With the recent release of Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, there's been plenty of attention surrounding the third generation of Pokémon games. Ruby and Sapphire introduced many new things to the franchise, such as weather, abilities, natures, double battles, a deeper IV system and a heavily overhauled PC; as a result it holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers, and it turns out that Junichi Masuda - the current Pokémon series director - has a particular soft spot for this game as well.
In an interview with Kotaku, Masuda-san revealed that the game's nature-focused theme was inspired by childhood visits to his grandparents house. Masuda lived in the urban setting of Tokyo for his childhood, so going to his grandparents house on the lush island of Kyushu was quite a change of pace. He said that he loved to catch bugs, play in the river, explore the forest, and catch fish in the ocean. He wanted to express the memories of these things through the setting and atmosphere of the game, such as how building secret bases was a lot like building treehouses or forts.
The name Hoenn came from the two kanji characters, “ho" and “en", which translate roughly to “abundance" and “bonds" or “connections". Masuda said this would contribute to the abundance of both nature and the goodwill of people; this was referring to how neighbors in his grandparents neighbourhood used to cheerily say hello as he passed them in the street.
It seems like there are a lot of fond memories and experiences that went into the creation of these games. What do you think? Do you have particularly fond memories of Ruby and Sapphire? Reminisce in the comments below.