Pokemon Black & White MASSIVE reveal: intriguing plot details and gameplay changes

BREAKING POKEMON NEWS! The biggest blowout of Pokemon Black & White info has appeared on the internet via more leaked CoroCoro scans from the August issue. Surprisingly, itsounds like this might be the first Pokemon game in the series to actually have an interesting plot (moral ambiguity in a Pokemon game, gasp!), and we have some concrete details about new Wi-Fi/infrared features, as well as a full explanation of how the 3 on 3 battles will work. Let's go through each page detail by detail!

(Click any of the screens to enlarge)



Pages 2 and 3(right to left) - These are your two (TWO!!) rivals, Cheren (the boy) and Belle (the girl). Cheren is the reliable and trustworthy one - he's also very intelligent and will give you guidance along your journey. Belle on the other hand is fiery and spontaneous, embarking on her Pokemon quest against her father's wishes. It sounds like he might start off a little immature but her character will grow over time.

Pages4 and 5 - The main villain, called N,calls Pokemonhis "friends" and believes that they shouldn't be subjugated by humans. To realize his idealistic vision of equality between species, he wants to divide the world between humans and Pokemon, like dividing between Black and White. This is definitely the most interesting plot detail we've heard yet, since it sounds like B&W will actually contain moral ambiguity, rather than the usual plot of Team Rocket trying to take over the radio tower, or Team Galactic trying to end the world, etc. N definitely sounds like a sympathic villain who will probably start out noble and idealistic but then take his ideas too far somehow. The article also says that N will challenge you in order to confirm his ideas about justice, but how he will do this without Pokemon to battle remains to be seen. GR editor Henry Gilbert is already predicting that N is actually Zoroark in disguise, since we've seen that Zoroark can impersonate humans, and his Pokemon liberation agenda sounds like something a Pokemon might cook up.

Also revealed on page 4, when you pick your starter at the beginning of the game, your two rivals will each pick one as well so that all three starters are taken. When you set off on your journey, you start at Route 1, which means they're starting the routenumbering system over again that began in Kanto (which also had a Route 1 - 25).

Pages 6 and 7 - Triple battle!! Now we finally know more about how the triple battles will work and how the position of your Pokemon will affect the battle. The Pokemon positioned on the left in your team won't be able to hityour opponent'sPokemon on the opposite side (your right, your opponent's left), and vice versa. The Pokemon in the middle of the formation will be able to hit the whole field,which will make it very powerful. There's also an optioncalled "Move" to rearrange your Pokemon's formation during battle.

Also, a new ability called Telepathy will protect your Pokemon from taking damage from teammates, like from Earthquake or Surf. Also mentioned is a new move (name unknown) that protects your Pokemon from attacks that hitall Pokemon for one turn.

Pages 8 and 9 - Black City (Pokemon Black exclusive)and White Forest (White exclusive)revealed, pictured in upper left. Below the art you can also see two in-game screens each for both locations. Cities will also look different in each version, which you can see an example of at the bottom of page 9. We also learn on page 8 that Gochiruzeru (the gothic Lolita Pokemon) and Rankurusu (the green cell-looking one) are version exclusives, but it doesn't say which is exclusive to which one.

Pages 10 and 11 - More details on new Pokemon:

Kibago (upper right): The Tusk Pokemon. Dragon type. Abilities are Rivalry and Mold Breaker. It has a new attack called Double Chop which hits twice (sounds boring).

Koromori (middle right): The Bat Pokemon (really? Bat?). Psychic/Flying type. Abilities are UnawareandKlutz. It's new attack is called Heart Stamp (shown in the gameplay screen) that can cause flinching.

Minezumi (bottom right): The Lookout Pokemon. Normal type. Abilities are Run Away and Keen Eye. It's new attack is called You First and makes the opponent attack first (potential battle strategies for this, anyone?).

Gochiruzeru (upper left): The Celestial Body Pokemon. Psychic type. Ability: Frisk. It's new move is Magic Room which eliminates the effects of items in battle for five turns.

Rankurusu (middle left): The Amplification Pokemon. Another Psychic type. Its ability is Dust Proof (new), which protects it against damage from weather conditions.

Wargle (lower left): The Valor Pokemon. Normal/Flying type. Abilities are Keen Eye and Encourage (a new ability which gorilla-esque Pokemon Hihidarumashares)that boosts the power of all attacks but prevents any secondary effects. So for example, if a Wargle with the Encourage ability uses Tri Attack, the damage taken will be boosted but there is no change of paralyzing, burning or freezing the opponent's Pokemon.

Pages 12 and 13 - Mushaana (Musharna?), the Trance Pokemon, is Munna's evolution. Psychic type (lots of new Psychic types so far this generation!). Abilities are Forewarn or Synchronize. Both Munna and Musharna emit "Dream Smoke" which contains the dreams of Pokemon. You need Dream Smoke to use the Game Sync that allows you to upload your B&W savedata to the internet.

Professor Araragi's friend, Makono, pictured bottom right. She gives you the C Gear whichcontainsvariousWi-Fi and infrared features.

Page 13 gives more details on the High Link feature, which is accessed in a building in middle of the Isshu map (which we detailed onPokemon Monday). The High Link lets you join other players' games and adventure with them (this sounds promising!).

Pages 14 and 15 - Local trades and battles have been totally streamlined. Using infrared you can quickly join up with people to trade or battle and automatically exchange friend codes (yes!!). Trading has also improved, and you can access any Pokemon from your PCor party now while trading. No more going in and out of the Wi-Fi/Union Room to access your PC!

A new feature called Passing By (which is part of the C Gear) automatically detects nearby B&W players and interacts with other games in some beneficial way.

If you have a DSi, you can use the Live Caster feature which is a video chat which allows up to four people locally or two people over Wi-Fi. Local video chat sounds silly, but it does have some art tools like pens and stamps so you can mess with the video images. There will also be a Liver Caster component to the single player game, where NPCs talk to you and each other via the Live Caster.

There's a new feature called "Feeling Check" that tests the "compatibility" between players, like with biorhythms or something. It sounds cockamamie, but whatever.

For the Japanese version only (pertinent to importers), B&W will have a text option so that kanji will be used in the text instead of just kana.

Pages 16 and 17 - The Pokemon Global LInk has two modes, one where you play in a dream and one where you can battle online:

World of Dreams allows your Pokemon to play in a room and make friends with other Pokemon via a minigame.You can then transfer one of these Pokemon back to your game using the C Gear and obtain it as an actual Pokemon. This is one of the ways you can obtain Pokemon outside of the Isshu Pokedex. So, it kind of sounds like a more robust version of the PokeWalker in a way.

Once you register through the Pokemon Global Link, you can play online battles accessible via the Global Terminal at PokemonCenters.There aretwo modes - Rating Mode or Random Match, and it looks like there will be some kind of online leaderboards so you can compare your battle records against other players.

Pages 18 and 19 - There's going to be a Japanese version event from Aug 7 - Aug 31that allows you to encounter an Eeveelution in the World of Dreams via the Pokemon Daisuki Club website.

Wow! So, let that all sink in for awhile, and tune in toPokemon Mondaynext week where we'll probably still be talking about all this new info.

Jul 14, 2010