It resembles some sort of storage room, and the doors may have led to it earlier in development. All that remains is a basic layout.

In-Game Debug Menu

Screenshot of the debug menu visible in the start menu.

The main debug menu was accessed from the in-game start menu. While the menu at 04:43D2 was commented out before release—as evident by a single ret—at least the look of it can be recovered by using the following Game Genie Codes:

Japanese North American European
Text ID 35D-9BB-3BA 10D-9BB-D52 4EC-2CB-D5F
Size 10D-98B-D52 3ED-9EB-19E 10C-29B-D52
7 Items 07D-A1B-F72 067-7CB-F7E 07C-32B-F72
Cancel on Item 7 067-76B-F7E 07D-A4B-F72 067-7CB-F7E

Startup Debug Menu

There is also a start-up debug menu. While it can also be called in-game (since it has a quit option), the actual game boots using this menu's sub-routine. Use the following codes to activate it:

Japanese North American European
5B0-25B-C45 610-31B-A2D 640-36B-7FF


美国 欧洲
PKMN TCG U StartUp DbgMnu.png PKMN TCG E StartUp DbgMnu.png

Since the European versions are multi-language, you will have to either have a save game with the language set, or you will have to skip the menu the first time around, since it will display the wrong (gibberish) string, because the game doesn't default to any language when confronted with an invalid language setting. It's notable that in all versions, all options of this menu have been translated.

Power On

This will boot the game as usual.

Duel Mode

This switches between the two duel modes.

Continue from Diary

This option will skip the title screen and directly put you where you last saved. If there isn't a saved game, it will start from the beginning.

CGB Test

This test seems to be gone for good. It calls a single ret. Judging from the name, this option was there to test various color features.

SGB Frame


This test SGB Frame shows the using palettes and a dash grid over the whole screen to mark tile boundaries.

Standard BG character

PKMN TCG StartUp DbgMnu BgView.png

This will show BG tiles 0x88000x97F0 on the screen.


This will show the standard language menu, either in English-German-French or English-Spanish-Italian, depending on the version of the game.

Look at Spr

PKMN TCG StartUp DbgMnu SprView.png

This option will start a sprite viewer.

Navigation: A will change the animation of the currently displayed sprite. Left/Right will de-/increase the sprite number. Up/Down will de-/increase the sprite number by 0x10. Select cancels the menu.

V Effect

This test is also gone. It calls a single ret. Judging from the name, this option might have tested hdma effects or vertical windowing effects (as used in the credits).

Create Booster Pack

This menu allows one to generate random booster packs. This was possibly done to check if the random seed tables were correct and correct sets of cards were generated.


This will play the credits.


This option will quit the menu. If the menu was called from the boot-up code, it will reboot the game and then display this menu again. Else, it will work as expected.

Miscellaneous Debug Strings

More debug strings were left over, though:

A                   TIME
     TO      (Change with Start)
            A+B: Stop Animation
            Select: Exit



WIN      <number> Prizes Duel
LOSE     with <card/move>(<number>)

         Use <number>'s Deck

Substitute screen for
receiving cards.

Substitute screen for sending
cards by Link cable.

Substitute screen for receiving
cards by Link cable.

Substitute screen for sending
a Deck design.

Substitute screen for receiving
a Deck design.


Ending Screen

Was the data transfer successful?

(Person transferring data to)

(Name of Deck transferring)

Build Dates

These ASCII strings show the date that each version was built. The AXQP version contains English, French and German, while the AXQX contains English, French and Italian, but they both share the same build date.

Japan 0x2A81 USA 0x7401 Europe (both AXQP and AXQX) 0x7354
VER 10/31 17:21
VER 12/20 09:36
VER 10/11 11:47

Unused Super Game Boy Borders

To do:
See if the orange palette exists for all borders including every medal variation

There are two unused Super Game Boy borders that can be accessed from the debug menu. Game Genie code CA1-7FB-D5D will keep the selected initial border throughout the game. Turn on after the selected border is displayed or the initial border will be absent.

Unused Super Game Boy Border 1

Pokmon Trading Card U Unused SGB Border 1.PNG

An alternate palette likely leftover from testing from when they were deciding what palette to use. Game Genie code 020-1FB-E6A will load this border at startup.

Unused Super Game Boy Border 2


Used for testing border coordinates and palette usage. All palettes that were loaded into the SNES's VRAM while the border is loading will display on the SGB section of the border. Game Genie code 030-1FB-E6A will load this border at startup.

Regional Differences

Intro Boosters

Japanese International
Ptcg-intro1J.png Ptcg-intro1U.png
Ptcg-intro2J.png Ptcg-intro2U.png
Ptcg-intro3J.png Ptcg-intro3U.png

The images of the boosters that appear during the intro were changed outside of Japan to reflect the appearance of those distributed in the relative region.


日版 国际版
Ptcg-titleJ.png Ptcg-title.png

SGB Border

Japanese International

The Japanese SGB border has writing on the PokéBall outline, which was removed from all subsequent releases abroad.

Card's back

Japan International
Pokemon Card GB back.png Pokemon TCG GB back.png

The back of the cards was changed outside of Japan to reflect the appearance of the cards distributed abroad.


日版 国际版
Pokemon Card GB JynxLv23.png Pokemon TCG GB JynxLv23.png

Jynx's Lv. 23 design was revised to be purple rather than black in International versions, due to unfortunate similarities to the blackface stereotype.

Infrared Communication

The Japanese version contains infrared hardware inside the cartridge, enabling compatibility between different Game Boy models. International versions removed this, and require the Game Boy Color's built-in sensor.

Virtual Console Changes

The Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console version does not emulate the Game Boy Color infrared hardware, leaving the Lv. 15 Mew and Lv. 64 Venusaur unobtainable via Card Pop! and no way to assemble the Mysterious Pokémon Deck from the Pokémon Dome deck machine. Due to Card Popǃ being disabled, a bookcase in Ishihara's House cannot be interacted with as it refers to the "Phantom Cards" from using Card Popǃ. In addition, trying to interact with the Clerks at each Club for the Battle Center and the Gift Center will act as if the Clerks are not present, due to the game disabling the Battle Mode and the Trade Mode as all Game Link Cable features are neither supported nor emulated. Furthermore, since the Game Boy Printer cannot be used, the "Print" function from the PC has been disabled, the only change that is directly mentioned in the manual for the game. Also, because the game is locked in Game Boy Color mode, it cannot be played in monochrome Game Boy mode or with its Super Game Boy borders.


Original (Int) Virtual Console
Pokemon TCG GB JynxLv23.png Pokemon TCG 3DSVC JynxLv23.png

As with Pokémon Snap, Lv. 23 Jynx has been altered to closer match the newer design of the Pokémon. The face, hands, and the background were changed from dark purple to lighter shade of that color.