WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the following:
Pokémon Black & White
Pokémon Black 2 & White 2
While this track technically appeared in Pokémon Black & White first, I decided to focus on the version that appeared in the sequel games since 1. it’s the version that’s on the official OSTs and 2. I think this version’s way creepier, which is fitting given what month I’m writing this in. However, I will be writing about the context the music is used from the first games since, well, that’s where said context comes from and it isn’t really touched upon all that much in the sequels. Anyway, enough rambling, let’s move on.
N is, by far, the most interesting rival character to appear in the Pokémon games thanks to his initially mysterious backstory, his personality and motives. Unlike most rivals that simply wished to get stronger because… reasons, N sought strength so that he may create a new world for the betterment of Pokémon, believing they are mistreated and shouldn’t be caught by Trainers. Despite being the leader of the game’s villain team, Team Plasma, he ultimately has noble goals. But come the climax of the game’s story, it’s revealed that N isn’t quite the supposed messiah figure that he’s made out to be. And this is highlighted by his room.
The room on its own is enough to make you re-evaluate N’s entire character. The wallpaper is bright and colourful, it’s filled with toys like a basketball hoop and a train set, and if you investigate said toys, you find that they’ve been used very recently. And if that wasn’t enough to freak you out a little bit, this music plays.
Slow, music boxes are a go-to for creepy music and this one nails it. Aside from being so disconnected from the rest of N’s castle (which has much more bombastic music to accompany it), it seems to represent N’s state of mind. It’s eerily calm and innocent but it highlights how N, for all his charm and eloquence, is still a child, which only makes you wonder how N was raised and how he’s been allowed to live his life with this mentality (which you do find out soon after). And on top of all that, the music is oddly distorted, further highlighting how N’s child-like dreams and even his own mind have been warped thanks to his father, Ghetsis. Hell, it’s straight up an alteration of the music that plays whenever N appears. Seriously, compare the two.
It not only paints N in a very different light, but it also manages to be rather tragic too. N isn’t a villain; he’s not some megalomaniac – he’s just a kid. A kid that’s been given too much power and doesn’t truly understand the way the world works. When the time comes for you to battle him, there’s no sense of antagonism any more – only pity.
This style of music may be overused and cliche for some but, for me, it’s the right blend of creepy and tragic, and only gives what was already a fascinating character even more depth.