PokéTour: Snowpoint City

By Layell, Windsong, jas61292, Jellicent, Superpowerdude, Danmire, and Birkal. Art by elcheeso and Birkal.
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Welcome to the third installment of the globally renowned and critically acclaimed PokéTour! We've been all over the world of Pokémon, giving our professional opinions on a variety of topics. In search of the true meaning of Christmas, we ventured to the coldest known area in the world of Pokémon: Snowpoint City. We had a long trek through Route 216, filled with hazardous blizzards and mischievous children hiding in snowbanks. Jellicent liquored up as per usual and investigated the city's culture. Layell inspected the local architecture, with a particular interest in Snowpoint Temple. Our local meteorologist jas61292 reported on the weather; forecast is probably "cold". Sports columnist Windsong reviewed the winter games of Snowpoint City, and Superpowerdude kept an eye on the competitive scene for any trainers looking to step up their game. Finally, Danmire followed his ears throughout the journey; the enticing tones of the wintry landscape intrigued him greatly. Although we didn't find the true meaning of Christmas, we still learned a great deal about the cold climate of northern Sinnoh. Now that we're all bundled up in blankets next to the fireplace at Smogon Headquarters, we'd all like to share what we discovered.

Jellicent on Culture

As I stepped off the PokéTour bus, I instantly sank into two feet of snow. The harsh winds brought tears to my eyes as I turned back to Birkal. "What kind of loonies would actually want to live in a place like this?" I asked.

"That's exactly what you're here to find out. Your mission is to discover the culture of these people."

"Sounds fun," I replied dryly. "What's your mission?"

Birkal laughed as he closed the door to the bus and drove off. Taking a swig of some Russian warmth, I staggered off into the blizzard. I found a woman up to her neck in a snowdrift, but when I offered to pull her out, she told me she was trying to make friends with her Pokémon. I left her for dead and continued onward. A blinding white surrounded me and kept my vodka chilled. I couldn't feel my feet anymore; was it the liquor or the hypothermia? Off in the distance, I could make out what looked like a building. Please, God, let them have central heating.

Shivering, I made my way up the steps of the Snowpoint Temple. "Only the chosen may enter!" a man at the door yelled. With that, he shoved my boozed-up body back down the stairs. I found a sailor in the cold and shuffled to him for help. He started blathering about how unexceptional the city was and how unexceptional he was. I had no time for glacial grievances and made a beeline for anywhere else. Up ahead, I could see what looked like, maybe, yes, it was, a woman. Cheers. She complimented my scarf, and ever the gentleman, I handed it over. After that, she just stared blankly. "Loonies," I muttered with another swig and continued towards what appeared to be a house.

Crawling in through a window, I discovered that the home was well-heated. Perhaps I would just stay on the floor here for a bit... An old man suddenly kicked me awake and asked if I wanted to hear something trendy. Remembering my assignment, I groggily agreed. "CONDUCTIVITY!" he shouted at me. Startled, I jumped up, fled back out the window, and ran off into the night. I was lost in a forest, waist-deep in the snow. I screamed out for help, but there was nothing. Lights in the distance? I struggled forward, numb and dead inside, until I reached the front door of the Snowpoint City Pokémon Center. Chanseys wrapped me up in blankets and brought me hot cocoa. I then began the most meaningful conversation I had during my stay in Snowpoint... with a Psyduck.

Layell on Architecture

Layell

It's hard not to miss the gigantic temple called Snowpoint Temple, which towers over a humble collection of houses. While many mock the city as a tourist spot and claim 'there is no point in visiting Snowpoint', the simple reminder of this architectural marvel should be the first retort. The temple has surely seen better days. Centuries of snowstorms have weathered the façade and the pillars of the entrance. Entering within its hallowed halls is a much greater challenge due to the powerful Pokémon which have made it their home during its many years of neglect. Only the strongest of trainers are permitted, but it is possible to rent a tour group at a price that would make a Kanto bicycle look cheap. The first floor invites the audience with a monolithic statue. A relic that shows the majesty this place must have once been. The pillars on this first floor are oddly arranged and appear to have no part in a logical pattern. This appears to be the result of wild Pokémon activity within the temple. There is evidence to suggest there were more pillars which are now rubble.

The rest of the temple is largely underground and makes most of the trip the greatest slip and slide of ancient temples. I was largely unimpressed by the lack of skates that were available for guests to use to travel through the arena. At the lowest point of the temple is an ice floor fit for any hockey team to play on. There is also one of the greatest statues ever seen in Sinnoh, of a colossal and lifelike titan known as Regigigas. It is a marvel that such a statue was even made and any attempts to bring equipment to study the statue have been impossible. However, experts agree if the Pokémon that this monument was made for still existed, it would be awe-inspiring in its power and ability. After sliding around more and feeling like a Swalot needing to use Spit Up after six Stockpiles, I used my handy Escape Rope and walked around town.

Many of the houses in the city are humble little huts compared to the grandeur of the temple. The building style is meant to keep the residents as warm as possible during the worst of the snowstorms. One little known fact about buildings in Snowpoint City is that trying to build in areas of heavy snow is very difficult as there is little structural support. All of the buildings within the city are built upon the foundations of the temple that have now long disappeared. Perhaps in the ancient past Snowpoint Temple was more of a temple than some underground hole.

With my tour compete I considered for a moment staying in town to enjoy the Christmas season, but it was so cold. Heck, all of Sinnoh is just really cold. So, I've decided to high-tail it out of this cold place and head to the Battle Frontier, which I hear is much warmer this time of year.

jas61292 on Weather

jas61292

While many of my companions could not wait to finish the journey through Route 217, I myself found the trek to be most interesting. My job on this trip was all about researching the regional climate, so getting to experience the howling blizzards firsthand was quite a treat. But, as I knew very well beforehand, these blizzards were nothing all that special. The Route is well known for its violent winds and frigid temperatures. So, as fun as the journey was, when I set foot into the city itself, I knew that the excitement was just getting started.

One of the reasons I find Snowpoint City to be so fascinating is that it is almost always snowing there. While other cities get seasonal snow or the occasional storm, Snowpoint is unique in that it is constantly being coated by light, fluffy powder. Even when nearby areas have been suffering unusual levels of drought, the snow always continues to fall over Snowpoint.

Most of the snow that falls over Snowpoint is lake effect off of Acuity, so the majority of the research that has been done regarding the unusual snowfall patterns has been based there. While scientists have studied the weather patterns for many years, the exact cause of the constant snow is still unknown. Strangely, whenever a researcher at the lake facility seems to be on the verge of a breakthrough, they always seem to wake up the next morning without any recollection of the work they have done since arriving there. I was considering taking a trip up to the lake to check things out myself, but I decided against it as there was another weather phenomenon that I was much more eager to find out about.

A few times each year, the city of Snowpoint experiences a strange change in the winds. For periods of only around one day, the snow off the lake suddenly stops and a strange shining powder-like substance, dubbed "diamond dust" by the locals, appears to take its place. Like all the weather of Snowpoint, this spectacular event is shrouded in mystery. To my dismay, we were unable to witness any diamond dust during our trip. But I was not about to let that stop me from gathering information on it. Since there is almost no scientific data worth looking at, I decided the most efficient way to collect info would be by asking the locals.

So, for the majority of my time in the city, I walked around making inquiries of people I met on the streets. Most that I came across did not have any knowledge worth noting on the subject, but I was able to discover a few local theories on the origin of diamond dust. Most of these were completely ridiculous, but there was one in particular that stood out to me. A local sailor I met insisted that diamond dust was the result of flocks of Wingull out over the ocean all using Icy Wind at once facing towards the city. This force of the attacks would blow away the snow, and the air that came in to replace it would be filled with frozen ice crystals. Personally I found this idea absurd as Wingull can't even learn Icy Wind in the wild, but unlike most of the explanations I came across at least this one seemed physically possible.

So, as my time in the city drew to a close, I felt like I had more even more questions than when I first arrived. The trip did make one thing very clear to me though. For a fan of snow, there is no place in this world that can compare to Snowpoint.

Windsong on Sports

Windsong

As I finish up my hike through the frigid Route 217 and finally arrive in Snowpoint City, I'm pretty much dead on my feet. The hike through Mount Coronet, all the way through the icy northern Sinnoh region, has left me tired out, but after a stop at the Pokémon Center, I'm raring to get back up and head outside into the snow! As a bit of a sports fanatic myself, going for a short jog just to explore a bit seemed like an okay bet. However, after a few steps, I was sinking deep into the snow and moving slower than a Munchlax covered in molasses. Angrily, I attempted to get onto my bicycle, only to find that the deep snow around me managed to completely sink my wheels into the ground, making the bike tip over. I quickly stored my bike in the Pokémon Center (forgetting to lock it up - how's anyone going to get it out of Snowpoint?) and head off to Acuity Lakefront, in hopes of some more rewarding endeavors.

For those of you who enjoy a bit of cross-country skiing, this is, as I found out, the place. Having seen quite a few trainers skiing along happily on the way to Snowpoint, I was quite disappointed to have forgotten my skis. Snowboarding and sledding also seem like they'd have been nice options, although I'd decided against bringing my sled with me as it was rather cumbersome to carry with all the Hyper Potions I'd brought. However, looking around, I noticed that there were still plenty of options for those looking to get a bit of exercise.

If you're into rock climbing, grab some ropes and make sure you've got a belayer handy before scaling the facade up to Lake Acuity. Or if you had forgotten your harness, you could do a bit of treasure hunting in Route 217 and find an HM08 Rock Climb buried in the snow. With this in hand, provided you get the Snowpoint City gym badge, all the mountains around Snowpoint are yours to scale. If by the end of your rock climbing escapades you're not completely exhausted, you can always go for a little surf in Lake Acuity. Just hop on the back of one of your Pokémon and be ready to ride the icy waves around the lake. However, be warned that the people of Snowpoint fear the small cavern hidden at the center of the lake, as many years ago two enthusiastic young boys entered after a bit of surfing, and both returned without even a vague recollection of who they were. Don't let this dissuade you from your athletic endeavors, however, as you can get quite the thrill just from a bit of surfing and climbing!

At the end of the day, be sure to trek back to the Pokémon Center and grab a nice, warm mug of hot cocoa before cuddling up next to a Chimchar and settling down to sleep for the night. There will be plenty more recreational sports available for you in the morning!

Superpowerdude on the Competitive Scene

Superpowerdude

The travel to Snowpoint City was quite a difficult one for me and my companions, and it tested both our battling skills and our determination to keep fighting through the icy cold weather, buffeting hail, and the soft, heavy snow. Being the battle fanatic that I am, traveling along Route 216 was one of my favorite bits of this tour, with strong Ace Trainers that tested my battling skills, and a few Skiers that used the Ice-type Pokémon native to the northern part of the Sinnoh region. Whether you had an easy time battling trainers on Route 216 or a hard time, one thing is for certain, your Pokémon are not going to enjoy the hard hail stones that are crashing into them, so bringing Hyper Potions is a good idea! If you are a real treasure hunter you can try and endure the harsh weather and look for items; however, a lot of them are hard to find in all the snow. If you are lucky enough to have Rock Climb, you can scale the mountains and possibly find TM13 Ice Beam, which is a great move that many Water-type Pokémon can use to beat their Grass-type rivals; however, up the mountains there are more trainers ready to test your skills.

My advice for you is even if you're tired to keep pushing on, because through all the heavy snow there is a comfy house called Snowbound Lodge where the kind host lets you rest and heal your Pokémon. Route 217 was a little bit more laid back trainer-wise, but the heavy snow was still making it hard to walk and there are plenty of Skiers here enjoying the weather who wouldn't mind a Pokémon battle too!

However, the fight to get to Snowpoint City was well worth it, and I think all my shivering cold buddies from PokéTour can agree with me. Sadly for those of you who love a good battle, or love to give your Pokémon super cool items, there are no real places in Snowpoint City except a Pokémon Center, Mart, and a few houses. In one of those houses a trainer is willing to trade you a Haunter for a Medicham. If you have the courage and have seen the sights of Snowpoint City then I encourage you to challenge the Gym Leader Candice, but I warn you, she is no pushover, and she has a lot of strong Ice-type Pokémon. I definitely recommend going down to the Acuity Lakefront and catching yourself either a Medicham or a Machoke. Both are strong Pokémon and their Fighting-type moves are very useful for taking on all the Ice-type Pokémon found in Snowpoint Gym.

Snowpoint City also has Lake Acuity nearby. I heard from some of the people living near Snowpoint City that there is a legendary Pokémon named Uxie that is supposed to live in the heart of the lake. TM14 Blizzard can also be found here, which is a very strong Ice-type move that is definitely worth getting! I went to go look for the legendary Pokémon, but for some odd reason I can't remember what exactly happened during my search.

There is a lot to do at Snowpoint City and the surrounding areas, and it is one of the best places to train your Pokémon and even catch new ones! Just remember if you are going out to explore Snowpoint City please bring a coat, a scarf, and some warm boots; otherwise, you may wind up with a cold!

Danmire on Music

Danmire

Route 216

My face was literally covered with as much winter gear as I could fit on my face. Goggles, masks, etc. But something wasn't covered, that I noticed my companions tried to cover from the freezing cold that was Route 216. My ears. As I was walking, I heard the most common instrument used in winter melodies: bells, accompanied with a deep bass. The piano came in and I no longer felt as if I were in a blizzard (but trust me, it was one heck of a blizzard) but as if I was back home, looking at outside my window watching the snow fall. Then, suddenly a crescendo hit me, and I came back to reality. The low drums came in and I felt adventurous again. I started running around, kicking snow at Jellicent, and fell down to make some snow angels. My companions thought I was crazy, but I wasn't. The music around this area will make you feel as if you are alive and free in a white heaven. It then got softer with some jingle bells, as if to calm me down. The rhythm kept on going back to that strong adventurous tune. Do you notice the bit of jazz in it? I notice from Birkal's previous writing on music that a lot of regions carry jazz-influenced tunes. What a wonderful thing. For a frozen wasteland, it's pretty fun. While I was whistling (at least, trying to, because it sounded muffled with my mask around my mouth), I stopped in my tracks when I noticed a cave.

Snowpoint City

Then I stepped into the city, with all thoughts of that mysterious cave leaving me. It seemed more like a temple? Oh, well, that wasn't very important. I probably remembered it later. But first, these small chimes were playing. I felt alone and cold. Trapped in the snow to my knees, until I was relaxed by a low rhythm that mixed with the clicks. The air felt a bit warm again. It felt like Christmas to me again. As I was walking, feeling that fresh air again, I noticed each of my companions writing notes. I was happy. This was accompanied by a slow tune that reminded me a bit of the lakes around Sihnno. Then, it started all over again... I was standing in front of the cave.

Snowpoint Temple

It wasn't a cave... it was a temple. My companions already went inside, so I hurried after them. The tune that came up was a sad one with what sounded like a harp. A flute later came in. While I was reading the markings around the ruins I figured out why the tune was so sad in the start. The markings seemed to give a story of the three Regis from the Hoenn region helping mankind... however, the humans did not notice them. Then the flute became a little higher, accompanied by a piano and bass. The story changed and now (this is the part where I fell on the ice—boy, it hurt) the humans were acknowledging the golems. Everything but the Regis' creators, which was a large monster with what seems like moss. It was hard to tell, but I could have sworn the stone made it look a bit sad... that must be why it restarted.

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