The Ruins of Alph (Japanese: アルフのいせきRuins of Alph) are located in Johto near Violet City, with entrances to the south of Route 36 and west of Route 32. The ruins are filled with Unown once any of the four slide puzzles inside the chambers have been activated. The name may come from the first four letters of "alphabet," which the Unown inside represent.
If the player listens to the Pokégear radio while near or inside the ruins, they will hear strange noises known as Mysterious Transmission on channel 13.5. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the player must be inside one of the chambers, and tuning the radio near the center will broadcast these noises. Some of those noises are actually Ho-Oh's distorted cries, and the melody of the Azure Flute. It also increases the chance of encountering an Unown shape the player has not yet encountered.
There are several scientists in the area listening and studying the ruins to discover more about them. They say it is more than it seems and that the puzzles in the caves must have something to do with the mystery of the past of the Ruins of Alph.
Four small chambers in the ruins hold slide puzzles that, when solved, cause the floor below the player to break, dropping the player into the main chamber of the ruins. The puzzles also cause Unown to appear in the main chamber. Each puzzle corresponds to a specific subset of the 26 alphabetic forms of Unown. To unlock all 26 alphabetic forms, all four slide puzzles must be activated. The puzzles can be completed in any order. Pokémon Crystal explains that these puzzles are signals that summon the Unown.
In Generation II, catching three Unown and speaking to a researcher outside the ruins will cause him to unlock Unown Mode in the player's Pokédex. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the first completed slide puzzle will cause a man to give the player the Unown Report. Once the first seven pages of the report are complete and the 26 alphabetic Unown forms have been caught, the ! and ? forms can be encountered in the entrance room.
In Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, each puzzle chamber has a word on the far wall that is a hint to unlocking a secret room. When the player completes a certain criterion, the secret room opens, revealing several items. Additionally, in these games, completing the slide puzzles reveals part of the history of Unown written on the floor of the main chamber. In the Japanese version of Crystal, a scientist theorizes that the sudden appearance of these patterns is related to the newly-built Pokémon Communication Center and the radio waves emanating from it.
The puzzles cause the following Unown to appear in the main chamber:
Artwork of Ethan at the entrance of the Ruins of Alph
The northeastern chamber, near the Route 36 entrance, requires no HMs to access. In Pokémon Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, the far wall reads escape upon inspection. Using an Escape Rope there opens a hidden room. In Crystal, the item is consumed and the player must re-enter the chamber in order to reach the hidden room. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the item is not consumed and the room opens immediately.
The chamber's puzzle forms an image of Kabuto. Completing this puzzle and falling through to the floor below reveals the following message spelled out on the ground in Unown:
Our words shall remain here for the agesC Our clan engraved words in this placeHGSS
The southeastern chamber requires HM03Surf to cross the pond on the south side of the ruins. In Pokémon Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, the far wall reads light. Using HM05Flash will open the hidden room.
The chamber's puzzle forms an image of Aerodactyl. Completing this puzzle and falling through to the floor below reveals the following message spelled out on the ground in Unown:
Thus we shall erect a Pokémon statue outsideC Our clan created Pokémon statue outsideHGSS
The northwestern chamber is accessible only from the basement of Union Cave, which requires HM03Surf to navigate. In Pokémon Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, the far wall reads Ho Oh. The hidden room will open Ho-Oh is the first Pokémon in the player's party in Crystal, or anywhere in the player's party in Generation IV.
The chamber's puzzle forms an image of Ho-Oh. Completing this puzzle and falling through to the floor below reveals the following message spelled out on the ground in Unown:
We humans must learn to walk in harmony with them. We depart for their sakesC We humans need to walk with them. We leave here for the sake of themHGSS
The southwestern chamber is accessible only by moving a boulder in the basement of Union Cave, which requires HM03Surf to navigate as well as HM04Strength. In Pokémon Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, the far wall reads water. The hidden room will open if the player has a Water Stone in their inventory in Crystal, and when the player selects "Use" on a Water Stone from the Bag while facing the wall.
The chamber's puzzle forms an image of Omanyte. Completing this puzzle and falling through to the floor below reveals the following message spelled out on the ground in Unown:
They possess great insight and refuse the outside worldC They possess power to sense with mind and reject outsideHGSS
Puzzle in the northeastern chamber, featuring Kabuto (Generation II)
Puzzle in the southeastern chamber, featuring Aerodactyl (Generation II)
Puzzle in the northwestern chamber, featuring Ho-Oh (Generation II)
Puzzle in the southwestern chamber, featuring Omanyte (Generation II)
Puzzle in the northeastern chamber, featuring Kabuto (Generation IV)
Puzzle in the southeastern chamber, featuring Aerodactyl (Generation IV)
Puzzle in the northwestern chamber, featuring Ho-Oh (Generation IV)
Puzzle in the southwestern chamber, featuring Omanyte (Generation IV)
This article is incomplete. Please feel free to edit this article to add missing information and complete it. Reason: Needs confirmation of the contents of the hidden chambers in Crystal.
Unown makes a strange sound, growls in a way that sounds almost like speech, and seems to be singing something. It also spins around in circles and sometimes stops moving.
All walking Pokémon, including Unown, gaze around restlessly and scratch at the ground as if searching for something. They stare intently at nothing and suddenly turn around then may start barking. Happy emotions are seen as they look very interested and wander around listening to the different sounds.
Soon, Ash, his friends, and Professor Oak found out that Foster had discovered living Omanyte and Omastar at the ruins, which he was trying to protect by keeping them a secret. After rescuing the Fossil Pokémon from being stolen by Team Rocket, the group agreed that the ancient Pokémon should be left alone, and promised Foster not to tell anyone about them.
In the manga
Ruins of Alph in Pokémon Adventures
Ruins of Alph in Pokémon Pocket Monsters
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
The Ruins of Alph first appeared in Into the Unown as the location where Gold met Bugsy for the first time. He helped Bugsy rescue his research team who were trapped in the ruins, and also foiled a Team Rocket plan to capture the Unown.
Related cards Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format. Cards listed with a silver background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.