Part II: The Chapters of Unova

For the anniversary of the release of Pokémon Black and White, we continue our tribute to the games. Part II focuses on the main storyline and its synthesis of narrative and gameplay.

Showdown with the Sages

After ascending the bridge—it’s a surprisingly long distance, similar to the many, many stairs needed to reach the temple at the League—you finally make it into the castle that was hinted at just briefly in the very opening of the game. Waiting to “welcome” you inside are six of the Seven Sages.

“Those in accord with Fate are preserved, and those who rebel against Fate perish.” Destiny’s gears have been turning, and those who stand against the destiny of Team Plasma’s victory shall fall.

“When the Way is forgotten, duty and justice appear.” People have been abusing and misusing Pokémon for far too long. Team Plasma has arisen to enact justice.

“One can lose the forest for the trees.” Those too caught up in the details—that there are some Trainers who are indeed kind to Pokémon—cannot see the bigger picture. Pokémon are being oppressed.

“If you make a mistake and do not correct it, that is a second mistake.” People’s eyes have been opened to the injustice they have enacted upon Pokémon. It does not matter that their Pokémon has already been captive—it is never too late to set it free and correct this misdeed.

“Superior men understand what is right. Inferior men understand what will sell.” People benefit from Pokémon living alongside them and want to continue their relationship for their own benefit. Life may be harder without Pokémon, but setting them free is the right thing to do.

“There are not two suns in the sky, nor two sovereigns over the people.” Only one ideology—people and Pokémon living in harmony, or people and Pokémon separated—is right. Only one may rule the formulas of this world at a time.

But in that case, who is the one sovereign who rules over Team Plasma?

The sages approach, surround. “Well… If anything should happen to our king, it would be disastrous. It would ruin Ghetsis’s perfect plan! Our lord N will be disappointed, but the six of us shall defeat you here!” The sages are going against N’s wish to battle you in favor of ensuring “Ghetsis’s perfect plan” succeeds, directly contrasting the Elite Four who followed Alder’s orders to allow N passage through the Pokémon League. It seems we have the answer as to who is Team Plasma’s single sovereign.

“Can ya manage that?” someone calls from behind you. There’s only one person you know who speaks in such a way.

It’s Clay, whose appearance shocks the sages enough that they all back off. But Clay assures them there’s more to come.

Sure enough, Lenora, Burgh, Elesa, Skyla, Brycen, Drayden, and Iris all file in accompanied by their iconic ace Pokémon battle theme.

“So sorry… Not only are we stronger than you, but there are a lot of us!” Lenora declares.

The Gym Leaders tell you not to worry—they have everything under control. Burgh adds that it was Bianca who asked them all to come. Just as Cheren had his own role to play, staying behind with Alder so that you may proceed, Bianca’s help in gathering the Gym Leaders will allow you to bypass the sages and move forward towards N.

“Holder of the [legendary stone], please proceed!” Drayden proclaims.

The sages’ plans have been thwarted by the Gym Leaders who have supported you in the fight against Team Plasma all throughout your journey. You advance deeper into the castle as the sages curse the Gym Leaders’ interference.

The castle features regal blues and golds accented by pure whites. Gorgeous water flows down from above and calmly rests surrounding the pathways. Lavishly decorated rooms host Team Plasma members who divulge their roles in Ghetsis’s plan. There are grunts who are more than happily aware of Ghetsis’s schemes. Some revel in the fact that they forced stolen Pokémon to serve them, while others declare this castle as Ghetsis’s, and blatantly refer to his techniques as manipulative.

But Team Plasma remains as polarized as ever. One grunt has grown attached to the Pokémon given to him by N, and doesn’t want to let it go. “I… may not be cut out for Team Plasma.” Another states bluntly, “From my point of view, [Poké Balls] are items that keep Pokémon confined,” and intends to never use one again.

Ghetsis’s shadows guide you along, first explaining where you may heal your team or withdraw Pokémon from the PC. During the second run-in, the shadow explains that N awaits you further in for a battle that will determine whether or not he is the hero, ideal or true. N may not show it, but deep down, he is questioning himself, and needs to prove he is right to continue with his plan. Your third encounter with the shadows reveals the location of N’s room. “That room was the world that was provided to our lord N… I don’t feel anything, even when I go into the room… But you may feel something.”

The entrance to this room isn’t any different than the entrances to the other rooms of the castle. What could possibly be inside?