Pokémon Black/White Diary Entry 5: Winter Sets In

By Laura . February 4, 2011 . 1:35pm

Welcome to Diary Entry 5 of our in-depth coverage of Pokémon Black/White (Japanese version). 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 them!

 

Five gyms down, and we’re finally at Fukiyose, which is, first and foremost, home to the Move Deleter and Relearner, both under a single roof.

 

The Relearner still uses Heart Scales, which are still as rare as ever in Pokémon Black/White. I’ve found a few thus far in the game, but I’m not sure if there’s a reliable way to consistently acquire them just yet.

 

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do in the city yet, since the Gym Leader’s busy, so off to the next route it is. There are some funny little ledges scattered over the grass, which you can walk or even run over, but if you stay still for too long you’ll fall right off. Their primary purpose is to allow you to avoid battles in the grass, but at this point the wild Pokémon are only one or two levels lower than the trainers’, so the EXP is worth making the effort for.

 

Further up north is the Tower of Heaven, which is kind of like the Pokémon Graveyard in Lavender Town way back when. There’re lots and lots of trainers with a fondness for (surprise, surprise) Ghost and Psychic Pokémon, so everyone on my team with Dark attacks had a blast leveling up. Once you reach the top and meet the Gym Leader there, away it is again and down to the gym.

 

The sixth gym is a fun area designed with cannons and acrobat rings. Naturally, you use these to launch yourself to the Gym Leader. It’s hard to predict exactly where you have to go, but the cannons are pretty versatile. I love that the way you approach a cannon determines which way you go flying, and…well, it should probably be obvious by now that I love the gym designs in Pokémon Black/White in general.

 

This was the first gym I found myself stuck in for a bit, but that was righted quickly by some creative cannon-work.  There isn’t much to say about the gym battle itself, though, since a Flying-type gym is no news by now. There’s lots of trainers in here — six, in fact, which is more than many other gyms previously encountered in the series. Plenty of time to raise your team to a good level and maybe even over-level for the Leader again.

 

After winning the badge, it’s back to the route and then off to the other branch in the fork, leading to Neji Yama (Spiral Mountain). After a battle with Cheren (and here I was hopeful we could skip it, since N had just wanted to talk the last time I saw him…), the Gym Leader gives me Surf without further ado. Cheren’s a bit naïve in an aggressive way, contemplating what exactly it means to be a “strong Pokémon trainer” and being angry that I keep on defeating him. Poor guy. I’m not sure whether I prefer his role in the game to Belle’s role, though, since she’s just as hesitant.

 

Once you’re in the mountain, you’ll find an investment in Max Repels to pay off. The inner maze is huge and mind-boggling, so the high encounter rate is likely to drive anyone crazy. Twenty or so of those lovely items should help greatly. The Doctor, who is located smack-dab in the middle of the mountain is helpful too, considering the number of trainers running amuck. There were some items that were irritatingly out of reach, even though they made me run through the mountain again and again for fear of having missed a route, but to no avail.

 

It turns out that once it’s winter, a huge part of the maze is just skipped over and the items become reachable due to the huge snow banks. This was the first area, I think, where there was a huge effect caused by the weather to the actual environment.

 

Traverse Neji Yama successfully, and you’ll find yourself at Sekka City. Out of all the cities, Sekka is the most rural thus far. Actually, it’s not much of a city so much as a few buildings located over some marsh puddles over the ground that have wild Pokémon in them if isn’t winter. Sekka really drives home the sensation that each locale in Black/White has its own unique personality, which really helps give the places you travel to a more interesting feel.

 

It wasn’t quite as obvious in previous games since the various towns were mostly just different arrangements of buildings and trees, sometimes with a ledge placed here or there. However, Sekka is a marshy, wet area with few houses and heavy winters, and there are always four people dancing outside of the gym, as though to celebrate something.

 

Again, the area changes heavily in the winter. There’s a ledge up to the north that is now reachable with the newly-formed snow bank, and the entire area is filled with slippery ice now that the wild Pokémon have vacated. The entire area is also covered in a film of fluttering snowflakes.

 

The Gym seems to celebrate the winter spirit as well, housing Ice Pokémon in abundance. The requires you to step on switches that pinball you across from on snowy platform to another in order to reach the Gym Leader. This is where I discovered another effect Pokémon Black/White had subtly had on me.

 

I didn’t really feel a connection with this Gym Leader. After thinking about it, I realized it was probably because hadn’t I fought him before his “event,” unlike the others, whom I’d met at least once before. It’s strange how I expect the Gym Leaders to be actively involved in story events now, whereas in previous games, they were just background noise.

 


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  • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

    Wow how often do the seasons change?

    • http://twitter.com/ivanpc_009 Ivanir Paulo Cardoso

      If I’m not wrong seasons change every month on the game, but I may be mistaken.

      • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

        You are correct. Jan, May, Sept are Spring; Feb, June, Oct. are Summer; etc.

    • PersonaBull

      The seasons change with the calendar in real life. Since it’s winter now, it’s winter in-game.

      For that reason, there’s no reason to complain about seasonal changes as you can change the date in your DS if you’d like. Yay for time control! <3

      edIT: http://www.serebii.net/blackwhite/seasons.shtml A more detailed explanation. Apparently I'm wrong and it does go on a month-based cycle :O I assumed since it turned to winter on December 1st, silly me~

    • Suicunesol

      Seasons change once a month. The game goes through four seasons every four months. This means that each season in the game will occur three times a year.

    • http://myanimelist.net/animelist/OnyxSyaoran OnyxSyaoran

      Every month, every four months is a complete cycle.

  • http://myanimelist.net/animelist/OnyxSyaoran OnyxSyaoran

    Oh I got my Hitomoshi from Heaven Tower, now my most powerful poké! A level 79 Shandera :3 Is a real sweeper, you should train one, is worth it! And has an awesome movepool. :3 I’m curious about your team :P

    • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

      I’m still using mostly the team I did from the middle of the game, with the same six. I trained quite a few others too, but here’s the main team:

      Daikenki, Shibirudon, Hihidaruma, Ononokusu, Mebukijika, Vuljiina [replaced Archaeos]. I also switch in and out a Gigaith, Elfoon, Zebraika, Kenhorou, Hahakomori, Sazandora, Gamageroge, Warubiaru, and Musharna.

      …Phew. that was a mouthful. And this was all in-game rather than post-game.

      (I had too much fun with the new Pokemon, as you can probably tell.)

      • http://myanimelist.net/animelist/OnyxSyaoran OnyxSyaoran

        I Approve Daikenki, Shibirudon, Ononokusu! Shibirudon is a pain to train, I waited until the pre-evo learned Thunderbolt before evolving it and it wasn’t easy. Daikenki is awesome and Ononokusu is a really fast awesome Dragon, my favorite! (and Ice attacks are only x2 instead of the common x4 on Dragons xD) I finished the game with those 3 plus Shandera, Kojondo and Doredia, god I love that grass poké :3

        • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

          I actually have the most trouble with Daikenki, since I think I got one with bad IVs. I’ve always wanted a Shandera and Kojondo, but I never got to training them. Can’t get a Doredia in my game, so that one’s out =P Elfoon was awesome, though. I used a Mebukijika just to prove I could, though, and it worked out excellently.

          Oh gods, Shibirudon was hell to find, hell to train. You didn’t really have to wait for Thunderbolt, though, since you can TM it onto him. I switch between that and Wild Bolt, though, since Shibirudon’s attack is hellish.

          • http://myanimelist.net/animelist/OnyxSyaoran OnyxSyaoran

            I have Black too, you can trade a Monmon for a Churin on the Shippou City, the 2nd Gym one, in one of the houses with a girl on the 2nd floor of one of them xD Is awesome. Shibirudon is popular because he isn’t weak to any attack, unless they use Gravity. Is not bad but the training is a real pain. My Daikenki was able to stand on it’s own since it was a Mijumaru, haven’t really checked the IVs since I might probably will come around to breed a good one when bored. xD

          • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

            I remember that trainer… I just never went back to her. Whoops XD

            Daikenki was fine as a Futachimaru, but after he evolved, he fell behind the others because he had more evenly distributed stats (say, all around 110) while the others all had higher attack/speed combined with lower special attack/defense. In fact, he fainted so many times that he’s not at max. affection T_T

          • http://myanimelist.net/animelist/OnyxSyaoran OnyxSyaoran

            Sounds like you trained a Tsutaaja instead of a Mijumaru lol too bad. I feel awful when I just think about leaving my starter behind, is like my first child and abandon it on the box is cruel xD I’ve never done that, even if they have really bad stats.

          • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

            Which is why I took him along for the Elite Four-ride, lol. I couldn’t bring myself to hate him =(

  • Zero_Destiny

    Still can’t wait for it to come out. I love a;; these changes like how they added seasons. XD

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