"What are the true motives of Team Plasma and the mysterious N? What is the secret of the Legendary Pokémon? Adventure across the Unova region and discover all-new Pokémon!"
— Blurb on the back of the boxes of Pokémon Black and White Versions
The first half of the fifth generation of Pokémon. In this installment, Game Freak shakes up a number of series traditions: the player characters are older, the resident Professor (Juniper) is a woman, Pokémon Centers and Pokémon Marts have been merged into one building, there are no Generation I-IV Pokémon in the regional Pokédex, TMs can be used an infinite amount of times, there's no Game Corner or Safari Zone present, and the new Unova region isn't based on a region of Japan but on New York City (and a little New Jersey as well, with the sequels adding more New Jersey).The games were released on September 18, 2010 in Japan; March 4, 2011 in Europe; March 6, 2011 in the U.S.; and March 10, 2011 in Australia and New Zealand. In another shake-up, these games were also the first to not receive an Updated Re-release (ŕ la Crystal from Generation II or Emerald from Generation III), instead receiving direct sequels in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 in 2012.Unlike the previous Nintendo DS installments, Black and White support the more-secure-than-WEP WPA encryption, as well as the revised WPA2 encryption, when playing online; this requires a DSi, DSi XL, or 3DS, however, as the original ("Phat") DS and DS Lite do not have hardware support for WPA.The Iwata Asks interview for the games can be read here.Not to be confused with Red and Blue, which were in black and white since they were for the original Game Boy. Also not to be confused with the simulation game Black & White. The English dub of the Animated Adaptation known as Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes in Japan also shares the same name as these games.Please refer to the appropriate folder when adding new examples. Information about Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 goes on that page.
Tropes used in Black and White:
open/close all folders
New Character Tropes
Abusive Parents: Ghetsis, who manipulated his son, N, to help with his greedy goals. Not to mention that he kept N in isolation since childhood from other humans, with only Pokémon for interaction (and only those that had been abused by humans, at that), so that N would grow up to hate humans.
Adult Fear: N's upbringing by Ghetsis, locked in a room with meaningless toys, socially isolated, and emotionally abused, so that he will become a Tykebomb for Ghetsis to take over Unova. Implications are strong that when this is done, Ghetsis plans to dispose of N. To rub salt in that, one of the Plasma agents mentions that N might not actually be Ghetsis's son, and might have been kidnapped from another family to be raised in a psychologically-abusive, socially-maladjusted environment as a disposable figurehead for Team Plasma.
Affably Evil: N. Overall, he's a pretty nice guy with only the best of intentions, and really, he's more misguided than anything. He even sort of treats you as a friend as the story goes on, even as you're fighting him time and time again.
Almighty Janitor: When you enter the Battle Company building in Castelia, you're greeted by the building's janitor. He's actually the strongest trainer in the building. (Really a subversion: He's actually the head of the Battle Company, who likes to disguise himself as a janitor to find good trainers.)
Ambiguous Disorder: N has been interpreted as a high-functioning autistic, though his upbringing goes a long way toward explaining his quirks. Still, the whole "thinks more like a Pokémon than a human" thing calls Temple Grandin to mind, and boy has he got the social awkwardness down.
Certain things about Bianca make you wonder if she has some sort of mental disorder. Her father is unusually protective of her and doesn't want her going out into the world alone. You can only wonder if it's because he's worried that she won't be able to function in the outside world without an adult. This, coupled with her general cluelessness makes some fans really wonder.
Americans Are Cowboys: The male Pokémon Ranger trainer class have the looks of cowboys. The Ground Gym Leader, Clay, is actually a subversion, as Word of God says that he was designed as a Japanese immigrant who got rich when he struck oil.
Anime Hair: Not only does Hilda have an impossibly large ponytail, but Caitlin of the Elite Four has a hairstyle that's out and out impossible. And Iris and Alder? Good luck cosplaying as either without a styrofoam/cardboard wig.
Let's not forget N, whose unusually spiky/messy hairstyle that may or may not be a ponytail is quite hard to replicate.
Caitlin's appears to be bed-head, as she just woke up before battling. It has also been mentioned by character design artist Yusuke Ohmura that Caitlin holds her hair up with psychic power channeled through her ribbons, sending the style Up to Eleven.
Badass: N surpasses Eusine, Archie, Maxie, and Cyrus and actually manages to catch the legendary Pokémon he was after. Then he sweeps the Pokémon League with it. Then he summons a giant freaking castle out of the ground. When you finally catch your legendary dragon, N challenges you to a battle and leads with his own.
The player character proceeds to top all that in the process of defeating him. You sweep the league without a legendary dragon, storm his castle, and finally awaken and catch your dragon right in front of N's face. Then, if you choose to add it to your party, you automatically lead against his dragon with yours. Any wonder Ghetsis had a breakdown on the spot, flipped out, let slip his motives and tried to kill you immediately afterward?
On that note, Ghetsis. On top of his masterful (if not at all subtle) plan, when he has his Villainous Breakdown and finally decides to take personal action, he sends out a team that's far more dangerous than N's. N, who had just steamrolled the Elite Four and the Champion with his legendary dragon Pokemon. For that matter, Ghetsis' non-legendary Hydreigon outclasses both Reshiram and Zekrom at their current levels.
Let's just say Unova is a World of Badass. As far as the Pokémon go, there's Samurott, Krookodile, Zoroark, Haxorus, Hydreigon, the Muskedeers, Reshiram, Zekrom, Genesect...
Boss in Mook Clothing: In the post-game, you gain access to a location known as the Challenger's Cave. Aside from a few items, some higher leveled Pokémon from non-Unovan regions, and a few trainers, the place is nothing special on the surface. However, while going through the cave, you can encounter the trainer Veteran Shaun. He has a party of six, powerful Pokémon, including Gyarados, Excadrill, Gigalith, Druddigon, Crobat, and even Snorlax. All of which are probably about fifteen to twenty levels above your current party, assuming you dive right into the cave after beating the main story.
In a literal example, the abovementioned Bonus Boss masquerades as just another NPC trainer.
Chekhov's Exhibit: When you explore the museum in Nacrene City, just before your second Gym challenge, you can examine an odd, unidentified rock that was excavated from the Desert Resort. Unlike the other pieces in the museum, which involve fossils and a meteorite, nothing's known about it, it's just there because it's pretty. Four Gyms later, it turns out that it was the Light/Dark stone, depending on version.
Constellations: The game introduced constellations based on the western zodiac; a couple of these appeared in the anime as well.
Caitlin of the Elite Four is the same Caitlin that appeared in Platinum and Heart Gold & Soul Silver at the Battle Castle; she makes vague references several times to Darach, her butler in those games.
The Magikarp Salesman from the Mt Moon Pokecenter is back, only now getting the Magikarp for $500 is absolutely worth it. In fact, there's an optional Triple Battle trainer in the gatehouse directly after the salesman which will boost your new Magikarp to evolving if you just stick an Exp. Share on it.
A Plasma grunt states that Team Plasma took lessons from the failures of Teams Rocket and Galactic, saying that their high profiles were their downfall.
Granted, Team Plasma goes around preaching to people, so they apparently weren't lessons very well learned.
It's implied that Team Plasma has existed since N was a child (he's now late teens/early twenties) and that they've spent the last couple decades quietly setting up their plan and only went public when the time was right.
Disc One Nuke: If you chose Snivy as a starter, you get a Panpour from a girl in the Dreamyard, one of the only Pokemon known to man that naturally gets the 80 Power and 100 Accuracy Scald, which has a chance of burn damage. The same Pokémon can be found by luck in a later area, after the second gym.
From December 1st to the 31st a Level 50 Victini with extremely Game Breaker moves is available from the OT Movie14. This means you can get a level 50 Pokemon, near endgame levels in earlier titles, at any level, so long as you have access to Mystery Gift.
Sawk and Throh, whose base Attack stats are 125 and 100, higher than a lot of fully-evolved Pokémon, can be found before the second Gym when most Pokémon haven't even evolved once yet.
Defeat Means Friendship: There is a TV program about a Black Belt in Victory Road who made friends with a 'mon after defeating it in a judo match.
A backpacker in route 14, after defeating him, asks if "we are friends now."
Also, N. Although he has been acting Affably Evil towards you for the whole game, the parting scene at the end is among the most touching moments in the whole Pokčmon series.
Don't Tell Mama: A variation. The last Rocket grunt from HeartGold/SoulSilver decided to raise a family instead of revive Team Rocket in Unova. It appears his wife and son don't know he used to be in a criminal organization.
The player characters — one huge ponytail, and one mullet.
Professor Juniper has something of beehive do going on.
Grimsley of the Elite Four has the iconic hairstyle of the lead singer of A Flock Of Seagulls.
There's a guy in Black version's Opelucid City with Peek-a-Bangs. To top it off, he plays a keytar.
Elemental Hair: Pansage, Pansear, and Panpour, which evolve into Simisage, Simisear, and Simipour. Pan/Simisage's hair is shaped like a bush, resembling the grass element. Pan/Simisear's hair is shaped like a flame, resembling the fire element. Panpour's hair resembles a water spout, and Simipour's hair has long, wavy hair, resembling the water element.
Evil Is Bigger: Obviously hard to tell with the sprites, but official sources have Ghetsis listed at 2 metres tall. For you IS system people, that's 6'6." That's really tall anywhere, but considering the fact that in Japan the average height of an adult male is 5'5"...
Fanservice: While it's nothing new, several young trainers wear very revealing outfits...
He does it in his normal sprite, too, though it's a bit more clear in his VS mug.
Hartman Hips: It's a staple of Ken Sugimori's artstyle, really, but even then, Bianca still stands out.
Hide Your Lesbians: Inverted! One of the possible Ferris Wheel "dates" for a female PC is a waitress. In the Japanese version she just bounces boy troubles off you, but in the English version, she's jealous of how "smart and pretty and nice..." the female PC is, with no mention of "him" (just a failed relationship with someone, with no given sex), and is now characterized as very nervous, and shy.
Also played straight in the Hiker males can "date", who is far less blatant (and creepy) in his homosexual advances in the U.S. version.
Hot Scientist: Professor Juniper is... Wow. Her friend, Fennel, is no slouch, either.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Fan art often depicts Hilda and N as a couple. N always almost towers over her in these images (his official profile puts him at 5'11", so this is not without canon support).
Hypocrite: Team Plasma's ultimate goal is to "free" all Pokémon from their Trainers, who they believe are abusing them by forcing them to fight. This is recited by a Grunt who immediately beforehand kicked a Munna repeatedly to get it to drop some Dream Mist.
Don't forget how N's Castle was built by overworking Pokémon that they had stolen from other trainers. This is blatantly admitted by one of the Team Plasma Grunts there. Yeah...
This is likely intentional, considering the true goal of Team Plasma as revealed by the end of the game - for Ghetsis to take over Unova. The only member that's in Team Plasma for sure to "liberate" Pokémon is N, who is the least hypocritical of the bunch.
Hypocritical Humor: A Team Plasma scientist tells the player, "Team Galactic and Team Rocket drew too much attention to themselves. That's why their plans were thwarted." The scientist is in a huge castle that just emerged from the ground, rather noisily. Which, by the way, rose from the ground right behind the LEAGUE. In fact, Team Plasma is even more publicized than those other teams, as Ghetsis makes multiple speeches to various townsfolk.
Although as stated above it's hinted that Plasma has only just recently entered the public view given that they apparently were around when N was a wee kid.
I Just Want to Be Normal: One of the trainers you can battle in the Sports Complex in Nimbasa City is a female Ace Trainer who talks about wanting to be an ordinary girl while she's there. After you beat her, she says that she "doesn't want to think very much about Pokemon right now" and gives you a PP Up so you'll leave her alone, but not without her saying that she just enjoys being an ordinary girl for the heck of it.
The Ingenue: The reason why Bianca's father is so protective of her.
Karma Houdini: Subverted. Ghetsis gets escorted away by Alder and Cheren. Then he gets rescued by the Shadow Triad. However, Ghetsis lost everything he's been working for for years, and the only people loyal to him now are the Shadow Triad. And he is also on the run. It's Doubly Subverted when Ghetsis gives the 4th Generation mascots' orbs (who knows how he got them) to you through the Shadow Triad, who imply that he's trying to pull a scheme on you right now, which will possibly be explained in the sequels.
Kick the Dog: To make sure the player realizes Team Plasma is criminal after their initial appearance, their subsequent appearances have them literally kicking (or some form of striking anyways) a Munna, then stealing someone's Pokémon.
Macabre Moth Motif: How do you make a moth even WORSE? Make it five feet tall, 101 pounds, give it towering Speed and Special Attack and set it on fire. That's pretty much the basics behind Volcarona. To be fair, they're a lot less macabre when they're on your team, but it's NOT fun going up AGAINST one.
Meaningful Name: Where in the world did the name "Hilbert" come from? Turns out that it means "magnificent in battle". "Hilda" means "battle woman".
Unova. Take away the 'U' and you get nova which is an exploding star. If you read about the history of the US flag, before the Civil War, it was only used for forts, embassies, ships and on the 4th of July.
The word Unova contains nova comes from the Latin novum meaning "new", as well as the Spanish word uno, meaning "one". Unova is stated to be very far away from the regions in other Pokémon games, and is a new beginning of sorts.
This is actually portrayed through his dialogue; regardless of what you have it set to normally, his dialogue always scrolls at the maximum speed. If you already have it set at max speed his goes even faster.
Mythology Gag: A trainer you battle near a waterfall by the Village Bridge says after you beat him that maybe he should train by standing under a waterfall. This is almost certainly referencing the Chuck, who stands under a waterfall inside his gym to train.
Never a Self-Made Woman: Professor Juniper is the first female Pokémon Professor (barring Ivy, but she is animé-only so it still counts). She's also the first Pokémon Professor stated to have learned her trade from her father.
Never Say "Die": Averted in both the Japanese and English versions. Cofagrigus's Japanese name can be translated as Deathkarn, and Yamask's is Deathmas. In the English translation, although this is played straight most of the time, Lampent's White Dex entry specifically uses the word "death". The "Never Say 'God'" variant of this trope is also subverted in the English version, with Ghetsis' line "A Pokémon, even if it's revered as a deity, is still just a Pokémon!".
Perspective Reversal: Cheren wants To Be a Master, analyzing every opponent he meets to give him an advantage, while Bianca is somewhat aimless and clumsy in her battles, becoming a Trainer largely to try to figure out what to do with her life. By the end of the game, Cheren has reached a roadblock and is questioning if he even has the personality to be a champion, while Bianca comes to terms with her father, who didn't want her going into the dangerous world on her own, and has decided her path for her future, assisting Professor Juniper in the lab.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Shadow Triad. You aren't given to know what their actual jobs within Team Plasma are, since for the most part their only interaction with you is to appear out of nowhere, tell you to come with them, and then guide you about a dozen steps in the direction you were going anyway. The one exception is in the post-game, where they appear to give you the three dragon orbs and inform you that you'll never meet again.
Averted in the sequels, where they act as recurring bosses.
Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Though every female except May has a pink version of whatever the Pokégear expy is of the game, Black and White takes it to new extremes. Hilbert has a blue bicycle, fishing rod, badge case, and Xtransceiver, as well as a red Pokédex and red Pokéballs when the latter is shown being used in the overworld. Hilda, on the other hand, has a pink overworld bicycle (though it's red in the item bag), pink rod, Xtransceiver, badge case and Pokédex, as well as pink Pokéballs when she uses them to summon a Pokémon in the overworld. Oddly enough, the Pokéball on her vs. mugshot is still red.
Gym Leaders Who Actually Do Something: It's rather notable that every Gym Leader in this game has a day job in addition to being a gym leader. Iris is the only exception, but she's just a kid.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: After Ghetsis' plans are ground into the dirt, he tells the player, Alder and Cheren that N is "a freak without a human heart". Cheren tell Ghetsis to shove it, saying that Ghetsis, not N, is the heartless one.
Spell My Name with an S: The female rival's Japanese name has been spelled Beru, Bel, Bell, and Belle. Considering "Cheren"'s etymology, "Ceren" is also valid.
Cheren's name is kept as "Cheren" in the English localization, though Bel is renamed to "Bianca". In the French version, Cheren is spelled "Tcheren" to bring the pronunciation closer to other languages ("ch" is usually prounced "sh" in French).
There's also "Dento" (Cilan in the English games) who appears to be "Dent" (as in the corn), "Poddo" (Chili) is "Pod", and "Koon" (Cress) is..."Corn".
Geechisu/Geechis/Geetis/Geecis/Ghetsis has the same issue with his name, which each language's official localizations having its own take on the spelling as well. Word of God confirms that it's derived from the G and C# ("Cis") timpanis that play during his battle theme, but didn't give a spelling.
The German version straight-out uses "G-Cis", since the German pronunciation of the music term and the Japanese pronunciation of his name are - barring transcription/transliteration conventions - exactly the same, so it might be a case of Gratuitous German.
Theme Naming: In White, the Opelucid Gym Leader is a young girl named Iris. In Black, the Opelucid Gym Leader is an old man whose Japanese name means "iris."
All of the Gym Leaders, Elite Four, and the Champion are named after plants in the Japanese version.
The male rival is named "Cheren" which is Slavic for "black" and the female rival's various names in different languages all mean "white."
The initial trio of Gym Leaders' Japanese names are (tri)Dent, (tri)Pod, and (tri)Corn.
In the English games, they have food-based names. Quite appropriate, considering they are waiters.
Their names also represent their respective Pokémon types Chili (hot, spicy = fire) Cilan (derived from cilantro, a herb = grass) and Cress (from watercress, a semi-aquatic herb = water)
The sages, with the exception of Ghetsis, are named after colors. In the English games, Zinzolin is French for reddish purple, Ryoku(shoku) is Japanese for green, Giallo is Italian for yellow, Rood is Dutch for red, Bronius (from braun) is German for brown, and Gorm is Gaelic for blue.
One naming theme is actually broken — partially. Though "Juniper" is still the name of a tree, it's a coniferous tree — all the other professors have been named after deciduous trees. Maybe it's because she broke tradition by being the first female Pokemon Professor in the main games.
The Harmonia family is prone to music names. Ghetsis is named after the G and C-sharp tritone, called "The Devil in Music". N's true given name is "Natural", a note that is neither sharp nor flat.
Also, "N Harmonia" sounds like "enharmonic," meaning a note that sounds the same but is written differently. This possibly reflects his Anti-Villain status.
Token Black: Lenora for the Gym Leaders, Marshal for the Elite Four, and Dirk for Hilda's Ferris Wheel dates.
Possibly averted among the Gym Leaders in White version if you think Iris is black.
True Final Boss: Alder, which is a unique example considering the player is led to think they will fight him after beating the Elite Four for the first time.
Villainous Breakdown: Ghetsis, after N is defeated. He completely flips his gourd, verbally abuses N, and finally decides to stop playing Chessmaster and fight you personally, proving to be an even more dangerous opponent than N.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: N and Team Plasma seem to believe that humans and Pokémon should be separated to make the world more black and white, and want to free Pokémon from humans. Although, since it's been proven time and time again that Pokémon enjoy human company, the intentions aren't as well as they might seem at first glance.
It doesn't help that Ghetsis basically convened Team Plasma, N included, as a platoon of Unwitting Pawniard in his plan to conquer Unova.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: N, Ghetsis, and Cilan have green hair; Cress, Brycen, Lenora, and Ace Trainers have blue hair; Iris, Shauntal, and Fennel have purple hair.
New Pokémon Tropes
See this page for more information about Pokémon introduced in Generation V.
Ascended Meme: Next to Smugleaf, Snivy was the second most popular nickname for the Grass-type starter (or its evolution) after it was first revealed, by the name of Tsutarja, in Japan.
Think about it: Oshawott(er).
Pignite was one of the most popular nicknames for Tepig. TPCi ended up naming its evolution Pignite, instead.
Haxorus (hack + ax + saurus) is considered by some to be a nod to competitive gaming, in which "hax" refers to luck/perceiving cheating/etc. Ironically, Haxorus itself doesn't have much in the way of luck-influenced abilities.
Samurott's Japanese name, which translates roughly to "dual sword-wielding demon".
Conkeldurr gets a lot of flak for its localized name, but its Japanese name roughly translates to "old warrior/warlord".
That's because they are pronouncing it incorrectly. It's Con-KEL-der, not Con-kul-DURR. The name is a modified portmanteau of "concrete" and "elder," the latter essentially meaning the same as the above. The rest of its name references the pair of concrete pillars it carries.
Many fans regard the Deino line as having some of the cleverest and coolest-sounding English names of all Pokemon.
Applies in other languages too; Hydreigon's German name is the appropriately evil-Greek-mythological-monster-sounding "Trikephalo", while Zweilous's French name ("Diamat") is derived from "Tiamat".
Tirtouga and Carracosta (Spanish, "tortuga" meaning "turtle", and "costa" meaning "coast").
Ferroseed and Ferrothorn (Italian, "ferro" meaning "iron")
Deino, Zweilous and Hydreigon (German for "one", "two", and "three").
In addition, "Deino" is Greek for "fear" or "terror," appropriate considering the effect Deino and its evolutions supposedly have on their environment.
Boss in Mook Clothing: After beating the Elite Four, you can find Tyranitar and Metagross in the wild, although they are very rare and only in certain areas. And you can find Dragonite in a certain lake. Hope your Pokémon are prepared...
Additionally, Milotic around the levels of 50 and above can also be located by fishing in ripples on Route 1. Y'know, the first route you come across after leaving your home? For all the effort it takes to find these Pokémon (unless you're rather lucky), make sure you're stocked up on any essentials just in case of any surprises — they're a LOT stronger than you might think.
Bonus Boss: Several stationary Pokémon at relatively high levels can be found throughout Unova, with many more appearing after N and Ghetsis are defeated and the credits roll. This includes the prerequisite third game legendary mascot, Kyurem, a Musharna available only on Fridays, and more.
Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Reshiram and Zekrom, in relation to their respective games, are the first ever inversion of this trope in regards to their status as version mascots, as part of the Yin-Yang motif.
Crippling Overspecialization: Compared to previous generations, Generation V Pokémon have significantly less overall type range in their movesets. Generally, they get moves in their own type(s) and a few Normal moves, along with some Status-type moves. Moves outside their typing are rather difficult to come by, though to be fair, it's probably because TMs don't break after one use that the Pokémon this generation have such small movepools. Otherwise, it'd be ridiculously easy to break the game's difficulty in half.
It also helps Competitive Balance, as many of these new Pokémon are quite powerful; if they had the versatility of older Pokémon, there would be be little reason to use the old ones.
Archeops has a monstrous base Attack stat of 140 and an excellent base Speed of 110. However, if its HP goes down below 50%, that attack stat is cut in half (as is its great 112 Special Attack, if you were hoping to fall back on that). Its Defense isn't nice either, meaning you have to hit first or it's doomed.
Excadrill the mole has an Attack stat of 135, and one of its abilities doubles its already above-average speed of 88 in a sandstorm, making it faster than any non-boosted Pokémon that isn't Deoxys Speed Forme. Although it sports 110 base HP (the highest of any Steel type), its Defense of 60 and Special Defense of 65 are rather frail (it has the lowest Defense of any Steel-type), and is thus held in check by priority moves (it's weak to three) and Pranksters.
Darmanitan is no slouch either with an attack stat of 140, a speed of 95, and an ability that boosts damage of all moves that have secondary effects but removes the secondary effect. Despite its decently strong 105 hp, its defences of 55 aren't going to help it survive a super-effective move.
Zoroark has 60 for both defences, and its health isn't too good either at 60. However, it does boast a fast 105 speed as well as a painful 120 special attack. Of course, it's best to disguise him as another Pokémon to force the opponent into switching into something vulnerable.
Similar to Zoroark, Mienshao has frail defences of 60 and health of 65. However, it also has a fast speed of 105, a strong 125 attack power, and an ability that allows it to regenerate a third of its max hp when switching out. Best used with U-Turn.
Accelgor the slug is actually based on a ninja. It has a decent base 100 Special Attack, an incredible base Speed of 145 ... and rather pathetic Defence and Special Defence of 40 and 60 respectively.
Zebstrika has high attack, exceptional speed, and learns a variety of hard-hitting physical moves. However, its defense stats are pitiful and the fact that its most powerful STAB move has a nasty recoil effect basically guarantees that it won't stay in play for long.
Fan-favorite Charizard is now this in the sun. Its new ability "Solar Power" hampers its already-low survivability by making it lose some of its health each term, but also gives it a free Status Buff (resulting in a sky-high Special Attack), enhanced even further by the sunlight for Fire-type attacks. Its great, "standard" base speed of 100 helps too.
Kyurem, in all three formes. In its standard forme it has pretty high offenses and Speed, but its poor defensive typing lets it get killed easily. In the sequels, its alternate formes hit ridiculously hard and just as fast, but its typing still doesn't do it any favors.
Lethal Joke Character: Several Pokémon (including older ones) have Dream World abilities that turn them into this. Most notable is Ditto — a Dream World Ditto has the ability Imposter, which causes it to automatically transform upon switching in, turning it from a total joke into the best revenge killer in the game, period.
We also have Level 1 Aron. 12 HP, and its Steel/Rock typing makes it 4x weak to both Ground AND Fighting. However, its ability Sturdy makes it get a Last Chance Hit Point if its HP was full before it took damage. Coupled with Endeavor (makes opponent's HP reduced to the user's HP), Shell Bell (gives user back 1/8 of the damage he dealt to the opponent), Steel/Rock typing (immune to Sandstorm unlike FEAR Rattata), and Sandstorm (to finish off a weakened opponent), this could essentially make a Level 1 ARON a deadly opponent. Of course, several things do stop it, such as Mold Breaker, Hail, Burn, and Ghost-types, but if the opponent isn't prepared, the damage would be devastating.
A video of one such Aron sweeping an entire team... in 7 moves can be found here.
Ninetales and Politoed were both rather unremarkable and unpopular, but that was only until they got Drought and Drizzle, respectively, which causes permanent sun(Drought) and rain (Drizzle) the moment they enter the battle. Now they're among the most-used Pokémon.
A non-Dream World example, Whimsicott is terrible unless you use its Prankster ability, which makes all non-attacking moves go first, in conjunction with its large support movepool. Then it becomes seriously annoying. It can boost its stats and set up status before you can blink, ruining your strategy. Augmented by Cotton Guard, which boosts its Defense three stages, making it an instant tank, especially since physical is the most commonly-used way to sweep. And to put icing on the cake, since it doesn't even need its high speed stat if you use an all-support moveset, you can invest entirely in defensive EVs.
And then there's Serperior. It actually isn't very bad - it's a decent support Pokémon which can use various helpful support moves and greatly aid your team - but it becomes massively better when it has its Dream World ability, Contrary. Contrary reverses stat changes, meaning that stats that lower become raised, and stats that would normally raise become lowered. Combine this with Leaf Storm, and its Special Attack doubles each turn. Having a very limited offensive movepool doesn't stop it from smashing enemy teams like a truck.
Liepard, all the way. Besides decent speed stats, it doesn't look like much. However, its speed makes it an excellent Assist user, especially when combined with its Prankster Dream World ability. Now people are fearing it for its anti-lead and Roar/Whirlwind abuse.
Based on its stats, Haxorus the dragon seems to be like this - it has a respectable Speed of 97, a whopping Attack power of 147, and a Defense of 90. Until you realize how much of the OU metagame tops the 100 speed tier. At least it carries Dragon Dance.
Hydreigon is an even better example with 98 Speed, 105 Attack and 125 Special Attack with HP at 92 and 90 for both defenses. Good luck getting one, though.
The aforementioned Contrary Serperior is this. Fast, hits hard, and has good 75/95/95 bulk.
Cloyster, with its Shell Smash/Icicle Spear/Rock Blast/Razor Shell with Skill Link combo. Shell Smash dramatically boosts its attack power (physical and special both) and speed, which can make it very difficult to get a hit in before Cloyster does. (At least without resorting to an increased-priority move such as Quick Attack or Mach Punch, that is.) Skill Link guarantees that Icicle Spear and Rock Blast will hit five times. Razor Shell is a new water-type move that takes advantage of Cloyster's good physical attack.
Volcarona is an exceptional Special Attacker. Its previous stage, Larvesta, is more predisposed to physical Attack, so if you're training it with its evolution's stats in mind, it'll be fighting left-handed until it evolves at Level 59 (later than any other Pokemon, in fact). Worst of all? You'll likely first receive it from an egg, meaning that you'll be level grinding it from level 1.
Scrafty with a Dragon Dance and Moxie. After a few boosts, it's pretty hard to defeat.
Terrakion, who hits really hard and really fast, and is considered the deadliest of the musketeer trio in competitive play.
All three members of the Kami trio also qualify. In the sequels Landorus' Therian forme isn't quite as fast, but it's not slow by any means.
Reshiram and Zekrom, just like most other legendary version mascots.
Escavalier the armored knight bug. Attack? An impressive 135. Defenses? A respectable 105 each. Speed? 20.
Conkeldurr has a powerful Attack of 140, bulky HP of 105, and Defense of 105. However, its 45 Speed isn't going to let it attack first against most opponents. Unless, of course, you breed the priority move Mach Punch onto it. Then watch out.
In double and triple battles, you can force the thing to move sooner by using After You. Lopunny, who has a base speed of 108 (allowing it to outrun most things), can learn it. After You ignores priority. Focus Punch, which normally has a priority of -3, has a base power of 150. With Conkeldurr now being able to pull off this devastating move without having to wait until after its opponents have moved, in most cases, it will be able to OHKO many things before they even get the chance to attack. The best part is that After You can be used on any of its moves!
Gigalith the rock monster. High 135 Attack, solid 130 Defense and 85 HP. However, its 25 Speed means that it's literally as slow as a rock.
Emboar has great Attack and Special Attack, respectable HP and good offensive typing in Fire and Fighter. Couple that with the fact that it gets Reckless as a Dream World ability, and yu have a formidable Trick Room sweeper.
Bouffalant only has a Speed of 55, but his defensive stats are 95 across the board. He also has 110 Attack and a painful Head Charge.
In fact, this generation is full of Mighty Glaciers (second only to GlassNinjas). It's like the developers were trying to get players to use Trick Room.
Punny Name: Some of the English names, even compared to past games; for example, "Foongus" and "Amoongus".
Scunthorpe Problem: The Global Trade Station imposes a blacklist of words that are prohibited in Pokémon nicknames. Some of the terms caused problems with several specific Pokemon's species names (such as Cofagrigus or Skuntank), but most of these problems (save for Nosepass and its evolution, Probopass) have since been fixed.
Emolga's Japanese name is Emonga, but had to be changed in translation as "mong" is an offensive UK term for someone with Down's Syndrome.
Purrloin is this to the villainess from Yatterman. Its head greatly resembles Doronjo's mask, and when it stands on its hind legs, the markings on its body resemble the rest of her outfit, right down to the long gloves.
Hydreigon resembles King Ghidorah. Its Japanese name is Sazandora.
On the topic of Godzilla shout-outs, Volcarona looks suspiciously like Mothra.
And in the same vein, Scolipede looks quite a bit like Battra's larval form
Reshiram and Zekrom are incredibly rare dragons, considered to be counterparts of each other. One is white with blue eyes, and the other is black with red eyes. Hmm...
Zekrom also looks like it stole its legs and shoulder pads from fellow black-colored character Darth Vader. Not helped by the fact that the lightning it uses glows neon blue rather than yellow or white, just like Palpatine, Starkiller or any other given Sith Lord (but not Vader himself).
Zoroark and by extension Zorua look uncannily similar to Oki from Ōkami
Four of the legendaries (Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion, and Keldeo) are based on The Three Musketeers. (If you're wondering why there are four guys based on a trio, read the book. Or at least the trope page.)
Squishy Wizard: Volcarona has a high Special Attack of 135 and good Speed of 100, and its Special Defense is not shabby either at 105. However, its physical Defense is a low 65, meaning that it can get easily beaten by faster physical attackers. Its 4x weakness to Rock (and thus, Stealth Rock) doesn't help it either. Thank Arceus that Volcarona has Quiver Dance, which boosts its Special Attack, Special Defense AND Speed...
Chandelure is a slight exception- its HP is a low 60, but its defences are both okay at 90. As for its Special Attack- a whopping 145.
The Solosis line is also this — its final evolution, Reuniclus, has a high Special Attack of 125, but low defenses and an abysmal Speed of 30, making it easy to take out.
This is contrasted with its counterpart Pokémon, Gothita, which is more of a Stone Wall, with far lower Special Attack but much higher defenses and decent Speed.
Stone Wall: Ferrothorn the metal plant has great 131 Defense and 116 Special Defense, multiple resistances, and only two weaknesses. Needless to say, it can take a lot of damage (and drop Leech Seeds/Spikes/Stealth Rocks) before going down if its opponent doesn't exploit its weaknesses.
Attacking it with physical contact will also hurt the attacker, thanks to Ferrothorn being covered in Spikes Of Doom. One might want to reconsider using martial arts on it...
There's also the sarcophagus Ghost Cofagrigus, who sports a solid physical Defense of 145 and a rather sturdy Special Defense of 105. Furthermore, its ability "Mummy" can cripple the ability of many physical attackers who dare to attack it.
Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Gothita, Gothorita, and Gothitelle. They all look like a differently aged girl in goth wear. They all have a 25% chance of being male. At least Ralts had a [comparatively] gender-neutral appearance. Made worse with the release of Shadow Tag Gothitelle, giving it a powerful ability that traps opposing Pokemon. But the only Shadow Tag Gothitelles released were male, so any appearance of Gothitelle in competitive play is almost guaranteed to be male.
Meloetta is a subversion. While it's not a female, despite its really girly traits, neither is it male. Oddly, there have been male and female Legendary Pokémon since Generation III, so there is no excuse.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: Battling Audino is an excellent way to gather large amounts of experience fast, but they often use a move called Heal Pulse that will actually heal your Pokémon, so you might feel a bit bad about beating the crap out of it and thirty of its cousins.
Ambidextrous Sprite: Averted, you can't see either player character's bag when they are facing the right side.
American Gun Politics: The thrust of the plot and the antagonists' ideology is loosely based around the political debates (and Conspiracy Theories) surrounding the topic, substituting firearms for pet monsters with abilities that are sometimes even more dangerous.
Anti-Grinding: All Pokémon now receive an additional experience modifier based on the ratio between user and opponents' respective levels; as your party members level up, the same opponents (e.g. wild Pokémon) award fewer experience points than they did before. On the flipside, this means that low-level party members (such as freshly bred Pokémon) level up faster when you defeat high-level opponents (especially since it stacks with all the other modifiers, like the bonus on traded Pokémon or Trainer battles, and the Exp. Share...)
Ascended Extra: Caitlin, who merely sat in the background in Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver during battles at the Battle Castle, is now an Elite Four member.
Ascended Fridge Horror: A common source of Fridge Horror in the series was how moral the Pokémon battles themselves actually are, and how people could potentially take advantage of the world being centered around the sport by creating Fantasy Gun Control. Cue Team Plasma, an organization based on the idea that it's morally wrong to force Pokémon to beat each other nearly to death for sport. The organization has two conflicting leaders — N, who honestly believes in the organization's mantra, and Ghetsis, who only preaches this to try and convince everyone else in the world to release their Pokémon so that he'll be the most powerful Trainer around. Guess which one has a Heel-Face Turn, and which one's the final boss...
Although, it's ultimately subverted, as the only reason N believes this is because he was purposefully raised from birth to think so. By the end, he realizes that Pokémon and humans can coexist after all, and that Pokémon don't mind serving their trainers.
That being said, even if he was purposefully raised among abused Pokemon to promote a certain agenda, no one seems shocked by the idea that Pokemon abuse exists, those Pokemon told N all his childhood about how much they hated humans, and there's no sign of regulation or animal cruelty laws that would stop "bad" humans from abusing their Pokemon/property, even if one were to accept most Pokemon training as moral.
Bait-and-Switch Boss: For the first time in the series, you don't directly fight the champion after beating the Elite Four. Instead, you're required to catch your version's Legendary (Reshiram/Zekrom) and take down N. You still don't end up doing this until a long time and about 20 or 30 level-ups afterward.
Bag of Spilling: Items can not be transferred over from Gen IV. A key TMs are missing (like Stealth Rock). Despite this, all items except the TMs are in the game's code, but not all of them are available.
Strangely, the useless-outside-of-R/S/E Shoal Salt and Shoal Shell are in the game, hinting at there being a R/S/E remake. In these games they're at least Vendor Trash.
Big Applesauce: Complete with the Liberty Pass to access the Victini event.
Big Damn Heroes: The Gym Leaders, when you encounter the Sages after beating the Elite Four.
Bilingual Bonus: You will find some people and trainers in the game speaking French, Italian, Spanish, and German.
Blah Blah Blah: What you hear when a researcher explains the Poké Transfer.
"Desert Resort Ahead It's nicer than the average desert!"
The sandstorm that inhabits said desert is much heavier than the normal desert, to the point that some brightness settings have it almost impossible to navigate.
Bold Inflation: Averted; for the first time ever in the international versions; the names of the individual Mons are no longer written in all capital letters by default. Generation IV had begun to deprecate this practice in other areas, however. And Pokémon transferred will keep their all-caps names unless they evolve, unnicknamed.
Boss Bonanza: The game probably falls into this. You have the Elite Four battle, then immediately afterward, catch the version mascot and then, the battles with N and Ghetsis. Fortunately, there's phlebotinum to heal your Pokemon before pushing onto those last two, so you aren't going in depleted.
Broken Bridge: Including several literal ones. Other than the Driftveil Drawbridge being open to let ships pass through, they didn't even bother to think up reasons anymore:
NPC: There is something ahead, and the road is closed now.
But Thou Must: A couple of standard instances are in the game. However, one big instance is that you're required to catch your version's legendary; if you knock it out, it will get right back up and the game will tell you that the Pokémon wants you to capture it, although should all your boxes and party be full upon encountering it, you won't have to catch it, and it will appear again at Dragonspiral Tower post-game.
Character Select Forcing: The game all-but forces you to use the elemental monkey acquired in the Dreamyard against the 1st gym. To keep you from using anyone else, they (1) raised the starter evolution level to 17 so you can't just overwhelm the leader with it, (2) made Pidove unavailable until after the gym to avoid having trainers who chose Oshawott as their starter using it against Pansage, (3) only put Normal and Dark Pokemon with neutral effectiveness against the monkeys on the early routes, and (4) made trading unavailable until after the gym to keep trainers from bringing in better Pokemon early on. While it's still very possible to overpower the leader with your starter/Lillypup/Patrat/Purrloin, it's obvious they wanted you to use the monkey.
Chekhov's Gun: In the Nacrene Museum, there are a variety of remarkable items: a Dragonite skeleton, an Armaldo fossil, a meteor containing Deoxys DNA, etc. Then there is a simple rock found in the desert. The person nearby states that there really isn't anything special about it, but they put it there because it looks nice. Guess which of the aforementioned items contains the spirit of the legendary Reshiram or Zekrom you're supposed to challenge N with?
Kindergartner: Rrrraaaaar! I'll run! You gonna chase me? You run! Am I gonna chase you? Change your perspective — and the reality changes.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: As usual, some of the Gym Leaders and Elite Four have fully-evolved Pokémon at lower levels than what is required to actually get those evolutions in the first place. (On the bright side, if you did have to face those fully-evolved Mons at their true levels, you'd be curb-stompedoutright.)
Ghetsis takes this even further, having a Hydreigon level 54 (Zweilous evolves at level 64). Even if you were doing well up until then, when this thing shows up...
Again, if it was at the correct level, you'd be faced with almost certain defeat unless you spent the past few days Level Grinding or came in with lots of Revives and healing items. It's definitely crazy, but still kinda justified since Hydreigon is the generation 5 "Pseudo-Legendary", and thus has an absurd stat total (600).
It'd be easier if they just used the actual Pokemon that would be available at that level or let you get what they get.
The museum features a fossil of a Dragonite, Thick Clubs for Marowak, an Armaldo fossil, and a meteorite with a space virus (Deoxys).
A Black Belt mentions that he came from a Fighting Dojo in Kanto, if you talk to him after the Pokémon battle.
He refers to himself as the Karate King.
A trainer in the Desert Resort references Go-Goggles.
A trainer in the Village Bridge mentions that Route 12 is great for training for Pokéathlons in Johto.
A book in Lenora's Gym references Poffins from Sinnoh.
A girl in Undella Town on vacation from Hoenn mentions Steven from Ruby and Sapphire as a Trainer who, despite being strong, is said to focus on collecting stones.
Upon defeat, Game Freak Morimoto references Steven's self-introduction in his Ruby and Sapphire Trainer's Eyes profile (Japanese version only).
Pikachu appears several times: as a bush in Striaton City, on a billboard in Castelia City, and as an NPC that can be spoken to.
The Driftveil Drawbridge is also known as the "Charizard Bridge" (making Charizard the only older Pokémon to be mentioned by name during the main storyline). If you stay on the bridge for long enough, you can even hear a Charizard's cry.
Are you sure that it isn't Rhyhorn's?
Convection Schmonvection: Exaggerated in White when N summons Reshiram to battle you. It arrives and sets off a heat wave strong enough to instantly evaporate almost all the water in the room. You and N are both alive immediately afterwards.
If you're playing Black version, the same thing happens, only with Zekrom and a gigantic shockwave instead. Of course, you're still fine afterwards.
Copy Protection: Playing a pirated ROM of the game? Your Pokémon won't gain any experience!
Of course, this comes along with all the other regular protections, so it's like adding insult to injury. Or vice versa.
Well, that would be a problem, but devoted gamers created Action Replay codes to bypass it, 6 HOURS after the game's release in Japan.
To a un-piracy related example, there was Anti-AR in the game, preventing real copies of the game (but not pirated copies) to not be able to use Action Replay. In Japan, it was patched posthaste with the AR, but elsewhere it's only recently been patched, and only for the Micro SD model of the ARDSi.
His name is Morimoto, as in one of the game designers and the creator of Mew, Shigeki Morimoto. You fight him in a building in Castelia City after beating the game. His Pokémon are pretty high leveled, too, in the 75+ range. Despite being best known for creating Mew and has said it is his favorite Pokémon, his team does not include it.
Critical Hit: Two new attacks, "Frost Breath" and "Storm Throw", will always land a critical hit (double damage, ignores stat changes hindering user) unless the opponent has specific protection (Lucky Chant, Battle Armor etc.) against critical hits.
Throwing Poké Balls at wild Pokémon now has a chance to "critical-hit" as well in the form of a Critical Capture, where the game performs only one check to see if Pokémon broke free instead of threenote Used to be four in past generations.
Death Glare: If you beat N and then lose to Ghetsis, upon returning to the Throne Room Ghetsis gives you one of these and immediately battles you.
Free-Range Children is deconstructed with Bianca. Her father thinks she's still too immature and goes nuts at the thought of her traveling alone in a world of potentially dangerous creatures.
To Be a Master is deconstructed with Cheren, who over the game slowly learns that being the best for purely the sake of it is completely pointless.
And the entire "catch poor little creatures, trap them inside balls and make them fight each other!" principle that is the entire premise of the franchise!
Decon-Recon Switch: The above three get reconstructed through the game: the world isn't that bad and Bianca has her friends and Pokémon watching her, Pokémon and trainers can understand and love each other, the kids' parents went on the same character-building journey before and end up agreeing it's a good thing, and Cheren and Bianca find a purpose.
Difficulty Spike: After beating the Elite Four for the first time, the trainers of the routes you haven't been on yet have Pokémon that are about level 65 and above, while your team is probably in the mid 50s or lower.
As always, there's a pretty hefty one when you reach the Elite Four as well, especially considering you go straight from fighting their Level 50's to fighting N and Reshiram/Zekrom, and Ghetsis with his Level 54 Hydreigon.
Disc One Nuke: Catch a few Lillipup with the Pickup ability and watch as it continues to snag free items while Level Grinding. However, Lillipup loses this ability when it evolves into Herdier.
With a little bit of attention and luck, it's possible to get a Musharna from the very first "mini-dungeon" area of the game. Musharna is the evolved version of Munna with a great stat set (literally the only weakness it has is that it's very slow) and comes with accompanying stats and a default moveset that allows it to fight very easily. The only problem it has is that, being a stone evolution, it won't learn new moves naturally, but you can still give it a few of its crucial moves via TM - which don't disappear on use anymore. It is quite capable of soloing much of the early game for you, if/when you get it.
Dream World: This debuts as an added online game feature, in which asleep Pokémon explore their dreams. It is similar in gameplay to the Pokéwalker, but without the added benefit of getting kids to go play outside.
A bit of Fridge Brilliance hailing from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire: In the Devon Corporation building in Rustboro City, there is a scientist who mentions that "I'm attempting a device that lets you see into the dreams of Pokemon!! But it's not going well..." Two generations later, you get to do just this.
Dub Name Change: This is the first game in the main series to change the region's name, from Isshu to Unova, bringing back the O featured in the other four. Notable, because each other language has its own name for Unova, rather than just using the English or Japanese name.
Dub-Induced Plot Hole: In the Battle Item shop in Nacrene City, an NPC notes that it's called Dire Hit in Unova, but is the same thing (despite the item always having been "Dire Hit"). This makes more sense in the Japanese version, as the item went from "Critcutter" to "Critcut" in Generation 5.
Easter Egg: In Nacrene City, the first house you can enter holds an old Generation I/II Gym statue, though you can't fish in it.
Elemental Absorption/Energy Absorption: More prominent than ever, various old and new abilities allow Pokémon to absorb certain types of attacks and benefit from them instead of taking damage. Also present with Reshiram's and Zekrom's signature moves, which power up if hit by their counterpart.
There's also a kid NPC early on who challenges you to a game of literalElemental Rock-Paper-Scissors. It teaches series newcomers about elemental relations in the process.
Excuse Plot: Actually averted this time. Platinum averted some of it before (by giving the subplot more of an emphasis than it had in Diamond and Pearl), but in Black and White, the plot is literally everywhere, up to the ending at the Pokemon League.
Fake Longevity: At long last AVERTED, battles are extremely sped up compared to the previous games, and without animations, it's essentially as fast as you can push the buttons. And the task of catching all of the Pokémon is mitigated A LOT by the Dream World having essentially every Pokémon available to find. Some require codes of course, but still!
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Surprisingly, the tradition of making Pokémon regions based on regions of Japan was broken. Instead, Unova is the Pokémon equivalent of New York, with a bit of Jersey City thrown in for good measure.
Ferris Wheel Date Moment: In Nimbasa City, there is a ferris wheel on which you can ride with a different NPC each season and N. On this ride, the conversations are pure Ship Tease. Furthermore, the NPC options are different based on which gender you pick, and there's even a Gay Option!
Although, there's a definite Double Standard with the Gay Options... And which one gets away with it even gets flipped from the JPN version to the US one note In the JPN version, the Hiker that can go with males is really disturbing in his relative explicitness, while the Waitress that can go with a female character just blabs about boy troubles to her. In the US version the Hiker is quite censored, while the Waitress drops any mention of boy troubles and now talks as though she Cannot Spit It Out and is glad to finally be able to talk about some things she can only talk about with another girl after a fade to black.
Fight Woosh: In addition to the usual mix (wild Pokémon, trainer battles, etc.), legendary Pokémon now come with their own unique Fight Woosh. The "Musketeer trio" (Cobalion, Virizion, Terrakion) use a variation on the shattering-glass effect.
Forced Tutorial: The Dream World programmers though it was a good idea to link tutorial messages to cookies, rather than accounts. Meaning that if you don't store temporary internet files between sessions, you see them every day. And you are on a time limit...
Foreshadowing: Members of the Elite Four make various offhand remarks to the effect of another challenger coming through just before you. That was N, of course.
Magikarp's Pokedex entry states that, while it can leap up a mountain with Splash if it lives for many years, "the move remains useless" in combat.
Scrafty's dex entry states that it gangs up on and beats opponents that enter their territory, as well as being able to spit acid. However, it does not learn Beat Up or Acid Bomb/Acid/Gastro Acid.
Part of Ferroseed's animation clearly shows it spinning rapidly, but it does not learn Rapid Spin (although it does get Gyro Ball). Game Freak probably didn't want its evo to replace Forretress entirely.
It's perfectly possible to play through the game as the sort of trainer N despises: Regardless of your Pokemons' actual happiness values, N still says that they like you. This is mainly an artifact of the game's happiness mechanics — trying to get a Mon upset is actually pretty hard to do, since the only ways to really decrease their happiness is to routinely let them be knocked out in combat, or spend a fortune on feeding them the bitter herbal medicines. Just about anything else you can do increases their happiness value — in fact, even mundane activities like Level Grinding and just walking around will slowly put them in a better mood. The player may as well be a Friend To All Pokemon.
In the story, N curb-stomps the League Champion with the help of Reshiram or Zekrom. Later, if you go back to challenge him yourself, his Pokemon are a good +20 levels stronger than before. It's explained that he was largely out of practice (due to retirement) which is why he was defeated by N; by the the time you face him, he's got his Mons back up to speed.
Gameplay and Story Integration: N does not believe Pokémon are tools. Save for the final battle, every time you encounter him he has a different team made exclusively of Pokémon that can be found in the local vicinity — because he releases them and asks his "friends" for help. This even includes Zekrom and Reshiram.
Gender Bender: A boy in Icirrus City is spontaneously transformed into a Waitress when you enter the Entralink. She responds with panic.
Global Currency: Unova is based on New York, but the currency is still Yen in the Japanese versions.
Gratuitous English: A good deal of the interface in the Japanese version is in both Japanese and English. There is even a "Howdy Hour" on the TVs!
In the American release, it's Gratuitous Japanese. At least you're told what the phrases mean in English and also the pronunciation guide for each phrase.
Gratuitous German: There is a room where some trainers speak foreign languages (including Spanish, Italian, and German). The German was surprisingly good (The man says he bought a car, which would help his business due to being able to easily visit the next city over, but he can't pass his driving test).
Furthermore, this is the possible origin of G-Cis, the official romanization of Ghetsis' Japanese name (and his German name too), see also Spell My Name with an S on this very page.
If both your Pokemon faint in the same turn in a double battle, you're supposed to select a new Pokemon, then select which fainted Pokemon you want it to replace. There is nothing in the game to suggest this course of action—people who attempt to simply select two Pokemon will be told that the second one can't switch out, which has led many players to believe they're experiencing a glitch.
Want a Zorua? Want a Zoroark? Want a Victini? Want to know how to navigate the underwater ruins in Undella Bay? Wanna know how Black City and White Forest work? Good luck finding any of these out based on information available in the game, because they don't tell you. Undella Bay is a double guide dangit because the official guide only gives you a map of the first floor and explicitly tells you to figure out the rest yourself.
For the first time in the series, after you beat the Elite Four, you're allowed to heal and change your team before facing the endgame. There's even a friendly NPC who will teleport you back to the Pokemon Centre. Genre Savvy players may actually be at a disadvantage on their first run, having used up all of their rare healing items instead of saving them for the final bosses.
Healing Shiv: The move Healing Pulse, which only works on a target other than the user. It's supposed to be used for double battles, but if you're lucky enough a high-leveled wild Audino may use it on you.
Helpful Mook: Audino, as described in Healing Shiv. In addition, there are trainers classified as Doctors and Nurses. Defeat them, and they will then heal your entire party to full every time you talk to them afterwards. Very useful, since they tend to be positioned deep in caves/Routes.
Hub City: Castelia City. At the very least, it's a metropolis far grander than any seen in previous generations.
Improbable Power Discrepancy: The most powerful Pokémon you fight before the end of the main story is at level 54. The first NPC trainer you come across after the ending finishes will likely have something in the low-mid 60's.
What makes it this trope as opposed to a regular Difficulty Spike is that in order to compensate for the level difference, the majority of the trainers you encounter in the beginning endgame areas use unevolved Pokémon. More than one person had a double take at the trainer with a lv. 63 Weedle.
It mostly depends on which way you go to reach the new area; do you go east of Opelucid City or east of Nimbasa City? If the latter, it's a Difficulty Spike, as some of the early trainers include a tough triple/rotational battle and one has a high leveled Altaria that loves to bulk up on the broken Cotton Guard.
Interface Spoiler: Sort of. Even without the into that makes it incredibly obvious that N is an antagonist from the beginning, the fact that he has unique Battle Theme Music and an animated trainer sprite (a luxury that is only given to two other trainers) would probably give away that he's going to be very important anyway.
Item Get: Cue the dramatic pose when picking items up off the ground in forests and caves.
Innocuously Important Episode: Shortly after your Nacrene Gym victory, Team Plasma steals the head of the Dragonite skeleton that was on display in the museum. After you chase them down, they appear to lose interest in the skull completely. Four Gyms later, it's revealed that they were after an artifact that is supposed to summon one of the two dragons of the Unovan creation myth. They took the Dragon Skull because it was, well, dragon-shaped. It turns out that they should have gone for the unidentified stone sitting in a different corner of the museum.
Joisey: Driftveil City possibly represents Elizabeth with its shipping ports. Mistralton City obviously represents Newark since it has the airport. Route 7 is eerily similar to NJ's Highway Route 7 since they both run through a swamp. Finally Icirrus City may represent one of the cities in Bergen County since the Meadowlands Swamp make up most of the southern part.
Last Chance Hit Point: The ability "Sturdy" now functions the same as the "Focus Sash" in previous generations, allowing a Pokémon to survive an otherwise lethal hit if they were at full HP beforehand. In short, if you're not using high-damage attacks that also cause damaging status ailments, don't use a multi-hit move such as Double Kick, or don't have a Pokémon with the passive ability Mold Breaker (which nullifies Sturdy altogether), you cannot knock these Pokémon out in one hit, making wild battles so much more aggravating.
Alternatively, if there's a Pokemon you really want to catch that has Sturdy, it makes it that much easier to catch it, as you don't have to worry about the first hit accidentally ko-ing the Pokemon.
Late Arrival Spoiler: Believe it or not, N being an antagonist is actually supposed to be a shocking twist.
Leaked Experience: The flipside to Anti-Grinding means that equipping a low-level Pokémon with the Exp.Share causes them to catch up to your other party members even faster than in previous games.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: On Skyarrow Bridge an NPC says "The way the bridge curves right here... I've never seen anything like it!" While its not that abnormal a bridge (by real life standards), it is the most three dimensional scene in any Pokémon game to date. And they have this conversation to remind you of that.
Leitmotif: Cheren, Bianca, Ghetsis, N, Professor Juniper, Papa Juniper (though his is just a remix of his daughter's), Alder, Looker, and Cynthia all get one, as well as the usual generic trainer themes. N even gets an Ominous Music Box Tune remix of his.
Lethal Joke Character: Quite a lot of the Dream World abilities turn otherwise pathetic Pokémon into absolute monsters. Examples include Ditto, Bidoof, Minccino, and even Aron. The Eviolite hold item can do so as well, as it provides a 50% Defense boost to any Mon that isn't fully evolved — which can make certain un-evolved Pokémon (like Munchlax or Scyther) endure more damage than their final evolutions can.
Lethal Joke Item: Most players neglect the X items (which provide in-battle stat boosts, like to Attack or Defense) because there are many moves that do the same effect (if not better) for free and, because the boosts diappear after battles, most in-game battles aren't long enough to justify the expenses. Turns out, the final boss's main threat is a fully evolved pseudo-legendary dragon Pokémon (at a lower level than should be possible, too!) whose primary threat is its high Special Attack power (combined with a variety of high-power attacks that are likely to be super-effective against something in your party) and high Speed (allowing it to strike first in most cases), while he leads with a defensive Pokémon that gives you easy set-up. Good luck attempting to land more than one or two hits against this thing without having a Speed or Sp. Def boost on your side.
Launcher Battles. These are the only types of human battles where non-hold battle items may be used. Not only are the normal X items there, but so are more powerful versions of the items (along with practically every other battle item that can be found bought or found, save herbs and a few other special items). The effects of these items can affect the outcome of a battle greatly and add a whole new layer of strategy to fights.
Eviolite, an item that drastically increases the Defense and Special Defense of the Pokemon holding it, provided that Pokemon has not evolved to its final form yet. This even works with Pokemon like Chansey and Onix (which were designed to be defensive standalones in the first games and got evolved forms in later installments), making them obscenely powerful.
Loads and Loads of Loading: The Dream World, like any heavily flash-based web page, involves a lot of loading as you move between screens or do actions. The exact amount of loading time varies by computer speed, but the loading is more noticeable when performing small actions, like planting Berries in the garden.
In-game, Unova has lookout stations (gates) between almost every town in this generation, although it does hide the background loading better than Generation IV did.
The music that plays when N summons his castle is one of the most epic songs in the game. Too bad it only plays in such a small area that takes at most 10 seconds to move through and advance to a new area with it's own music and it won't be heard from again when the main story is finished. To add on to that, it returns in the sequels for a plot-important cutscene, during which it's harder to miss, but at the same time you have no control over your character or pausing during it.
Mundane Made Awesome: When you get a Gym badge, you see it flying across the screen and slamming into the badge case which takes up the whole screen, complete with loud swishing and clanging sound effects.
Possibly justified. By earning the Badge, you've earned the extra awesome!
Mundane Utility: The television show moves for living as all about how useful the new Pokemon moves are in everyday life.
Mythology Gag: The games have a lot of throwbacks to the first gen, such as the messed up house, two main regional birds, and home town structure.
N also declares at one point that he will become "Unbeatable, unlike any other!" Remind anyone else of "I wanna be the very best / Like no one ever was"?
Another first generation throwback is the return of a separate checkpoint for each badge at the gate to the Pokémon League. They even go the extra mile here and theme each path to the checkpoint based off of the last badge you got approved.
Nintendo Hard: With only new Pokémon to choose from, some of the bigger battles can be difficult to find appropriate counters against. Additionally, some of the trainers are unusually high leveled and pack strong Pokémon to fight you with, even before the first Gym.
No OSHA Compliance: Have you seen the Mistralton Gym? You go from station to station to get to the Gym Leader by being fired out of cannons. One of them even shoots you too far, sending you crashing into a wall.
The Icirrus gym is no better. You have Frictionless Ice as well as ramps. Going over what appears to be bottomless chasms.
One trainer in Icirrus's gym even Lampshades this and wonders aloud about how gym leaders expect strange things out of trainers like being launched out of cannons and skating around on Frictionless Ice.
A lot of the Unova Gyms seem to have at least slight risk of serious injury. Nacrene has that moving bookcase, Castelia has the honey-walls, Nimbasa has a roller-coaster, Driftveil has those skinny rafters. Opelucid has dragon-shaped walkways that stand probably anywhere between twenty feet and sixty feet over a bottomless pit; these walkways can also arbitrarily move. The only particularly safe Gym is probably Striaton's, due to its not-very-dangerous gimmick (moving curtains).
No Pronunciation Guide: The Xtranceiver, according to one early-game message box and the anime, is actually pronounced "cross-tranceiver".
As always, certain Pokémon (like Sawk and Throh) are more readily encountered in one version than the other, and a few species (like Rufflet and Vullaby) are completely exclusive to their particular version. Trading Mons between versions, as always, is still a requirement if you wish to trulycatch 'em all.
Opelucid City's design differs significantly between versions; in Black it is a city of rapid technological change, while in White it is a city steeped in history and traditions. The Gym Leader also varies between versions (Drayden or Iris), though their Pokémon lineups are identical save for the genders of their particular Mons and their Druddigon's Abilities.
White version features "Triple Battles", full 3-on-3 combat where positioning determines who can attack whom; Black version features "Rotation battles", 3-on-3 affairs where only one may attack at a time, but rotating between them is a free action. Each can be found in the other's post-game and they are very rare in either case, though.
Pintsized Powerhouse: Bianca was under the assumption your cute little starters would be too weak to cause much damage from having a Pokémon battle in your bedroom. After the battle is finished, the entire room is wrecked (except for your Wii). This gets lampshaded heavily by both her, Cheren, and even your mother, who all point out that despite being so little, Pokémon can still pack a punch.
Pokémon Wrongs Group: Team Plasma appears to be one of these, as they steal Pokémon to "liberate" them from other Trainers. Some of them know the truth, but they do it anyway.
Inferno is also Awesome, but Impractical. It has 100 Base Power and automatically causes burn, but it only has 50% accuracy; even the similar move Zap Cannon has 120 BP. But after using the new move Telekinesis, it will always hit.
Pińata Enemy: Audino gives out surprisingly large amounts of experience, and can be located virtually anywhere — just wander around until you see a patch of shaking grass, chances are roughly 1 in 2 that it's an Audino.
In some areas, shaking grass can't be anything but Audino.
Poor, Predictable Rock: Averted in one of the Gyms for once. The very first one tests you on type advantages, and the Gym Leader uses whichever of the monkey trio has an edge on your starter.
And it goes right back into being played completely straight. In the Dreamyard, a NPC gives you whichever elemental monkey has a type advantage over the Gym Leader's for free.
Preexisting Encounters: In addition to the usual Trainer battles and some legendaries waiting in plain sight to be encountered, occasionally a patch of grass will shake, indicating you can encounter a rarer Mon than the normal Random Encounters will provide. A few breeds (like Audino and Emolga) can only be encountered in this manner.
Psycho Supporter: The Shadow Triad are the only members of Team Plasma to remain loyal to Ghetsis once his true motives behind creating the team are exposed. Probably justified in that he did save their lives once.
Reconstruction: Outright statedby the developers to be part of the point behind the games; after four game-pairs which were fairly similar, they're deliberately going back, taking everything about Pokémon apart, and rebuilding it to make the games fresh, more interesting, and more fun to play.
Castelia City is probably the most detailed town you'll ever see in the Poké universe outside of the anime.
The Royal Unova is perhaps the best example of this in the game; if you go out on deck, you are treated to a full 3D view of the various bridges of Unova, and eventually the Castelia City skyline. It's only accessible after obtaining the National Dex, however.
Seasonal Baggage: Seasons are present in this game. Some of the Pokémon also change depending on the season, most notably the deer Pokémon Deerling and its evolution, Sawsbuck.
While Deerling doesn't change its type with the seasons, it knows the move Camouflage, which changes its type with the environment. Proper use of this will let you cross up your opponent by suffling the deer's weaknesses (of which it has a lot).
Secret Character: Among the new "event" Mons, Zorua, Zoroark, and Victini cannot be acquired without possessing specially distributed Mons or items. Keldeo, Meoletta, and Genesect cannot be acquired in normal gameplay at all.
Also, many species of Unova Pokémon evolve at higher levels when compared to Mons of other regions, so it takes longer to build a team of fully evolved Mons in the late game.
The game's first Gym also has three Leaders, and you fight whichever one gets a type advantage against your starter (as opposed to the fixed elemental themes in previous games, where having the right starter could give you a clear advantage over the first Gym). A nearby NPC offers to give you an elemental Pokémon that can counter theirs, but you're still in for a fight.
Additionally, they spend several turns using "Work Up" to boost their attack power, so if you can't knock them out in that time, you could be facing a Total Party Kill once they start actually attacking you.
Sequel Hook: Arguably Ghetsis escaping custody and going on the run with the Dark Trinity.
With the announcement of the sequels, this is all but confirmed.
Another potential sequel hook: After six of the Seven Sages are arrested in the postgame portion (Ghetsis gets away, sadly), Looker mentions that someone told him of an "N-ish" person flying on a dragon being spotted in a faraway land.
An interesting proposed hook is that Sage Ryoku says that nobody's exactly sure that N's really related to Ghetsis.
Sage Rood also says that he hopes to see N rise up against Ghetsis one day.
There's also Kyurem, the third Pokémon in the tao dragon trio who has no bearing on the storyline in both Black and White, but can be caught in both games at an isolated spot. Remember Rayquaza and Giratina?
On the subject of Kyurem, within the game code are two very powerful ice moves, one of which paralyses and one of which burns. These moves can't be learned by any Pokémon in Black and White, but considering the types of the other members of that particular trio, different formes for the third version seem VERY likely. This is also supported by the fact that Kyurem's battle theme is the same as Reshiram's and Zekrom's.
This is indeed the case, with Black Kyurem and White Kyurem revealed with the announcement of Black and White Version 2.
The animated portraits that appear in some conversations bear more than a passing resemblance to cutscenes in Game Freak's obscure Super Nintendo game, Bushi Seiryuden.
Like the previous games, there are a few shout outs to the MOTHER series, but this gen there an exceptional amount of MOTHER 3 references in particular, like the Dark/Dragon type line, the theme of Nature vs. Technology, an overall Darker and Edgier atmosphere, and the N's Farewell theme at the end of the game having fragments of MOTHER 3's Love Theme in it.
The "Waitress" trainer class strongly resembles Tessie, an NPC from Mother 3.
To top it all off, some of the new 'mons visibly resemble MOTHER 3's chimeras...
The "Round" move is reminiscent of the first MOTHER. (Which makes sense, since Creatures, Inc. worked on it.)
Shauntal of the Elite Four may be a shout out to Velma of Scooby Doo fame, due to her similar appearances, fascination with ghosts, and intellectual disposition.
A shoutout to the days of Red and Blue, the Magikarp Salesman returns, still selling Magikarp for $500... only this time, it's not a scam as it's the only way to legitimately obtain a Magikarp in Black and White without trade or transfer.
The scientist who runs the Transfer Machine — i.e. sending your Pokémon through time and space — makes use of the words "allons-y" and "molto bene."
In the Japanese version, White Forest's only trainers, who Triple Battle you, are Nursery Aide Yukari and School Kid Shinji, standing next to each other.
One that's actually kept in the English version — in the Nacrene Gym, you fight Scientist Satomi.
In Nimbasa City's larger Sports Dome, one of the soccer players tells you to join the training of their team, Pokémon Eleven. In addition, Nimbasa City was named Raimon City in the Japanese version, so this had to be intentional.
Soundtrack Dissonance: The Near Victory Fanfare begins playing when a Gym Leader has only one Pokemon left. However, with some Gym Leaders (We're looking at you, Lenora) their last Pokemon can tear you apart. So you get to watch your team get destroyed while the happy song plays.
Spanner in the Works: The Hero befriending N is ultimately this to Ghetsis' "perfect plan", as it results in him questioning Team Plasma's plans enough to want to have a final battle with the player in order to see whose belief is right concerning Pokémon.
Splash Damage: Positioning matters in Triple Battles; if a user on the side position uses a technique that hits all opponents (Surf, Earthquake, Discharge, etc.), it will only affect the two opponents adjacent to the user, leaving the far-side opponent unaffected.
The Fire element also has Flame Burst, which inflicts moderate damage on its target and all adjacent opponents receive 1/16th their maximum HP in damage, even if they're on the far side and can't be targetted directly.
Deerling is a fawn with a flower on its head, making it both Flora and Fauna. It also changes forms based on the season, so it's equal parts Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather.
Shauntal of the Unovan Elite Four is apparently a writer, appearing in all sprites with a pen and book in hand. She trains Ghost-types. This makes her a ghostwriter. Also, her Japanese name contains the Japanese word for "death." Pen and book...
The ability Big Pecks seems to refer to pecking, an action that birds are known for. However, it's actually referring to pectoral muscles, or breasts.
Truth in Television: In most cases, pectoral muscles in birds do make up a larger percent of body weight than other animals.
Combined with Punny Name, Undella Town is the town in which you get Dive. Nearby is a bay in which you can use said move. In other words, you can go unda' le bay. Say Undella Bay out loud.
Stripperiffic: The outfit of Skyla, the Flying-type sixth Gym Leader, can only really be described as this.
Add in that she may have the biggest bust yet and we now have Fetish Fuel.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: When confronting Team Plasma in Castelia City: "Not a soul is in here! No other Team Plasma members, nor any of the Seven Sages, are inside." You are told this by a bunch of Team Plasma grunts outside the building.
Take a Third Option: Instead of using Generation I and II style color names or Generation III and IV style "normal" namesnote Such as Lyra being a pun on "lyre", or Lucas containing lux, Latin for "light", Game Freak seems to be using real names that mean black, white and transparent.
Take Your Time: Justified. By the end of the game, N wants to wait for you to come and fight him, because he wants to determine once and for all whether his ideals or yours are the correct ones.
Taking You with Me: "Final Gambit" causes the user to faint, in return dealing damage equal to the user's remaining HP. Game Freak went out of their way to ensure Shedinja can learn it.
Techno Babble: The people at Poké Transfer don't even bother trying to make an explanation that makes sense; either that, or it's implied the snippets of what the player does hear comes in between them dozing off.
The new move Steamroller does double damage to Minimized opponents, just like Stomp.
If you start the game at night, when you first leave your house, Woobat will fly by instead of Pidove.
While you're inside N's castle, a friendly Plasma Grunt will give you a free Ultra Ball and tell you to come talk to them again for more if you really need them. This is to ensure that the player will still have a chance at capturing Zekrom or Reshiram should they either have gotten to that point without any Poke Balls in their bag or run out of them during the battle and not have enough money (which is hard to undo since you can't repeat trainer battles) to buy more back at the Pokemon League.
On your birthday, if you talk to the owner of the Musical building, he'll give you the Toy Cake prop. If you fiddle with the clock so he gives it to you when it isn't your birthday, he'll say 'Even if it isn't your birthday, I won't ask for it back.'
During battles, trainer-owned Pokémon are released in mid-air, then either stay airborne or drop down on the ground. There are two exceptions though: Diglett and Dugtrio, whose sprites always show them buried with only their head visible, are released at ground level.
The Royal Unova gives you a limited amount of time (marked by five blows of a horn) to find and battle between three and seven Trainers hidden among the passengers in the ship's cabins. Some passengers will make you lose time by talking your ear off, but if you can defeat all of the Trainers before time runs out, you'll win a rare item. Or you could just screw it and go watch the view from the observation deck instead.
Time Travel: Not part of the story, but if you use Pal Park to transfer a Pokémon from generation III to generation IV and then use Poké Transfer to bring it into generation V, its info screen will say that it arrived "after a long travel through time".
Averted with TMs now being usable an unlimited number of times, in contrast to previous generations where they were single-use items. However, as a tradeoff, they're far more expensive to buy. Naturally, however, not having to buy them over and over again probably makes up for that.
PP Ups now count as well. Far too precious and limited to use in earlier games, but are now a renewable resource. You can get 1 per star piece you have, and you can get 1 star piece a day. They and their (initially) even rarer counterparts the PP Maxes can also be received from a janitor after a 21-win streak in the Battle Subway and from Veterans in the sports domes, respectively.
Hey, remember Caitlin from the Sinnoh Battle Frontier's Battle Castle? And how she never battled you? Yeah, well, she's an Elite Four member now.
Many older Pokémon were given very useful Dream World abilities that bump quite a few of them up a few tiers.
The new hold-item Eviolite, which increases the holder's Defense and Special Defense by 50% if they can evolve. This has made some Pokemon like Lairon, Porygon2, Rhydon, Scyther, Dusclops, etc, just as viable options as their actual evolutions.
Translation Convention: Averted, bizarrely enough. The final rocket grunt from GSCHGSS maintains his Gratuitous English Japanese-is-not-his-first-language speech patterns, despite the fact that he should be talking English given Unova's basis.
Tron Lines: Black's version of Opelucid city is absolutely covered in these, from the buildings to the pavement. Black City's buildings also make use of it.
Some routes have additional percussion in the background music when you're walking around.
In Accumula Town, entering one of the houses and talking to pianist and drummer NPCs will add piano and percussion tracks to the background music.
Several cities will add another instrument to the background track depending on your proximity to a street performer.
On the Battle Subway, new instruments are added for each car you enter.
When you go to get your first badge for the Pokémon League approved at the first gate, there is silence. Then, when you enter the next room to get the next badge approved, drumming is heard in the background. More instruments are added as you get badges approved until the full instrumentals for the Victory Road theme are playing.
In several areas with basement floors, the music goes into a lower key the further down you go.
Villain Opening Scene: The opening cinematic before the title screen doesn't give little snippets of various characters or show off some of the new Pokémon like the previous games, but rather focuses on Team Plasma crowning their king.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Lenora. Her Pokémon are levels 18 and 20, respectively, which is a huge step up from what you've been facing up to this point. Both can use Retaliate, which is a fairly strong attack in its own right, but gets even worse if her Watchog uses it immediately after you take out her Herdier (it has a base attack of 70, which doubles to 140 if used after another of her Pokémon are KO'd). Worse, her Watchog is a gigantic Demonic Spider who can and will use Hypnosis to put your entire team to sleep.
We All Live In Japan: While based on New York, there are noticeably Japanese elements like salarymen. And the currency is still Yen.
That and the fact there is an obviously Japanese shrine south of Undella Town that is the homeplace of local Legendary Trio member Landorus.
Justified, as the region's basis on New York - and, thus, its famous Chinatown - would undoubtedly influence the Japanese elements.
What Happened to the Mouse?: A Team Plasma scientist in N's Castle mentions they have hacked into the Pokémon Storage System and are preparing to release everyone's Pokémon. No mention is made of this huge hole in security being fixed.
Wingdinglish: The Abyssal Ruins feature an English-based one.
Yin-Yang Clash: Reshiram and Zekrom, who once fought around Unova's founding according to legend. This battle is later invoked once more between the player and N, though which one wins varies with the version.
You Can't Thwart Stage One: You'll only have to fight N's legendary if Alder doesn't beat him first. The Champion is pretty confident that he can beat Reshiram/Zekrom. Three guesses what happens next- and the first two don't count.
You Shall Not Pass: Six of the Seven Sages attempt this when you try to confront N, under Ghetsis' orders. Before they can even try to fight you, the Gym Leaders show up thanks to Bianca calling for aid. They then perform a much more successful one on the Sages so you can go confront N.