Nintendo DS

Excerpts From Pokémon Black & White’s Castelia City Design Documents


Castelia City was the first major locale in Pokémon Black/White that was discussed back when the game was still in its initial stages of being revealed to the public.

Everyone remembers the early screenshot of the female trainer walking down a street lined with skyscrapers. The largest Pokémon city to date, Castelia is also recognized for its pier.


Castelia’s pier is shaped like a hand. The image to the right is a map of the city from the Pokémon anime, sourced from Bulbapedia, that shows an overhead view of the pier.


Pokémon game director, Junichi Masuda, created documents for Castelia’s design in both the game and the anime, and says that several aspects of the pier had to be researched before Castelia was designed.  In his design notes, Masuda explained what each finger on the pier was for.


Castelia’s code name during the design process was “C3”. In a recent blog post, Masuda posted portions of his design document for Castelia, which you can find below:




●C3(*1)‘s port is shaped like hand.
Open hand is the image of C3.

・Since it is pier, it is floating on the sea.
・Surface is thin concrete.
・Low fence is placed other than platform.
・There are chairs, too.
・There is a mooring mast.

To park the ship, ship’s rope will be hooked to mooring mast.
*In the game, ship’s rope is not necessary(won’t be shown).


●Each fingers
・Most thick finger of all.
・In western culture, folding other four fingers and up represent
affirmation (good) and down represent death (denial).

○OPV(Offshore Patrol Vessel) parks on odd number days.
Sail on even number days(not present).


(2)Index finger

○Cabin cruiser(dinner cruise ship). Sail from evening only(to see sunset).
→Large cruiser.
→To show, departing on the evening and sunset can be seen
on the half way, and returning on night to see night view.


(3)Middle Finger
・It is insulting act to stand this finger and rest of fingers fold.

○Team Plasma’s secret ship sails.
Only sails on the day of prime numbers.
→Ship will be parked on non prime number days.
No hints. Objective of this ship is unknown.


(4)Ring finger
・In Japan, it is called “medicine finger,” since this
finger is used for applying medicine.

○Shuttle cruiser to UT island.


(5)Little finger
・Smallest finger.
・In Japan, this finger is considered as royalty.
There is action called “Yubikiri(cutting finger)”
as a meaning of promise(honesty).


○Distribution island ship.

●Ship A (large ship<2000 to 3000t class>). 1 kind.
・Cabin cruiser(theme color white)

Luxurious cruiser.
Point! When this ship parked at the pier of C3, the giant scale of
its size can be seen.


●Ship B(small ship<1000t class>). 4 kinds.
(Same model but different colors)
・Guard ship(theme color white and red)
・Team Plasma’s secret ship(black)
・UT ship(blue)
・Distribution ship(yellow)

Point! Leading edge cool ship. Small but fast. Few windows.
You can tell it’s a ship from its silhouette.



Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.