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I'm missing about half of the pokémon, and I keep catching the same pokémon all over again — Abra, Meowth, Psyduck...

I noticed that if I catch over three pokémon I'll be able to go into the Meowth bonus stage, and if I get higher scores and more pokémon to other bonus levels too in some sort of progression — Meowth, Gengar, Mewtwo, etc. Does a similar process take place with catching pokémon, in which the further I progress without losing, the greater the variety of pokémon I'm able to catch? Or is there some other trick to it?

As for their distribution: they don't appear to me in a random order, I think. Are the pokémon distributed evenly throughout the various locations? If so, where can I catch each of them?

  • bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_Pinball does this help? – Dragonrage Jan 13 '16 at 23:05
  • Not exactly. Thought the cities listed near the bottom do have a section where they mention which pokémon are available in each of them. Which still doesn't help me understand why I keep getting always the same pokémon in each area... :\ – JNat Jan 13 '16 at 23:24
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    Better these? Pokedex and Area Listings – pinckerman Jan 14 '16 at 1:26
  • @pinckerman Yes, those help. However, like I mentioned, I keep getting always the same pokémon. I assume that when I'm at one location they don't randomly appear, and that there is some sort of rarity factor to it, but I seem to always be getting the "common" ones. – JNat Jan 14 '16 at 11:59
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    Oh well, I could have written an answer then :) – pinckerman Jan 14 '16 at 16:11
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Catching

You're already familiar with this method but I should also point out that you can enter catch mode with either 2 or 3 GET lights lit up (whereas EVO mode requires all 3). Different pokemon will appear depending on whether you have 2 or 3 lit.

There are two main methods to obtaining more pokemon outside of just catching them: moving and evolving.

Moving

On the Red stage, hit the diglett 3 times. On the Blue stage, hit the psyduck/poliwag 3 times. This will activate Move mode.

When you're in Move mode, you will need to hit several targets (indicated by arrows) and then shoot your ball into the hole in the middle of the stage. Moving will take you to another location, where different pokemon can be caught. The red and blue tables have different map locations, with most of them being exclusive to one table or the other.

Map locations are split into several "pools" with rarer pokemon being found in later pools. The first three locations are chosen from pool 1, the next two are from pool 2, and the last being Indigo Plateau. After this it will cycle back to pool 1.

Evolving

Activating EVO mode is done similar to activating catch mode except you move the ball the opposite way around the big loop three times. You must have at least one pokemon caught in order to activate EVO mode.

Similar to move mode, arrows will appear on the stage in several places, and you need to hit them with your ball. Other items will then appear (such as evolution stones, EX for experience points, or a link cable -- whichever is appropriate), which you need to collect three of. Afterwards, shoot your ball into the hole in the center of the stage. Your pokemon will then evolve.

Source: bulbapedia and personal experience

  • So changing locations will always get me from a place in pool 1, to pool 2 and then to pool 3 (and then back to pool 1 an so on)? And moving through these locations will give me access to rarer pokémon? – JNat Jan 14 '16 at 12:02
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    @JNat: it goes pool 1 -> pool 1 -> pool 1 -> pool 2 -> pool 2 -> pool 3 -> (loops). And yes, pool 2 has rarer pokemon than pool 1, and pool 3 has rarer pokemon than pool 2. Check the bulbapedia link for more information on what is found where. (For example, the "Indigo Plateau" page has a section for pokemon pinball). I also forgot to mention that you can start catch mode with both 2 and 3 GET lights lit up -- you find different pokemon depending on this. (I added this to my answer) – Pyritie Jan 14 '16 at 12:07
  • (You will need to evolve things to catch 'em all though, if I remember correctly, everything you can catch is unevolved) – Pyritie Jan 14 '16 at 12:10

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