As we continue our year-long celebration of 25 years of Pokémon, we’re looking back at memorable moments from some of the many regions that make up the world of Pokémon. Now we’ve arrived at the Sinnoh region, which was first introduced in Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl before being revisited in Pokémon Platinum. Fans will get a chance to explore the Sinnoh region once again with the upcoming release of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl—which are updated remakes of the original two titles—and the all-new adventure, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which takes a look at the Sinnoh region’s past. Here are some of the reasons why Sinnoh is worth so many visits!
One of the most obvious memorable features of the Sinnoh region is all the beautiful locales that you travel through on your adventure there. You begin—like many other Pokémon journeys—in a quaint small town. In this case, it’s Twinleaf Town, located in the southwest corner of the region. Before long, though, you’re out in the world discovering all sorts of incredible new places.
From the large, bustling Jubilife City—home of the Jubilife TV station and the high-tech Pokétch Company—to the mazelike Eterna Forest, with its dark, calming canopy that’s broken by occasional beams of sunlight (and which leads to the seemingly haunted Old Chateau), there’s a wide variety of interesting destinations in Sinnoh.
Be sure to visit the trio of lakes that form a triangle around the borders of the region. Lake Acuity, Lake Verity, and Lake Valor are nice places to visit, and they also factor into the region’s history, thanks to their connections with the Legendary Pokémon Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf.
Yes, Sinnoh has beauty ranging from the small—like Floaroma Town’s stunning fields of flowers—to the large—like the mighty Mount Coronet, part of a mountain range that essentially divides the region in half. So you’re sure to find a few places that will stay in your mind for a long time.
There’s certainly a lot to see on the surface of the Sinnoh region, but while you’re visiting, don’t be afraid to venture down below. The Underground is a vast subterranean network of caves and tunnels that feels like its own separate world. To reach it, you’ll need an Explorer Kit, which can be obtained from the aptly named Underground Man in Eterna City.
While exploring this labyrinthine area, you can mine for useful items and Spheres, a special currency that’s used in the Underground. Spheres come in a variety of colors, and you can even increase their value by burying them. By digging into the Underground’s rocky walls, you might discover a chamber that can become your own Secret Base to be decorated and personalized.
Thanks to the Nintendo DS’s wireless communication feature, players are able to interact with each other in the Underground. You compete against other Trainers by attempting to swipe a flag from their Secret Base and return with it to your own. There are traps that can be set to hinder your opponent’s progress, but be careful—they’re bound to have some set up for you as well. In addition to simply being fun, competing in this minigame can net you some cool rewards, too.
Of all the people you meet in Sinnoh, one of the most memorable is the region’s Pokémon League Champion, Cynthia, who also happens to be the first female Champion in the Pokémon series. You get a chance to interact with her at several points throughout your Sinnoh journey before confronting her at the Pokémon League.
Cynthia tends to pop up during your adventure to share some helpful items with you and to chat about her experiences in studying ancient Pokémon mythology. In Pokémon Platinum, it’s also revealed that when she was young, she was a Pokémon Trainer much like you. You even get to meet some of Cynthia’s family during your adventure. This level of interaction with Cynthia, where we learn about her interests and backstory, allows us to connect with her in a way we don’t always get to with Pokémon Champions.
Of course, we also can’t ignore the fact that Cynthia simply looks cool. She’s sleek and sophisticated with her stylish black outfit and long, blond hair. Combine that with her team of powerful Pokémon—especially her trademark partner, Garchomp—and it’s no wonder that Cynthia remains one of the most popular characters in the world of Pokémon.
So, you’ve been
enjoying a journey through the Sinnoh region. Your friend has been doing the
same. One day, the two of you decide to compare Pokédexes. “Check this out,”
you say. “I just caught a Shellos yesterday!” Your friend replies, “Cool! I
caught one a couple of days ago. I love having a pink Pokémon in my party.”
But wait a second… Shellos is blue, right? Did your friend catch an extremely rare Shiny Shellos? Did you catch an extremely rare Shiny Shellos? Or maybe your friend is a filthy liar who didn’t catch a Shellos at all! Don’t worry—there’s a simple explanation for the confusion. There are actually two different variations of Shellos and its evolved form, Gastrodon, living in the Sinnoh region.
The West Sea form (the pink one) can be found in the western half of Sinnoh, while you’ll encounter the East Sea form (that’s the blue one) on the eastern half. The mountain range that contains Mount Coronet is the natural dividing line between the two halves of the region, so keep your eyes open in order to catch both forms of these Pokémon.
This is an early example of Pokémon having different appearances depending on where they’re encountered, something that would become much more commonplace as the Pokémon series progressed. Nowadays, we’re used to variations like Vivillon’s many different wing patterns or the regional forms that have been discovered in the Alola and Galar regions, but when we first traveled through the Sinnoh region, such things were a bit of a novelty.
When traveling through the Sinnoh region in Pokémon Platinum, you’re liable to end up in the Distortion World. You’ll venture into this bizarre realm where the normal rules of time and space do not apply as you pursue Cyrus, the villainous leader of Team Galactic, whose plan to control the Legendary Pokémon Dialga and Palkia is interrupted by another Legendary Pokémon: Giratina.
It’s said that the Distortion World is the creation of Giratina, and don’t be surprised if you become disoriented as you navigate it. The area is filled with floating islands, disappearing platforms and obstacles, and chunks of land that will have you literally climbing the walls. Fortunately, you won’t be alone in this strange dimension. Cynthia accompanies you as you chase down Cyrus, and you’ll also get a little assistance from Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf.
This wild, surreal place is unlike anything we had seen in the world of Pokémon, and it’s unlikely that anyone who’s made it through will ever forget it.
The game may not be out until January 28, 2022, but we’re already unable to get Pokémon Legends: Arceus out of our minds. This upcoming release for Nintendo Switch is set in the Sinnoh region’s distant past, and it follows some of the earliest adventures in the region as you help to create and complete Sinnoh’s first Pokédex. Having the opportunity to explore this familiar region while it was still a vast wilderness is incredibly exciting, and it’s hard to not get chills when we see the player character standing in a wide-open field overlooking the majestic mountain in the game’s trailer (which you can check out on the game’s official site).
We also can’t forget to mention the Global Trade System, which was first introduced in the Sinnoh region. The GTS allowed players to trade Pokémon with other Trainers around the world for the first time. This concept would continue to appear in some form or another in subsequent regions.
There’s still more to see on our tour through the world of Pokémon. Check back soon—we’ll be heading to the Hoenn region next as we continue to celebrate 25 years of Pokémon!
And don’t miss our previous Pokémon region retrospectives! They’re filled with incredible moments and tons of memories.