01: The Adventure Begins
If you have played any of the previous games in the series you have a pretty good idea about what is coming up -- but if you have not then this is all new to you, and despite all the great fun that we have had in playing all of the previous games -- it may sound odd -- but we actually envy you!
You who are about to discover the world of Pokemon for the very first time, we salute you!
Now that we have that out of the way it is time to get started, so do the following in this order:
Step 1 -- Insert the cartridge
Step 2 -- Turn on the Power
Step 3 -- Watch the intro screens and, at the Start Screen . . . Hit Start!
– An Official Welcome to the Unova Region --
The woman who has appeared on your screen is Professor Juniper -- the very first female hosting Professor of a Pokemon game from the main series. She's kinda cute for an old lady, but still, she gives you the traditional greeting of her name -- Professor Juniper -- and then tells you the same thing that they all say: 'Everyone calls me the Pokemon Professor!'
Sit back and relax as the Prof walks you through the basic orientation speech, giving you just enough information to keep you grounded before she starts asking you for information -- like your name and sex. Once you provide that, it's Katy bar the Door time!
First though she introduces you to your two best mates in the whole world -- Cheren and Bianca -- and tells you a very little about them. I can tell you more -- for instance Cheren is a level-headed and honest boy who tries to do the right thing but can be stubborn, while Bianca is a bit ditsy and is prone to acting rashly and impulsively without considering the consequences. They are both loyal and good mates, and you could do worse, that's all I am saying. Appreciate what you have then, right?
Warming up to her subject, the Professor warns you that the moment you choose your Pokemon your adventure truly begins; if you do not grasp the significance of that yet, well, that is okay -- you will soon enough.
The Choices We Make. . .
The Professor sits you down in the darkened study, turns her back and closes the door to the other room. Rubbing her hands together she slowly walks towards you.
'I imagine that right now you are feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole,' she observes.
'I can see it in your eyes,' she nods. 'You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees, because he's expecting to wake up. Ironic that this is not far from the truth,' she smiles.
'This is your last chance,' the Professor warns, sitting in the chair opposite you. In each hand are two small objects that she now shows you; opening first one hand and then the other, as she leans closer to you, and shows you what she has on each palm.
'You take the Blue Pill, the story ends -- you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe,' she explains, holding the pill out to you in her left hand.
'You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes,' she admits, holding it out to you in her right hand.
Naaaaah! Just kidding! You appear in the bedroom of your parents house in Nuvema Town, and your best mate Cheren comes barging in all excited because the Professor sent a gift package that contains a Pokemon for the three of you -- Cheren, Bianca, and you!
Before we get too far into this, check out your room, mate! Nice! Bloody huge tele there, a flat screen no less, and a Wii, very nice. How long do you think you can keep it squared away like that mate?
As that thought rolls off your brainpan in comes your other best mate, Bianca. She comes in all apology for being late, but I wouldn't get excited on that account -- I've known a zillion blondes in my life and I even married one, and I can tell ya fair dinkum mate, they're never on time. Ever.
While you are all calm and easy Cheren gets on her, riding Bianca pretty hard. What's that all about mate? Ya think he likes her? That's how it looks to me, that's all I'm saying...
Despite being something of a ditsy blonde Bianca is what you call an Alpha Sheila mate -- a real take-charge girl that one! She decides that you get first dibs on the Pokemon and hey, that's how it is! Works the same way in real life, though I don't know why... Still no complaints, it may be late but supper is on the table and it tastes good!
You step over to that big box of Poke Balls and open her up -- inside as promised are three balls, each with a different type of Pokemon inside it. If you are new to the games this is pretty much standard -- they find a different way to present this choosing to you in each game but in the end the mechanism is the same -- though we've never had three new Trainers before, it has always been either you and a rival or you and a mate, not you and two mates, but hey, Black & White are the games of change, mate! So which one are you going to pick?
The Three Starter Pokemon
The choices are:
# 001/495 -- Snivy, a very intelligent Grass-type. Exposure to sunlight makes it faster.
# 004/498 -- Tepig, a classic Fire-type who can bring on the heat.
# 007/501 -- Oshawott, a typical Water-type prone to defensive slashing.
The numbers here may be a bit confusing at first, so while you make up your mind on which of the starters you are going to pick I'll explain them to you! Oh, but before I do that there is something that you need to be aware of -- you can only pick ONE of the three starters, and you will not encounter ANY of them as wild Pokemon that you can capture in this game.
No, to obtain the other two for your Dex and your Pokemon Collection, you are going to need to find two mates (or strangers) who are willing to trade one of each of them to you. Your best approach to making that happen is to breed up some of the one you chose to offer in trade -- but more on that much later in the game. Right now we have other details to talk about!
The Poke Dex Duty. . .
One of the primary tasks of being a Pokemon Trainer besides capturing and training Pokemon is to assist the region's Professor in completing their Pokedex. The Pokedex is an encyclopedia of details and information about the Pokemon encountered in this and other regions of the world. You see mate, despite the fact that they know an awful lot about Pokemon there are still some aspects that they don't know, so they encourage every Trainer to independently build a Pokedex entry for each Pokemon they see.
That way they can take all of the entries from every Trainer and compare them, looking for new information. Pretty cool system, right? The Pokedex is usually an electronic device that in addition to accepting notes from the Trainer, automagically scans every Pokemon you encounter -- and scans in great detail every one you capture -- recording the information it discovers.
This data can be dumped by the Professor when they examine your dex, or uploaded by you via the regional Internet from PC's found in Poke Centers and other buildings. Ir is also a very useful tool for you as a Trained, allowing you to look up Pokemon you battle to see what their types are, along with other information that can help you choose the strategy you will use in battling them!
The two numbers that start off each of the listings are the Unova (local) Region Pokedex number, and the National Pokedex number -- so conversely Sinvy is the first Pokemon in the Unova Pokedex, but the 495th in the National Dex. You do not actually have access to the National Dex data right now -- and you will not have it until you have beaten the Pokemon League Champion and completed a few other minor tasks -- but the thing is, because having both numbers is really important at different points in the game, as it makes the guide more valuable and useful to you, we will be listing them both for each Pokemon you encounter in the game just like we did above.
Something you should remember about this -- the numbering scheme for the National Dex can actually tell you what region that a specific Pokemon is from. Try to memorize this simple table and you will always know what the origin region is for a particular Pokemon without having to look it up!
The National Dex Numbering Scheme
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
001 - 151 = Kanto Region (GR, RD, BL, YL, GL, SL, CR, FR, LG)*
152 - 251 = Johto Region (GL, SL, CR, HG, SS)
252 - 386 = Hoenn Region (RU, SA, EM)
387 - 493 = Sinnoh Region (DI, PR, PL)
494 - 649 = Unova Region (BK, WH)
* The game key for the listing above is found in Appendix B near the end of this Guide.
Now you already know that Snivy is numbers 001 and 495 respectively, which means it is in fact NOT the first Pokemon in the Unova Region after all! No indeed, the true 'first' Pokemon in the region is actually a Legendary Pokemon called Victini, who oddly enough is recorded as #000 in the local Dex. But you are not supposed to know that -- or anything about Victini yet mate, though I am telling you about him now for a reason.
If you acquired the games between the official release date (March 6th 2011) and the official cut-off date (April 10th, 2011) you can obtain Victini right away as part of the Early-Adopters Program put on by Nintendo. Look inside the game case your game came in and you will see, on top of the manual and a flier for Club Nintendo, an insert that tells you how to obtain Victini. If this is missing or you lost it, no worries mate! In a little while I will direct you to skip ahead to one of the Appendixes to manage getting this done, but for now, just keep reading this section of the guide!
Note that when you begin the game, the current real life month will effect what season you start playing the game in -- it is not a one-to-one match, meaning if it is Winter outside the window of your home in the real world that does not necessarily mean it will be winter in the game! So if you start the game and the game season does not match the real world eseason, nothing is wrong, it is supposed to be that way.
The Choice is Made . . .
Congratulations mate -- you have chosen your starter, and that is all that is required to officially make you a Pokemon Trainer in the Unova Region. As to which one you chose, well, there are no 'wrong' choices here.
Each of the three is about equal in its powers and effect, and each has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Each will make an excellent mate and partner, and each will win or lose based upon the combination of their abilities and your abilities. If you make the right decisions in battle and outside of battle, properly train your Pokemon, and see to their health, you cannot have made a bad decision -- it is as simple as that!
Now that you have all chosen your starter Pokemon, Bianca immediately insists that you must have a Pokemon Battle -- after all, you are now Pokemon Trainers right? And what do Pokemon Trainers do with each other? Why, they Battle of course! You cannot argue with that logic though Cheren tries to, cautioning you that battling inside of a house is never a good idea.
Convinced that the Pokemon are too weak to actually cause damage to your room, Bianca eggs you on, and hey, be honest mate, this is not all on B -- you *want* to battle! And so you do. You should win this battle pretty easily if you stay on the offensive as Bianca likes to go for weakening your defense level. That this is to her detriment never crops up in the conversation I am afraid.
The new Battle System in Black & White is different than that of the previous games at leasts in appearance -- though the basic mechanism is unchanged. What was surprising was the amount of motion that is part of the process -- in the previous games this extra animation was absent!
The controls emphasize use of the touch screen over the traditional buttons -- but that is not a big surprise really. You can still use the buttons combined with the D-Pad to fight the battles though, and in fact while you are battling why don't you select the 'Pokemon' option, and then your Pokemon snf 'Summary' to get an early look at its Dex information. You can also check out its moves -- why not?
It turns out that Cheren was right, and after the battle you discover that your room has been hard done-by in the process. Well, since it is wrecked anyway, you may as well battle Cheren next, right?
After the battle ends you have picked up some XP and some prize money, you are back in full control of the game, and now would be an excellent time to save! You can save anytime, anywhere, you do not have to be at a save point to do it -- just hit the
Good on ya mate! Your first pair of battles are now behind you, you have gained a level or two on your first Pokemon, you should be feeling pretty good about now! You could hang around looking at your destroyed room all day long but no, the Professor mentioned that she wanted to chat you three up, so you really should be headed towards her Lab now, right?