Pokémon Black/White Diary Entry 4: Raimon And Hodomoe

By Laura . January 29, 2011 . 7:01pm

Welcome to Diary Entry 4 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!


Step into Raimon City and you’ll face Team Plasma. Winning the battle with Team Plasma netted me a Bicycle, given in gratitude by an old gentleman who was being harassed by them. Who doesn’t love freebies? No searching necessary — just go on with the story and you’ll find ‘em!


Raimon is a huge city, though not quite on the same scale as Hiun. There’s the usual residences and Pokécenter, but then there’s also an amusement park, the Musical Hall, the two sports arenas, and, most importantly, the fourth gym. Oh, and there’s also the Battle Subway, which brings you to a massive underground railway system that essentially functions like the Battle Tower of previous generations. I’ve always despised the Battle Tower, so I didn’t give the Subway too much of a shot.


The Musical Hall is home to a Pokémon musical, which is a part of the story the first time around, so l gave it a shot. I dressed one of my Pokémon up with the kit I was given and watched her dance across the screen. The whole experience was one I viewed with suspended disbelief and mostly tried to wipe from my mind afterwards. Belle, I curse you.


A journey to the amusement park resulted in a run-in with N, who challenged me to a battle. The fight itself was remarkably easy. The sports domes were cooler. They were home to a few trainers (one each), although I hear they have many more trainers with much stronger Pokémon later in the game.


The gym threw me for a loop. Time and time again, I find myself impressed with the combination of the aesthetic and the design of the gyms in Pokémon Black/White. In Raimon, the theme is Electric types, and the gym maze functions around a roller coaster, where you have to manipulate the tracks by stepping on switches.


There really isn’t much to do in Raimon once you’ve seen the sights the first time around, so for me, it meant proceeding on to the next route. The Hodomoe Draw Bridge is just as cool as all the other bridges in the game, and here there’s a new type of “rare encounter.” If you see a shadow on the ground and step on it, you’ll either get an item or a Koaruhi the baby duck (swan?) Pokémon. To my surprise, I got lucky with finding one.


Hodomoe City itself is home to a big marketplace, where you can find vendors selling various goods that are pretty rare elsewhere in Unova. It’s also the first time I ran into the Rotational Battle, one of the two new battle schemes in Pokémon Black/White. It really just runs like a simple single-Pokémon battle, except now you can rotate the battlefield (which consists of three Pokémon) clockwise or counter-clockwise.


The Pokémon attack after the rotation, and you can use the Pokémon immediately with no lost turn. It’s not too hard to get a hang of and honestly, doesn’t seem like it’ll affect the battles very much (although that’s mostly because I purely rely on the “brute force” method during the game; if you use actual strategy, things will probably be different) either.


This also presents a different breed of trainer. I had to talk to him in the city and he asked me whether I wanted to fight him. There have been some trainers that didn’t challenge me despite the fact that I walked right past their line of sight too. Some of them are just non-aggressive, I guess?


The Gym in Hodomoe is a bunch of lifts carrying you up and down, with rafters connecting between them. Hard to explain, but suffice to say it’s like a vertical maze. The theme is Ground, which luckily has plenty of weaknesses, including two out of the three starters. And even if you did choose Pokabu the Fire pig, he’ll prove useful against the Leader’s final Steel/Ground mole, Doryuuzu…at least, theoretically. So long as he can survive one attack, that is, since Doryuuzu is likely faster.


After the battle, Belle challenges you again, despite the fact that she’s not a very proactive Pokémon trainer. Her levels are also a lot lower than the Pokémon at the gym, so it wasn’t much of a challenge. Good news, though. I have Fly now! Looking forward to a great time abusing it from now on.


But almost immediately after — bad news! I have finally found something I hated with a fiery passion about Pokémon Black/White. High encounter rates, annoying Pokémon with Static (which either restricts you to non-contact attacks or makes you use a lot of Paralyz Heals), and high encounter rates with Pokémon that give you very little EXP. I despise the Electric Rock Cave.


Note to self: buy a lot of Max Repels and abuse, abuse, abuse. Escape Ropes are a nice investment too. Thankfully, Professor Araragi put a nice healing balm on those festering feelings of mine and assuages me with a Lucky Egg once I was through the whole ordeal. You are amazing, Professor Araragi.


Let’s take a quick look back at the list of freebies I’ve managed to acquire so far: Lucky Egg, Amulet Coin, EXP Share, Bicycle, Item Dowser, and Fly HM (it was easy before, but never before has a rival just handed it to you!). In addition, I’ve already seen the Breeding Center, Museum, acquired a fossil (which I can revive easily now that I have Fly), and a great place for aimlessly biking up and down to hatch Eggs (Sky Arrow Bridge).


See you next time from Fukiyose, home of honest-to-god airplanes!


(I will never stop being amazed by the presence of actual technology in Pokémon.)


Credit for the images used goes to Serebii.net and Bulbapedia. In case you missed the previous entries in our Pokémon Black/White Diary series, you can catch up on them below:

Diary Entry 1: Embarking On A New Journey

Diary Entry 2: Tweaks To Wild Pokémon And The Battle System

Mini-Diary: Visiting Pokémon Black/White’s On-the-Go Pokémon Centers

Diary Entry 3: Exploring Hiun City

Mini-Diary: Visiting The Gym In Pokémon Black/White’s Hiun City

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  • can’t wait for the english version

    i know the japanese version’s story has been translated but i’m not spoiling myself until it comes here

  • vadde939

    So some of the trainers won’t battle you on sight? Good. It could get annoying just trying to explore in a world where everyone was out to get you.

  • Dude, lol what? People actually use strategy in Pokemon? lol. What type of strategy must it involve, the useless status altering attacks are so worthless that its almost hilarious, no wait, it is cause I am laughing at the thought of it. Please tell me they got rid of the terrible Tail Whip, Growl, Sand Attack, Defense Curl, Tackle, and Peck?

    But why so mad? The phrase “High Encounter Rates” immediately brought joy to my heart. Finally something included to make training a breeze, and better yet to make the game not as easy as its been in the past.

    I think the names could have been changed, at least, Araragi to Juniper, Belle to Bianca, and I assume the fire/steel one Excadrill?

    • The main story doesn’t really need a lot of strategy, Now competitive battles that’s a different story.

      Also high encounter rates are freaking annoying when you’re not training pokemon or looking for a specific pokemon, i want a moderate encounter rate. High encounter rates are the reason why my bag usually has like 30 max repels

    • Exkaiser

      mfw swords dance and baton pass.

    • Zero_Destiny

      I do like the high encounter rate just so long as it doesn’t bother me while I’m doing a puzzle I always hated that in any game. I don’t use those status alt moves either a lot of people do and when you challenge REAL life players they can be really useful (my one friend pwns move by using his Gengar to put me to sleep and then uses Dream Eater Argh He get’s me every time with it) But I will argue that Pokemon does have some strategy in it. The moves you teach pokemon, the pokemon you have in your party, finding an opponent’s weakness and exploiting it. The game has tons of strategy.

    • They didn’t get rid of the stat modifier attacks. The ones you mentioned are still there on low level Pokemon.

      Until you have played with other players, don’t underestimate strategy in Pokemon. In-game, I think the worse you’ll have to face with is a lot of trainers paralyzing and confusing your Pokemon or maybe a Dragon Pokemon using Dragon Dance three or four times before attacking. Woe to you if you’re not at a high enough level to have defeated it by then. I haven’t figured out how Triple or Rotational Battles will affect current Pokemon strategies yet, since it’s so new.

      “High Encounter Rates” also means carrying around many Max Repels as you go through a cave where there’s no way to avoid the battles, unlike grasses where at least you can step around to avoid the Pokemon. I don’t think it affects the ease with which you can now train; the amount of EXP you get from the wild Pokemon and the ease with which you defeat them determines that. It’s not something I view with fondness in this generation, but at least there’s a way to bypass it, unlike in other games that don’t give you a choice.

      Right now, the Japanese names are still being used for consistency purposes.

    • Suicunesol

      Believe or not, the Pokemon games just about have the most complex battle system ever made (but it may not look like it). You won’t understand until you play competitively (or in the Battle Tower/Subway, where the AI is much smarter)

      You just listed a bunch of status-altering attacks that are pretty useless because they appear at the beginning of the game. Moves like Swords Dance, Dragon Dance, Claw Sharpen, and Butterfly Dance that appear later are what you want to watch out for.

  • RX79V

    Everything looks good so far. I am still in the process of collecting those legendary beasts in anticipation of Black/White.

    One question though. How bad is the encounter rate when compared to HGSS?

    Max repel was a given in HGSS. Constantly running into Geodude/Zubat was no fun at all.

    • I didn’t have trouble with the caves in HGSS; the reason I noted it in Black/White was because I had never had to spam Max Repels before. It’s especially noticeable, too, because there are (I’m counting off the top of my head here, so don’t quote me) at least four caves and four ruin-type dungeons that you have to go through. There’ aren’t as many surf routes, although you’ll find yourself scouring lakes for a bit too.

      The thought of those legendary beasts makes me sad because I managed to miss Raikou while I was on vacation =(


    “There have been some trainers that didn’t challenge me despite the fact that I walked right past their line of sight either.”

    It’s the little additions such as this that make Pokemon Black/White so great.

  • When in the cave, were you running, or even worse, using the bicycle? Because that increases the encounter rate a lot!

    • Suicunesol

      I think that only applies to HGSS. Upon playing through BW, I noticed that walking or running didn’t effect the encounter rate at all. So the mechanic was taken out in BW. A shame.

  • darkfox1

    Hodomoe City is my FAVORITE Pokemon Town/theme its jus so awesome

  • Suicunesol

    I’m in agreement about Electric Rock Cave. It was the first time since the beginning that I had to seriously stock up on repels.

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