The beauty of the Pokemon series is in the fantastic gameplay that Game Freak came up with all those decades ago, especially in the 2D department with the older games in the Gen 3 era. This is why there is a thriving community of ROM hacks that have popped up for so long now, letting you try out unique experiences. ROM hacks like the star of this Pokemon Darkfire guide.
Pokemon Darkfire is my favorite type of ROM hack. Yeah, sure, I appreciate the ones that let you play as Team Rocket or experience the same region from a different perspective. But, honestly, it’s the hacks that you let check out a brand new region or see completely new Fakemon an artist came up with that interest me the most.
That is why I was already digging deep into Darkfire before I even started this Pokemon Darkfire guide. Here’s everything you need to know to play and enjoy this fantastic little ROM hack.
Pokemon Darkfire Story Synopsis
Pokemon Darkfire has one of the most profound storylines in a Pokemon ROM hack and it may not be immediately apparent from the moment you start the game.
This is mainly due to a rather lengthy prologue that takes its time in setting up the characters and premise of the entire game. There is even a ton of exposition and lore you should know going into the story.
Taking place in the brand new Tenjo region near Gen 3’s Hoenn region, you start out as a kid who is just living everyday life with your friend Tyler. However, things go awry when Rattata attack the professor’s lab, changing your life forever. This simple act of kindness in helping out leads to your own adventure beginning in the region.
You set off with your pal Tyler to explore the entire Tenjo region and help anyone who is in need of help. You complete other tasks early in the game like stopping some Krabby that are invading a beach and so on. These small tasks that you do to help the communities you visit eventually lead to a certain man approaching you.
This man seems to have his own agenda up his sleeves and invites you to try out some mysterious form of battling Pokemon. Soon after that, Tyler reappears and acts quite strangely toward you. It seems that he’s investigating the Tenjo region government and the possible corruption there.
Unfortunately, his investigation leads to possible tragedy as he disappears and Pokemon begin running amok in the region. This is where the story truly begins as you set out on your own investigation into illegal Pokemon battles, the government, Tyler’s disappearance, and everything else happening in the world.
I adored the deep storyline here with the solid writing that is, honestly, several steps above the usual ROM hack writing. It’s just too bad that it is only partially done at this point in time or else it could be something truly special.
Pokemon Darkfire Key Features
There are quite a few key features that Pokemon Darkfire has, including some that no other ROM hack that I’ve seen include. Here’s the full list of the features that you should know about:
- A brand new region to explore in the form of the Tenjo region: This region is pretty solid, but it definitely feels derivative in a way, taking a little too much inspiration from Hoenn. I’ve seen some better new regions in ROM hacks.
- Gen 7-inspired battle features to shake things up
- Double battles in the wild
- Brand new handmade battle art in the background
- Brand new custom music
- You get experience from catching Pokemon: By far, one of the best features of this ROM hack.
- This game doesn’t have gyms, but, instead, tournaments that you participate in. This is an adjustment but I appreciated the bold move in the end.
- Those battle tournaments are completely randomized so no two playthroughs are the same
- The aforementioned rich storyline with solid writing.
- TMs are infinitely usable, letting you keep using them once you acquire them on all of your Pokemon.
- The new movement features to help you get around the region
- The ability to run indoors
- The use of the battle engine that Dizzyegg came up with
- A 252 EV cap
- Stat nature colors
- Work-in-progress (the game is not complete yet)
Pokemon Darkfire Walkthrough
Pokemon Darkfire can be as long or short as you want it to be. The storyline can be blasted through, especially with the use of Pokemon Emerald cheats, but you can take your time and experience this brand-new region on your own time. It’s really up to you in the end.
That said, the full Pokemon Darkfire walkthrough below will help you get through the entirety of the game from start to finish, or at least where the game currently is in the beta. After all, it isn’t finished as of the time of writing this post.
If you ever get lost on your next objective, which is somewhat familiar in this particular ROM hack, you are in the right place.
In addition, I will break down some of the teams of the more notable fights in the storyline. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to help you much in the battle tournaments department since that is randomized, so it is unlikely for our teams to be the same.
Just keep in mind that full spoilers are going to be on display in this walkthrough, so I recommend only looking at the parts you need help with for now and coming back later if you need more assistance with later parts. The last thing you want to do is spoil this surprisingly solid story.
Setting Off on Your Strange Adventure
After selecting your gender and name, you awaken in the Tenjo region in an unknown place. Surrounded by fog, disaster, and gorgeous custom music, you wander down a creepy hallway. You follow this linear hallway until you reach a large room where a bunch of nefarious people is hanging out.
This horrifying sequence ends just as the grunts of this mysterious group are about to capture you.
You wake up and it seems that it was all a dream in the end. Or was it? Your mother greets you and you leave your house, only to meet your friend, Tyler. It seems that he’s headed off to the Pokemon Lab in the small but beautiful town of Chandra Village where you live in.
When you arrive at the Pokemon Lab, you find that the Pokemon Professor Hawthorne is having trouble with some Rattata that have infested his lab. You enter the lab with your pal Tyler and find two Pokemon awaiting you. You have the option of selecting between the Pikachu on the right and the Eevee on the left.
Take your time, think carefully about your partner Pokemon for this incredible new adventure of eliminating rats, and then catch the Pokemon you want. After selecting the Pokemon, you genuinely wish to add to your team, interact with the two Rattata in the lab, and you should quickly defeat them.
At this point, head into Tyler’s house in Chandra Village and go up to the second floor to engage in your first actual Pokemon battle in Pokemon Darkfire.
This first battle will depend on which of the two Pokemon you selected as your starter. For those of you who picked Pikachu, check below:
- Eevee Lv. 5
On the other hand, if you picked Eevee, you guessed it, he’ll have the other starter Pokemon:
- Pikachu Lv. 5
These battles are straightforward no matter which you pick. Just use your essential attacking move to take out the enemy Pokemon. Eevee selectors like myself, though, should watch out for the paralysis that Pikachu can inflict on you, but you should win this battle nonetheless so long as you never stop attacking.
Exploring the Tenjo Region
Head north of Chandra Village where you live, and you’ll get to a grassy area where you’ll have a little tutorial section with your pal, Tyler. From there, continue heading north, and you’ll quickly arrive at Sunrise Town. Take out the low-level Krabby hanging out on the beach, heal up if you need to and buy items, and then head west of Sunrise Town. Follow this linear path until you reach Union City, the capital of the Tenjo region.
Explore Union City if you’d like. When you’re ready, Tyler has already left the city and run off towards Route 3. To get there, head through the western exit of Union City and follow this primarily linear path.
Continue heading west on Route 3 and you will see a forest of trees at the end of the path just to the north of you. Head inside here and you will enter your first central dungeon area in your journey known as the Anheim Forest.
Conquering Anheim Forest and Greendale Village
The key here is to watch out in this lengthy and confusing forest for the various bug Pokemon that are here. Usually, bug Pokemon wouldn’t be that hard to deal with, but their rampant Poison attacks and the sheer number of them can make this an arduous journey.
Feel free to return to the Pokemon Center in Union City at any point. When you arrive in the forest, head left and you’ll see a trainer you can battle if you like—Head north from there through the patches of grass and fellow trainers.
There are some items nearby if you’d like to pick them up. When ready, head left and you’ll see a sign that points you toward Greendale Village. However, when you get to the exit finally, you’ll find a couple whose daughter is missing.
To find the missing daughter, head back the way that you came from until you reach the locked house. There is a part of the river just southwest of here with a rock sticking out. Approach the water’s edge, press A, and you should hop to the rock. Continue hopping south until you reach land.
The girl will be just to the east of you but there’s a fight ahead:
- Beedrill Lv. 7
After winning, return to the couple at the exit area and exit to be on Route 4.
Continue west along this road, and you will reach Greendale Village.
When ready, head to the center of town, and it will be time for your first ever Pokemon Tournament in this game. Keep in mind that the tournaments have randomized Pokemon. Your first opponent will be a Youngster, and, in my case, his Pokemon was this:
- Pinsir Lv. 10
Once you win the first battle in the tournament, you will face off against the Trainer next to you.Thankfully, you get fully healed up so that part shouldn’t be a concern for you. For me, I was up against Ranger Sophia and this team:
- Absol Lv. 11
Again, with the randomness of these tournaments, there is no telling what you’ll face in this tournament. I happened to “luck” out with a rather intriguing early fight for this game’s equivalent of a Gym battle. After winning the tournament, you’ll get healed up again, and it’s time for your first Champion battle.
You’ll face off against Trainer Rose, the girl who you saved back in the forest. So long as her team isn’t randomized like the other people you fought, this should be the team you have to deal with:
- Zangoose Lv. 12
This battle is a little bit challenging since you may not be overleveled at this point, especially if you are an Eevee trainer like myself. Eevee still doesn’t have any valuable moves at this point, unlike Pikachu. After winning, you’ll become the new Greendale Champion and earn HM01.
Onward to the Next Tournament
At this point, you will, unfortunately, have to trek back through the farmlands and into Anheim Forest. Shortly after coming back to the forest, head to the locked house, which you can now open. Head through the back, and you’ll end up in the Muddy Underpass.
Head east, and you’ll reach a ladder. At this point, you’ll be in the base of the evil team. This part is tricky since you’ll have to deal with a somewhat stealth-focused mission. Move south and try to avoid the grunts if possible. If you run into them, you’ll either have a battle or end up in the Muddy Underpass again.
Ironically, you could use this as a level grinding area since the guards will attack, kick you out, and then attack again if they see you. The goal is to head all the way to the south, then all the way left, then up, then left along the wall while avoiding that guard until you reach the top.
You’ll end up back in Union City and it will be time to head back to Anheim Forest once more.
Head to the northern part of the forest where the wooden bridge is. Head across it and then be ready for a fight against Tyler:
- Taillow Lv. 12
- Houndour Lv. 12
- Either Pikachu or Eevee Lv. 13
Be very careful if you have Grass or Bug Pokemon in this fight, as the first two Pokemon Tyler has will decimate them. Head through the north exit of the forest, and you’ll be in Anheim Town. Heal up, head west out of town just past the Poke Mart, and you’ll be on Route 5.
When ready, head west from the rest house, and you’ll be on Route 6.
When you are ready to continue the story, go past the Ranger and then west to find another cave at the end of the path. Path through this short passage, and you’ll be in Laveria City.
Your Next Tournament
Follow the mostly linear route here, taking out trainers or avoiding them as you go, and you’ll reach the Starter Dome. You’ll be able to pick one of the evolutionary stones that the professor has, which is helpful for your initial starter Pokemon, and also one of the starters from the first three Pokemon regions.
After this, return to Laveria City and then head to the boatman to ride across the water. On this small island, you’ll face off against the Champion of the town in battle. Take out the strong Miltank and then defeat the Champion for good to earn yourself a second Gym badge. Yes, that is only the second one so far. That is for a reason. In addition to the badge, you’ll get HM04.
Heading Up the Mountain
Before proceeding to the next part of the story, heal up for the next leg of the journey. When ready, head through the west exit of Laveria City to enter the snowy area of the region. This entire area has lots of puzzles in the form of the ice that has covered the grind that you slide across.
If you want to explore this route more and collect all of the items here, you’re in for a rather lengthy and arduous process; however, if you want to skip this entirely and just go to the next story beat, head south. Once you reach the end of this road, head west and up some. There are a lot of trainers in this area, so beware.
Take on the Team Subo guys here in this area, and then head south now that the exit has been closed up. At this point, you’ll arrive on Route 7 again. Go up north, and you’ll find another entrance into the Tamarok Tunnels. There is only one path through the tunnels here, and it will require you to cross a giant ice rink.
Fortunately, this is another linear path that will take you through this tunnel and back to Route 7. Yet again, follow that path west and then up some, and you’ll reach, you guessed it, another cave entrance to the tunnels.
Don’t worry, though, as you will have another short linear path that will take you through the tunnels and south to the final exit. With this, you will finally leave the mountain area and arrive in Highwind Village.
The Third Tournament
There isn’t much to do in the village so head up north through the center of town for a cutscene. At this point, leave through the northern exit, and you’ll be in yet another dungeon; this time around, Snowdrift Forest. The goal here is to go east some and then take the central path through the large grass field.
From here, head north through all of the snow and trainers until you reach patches of grass. At this point, head east, and you should find an entrance that will take you into Northstar City, your next destination on the journey. This is one of the larger cities in the game, so feel free to explore, chat with NPCs, learn their stories, and find some optional items.
Head to the far eastern side of the city where the docks are, near the shipping company. There is a long pier that goes into the sea towards the lighthouse in town. At this point, it is now safe to enter the lighthouse. Just keep heading up until you reach the top floor of the lighthouse.
There, speak with the old man who is overlooking the sea. This special part of the game will see you look through the telescope, and you’ll have to manually locate the ship.
When you find the boat, you’ll see a cutscene that will happen between the government official and the Team Subo grunts trying to get the documents from him. It’s time to go on a rescue mission, but first, we have a tournament to do.
Leave the lighthouse and head south to the massive TV station building on the southern end of the city. What you’ll want to do is head all the way to the top floor of the TV building and you’ll find the arena for the tournament at Northstar City.
When you begin the tournament, you’ll find that this is strictly a double-battle tournament with some of the elite trainers from around the entire region. What’s impressive about this part is that each of these battles takes place in a unique arena that will change effects and give off some serious anime final fight vibes.
The unfortunate part to note here is that the game doesn’t have set battles in these tournaments, so it will be hard to give you some tips about what’s ahead. That said, the Pokemon you’ll fight will be around the mid-20s in terms of level.
I saw fighting-type Pokemon here, dragons, and some Water-types that were throughout the tournament. In total, there are three matches that you’ll need to do in the tournament. Oddly enough, despite being a double battle tournament, the opponents I faced all had a single Pokemon while I had two.
These battles were, therefore, relatively easy to win, but the tournament isn’t fully over when you beat the third and final trainer. You see, Team Subo will finally make their long-awaited move and take over the TV station and the tournament at this point.
This is where everything gets tricky because this is no longer a simple trainer battle anymore. You are now in an underground fight where the losing trainer has to give up their Pokemon to the other person.
In this case, I believe that the Team Subo grunts don’t have the randomly generated Pokemon like in the tournaments. Here is what I faced in the battle:
- Lv. 24 Granbull
As a reward for defeating the Team Subo grunt, you’ll now receive HM05, which is Flash. In addition, if you interact with the Pokeball on the ground after everyone leaves, you’ll receive a free Tyrogue. This is basically part of the exchange where you get the trainer’s Pokemon because you defeated them in the battle.
Team Subo’s Big Move
It turns out that this tournament just evolved into a full-on dungeon. Team Subo has taken over the TV station building, and now there are grunts everywhere that you’ll have to deal with here.
Head south, and you’ll see a short cutscene where Team Subo is harassing the director of the TV station. Take on Team Subo, and this is the fight that I had, which I presume is the same for everyone:
- Lv. 24 Seviper
There isn’t much to this single Pokemon battle other than the poison that you should watch out for from Seviper. You should be pretty overleveled at this point in time. Now, it is time to clear out the TV station of all the Team Subo thugs.
Go down to the next floor, and there will be more that will confront you. Their teams are pretty garbage, especially compared to what you just faced in the tournament, so these should be easy fights for you. Keep on battling the thugs on each floor until you reach the bottom one.
There will be a short cutscene, and a random NPC will give you the Poke Flute key item. When you leave the TV station, you’ll find out that the sailor man will now take you back to Laveria City. Head to the east port again, and you’ll find him by his ship. Interact with him, and you’ll be able to go back to Laveria City.
Now, head south through the exit of Laveria City, and you might remember that there is a certain sleeping Snorlax at the bottom of Route 9, just past the Starter Dome.
Use the Poke Flute on the sleeping Snorlax, and it won’t be too happy, leading to a battle:
- Lv. 15 Snorlax
This battle is relatively straightforward. Do you want to catch the massive Normal-type Pokemon or not?
When you defeat Snorlax, continue south along this linear path, and there will be a couple of random trainers to battle if you like. This path will lead you to Route 10. While there are some grassy areas here and there, Route 10 is mostly a straightforward road, too.
What you ultimately want to do is continue south until you reach the main road and a bunch of people. If you happen to look at the red sign in the middle of the road, you will see that there is Mayhem City up ahead. This is, of course, not the original name of this town.
Unfortunately, Team Subo has taken over this poor town and isn’t letting anyone through. You’ll need to head west from this point, and you’ll battle some trainers, then reach Pinleaf Town shortly thereafter.
Believe it or not, there’s actually a house for sale in this town, but that’s a story for another time, as you can’t do anything with it right now.
What you want to do is head through Pinleaf Town, going north until you reach the large Inn. Head in here and spend some money to stay the night. I know it is strange, but the game actually wants you to do this in order to continue the main story.
After you spend the night, leave the Inn, and you’ll have a cutscene waiting for you outside. It is now time for another trainer battle with your rival friend, so here’s what you need to know:
- Lv. 25 Scyther
- Lv. 25 Eevee
He will roughly have around the same team as before, but with these added Pokemon companions now. Unfortunately, this concludes the end of the storyline for now. You see, the story will pick up from here by having you cross the bridge just behind your friend Tyler and deal with some Team Subo grunts blocking the path to the next area.
But, for now, this is the conclusion of the Pokemon Darkfire story at the time of writing this. It is only in its second beta phase right now, with a third one on the way. Despite only getting three badges at this point, we are roughly halfway through the game’s plot, so be sure to stay tuned for us to cover that other half in the future.
Is there Pokemon Darkfire Endgame Content?
The short answer is, no, there is no Pokemon Darkfire endgame content at the time of writing this guide. This will likely change in the future, but as of right now, players don’t have endgame content to enjoy in the game. The reason for this is relatively simple: you have to end the game before you get that postgame content.
And the fact of the matter is, Pokemon Darkfire isn’t finished at this time. I would estimate that the game is roughly halfway done in terms of the main story. Sure, you only have three of the eight badges, but the levels of the enemies and the climactic nature of the story with Team Subo make it seem like it is already nearing its finale.
You’ll likely get the other badges in quick succession, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we are already halfway done with the story at this point. As for what the postgame could entail, we already know some of the details. It will likely involve the Palace of Ice which you can visit in the main story already.
I imagine that there will be other similar dungeons where you will be able to catch the Regis and other legendary Pokemon after you beat the story. In addition, there is one other piece of endgame content that I imagine the game will include when all is said and done.
There is a massive house for sale in Pinleaf Town that you can buy. It seems that there will be some sort of housing system and customization that will play into this area.
Maybe there will be special decorations and all that for players to customize their houses with. It seems like a unique system for a Pokemon ROM hack, so I am super curious to see how it turns out, especially as a fan of housing in RPGs like this and the hidden bases from the Pokemon series. For now, though, we will all have to just wait and see.
When Will Pokemon Darkfire Be Finished?
At the end of the day, there is the fact that Pokemon Darkfire isn’t a complete game at this time. Players who want to check out this brilliant work of art for a fan Pokemon ROM hack will have to wait sometime to see the complete ending of the intriguing storyline.
I love the idea of a corrupt government and an evil team that is looking to take advantage of it. It reminds me in a way of the League of Villains in My Hero Academia, so I’m just like you in wanting to see the conclusion of this story. But the reality is that won’t be happening for quite some time.
But when exactly will we see the end of Pokemon Darkfire? To answer this question, we need to first look back at the progress of the ROM hack up until this point in time. To start, from what I can tell, the first release of Pokemon Darkfire happened roughly around 2019.
In May 2019, the initial post for Pokemon Darkfire was dropped by the developer behind it, Karl. This thread was posted, indicating that this was around when players could likely check out the ROM hack for the very first time.
It was then updated most recently in April 2021, about two years after its initial release. At that time, the thread was updated on Poke Community with the next version of the game, which is Pokemon Darkfire beta 2. This is the version that I played and the one that you would play right around now.
It seems that it took roughly two years for the second beta version to come out. By that schedule, it would seem that the third beta, which is currently in production, would release around two years after that in the spring of 2023. At the time of writing, that time is coming up right now.
In fact, you can even join Pokemon Darkfire’s Discord channel and test out the third beta version of the game at this time. It seems like its release is imminent. The problem is we don’t know what state the third beta will be in. It could include the entirety of the storyline, or maybe not.
It really comes down to how far the developers have come in the last two years since the release of the previous beta. If I had to guess, though, I would, unfortunately, say that the main story won’t be completed or just barely completed in this next beta version.
In reality, the full release of Pokemon Darkfire likely won’t happen until two years from the release of the third version.
That would make the most sense to give time to complete the story, if necessary, and add in the postgame content for players to do, which wouldn’t necessarily be too hard given that the bulk of the postgame is already built in the already existing versions.
This would set the full release of Pokemon Darkfire possibly sometime in 2025, which is quite sadly far away at this point.
Question: How is Pokemon Darkfire?
Answer: In all honesty, Pokemon Darkfire is quite the solid ROM hack. It’s not my favorite of the bunch I’ve played, but it’s pretty close. This is because it nails the writing and story, unlike other ROM hacks, but the gameplay is a little too safe in some regards. I still highly recommend it, though.
Question: Where to Download Pokemon Darkfire ROM Hack?
Answer: There are, technically, several places where you can download the Pokemon Darkfire ROM hack, but I recommend only checking the Poke Community website. This is the official place where the developers posted the legit link to download the game. Always be wary of other sites in case of broken downloads or viruses.
Question: Does Pokemon Darkfire have Gen 4 Pokemon?
Answer: No, unfortunately, Pokemon Darkfire doesn’t have Gen 4 Pokemon or any later ones, either. It sticks solely to Gens 1-3 at this point. That could possibly change in the future since this is, technically, still in beta at the time of writing this, but I doubt it. The developers made it clear they were focused mainly on the Pokemon up to Emerald.
What ROM Hack to Check Out Next
Pokemon Darkfire is one of my favorite ROM hacks that I’ve ever played, though that is admittedly only around five or so at this point in time to completion. I appreciated the dark and much more mature storyline that it had, even if it didn’t do anything too impressive from a gameplay perspective. Plus, the lack of Pokemon from future generations was a bit odd.
That said, if you were a fan of Pokemon Darkfire, this is only the beginning. There are so many more Pokemon ROM hacks for you to play out there.
If you were a fan of the gritty storyline in this game like I was, then do I have the ROM hack for you to play next. You absolutely need to check out Pokemon SORS, a game that emphasizes its story and difficulty, which should appeal to anyone familiar with ROM hacks.
- Pokemon Darkfire Guide: The Beautiful Tenjo Region Awaits - January 4, 2023
- Pokemon Scarlett & Violet Review: The Best and Worst Pokemon Game Ever - December 7, 2022