In Pokemon games released within the past decade, the concepts explored have representation in various forms, primarily in criminal groups seeking to control these concepts and legendary Pokemon that illustrate the majesty of these ideas. For Ruby and Sapphire, it was the power of the landmass and the vastness of the sea; for Diamond and Pearl, it was always-progressing time versus the vastness of space, with the concept of antimatter thrown in for Platinum.
In Pokemon Black and White, we get a vague, but somewhat more developed conflict between two concepts that flow through the nation of Unova: truth and ideals. These concepts, unlike pevious generations, and actually cleverly incorporated into the places and people of the Unova region.
In the first stance, we have locations that are more defined by their traditions then by their Gyms and Leaders. The towering skyscrapers of Castelia suggest a somewhat idealistic view of people coming together through a common interest and common cause, as Burgh points out in his cleverly written defense against Ghetsis' assertion of intimidation to achieve obedience.
The quiet little town of Lacunosa, seems to operate on a very faithful tradition of sociable daytimes and secluded nighttimes, in contrast to the never-sleeping cities beyond their area. Whether this tradition, after Kyurem has been subdued, is continued out of doubt or simply comfort, it is not elaborated on.
Opelucid City is also an area worth mentioning. Alternating between living a truth of Amish-style traditions and values, or pursuing the egalitarian future of endless possibilities, the core beliefs of the two people are reflected in various ways: the conflict between the father and the son, the time-machine Easter Egg (which honestly, does not deliver much of a payoff as you might expect), and even subtly, in the leaders themselves, the elder Drayden and irascible Iris.
Last on our area evaluation, Black City/White Forest are also worth a look. These two areas, are curiously, the representation of the opposite concept than that the player is looking to fulfill. In Black, the city is home to adventurous trainers, and unfortunately, greedy salespeople. In White, the quaint forest is home to many unique Pokemon, and somewhat humbler people. Frankly, one could argue whether the two locations would have been better off swapped for the other version, to better complement the Opelucid made for the opposite concept(which makes Team Plasma's mission more convincing).
Secondly, we have several characters that reflect personalities of these two concepts: firstly, the two rivals, Bianca and Cheren.
Bianca, a more personable rival, is always optimistic about meeting new people and having new experiences, always looking for the best thing to do rather than just following her desires. Eventually, her search for "truth" leads her back to where she started, presumably setting her up for a content lifetime of Pokemon research among her mentor, Professor Juniper.
Cheren, the more thoughtful of the two, is surprisingly more tactile in his goals. His "ideal" to become the Champion makes him somewhat threatened by the possibility of new pursuits, (though this by no means makes him ignorant) which makes his feelings uncertain towards his progress and towards the uncertain future. However, he finds his own measure of peace by resolving to simply be a good friend and grow stronger in his own right.
And finally, we have N, the "child of Pokemon". As those of you who have played the games know, N's sole purpose is to help his parenting companions of Team Plasma achieve their goal of liberating Pokemon by making it his own "truth", or "ideal", so much that he actually succeeds in befriending one of the legendary dragons, through tragically, he discovers that the core of his knowledge is a sham by the malevolent Ghetsis, who cares more about their dragon's power then what it stands for.
After playing these games thoroughly, I came to my own conclusions about what "truth" and "ideals" are supposed to be in general, and what makes them different from the other. Bear(tic) in mind , these are my personal opinions, and should only be accepted if my arguments make sense.
Firstly, I think that "truth" in general, is supposed to represent a kind of selflessness to fulfill a bigger purpose, no matter what it is. It is meant to reflect on what past efforts for the greater good led to, and what can preserve values and bonds for the present.
"Ideals", in my opinion, are the more liberal of the two concepts: they look towards the future, draw from strong passions, and actually look in the present to tools to achieve the future, creating a reverse strategy of leaving for the new from the now, whereas truth comes back from the old to improve the now.
Now, as to how that ties into the games: in the main plot, the objective is to stop the antagonist, N, from achieving his goal of separating Pokemon from humans by finding the dragon that can best combat his. In picking a game that represents the true scope of the story, I think that Black best represents the journey of the two.
You start off the game, as a character, and presumably a veteran player, with an already set system of knowledge, and your own cute little Unova starter, to follow the age-old path to the League, E4, Champion, and Hall of Fame.
But, no sooner has the game started, a new question is asked at Accumula Town by the enigmatic Plasma: "Is Pokemon Training truly benevolent to both, or convenient to one and torture to the other?" This is the question that starts the slowly escalating war between you and Plasma.
As the game progresses, you learn more about the leader, N. He appears to be set based upon the game's script just to catch the opposite dragon, but listen carefully to his dialogue:
"I'm a Trainer, too, but I can't help wondering...are Pokemon really happy that way?"
Here, he paints himself as an uncertain Trainer trying to find his way in the Unova region. However, even after he has heard the voice of your Pokemon...
"As long as Pokémon are confined in Poké Balls... Pokémon will never become perfect beings. I have to change the world for Pokémon, because they're my friends."
Despite his claims, N, like Cheren, attempts to reconvene himself of his intentions, and that despite hearing a different view, is set upon fulfilling that vision of what has not happened yet, the future...the ideal.
And you know the rest. N decides upon a dragon at Nacrene, reveals his position as Plasma King at Nimbasa, and has a blowout with Juniper at Chargestone. And here, I want you to ask yourself: which quote seems to properly convey N's goal?:
"Tsk! Why? Is it impossible for me to win while feeling bad about being a Trainer? As if I could pursue my ideals with something as meaningless as a battle!"
"Tsk! Why? Is it impossible for me to win while feeling bad about being a Trainer? As if I could pursue the truth with something as meaningless as a battle!"
A bit confusing, wouldn't you say? An ideal, he can attribute as his own. But....the truth? Is N saying that he's pursuing his dream just to see if it's real, when he earlier confirmed that he already knows what he wants to do?
And eventually, the battle escalates to the Pokemon League, and to N's Castle. And this, is where the battle between the two teens reveals the second dragon: Reshiram (Black), or Zekrom (White). And this begs the question: is the player's goal their core belief, or is it something they "dreams" of preserving?
I think that the player's journey is one that reveals many different challenges: the challenge to capture Pokemon, to help other Trainers, and to discover the world for what it really is. And when you get down to it...that's really the fundamentals of Pokemon! It's not just beating the boss and being done with it, it's about discovery, realization, and establishment of who you want to be. Which is why I believe that the player's journey in Black and White is one of truth, making Reshiram a perfect fit for them.
But, this is just my opinion. As Cheren said before Victory Road, "There are as many truths and ideals as there are people and Pokémon. The most important thing is that we help one another out."
And I think, that is the core statement of the Pokemon community, one that I know will keep as a family of battlers, traders, and those still trying to "catch 'em all." That, ladies and gentlemen, is my truth.