Pokemon Shiny Diamond or Shiny Pearl: Version Differences Explained

Pokemon Shiny Diamond or Shiny Pearl? If you’ve been coveting ILCA’s recent Gen 4 remakes for Nintendo Switch, that’s probably the tough question you’re asking yourself.

Offering two versions of the same game is a tradition for the Pokémon series. Overall, you’ll find that both versions offer a largely identical experience when it comes to things like story, map, characters, and price, with the differences between the versions tending to be small. But it’s those minor differences that matter the most when you’re struggling to make a decision.

Recent Gen 8 releases Pokémon Sword and Shield had some pretty significant differences between the versions – including version-exclusive leaders and gym characters – but thankfully things are a bit simpler with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond. and Shining Pearl. Like the original Diamond and Pearl, the differences largely revolve around version-exclusive pokemon. That might not seem like a lot, but if you have a favorite pokemon, it’s always worth checking to see if it falls under the version-exclusive banner before committing.

There really isn’t a wrong choices when it comes to these games, but to help you decide if Pokemon Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl is more for you, we’ve detailed the version differences below, including version-exclusive Pokemon and Legendaries.

Hopefully this Nintendo Switch remaster will see you through to the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, which might be one of the best Nintendo Switch games.

Pokémon Shining Diamond or Shining Pearl: Version-exclusive pokemon

Glameow in Pokémon Shining Pearl

Glameow is a Pokémon exclusive to Pokémon Shining Pearl (Image credit: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company)

Like in the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, in Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl you’ll find that the main point of difference between the versions is their version-exclusive pokemon, with one version having a wild pokemon, the other not and vice versa . These version-exclusive pokemon span multiple generations and types.

It might not really be a big deal for you, but many pokemon fans have favorites. If you’re a player who has a favorite, it’s always worth making sure they’re not kicked out of a particular build before picking them up.

Knowing about these version exclusives could really help you finalize your decision or, like us, it could send you into a meltdown when you realize you’re going to have to choose between Vulpix (Shining Pearl) and Growlithe (Brilliant Diamond).

It’s of course possible to trade with friends – or even buy both versions – but by far the easiest path is to make sure you choose the right version for you from the start.

Below, we’ve listed a full list of version-exclusive pokemon for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, with further breakdowns to follow.

Exclusive to the Pokémon Shining Diamond version:

  • caterpie
  • Metapod
  • Without butter
  • Ekans
  • Arbok
  • growlith
  • Arcanine
  • To see
  • Dewgong
  • Sickle
  • chisel
  • Elekid
  • Electrabuzz
  • elective
  • murkrow
  • Honchkrow
  • gligar
  • Gliscor
  • larvitar
  • desk
  • Tyranitar
  • Seed
  • Nuzfeuille
  • changing
  • Mawile
  • Zangoose
  • solrock
  • Kecleon
  • Dumb
  • Skuntanks
  • Cranidos (fossil)
  • Rampardos (fossil evolution)
  • Entei (Legendary Park of Ramanas)
  • Raikou (Ramanas Park Legendary)
  • Suicune (Legendary of Park Ramanas)
  • Ho-oh (Legendary of Park Ramanas)
  • Dialga (legendary main story)

Exclusive to the Pokémon Shining Pearl version:

  • Aspicot
  • kakuna
  • Drill
  • shrew
  • sandblast
  • Vulpix
  • Fenard
  • Lambin
  • slow bro
  • Slow-down
  • Magby
  • Magmar
  • Magmortar
  • Pinser
  • Misdreavus
  • Mismagius
  • Teddiursa
  • Ursaring
  • Stanler
  • lotad
  • The shadow
  • Ludicolo
  • Sableye
  • to evict
  • Lunatone
  • Bagon
  • Shelgon
  • Salamence
  • Glamour
  • purugly
  • Shield (fossil)
  • Bastiodon (fossil evolution)
  • Lugia (Legendary Park of Ramanas)
  • Articuno (Ramanas Park Legendary)
  • Zapdos (Legendary Ramanas Park)
  • Sulfura (Legendary Park of Ramanas)
  • Palkia (legendary main story)

Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl: Fossil Exclusives

Pokemon Shiny Diamond Cranidos

Brilliant Diamond Fossil Exclusive Pokemon: Cranidos (Image credit: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company)

There are pokémons in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl that you will be able to add to your team by reviving them from fossils found in the Grand Underground area of ​​the games. While previous Pokemon games let the player choose between fossil Pokemon, Shiny Diamond and Shiny Pearl do things a little differently and there are two that are version exclusive.

Those who play Brilliant Diamond will be able to revive the Skull Fossil’s Rock-type Cranidos. They can then evolve Cranidos into Rampardos.

Shining Pearl players, meanwhile, will have exclusive access to the Armor Fossil which revives the Rock/Steel-type Shieldon. They can then evolve Shieldon into Bastiodon.

Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl: Legendary Exclusives

Dialga and Palkia from Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl

Dialga (left) is the Legendary Pokémon exclusive to Brilliant Diamond, while Palkia (right) is exclusive to Shining Pearl (Image credit: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company)

The most glaring difference between Pokemon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl is the Legendary Pokemon that underpins the story. These pokemon are featured on the cover of their respective versions and are ultimately catchable.

For Pokémon Shining Diamond, the legendary cover star is Dialga, a Steel/Dragon-type with the power to control time. For Pokemon Shining Pearl, it’s Palkia, a Water/Dragon type with the ability to warp space.

If, in the end, you want to get Palkia on your Brilliant Diamond team or Dialga on your Shining Pearl team, you’ll have to swap them out.

Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl Exclusives: Ramanas Park

Ramanas Park in Pokemon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl

(Image credit: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company)

Ramanas Park is an interesting addition to Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl that replaces Pal Park in the original versions. You will only be able to travel to Ramanas Park after completing the main story of your respective version, defeating the Elite Four, and completing the Sinnoh Pokedex.

In Ramanas Park, you will have the opportunity to catch additional Legendary Pokemon that were not available in the original Diamond and Pearl, but did function in older Pokemon generations/regions.

However, some of the legendary pokémon you’ll be able to catch depend on which version you buy, with each version getting four exclusives each.

Those who pick up Brilliant Diamond will have the opportunity to catch:

  • Entei
  • Raikou
  • suicide
  • Ho-oh

Those who pick up Shining Pearl, on the other hand, can get:

  • Articuno
  • Zapdos
  • Sulfur
  • Lugia