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Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 are more than your average third Pokémon game. For one thing, there's two of them! But in many ways they are more like the stereotypical third games we've come to know and love. They introduced new features and added older Pokémon to Unova's Pokédex. As we heard more and more about these games one feature, however, stood out above the rest: Medals!
Medals are Game Freak's attempt at replicating the fiendishly addictive achievements found on other console games such as Xbox and Playstation. The idea behind them is that you are rewarded for doing tasks, where before you would not. Now when you defeat the Elite Four with one Pokémon you'll be given a token for your effort; are you a nervous gamer who finds them saving after every battle? I know I am and now you'll get medals displaying your saving prowess. And I know we've all had a Magikarp use Splash attack in battle just for a cheap laugh; well, now you're actively rewarded for doing just that! But this isn't an online game? How will others see what Medals you've collected? Game Freak's got you covered! You can display your favorite medal on your Trainer Card for all to see!
As a player, you are introduced to Medals quite early, before even your first badge. After you visit Alder's home and beat up on some rookie Trainers you are met by a gentleman clothed in white. He introduces you to the concept of the Medal Rally, an event for Pokémon trainers everywhere, and gives you your very own Medal Box. With this he also gives you your first medal, the First Step Medal; his final gift to you are some Hint Medals. Hint Medals are also displayed in your Medal Box but instead of showing off an achievement they give you clues for medals you have not yet earned. These hints can be obvious, such as "Try to see if you can catch 50 Pokémon in a day!" to more mysterious, for example, "The turntable in Anville Town. How many types of trains are there?" As I'm sure you all know, the first medal is rewarded for catching fifty Pokémon, not necessarily fifty different species, in twenty four hours. The second one is less obvious; every day in Anville Town, a train conductor can tell you about a random train there. To get the medal you must listen to all the different speeches he can offer.
There are 255 medals in total and they are separated into five separate categories. The categories are as follows: Special, Adventure, Battle, Entertainment, and Challenge. Special is the smallest category, representing only seven of all 255. These medals are your overall progress medals which are earned by doing such things as collecting 50, 100, 150, 200, and all of the medals. These are popular medals for displaying as they show you've collected many medals.
The second category is Adventure, and it is the broadest category. They tend to have to do with things you would normally do in the main game of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, such as collecting Pokémon for your Pokédex, fishing, using the PokéCenter, and even simply walking around the Unova Region. You'll earn Adventure Medals for evolving your Pokémon, finding Hidden Items with the Dowsing Machine, and spending your hard earned cash at the PokéMart. While many of these are the apparent choices for achievements, there are many Adventure Medals that break from the norm. The Television Kid Medal is awarded for changing the channel on a TV multiple times. The Trash Master Medal is acquired by checking ten empty trash cans. The Lucky Drink Medal is for the lucky trainer who received an extra free drink from any of the Vending Machines spread around the Unova region. There are even medals for the super rare events in the Pokémon universe. You'll receive the Lucky Color Medal for catching a Shiny Pokémon and you'll receive the Pokérus Discoverer Medal for, you guessed it, having one of your Pokémon catch the mysterious "disease" Pokérus.
The third category is Battle, and believe it or not, these medals all have to do with those gripping Pokémon battles we've all partaken in. You'll earn numerous medals on the way to completing 2000 battles in-game, and are also rewarded for taking your team to Wi-Fi to put it to the test over Linked Battles. Not only will you get medals for your battles, but also what you do in those battles. You'll be awarded for using numerous Super Effective moves and even for using many Not Very Effective moves, which I'm sure none of you would ever get without this article. You'll also get a veritable cornucopia of medals for your success in the Battle Subway, Pokémon World Tournaments, and Black Tower or White Treehollow.
The fourth category is Entertainment and these medals pertain to all those side quests of the Pokémon games, as well as those to do with interacting with other players. They have medals for those who dress up the cutest Pokémon in the Pokémon Musicals; medals for those entrepreneurs who create an amazing shopping experience in their personal Join Avenue. They even have a whopping eighteen medals for the actors who make it big in the PokéStar Studios. The other half of these medals encourage the player to interact with as many other players as they can. Trading, filling the Pal Pad, participating in Funfest missions, and using the Xtransceiver all lead to more and more Entertainment Medals.
The final category for medals is Challenge. It is the second smallest category behind Special and only includes nineteen medals. These medals are different in that they all pertain to the Elite Four. The first seventeen of the Challenge medals are each rewarded for beating the Elite Four with Pokémon only of one of the seventeen different types. For example, to earn the Fire-type Champ Medal, you have to defeat the Elite Four with only Fire-type Pokémon on your team. This is repeated for each type, Water-type Champ, Fighting-type Champ, etc. The penultimate Challenge Medal is the One and Only Medal which is earned by defeating the Elite Four with only one Pokémon. This shouldn't be too hard as I'm sure you all will trade over your Level 100 Mewtwo to cream Iris.
And with that we've run out of Medals to talk about. Game Freak did a wonderful job implementing these achievements into their games, and while I'd have loved to see more humorous medals like the Magikarp Award and more Challenge-esque Medals in Black and White 2, it's safe to say the Medal Rally is my favorite new addition to the Pokémon universe.
PS. To all you completionists out there hoping to collect all the Medals, feast your eyes on this: the Heavy Traffic Medal is earned by passing 1,000 people with your C-Gear!! I went to the Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 event in New York City and barely managed to get one hundred passersby. Unless you live in urban Japan, good luck.
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