10 Things Only Die-Hard Pokémon Fans Know About Unova

Pokémon Black and White were the flagship games of the second generation released on the Nintendo DS. Because of this, it didn't perform as well as its predecessor. Complicating matters further was that the new region, Unova, had only new Pokémon. But those who entered Unova found an exciting new world, unlike anything they'd ever seen before.

RELATED: 10 Strongest Pokémon From The Unova Region

Pokémon Generation 5 featured some of the most ambitious storytelling in the series and the new characters had larger involvement than ever before. But Unova also had plenty of trivia to uncover. Fitting, as it was the Pokémon version of the Empire State, New York.

Considering the inspiration, Unova having tons of settlements is no surprise. Plenty of towns are dotted throughout the upstate portion of the region. So many that it actually has the most of any region. From largest cities to smaller towns, it runs the gamut.

Part of the reason why it has more towns is the sequel games. Rather than having an advanced third version, like usual, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 were released. These are chronological sequels that take place years later. As a result, there are new towns and expanded areas in comparison to the original games.

In most cases, Pokémon's many different regions' names are usually shared between the English and Japanese versions. Changes are usually due to romanization or other phonetic differences. But even before the games were out, the names weren't consistent and pre-release material in the U.K. called the region "Alleos."

The Japanese name for the region was "Isshu." But unlike other regions, a lot of variations were based on (and similar to) its English name, like Russia’s "Yunova." But Spain, Germany, France, China and more had completely new names. These were Teselia, Einall, Unys, and Hezhong.

Defeating the eight Gym Leaders has been a fixture since the beginning of the series. But as the games became more complex, the Gym challenge became more and more sidelined. Unova fixed that to an extent, by involving the leaders and even the champion more with the plot. In fact, it’s tied for the most Gym Leaders in the franchise.

RELATED: Unovan Pokémon Gym Leaders, Ranked by Difficulty

There are two big reasons this is the case. The first reason is the Striaton City Gym, which features three leaders that specialize in different types. The other reason is the aforementioned sequels, which switched out and introduced leaders. This was reminiscent of getting to visit Kanto in Gen 2 and seeing how it changed.

There are tons of Pokémon in the franchise at this point, but only so many in any given region. This is why there’s usually a regional Pokédex in addition to the National Pokédex of every single Mon. Usually, each regional Dex begins with that region’s grass starter. But Unova is the exception.

Unova’s #001 Pokémon is indeed Snivy, its grass starter. But there’s a Pokémon found even before it. That’s Victini, an Unovan mythical Pokémon representing victory. This gives the psychic/fire type a unique distinction of being next to Arceus in the National Dex.

Professor Oak is one of the most influential figures in the Pokémon world. His work on the Pokédex was revolutionary, and even if he doesn’t appear, people connected with him do. But Unova is supposed to take place very far away from every other region. As such, Oak’s influence is never felt.

While Oak’s influence was minimal in Hoenn, in Unova he is not referenced at all. Kanto itself isn’t even really referenced in the Gen V games outside of where expected. Since everything is so far away, even the Pokémon Professor was unmentioned. Oak’s influence would return in later titles, but it was good to have a generation with less reliance on older ideas.

Speaking of the Dex, catching them all has always been an important part of the Pokémon formula. Filling out the regional Dex is no sweat, as is usually the case. Players will have to import Pokémon between versions, but otherwise, it’s not too stressful. But good luck with catching them all!

RELATED: 10 Most Underrated Pokémon From The Unovan

While Unova does start to be populated with familiar Pokémon through an event, it’s still not enough. Various mons are still missing legitimate catching spots. So players will have to import them from other Gens to catch them all. For players with a Living Dex, this might not be so bad, but it’s a shame for new players.

Pokémon is no stranger to banging soundtracks. Despite the series always being on underpowered hardware when it comes to sound, the composers always knew how to make the best of it. Unova is perhaps one of the best examples of excellent and inspired music in video games. Driftveil City’s music has become especially iconic.

The city’s theme welcomes the player with a bombastic beat and eastern-inspired instrumentation. The use of modulation in particular is pretty catchy. But the region’s also home to a lot of unique music. It features unique songs for the last Pokémon of Gym Leaders, which really ratchets the tension up.

Hometowns in Pokémon titles are usually cozy boroughs with a rustic feel. This describes the player’s hometown of Nuvema well. But in the sequel games, the player grows up in Aspertia City instead. This is the only hometown in the series to be a bustling, highly populated city.

Unova is the only region to have two hometowns. But if that isn’t unique enough, Aspertia also features paved roads and more modern technology. It’s the only hometown to have a Pokémon Center or Gym in it. It even features one of the rivals from the previous games as the Leader.

As previously mentioned, familiar Pokémon become accessible in an event after the main Unovan storyline. That’s when players finally get to see Pokémon series mascot, Pikachu, again. Unless they were eagle-eyed, in which case they would have noticed several Pika-cameos around the land. For example, Pikachu-shaped shrubs can be found in Striaton City.

These are cute, but what about the real thing? In Castelia City, a Hiker can be found in a building with his pet Pikachu. It’s notable that in the sequels, it was replaced with Minccino, meaning it was likely an error. Pika-fans will have to get their fix with Emolga, it seems.

In the original Pokémon Black and White, the champion is an affable man named Alder. He’s replaced by Iris in the sequels, not giving players a long enough time to appreciate how different he was. His identity as the champion is never a surprise, for one thing. And after battling the Elite Four, the championship is interrupted, meaning he can’t be battled until post-game.

This makes him a weird combination of one of the most plot-involved champions, but also never doing the champion’s typical duty. But he has other eccentricities, like how he is a bug-type specialist in all but name. He’s also the only champion to only ever use entirely Unovan Pokémon in his team. His smile makes him affable and it belies what a strange guy he truly is.

NEXT: Top 10 Things Only Die-Hard Pokémon Fans Know About Johto



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