Hilda (known as Touko in Japanese) is the playable female protagonist of Pokémon Black and White, a deeply-loved game in the Pokémon community. Hilda is one of the more recognizable female protagonists in Pokémon games and is notably older than any of her predecessors; this is a unique and different take on our usual protagonists.
Hilda is the female playable character of Pokémon: Black and White (released in 2010), one of the fandom’s favorite games. Black and White had a lot more story than some of the later titles, like Sword and Shield. But, in my opinion, this doesn’t make it better or worse—just different!
Mostly, people compare and contrast Pokémon Black and White to Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the sequel to the first game. However, it’s almost not comparable, as it’s not the same game whatsoever.
The games feature different protagonists (Hilda and Hilbert vs. Rosa and Nate) and start in two different cities. In addition, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 has many new features from the original game, such as movies, a new Team Plasma, different gym settings, and a new champion.
The art of Black and White was the first of the Gen V (five) Pokémon games to include moving sprites. That means instead of still Pokémon and trainers, they’d be moving, much like a GIF. This moving sprites feature was an incredible feat that was highly discussed and loved.
On the flip side, people also didn’t find it new enough. This game added more Pokémon than the last game (156!) and was set in a new region of Unova, which was incredibly far from the other regions explored in existing Pokémon games. You can find the Pokémon sprites in movement here and via trailer animations here.
Hilda faces a lot of trouble along the way to beating the champion. She (the player) has to fight Team Plasma, a team of extremists who want equality for Pokémon and people, thinking of Pokémon as slaves that need to be freed instead of friends you take along with you to adventure. Both sides are understandable, but Team Plasma hurts people in the process. Dealing with that is quite a lot.
Hilda was a long time in the making and went through a decent amount of changes as a character before the game was released. Hilda and her male counterpart, Hilbert, were initially meant to be older (around 16/17), older than any other protagonist before. However, ultimately, they were aged down to 14/15.
In the demos of the game before being released, Hilda was named “Whitlea,” which probably referred to her being considered the “white” in Black and White. I’m delighted they went with Hilda. The name Hilda is known in both German and Danish as “battle woman.”
Hilda is considered one of the best protagonists in Pokémon by many but has her fair share of haters. Ultimately, she can be forgotten, with how many protagonists or main characters there are in the Pokémon universe. She’s one of my favorites, as her more grunge look felt relatable to me when I first played Black and White.
Her mom is seen in-game, but her father is only mentioned in passing. Her mom was a Pokémon trainer at some point, which leads to her knowing Rosa’s mom, who was a nurse at a Pokécenter during the same time period.
Hilda is a girl with light white skin, blue eyes, and dark brown hair piled into a high ponytail. She wears a white and red baseball hat, with strands of hair pulled out, framing the sides of her face. She sports a white tank top under a black vest with pockets on the sides.
On her arms are black arm warmers with a red stripe. She wears blue jean shorts with wild white pockets extending past the shorts in a jagged pattern. Hilda wears black combat boots with red soles. She also has a red crossbody bag she wears on her right side. She’s often seen in a wide stance and with a determined face. Hilda would be very easy to cosplay!
Because she is the player, in a way, she doesn’t have much personality. However, from set interactions and other appearances, she’s a determined teen with a spark for adventure and a determination to become the new champion. Otherwise, her personality is completely determined by the player.
Since Hilda is our protagonist, she doesn’t have set Pokémon, as Gym leaders do. Instead, I will be listing the starters, the Pokémon you chose as your first.
Oshawott is a Water-type starter, and really, really cute (I just needed to say that!). Oshawott evolves into Dewott at level 16, and evolves into Samurwott at level 36. Notably, Oshawott is a great, well-rounded Pokémon, as water isn’t weak to as many other types as other starters are.
Tepig is the Fire-type starter, and looks much like a piglet. Tepig evolves into Pignite at level 16, and Emboar at level 36. Tepig is the only starter that develops a second type upon evolving, where he becomes a Fire-Fighting type.
Svivy is the Grass-type starter Pokémon. Snivy kind of looks like a mermaid leaf. Snivy evolves into Servine at level 16, and Serperior at level 36. Snivy is the fastest starter Pokémon, so it dodges attacks more often and goes first more often.
The starters in Pokémon Black and White are heavily criticized, even though the game as a whole is considered one of the (if not the) best Pokémon games. These starters carried over to Black 2 and White 2. Many think of this as the worst lineup of starters in a Pokémon game.
Why? Only one evolves to have an additional type; the other two stay their type. This is not uncommon, but having a Pokémon that can do both is always fun. Most players part ways with their starters as soon as they can, but I’m so emotionally attached to Oshawott from cuteness alone that I could never part ways with them.
Hilda is seen in Masters EX, the mobile Pokémon game, as the president of the BW agency in the region of Unova.
Hilda can be found in the Evolutions anime in “the plan,” where she’s seen playing with her tepig while Ghetsis (the villain of both the original Black and White and the sequel) is giving a speech nearby. It’s a small but significant appearance from her. She is seen later in the episode with Ghetsis as he reveals his true plan: having Team Plasma liberate Pokémon throughout the region, resulting in Team Plasma becoming the rulers of Unova. Hilda sees N on the throne and seems ready to fight. The episode ends on a freezeframe of Hilda, with Zekrom opposing her.
Question: Does Hilda have a card?
Answer: Sadly, Hilda does not have a Pokémon card, though some people speculate she may get one in the future.
Question: Does Hilda appear in Pokémon: Black 2 and White 2?
Answer: No, but she is mentioned a few times via other characters in game! It is said she’s in search for N and travelings in another region(s) far away. Hilda’s mother mistakes Rosa as Hilda.
Question: Why the name Hilda?
Answer: You may be asking; Me too, reader, me too. Whitlea was her original name, so really, what’s better? (Sorry to any Hildas, I love the show!)
Hilda Pokemon: Conclusion
Hilda is a unique take on the average Pokémon protagonist in that she’s the first to have moving 3D sprites and to be the oldest. Her look gives off a grunge charm of the 2010s that truly fits with the time, and she gives off major “I shop at Hot Topic” vibes.
Having her as a playable character was wildly relatable to me as a kid; I remember seeing art for her somewhere and wanting to be like her when I was older. She doesn’t have a great deal of lore, but she’s an interesting playable protagonist nonetheless. Hilda is one of my favorite characters design-wise. I hope you learned a bit more about the passionate trainer we know and love.