Pokemon Black Guide
Unofficial Pokemon Black Guide by CM Boots-Faubert for SuperCheats.com
The massive Pokemon media empire that exists today began with a simple game that was based upon the childhood bug collecting hobby of a young Japanese boy. That boy -- Satoshi Tajiri -- began the journey towards empire building by founding a simple gaming fanzine (magazine) called Game Freak that celebrated the world of electronic and arcade gaming with the enthusiasm and heart of the true fan.
Game Freak appealed to an entire generation of teenagers and young adults in the late 1980's who felt trapped within the iron-grip of a society that stubbornly clung to the rigid conformity-based social structures created by the reconstruction movement of post-war Japan. Despite intense pressure from family and friends, Tajiri chose to eschew the corporate path in favor of his own creative projects, the first of which being to self-publish his own magazine celebrating the two topics that gave him intense joy: electronic gaming and manga.
It was through his magazine that Tajiri met and became close friends – and eventually business partners – with an artist and neophyte game designer named Ken Sugimori, a kindred spirit who shared the same vision and desires, and together the pair founded the video game development studio that they named after their magazine – Game Freak.
Their new studio participated in creating games for established publishers Nintendo and Sega with some success – among these games were licensed titles such as Yoshi and Mario & Wario, but it wasn't until the pair created an early version of Pokemon – called Capsule Monsters – and shopped it to Nintendo, that the seeds were planted that would grow into the Pokemon empire.
The first few times that Game Freak pitched Capsule Monsters to Nintendo the game was declined – although they saw the concept as interesting, Nintendo did not see commercial potential in it. It was not until new friend and eventual partner Shigeru Miyamoto re-pitched the game under its new name, Pocket Monsters, that the massive gaming giant finally took notice. With the project green-lighted and with plans to export it outside of Japan, Tajiri decided that a less confusing name was needed, and eventually settled on Pokemon.
The word 'Pokemon' is an abbreviation of the words 'Pocket Monster,' from the English translation of the original Japanese words Poketto Monsuta, and represents in just three syllables what has become one of the most successful (if not the most successful) media franchises created in Japan.
Any long-time fan of the series can tell you that the game started as a distinct and unique role-playing package, and while each successive generation was built around the unique image of the game that has been its legacy, each new generation was given graphical and image improvements that set it apart from the games it followed.
With each successive generation new elements were added to the game, and each generation saw the launch of additional titles for the dominant console for their generation, with Pokemon games for the Nintendo 64, Nintendo Game Cube, and the Wii quickly following. Some of these games directly interfaced with the traditional portable versions, and some did not, but the one thing that they shared in common was the inclusion of the improvements introduced in the main series as visible elements, even if that was just the new types of Pokemon.
When the fourth generation of games that released on the new Nintendo DS platform was in its PR flux long before the release of the games, there was talk about Internet connectivity, and a massive and meaningful expansion of the capabilities of the player-vs-player battling that has always been a core element of the series, but when Diamond and Pearl finally launched, that broad and open world was simply not present in the games.
They did present the new Global Trade Station, sure, and never before had it been so easy to complete your Pokedex through trades – you could even trade with people you did not know and never would know via the anonymous and automated system of the GTS. But serious Trainers and fans longed for that open connection that would allow them to battle opponents from all over the world from the comfort of wherever they happened to be themselves.
Your journey begins from a 3D-centric Home
– The Culmination of Pokemon Black and White --
Pokemon Black and Pokemon White represent the culmination of everything that Pokemon fans have been waiting for, and even exceed expectations in so many ways. So much has been added to the games that it would take three times as much space to tell you about it as has been allotted for this section of the guide, but that will not keep me from telling you about the really important additions and changes, starting with the open battle system.
The open battle system that we have been waiting for has arrived, and it is called Random Match. Part of the expanded GTS system – access to which is now available at any Pokemon Center rather than requiring the player to go to a specific building in a specific city – Random Match battles via the Internet and the built-in WiFi connectivity of the games is found on the second level of Pokemon Centers, the traditional destination for connectivity access in the games.
Players can take their Pokemon and step into the special capsule and, with the help of the GTS system, participate in any one of a wide selection of battle types, including Single Battle (uses 3 Pokemon), Double Battle (uses 4 Pokemon), Triple Battle (uses 6 Pokemon), Rotation Battle (used 3 Pokemon), and Shooter Battle (uses 6 Pokemon in a Triple Battle scheme).
The rules are simple: Pokemon Level 51 or above are lowered to Level 50 for battles, while those under Level 50 remain their current level; Trainers cannot have two of the same Pokemon or item in their team, and their Pokemon can only know 5th generation moves. Items that are not available in 5th generation (including certain berries) can't be used, and certain moves – like Sky Drop – are banned from play. Trainers have just two minutes to decide upon the moves that they will use in their matches, and the matches themselves can last no more than one hour.
There are two modes available at present for Random Match battling – Rating Mode, which is the ranked mode of the game and as a result your battle stats are recoded by the server and included in the ranking system, thus establishing your rank over time, and Free Mode, which tracks your win/lose stat just for your Trainer Card, and does not retain the stat for the servers.
The Global Battle Union is the official entity to which your stats in ranked battles are applied, and it is the GBU that will show the world – and you – just how you stack up. Each player starts off with a point value of 1500, and when they win or lose in a Random Match battle that score goes up and down accordingly depending on how well you have done.
The system of alternate forms for special Pokemon – most notably Deoxys and Rotom from the previous games – now includes a total of 9 Pokemon in its numbers. Although this is not exactly of core importance to the game or the story mode, it was so popular in the previous generations that expansion was thought to be inevitable.
In Black and White Pokemon with alternate forms include Basculin, Darmanitan, Deerling, Deoxys, Giratina, Meloette, Rotom, Sawsbuck, and Shaymin.
The method for changing to their alternate form varies with each of the Pokemon, and can be as simple as a move, or key item, or an item encountered in the game world. Of course all skilled Trainers will know what the mechanism is for their Pokemon, because that is part of what being a Trainer is all about!
The Dream World
It would be easy to tell you all about the Dream World, but it is so profound a new element of the game and the experience of it for the first time for any Trainer so intensely entertaining and satisfying that to do so would be a disservice to you! It appears in several different levels, and offers the Trainer not just the chance to level up their Pokemon in an alternate world, but also to do so as part of an adventure scheme that is at once familiar and yet strange!
The Dreamworld is where berries come from
Still there is one element of the Dream World that I feel I am compelled to share with you now, because it is so important an element to the game, and because you will be relieved to hear of it after not encountering the expected Berry Patches in the Unova Region... Berries, as you likely have discovered, do not grow in Unova, and yet Trainers in the region have them, so where did they come from?
The answer – as I am sure you have started to suspect – is the Dream World! You will have many reasons and many excuses for spending time in the Dream World, but perhaps the best reason of all is so that you can grow and find the berries you will want for your team.
Events have always been an important part of the Pokemon series, though for the first three generations of games they were largely the domain of Trainers lucky enough to either live in Japan, or to live close to one of the key cities in the world where events tended to happen. The importance of being able to obtain the Pokemon that are traditionally obtained from events caused the folks at Nintendo to rethink this strategy, and over the course of the last two generations a new philosophy developed.
The 3rd generation games saw the events taking place at easier to reach locations – like video game stores, movie theaters and special traveling events that appeared at Toys 'R Us stores and Walmarts, while the 4th generation games were the true equalizers, having been largely WiFi based.
Pokemon Black & White start the 5th generation off with a plan similar to the last generation, with an emphasis upon WiFi distributed Wonder Cards, but this time around Nintendo is being proactive – so much so that the first event started with the release of the game! If you obtained your copy between March 6th, 2011 and April 10th, 2011 you could connect via the Nintendo WiFi Club/Connection (WFC) and obtain the Wonder Card for the Liberty Pass – which is your only way to obtain the Legendary Pokemon Victini!
Nintendo has hinted that there will be at least ten WiFi events and perhaps more, but based upon the Japanese games we only know about five events so far – starting with the Liberty Pass event to obtain Victini, and followed by events to obtain the rare Pokemon Cubchoo, an egg that will hatch into one of three special Pokemon, an event to give Ash's Scraggy, and the one everyone is waiting for – the event to give Zoroark.
Too Much to Cover You'll Have to Discover
The changes and additions to the game are so many and varied that there is simply too many to cover here. But the joy in that is that you will discover each and every one as you play the game, from the Xtransceiver and the huge number of daily and weekly in-game events, to the Battle Subway and the new Combination Attack, there is so much to experience and so many surprises in store for you.
Pokemon Black and Pokemon White are already being called the best and greatest Pokemon games ever – and there is good reason for that. Certainly they are the best in the main series, no question about it, though the example we have received here tells us that we can expect more innovation and expansion in the next game in the series, so best ever is perhaps premature.
The Region is based upon a real world city
The fact that there are actually significant differences between Black and White – specifically geographical differences in addition to the expected population differences in version-specific Pokemon – means that for the first time in the history of the series, this generation is likely to be one that most Trainers feel the need to own both versions of, which means that battling and trading will never be easier than with these.
Before we wish you happy adventures in this new region called Unova, we thought you might like to know a secret – if you look at the map of the region you get from your Mum in the game, and pay particular attention to the layout of the routes and towns, you may be shocked when you recognize that Unova is laid out like a city area that should be easily identifiable... If you cannot see it, go ahead and Google Unova Region... And now, happy adventures mate!
You are about to embark upon the deepest and most satisfying Pokemon adventure in the series so far!