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| Isshu region
Artwork of the Unova region
The Unova region (Japanese: イッシュ地方 Isshu-chihō) is a large area of the Pokémon world and the setting of the fifth generation Pokémon games Pokémon Black and White. It is far away from the four other large regions, and the Pokémon which inhabit Unova are diverse and different from those of Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh. In his director's column, Junichi Masuda suggested that the geographical and social background for Unova draws inspiration from the New York City metropolitan area , although the region features rural locations as well as industrial.
Etymology and design concept
Unova's Japanese name, イッシュ Isshu, is derived from 一種類 isshurui, meaning "one variety". As explained by game director Masuda, this is to express that even though the region has great diversity in species and race, when seen from a distance they are all the same as living creatures.
Unova likely comes from the Latin unum (one) and novus (new). May also be from united, considering its basis on the largest city in the United States, and nova, an exploding star.
Although some of Unova is geographically based on New York, the creators of the region took some liberties in regards to the surrounding areas. Clearly, the largest city in Unova, Castelia City, is based on Lower Manhattan, but to the immediate north of Castelia is (as opposed to a continuing metropolis as in real life) a vast desert. To the east and west of the region are large mountains. Unova also contains many rural settlements.
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Cities, routes, and other locations
Cities and towns
Anime only locations
Unova region's map in the anime
Unlike previous regions, Unova's routes do not follow the same numbering system, with a jump to 301, but are numbered 1-18, paralleling the Kanto region's numbering system and emphasizing Unova's isolation.
Unova is a mixture of urban and rural land. The region features fifteen settlements which reflect the diversity of the region. Many cities have buildings that resemble real-world buildings, such as Striaton City and Castelia City. However, some cities remain the way buildings in the past do. Castelia City, a sprawling metropolis, is the largest city in any known Pokémon region. Nuvema Town, which is inhabited by the Pokémon expert Professor Juniper, is smaller and quieter. Black City is a version-exclusive city found only in Pokémon Black. Unova's landscape also features several forests (one of which, White Forest, is also version-exclusive), a desert, a magnetic cave and areas where the move Dive can be used outside of battle. Although Unova appears in some ways more technologically advanced than the previous regions, this development is not spread across the whole of the region.
- Main article: Seasons
The climate of Unova, unlike other regions, solely depends on the time of the year.
Unlike previous regions, where climatic change was experienced locally (that is to say, some routes would always feature snow, and some routes would always feature rain), Unova is susceptible to national seasonal change. Spring, summer, autumn and winter each last approximately thirty days, and recur three times each within a year. Each season brings with it different weather patterns, unlocks different events, and presents altered Pokémon availabilities.
- Main article: Unova League
The Unova League is the regional Pokémon League of the Unova region. After obtaining the eight badges of the region a trainer may battle the Elite Four at the Pokémon League building.
- Unova is the first main series region to be based on a real-world region outside of Japan.
- Unova has the fewest routes of any region, only having 18.
- However, Unova has named routes stretching between settlements, including five bridges and a subway network.
- Unova is the only region not to have any important locations located on major islands during normal gameplay before the Elite Four.
- Unova is the only main series game region not to have the Bug Catcher, Beauty, Bird Keeper, or Sailor Trainer classes in it.
- Unova is currently the only main series region to have more than two Gym Leaders in one gym at the same time.
- However, only one of the Striaton Gym Leaders is battled in order to earn the badge.
- Unova is the only region to have different exterior designs for every Gym.
- It is also the only region where the Gyms have logos.
- Unova is the only region without:
- Unova is the only main series region which does not use a romanization of the Japanese name as its English name, and the only region whose name is different among all languages.
- Unova is also the only main series region not to have an "O" sound, at least in its Japanese name.
- Unova is the only main region not to have a Battle Frontier.
- However, Kanto only has a Battle Frontier in the anime.
- Unova is the only region in which players can challenge the gyms in the order they encounter them, with no backtracking required.
- So far, all English names for the towns and cities in Unova are named after different types of cloud or cloud phenomena.
- With the exception of Black City, all the Japanese names for the towns and cities are named after traditional patterns.
In other languages
||From un (one) and uni (united).
||From eins (one) and alles (all). Can be translated as "all-in-one".
||From uno (one) and possibly from anima (soul).
||Can be taken from Tesalia, the Spanish exonym for Thessaly, one of the peripheries of Greece, perhaps due to the fact that it is a region with its areas separated by the ocean, as Teselia is.
||合眾 means "united", "involving everyone". Literally "to assemble the multitude". Possibly derived from 「合眾為一」 Hézhòng wéi Yī (E pluribus unum). May also be a reference to 合眾國 Hézhòngguó (United States).
- ↑ Hidden Power of Masuda: Director's Columns
- ↑ "This new region was inspired by New York's Manhattan. I visited New York when Diamond and Pearl launched and I had the chance to wander around the town. When I walked through the streets, I saw a lot of different people having festivals and community events - Italian people, French people - they're coming from different countries and coexisting in one community", Junichi Masuda, Official Nintendo Magazine Issue 65 pp. 30.
- ↑ http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/interview/irbj/vol1/index2.html