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Route

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The most recent layout of Kanto Route 1, the first and most well known route in the Pokémon world.
Ken Sugimori's concept sketch of two trainers interacting on a route.

A route (Japanese: 道路 route) in the Pokémon world is a passage permitting Trainers and others to travel between locations with relative ease. Usually what defines a route is a location between two or more cities, however many passageways between cities are too long, thus, this passageway can be broken down into several routes, each joining onto another route at its terminal. Routes are depicted as a long, narrow, and sometimes winding roads, riddled with obstacles such as rocks, trees and even ledges blocking the pathway. Although routes are a barricaded area, they are difficult to maneuver around and are a maze of winding paths that Trainers strive to explore. Routes in the Pokémon games, unlike the Pokémon anime, are formed as a straight path with two or more termini and depicted as a bordered off, barricaded area. Land routes are usually surrounded by trees so thick that even Trainers cannot penetrate them, causing them to act as a barrier to stop players from venturing further.

Most routes are associated with tall grass in which wild Pokémon, including Roaming Pokémon, can be found. If the player enters a patch of tall grass, they may randomly enter a wild Pokémon battle. Tall grass is found on most routes of the Pokémon world, with some routes containing more tall grass patches than others. People are generally warned to stay out of tall grass if they don't have a Pokémon due to the possibility of being attacked by wild Pokémon. Some areas in the Pokémon world have larger patches of grass than usual. These patches of grass have grown longer and more widespread than the usual grass patches, hiding many different species of Pokémon. Because of the length and thickness of the grass, it is impossible to ride a bicycle or run through the patches in Generation III.

Pokémon Trainers localize themselves in routes to train their Pokémon. They do this normally by battling the wild Pokémon that live in the tall grass, however, many Trainer wish to gain experience further by challenging other Trainers to a battle, and no matter what their specialties or aims, there is one code that they all follow: when two Trainers make eye contact, they must have a battle. However, not all people travelling through a route wish to have a battle, many just want to get to another town or city easily, and therefore will sometimes help other Trainers with friendly advice. Trainers also carelessly drop items on the ground while passing by a route, and so another Trainer is able to come by and take it. Although, these ground items can be obtained through natural means, items are very often found by Trainers throughout every route. These ground items are called 'Item Balls' because they are spherical containers resembling a small Poké Ball. However, finding items on the ground is not always as easy as seeing it and picking it up. Many items are hidden from view, and can only be obtained by a very lucky chance or, more commonly, through the use of an item finding tool.

Although each region has its own set of numbered routes, there are numerous other passages throughout the Pokémon world, all of which are named, that can be considered routes as well.

Systematization of routes

Numbered route

Main article: List of routes in the Pokémon world

Up to Generation V, there are 135 numbered routes in the Pokémon world, all identified simply as Route followed by their number. Routes numbered 1 through 25 (and 26 through 28 as well in Generation II and Generation IV) are in Kanto, routes numbered 29 through 46 (and 47 through 48 as well in Generation IV) are in Johto, routes numbered 101 through 134 are in Hoenn, routes numbered 201 through 230 are in Sinnoh, routes numbered 1 through 23 are in Unova, starting the system over, and routes numbered 1 through 22 are in Kalos.

Hoenn and Sinnoh's routes do not follow sequentially from the previous generation's focused-on region, likely due to the fact that the regions introduced in previous generations are not able to be visited in games focusing on Hoenn and Sinnoh. This is unlike what was the case with the games of Generation II, where Johto's routes picked up where Kanto's left off, and Kanto was able to be visited. As of yet there are no regions with routes numbered to fill in between Johto's and Hoenn's (which would number 49 to 100) or from Hoenn's to Sinnoh's (which would number 135 to 200).

Unova's numbering system, on the other hand, follows neither system. Unova systematically begins at Route 1, which parallels Kanto's route numbering system. This was likely due to show that Unova is distant from the existing four regions, with its routes following a new numbering system.

The numbering of the routes in the Pokémon world may also be a reference to Japan's own national route system, which goes from 1 to 58, then skips directly to 101, and afterwards skips several numbers. Despite this, the routes do not run concurrent with their Pokémon counterparts, and indeed in Japan there exists a Route 135, a Route 231, and so on, up to Route 507. Strangely, the only numbers skipped are routes whose numbers are used in Hoenn and Sinnoh.

Named route

Not every route is known by a number. Some routes have a unique, descriptive name. A named route can be described as a tunnel, a path, a simple cave (where simple implies that the main path of the cave is on a single floor) or a forest that links two different locations. Under this definition, named roads such as Diglett's Cave, Ilex Forest, and Union Cave classify as a route. Locations such as the Rock Tunnel, Viridian Forest, and Mt. Moon do not. Of course, the seventeen named paths and one small cave between the main cities and major landmarks of the Sevii Islands count as routes under this as well.

Types of routes

Terrain routes

Ethan exploring Route 29

Terrain routes are located on land and are the first most Trainers come across. These routes can come in the form of forests, deserts, plains, mountainous, swamps, beaches or just grassland. Some of these routes have certain weather patterns. Most of the time, routes will maintain a clear and sunny climate; however, some routes may suffer from heavy rain, thunderstorms, sandstorms, fog, or snow. These conditions will not only affect Pokémon battles, but also hazards for players. For example, foggy routes are harder to travel on.

Most routes are associated with tall grass in which wild Pokémon can be found. If a Trainer enters a patch of tall grass, they may randomly enter a wild Pokémon battle. Tall grass is found on most routes of the Pokémon world, with some routes containing more grassy patches than others. People are generally warned to stay out of tall grass if they don't have a Pokémon, because if they are attacked by a wild Pokémon they will not be able to defend themselves. There are many different types of grass, which vary from route to route.

Pokémon Trainers localize themselves in routes to train their Pokémon. Pokémon Trainers come in all sorts of classes: Youngsters tend to stay close to home, Bug Catchers swarm about the Bug-filled forests, Hikers traverse mountains and caves, Fishermen are rarely far from water, and Ace Trainers aspire to compete in the Pokémon League. A Trainer's class may reflect their Pokémon of choice, the areas they prefer, their technique, and their level of skill; however, even within their classes, Trainers may vary greatly.

Sea routes

Main article: Water route
May exploring by surfing on a water route

A sea route (Japanese: 水道 water route) is a term used to describe a route in the Pokémon world that is almost completely made up of water. They can be traversed only by Surfing on the back of a Pokémon or by using a marine vehicle such as a boat. In the four generations of Pokémon video games, the style of sea routes has changed very little. Sea routes are typically long in length and are located in the ocean. They are also densely populated with Trainers, particularly Swimmers with Water-type Pokémon. Rocks are usually present as barriers. Depending on the route, there may be islands that allow Trainers to rest or obtain items. Some regions have unique challenges to be faced on sea routes. The Johto region is home to Whirlpools which prohibit navigation; and some routes in Hoenn have deep spots where it is possible to Dive to the ocean floor.

On sea routes (and ponds located within terrain routes) there is a chance that a wild Pokémon will attack at any time. Trainers are required to be alert at all times. Tentacool and its evolution Tentacruel are very common on sea routes; pond-dwelling Pokémon vary between regions.

Sea routes are a very important mechanic of the games and traversing them is usually required to complete the game. Up until Generation IV, all main series games have required Surf to be used to reach at least one Gym and the Pokémon League. Generation V breaks this trend, with all Unova Gyms and the League accessible by land.

See also


Project Routes logo.png This article is part of Project Routes, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every route in the Pokémon world.