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"Welcome to the next generation of Pokémon! As a rookie Pokémon Trainer, you will need to catch, train and battle Pokémon on your journey to become the Pokémon League Champion. You will face many challenges along the way, as you search for the Pokémon that rules time or space..."
—Blurb on the back of the boxes of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions
The plot doesn't stay far from the familiar territory of series. You and your hyperactive buddy are children from the little village of Twinleaf Town. One day, both of you have a fateful encounter with Professor Rowan, the local Pokémon researcher who just arrived from Kanto recently, and his assistant. Said encounter leaves you both with your first Pokémon, so naturally you set out To Be a Master, collecting monsters and badges and challenging other Trainers along the way.
At some point, you also encounter Team Galactic: A group that claims to be researching new forms of energy through Pokémon, but isn't above doing sinister acts in broad daylight... What exactly are their goals? As the Player Character, naturally you're on a crash course to find out...
A third version, titled Platinum, came out in 2009. Platinum brought with it a bit of tweak on the storyline, more characters and features, remodeling several Gyms, and including new challenges for players.
While the competitive aspects of Pokémon has been introduced back in Emerald, this generation marks the beginning of what would be the cornerstone of many proper battling aspects found in competitive plays today, mainly the divide between Physical and Special damage.
Tropes used in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum:
- Apathetic Citizens: Played with. Most people said that Team Galactic was "up to no good". A lot of them probably didn't realize the scale of their mission, since the worst they did in public was steal a Pokémon from some kid. In Platinum, it does seem that the government is at least trying to do something by sending a detective on their trails. Later Inverted in that most of Team Galactic's own members had no idea what they were actually doing and would have probably freaked out if they had found out.
- Artificial Brilliance: Enemy trainers tend to give their Pokémon moves that can cope with their weaknesses. And yes, they will use it on you. Ace Trainers took it to the next level, having an A.I. almost on par of Gym Leaders, with most of them having teams and sets that won't look too far off in tournament plays back in the day.
- A Winner Is You: Quoted by a clown in Veilstone when he gives you the Coin Case.
- Bowdlerise: The P.I. Trainer class. Pay attention to how they talk about chance and how they are flipping a coin, and you'll realize that they are actually supposed to be the Gen IV version of the Gambler class. Their resemblance to a detective was purely coincidental.
- Broken Bridge: Where to begin. Besides the usual staples of the series like HM moves that are needed to progress through an area, or random mooks standing in the way...
- Route 210 is blocked by a group Psyduck, which you could defeat easily, but instead you have to get a Secret Potion because they have headaches.
- A man next to route 222 won't let you pass because of a blackout in Sunyshore City until after you've beaten the Big Bad. This one is at least justified by the fact that not only did Volkner cause the blackout, it likely would have shut down his gym, meaning there would be little point in going to Sunyshore anyway.
- Random people block your way for no legitimate reason. Route 212 is blocked from the northern side, even after you've beaten Hearthome City's Gym. And they disappear once you reach Pastoria. All this does is make you take a longer path. No badges, no special events, nothing.
- In Platinum, a battle is blocking the entrance to Canalave City if you manage to Surf there before picking up the HM from Celestic Town.
- Also in Platinum, after you escape from the Distortion World, you're placed outside the entrance to Turnback Cave. Cynthia just happens to be standing in front of the entrance, and will remain standing there until you defeat her at the Pokémon League.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: The Great Marsh.
- Canon Dis Continuity: If Black and White are any indication, Platinum is the canonical game, and Diamond and Pearl exist in discontinuity. In general, it would seem that the 3rd version in each generation is the canonical version.
- Capture the Flag: A minigame in the Underground.
- Character Select Forcing: While all the regional dexes count as this, Diamond and Pearl's is by far the worst case in terms of Pokémon you can actually use in game. Most noticeably it contains only 2 Fire-type families. This had to be known by GameFreak, they made one of the Elite Four a Fire-type user and predictably, only 2 of his Pokémon are actually Fire-type , and it doesn't actually include every Pokémon introduced in Generation IV. Fixed in Platinum.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Battle Frontier in Platinum. It's in the game's programming to continually stack the odds against you more and more the higher your win streak goes.
- Darker and Edgier: The story is noticeably darker than previous entries in the series, with the Big Bad being a manipulative psychopath aiming to destroy the universe.
- Difficulty Spike:
- The Elite Four and Champion are much harder compared to the eight Sinnoh Gym Leaders. Special mention goes to Cynthia who has a team with perfect IVs, wide type coverage, and one Pokémon that is such a Game Breaker that it's included in the Legendary tier of the competitive battling circuit. She is by far the toughest battle in the main game.
- These games themselves, actually - In Generation IV and beyond, Pokémon were much more likely to have access to moves that could cope with their weaknesses. The AI was well aware of this, too.
- Eldritch Location: Distortion World. Whatever world Dialga and Palkia come from. What sort of place can you think of that "gives off an overwhelming feeling of time/space"?
- Elemental Punch: Prior generations decided whether an attack was Physical- or Special-based solely on the attack type, causing oddities such as Crunch being Special and Shadow Ball being Physical. While Generation III did make distinctions between contact and non-contact attacks for the sake of several touch-activated abilities, Generation IV was the first generation to actually dismantle the previous system and individually assign moves as Physical or Special. One particularly amusing note is that under the previous system, Dark-type attacks were all Special; with the renewed system, only one Dark attack (Dark Pulse) is Special and it was newly created for the game.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Geographically, Sinnoh is a counterpart to Hokkaido, Japan. However, some things about it also contain a lot of French vibes, such as the Trainer battle music and some sprites.
- Fan Service: One female swimmer mentions that her bikini is too snug. To a random ten year old, naturally.
- Forced Tutorial: Annoying as always, but the really annoying part is that you can have already captured Pokémon by the time it is given and your tutorial giver makes no mention of it.
- Gravity Screw: Distortion World.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "As we skiers like to say, 'spur thing!'"
- Inn Between the Worlds: You know that one inn in Canalave with the worn-out sign and the perpetually locked door? A special distribution event enables you to actually go in there and even interact with people inside, only to find later that it's dilapidated.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: This set of games has small, but noticeable, wait times everywhere, including infamous 15 second save times. There's also considerable lag in battles between animations, even with the animations off. Most of these are fixed in Platinum.
- Lovecraft Lite
- Luck-Based Mission: If you want the TM for Explosion, you have to play the slots. Not just to grind for enough coins, but to trigger TEN straight bonus rounds, and your chain can be broken simply due to bad luck.
- Mind Screw: Platinum Version's Distortion World is this in field form.
- Mythology Gag:
- Three Trainers from the Pokémon: Jirachi Wishmaker and Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys movies of the Anime/Pokemon appear as Ace Trainers in the Battle Zone. Butler and Diane from movie 6 appear on Route 229, the two of them sharing four of the Pokémon Butler owned in the movie. Rebecca (named "Hitomi" in Japan) from movie 7 appears on Route 224 with her Metagross. The English translation team did not notice this Easter Egg however, as Butler and Diane are renamed "Felix" and "Dana", respectively, and Rebecca/Hitomi is renamed "Jamie" instead.
- Also the TV program about the red Gyarados that the player character is watching when the game first starts, which is quite possibly referring to the Lake of Rage and its resident red Gyarados in the Pokémon Gold and Silver remakes.
- No Fair Cheating:
- Any Pokémon with the ability Mold Breaker will automatically cancel out any ability that prevents it from dealing damage, including Wonder Guard. Among the Pokémon possessing this is Glass Cannon Rampardos.
- Averted for OHKO + No Guard. This works wonders when used by a fast Pokémon like Ninjask.
- Obvious Beta: While nowhere near the mess that was Gen I, this was Game Freak's first attempt at using the DS hardware - and it shows. These were fixed in Platinum.
- Obvious Rule Patch: Platinum has a great deal of fixes both major and minor that make the game dramatically better than the original pair. This ranges from changing stuff in the "how did they screw that up" (The regional dex now has more than 2 Fire-type families and Pokémon new in Generation IV are part of it) to "always a bit of a bother" (guardhouses no longer force you to dismount your bike) categories.
- One-Time Dungeon: The Distortion World.
- Rewrite: Platinum changes the circumstances of how you obtain your starter, possibly to avoid any Fridge Logic when you meet Looker. 
- There's a Trainer in the Marley part of Victory Road that wants to judo chop you.
- "In return, we'll refrain from causing massive damage to your assistant."
- The substantial amounts of shout-outs to internet terms and memes can be explained by the fact that the lead translator is a Something Awful regular.
- The area in which the most powerful Steel Pokémon is found is called Stark Mountain.
- In the Undergorund, some of the rocks suspiciously look like Tetris pieces....
- Sprite Polygon Mix
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: The lady at the front desk of the Canalave Library, after the earthquake. "It certainly wasn't me who screamed 'Gyaaah!!' or shouted 'Help meee!!' No really, that wasn't me screaming!"
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Only a handful of 'cute' Pokémon can play in Amity Square. Even Pokémon like Pichu aren't able to go inside. Yet Psyduck and Shroomish are. And Torchic, despite not being available naturally in-game. And the rumored child-abductors Drifloon. In Diamond and Pearl, even the starters were excluded; which was fixed in Platinum, even allowing you to take all their evolved forms for a walk. Still, this makes for a grand total of 11 or 20 out of 493 getting to go for a stroll. Lampshaded by an angry Trainer who complains about not being able to take his Gyarados or Steelix into the park.
- Though the hot air balloon Pokémon is an understandable team member, the giant metal snake was formed by intense heat and pressure, and the Playboy Bunny is, well... hot, to be blunt.
- In Diamond/Pearl, you swipe your starter from Rowan's briefcase to defend yourself from a wild Starly attack, meaning you took them without permission; Rowan's comments afterward imply he only "gives" them to you because they've already imprinted on you and wouldn't work with anyone else anyway. Platinum, by contrast, has him giving them to you directly.