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Masuda talks about the inspiration and meaning behind Pokemon’s Hoenn region

Posted on January 29, 2015 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, General Nintendo, News

Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda was one of the designers on the original Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire games. That means he created environments and maps that make up the region of Hoenn.

In an interview with Kotaku, Masuda revealed that he was inspired by his childhood summers on the island of Kyushu in making Hoenn.

Masuda said:

“So [Hoenn] was inspired by when I would go and visit my grandparents when I was younger. I grew up in Tokyo, which was obviously a big city, and my grandparents lived in Kyushu, a Japanese island. It was really completely different there. Where I came from we didn’t have clean rivers or a lot of insects or wildlife, but when I visited my grandparents I got to experience that abundance of nature – I’d got out and catch bugs, play in the river, catch fish in the ocean, explore forests.”

“I really wanted to express those childhood memories with the Hoenn region when I first thought about Ruby and Sapphire,” he says. “It’s expressed in how abundant the nature is compared to some of the other settings, and also in the idea of secret bases, which was like making tree-houses or a special fort when I was a kid.”

In kanji, “Hoenn” can be roughly translated to “abundance” and bonds” or “connections” when considering “ho” and “en”. This is something that Masuda spoke about as well.

“One of the original themes was this idea of abundance – not just of nature, but of how warm people are in the country, and people were always so nice to me there. Neighbours would say hello to me on the street. That’s the hidden meaning: the abundant bonds between people and nature.”


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