No, there is no 9/11 reference in Pokemon Black/White

Pokemon Black and White introduced Pokemon’s Generation 5 to the world in 2010.  It marked a noticeable upheaval in the series as Gamefreak broke many of the series’ traditions.   One of the most obvious examples of this is a region, in this case Unova, that was not inspired by a place in Japan.  Unova had strong influences from the U.S.A. with a particular focus on NYC.  Castelia City for instance was inspired from Manhattan while Skyarrow Bridge comes from the Brooklyn Bridge.

But is the NYC inspiration more morbid than it seems?

Three years ago, Cracked.com published an article about The 9 Most Offensive 9/11 References in Pop Culture

You can see the original article here: http://www.cracked.com/article_19087_the-9-most-offensive-911-references-in-pop-culture.html#ixzz2eskwL8fK

In the number 5 spot is Pokemon Black/White where Fletcher Wortmann proclaimed that Nintendo’s game references 9/11. He does this from two different kinds of evidence.

The first one is that the barren wasteland (route 4) between Castelia and Nimbasa City represents Ground Zero from the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the game, Route 4 contains buildings that are dilapidated. These ruins were supposedly caused by a meteor that fell from the sky and devastated the area.  The meteor represents the planes that brought down the two towers.

Kyurem, the second piece of evidence, was that respected meteor.  This 9/11 analogy is sealed up when the article points out that Kyurem is 9 feet and 11 inches tall.

kyurem

The problem with these two points of evidence is that if you actually played the game you would have found them to be simply not true.

One: Route 4 is a desert with actual desert storms and desert Pokemon. Not a site of devestation.

Two: The ruins are over 2500 years old and are dilapidated because of age, not of sudden destruction.  In fact, pokedex entries for the pokemon Sigilyph states that they are guardians for ancient cities.  Since they haunt the ruins we can therefore assume the ruins were not recently made.

Three: With the first two points in mind, there are no references in the game anywhere that a meteor “took out” this area.  However, the Giant Chasm region, where you can find Kyurem, was indeed formed by a meteor impact.  This meteor impact though is as far away as you can get from Route 4 and has no relationship to it whatsoever.  Even then, no buildings or cities were destroyed by it as it landed in a forest.

Fourth: Kyurem is 3 meteres tall which comes to about 9 feet and 10.11 inches. Not 9 feet, 11 inches.

It’s this kind of shoddy research that made me stop being a fan of Cracked.  I used to go to their site all the time but ever since this article came out, I slowly stopped visiting them.  Sure, you can be humorous for your articles even if they are sensitive topics BUT EVEN SO, you should still have your facts straight so you don’t misdirect your readers.  This is made doubly so for this article; since the author didn’t bother to double check his sources he is himself offending the 9/11 attacks by trivializing them in a Pokemon game.

The following post was adapted to a reddit post I posted last year on r/pokemon.  Original link can be seen here

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One thought on “No, there is no 9/11 reference in Pokemon Black/White

  1. bluehobbes

    Interesting read – I had actually never heard of the 9/11 theory before. I think the notion that Nintendo would allow something is pretty ridiculous. People will try to stretch anything if they think they can get some mileage out of it. Nice debunking!

    Reply

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