Pokémon Black/White Diary Entry 7: The Elite Four Battle

By Laura . February 18, 2011 . 5:12pm

Welcome to Diary Entry 7 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!

 

The climb up the mountain that leads to the Elite Four is pretty arduous. This time, the dungeon is long, the trainers are hard, and the wild Pokémon are, for the most part, tough.

I was very happy to have stocked plenty of Escape Ropes beforehand, and I loved Gold Sprays. The Aiant (iron ant Pokémon) in particular are common and very difficult to cope with.

 

I cursed their existence, since they’re a very tough type to counter and Pokémon Black’s lack of good Fire Pokémon (unless you picked the Fire starter, which I didn’t) makes beating a Steel/Bug type hard. Not to mention, Aiants have a high Attack, high Defense, and high Speed.

 

Pokémon Black is very much upping the learning curve, and despite the fact that we’re on our way to the Elite Four, there’s quite a bit of game left to go, a lot of which is equally brutal. We’ll talk more about post-game content in future entries.

 

Usually, I would escape the pre-Elite Four battles because they’re annoyingly common, don’t give any experience (especially with the level handicap), and are too easy. Now, they’re too hard and have too fun a time knocking my entire team out. That would call some special training after I climbed all the way up the mountain. That said, it’s unfair that this is the area with the highest-level wild Pokémon so far, but it doesn’t contain any evolved Pokémon, which would give one more EXP.

 

I loved the setup for the Elite Four. The buildings, which have thus far been more realistic in size with relation to your sprite, are now huge. The second you step out of the cave and into the sun (or the moonlight, depending on your time of day), a wooden suspension bridge spreads out before you, crossing over a grand ravine. Across, you find two old, Greek-style pillars and an ancient-looking plaza. Even the Pokémon Center and the shop to the side look like they’re made from plaster or stone.

 

Once you’ve made sure you’re ready, and take a step into the plaza, the gate closes behind you. Nothing new in relation to previous generations, but this time, you find yourself with four options. There are four paths before you, spread out in a circle and a statue of a hooded figure in the center of the court. The floor is tiled and each cobblestone path leading up to the door takes you to one of the Elite Four.

 

One is a Ghost trainer, who resides in a dark library that lights up with lightning flashes every few seconds. As you approach the carpeted staircase, you’re spirited (pun unintended) up the tower by will o’ wisps.

 

One is a Dark trainer, and as you ride the red-carpet conveyer belt in a spiral up to where he stands, the torches flare to life behind you. Overhead, the chandelier illuminates the room dimly, showing the barred windows beyond and iron bar-gated doors below.

 

One is a Psychic trainer, and no road leads up to her. However, psychic powers transfer you up to the platform supported by two pillars and two frivolous-looking yellow ribbons amidst a background of glittering stars. The top is draped with curtains, and at the center is a giant pale yellow tent topped by a ribbon. When you approach, the center of the tent opens to reveal a bed where the Elite 4 trainer in question awakens.

 

The last one is a Fighting trainer, and his realm is the most down-to-earth yet. A motor engine rolls at the bottom, and you’re transferred up in a rickety-looking metal cart with steam blowing off in the distance. At the top, you walk into a bona fide wrestling ring with spotlights swirling in the background.

 

Their Pokémon are pretty high level at this point in the game, but I loved how there’s a bit of a connection between the Elite Four’s Pokémon this time around. Each one is weak to at least one of the other types, and each one is resistant to at least one of the other types. Of course, you shouldn’t let this fool you into thinking of their Pokémon as one-trick ponies. Not only have they taken advantage of TMs, but most of the Elite Four Pokémon also have a second type.

 

For example, the Ghost trainer has a pure Ghost type, a Water/Ghost, a Ground/Ghost, and a Fire/Ghost. The Fighting trainer, even if all his Pokémon are pure Fighting type, all have one Rock move to counter Flying Pokémon as well as at least one other “out there” attack, such as Grass Knot, U-Turn (a Bug move to counter Psychic Pokémon), or Payback (a Dark move).

 

Given these formidable challenges, I honestly didn’t expect to win without a few tries, and my predictions were spot-on. It took a few more level-ups before I was able to beat them, and even that required a bit of luck to turn the tide in my favor.

 

After all four are defeated, it’s time for the Champion! The teleportation device in front of the statue at the center of the plaza activates, and you go down into an empty room that is designed like a maze at first sight. Outside, a whole mountain of stairs wait, and then up above, the Champion sta–

 

No, wait! Someone’s reached him before you and beat him!

 

I won’t say what happens next as it involves heavy spoilers, but let’s just say that within the following minutes, one of the game’s primary conflicts reaches its climax. The story comes to an end, and there are plenty of background details provided, some of which made me feel rather attached to a certain character. The pseudo-dungeon design is excellent, and the presentation leading up to the confrontation is great.

 

At the end of it all, the ultimate showdown with your rival, N, awaits.

 


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

    Did we played the same game? “The climb up the mountain that leads to the Elite Four is pretty arduous. This time, the dungeon is long, the trainers are hard, and the wild Pokémon are, for the most part, tough.” I thought this victory road was the easiest ever… Other than that, the elite-4 first round was damn easy :/ as I said before my shandera sweeped through most of it. :P

    • PersonaBull

      Isn’t that a lot of the fun of playing Pokémon, though? Nobody has the same adventure, people have different difficult spots, and almost everyone has a different team of very different members. Just because you had an easy time of it doesn’t mean that even you with just a different team could be suddenly overwhelmed.

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

        LOVED the comment, you are so right! :D

    • Ren

      It was also the least confusing one. Hoenn’s was pretty annoying even with flash, but the most confusing dungeon is still Mt. Moon in my heart. I have played both Blue, and Fire Red and I still don’t know how to navigate that thing

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_S2UKKIGGOA4V5EIFXAD7BQQOV4 Heehee

        So many Zubats, so many Geodudes… Where the **** is Clefairy?

        • Ren

          I actually never found a wild Clefairy before. Huh, what are the odds?

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

        I hated Cerulean cave, never really got lost on Mt. Moon. It was pretty easy for me. :/

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_S2UKKIGGOA4V5EIFXAD7BQQOV4 Heehee

      Oh man, I remember the first generation Pokemon (Kanto) when you traverse Victory Road. So many trainers, so many random encounters, I’m dying…

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

        Strenght! God I hated that part when you felt almost out and that last puzzle with strength and the holes! god, annoying!

  • Masengan

    These Diary entries make me wanna give Pokemon a second chance…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_S2UKKIGGOA4V5EIFXAD7BQQOV4 Heehee

      Same. I am tempted to buy my own DS.

    • YoFace

      Same! I skipped out on D/P and G/S. But totally willing to give this one a shot.

  • Ren

    Lack of good fire pokemon!? Get either a Hihidaruma(around Hiun) or a Shandera(around Fukiyose). Those two can pratically win the game alone for you as long as you have something to counter their weakness.

    • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

      Haha, true. Sorry, I keep on forgetting about Shandera. As you can probably tell, I never picked one up =| I guess things would’ve been a lot easier if I had T_T

  • JustaGenericUser

    >I won’t say what happens next guys!
    >(spoils the identity of the final boss)

    • PersonaBull

      >”Diary Entry 7 of our in-depth coverage”
      >complaining about spoilers in an attempt to be witty

      Seriously, save it, man. As if it was a big mystery that he was the final battle, anyway. Laura was being nice enough not to spoil the main storyline of the game while feeding us info on how the gameplay builds. There’s obviously a lot she left out.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      It really isn’t a surprise that you battle your rival at the end of the game. She left out a lot of what happens at that point, and made zero mention of anything even vaguely related to the story. Nothing at all has been spoiled.

    • Suicunesol

      Don’t worry. She didn’t spoil nearly enough. :)

  • http://twitter.com/Isabelyes Isabelyes

    Siliconera; I have to congratulate you on one of the most excellent ‘diaries’ I’ve ever read. You made my interest in Pokémon Black & White skyrocket, and now I’m fairly sure I’ll buy it when I get my 3DS.

    I would love to read more about this game from you, Laura.
    Your writing style makes for surprisingly easy and comfortable reading;
    it’s pretty astonishing.

    Thanks for sharing your Pokémon experiences with us!

    • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading the diaries. I was really excited about the Elite Four and what followed, so it it probably appeared in my writing. There’s still a few more things to be covered in the game, so … stay tuned? =P

      I’m glad that I was able to inspire you to buy Pokemon Black/White as well! It’s a really great game and I hope you have as much fun with it as I did =)

      PS: Love your icon~

      • http://twitter.com/Isabelyes Isabelyes

        You’ll cover even more?
        That’d be really great~ I haven’t found many sites which go beyond the usual
        “Black & White are new enough to be worth every veteran’s time” etc.

        Generally, I love hard games – I’m a big fan of Touhou, and any First-Person Dungeon Crawler that’s been released for the DS. I’m sure this’ll be right up my alley~!

        @Icon: I loved it too – Nyuu is so cute, always~! – but I’ve already changed it to Spice & Wolf’s Horo. I wonder why it won’t show up on Siliconera…?

        • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

          Haha, BW isn’t THAT hard; as someone stated below, it depends on one’s team and style. It’s about as hard as you make it, and everyone’s bound to have a different experience, especially because Pokemon has so many variables.

          I was talking about the Horo icon =P I really like Horo; one of the few female characters I like.

          • http://twitter.com/Isabelyes Isabelyes

            That might be true, but I usually suck at Pokémon. >->
            I just level my Starter, and every cute/awesome Pokémon; the rest gets ignored. ^-6

            @Horo: So true~! She’s radically different from any other female character I’ve encountered in any Manga/Anime/Game.
            She’s a bit tsundere, but still very mischievous.

            Also, apples. <3

    • http://twitter.com/nikochanr3 niko

      Me too (buying it with 3DS). i don’t know if anyone else has this issue, but i have a Japanese DSi which was fine until THIS game which is region locked. Absolutely horrified me until I realized i’m getting a new (3)DS (american) soon.

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