Here we go. Five out of five.
Pokemon Platinum is one of my favorite Pokemon games, and pretty much fixed all the issues I had with Diamond and Pearl. I mean. I did enjoy Diamond and Pearl, but they suffered from lag and other optimization issues that hindered my enjoyment of them. Platinum set things right.
Anyway. Let’s start.
Cyrus summons Dialga and Palkia to do his bidding and create a world without spirit, but then the Legendary Pokemon of Antimatter, Giratina, appears and drags him down into its strange world. Naturally, because you have no better ideas, you hop into the newly made portal and follow them.
The Distortion World (Torn World in Japan, and Reverse World in its movie equivalent) is a world linked to the world of Pokemon we all know and love. It’s an empty world, however, its sole occupant being Giratina.
Reality is warped here. Strange plants rise and fall as you walk the desolate floating islands, there’s an upside waterfall because fraaaaaaak physics, and the sky all around you is empty and alien. As you traverse this landscape, Giratina’s shadow is cast over you as the angered god flies around. Your mission, such as it is, seems to be to deliver one last kick in the pants to Cyrus and then quell Giratina’s anger.
Because staring into the abyss and kicking it in the shin is exactly what a child should do. I love you, Pokemon.
The track fits the area like a glove, and indeed it’s hard for me to separate the two. The beginning of the track, that… spiraling sound. It’s as if reality itself has crashed, a fitting entrance to a world so wrong and broken. What follows that opening is an unsettling, empty, yet also profoundly sad track. This is a strange world, yes, but also a very lonely one. And Giratina has lived here for… who even knows how long.
The part of the song that always get me, though, aside the opening and the bell/chime sounds, is the desolate choir and instrumentation that accompanies it. The choir swings the track from desolate and empty to that profound sadness and yet a sense of dread. It Gives Me Emotions.
This was not a world humans and mortal Pokemon were meant to see. I’d even argue that Giratina itself may well be considered a being that was not meant to be seen by mortal eyes as well.
The Distortion World may not be as scary as GFS Valhalla Depths, or The Nearest Place to Heaven, or Fakery Way, or Id (Darkness)… But I can’t think of a better track to end my first annual Spooky Video Game Music series on.
Give it a listen and visit that lonely world with me.