Ecruteak City (Japanese: エンジュシティEnju City) is an old-fashioned city located in northern Johto, situated in the woods between tall Mt. Mortar and the open fields near Johto's western shores.
As with many of the larger cities in the Pokémon world, Ecruteak has a Pokémon Gym, led by Morty, who specializes in Ghost-type Pokémon and hands out the Fog Badge to those who defeat him.
Ecruteak is known as a historical and mythical city; fittingly, its buildings all feature traditional Japanese architecture, while the tallest building in the city, and perhaps all of Johto, is the ten-story Bell Tower in the city's northeast corner, built nearly a millennium before the events of the games. The city is known as being a centerpoint of the Legendary Pokémon native to the Johto region, with the great Ho-Oh once being said to have roosted atop the Bell Tower, and having created three Legendary beasts of the Pokémon who perished when the Brass Tower burned down.
A Historical City Where the Past Meets the Present (Japanese: むかしと いまが どうじに ながれる れきしの まちThe city where present and past concurrently flow in history.)
A Historical City (Japanese: れきしが ながれる まちThe city where history flows.)
Places of interest
Ecruteak Dance Theater
The Ecruteak Dance Theater is where the Kimono Girls dance and battle. The director will give the player the HM for Surf in Generation II, after defeating the Kimono Girls, and in Generation IV, after defeating a rude Team Rocket Grunt. Each of the five Kimono Girls has an evolution of Eevee: Vaporeon, Flareon, Jolteon, Espeon, and Umbreon. In Generation II, the player can freely choose their order of facing Kimono Girls. In Generation IV, the player battles them in a fixed order, having to defeat all five consecutively.
Promotional artwork by Midori Harada for HeartGold and SoulSilver
The Ecruteak Gym is designed as a sort of maze, where one wrong step off the right path will send a challlenger back to the beginning. In Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, the Gym has an invisible path leading to Morty and passing several Trainers. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the path is visible but the Gym is largely shrouded in darkness. Flames light up certain points in the path, including around Trainers, but once the player defeats a Trainer, their light will go out.
It was destroyed by a mysterious fire.
Please stay away, as it is unsafe.
The sad remains of this once-great tower, in the northwestern corner of the city, are all that is left after a fire engulfed it 150 years before the events of the games. It was once as majestic as the Bell Tower to the east, with the two towers representative of where Pokémon awakened and where they slept.
According to some legends, Lugia once perched on this tower; however, others place Lugia as always living in the Whirl Islands. Three Legendary beasts make their home in the basement of the tower, given new life after it burned down by Ho-Oh, who once perched atop the Bell Tower.
The player's rival, exploring the area, will challenge him or her a third time when he or she arrives here.
Barrier Station to Bell Tower
No Trespassing by the Unworthy
The Barrier Station to Bell Tower is a grand, red-roofed gatehouse located in the north of Ecruteak City, at the end of the city's wide main street. This gate houses three Sages, collectively called the Wise Trio (Japanese: ３にんしゅうgroup of 3 men). It serves to prevent the player proceeding to Bell Tower until they have the Fog Badge. In Pokémon Crystal, the three Sages battle the player before allowing passage. Past the station is Ecruteak's Bellchime Trail and Bell Tower.
Bellchime Trail is a short path in the northeast of Ecruteak City connecting it to the Bell Tower. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, it is a separate save location within Ecruteak City; in Pokémon Gold and Silver, it was unnamed and part of the same map as Ecruteak City's main area.
A majestic tower to the east, the Bell Tower is where Ho-Oh was once said to roost. With the Rainbow Wing, the player is able to prove to Ho-Oh that he or she is a pure-hearted person who will bring Pokémon and people back into harmony with one another.
Meanwhile, Ash and his friends wandered into the Burned Tower, mistaking it for the Ecruteak Gym. After some trouble with the local Ghost Pokémon, Morty arrived at the site and cleared everything up, as well as informing the group that the place was in fact once called the Tin Tower, a nestling ground for the Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh. When the tower burned down during a fight over Ho-Oh's power, the Rainbow Pokémon fled, never to be seen again, even though a new Tin Tower was built nearby in hopes that this would someday happen. Upon seeing a picture of Ho-Oh, Ash instantly recognized it as the mysterious Pokémon he saw on the day he started his journey, although Morty didn't seem to believe him. After dealing with Team Rocket trying to steal Pikachu once again, Ash and Morty agreed to have a Gym battle. The battle was conducted during the next day, where Ash, using his Noctowl as his ace, managed to pull through and win himself the Fog Badge. Morty also admitted that Ash might have indeed seen Ho-Oh like he claimed.
In Trouble's Brewing, before heading to Olivine City, Ash and his friends encountered the Kimono Sisters. The youngest of the sisters, Sakura, struck a friendship with the group, and wondered if she should start traveling with them. Eventually, however, she decided to train on her own before embarking on her own journey.
In Espeon, Not Included, Ash and his friends returned to Ecruteak City on their way to Mahogany Town, and encountered the Kimono Girls again, finding out that Sakura had evolved her Eevee into an Espeon. In For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll!, the group met Eusine, a friend of Morty's and a pursuer of the Legendary Pokémon Suicune. Upon finding out that Ash had seen Suicune, he accused him of lying and tried to challenge him to a battle, but the match was interrupted when Bug started going wild around the city due to Team Rocket having stolen and accidentally broken one of the four Crystal Bells. While dealing with the trio of thieves, the group came face to face with Suicune itself. Eusine attempted to battle the Legendary beast, but the Aurora Pokémon easily escaped by using Roar on Eusine's Alakazam.
Ecruteak City reappeared in The Reawakening. Eusine was seen visiting the Burned Tower, all the while going through the story of how the tower originally burned down, killing the three nameless Pokémon that Ho-Oh then resurrected in the form of the Legendary beasts. Unexpectedly, Suicune showed up, allowing Eusine to look at itself for a few seconds before leaving. Despite the encounter being very brief, Eusine felt hopeful that the Legendary beasts were probably starting to regain their faith in humanity.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
Ecruteak City is destroyed by an earthquake in its debut appearance in Quilava Quandary. Jasmine witnesses the incident while on her way through the city to meet the Day-Care Couple. She falls due to the ground breaking under her. She is later rescued by Gold and Silver. The whole city is evacuated, leaving only Gold and Silver in the city. They meet several Team Rocket grunts and the twoexecutives. The earthquake is revealed to have been caused by them. The city is later rebuilt, as requested by Morty, with Jasmine supervising the workers. Yellow sets the Legendary beasts free in the Burned Tower. Crystal follows Suicune to the Bell Tower and makes a failed attempt to capture it.
Years later, in One Tough Togepi, Gold heads here to meet Morty. The city's surroundings are the first place where Arceus is seen, with Crystal attempting to capture it.
In the Pokémon Gold & Silver: The Golden Boys manga
Unused early maps of Ecruteak City also hint at the Magnet Train running through it as well, possibly instead of through Goldenrod City. The reason they may have considered this could have to do with the fact that Kyoto, the city that Ecruteak City is based on, is an intermediate stop on the real-world Tokaido Shinkansen, which inspired the Magnet Train.