5 Best Pokemon Diamond ROM Hacks of 2023

5 Best Pokemon Diamond ROM Hacks of 2023

It’s time to grab your Poké Balls as we head into familiar but slightly different territory as we check out the best Pokemon Diamond ROM Hacks!

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl arrived in 2006 and kicked off the fourth generation of Pokemon games, and were the first titles in Game Freak’s perennially popular series to be released on the DS.

Naturally, the increase in power over the GBA, as well as having an additional screen and touchscreen capabilities opened up many more possibilities for additions to the basic Pokémon formula.

Although Diamond and Pearl didn’t radically shake up the established structure or mechanics of the series at the time, many enterprising and creative coders in the intervening years have produced some brilliant experiences, with Pokemon Diamond as a foundation (check out our list of best Pokemon Nintendo DS ROM Hack for more than just our picks of the best Diamond ROMs!).

There are quite a few Pokemon Diamond ROM hacks available – but which ones are the best?

Let’s take a trip into a transformed Sinnoh as we check out the best Pokemon Diamond ROM Hacks!

5. Pokemon Moon Diamond

Pokemon Moon Diamond - Best Pokemon Diamond ROM Hack

While there aren’t a huge amount of changes to be found in Pokemon Moon Diamond, there are enough here for us to recommend it as one of the best Pokemon Diamon ROM hacks.

After all, there’s always the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – right?

So despite fewer changes than you might expect from many hacks, Pokemon Moon Diamond features the seventh generation of Pokemon, which first appeared in Pokemon Sun and Moon (the clue is of course in the title of this ROM hack – with the corresponding Pokemon Pearl hack which is called Pokemon Sun Pearl!).

The visuals have also been polished – with new animation and sprites – and better fit the feel of 7th gen games as well.

However, please note that only a Spanish language version of Pokemon Moon Diamond currently exists.

For players familiar with the history of Pokémon Diamond, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem – but it’s definitely something to be aware of!

4. Pokemon Bloody Diamond

Although it started in 2008, the creator of Pokemon Bloody Diamond – known only as ‘Buffy’ – recently returned to finish work on the ROM Hack.

We here at Retro Dodo are glad they did, because this is an excellent piece of work!

In Bloody Diamond, there are many changes to the original Pokemon Diamond that make it worth tracking down.

You can catch all starter Pokemon at a very early stage – and wild Pokemon can be very strong at later stages of the game; they go up to level 90!

In addition to this extra layer of challenges, training leaders are also stronger.

Rare items such as Oak’s Letter and Azure Flute (among others) can be obtained via in-game trades.

But perhaps best of all is the ‘moral compass’ – a light/dark morality system that ultimately determines which of three factions has the most influence over the Kanto region at the end of the game!

3. Pokemon Weird

Pokemon Weird - Best Pokemon Diamond ROM Hack

Despite its name, Pokemon Weird isn’t as bizarre as you might expect – which is perhaps why it’s also known as Pokemon Mystical Diamond.

One of the best features of Pokemon Weird is that you actually play as a Pokemon instead of a trainer – you can choose either Pikachu or Pachirisu as your playable character!

Pokémon Weird also takes place “in a world of talking Pokémon,” according to the game’s cover illustration.

Other strange changes include your character transforming into Shaymin while riding and Magikarp when saving!

With 493 Pokemon available to catch without switching between different games, new starters, a very strong Super Dialga (!) and even the ability to catch unlimited Eevees, Pokemon Weird is a feature-packed Pokemon Diamond ROM hack that you won’t want miss out on!

2. Pokemon Dark Diamond

In addition to updates and improvements brought back to Diamond from HeartGold, SoulSilver and Pokemon Black & White, this ROM hack has several other new features that make it worth checking out.

Players can take on the game as Brendan or Dawn (with Brendan replacing Lucas from the official Pokemon Diamond), and the hack also features a brand new – and more complex – story.

The available Pokedex is expanded to 493 Pokemon and all new characters are also included in the game.

New music is also composed especially for this ROM hack; best of all, however, is the inclusion of a new team: Team xGlite!

It’s a truly impressive piece of work – so it’s well worth checking out Pokemon Dark Diamond, which almost makes it to the top of our best Pokemon Diamond ROM hack list!

1. PokeJoke DS – A parody of Pokemon

Pokejoke DS - Best Pokemon Diamond ROM Hack

That is, if it wasn’t for this clever, creative ROM hack.

PokeJoke DS – A parody of Pokemon pretty much explains itself through that title.

However, it is much more than just a parody.

It has a difficulty level best described as “hardcore”, but also has a day/night system, mega evolutions and even a new story.

So far, so Pokemon. So where’s the parody, you might ask?

Well, almost every single line of dialogue in the game has been rewritten to be either self-referential, fourth-wall-breaking, or a cheeky dig at another video game. Sometimes all three at once!

It is a genuinely fun experience. For example, when they visit a nurse at the Pokémon Center, they’ll cheerfully say, “We hope you’ll get knocked up again, soon! We need the business.”

Presented with a choice of Starter Pokemon, the dialog says “(at least it’s not the red-blue-green choice from Mass Effect 3)”.

There’s so much more to discover than this – and it’s this unpredictable, anarchic humor that gives PokeJoke DS – A Parody of Pokemon such a fresh feel.

It makes you wish the main Pokémon games were allowed to laugh at themselves a little more.

Still, if you’re not someone who takes their Pokemon gameplay too seriously, now is your chance to check out PokeJoke – A Parody of Pokemon.

It’s undoubtedly our clear choice for the top of the list of best Pokemon Diamond ROM hacks!

We here at Retro Dodo Towers are big fans of Pokemon ROM hacks – check out our list of the best Pokemon ROM hacks for more!

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