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- This article is about the header. For the homonymous card from the Skyridge expansion, see Mystery Zone (Skyridge 137).
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Reason: Multiple sources state various things about the Generation IV Mystery Zone and void; this should be clarified and more information pertaining to Generations V and VI should be looked into and documented accordingly.
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The Mystery Zone (Japanese: なぞの場所 Mystery Zone) is an internal header that is programmed into every core series game since Generation IV.
In the Generation IV games, it is used for undefined areas that are located beyond the boundaries of normally accessible areas. Specifically in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, the Mystery Zone refers to all the area surrounding Sinnoh that facilitates the precise entry into the Underground, which has tunnels that travel under areas where no routes or cities exist; this is due to the game relating map coordinates corresponding to the exact location of the player in Sinnoh to the equivalent coordinates of the player's expected location in the Underground.
The Japanese versions of Pokémon Platinum, HeartGold and SoulSilver identify the undefined areas as ----; however, they still identify a Pokémon's caught location set to the Mystery Zone as なぞのばしょ.
The geography is made predominantly of 32-by-32 blocks of either trees, water, plateau, or blank void space. The area itself is named "Mystery Zone", with the location header popping up to display this name when the area is entered.
No Pokémon or items are found in the Mystery Zone.
The Mystery Zone is normally inaccessible, but can be entered by means of tweaking. In earlier copies of the Japanese versions of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the Surf glitch is an alternative method. It can also be accessed with the use of cheating devices.
In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, the background music theme is usually the variant of Route 206 (Day) (identified internally as SEQ_DUMMY), which is thought to be an older composition of it. Less commonly, Pokémon Center (Day) or The Underground are played instead.
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In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the background music theme is exactly identical to Route 29 (identified internally as SEQ_DUMMY). This is the reason for the GB Sounds not having any effect on a Mystery Zone.
Oddities and glitches
Pre-release screenshot of Route 219
, depicting the unused tile set that is used in the Mystery Zone on the final releases.
When walking through mountainous terrain in the Mystery Zone, the player's sprite may become hidden by the terrain. The screen may also appear to zoom in as one enters the area, due to the fact that the terrain is completely flat. Certain areas of the Mystery Zone may cause a game freeze while others will lock up the game with a black screen if the player refreshes the graphics there. Saving in one of these areas will cause the game to lock up like this whenever the resulting save file is opened, causing it to become unusable. Examples of such areas are those bordering the Sinnoh Elite Four's rooms in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
By traveling from one area to another through the Mystery Zone, the tile sets will not be updated even if the new area is programmed to use a different tile set. Currently loaded 3D props, such as buildings, are subject to this as well. Simply refreshing the graphics will solve this.
Sinnoh's Mystery Zone has its own tile set which can be seen by entering it from the overworld, refreshing the graphics there, and then returning to the overworld. This tile set was actually depicted in a pre-release screenshot of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, indicating that it is a leftover from the development period. It also remains within the internal data of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Occasionally, the game can be tricked into thinking that the player is somewhere else while in the Mystery Zone. A common result of this behavior is in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, where the game displays the Turnback Cave or Floaroma Meadow header and triggers fog, while the floor remains black and the map displays that the player is on Route 221. This occurs when the player goes outside of the map matrix and the game cannot indicate where the player really is on the world map.
On the first copies of the Japanese version of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the menu can be opened and one of its entries can be accessed and exited in order to refresh the graphics. On later copies, international releases as well as in all releases of Pokémon Platinum, the menu cannot be opened and the touchscreen menu cannot be used, although a registered key item can still be used to refresh the graphics in the area at any time. The fact that the menu cannot be opened also creates risks where a player may find themselves trapped and unable to open the Pokémon menu to use a move to escape.
In the Generation V games, the undefined areas use the map identification header and background music of the location from which they were entered. For example, in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, if the player keeps heading north of Route 19, going outside the boundaries of the map, the game will still recognize the location as being "Route 19" until the player arrives at another normally accessible location.
The "Mystery Zone" in these generations is simply an unused map identification header in the internal data that can be set as a Pokémon's caught location through illegitimate means or as a map's header by hacking the game's files. The Egg received through the Bad Egg/Mystery Egg occurrence in Pokémon X and Y is noted to have come from the Mystery Zone.
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