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Most Pokemon Fans Couldn't Unlock A Lot Of FireRed/LeafGreen Content Because Of The eReader

"Pokémon FireRed" and "LeafGreen," two of the best Pokémon games of all time, could have had even more content if Nintendo hadn't discontinued the Game Boy Advance eReader.

Many consumers think of eReaders as tablets with electronic reading capabilities like the Kindle. However, the GBA eReader was an attachable peripheral for the GBA that unlocked new features to games with eReader functionalities. These eReaders were bulky contraptions that plugged into the top port of the GBA and scanned eReader cards that users could run through the center of its body. The eReader logo looked similar to Internet Explorer, but really it was just meant to symbolize the special cards that you could scan.


According to DidYouKnowGaming, "Pokémon FireRed" and "LeafGreen" used eReader cards to unlock additional content in the games. Many Pokémon fans never experienced this content because it was region-locked, though. Even worse, the Game Boy Advance eReader was discontinued in 2004 before the games were released. The eReaders were used for "Mario," "Animal Crossing," and even "Pokémon Ruby" and "Sapphire," but they sold poorly overseas. It was mostly a popular item in Japan, and so the eReaders for "FireRed" and "LeafGreen" remained exclusive to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Here's what non-Japanese Pokémon players missed out on without the Game Boy Advance eReader.

What's in an Game Boy Advance eReader card?

The "Pokémon FireRed" and "LeafGreen" eReader card set contained fifty cards of two types: 37 trainer cards and 13 tower cards. Trainer cards summoned up to three trainers at once per floor of the Trainer Tower, a building on the Sevii Islands in the "Pokémon FireRed" and "LeafGreen" postgame. As DidYouKnowGaming explains, you'd need to scan at least eight trainer cards to make up eight floors of the Trainer Tower.


The trainer cards displayed previews of the trainer's Pokémon and some of their moves. These cards were often themed, like one trainer with all Eeveelutions or one with a team of starter Pokémon. They also scaled the trainer's Pokémon levels based on the player's strongest Pokémon so that the battles would be as fair as possible. On the other hand, the tower cards were meant to build Trainer Towers full of trainers you might have from the fifty-card "Pokémon FireRed" and "LeafGreen" decks. Each tower card had a difficulty level like "beginner" with a list of trainers needed to build it. 

There wasn't anything you absolutely needed from these cards to enjoy the game, but they did offer valuable prizes like Dragon Scales, Metal Coats, and other evolution items.