Pokemon Emerald-Z dev diary

Hi Pokémon Fans! This will be a dev diary and feature guide for the Emerald-Z rom hack.


I had been enjoying many rom hacks for their increased variety, utility and challenge. So I decided to try to make my own hack, lifting the mythical and unique “Battle Frontier” quest before the ORAS Hoenn hype dies out. What would make Poké Fans play such a game?


    1. One thing that always got me hooked on the Pokémon games was the learning experience, fighting unknown monsters & finding secrets after days of training. This led me to revamp the type chart and most dual typings in the game.


    1. The next thing I liked was the ability to capture or raise many monsters of the same kind to compare their strengths better. So I cheapened EV-vitamins!


    1. I placed more Pokémon in the wild, so you can farm competitive legendaries & starters. I also changed up the priority(!) movepools and abilities to aid you.


  1. This is obviously a good way of preparing for the endgame: The Battle Frontier  🙂 But with the new type chart & moveset edits, this also became more of a challenge


My inspiration comes from hacks like Storm Silver, Blaze Black and Yet Another Fire Red. These versions gave the player more useful items and strategies to try early in the game. That way you didn’t have to scrap anything you invested time in, and fights were harder!

The problem with competitive Pokémon training today is that it takes time to get started. With the cheaper EV-vitamins, anyone can nieche their monster stats for a small price and improve several of their team members at once. Enemy trainers also play smarter!

Pokemon Emerald-Z_009 Pokemon Emerald-Z_005

When changing Pokémon types and stats, I wanted players to be able to use more of the overlooked monsters for competitive roles. Mareep now resists ground and water attacks better and can regain health. Players who liked sets like Elemental Punch Alakazam are also able to relive that nostalgia. Monsters like Sneasel were weak in this old system, but I compensated for this by adjusting its special attack. “Mega” Pokémon also got new tricks. Instead of using stones the final evolution just becomes improved and can use hold items.


Charizard was a hard “Mega” to implement. Mostly because it has two versions, each with their own role, typing and stats. I decided to go with the middle ground, where the player chooses weakness through the ability. You get the Charizard X stats and typing, but can choose between the Drought and Levitate abilities. Either you will be weak to ground, or you will be weaker against water. There’s also “legendary” dragons of each dual type now!

  • Normal Dragon – Dragonite (thick fat or levitate)
  • Fire Dragon – Charizard (levitate or drought)
  • Water Dragon – Feraligatr (swift swim or rough skin)
  • Grass Dragon – Sceptile (lightningrod or hyper cutter)
  • Ice Dragon – Lapras (water absorb or shell armor)
  • Electric Dragon – Ampharos (volt absorb or static)
  • Fighting Dragon – Hariyama (thick fat or guts)
  • Poison Dragon – Kingdra (swift swim or natural cure)
  • Ground Dragon – Onix (huge power or lightningrod)
  • Flying Dragon – Rayquaza (air lock)
  • Psychic Dragon – Lugia (levitate)
  • Bug Dragon – Scyther (limber or hyper cutter)
  • Rock Dragon – Flygon (levitate or sand stream)
  • Ghost Dragon – Altaria (levitate or own tempo)
  • Dark Dragon – Salamence (intimidate)
  • Steel Dragon – Steelix (rock head or lightningrod)

01-Pokemon Emerald-Z

Many players find beginner route encounters boring, sometimes not even worth catching. In Pokémon Emerald-Z you will face more interesting and diverse monsters in your early adventures. A Pokémon like Nidoqueen will provide you with the unique Ice/Poison typing once you find your first Moon Stone. Or you can try your luck with the impressive Fearow who gets the Flying/Fighting typing! There’s usually a defensive or offensive ability choice. You rivals will also choose different starters in this hack, which can get pretty interesting!

New video from a player who tried Pokémon Emerald-Z and recorded the first 10 minutes:

You can download the game for Android: GameBoid app with Pokémon Emerald-Z

Or visit the Reddit thread: Reddit presentation thread and feature list for Emerald-Z