- This article is about the recurring location in the Pokémon series and anime. For the real life store, see Pokémon Center (store).
Artwork of a Pokémon Center from Pokémon X and Y
|First appearance||Pocket Monsters Red and Green Versions (1996)|
|Inhabitants||Pokémon Center Ladies (games)|
Nurse Joy (anime)
Pokémon Centers are buildings where Pokémon Trainers take their Pokémon to be healed, similar to a real world veterinary clinic. They are usually found within cities and towns, and have first appeared in Pocket Monsters Red and Green Versions (released as Pokémon Red and Blue Versions outside of Japan). Pokémon Centers provide their services for free. In the Pokémon video game series, Pokémon Centers are run by Pokémon Center Ladies, but in the anime series, every Pokémon Center is operated by a family of identical nurses, all named Nurse Joy, who is usually accompanied by either a Chansey or a Blissey.
In the main Pokémon series, Pokémon Centers have an essential role of fully restoring the HP and PP of every Pokémon in the player character's party, and this also cures any status condition. Pokémon Centers also have a PC, which allows the player character to access the Pokémon not in their party as well as their item storage network. There is a separate room where players from the real world can connect their systems to either trade Pokémon or to engage in a Pokémon battle with one another.
To have their Pokémon restored, the player character must walk up to the Pokémon Center Lady. She then puts the Pokémon's Poké Balls into a machine, which restores them to full health within a few seconds. During a Pokémon battle, if every Pokémon in the player character's party faints, they quickly run to the Pokémon Center that they most recently visited to have their Pokémon healed, which the Pokémon Center Lady does automatically.
A few Pokémon Centers are located outside of towns and cities, such as in the area before facing the Elite Four. There are also a few houses that the player character can go to fully restore their Pokémon.
Pokémon Red and Blue Versions
In Pokémon Red and Blue Versions, Pokémon Centers have only one floor, which consists of one large room. The upper part consists of two counters: on the left is the Pokémon Center Lady, and on the right is the Link Cable Club, which is where players connect to either trade Pokémon or to engage in a Pokémon battle. Players are required to save their game before they can enter the Link Cable Club. The PC is positioned in front of the Link Cable Club counter.
Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
In Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition, Pokémon Centers retain their core purpose from Pokémon Red and Blue Versions. Next to the Pokémon Center Lady is a Chansey, who serves only as a reference to Nurse Joy's Chansey from the anime and does not have any in-game purpose.
Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions / Pokémon Crystal Version
In Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions and Pokémon Crystal Version, Pokémon Centers were redesigned to have two floors, and their roof color varies depending on the location. The bottom floor still has a Pokémon Center Lady who can heal the player character's Pokémon, as well as a usable PC. The top floor can be accessed by a set of stairs at the bottom-left. The top floor only consists of the Cable Club, which has three different services, each provided at a different counter. From left to right, they are the Trade Center (for trading Pokémon), the Colosseum (for Pokémon battles), and a Time Capsule, which is specifically for trading Pokémon to the Generation I games.
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions
In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions, the Pokémon Centers are still based on their appearance from the Generation II games. The counter where the Pokémon Center Lady heals the player character's Pokémon has been moved to the center, and the PC was moved right next to it. The stairs to the top floor were replaced by a wide escalator, and a large Poké Ball emblem was added on the floor. The top floor has the Pokémon Cable Club, which has three counters like in the Generation II games. Both the Trade Center and Colosseum were retained, but the Time Capsule was replaced by Record mixing, where players can exchange in-game information with one another.
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions
In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions, a basement level is introduced to the Pokémon Center, and prior to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection's discontinuation, the player character could go there to interact and trade Pokémon with other players online. Because of the Nintendo DS's wireless capabilities, a Game Link Cable is no longer used to communicate to other players. Both wireless and online interaction with players have since become a series standard.
In the Pokémon anime, Pokémon Centers serve the same function of recovering the health of Pokémon. However, they also treat illnesses not present in the Pokémon video game series, and are places where Pokémon Trainers can eat free meals and stay overnight. They have varying architectural designs, but always have a red P on or near them.
A significant difference from the main Pokémon video game series is that recovery for Pokémon takes much longer, depending on the Pokémon's illness or injury, and treatment ranges from simple bedrest to the use of devices similar to those in real-life hospitals. They are also used to treat humans, and most injured trainers are seen to be treated in a Pokémon Center instead of a hospital, probably because they are more numerous and accessible in otherwise uninhabited areas than hospitals.
The centers have also served as communication centers, berry testing facilities, temporary homes for lost Pokémon and meeting places for Trainers to gather and make plans to solve various problems, some Team Rocket related. The centers often work with the local police department.
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