BackgroundIn spite of its present status as Kanto’s largest population center and economic hub, it should be noted that Saffron in a historical context has only recently enjoyed political and economic prominence. As incredible as it may seem to a contemporary visitor, prior to the establishment of a series of fortifications approximately 600 years ago in what is now the region to the north of the city’s core, Saffron was but a sleepy agricultural hamlet, barely important enough to capture the attention of that era's cartographers. Since the establishment of those fortifications, Saffron has gradually expanded outwards and southward, with some of the most prominent expansion occurring along the coastal plains to the southwest of Saffron within the last 50 years, which has led to the formation of a contiguous urbanized bloc with Celadon City to the west. Like its sister to the west and a number of other cities in Kanto and its surrounding regions, Saffron has historically been subject to immensely destructive calamities, which has resulted in a dearth of large clusters of historical structures, one of the most notable exceptions being the complex of fortifications around which much of Saffron historically arose in the city's north.
GeographyLike its smaller sibling to the west, Saffron lies on a plain running north-south hemmed in by foothills to the east and to the west. The plain that Saffron lies on stretches northwards to encompass Route 5 and Cerulean City, and southward along the sea to Vermillion City, with Route 7 and 8 running through the plain's foothills to the west and east. In Saffron and its immediate surroundings, there are four primary settled regions: Saffron City's northeast districts, the northwest districts of Saffron, the city's southern districts, and its suburbs along the coastal plains lying south of Saffron proper. The northeast districts of Saffron represent the city's historical core, with some of the most extensively developed districts ringing the fortifications that were constructed in this area some 600 years ago, including a large business district containing a sizable number of high-rises. The northwest and southern districts of Saffron are comparatively younger to their counterparts in the northeast, with the meaningful development in these areas first recorded approximately 400 years ago. Despite this, they have grown to become every bit as important to Saffron as its historical core, with some districts exhibiting an extent of development surpassing that of high-rise districts in Saffron's historical core. Outside of Saffron proper, a coastal urbanized belt in the south contains the bulk of Saffron's suburbs as well as large numbers of industrial and port facilities, and forms a connection between Saffron and its smaller sibling, Celadon.
IndustryLike its western sibling, Saffron possesses a primarily service-based economy. Although not as prominent as in Celadon, Saffron maintains a significant presence of retail and entertainment establishments, especially in the city's southern districts. Saffron is presently known to be a major financial hub, with numerous banking and insurance firms maintaining headquarters within Saffron. Saffron is also host to a number of other major corporate presences, including the headquarters to consumer product and electronics firms such as Silph Co., heavy industrial corporations, advertising firms, corporations specializing in shipping and transportation, and a small number of media-related firms. Like its western counterpart, the regions of the coastal urbanized belt below Saffron also support a significant manufacturing presence, including a number of facilities maintained by Saffron's very own Silph Co.
Points of InterestAs the largest human settlement within Kanto, Saffron City possesses a myriad of attractions catering to visitors of all tastes and persuasions. Some of Saffron's more prominent landmarks are explored in further depth below: Saffron Gym Saffron's present gym represents a departure from the city's traditional support for Gyms focusing around Fighting-Type Pokémon, with the city's contemporary gym focusing on Psychic-Type Pokémon under the leadership of its current leader Sabrina Natsume. Saffron's Psychic-Type gym and Sabrina's status as a gym leader is controversial in some competitive circles, as her gym's league-sanctioned status was initially won via a wager with the leader of the nearby Fighting Dojo, although the gym has since then been able to formally maintain its league-accredited status. Although Saffron City's gym is fairly easy to locate, with its main entrance located along a major local avenue, it should be noted that navigating inside the gym can be infamously difficult, as the gym is built around a maze involving Pokémon-assisted teleportation between a series of closed rooms. Fighting Dojo The former gym of Saffron City, and located on the same city block as Saffron's present gym, the Fighting Dojo is in many ways a shell of its former self. Once a premier gym within the Indigo League, the Fighting Dojo has seen a precipitous decline in prominence following its leader's loss of the gym's league recognition to Sabrina via a wager upon a battle. In its post-league years, the Fighting Dojo has become infamous for an erratic schedule, with the dojo often being left under the care of a skeleton crew of students for months at a time. Despite this, the leader of the dojo, when present, is known to provide a formidable competitive experience for those willing to challenge the dojo, and the dojo has become a popular hangout spot for competitive trainers during its less active periods. Saffron Magnet Train Terminal A recent addition to Saffron City's infrastructure, the Saffron Magnet Train Terminal in northwestern Saffron provides regular service between Saffron City in Kanto and Goldenrod City. With maximum speeds approaching 550 kilometers per hour, the magnet train provides an economical and scenic alternative to travel between the two cities by air. As with most other modes of transit within Kanto, Pokémon are not allowed to roam about on the platforms of the terminal or in the cars of the train, though Pokémon are permitted outside of their Pokéballs within the terminal's concourse. The magnet train provides a variety of ticketing options, including tickets that are valid for periods of time as opposed for fixed number of trips for riders that intend to use the train frequently. The magnet train terminal and its surroundings have also become moderately famous for being the primary haunt of a local street performer famous for being able to almost perfectly mimic the appearance of passing pedestrians on short notice. Silph Co. Headquarters Located in the heart of Saffron City, this relatively unimposing 11-story glass structure hosts the global headquarters to the massive retail and consumer products conglomerate Silph Co. Although Silph Co used to be known for its liberal attitudes towards outside visitors and was known for displaying prototypes of current and past products, the corporation adopted markedly stricter security procedures following a hostile takeover of its offices by Team Rocket a number of years ago. As of present, all portions of the building barring the lobby are closed to visitors without appointments, and attempts to enter areas outside the lobby will be met with a quick ejection from the building by security guards. Despite this, the lobby to the headquarters remains a popular meeting place among some circles, and the corporation periodically unveils prototype and concept products to the general public here. Saffron also possesses a number of other venues that may be of interest to visitors. Although often overshadowed by their counterparts in Celadon, it should be noted that a number of large and developed shopping districts exist in Saffron, one of the most famous of which is an upscale area in the south of the city near the historical site of a mint. More historically oriented visitors may be interested in visiting the historical fortifications lying in the northeast of the city, which provide a prime example of historical architecture within Kanto. A large local train terminal in eastern Saffron provides a convenient point of reference for visitors unfamiliar with the city, and is also conveniently located in close proximity to a number of major local attractions.
Tips for TrainersTrainers seeking to challenge the local gym should take note that the maze employed within the structure can be highly disorienting and unsettling to persons not accustomed to experiencing paranormal phenomena. Challengers to this gym should if at all possible, arrive on an occasion with a flexible schedule, as trainers are known to become lost in the maze of Saffron's gym for hours at a time, as well as to bring stress-relieving diversions. For trainers that feel truly overwhelmed, feel free to ask the trainers within the gym for assistance leaving, and schedule another attempt at challenging the gym at some time in the future. It should be noted that while Saffron City's gym is subject to periodic league-sanctioned rotations of its teams of Pokémon, Saffron's gym is typically well beyond the league of novice challengers to the Indigo League, and is generally unwise to pick as an initial gym to challenge. Trainers seeking to challenge Saffron's Fighting Dojo should note that due to the dojo's loss of it's officially sanctioned status, it, unlike its officially sanctioned counterpart, is not bound to rotate the Pokémon teams employed within. As a result, although the Fighting Dojo maintains a relatively consistent difficulty level for would-be challengers, it is by no means an endeavor for a novice trainer. Trainers seeking to receive pointers from highly experienced counterparts may be interested in visiting the dojo during its less active periods, as the location receives occasional visits by Gym Leaders affiliated with the Indigo League. Some circles within Saffron maintain a vigorous tradition of paranormal training both among Pokémon and among humans. Interested trainers are encouraged to keep a sharp eye out for bulletins posted in the southeastern districts of the city, which often are put up announcing meetings on short notice. It should be noted that these bulletins are known to have an almost ephemeral existence, as they appear to have a tendency to vanish from the locations where they are posted hours following the end of the meetings that they deal with. Law enforcement within Saffron City has long held a reputation for being corrupt. Although this reputation is undoubtedly rife with hyperbole, it should be noted that incidents involving corruption of local police officials surface with numbing regularity. One particularly infamous scandal that broke a number of years ago involved a number of officers patrolling major thoroughfares near the outskirts of Saffron City who were caught extorting soft drinks and beverages from pedestrians.
Native PokémonBarring the occasional nest of avian Pokémon and stray pet, Saffron City does not have any meaningful populations of wild Pokémon within its immediate confines, with the bulk of the wild populations of Pokémon in its immediate vicinity lying beyond it and its suburbs. In the foothills to the east of Saffron, along Route 8, population distributions are similar to those encountered in the unurbanized corridor traversed by Route 7 between Saffron and Celadon. Route 8 and Route 7's populations of Pokémon are differentiated primarily by the presence of a population of creatures from the Abra line in Route 8 that is lacks a counterpart on Route 7, as well as the absence of a population of creatures from the Houndour line along Route 8. In the grasslands and forests that lie on the plains to the north of Saffron City, in the vicinity of Route 5, there are large populations of creatures from the Oddish, Bellsprout, Pidgey, Mankey, Meowth, Mankey, Snubbull, and Rattata lines. More nocturnal trainers traveling along this Route will be able to readily encounter individuals from both stages of the Noctowl line. Small populations of Pokémon from the Jigglypuff, Abra, Pineco, Combee, and Shinx lines, along with Plusle and Minun are also known to reside along this Route. On the unurbanized plains to the south of Greater Saffron, in and around Route 6, one can encounter individuals from all lines present on Route 5 barring individuals from the Shinx line, Plusle and Minun. Small terrestrial populations of creatures from the Magnemite, Drowzee, Bidoof, Zigzagoon, and Whismur lines are also known to be present. Unlike the regions to the north of Saffron City, the regions to the south possess a large number of aquatic environments, including a prominent lake that intersects with part of Route 6. Stable populations of aquatic Pokémon in and around this area are known to include populations of Pokémon from the Psyduck, Magikarp, Goldeen, Shelder, and Krabby lines, with small populations of creatures from the Slowpoke and Buizel lines also known to reside in bodies of water in this area.
In Popular CultureSaffron City has been featured prominently in a truly dizzying array of media works, and often serves as the backdrop for a number of plot-centric conflicts. In a somewhat morbid fashion, a number of Saffron's portrayals within fiction revolve around the city or a futuristic equivalent being beset by some manner of cataclysmic event, one of the more famous examples of this nature being a media franchise revolving around the exploits of an unusually large Tyranitar (which incidentally is produced by a firm headquartered in northeast Saffron). Some examples of notable media that Saffron features in include the earlier installments of a media franchise revolving around youths encountering lifeforms living in virtual environments, the use of districts in northwest Saffron as the setting for a wildly popular magical girl series, and as the setting to a comic series revolving around a youth destined to either save or destroy the entire world.
Written by Tracer Bullet.
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