October 23, 2015

What is Lanette's Time Capsule?

Or, to be more accurate, "what will Lanette's time capsule be?"

Lanette's time capsule, or the Lanette capsule, will be, to put it succinctly, a device that lets you trade Pokémon between Generations II and III. It will thus let you bring Pokémon all the way from Generation I, something that has never been possible before.

Check it.

If you're a long-time Pokémon fan, this probably tells you enough already. If you're not (or you simply don't see the attraction), however, let me tell you all about it. (If this article is a mish-mash of words to you - trading? Generations? - I recommend you read the subjects' respective Bulbapedia articles.)

In each generation so far, there is a way to transfer your Pokémon to the next one. And then the next one. And then the next one... and so on. This is fantastic, as this means you can bring the little critters you've grown attached to all the way through your life! It creates a wonderful sense of continuity. It also comes in handy for getting Pokémon that can't be caught in newer generations - whether it's to complete your Pokédex or to get a certain special set of moves for a Pokémon. This has a single exception, though - a single missing link in the chain - and that is between Generation II and Generation III. For technical reasons (both hardware and software), there never was a way to transfer your Pokémon between those generations. Between I and II, yes, and III and IV, no problem - the II-III link is the odd one out. Bad enough in and of itself, absolutely, but it also has an implication that makes it magnitudes worse: you can't bring your Pokémon with you all the way from the first games. The farthest you can bring them is from Generation III.

So I'm going to complete the chain.

The solution is Lanette's time capsule. Once you are holding your Lanette capsule in your hand, the finished product, it's going to work a little something like this:

And all of a sudden, you'll be able to bring your old Pokémon over. From Gold, Silver and Crystal. From Red, Blue and Yellow, even! Pokémon from 1998 will have a chance to coexist with those from today.

I have considered the challenges carefully (building a link cable connector, reading the link cable data, reverse-engineering the data formats involved, translating between them, and many more tough Seedots to crack) and arrived at the conclusion that this project is feasible. Not easy, and it won't be quick, but possible. And I feel like going for possible.

It should be noted that the design and workings of the Lanette capsule are subject to change. I don't know what choices I may make in the future, but I'm eager to find out - and I hope you are, too!

If there's anything you'd like to talk to me about, contact me @obskyr on Twitter. If you'd rather e-mail me, you can!

See you in the first real devlog entry shortly. It's on building a breakout board for the Game Boy link cable. Look forward to it!

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