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Pokémon Puzzle Challenge

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Title Screen

Pokémon Puzzle Challenge

Also known as: Pokémon de Panepon (JP)
Based on: Tetris Attack (Game Boy)
Developer: Intelligent Systems[1]
Publisher: Nintendo[1]
Platform: Game Boy Color
Released in JP: September 21, 2000[1]
Released in US: December 4, 2000[1]
Released in EU: June 15, 2001[1]
Released in AU: June 15, 2001[1]

ObjectIcon.png This game has unused objects.
MinigameIcon.png This game has unused modes / minigames.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

Question: What do you get when you combine Pokémon and Tetris Attack? Answer: Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, yet another of Nintendo's attempts at increasing the marketability of Panel de Pon by rebranding it.


Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.

Panel de Pon GB

To do:
Descriptions of the menu entries are needed here

Characters from Panel de Pon can be found in the ROM, suggesting that Pokémon Puzzle Challenge was originally meant to be a Panel de Pon entry but got re-branded partway through.

That said, Panel de Pon GB does exist in a very early and generally unpolished state, as the characters and music are all there. The game can even be accessed on a regular Game Boy or Super Game Boy. Interestingly, the game's CGB Bootstrap ROM palette is remarkably similar to Tetris Attack for Game Boy and its Japanese version, Yoshi no Panepon, except that it is more yellow than green.

Japan US Europe
Pokemon de Panepon J Panel de Pon GBC Menu.png Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Panel de Pon Select.png Pokemon Puzzle Challenge E GBC Panel de Pon Menu.png

The European version of this hidden mode renames some of the menu options.

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Panel de Pon Game.png

If using a non-GBC Game Boy, Panel de Pon GB can accessed from the GBC-only screen by pressing A (×24), B (×24) (you will hear a chime after pressing each button the required amount of times). If on a Game Boy Color or a newer handheld, the GBC-only screen can be triggered from the title screen by pressing Up (×2), Right (×4), Down, Left (×10), Up (×4), Right, Down (×6), B. Once the screen is displayed, pressing A (×24), B (×24) will launch Panel de Pon GB.

Alternatively, it can be accessed by using Game Genie code 1F0-23B-80E which will start Panel de Pon in GBC mode, or 1F0-3AB-91E in any other GB mode.

Other Leftovers

To do:
This game has a lot of compressed graphics; documentation and decompressor on Jul.

In addition to the above, very barebones version of Panel de Pon GB still buried inside the game, there are many leftover graphics from a more complete version which likely would've had features similar to the final Pokémon Puzzle Challenge.

Some of the mugshots in the middle image are even loaded into VRAM on the puzzle level select screen. All but three of them are then replaced with Professor Oak's head.

To restore the PDP Title Screen, use this xdelta patch and apply it to the japanese ROM:

Download.png Download Panel de Pon GB Title Screen Patch
File: PPC_PdPGB_Title_Screen.zip (info)

Besides the uncompressed mugshots, there are many blocks of compressed graphics still left over from Panel de Pon, including the title screen, which reveals that the game was supposed to be called Panel de Pon GB before the Pokémon rebranding. (All offsets are for the Japanese version.)

A restoration is in the works here.

(Source: Jul)

! Panel

Pokemon Puzzle League Panel de Pon Unused In Game.png Pokemon Puzzle League Panel de Pon Unused exclamation Panel Normal.png Pokemon Puzzle League Panel de Pon Unused exclamation Panel Captured.png Pokemon Puzzle League Panel de Pon Unused exclamation Panel Unused State.png Pokemon Puzzle League Panel de Pon Unused exclamation Panel Unsettled.png

The ! Panel exists in all forms. The inverted red version is an unused state, while the black rendition would be used for the upcoming panels which never appear.

There is a routine that verifies all panels at the start of the round. Set RAM addresses D245, D24B, D24D, D251, D257 D25D, D263 to 07. This will set the last row of panels to the ! panel.

Pokemon Puzzle League Panel de Pon Unused Tile.png

This unknown tile appears in the game bank.

(Source: Mezmorize, nensondubois)

Unused PPL Title Screen

PPC Unused PPL Screen.png

The game was going to be titled Pokémon Puzzle League at one point, matching the N64 game. Using these Game Genie codes for the Japanese version will load this screen in place of the Puzzle Challenge title screen.


Debug Menu

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Screen Debug.png Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Pokemon Test 1.png Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Pokemon Test 2.png Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Garbage Test.png

Game Genie code ??0-23B-80E (22 or 23) will start Pokémon Puzzle Challenge in a screen setting viewer/CHR set viewer.

You can view all stage backdrop sets, special events, and boss introductions. Pressing either Left or Right depending on the screen allows testing of various functions such as listening to Pokémon cries, scrolling the garbage vertically, setting the menu cursor, and other specific functions.

  • Character and Pokémon portraits can also be displayed from screens 0C-2E.
  • Test Pokémon animations and listen to their cries from screens 2F-48. The blinking Pokémon is the current animation event.
  • Save, game over, and congratulations screens 00-03.
  • Stage introduction previews. No special function. Screens 04-0B.
  • Character and Pokémon portraits. No special function. Screens 0C-2E.
  • All garbage block sets are a for display on screens. Scrollable. 2F-7C.
  • Stage introduction previews. No special function. Screens 7D-85.
  • Pokémon Hall preview. Scrollable. Screen 86.
  • Round Clear ~ Introductions. No special function. Screens 87-8E.
  • Stage Backdrops. No special function. Screens 8F-10E.
  • Stage Backdrops. Screens 8F-10E.
  • Round Clear ~ Pokémon. No special function. Screens 10F-116.
  • Stage introduction backdrops. No special function. 117-11F.
  • Ending. No special function. Screen 120.
  • Results. No special function. Screens 121-128.
  • Pokémon Eggs. No special function. Screens 129-12C.
  • Pokémon profiles. Menu cursor sound plays. Screens 12D-146.
  • Boss battle introductions and defeat cuscenes. No special function. Screens 147-155.
  • Test animation. No special function. Screens 156-157.
  • Pikachu. No special function. Screens 158-159.
(Source: Mezmorize, nensondubois)

GBC-Only Screen

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge GBC Only Palette GBC.png

There is a black-and-white GBC palette programmed for the GBC-only message screen, likely added for the aforementioned Easter-egg game mode Panel de Pon GB. Game Genie code 1D0-23B-80E will start the game on this screen in GBC mode.

(Source: Mezmorize, nensondubois)

Unused Music

To do:
There's a LOT more unused songs than the ones listed here, mainly the entire Panel de Pon GB soundtrack. Get all the music uploaded along with providing their ROM offsets.

There are three unused music tracks in the game's data. Game Genie codes ??3-C3B-F72 ??4-88B-F72 (where "??" is the song ID number) will play your selected song at the main menu. Song ID 54 is a duplicate main menu track, while the Panel de Pon track ID values are 1E, 1F, and 20.

Unused Song 1

ID 01

Unused Song 2

ID 04

Unused Song 3


(Source: nensondubois (access method))

Besides the above songs, there is a lot more unused songs and jingles from when the game was going to be Panel de Pon GB. They are unmapped, so the songs need to be patched in. The music pointer table is located at 8190E in the Japanese version, and nearly every pointer after 8196E is set to play no music. The offsets for all songs here are for the Japanese version.

Windy's Theme

ROM offset: 8C9B6

Windy Danger

ROM offset: 8C746

Sherbet's Theme

ROM offset: 884DD

Sherbet Danger

ROM offset: 8CE95

Thiana's Theme

ROM offset: 88DDE

Thiana Danger

ROM offset: 8FD47

Ruby's Theme

ROM offset: 180575

Ruby Danger

ROM offset: 8F7A4

Elias' Theme

ROM offset: 8D0EF

Elias Danger

ROM offset: 934F0

Neris' Theme

ROM offset: 88104

Neris Danger

ROM offset: 8FA49

Seren's Theme

ROM offset: 8C000

Seren Danger

ROM offset: 8C631

Phoenix and Dragon Theme

ROM offset: 8D4E1

Phoenix and Dragon Danger

ROM offset: 8E451

Thanatos' Theme

ROM offset: 8E5F6

Thanatos Danger

ROM offset: 9076C