A Traveler's Guide to the World of Pokémon/Regions

There are several regions that have appeared in the various media of the Pokémon franchise. Each of the five generations of the main series releases focuses on a new region. Moreover, several regions have been introduced in spin-off games, and one in the Pokémon anime, though most of these are still within the same fictional universe. Usually, the different regions are not accessible from one another via land (or at all within a single game), with the exception being Kanto, which can be accessed from Johto and vice versa in the Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver versions.

The fictional settings of the Pokémon franchise take their cues from various real world locations. The settings of Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh are all modeled after parts of Japan; specifically Kantō, Kansai, Kyushu, and Hokkaido, respectively.

Every region consists of several cities and towns that the player must explore in order to fulfill many waiting challenges such as Gyms, Contests, and/or saving a region from antagonistic characters. At different locations within each region, the player can find different types of Pokémon, as well as other helpful items and characters. Most regions are on separate continents and though many are based on parts of the real-world country of Japan, recent games have international origins, such as Unova's New York City styling and the French design of Kalos.

Main regionsEdit

KantoEdit

The Kanto Region in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (left) and the Kantō region in the real world (right)

Kanto Region (カントー地方, Kantō-chihō), introduced in Red and Green (Blue in international releases), later seen in Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, FireRed, LeafGreen, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, was the first region in the Pokémon series. It is attached to the Johto region so the player can also visit it by train or jetboat in Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold and SoulSilver. In these games, however, the region differs from the earlier games (which are set three years previously) in several plot and graphical points. In the games, its cities are named after colors. Two areas of the Kanto region, Saffron City and the Pokémon Stadium, are playable stages in Nintendo's popular Super Smash Bros. fighting games. In the anime, Ash travels in Kanto in the Kanto and Battle Frontier seasons. Kanto represents the actual region in Japan called Kantō, which is its namesake, and eastern Tōkai.

JohtoEdit

The Johto Region (ジョウト地方, Jōto-chihō), meaning "castle palace" (城都, jōto) and "lattice-shaped palace" (条都, jōto),[1][2] is a region connected to the western part of Kanto. It was introduced in the second generation of Pokémon video games, Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, later seen in their remakes, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. The third, fourth, and fifth seasons of the anime are also set there. In the games, all its cities have plant-themed or color-themed names. Johto is geographically similar to the Kansai, eastern Shikoku and western Tōkai regions of Japan. There are old-fashioned cities reminiscent of Nara and Kyoto and a modern commercial city reminiscent of Osaka. Some inhabitants speak the Kansai dialect in the Japanese releases of the games.

HoennEdit

The Hoenn Region in Pokémon Emerald (left) and the Kyushu region in the real world (right)

The Hoenn Region (ホウエン地方, Hōen-chihō), meaning "rich relationship (between humans and Pokémon)" (豊縁, hōen),[3] was introduced in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald[4] and is located south-west of the Kanto/Johto landmass. The region contains a large proportion of marine routes and the games' first underwater locations. Hoenn was modeled after the Kyushu region of Japan due to Ruby and Sapphire director Junichi Masuda's desire to recapture his memories of being there in the summer vacation; Hoenn is rotated 90° counterclockwise from Kyushu's real world orientation due to the development team's belief that it would improve playability.[5] The Hoenn region contains its own Pokémon League, called the Hoenn League, and its own Elite Four, unlike Johto and Kanto which share their Elite Four in the video games. Seasons 6-8 of the Pokémon anime, called the Advanced Generation series, are set in this region, as protagonist Ash Ketchum and company explore this new region.

Sevii IslandsEdit

The Sevii Islands, or Nanashima (ナナシマ, lit. "Seven Islands") in Japan, only appear in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen[6] and an episode of Pokémon Chronicles. They are called the Sevii Islands/Nanashima because it is believed by elders of Seven Island that the seven islands were made in seven days. While seven islands (or in some cases island groups) are accessible to the player through normal gameplay, there are two additional islands that are each accessible only after acquiring a special item from a Nintendo event. These two islands can also be accessed in Pokémon Emerald. Access to one island allows the player to encounter Lugia and Ho-Oh. Access to the other island allows the player to encounter Deoxys; depending on the game version (FireRed, LeafGreen, Emerald), the DNA Pokémon Deoxys will be in one of its 3 variations. The Sevii Islands are located off the south part of the Kanto/Johto landmass. They are based on the Izu and Bonin Islands.

SinnohEdit

The Sinnoh Region (シンオウ地方, Shin'ō-chihō), meaning "god within" (神奥, shin'ō),[7] is a large region that is the setting of the games Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, located far north of the Kanto/Johto landmass. The region contains a large amount of towns and cities, but only a few sea routes.[8] It is a varied region containing a mountain range and four lakes, one of which is hidden, each housing a Legendary Pokémon. It is the first Pokémon role-playing video game to feature snowy regions. The region blends urban cities with more traditional towns together. It also has a hidden underground area that is used for housing secret bases, playing Capture the Flag games, and a fossil/item hunt.[9] Seasons 10-13 of the Pokémon anime are the first seasons that are set in this region. Sinnoh is based on the geography of the Japanese island of Hokkaidō, the southern half of the Russian island of Sakhalin, and the disputed island of Kunashir. A mountain range splits the Eastern and Western sides of Sinnoh, and the types of Pokémon there can differ in color and size, affecting the Shellos and Gastrodon species. The latest game set in Sinnoh was Pokémon Platinum. In Platinum, Sinnoh has gone through several changes, including the presence of snow in areas such as Twinleaf Town, the link to the Distortion World, and the Battle Frontier in the Battle Area.

UnovaEdit

The Unova Region in Pokémon Black and White (left) and New York City (right), on which Unova is based.[10] All previous Pokémon main series game settings were based on regions of Japan.

The Unova Region,[11] known in Japan as the Isshu Region (イッシュ地方, Isshu-chihō), is the region featured in Pokémon Black and White and the sequels Black 2 and White 2. According to the development team, Unova is "located far away from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh."[12] In the Pokémon Pia book, director Junichi Masuda revealed that Unova (Isshu) was modeled after New York City.[13] Unova is host to large urban areas, a harbor, an airport, an amusement park, and several mountain ranges. In addition to a diversity of new landscapes, the Unova Region is also home to a diversity of people who vary in skin tone and occupation. The region's Japanese name is derived from the Japanese words Template:Nihongo3 and Template:Nihongo3; the many kinds (多種, tashu) of people and Pokémon you see up close look like only one kind (一種, isshu) of life from afar.[10] Season 14 of the anime onward, collectively titled in Japan as Best Wishes!, is set in Unova.

A new feature put in the Black and White games is that areas in the games are visually distinct between versions; while locations in Black appear to be very modern and urban, the same locations in White will appear to be older and more rural. This feature is exemplified in two locations that are unique to each game and are located in the same location on the map: the ultra-metropolitan Black City (ブラックシティ, Burakku Shiti), home to only humans, and the verdant White Forest (ホワイトフォレスト, Howaito Foresuto), where humans and Pokémon live in harmony.[14] Unova also features the return of underwater Regions accessible through the Dive move. In addition, Unova has a seasonal cycle. The winter months change the rarity of Pokémon in some areas, certain areas can only be accessed with heavy snow on the ground, and the Deerling and Sawsbuck Pokémon have different physical appearances linked to the seasonal changes.

KalosEdit

The Kalos Region (カロス地方, Karosu-chihō) is the setting of Pokémon X and Y. Noted to look like a star, the highly urban Lumiose City (Miare City (ミアレシティ, Miare Shiti) in Japan) featuring a large tower is at the region's center.[15] In the original trailer, a golden palace and a barren wasteland with pod-like buildings are also seen.

In the original teaser trailer, GamesRadar editors noted a marked resemblance of a large tower in the background to the Eiffel Tower and the palace's resemblance to Versailles. This, accompanied by Pikachu's apparent debut in the video atop the Eiffel Tower, led them to believe this edition will be taking place in a region with Parisian or overall French origins.[16] At a developers' roundtable at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013, The Pokémon Company's president Tsunekazu Ishihara and game director Junichi Masuda stated they had chosen France as the basis for the Kalos Region as France has a focus on its beauty in its architecture, food, and language, and they were going in the same direction for the design of X and Y. Along this line of thought, they named it "Kalos" after the Ancient Greek word καλός (kalós), meaning "beautiful". Masuda stated he visited Paris, Avignon, Arles, Marseilles, Nice, Èze, Mont Saint-Michel, the Palace of Versailles, and the Châteaux of the Loire Valley on a personal trip after completion of Black and White, but returned a year later for a proper research trip with Game Freak. Lumiose City, in particular, was based on Paris, the themes of which appear in the games overall, but Lyon and Reims also have influences in the level design. The Carnac stones of Brittany also inspire a region in Kalos, and Masuda made sure to learn as much as he could about them to incorporate them properly in the game.[17]

AlolaEdit

Alola is a series of islands loosely based on the real life islands of Hawaii.

GalarEdit

Galar is a region loosely based on the United Kingdom.

Other regionsEdit

Pokémon IslandEdit

Pokémon Island (ポケモンアイランド, Pokemon Airando) is the setting of Pokémon Snap. It is a nature reserve where Professor Oak researches many wild species, all of which are native to Kanto.

Orange IslandsEdit

File:Orange Islands map.png
A map of the Orange Islands.

The Orange Islands (オレンジ諸島, Orenji Shotō) are an archipelago that only appears in the Pokémon anime and The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga. It is made up of a series of small islands, located south of Cinnabar Island and the Seafoam Islands.[18] Season 2 of the Pokémon anime is set in this region. Four of the Orange Islands (Fire Island, Lightning Island, Ice Island, and Shamouti Island) are the setting of the film Pokémon: The Movie 2000.[19] In both the Japanese and English editions of the anime and manga, each island is named after a different variety of citrus fruit.

The archipelago is different climatically from Kanto, which is temperate while the archipelago is tropical. One effect of the different climate is that Pokémon found in the Orange Islands have different patterns or colors than are found on the main land. In addition, several of the islands feature unique Pokémon found nowhere else: one island is home to a rare fruit that turns Pokémon pink if they eat it, and another island is home to an Onix whose body is made of crystal rather than rock.

Decolore IslandsEdit

The Decolore Islands, Decolora Islands (デコロラ諸島, Dekorora Shotō) in Japan, are an archipelago that only appears in the most recent season of the Pokémon anime, known in Japan as Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes! Season 2: Decolora Adventure and the United States as Pokémon BW: Adventures in Unova and Beyond. They are located somewhere between Unova and Kanto, as Ash, Iris, and Cilan, take a cruise ship through the islands on their way to Pallet Town.

OrreEdit

 
The real life city of Phoenix, Arizona.

The Orre Region (オーレ地方, Ōre-chihō) is a mostly arid region that is the setting of Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. The structures (most of which appear to be made of pieces of older structures) found within Orre lend a post-apocalyptic feel to it as well. In this region, wild Pokémon are rare, and can only be caught in specific spots, and only during the events of Pokémon XD: The Gale of Darkness. All other Pokémon in the game that the player can acquire have been corrupted through unknown means and the player must purify their hearts once more. One of the striking features of the Orre landscape is the monolithic Mt. Battle; in Pokémon Colosseum, it pays homage to the Phoenix Mountains in that a player who completes the Mt. Battle challenge will be rewarded with a Ho-Oh, a Pokémon similar to a phoenix.

The American city of Phoenix, Arizona was used as inspiration for the region's design.[20]

FioreEdit

The Fiore Region (フィオレ地方, Fiore-chihō) is the setting of the game Pokémon Ranger. It does not appear in the Pokémon anime, although Solana, the female protagonist of the game, has made two appearances. Pokémon Ranger implies that it is located quite some distance from the other regions of the Pokémon world. It resembles Niigata in the Chubu region of Japan. It is a relatively small island region that is quite mountainous. There are four areas in Fiore, each named after the season it constantly experiences — Ringtown, Fall City, Wintown, and Summerland. Fiore contains 213 Pokémon that can be captured in Pokémon Ranger, but it does not have any Pokémon trainers. All of the people who live with Pokémon keep them outside of Poké Balls, much like pets.

AlmiaEdit

The Almia Region (アルミア地方, Arumia-chihō) is the setting of the game Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia located at the east of Fiore. It is also the location of the Headquarters of the Pokémon Rangers. It slightly resembles the northernmost tip of the Tohoku region of Japan, and the south western tip of the Hokkaido Island. If this is true, it could possibly connect very closely with the Sinnoh region.

ObliviaEdit

The Oblivia Region (オブリビア地方, Oburibia-chihō) is the setting of the most recent Pokémon Ranger game, Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs. It has three major islands, two which are connected by a bridge. There are also several smaller islands, one seems to be volcanic. Unlike most other regions, the Oblivia region consists only of islands and is considered to have a tropical climate but does house a mountain where snow is constantly falling on the peak.

RanseiEdit

The Ransei Region (ランセ地方, Ranse-chihō) is the setting of Pokémon Conquest. Visually resembling the legendary Pokémon Arceus, it is divided into 17 smaller kingdoms each themed after one of the 17 Pokémon types. The setting is based on the Sengoku period of Japanese history, with its characters named after major figures from the period such as Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Oichi.

HolonEdit

Holon (ホロン, Horon) is a region introduced in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. It is a known habitat of the unusual δ Delta Species Pokémon, also introduced in the TCG. Holon is not featured in any video game.

TCG islandsEdit

An unnamed island is the setting of the Pokémon Trading Card Game video game. This island is in a separate fictional universe where Pokémon only exist as cards. It consists of eight Clubs, which are similar to Pokémon Gyms, a version of the Elite Four called the Grand Masters, and a Card Lab. In Pokémon Card GB2, a second unnamed island is introduced, and features the various headquarters of Team Great Rocket known as Forts and Castles, where the Club Masters and Grand Masters are being held captive. They do not appear in the anime.

Stadium regionsEdit

The setting of Pokémon Stadium is unknown, but according to Super Smash Bros. Melee, Pokémon Stadium is somewhere in Kanto. White City (ホワイトシティ, Howaito Shiti) is the setting of Pokémon Stadium 2, and Pokétopia (ポケトピア, Poketopia) is the setting of Pokémon Battle Revolution. They do not appear in the anime or other video games.

Mystery Dungeon regionsEdit

The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, like the TCG games, appear to take place in yet another universe, where Pokémon live like human beings. They seem to have heard of humans, but know of none in their world. In the game the main character was a human who has been turned into to a Pokémon, but does not know why because he/she has suffered memory loss.

Rumble StadiumEdit

The Rumble Stadium is the setting of Pokémon Rumble. It is a basic area with forests and caves where Pokémon are treated as semi-disposable toys, and as a result, never master more than two moves at a time.

Unknown locationsEdit

Hey You, Pikachu!, Pokémon Channel, and PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure all take place in unknown areas somewhere in the Pokémon world, although Professor Oak appears with some of his inventions in the first two.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Masuda, Junichi (2009-05-27). "増田部長のめざめるパワー » Blog Archive » ・第149回・". Game Freak. http://www.gamefreak.co.jp/blog/dir/?p=218. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  2. Masuda, Junichi (2009-05-27). "HIDDEN POWER of Masuda Columns, No. 149". Game Freak. http://www.gamefreak.co.jp/blog/dir_english/?p=182. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  3. Masuda, Junichi (2004-09-09). "増田部長のめざめるパワー  » Blog Archive  » ・第15回・" (in Japanese). Game Freak. http://www.gamefreak.co.jp/blog/dir/?p=105. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  4. "N-Philes :: Reviews :: Pokémon Emerald Review". www.n-philes.com. http://nerdmentality.com/article/5031/pokemon-emerald/. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  5. Masuda, Junichi (2008-06-27). "HIDDEN POWER of Masuda Columns, No. 15". Game Freak. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. http://web.archive.org/web/20071212015632/www.gamefreak.co.jp/blog/dir_english/?m=200409. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  6. Prima Official Game Guide Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Version p. 71–73
  7. Template:Twitter status
  8. Official Pokémon Scenario Guide Diamond and Pearl version p. 6–7
  9. Official Pokémon Scenario Guide Diamond and Pearl version p. 252–253
  10. a b "社長が訊く『ポケットモンスターブラック・ホワイト』". http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/interview/irbj/vol1/index2.html. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  11. "Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version | Explore the Unova Region!". http://www.pokemonblackwhite.com/pokemon-black-and-white-1/en-us/unova-region/. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  12. "ポケットモンスターブラック・ホワイト:新しいポケットモンスターのこと知ってますか?". Nintendo Gamez. http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/irbj/topics/file/vol_01/file1.html. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  13. Pokémon Pia (Template:Nihongo2)
  14. "ポケットモンスターブラック・ホワイト:新しいポケットモンスターのこと知ってますか?". Nintendo Gamez. http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/irbj/topics/file/vol_06/file18.html. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  15. "The Kalos Region". Pokemonxy.com. http://www.pokemonxy.com/en-us/story/region/. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  16. Cundy, Matt; Cooper, Hollander (2013-01-08). "Pokemon X & Y: Did you spot everything in the trailer?". GamesRadar. http://www.gamesradar.com/pokemon-x-y-did-you-spot-everything-trailer/. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  17. "Pokémon X and Pokémon Y: Honedge Revealed!". YouTube. 2013-07-05. http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=5pG-q-WIYTs. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  18. Teitelbaum, M. Extreme Pokémon, p. i-ii. Scholastic, 2000.
  19. Nichols, Peter M. (2000-11-10). "New Video Releases". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9500EEDA1738F933A25752C1A9669C8B63. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  20. "「新しいことをしよう」でスペシャリストたちがぞくぞく集結". http://www.nintendo.co.jp/nom/0311/soft/interv01.html. Retrieved 2012-04-07.