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A player enters one of many placeholder maps which the game denotes as 'Mystery Zone' consisting of several rows of trees in Pokémon Platinum.
In the Japanese versions of Pokémon Heartgold and Soulsilver, for unknown reasons placeholder maps are named '----'. In the English versions, they are named 'Mystery Zone'.
In the Generation IV handheld Pokémon games; a 'Mystery Zone' (Japanese: なぞのばしょ) refers to any of many areas which act as placeholders in between multiple areas normally accessible within the game. In the Japanese versions of Pokémon Platinum and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the location header is changed from なぞのばしょ to ---- but the old header is still present and is used when a Pokémon has a "caught" location set to the Mystery Zone.
The reason that these areas exist is because Generation IV feature 'dynamic' maps, where your location is based on global coordinates, rather than map specific coordinates like in Generation I. The fact that not every 'real' map is linked to another 'real' map means that there are placeholder locations, or 'Mystery Zones' in between. It has also been suggested that the Mystery Zones mark the exact locations in the Underground. 
When a player travels through a Mystery Zone he or she is unable to open the menu or even operate the touch screen.
These areas are most commonly seen consisting of either blank space, several rows of trees, water or any combination of these features. In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, when you are in the Mystery Zone the music for Routes 206, 207, 208 and 211 usually plays; however the Mystery Zone plays a slightly off-key version of these routes. This music corresponds to its own unique variable and is normally never used in game. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the Route 29 theme is played instead.
Procedure (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum), (Heartgold/Soulsilver)
This is the most common method players have used to access a "Mystery Zone".
- Use a game-altering device to walk through walls.
- Attempt to move through objects surrounding the area into areas which are normally inaccessible.
Alternative methods for accessing the Mystery Zones without a game-altering device
- Players can use the Tweaking Glitch to access the 'void', and then get to the Mystery Zone from there.
- On early versions of Japanese Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games the Surf through Elite Four door glitch allowed players (as the name of the glitch suggests) to be able to surf through Aaron; the first Elite Four member's door and then be able to walk through an extremely large area of blank space whilst passing various Mystery Zones and even areas such as Flower Paradise which were normally inaccessible without a special event.
Reference in Generation V and VI
In Generation V, the Mystery Zone is no longer accessible, but it appears as a possible location name for a Pokémon's summary.
"Mystery Eggs" marked as originating from the Mystery Zone have appeared in the PC boxes of some players of Pokémon X and Y. They also have an obtained date of '0/0/2000'.
In the Japanese versions, the name is also the same and if character mode is set to kanji, the name is rendered as なぞの場所; in kana-only mode, it is rendered like in Generation IV (なぞのばしょ).
- Out of bounds - An article about going 'out of bounds' within the Pokémon games in general.
- A player using a 'walk anywhere' code to access several Mystery Zones
- An article about 'going out of bounds' on the forums
- Using Tweaking to get into a Mystery Zone (DPPt)
- Using Tweaking to get into a Mystery Zone (HGSS)