Minecraft users have been recreating Pokémon in the block-building game for years, but the latest attempt doesn't require you to mod the game at all. All you need is the base, vanilla Minecraft version 1.8.8, and you're ready to download the map and play it.
Pokémon Cobalt and Amethyst makes use of command blocks, which one of the developers, PureCharlie, says is similar to mods such as Single Player Commands and WorldEdit, but instead, they're a mapmaker feature that are activated by redstone. You can see in the video above that battles play out similarly to the ones you'd find on Nintendo's handheld adventures.
The Pokémon-themed Minecraft map has been in development for about a year and a half, and while it claims to recreate the original Pokémon game from 1996, it adds a new region, unique stories, and 136 new Pokémon, mixing creatures like Giratina and Arceus with the originals.
Cobalt and Amethyst is only available in singleplayer, so you won't be able to travel or battle with any of your friends. Developer Phoenix SC claims the game will take 60 to 80 hours to complete and features "an antagonist threatening to release a legendary darkness that demands tribute." You won't be going up against Team Rocket, Magma, or any of the other classic gangs, either; instead, you'll be working to take down the Suliqu region's criminal organization called Team Tempest.
It's great to see fan-made Pokémon content of this scale, but given the DMCA takedowns of projects like Pokémon Uranium, there's a possibility that Nintendo will try to shut down Cobalt and Amethyst. If you listen to the video at the top of this article, it sounds as if they've borrowed some sound effects from Pokémon Red and Blue. PureCharlie says that if a takedown happens, they "can just go back and change the name," but I'd think that borrowed assets would be the more damning part.
We've contacted PureCharlie for an interview and will report back as we receive more information about the map.
If you're interested in playing Pokémon Cobalt and Amethyst for yourself, the video below from the developer details everything about how to download and play the Minecraft map—you can download the map here. But if you want to check out other Pokémon modifications to popular PC Games, take a look at these Pokémon that replace Ark: Survival Evolved's dinosaurs.