By Laura . January 21, 2011 . 1:59pm
Welcome to Diary Entry 3 of our in-depth coverage of Pokémon Black/White. The aim of this series of weekly articles is to allow readers to understand what new features and changes they can expect to see from Pokémon Black/White without spoiling the experience for them. We hope you enjoy giving these a read!
You’ve probably seen Pokémon Black/White’s Sky Arrow Bridge. A twisty suspension bridge with two levels, Sky Arrow Bridge is huge. So huge that it took me three whole minutes to walk from one end to another. In fact, it’s the perfect egg-hatching spot.
Cross the bridge, go down the stairs and through the gateway, and you’ll find yourself in Hiun City, which is every bit just as grand as the bridge leading up to it, and is also arguably where Pokémon Black/White really kicks off. It’s almost as if the creators are saying, “All of that you just did? That was just an introduction. This is where the game really begins.” This makes sense, considering the constant mentions of Hiun City by Nintendo and Game Freak, prior to Black/White’s release.
The first thing you’ll spot is a billboard on the side of a building, which is a nicely placed map of the city. The shape of Hiun is a quarter-circle, with the pointy tip facing north. There are five ports to the south where various ships are docked, and then there are four streets leading up to the north, which is a “central park” (hah). Finally, there’s one more street to the north of that, which leads out of the city.
While it may sound like a simple layout, Hiun is composed entirely of humongous skyscrapers, which look undeniably cool with Black/White’s improved art work and the new camera to flaunt it. So far, this has been the only city where there are camera shifts within a single area.
The main street runs across the arc of the quarter-circle towards the bottom of the city, across the ports and intersecting with all four streets as well. The Pokécenter is the first building you run into, past the city map, and after that, there’s a skyscraper which you can enter. The latter has an elevator which takes you to two floors (one of which is in the 50s, implying that the building is at least that tall), both of which have several trainers for you to fight against. The last one, after you beat everyone else, gives you an EXP Share — yet another example of the most essential training items given to you early in the game.
The last stop on the main street is a survey center, where you can collect data based on other Pokémon Black/White games you run into. I’m not really sure of the rewards for conducting these surveys yet as I haven’t had a chance to interact with other Black/White games.
Now, for the other streets. The first one, closest to the Sky Arrow gate, has a constant stream of people walking up and down it. One of the buildings, amusingly, is the Game Freak building, where various representations of the creators reside. The first floor of that building hides Zorua, which you need to unlock using Pokémon transferred from the older generation. For now, however, you only get a picture to add to the Pokédex, and that’s about all.
Additionally, you can receive gifts from the president of Game Freak by acquiring more Pokédex entries too. Meanwhile, the second floor of the building doesn’t really have anything special, but there is someone here who gives your Pokémon a massage once a day.
Like the first, the second street is also filled with people. I love trying to run into them to watch them perform their rather impressive evasive maneuvers. There’s an ice cream shop that is vacant in the winter, but I know for a fact that it’s packed with people during other seasons. There’s also an art gallery, which doesn’t have anything particular other than a person who gives you a berry if you show him the Pokémon Type he requests.
Third Street is a back alley, complete with garbage dumps and shady characters. There’s a door that leads to a café, which is another area that deals with a legendary Pokémon. This time, it’s Meloetta. Finally, the last street has a suspiciously empty building and is also home to the third gym.
To the north of these streets is the central park, which houses a pretty fountain, several vending machines, and a group of three break-dancers who give you an Amulet Coin if you gather all three members spread throughout the city. Above these is another short street, which leads you to a skyscraper with a collection of NPCs that speak foreign languages and another building that has the Name Rater. It’s amusing to read perfect English and Spanish in a Japanese game; I’m so used to seeing “Engrish” instead.
Finally, there’s the ports at the South end of the city. There isn’t much going on at the ports when you enter, aside from the docked ships which serve various purposes later in the game. There’s one that’s the Royal Isshu ship, which is an event area that will be activated later. Another is a ship that is activated with the Liberty Ticket that will take you to an area where you can get Victini, the legendary Pokémon.
Phew. As you’re exploring, nothing triggers story-wise until you try to enter the gym, at which point the gym leader runs out and you have to deal with another crisis from Team Plasma (who, as predicted, occupy the suspiciously empty building). The battle with them is pretty easy, since they haven’t increased in level since your previous encounter with them.
Following their defeat, it’s time for your next gym battle! We aren’t covering this just yet, as we aren’t sure if our readers want the game spoiled for themselves. If you do want to hear about it, though, let us know, and we’ll see about doing a mini-diary entry on the Hiun gym before moving on.
In case you missed the previous entries in our Pokémon Black/White Diary, you can catch up on them below: