Gym Battles are like small checkpoints in the Pokemon games. They are mini-bosses that give a rough estimation of how the player currently is and sometimes, they are really well-designed.
These Gym Battles that we are about to list down are some of the more unique ones–be it in design or overall aesthetics of the Gym. These are instances where the Pokemon developers put on their creative hats and conjured something that is extraordinary.
So, let’s take a look at 10 of the most unique Gym Battle designs in mainstream Pokemon games.
1. Marlon (Pokemon Black and White/ Black 2 and White 2)
In terms of personality, Marlon is one of our favourites. He is a carefree dude that cares about nothing and lets things run their course naturally. That said, his Gym’s design is way more “natural” than it should be.
To navigate all the way to Marlon, you will need to stand on lily pads as you battle through the Water-based trainers. With a small bridge in the middle of the Gym, this facility is actually very well made and is in line with Marlon’s philosophy of calmness and serenity.
2. Skyla (Pokemon Black 2 and White 2)
Here’s another Unova Gym that caught our eyes. Skyla’s gym has been redesigned in Black and White 2, and in our humble opinion, for the better. It’s now more aircraft-ty and really represents Skyla’s love for aeroplanes.
Besides the really cool gym design, on the path to Skyla, you will need to wait for the wind currents to slow down before advancing. To do this, the player will need to hide behind a cover while you get to watch a pretty cool animation while it happens. Overall, the Gym is really cool and it actually makes you feel like you are inside an aircraft.
3. Korrina (Pokemon X and Y)
Little would we have imagined that a Gym setting would be based on a roller skating rink. Well, it is true, Korrina’s Fighting Gym has roller skaters drifting around and it’s really different compared to other Gyms.
Here, the player will need to roller skate themselves to the Korrina while battling other Trainers. Honestly, the Gym’s design can be a little complex at first but we have to admit that the entire Gym is designed really well to imitate a skating rink. In other words, it is annoyingly fun!
4. Norman (Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald)
Norman’s Normal-type gym is actually pretty normal. Question is, how did his Gym make the list?
This is because the uniqueness of Norman’s gym is how the Trainers are designed in this Gym. Before reaching Norman, players will need to battle through these Trainers that are chosen by the players themselves. These Trainers are differentiated by their battle styles, like whether they are defensive-minded or offensive-minded.
We find this to be really special because this encourages players to plan ahead as they will know what kind of Trainers they would be facing. Plus, it is also good to see that the AI for these battles acts differently compared to the generic Trainers outside.
5. Koga/Janine (FireRed and LeafGreen)
Koga is one of the coolest-looking Gym Leaders in the franchise. Aside from his looks, his Gym in Fuschia City is also really darn awesome.
At first, you will see that there is almost nothing but Trainers looking around aimlessly in his Gym. Koga, then, would stand very near to the entrance, making you think that it is really easy to reach him. And like many, we’ve been fooled into this false spectacle.
Yes, you most certainly cannot just walk straight and dance your way into Koga’s face. Instead, you will need to pass through invisible walls, all around the Gym, to get to him. Sure, the invisible walls might not be difficult to predict but the design is as clean as it gets.
6. Lt. Surge (FireRed and LeafGreen)
This Electric Gym from Kanto is another one that you can say is really badly designed or really good—you either loved it or hated it. We think it’s different, to say the least.
In hopes to reach Lt.Surge and his trusty Raichu, you will need to get past an electrical barrier. To deactivate you will need to find two switches and turn them off. Kinda easy right? Well, it can either be really hard or easy, depending on your luck.
The switches are hidden inside garbage cans and they are right next to each other. Problem is, the trash cans are all lined up straightly, so it’s basically a 50-50 to find the second switch. So, if you’re having bad luck that day, you are in for one hell of a time.
It’s just frustratingly unique!
7. Wallace/Juan (Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald)
If you are a fan of puzzles then you will surely enjoy the final Gym of the Hoenn region. Right after subduing the Legendary Trio of the region, you are now tasked with walking on ice!
Yes, to reach the end, you will need to walk on ice and there is no returning as walking on the same tile twice will make you fall down a pit filled with Trainers. As such, this Gym can be one completely without Trainers or a wave of them.
And if you’re bad at solving this puzzle, expect yourself to face off against a large number of Trainers at the bottom of the Gym! Hey, it’s great for battle experience though!
8. Candice (Pokemon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum)
Ah, you might think that Wallace/Juan’s Gym puzzle is difficult, well here’s a harder one. Candice’s Snowpoint Gym is as harsh as the town’s winter. Here, you will need to break through large snowballs while sliding.
Knowing which highpoint to slide down can be a real hassle. This is because you will need to be in a high enough position to slide and destroy these snowballs. Added to the fact that to reach the top, you will need to battle Gym trainers as well. So, when it comes to uniqueness and difficulty, the Snowpoint Gym is certainly up there.
9. Blaine (Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen)
In order to beat a genius, you have to be a genius. Blaine is arguably the smartest Gym Leader in the games and his Gym is also structured with intelligence as its basis.
Like with the Sootopolis Gym in the Hoenn region, you can potentially walk up to Blaine without having to battle a single Gym trainer—only if you are smart enough to do so. The concept of this Gym is get a Pokemon question right and you pass through without battling anyone.
For Pokemon veterans, this is a piece of cake, but those who are new to the game would probably have to spend their time battling against Gym trainers as they might get the answer wrong. Funnily unique this one!
10. Cilan, Chili and Cress (Pokemon Black and White)
Pokemon’s in-game introduction to the game’s mechanics is pretty lacklustre. However, they did it really well for Pokemon Black and White where they integrated it into a Gym Challenge.
Against these 3 brothers, this Gym Challenge that is held in a restaurant is actually an introduction to the type of matchups in the game. It’s really smart of the developers to do this as newer players will get to secure their first Gym badge while learning about the basics of the game. We really do hope that GameFreak does more of this for future Pokemon games.
So there we have it! These are what we think are the most uniquely designed Gym Challenges in the Pokemon games, what do you think? And if you ever got the urge to go on a Pokemon journey, be sure to purchase its games using our Nintendo eShop Gift Cards here!