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| Isshu region
In-game map of the Unova region from Black and White
In-game map of the Unova region from Black 2 and White 2
The Unova region (Japanese: イッシュ地方 Isshu-chihō) is a region of the Pokémon world. It is the setting of Pokémon Black and White and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. 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 it is geographically based on New York City, it draws inspiration for its landmarks from the entire state of New York, which — like Unova — features a mixture of rural locations and urban areas as well as factory towns and industrial complexes.
Etymology and design concept
Unova's Japanese name, イッシュ Isshu, is derived from 一種類 isshurui, meaning "one variety". According to the game director Masuda, this is to express that although the region is diverse in species and race, they are all the same as living creatures when seen from a distance.
The region's English name likely comes from the Latin words unum (one) and nova (new). It may also be derived from united, considering its basis on the largest city in the United States—New York City. It also sounds like parts of the phrase United States of America.
- Main article: Pokémon world in relation to the real world → Unova
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. Nimbasa City, which is to the north of Castelia City, could be a reference to Broadway, which is located in Manhattan. Nacrene City, with its restored storehouses, is reminiscent of the ubiquitous lofts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The division of Unova may also be a reference to the Boroughs of New York City. The Skyarrow Bridge is a reference to the Brooklyn Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Manhattan. The Battle Subway is a reference to the New York City Subway, which is the most extensive public transit system in the world, as well as one of the oldest.
In mythology, Unova was created by uniting the warring peoples of the land by twin heroes. They used a single dragon sometime more than 2500 years ago. The brothers started to argue over their beliefs; the elder brother sought truth and the younger brother sought ideals. Their arguments split the single dragon into Reshiram, who sided with the older brother, and Zekrom, who sided with the younger brother. Since they were both born from the same dragon neither could defeat the other and the brothers declared that there was no right side. However, eventually their sons continued the fight and both the dragons started to battle again, destroying the Unova region with their fire and lightning powers before disappearing.
Sometime after the original dragon had been split into Reshiram and Zekrom, one of the two brothers and their respective dragon created the Relic Castle, which was the seat of a new civilization for people and Pokémon.
Also at an unknown point in the distant past, a civil war broke out in Unova that caused an intense forest fire. The many Pokémon that lived in the forest became trapped, though luckily the Swords of Justice came in to save them—Terrakion moved away boulders that blocked their escape route, Virizion used its nimble movements to protect Pokémon from looming flames, and Cobalion led the scared Pokémon out of the forest. These Pokémon would later become responsible for ending the war before disappearing into myths.
According to Lacunosa Town legend, a long time ago, a large meteor came from the sky containing a terrifying monster. It was said that at night, the monster would appear in the town along with the cold winds and take away humans and Pokémon to eat them. The residents of the town surrounded Lacunosa Town in a wall to keep the monster out, and a rule was then set on the town that forbade anyone from leaving at night and encouraged people to stay in their homes. While residents no longer believe this old story, they still stay inside of their houses at night to this day. The legendary monster, Kyurem, was really a remaining third Pokémon created when the primordial dragon had split into two.
A legend says Thundurus and Tornadus once raced across Unova, tearing up the lands with their respective weather-controlling powers, not caring about settlements and creatures in their path. Landorus, seeing the massive destruction the pair had brought to the region and its inhabitants, is said to have punished them so that they would never repeat their actions.
Meloetta once entertained the people of Unova with song and dance, but when sorrow filled the hearts of people, Meloetta lost this melody and its red shoes.
- 3,000 years prior to the events of Pokémon Black and White, the Relic items were created.
- 2,500 years prior to the events of Pokémon Black and White, the Relic Castle was flourishing and the Darmanitan in front of it went to sleep.
- 200 years prior to the events of Pokémon Black and White, Village Bridge was constructed after the local river burst its banks, flooding the settlement that stood there previously.
- 100 years prior to the events of Pokémon Black and White, the warehouses of Nacrene City were constructed.
- 100 years prior to the events of Pokémon Black and White, Klink started appearing in Chargestone Cave.
- 50 years prior to the events of Pokémon Black and White, Elgyem was seen for the first time when it appeared from far in the desert.
Pokémon Black and White
In contemporary history, a present containing three starter Pokémon—one each for Cheren, Bianca and Hilda/Hilbert—was sent to Hilda/Hilbert's house in Nuvema Town by Professor Juniper on their mothers' request, so that they could each start their Pokémon journeys through the Unova region, challenging each of Unova's eight Gyms in order to collect Badges and eventually reach the Pokémon League. During their travels, Hilda/Hilbert met and battled with the members of Team Plasma many times, including their king, N, and encountered the mysterious Shadow Triad, with events coming to a head at Dragonspiral Tower, where N managed to capture one of the members of the Tao trio and invited Hilda/Hilbert to face him after they had beaten the Pokémon League and resurrected the complementary dragon from the Light StoneB/Dark StoneW. On retrieving the appropriate stone from Nacrene Museum and defeating the Elite Four, Hilda/Hilbert reached the Champion's room, where N was waiting for them, having just defeated the Champion. N then summoned his castle, which rose out of the earth surrounding the Pokémon League; Team Plasma had been working tirelessly for years prior to build the fortress around the Pokémon League right under their nose, overworking the Pokémon gifted to them by Trainers they had emotionally manipulated into doing so for this purpose. N then invites Hilda/Hilbert into the castle to battle him in order to test the strength of their convictions.
On entering the castle, Hilda/Hilbert are ambushed by all of the Seven Sages (except Ghetsis), who planned to defeat them so that their king's reign would be unopposed. Fortunately, Bianca arrived, bringing all the Gym Leaders of the region that she was able find with her (which includes all of them except for Chili, Cress and Cilan, whom Bianca claimed she could not contact in time). The Gym Leaders then opted to engage the Seven Sages in battle on Hilda/Hilbert's behalf, so that they were able to ascend through the castle and defeat N. Eventually, Hilda/Hilbert reached Team Plasma's King in the throne room, where N summoned his member of the Tao trio, who subsequently came crashing through the farthest wall of the room. The presence of ReshiramW/ZekromB then activated the player's dormant stone, which emerged from the Bag and transformed into its counterpart, ZekromW/ReshiramB. The latter then allowed Hilda/Hilbert to attempt to capture them and after doing so, Hilda/Hilbert proceeded to defeat N in the ensuing battle.
N's loss to his opponent caused Ghetsis to storm into the room in rage, insisting that N was a complete failure and a freak and revealing his true motivation for Team Plasma. By separating all other Pokémon from their Trainers, whilst Team Plasma retained their own, he, as leader of the group (acting through N), would have been left in a position of power from which he could have dominated the world. However, his delusions of grandeur were cut short by his defeat in a final Pokémon battle at the hands of Hilda/Hilbert followed by his arrest.
N, however, was not arrested and subsequently flew from the land on ReshiramW/ZekromB in order to do some soul searching in light of Ghetsis's revelations. Whilst he was not seen again in Unova, there is a rumor that someone with a strong resemblance to N was spotted somewhere in a far-off region. Hilda/Hilbert then continued the rest of their journey, managing to also cover eastern Unova, (becoming the first person to successfully operate the Poké Transfer), locate and aid in the arrest of the remaining Seven Sages and eventually defeat the Pokémon League Champion themselves.
Between Pokémon Black and White and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
During the two years between the events of Pokémon Black and White and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, construction of the road between Castelia City and Nimbasa City through the desert was either completed and a small settlement was established on this roadB2, or abandoned after ancient ruins were discovered in the sand and excavatedW2. The gate between Route 4 and Nimbasa City was expanded into Join Avenue. The construction in the south of Driftveil City was completed, with the Pokémon World Tournament taking the place of the Cold Storage. The Entralink's moat was drained or dried up, and a different type of Entree now grows in the center. A section was taken out of a mountain to the east, with Lentimas Town built in the new space.
Significant construction occurred in Undella Town, with the Riches moving away (except for the father) and their house being demolished; in its place, many new villas were built. In this construction effort, the mountain was dug away to the point where construction workers dug an entrance into Reversal Mountain. In addition, the Marine Tube was constructed between Undella Town and Humilau City.
Additionally the coastline of Unova has changed between the games.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
Nate/Rosa receives his/her first Pokémon from Bianca in his/her hometown of Aspertia City. Together with Hugh, who hopes to take back his sister's Purrloin from Team Plasma, the duo takes on the new lineup of Gyms in the Unova region. After Nate/Rosa earns the Legend Badge from Drayden, Team Plasma attacks Opelucid City, covering the city in unbreakable ice. The Shadow Triad takes the opportunity to steal the DNA Splicers from Opelucid Gym. Nate/Rosa and Hugh chase Team Plasma to Humilau City, where after earning their final badge, the Wave Badge, they confront Zinzolin, Colress, and the Shadow Triad at the Giant Chasm. After the Triad releases Hugh's sister's Purrloin, now a Liepard, Hugh tells Nate/Rosa to go ahead and confront Team Plasma's leader, Ghetsis.
Just before Ghetsis freezes Nate/Rosa alive with Kyurem's Glaciate, N flies in on Reshiram/Zekrom, saving him/her. However, Ghetsis uses Kyurem's power to turn Reshiram/Zekrom back into an orb, then uses the DNA Splicers to fuse it with Kyurem, turning it into Black/White Kyurem. Nate/Rosa knocks out Kyurem, causing the two Dragon-type Pokémon to separate, then defeats an enraged Ghetsis. Thankful, N suggests that Nate/Rosa proceed to the Pokémon League. Heeding his words, Nate/Rosa ascend Victory Road, defeats the Elite Four, and emerges victorious in battle with the new Champion, Iris.
After returning home, Hugh's sister thanks the player for helping her big brother, and tells Nate/Rosa that she has been dreaming of a Zoroark calling Nate/Rosa's name. At Hugh's suggestion, Nate/Rosa returns to Victory Road, finding a Zoroark that leads him/her to the ruins of N's Castle, where N and Reshiram/Zekrom challenge them to battle. After being defeated, N says goodbye to his dragon and releases it by asking it to turn back into an orb to give to Nate/Rosa. Nate/Rosa climbs to the top of Dragonspiral Tower, and faces Reshriam/Zekrom again, this time, in an attempt to capture it.
Cities, routes, and other locations
The Unova region has a total population of 804 including all the towns, cities and areas.
Cities and towns
Bridges and tunnels
Driftveil Drawbridge, as seen in the anime
Given that Unova is spread across three strips of land divided by two rivers, a number of bridges and an underwater tunnel exist to allow free movement across the region. Each of them has its own characteristic features and are even popular tourist attractions; they are:
|| Ambiga Town
|| Ambiga Town is a town that is located between Mistralton City and Icirrus City. The Clubsplosion tournament is held here.
|| Antimony Research Lab
|| A top secret lab located somewhere in Unova. It held all research data on the Meteonite, until it was stolen by Team Rocket.
|| Area 28
|| Area 28, located near Route 4, is notorious for its UFO sightings. Professor Icarus lived there to experiment on dark matter. He also encountered an Elgyem.
|| Astilbe Town
|| A town located between Mistralton City and Icirrus City. It has a Battle Club, where Ash's Tepig met his former Trainer.
|| Battle Club
|| Battle Clubs are facilities owned by Don Georges. There are many Battle Clubs across the Unova region. They have various features including a gymnasium, swimming pool to train Pokémon, and computers that display Trainer information.
|| Black Hero's ruins
|| The Black Hero's ruins, located near Chargestone Cave, and said to be where the Black Hero communicated to Zekrom. Cedric Juniper was researching them. It is protected by a Sigilyph and multiple Cofagrigus.
|| Clock tower
|| The clock tower is an old unnamed landmark that stands in an unnamed town in Unova. Ash and his friends helped a Darmanitan and its Darumaka friends save the tower from demolition.
|| Eindoak Town
|| Eindoak Town is the setting for the fourteenth movie. It is the ancestral home of the "People of the Vale." During the battle tournament held for the village's Harvest Festival, Ash befriends Victini, a rare Pokémon that inhabits Eindoak Town.
|| Ferroseed Research Institute
|| The Ferroseed Research Institute is a facility located in a town between Icirrus City and Opelucid City. Research is being conducted here on the moss produced by Ferroseed.
|| Full Court
|| An abandoned mine which is located within a mountain crater. It serves as a home for Kyurem.
|| Kingdom of the Vale
|| Kingdom of the Vale was once home of the "People of the Vale" and ruled by a beloved king. The Dragon Force supplies the kingdom with power.
|| Litwick Mansion
|| Litwick Mansion is located along Route 4 and was discovered by Ash and his friends while trying to escape the rain. It is home to four Litwick and a Lampent.
|| Luxuria Town
|| Luxuria Town is located somewhere between Striaton City and Nacrene City. Luxuria Town has its own Battle Club which is run by the local Don George. Ash had his second battle with Trip here and lost.
|| Milos Island
|| Milos Island is an island off the coast of Driftveil City. It is home to the Abundant Shrine where Landorus sleeps. Connected to the island are two smaller islands that house the shrines of Tornadus and Thundurus who also rest peacefully.
|| Mistralton Tower
|| Mistralton Tower is a treasured landmark that was built near Mistralton City that takes the place of the Celestial Tower from the games. Once a year, the Wishing Bell Festival is held in honor of it.
|| Nimbasa Town
|| Nimbasa Town is located south of Nimbasa City. Ash mistakes the town for Nimbasa City at first when he asks where the Gym is until Luke explains that they're two different places. Nimbasa Town is where Ash and his friends take part in the Club Battle Tournament.
|| Rainbow Valley
|| Rainbow Valley exists somewhere along Route 4. Cottonee gather at Rainbow Valley after finding their partner, riding on what is known as the "Diamond Breeze" while holding hands in order to get there. Ash and his friends visit Rainbow Valley after helping a Cottonee win over a love interest.
|| Roshan City
|| A sprawling city accessible by train. Underneath it are disused subway tunnels. One of the old subway stations has been transformed into a museum for old transportation devices.
|| Stonesthrow Town
|| A town located between Icirrus City and Opelucid City. Just outside the town is an enormous mansion were Mr. Hatterly and his daughter live.
|| Sword of the Vale
|| The Sword of Vale is a castle that was once at the center of Kingdom of the Vale. One thousand years ago, the King of the People of the Vale's sons, the Heroes of Truth and Ideals, fought over the Dragon Force contained within the castle, causing the Dragon Force to corrupt the land beneath the Kingdom of Vale. The king used the power of Victini and hundreds of Solosis and Duosion to move the castle, containing all of the People of the Vale, to the top of a mountain. The castle now stands near Eindoak Town.
|| Vertress City
|| Vertress City is a city close to Opelucid City. The Vertress Conference is held here.
|| Village of Dragons
|| The Village of Dragons is the hometown of Iris. It is a place where people raise and admire Dragon-type Pokémon. Iris obtained her Axew there from the Elder.
|| White Ruins
|| Ancient ruins located near the Dragonspiral Tower, above Icirrus City. It is here that the Light Stone was located.
|| Windy Station
|| A station where the train to Roshan City stops and where travelers can buy Darumaka boxed lunches.
Unlike previous regions, Unova's routes do not follow the same numbering system, with a jump to 301, but are numbered 1-23, paralleling the Kanto region's numbering system and emphasizing Unova's dissociation from the previous four regions.
Unova is divided by two rivers that lead into an ocean to the south of it. These rivers cannot be surfed on, with the exception of the river directly below Village Bridge. It divides Unova into central and eastern peninsulas and a western landmass. These three landmasses are connected by five bridges, the Skyarrow Bridge, the Driftveil Drawbridge, the Tubeline Bridge, Marvelous Bridge, and the Village Bridge. The eastern part of Unova is further divided by mountains that makes a southeast part and northeast part. The southeastern part is important to Trainers who want to compete in the Pokémon league since two Gyms are located there, but the northeastern part is not since there are no Gyms there and it mostly has tourism, as evidenced by the amount of people speaking foreign languages. Further away from this bundle of towns is where the Pokémon League is located. Interestingly, the northeastern part is the only place in the region to find Pokémon species foreign to Unova outside of Swarms. The central peninsula of Unova consists of the two largest cities in the Pokémon world, Castelia City and Nimbasa City, as well as Opelucid City further north, all of which contain Gyms. Every bridge in Unova connects to the central part of the region from either the east or west. The western side contains medium sized towns and more varied landscapes but it also has three Gyms there, making it another destination to visit for any Pokémon Trainer.
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 one of the largest cities in the Pokémon world. 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. There are several aesthetic differences in the region depending on the version, with Pokémon White these changes make the geography more rural looking, while in Pokémon Black these changes are more technological in appearance.
- 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.
Elite Four and Champion
- Unova is the first main series region to be based on a real-world region outside of Japan.
- Unova is the only region in the main series with:
- different exterior designs for every Gym
- Eevee naturally occurring in the wild, without human intervention (unlike Sinnoh's Trophy Garden)
- 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 translations of the games.
- Unova is also the only main series region not to have an "O" sound in its Japanese name.
- Except Black City and White Forest, all English names of cities and towns in Unova come from different types of cloud or cloud phenomena. Likewise, except Black City and White Forest, all Japanese names of cities and towns in Unova come from traditional patterns.
- In some UK pre-release material, Unova was referred to as Alleos.
- Unova is the region with the most Gym Leaders, with 14 in total.
- Unova has the most Gyms in cities, with all eleven of them. Sinnoh also has all of its Gyms in cities, but only has eight Gyms.
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).
|From tesela, Spanish for tessera, a ceramic mosaic piece. It can be related to the names of the regional locations, which are based on ceramic materials that can be used to make tesserae and form a mosaic.
||From 하나 (one).
|Means "united", "involving everyone", "to assemble the multitude".|
Possibly derived from 合眾為一 (E pluribus unum) or 合眾國 (literally, the phrase United States).
|Same as Mandarin name.
- ↑ 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 page 30.
- ↑ http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/interview/irbj/vol1/index2.html