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Emerald hack: Pokémon Emerald Horizons - Emerald Difficulty Hack [Complete, v1.08c ft. New Rocket Storyline, Boss Gauntlet, Gen 1-8, Side Quests, and QoL features]

107
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271
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  • Age 26
  • Seen today
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Pokémon Emerald Horizons v1.08c

Introduction
If you want to skip me pouring my heart out, you can go to the Features section followed by the Documentation and Patch section.
Pokémon has always been at the forefront of my hobbies. When I was younger, I loved crafting teams for different Gym Leaders, Elite Four members, and really any Trainer that could be designated as a "boss battle." The idea of creating a game of my own was never really a thing until I played games like Pokémon Unbound (skeli, ghoul), Radical Red (soupercell), and Inclement Emerald (Buffel Saft). These hacks are among what I consider the best Pokémon experiences. My love for these games centers around a few commonalities: these games all feature a diversity in Pokémon you can obtain, these games are all on a sophisticated, modern battle engine, and - most importantly - they all offer a considerable degree of challenge, further showcased in their brilliant boss battles. The concept of "boss battles" never really stopped appealing to me, and I knew that after playing these games that I wanted to create my own game as well. Given the vast amount of resources selflessly created by this community (in particular, RHH, DizzyEgg, and PRET), I set out to create a game with a few key principles in mind:
  • Difficult, but fair. On a scale of 1-10, with vanilla being a 1 and Radical Red being a 10, I would say this game sits at a 6.
  • Feature alignment with modern entries in the series
  • Streamlining the player experience
Specifically related to point three, while I do find enjoyment in competitive battling, I could never really find enjoyment in worrying about EV training, maxing out IVs, or catching a Pokémon with the optimal nature. Similarly, the need to grind tirelessly for experience is something I doubt the average player would enjoy.
The project was designed so that the player can quickly achieve what they want to do from a teambuilding perspective while still holding them accountable with an enhanced difficulty.
While the game adds a considerable amount of new features, the game's primary identity is a difficulty hack.
To be frank, I wanted to make the type of Hoenn experience that I would be satisfied playing. While the game mostly follows the vanilla Emerald storyline, you'll find new Trainers to battle and new things to do!
In consideration of the above, I am proud to share with the community Emerald Horizons, my Emerald difficulty hack.

Features
Many of the features below are either inherent in the RHH's pokeemerald-expansion branch or possible due to the tireless work of the contributors in the Simple Modifications Directory (credited at the bottom of the post)!
The key features of this game include:
  • Difficulty Related: Set Mode, Level Caps, and Disabled Battle Bag
  • Most Gen 1-8 Pokémon are obtainable, including Hisuian forms
  • Modern Battle Engine, with Fairy-Type, Mega Evolution, Updated Moves, and Physical/Special Split
  • Loads of optional boss battles, with 8 Kanto Gym Leaders, 8 Johto Gym Leaders, and a few miscellaneous bosses who reward valuable items
  • Exp. All
  • Bosses and mid/late game Trainers scale to or relative to your strength, so grinding/overleveling isn't a factor
  • Updated move animations, courtesy of Skeli and ghoulslash
  • No EVs/IVs/Natures factored into stats
  • 80 TMs, with about 50% vanilla TMs and 50% custom TMs
  • Ghoulslash's DexNav (12 unique land/5 unique surf/5 unique fishing encounters); hold A to creep!
  • PSF's Quest Menu UI, with 40 Side Quests to Complete
  • Buffel's Poké Vial implementation
  • Ghoul's Item Description Headers
  • Badge-Based Poké Marts
  • HMs don't need to be taught
  • Original Team Rocket storyline!
  • Level Cap Window updates as you progress
  • No more annoying fishing minigame
  • BW Repel System
  • Unlimited use TMs/Forgettable HMs
  • Nicknaming and Move Relearning in Party Screen
  • Decapitalization
  • Slateport City Level Grinder to quickly hit Level Cap
  • Linking Cord for most trade related evolutions
  • Post-Game Boss Rush Mode
  • 2.5x Lucky Egg
  • Premier Ball Bonuses
  • No poison damage in the overworld

Level Caps, as with most games, are tied to badges. You can see the Level Cap in game by pressing Start, but they're below for reference:
Spoiler:


As noted above, while most Gen 1-8 Pokémon are obtainable, certain species can not be caught in the game. This primarily pertains to Legendary/Mythical Pokémon. The list of currently unobtainable Pokémon is below.
Spoiler:

Screenshots
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Documentation and Patch
I've created a repository to access both documentation related to the game and the patch itself.
Documentation consists of an encounter sheet for all locations, the evolution.h file, and an item guide.
I am a strong advocate for playing the game blind, but they are available for those who are searching for a particular thing.
As for trainer documentation, I do not currently have any intention to create anything of that nature. I think part of the challenge is not knowing what to expect.
However, if upon feedback there is a desire for such a thing, it may happen in the future.
You can access the folder and download the patch HERE.
I use Floating IPS to patch, but any patcher should do the trick just fine. You'll also need to have an 1986 - Pokémon Emerald (Trashman) ROM.

Hall of Fame
Below are the final teams that cleared the Elite Four from the community!
I hope to continue populate this more with runs completed by community members (seriously, send your teams)!

Runs:
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Additional Hall of Fame Entries
Spoiler:

Run statistics can be found here.

New Content! (v1.05)
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Before You Ask
  • Hidden Abilities are obtained either via DexNav or using an Ability Patch, which comes after a certain amount of badges
  • While you'll see a Nature in the Summary Screen, I promise you it is not calculated into your overall stats!
  • Some movesets have been adjusted accordingly. For example, Tyranitar can relearn Dragon Dance. This is to avoid the need to grind out egg moves.
  • As a caveat to the above, it is important to note that not all egg moves were added to learnsets.
  • Certain Pokémon received "buffs" or "nerfs" in their movesets/learnsets, but nothing major has been changed.
  • If you don't know how to evolve it, chances are you just need a Linking Cord.
  • To Mega Evolve, hit the Start button before selecting a move.
  • There is no way to turn off Exp. All, as this ensures your team scales in accordance with the game's difficulty.

Known Bugs
Very minor, but the only bug that hasn't been addressed (to my knowledge) is the DexNav sprite being discolored on certain areas of Route 104; this does not break anything and isn't permanent!

Credits
(If I missed anyone, please let me know immediately)!
PRET - pokeemerald
DizzyEgg - Battle Engine, Pokémon Expansion
RHH - pokeemerald-expansion
ghoulslash - DexNav, Item Description Headers, Move Animations, contributing to original Quest Menu
StargazaART - Title Screen and Diantha Trainer! Seriously, check their Twitter! Fantastic work and person to work with.
skeli - Move Animations, contributing to original Quest Menu
PSF - Quest Menu
Spherical Ice - Ruins of Alph Puzzles
TheXaman - Debug menu for incredibly fast testing
Lunos - Exp. All
PokemonCrazy - Type Effectiveness in Battle
Buffel Saft - Poké Vial
Clara-Dragon - Original Ultra Wormhole Sprite
Poffin Case and Kyle Dove - Leon Trainer Sprite
kumquat - Alder RSE composition
Wobb and Aveontrainer - Cynthia Overworld
TravisComm - Maxie Back Sprite
Kaneblaise - Cynthia Trainer Sprite
Christopher "Nova" Foss - Miror B. Midi Arrangement
Aveontrainer - Gen 2 Gym Leaders and HGSS Team Rocket sprites, and NUMEROUS OWs.
Contributors of Simple Modifications Directory/pokeemerald Tutorials, including AsparagusEduardo, HunarPG, Lunos, Tyler Scarff, and more - Numerous QOL features
The kind RHH community - AsparagusEduardo, Salem, Lunos, DizzyEgg, SBird, Archie, MGriffin, shinydragonhunter, Grunt Lucas, and anyone else I've had to bother for help
 
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183
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8
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  • Age 29
  • Seen yesterday
Congratz on your game, it really looks amazing. I will try it as soon as I get a chance. However, I'd like to ask, is Brock participating in a regular Battle Frontier format or is there a PWT programmed into the Frontier? :) Also, I see Red in the screenshots. Are there any other important trainer battles you've added outside Hoenn in addition to the Miror B.?
 
107
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271
Days
  • Age 26
  • Seen today
Congratz on your game, it really looks amazing. I will try it as soon as I get a chance. However, I'd like to ask, is Brock participating in a regular Battle Frontier format or is there a PWT programmed into the Frontier? :) Also, I see Red in the screenshots. Are there any other important trainer battles you've added outside Hoenn in addition to the Miror B.?
There's a re-playable Boss Rush gauntlet at the end of the game where you can go through all of the gym leaders from Kanto - Hoenn.
Regarding important trainer battles, progressing through the story only requires beating the vanilla bosses. However, side bosses, such as Miror B., Red, and the Kanto/Johto Gym Leaders, reward you with special items, such as Mega Stones and battle items. As they become available, you can track them via PSF's Quest Menu!

Hello, I'm Torterra18, the same guy from reddit, I came to ask you if I could help with some things, if I can't, then I have some suggestions for you...
Hey, Torterra! I saw your suggestions! I'm taking all of the feedback I get into consideration! Thanks so much for the well-written response!
 

N.P

| Alone In The Trust |
38
Posts
12
Years
  • Seen Nov 13, 2023
Hi, sounds a modern upgrade of Emerald, my favourite gen game. I read the features and your notes at #1
Can I ask about shiny rate?
Do we need HM Slaves?
Do PC Boxes increase?
Do we have easy fishing feature? 😀
Thank you.
 
42
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  • Age 29
  • Seen Aug 24, 2023
I used mGBA, and apparently no matter how you move, either slowly or fast, it is impossible to reach the rustling Pokemon in that area with the DexNav. That's all the problem with this game that I know. Thanks for your great game.
 
107
Posts
271
Days
  • Age 26
  • Seen today
Hi, sounds a modern upgrade of Emerald, my favourite gen game. I read the features and your notes at #1
Can I ask about shiny rate?
Do we need HM Slaves?
Do PC Boxes increase?
Do we have easy fishing feature? 😀
Thank you.
Hey, thanks for your interest!
Unfortunately, the shiny rate, storage, and fishing are vanilla. Regarding the HMs, while you will still need to teach them, they are able to be forgotten via TM/menu. Hope this helps!

I used mGBA, and apparently no matter how you move, either slowly or fast, it is impossible to reach the rustling Pokemon in that area with the DexNav. That's all the problem with this game that I know. Thanks for your great game.
Are you holding the A Button to creep? This allows you to "walk slow" to reach your encounters. Thanks so much for playing! 😀
 
1,164
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3
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  • Age 28
  • Seen Apr 8, 2024
This game's premise sounds fantastic to me. More challenging battles, updated mechanics, expanded Pokémon variety, no grinding, and many more cool features. Would love to try this one once I finish my current playthrough.
 
1
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267
Days
  • Age 23
  • Seen Jul 20, 2023
Is there any version with natures, Ev's/Iv's (with Ev/Iv display) - with a more competitive difficulty? If not, can it still be released?
P.s: Independently loved the game, its so good
 
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  • Seen Jan 31, 2024
How does Tyrogue evolve since iv/evs/natures don't matter? Also, please add in someway to grind to level cap in the early game. Roxanne is rough.
 
107
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271
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  • Age 26
  • Seen today
This game's premise sounds fantastic to me. More challenging battles, updated mechanics, expanded Pokémon variety, no grinding, and many more cool features. Would love to try this one once I finish my current playthrough.
I hope you enjoy your playthrough whenever you get the chance to get to it! Thanks so much for the kind words!

Is there any version with natures, Ev's/Iv's (with Ev/Iv display) - with a more competitive difficulty? If not, can it still be released?
P.s: Independently loved the game, its so good
At the moment, this is the only version. I could see merits to allowing for full competitive customization, but the original intent was to always streamline the experience. You aren't the only one who has brought this up, so it could be a thing in the future, but at the moment, I'm just gathering feedback and seeing how people receive the game. Thanks for playing, it really means a lot to me!

How does Tyrogue evolve since iv/evs/natures don't matter? Also, please add in someway to grind to level cap in the early game. Roxanne is rough.
That's a great question. Tyrogue will always go to Hitmontop, but you can find Hitmontlee/Hitmonchan later on in the game. Basically, every non-legendary from 1-8 should basically be obtainable in either a first, second, or final stage. The stat system (or lack thereof) comes with a number of caveats, and, as you figured out, Tyrogue's evolution tree is one of the things affected.
Regarding Roxanne and any future "boss," I did my best to plant useful mons in the surrounding routes. Combined with the Lucky Egg, I hope this minimizes the overall grind players need to do.
 
19
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  • Age 40
  • Seen Apr 10, 2024
Hi,
I'm currently playing Pokémon Emerald Horizons and I was wondering if there are any cheat codes that can work with this game?
 
107
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271
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  • Age 26
  • Seen today
Hi,
I'm currently playing Pokémon Emerald Horizons and I was wondering if there are any cheat codes that can work with this game?

Cheat codes aren't compatible due to the fact that the game's data has been shifted around a bit. Sorry about that!
I hope you're still able to enjoy your playthrough!
 
107
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271
Days
  • Age 26
  • Seen today
which gen learnset is in this game?

A modified Gen 8 learnset.
For example, moves like Dual Wingbeat or Frenzy Plant, are embedded into mons that typically use it. Select egg moves have also been added as "Level 1" moves, so they can be taught without the need to breed.
 
6
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  • Age 30
  • Seen Apr 5, 2024
Love this Rom Hack!
Just a quick question: I just got my PokéNav from Mr. Stone, but I can't seem to find it anywhere?
It's not in the menu, and it is not listed in 'Key Items', so how do I access the map and match calls?
 
107
Posts
271
Days
  • Age 26
  • Seen today
Love this Rom Hack!
Just a quick question: I just got my PokéNav from Mr. Stone, but I can't seem to find it anywhere?
It's not in the menu, and it is not listed in 'Key Items', so how do I access the map and match calls?

So the Nav was actually removed because it got too cluttered with the DexNav and Quest additions; the DexNav is only available for calling Mr. Stone. You actually still receive calls from Trainers, but using it is not an option.
I do want to clarify that rematches aren't in the game, so the main functionality lost as a result is the map. Apologies for the inconvenience, but hope you're enjoying the game!
 
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