Back at the beginning of this year when Pokémon Legends: Arceus released, I covered how confusing the Pokémon core series timeline would be. With Scarlet and Violet already on the horizon, I don’t know how that game would fit within the core series timeline. Will it be a sequel or prequel of any existing Pokémon game, or will it take place during the events of another game or in between two different games?
Like with any video game franchise, one franchise may get a series of spin-off titles. Pokémon is one such example. One thing that I find really confusing is a timeline splitting into multiple directions. Some popular theories emerged when Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age first released. One part of that game’s plot involves a time jump, leading to theories about the timeline splitting into the Erdrick and Zenithian sagas upon conclusion of the game’s events.
Another thing I also considered was the spin-off games, as well as the side series games. Most of them aren’t connected to the main Pokémon timeline thanks to them taking place in alternate universes with different mythologies. Speaking of that, it was revealed in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, as well as Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon that multiple alternate universes exist. Thanks to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire being a remake of Ruby and Sapphire, the two games I mentioned above may have ended up splitting into their own timelines where Mega Evolutions do and do not exist.
I will begin factoring the side games starting with the Stadium series. Pokémon Stadium 1 and 2 don’t generally have much of a story, as it was just intended for players to import their Pokémon from the Game Boy games into an N64 and watch them duke out in 3D. Stadium‘s successor, Colosseum, apparently could be part of the timeline, apparently taking place during the events of Red and Blue and Gold and Silver. Colosseum got a sequel a few years later: XD Gale of Darkness. They claim it takes place between the events of Gold and Silver and Black and White. The last Stadium-style game the series got was Battle Revolution, which sadly has no story.
I also forgot to mention the spin-off game Pokkén Tournament is possibly part of the core series timeline, taking place between the events of X and Y and Sun and Moon. However, I can’t find any evidence to support that claim, meaning it is only speculation.
The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, which is a spin-off series created by Chunsoft who is perhaps best known for Dragon Quest, takes place on its own timeline and is not part of the core series timeline. Some evidence is a lack of human beings appearing. The Mystery Dungeon series began with Rescue Team for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS respectively. Explorers of Time, Darkness, and Sky indicates a sequel to the previous game, followed by the Japan-exclusive WiiWare titles. Later, we got Gates to Infinity and Super Mystery Dungeon, which are also sequels. There is very little evidence linking the games to each other.
After the first Mystery Dungeon games released, Pokémon Dash released, and I didn’t know where to put this in the timeline. One person agreed that it’s a prequel to the first Mystery Dungeon games. The Poképark games, which consist of two back-to-back entries, could likely take place between the events of Dash and Rescue Team.
Another spin-off series is the Ranger trilogy. While I have no clue where to put these in the timeline, it is possible it takes place between the events of Ruby and Sapphire and Diamond and Pearl thanks to appearances in the Pokémon anime, whose timeline is also alternate.
As new Pokémon games release