The fourthnote (or third, for those of you who live outside Japan) installment to the roguelikePokémon spinoff series Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. It was released in Japan on November 23rd, 2012, while North America had their release on March 24, 2013. It was later released in Europe on May 17 2013, with Australia getting it a day later, May 18.As per series tradition, the player takes the role of a human transformed into a Pokémon, called into the world by a cry for help. After falling from a great distance in the sky, they meet a partner Pokémon. Together, they work to fulfill the partner's dream of building a Pokémon Paradise, while the player seeks to find out why he was called to the world.
This game provides examples of:
Always Accurate Attack: Moves like Shock Wave, Faint Attack, etc., are labelled "Sure Shot" to tell them apart from moves that just happen to have high accuracy.
In Companion Mode, the player can have anyone from the team as a party member or leader, as long as it's not the protagonist or his partner. Unlike the previous installments, the option to do this is opened up early on in the game.
Dungeons discovered using the Magnagate function star a team assembled from the game's five starters (other than the one you picked for yourself).
The postgame specifically informs you it is told from your partner's viewpoint instead of yours, given how you were sent back to the human world after destroying the Bittercold.
Anti-Poop Socking : In the story, after every time the game asks you to save after major cutscenes, it tells you, "You've had a great adventure today! You should rest before you play more." Then again, it's Nintendo, so....
Apathetic Citizens: Noted by the partner when an argument erupts in the middle of Post Town at the beginning of the game and everyone stands by and watches.
Armor-Piercing Question: After hearing Munna declaring passionately that there is nothing good in the world, it has no right to exist and she wants to make it disappear to make a better world, the partner asks her why she says that when she has found some good in the world- i.e., her friends.
Ascended Fridge Horror: In the first Mystery Dungeon installment, many players found it jarring that the Player Character was apparently willing to give up any friends and family they had in the human world to stay with their Pokemon friends, even though the latter people were probably worried sick. In this game's postgame, your partner acknowledges this as the reason why (s)he's reluctant to wish for you back.
Auto-Revive: Reviver Seeds are still here and they still cost 800 at shops. Try to use (eat) it manually from the menu screen and your Pokemon will consume it, but the game will tell you to just keep it in your inventory and it'll activate when needed.
Bag of Sharing: You can transfer items between 'Companion Mode' and 'Player Mode' using the Deposit Box. Any items obtained in Magnagate dungeons are automatically transferred to the Deposit Box, though the teams you take into those dungeons don't have access to the Box.
Big Bad: Hydreigon is initially blamed as being the cause of the world's imbalance, but this is soon revealed to be a lie. It's the Bittercold that's the real threat, and by extension, Kyurem, who's working with his followers to ensure that it brings about the end of the world as he's foreseen.
When the Pawniard brothers summon two Galvantula and two Venipede to fight you, your partner, Dunsparce and Emolga, a surprise visit from Virizion, Gurdurr and the Timburr brothers initiates to gang up on them.
After being chased, exhausted, cornered and separated from your partner, who should show up out of nowhere and make his first appearance in person to save you but Hydreigon!
In the Glacial Palace, Espeon, Umbreon, and Keldeo teleport in via Magnagate in to save the group.
Blah Blah Blah: Emolga and Dunsparce ask Hydreigon to tell the story of how he met the hero — big mistake. "Several hours later...," he still hasn't gotten to the part they actually asked him about yet.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the post-game, your partner makes a wish with all of the Pokemon in Post Town to bring the player back, and the game specifically asks YOU if you want to return back to the Pokemon world!
Prior to that, Hydreigon senses that the hero is watching him from the human world and proceeds to come up to the camera and gives you a Quizzical Tilt.
Breath Weapon: A standard fixture of several species with moves like "Water Gun", "Flamethrower", and "DragonBreath". Note that Kyurem's version of DragonBreath cranks it up to almost Wave Motion Gun levels, especially if one of your characters is Axew (Dragon is supereffective against itself).
Bribing Your Way to Victory: DLC dungeons offer much better rewards than normal dungeons of the same level. Treat Road is the ultimate Disc One Nuke, by being pretty easy to navigate, filled with Donuts that give tons of Experience, Joy Seeds are fairly common and even offers plenty of Escape Orbs. Other dungeons hand out the best TMs, HMs, and Team Skills like candy, and even have your moves level up much faster while exploring those.
Brown Note: Simply going near the Bittercold causes Pokémon to suffocate. By the end of the game, it's strong enough to even affect the main character, who was more or less immune to it previously.
But Thou Must: There are a few (such as agreeing to let Espeon and Umbreon join your team), but nowhere near as many as the previous installment. Note that in the post-game, you can say "no" to your partner's pleas to bring you back.
Can Not Spit It Out: Rampardos, the box-busting pokemon, tries and fails multiple times to make his move on Cinccino, the gift-making pokemon.
Career-Ending Injury: Gurdurr suffered this in the past, hindering his building ability and caused his dissent into being a Jerkass who tried to scam the player and their partner. He gets better though and even gets back into the business.
Catch Phrase: As per usual for a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game.
Virizion, you know?
The player and partner will often repeat a difficult concept like so: "A difficult... concept?"
Chekhov's Boomerang: The Frisms found in the expedition arc of the game turn out to be more than just mere souvenirs, and more than just toys for Emolga to prank you with — they play a large role in the Hydreigon arc, and show up again in the final ending scene.
The Chosen Many: Though you learn you definitely weren't the only human answering the call to save the Pokémon world, you don't actually get to meet up with any of the other humans; all you learn is that they were defeated and banished back to the human world, and you're about the only one left.
Contractual Boss Immunity: Downplayed from previous installments, Wonder Orbs can now be used in any situation, including boss battles. However, various large bosses (like Kyurem and the Bittercold) are immune to status ailments outright, and some group bosses have the "Prevention" team skill which prevents you from inflicting the same status on more than one opponent at a time.
Crapsaccharine World: In spite of the colorful artstyle, the state of the world being depicted is actually quite bleak, even compared to the previous games. Most of the Pokemon are cold to each other, and many have already given up to bitterness when the player enters. In fact it's gotten so bad that it's congealed into an Eldritch Abomination called the Bittercold.
Critical Status Buff: Standard Pokemon abilities like Blaze, Torrent, Overgrow and Swarm are in full attendance here, but Team Skills can also provide bonuses to Pokemon at low HP.
Crutch Character: Hydreigon acts as one, his level and stats being so high that the enemies in the dungeons he accompanies you through generally don't stand a chance against him. This can backfire if he happens to get confused, though...
Darker and Edgier: Even more so than the previous main installment, which is saying a lot. Unlike the last two games, this one takes place in a flatout Death World and the story is not afraid to show us just how horrible and bleak the world is. Crime is at an alltime high, corruption is rampant, Pokemon backstab eachother for even the smallest advantages, and most of the Pokemon ingame have become jaded and bitter due to how hopeless things are. In fact, the reason the villains do what they do is because they're so sick and tired of the constant pain and betrayal that they just want to destroy the current world and start over, because to them, anything is better than the current world. Yeah, Gates to Infinity is one of the darkest Pokemon game to date.
Dark Is Not Evil/Light Is Not Good: Gates to Infinity implies for a while before explicitly stating that the overall plot involves an evil Hydreigon who is first shown chasing an innocent-looking Munna. Later on, it turns out Hydreigon is the friendly and polite Big Good, while Munna is the manipulative servant of the Big Bad.
Despair Event Horizon: The cause of the creation of the Bittercold, which several cast members hit before the series began.
Difficulty Spike: Dungeons discovered using the Magnagate function tend to feature trap tiles and Monster Houses, unlike most dungeons explored during the main story. Woe unto you if you step into one before you get access to the "Tactical meeting" command.
Disappears into Light: Similar to the previous games in the series, the player leaves the Pokemon world at the end of the story, except this time the player doesn't come back immediately. This is foreshadowed with other beacons of light seen rising into the sky, in fact the other humans Hydreigon summoned, after being defeated by Kyurem's henchmen.
Disc One Nuke: You get Virizion as an ally very early on. Not only does she have an insane statline befitting a legendary Pokemon, she also is much higher level than you.
Distress Call: The game opens with the hero hearing a voice in their dreams asking them to save the Pokemon world, followed by a cry for help coupled with a vision of a Munna being pursued by a Hydreigon.
Duel Boss: Ultimately, you are the only one who can stand up to the Bittercold, as no normal Pokemon can get anywhere close to it.
Dungeon Bypass: Any Pokemon that flies can easily traverse clifftop dungeons like the Crags of Lament and Jaws of the Abyss, due to there only being holes surrounding the corridors and rooms, as opposed to walls like in the other dungeons. The Pure Seed and Mobile Orb/Scarf also allow this to be done to a degree, the former warping you straight to the stairway, and the latter two allowing you to move anywhere (Though at the rapid expense of HP when moving through walls).
Dungeon Shop: They now have differently-colored floors so you can spot them from a distance.
Easter Egg: In a town area, try running around your partner a lot. They get dizzy and fall over.
If you spend quite a long time not moving or doing anything, your partner will subtly ask you to get moving. By falling asleep.
Easy Logistics: At no point is it ever explained how the team is managing to feed and house everyone. The game brings back the Friend Areas of the first games in a way by letting the non-critical team members wander around the various parts of Paradise, but we never see anything that looks like mass housing, or find out exactly what everyone is eating.
Eldritch Abomination: The Bittercold, a non-sentient crystalline entity that embodies the negative feelings of all the Pokemon in the world and feeds upon said feelings to strengthen itself (which is a bit of a problem considering the game's setting). Pokemon suffocate simply from being near it and it ends up growing powerful enough to threaten the world's very existence. It also has the power to make objects around it levitate, including an entire palace made of ice when at the apex of its power.
Even Evil Has Standards: Scraggy at the beginning of the game is shocked by Gurdurr's scheme to make the player and partner constantly fetch precious stones for him.
Experience Booster: Pokemon who match the current "V-Wave" type gain more experience in dungeons than others. Joy Ribbons also boost experience yield when equipped.
Faeries Don't Believe in Humans Either: Humans are so rare in the game world that the Pokémon living there believe that humans are only found in fairy tales. That is, until the human protagonist arrives in a form of a Pokémon like in past mystery dungeon games.
Foreshadowing: The hero ends up being the only one to not pass out when they and the team head into the depths of the Glacier Palace (A scene that's also shown in the animated trailer). This serves as an early clue that their reason for being in the world lies within the palace.
There's also some subtle foreshadowing in the opening scene of the game, namely in how there's a odd delay between the voice that's heard speaking being cut-off mid sentence and their following cry for help. It's revealed that the delay is the moment when Munna hijacked Hydreigon's conversation with the hero in order to fool them into thinking she was the one speaking initially.
Four-Temperament Ensemble: The canonical members of the main characters' team. The player and Virizion (melancholic), the partner and Hydreigon (sanguine), Emolga, Espeon, Umbreon, and Keldeo (choleric) and Dunsparce (phlegmatic).
Friendly Fireproof: Most attacks are incapable of harming allies, with ranged attacks like Flamethrower and certain full-room attacks (like Earthquake) being exceptions. Confusion can enable friendly fire on moves that don't normally have it, but the "Self-control" team skill prevents this and the "Slipthrough" team skill disables friendly fire on ranged attacks.
Freudian Excuse: Gurdurr, Virizion, and Munna have all had tragic experiences that made them lose faith in the world. It's implied for the former that the Pokemon that caused that experience had one himself.
When informed that HAPPI regulations require at least one team member staying at base at all times, this means a plot-relevant team member (you, your partner, Virizon, Emolga and Dunsparce, Espeon and Umbreon). The potentially-dozens-of Pokemon you recruit in dungeons don't count for this (despite that they're implicitly given team badges and you can take them out to perform official rescue jobs on their own), and neither does everyone else who helps with managing your team and base operations (like Quagsire or Azumarill).
Hello, Nurse!: This happens when the player sees Virizion for the first time. Yes, she's a frickin' Legendary. But the majority of males in Post Town seem to all have a crush on her, even though she's legendary. 'She's out of your league' INDEED.
Even though every male in Post Town have a crush on Virizion, they all (including Dunsparce) have been rejected. However, Virizion joins the player and his/her partner's team after defeating the two Pawniard and their goons.
Heroic Mime: Much like previous titles in the series, the protagonist is largely silent, expressing him/herself through inner monologues or gestures. Throughout the main story, however, the protagonist has a number of speaking lines strewn about the dialogue. This is justified in most situations, as the conversations would not make sense if the protagonist had not spoken.
Intheirown Image: The "villains" plan to let Bitter Cold destroy the world and hopefully put a better one in its place.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: While previous Mystery Dungeon games tended to focus primarily on the starter Pokemon from all generations (at the time), your starters in this entry include the 3 Unova starters, perennial fan-favorite Pikachu, and...the little tusked dragon Axew.
Irony: Swinub and both its evolutionary relatives can be found in the Smoking Mountain, a volcano full of, well, smoke and magma.
It Is Beyond Saving: Most of the main villains believe everyone would be better off with the Bittercold creating an entirely new world after destroying this one.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Averted; your player character hasn't lost any of their memories (unlike previous installments) of the human world, but the exact details are just never mentioned (the player being an Audience Surrogate and all).
Leaked Experience: When you collect experience in a dungeon, it's shared between your entire team roster, including the Mons left back at base. (They just don't actually level up until you take them into a dungeon, at which point they may gain several levels at once).
Level-Map Display: Dungeon floor layouts are drawn on the bottom screen as you explore on the top screen. You can also use items (or acquire a Team Skill) to reveal the floor's entire layout at once.
Ley Lines: The Magnagates are formed by utilizing these with Entercards.
Limit Break: The "Team Attack". It takes awhile to charge up, but it hits all enemy Pokemon in a room For Massive Damage and includes some powerful secondary effects. Makes short work of Monster Houses, too.
Literally Shattered Lives: Kyurem freezes Hydreigon solid with Ice Beam and then shatters him with a headbash. Even though it was already said that the Voice of Life is really a spirit and its manifestation as a Hydreigon was just a temporary body, it's still extremely shocking. When he reappears later in an initially incorporeal form, the partner can't help but ask if he's a ghost, finding the notion that he survived being smashed into a million pieces a little hard to believe.
Also happens to the Bittercold when it's defeated.
Lower Deck Episode: A ways through the game you can access "Companion Mode" from the menu which switches you off the main quest, where you can assemble a team using any of your recruited Mons and take them out on rescue missions, including local multiplayer. Apparently your player and partner aren't actually the only ones going on missions.
Made of Evil: The Bittercold was literally borne of all the world's suffering.
Malicious Slander: Munna describes Hydreigon as being a monster who's throwing the world into turmoil, when he's actually a Nice Guy who's trying to save the world. She goes an extra step in making it convincing by sending a fabricated vision of him behaving ferociously to the hero.
Mini-Game: You can build "Beartic Slide" (use the stylus to flick coins into a target for points) and "Sunken Treasure" (guide a Starmie to collect treasure chests) minigames in Paradise.
Another scene where characters discuss what it'll be like when the world ends.
More Hero Than Thou: Though it doesn't involve an actual Heroic Sacrifice, the dispute over who should stay behind while the rest of the team heads off to explore the Great Glacier has a few shades of this.
Musical Nod: Players of previous installments will recognize the remixes used for this game's boss battles, Monster Houses, and outlaw Pokémon. Dungeons downloaded via DLC also include songs from previous games, one for the dungeon and one for the game's front menu.
Some of the dungeons, too. Crags of Lament, Jaws of the Abyss, Desolate Canyon, Path of No Return...
Some of them act as warning signs. For example, Path of No Return is a dungeon with 99 floors, hunger, no items or partner Pokemon can be brought and the player starts at level 5. Crags of Lament is the dungeon Espeon flees to, only to end up running into a dead end (and she does lament that). Desolate Canyon is the dungeon the Pawniard Brothers take Dunsparce to, and by the time he realizes that something's up, he's deep in the dungeon and confronted by enemies.
Not Drawn to Scale: Most of the Pokemon in the game are scaled so that they'll fit within a single square of the movement grid present in dungeons. As such, many Pokemon like Virizion and Hydreigon who are around three times taller than the starter Pokémon by the official sizes look to be only twice that or less. The main exceptions are the legendary Pokemon bosses, who get to occupy a 3x3 area on the grid and are more appropriately sized as a result.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Kyurem makes it clear he will not put up with your meddling in the fate of the world. When he ambushes you at the end of a dungeon, you don't get to fight him in a proper battle; he simply just starts beating the stuffing out of your character until the partner begs him to stop.
Non-Standard Game Over: Refusing your partner's wish for you to return to the Pokémon world in the post-game boots you back to the main menu, then forces you to repeat the Worldcore dungeon as though you had been defeated once you load your file.
Offscreen Teleportation: Enemy Pokemon can appear on any tile in a dungeon that isn't currently visible, even ones that are just out of sight. While present in the previous games, it's more noticeable in this one due to the camera being zoomed in, thus making it possible for enemies to appear much closer to you.
Once More with Clarity: While looking for Swadloon, a cutscene plays that seemingly amounts to nothing. After recruiting Espeon, however, it's revealed how they encountered each other in the forest.
One Curse Limit: A variation: The "Prevention" Team Skill means that if one Pokémon on your team gets a status ailment, nobody else on the same team can get afflicted by it at the same time.
One Steve Limit: For the most part, there is only one character in Post Town per species of Pokemon. Except for Gurdurr's two assistant Timburr, who are both named "Timburr". They do have slightly different personalities, but it's still hard to tell them apart.
Plot Tunnel: Pretty much any time you use Espeon and Umbreon's Entercards, you won't be returning to Post Town for some time. Meaning that you and your partner can't shop or stock up between trips, but they do have access to anything in the Deposit Box, and you can switch to "Companion Mode" to let some of your other Mons manage Paradise and perform everyday dungeon crawls, shopping, etc. for you (and access the Deposit Box to send items your way).
The first one is the trip to the Great Glacier, which consists of four dungeons and a boss battle, you only have a selection of six team members.
The second one occurs not long after, when you and your partner leave (alone) to save Munna from Hydreigon, which lasts for seven dungeons (with accompanying plot twists) before you return to Post Town ... which itself just a last opportunity to stock up before the...
Point of No Return: Your second trip to the Great Glacier. Your team consists of your two main characters, Virizion, and Emolga (Espeon and Umbreon meet up with you en route but don't participate in the same dungeon-crawls as you).
Randomly Drops: Enemy Pokemon sometimes drop Treasure Boxes when defeated. Take them to Rampardos afterwards and he'll bust them open, giving you (usually) items or (rarely) Team Skills.
Randomly Generated Levels: Aside from the floorplans inside each dungeon, you can also use the 3DS camera to photograph round objects, the size and color of which influences the type of dungeon it leads to.
Recurring Riff: The songs "Hope" and "Despair" are heard multiple times throughout the game, and also have bits of them incorporated into numerous other songs, especially in the game's finale.
Save The World Climax: Although the hero is initially aware that he was asked to "save the Pokemon world", he only learns the rest of story shortly before the Bittercold is powerful enough to destroy the world outright, prompting him and the rest of the team to mount an offensive on the Glacier Palace before it's too late.
Save Point: There are no actual save points anywhere, but any time you find a Deposit Box you can also access the menu's "Save" command before moving on.
Scenery Porn: The game has definitely improved scenery-wise, considering it's on the 3DS.
Schrödinger's Question: What species of Pokemon you (and your partner) are is determined in this manner: You see an ambiguous shape and are prompted to specify what it looks like.
Screw Destiny: Kyurem believes the world's fate cannot be changed. Part of your job is to prove he's wrong. And then although Hydreigon says everyone will forget about you after you've left the world, your partner insists it won't happen.
Secret A.I. Moves: Every move used by a legendary boss is mechanically different from when the player uses it (Dragonbreath requires a turn to charge and isn't stopped when it hits something, AncientPower has a greater area of effect, Fly lets the boss choose where it lands, etc.) in addition to their usual species specific attacks.
Shoplift and Die: As per usual, Kecleon won't tolerate any shoplifting. However, his buddies appear around the staircase now, which makes getting away a bit more complicated than in the previous games.
Stat Grinding: Once you acquire your Team Badges, using a move repeatedly causes it to collect experience and level up (increasing in power, PP limit, and accuracy). The moves' skill levels are also shared between all team members, including the team members you take into optional Magnagate dungeons.
Status Buff Dispel: Much like the previous entries, Wonder Tiles in dungeons reset any status buffs (positive or negative alike) and moving to the next floor also resets status ailments.
Surprisingly Sudden Death: Right when it seems like the heroes are finally in the clear after escaping from the villains in the fifth chapter, Kyurem appears out of nowhere and freezes Hydreigon solid, then smashes him to pieces as part of a very grim beginning to the final chapter. Ends up being subverted when it's revealed that only his physical form was destroyed and that he can simply manifest himself again with time.
Take a Third Option: In the postgame, instead of asking the player character to leave their human friends and family forever or never seeing him/her again themselves, your partner ends up wishing you could travel between the human and Pokémon worlds at will. This proves to be too much to ask for and causes the wish-granting Eldritch Location to collapse. It's not stated whether or not the player character ends up with the requested power if he chooses to come through.
However, it is strongly implied that the power to move between the two worlds is granted to the player, as speaking to Sandile once you've returned will reveal that he is not jealous at all that you have the ability to do this.
Take Your Time: Once the Glacier Palace starts floating, it's estimated that the world will end in a matter of a few days. You're not allowed to go out on dungeon crawls or missions before leaving for The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, but you can switch to Companion Mode if you want to go on missions (complete with the same "The next day..." message after you complete each mission).
There Is Another: ...and it's you. Turns out that the player wasn't anywhere near the only human who answering the call to save the Pokemon world. He's just the first one to not get caught/killed by Munna's gang.
Title Dissonance: There's a very happy, upbeat song that occasionally plays (after Dunsparce gets rejected by Virizion and everyone rejoices, for instance), and it's called "What's Wrong With Everyone?".
Vendor Trash: Gold Ribbons exist solely to be sold for high prices at shops.
Wham Episode: This happens a lot. Let's just say that the last few chapters consist entirely of these.
White and Grey Morality: None of the characters are ever truly evil. Most of the less-friendly characters turn out to be bitter from being wronged in the past, while Kyurem sits on an absolutely neutral position, being able to see what future awaits the world.
Curiously, the game manages to pull this off despite being Darker and Edgier, despite the already-dark standards of the subseries. How so? Munna and her gang aren't malevolent, they're so consumed by despair that they think a group suicide and the destruction of the entire world is better than living in an empty world filled with bitter, cynical pokemon.
Not to mention, Kyurem isn't opposing the player and friends because he hates them or wants the world to end. He simply opposes anyone who wants to change fate, as he believes that the predestined fate is absolute and anyone trying to change it is wrong. Not evil, but wrong.
You Cannot Grasp the True Form: The Bittercold has some elements of this, as its various damaging "attacks" don't give any battle log messages when they happen.
You Did the Right Thing: After Emolga gives up his spot to go to the Great Glacier for Dunsparce, Gurdurr tells him "You did a good thing, kid."