I never had the means to trade Pokémon in Gen 3 but I’m well aware of how hard it was (retrospectively). DixonButtes on Reddit went into a lengthy rant about how impossible it was and I absolutely agree. You’ve got to read it all but here’s the intro:
[…] For those of you who don’t play Pokemon, all you just need to know is that there are like 800 of those fuckers and every 4 years or so they release 100 more, as a new generation. They’re currently on generation 7. Back in generation 3, there were 386. Each generation of games has some ability to connect with and transfer Pokemon from the generation that came before it (so if you have a Pokemon in a Gen 4 game, you can transfer it to a Gen 5 game, then to a Gen 6 game, etc.) In all games, completing the Pokedex is usually one of the goals (which is TEDIOUS AS FUCK in itself). You’re supposed to finish the regional pokedex (catch all pokemon you can get in the game) and then move on to the national pokedex (catch all pokemon in the world). Its A LOT more complicated than it sounds. The greedy fucks at GameFreak made it so that some pokemon only appear in certain game versions and you need to trade with your friends to catch ’em all. But if you don’t have any friends (like me) you need buy the other version to complete the pokedex. So by trading and transferring, it sounds easy to complete the pokedex, right?
Wrong, Shithead! […]
And this is why I use cheat cartridges and whatnot. Not to trade illegal exclusives but to just own them. That Gen 3 Mew? MINE! All those other Gen 3 Mythicals? MINE!