Leaks are an extremely common happening in the gaming community. Where a majority of them eventually turn out to be inaccurate, there are exceptions in which they do hold a modicum of legitimacy.
In the case of Pokémon Sword and Shield, it does seem like an old leak may just belong to the latter category, following the release of a new trailer.
First spotted on a 4Chan thread in May 2019, the post detailed a lot of hitherto unannounced information about the upcoming game, with one of them being the Gigantamaxing mechanic and its ability to change a Pokémon’s appearance. As it turns out, that has been confirmed in the newly-unveiled reel, alongside the additions of Chairman Rose and Oleana into the character roster.
Other specifics that lined up with the official reveal include the correct naming convention of rival Hop, researcher Sonia as the granddaughter of Sword and Shield’s professor Leon, the Dynamax game mechanic, the accurate name drop of Wooloo and descriptions of both Legendaries, as well as the Wild Area and its four-player raid feature.
It’s rather impressive that a leak is able to hit the nail on the head, more so with such a vast expanse of information that’s been proven to be accurate. 4Chan, however, is not known for being the most reliable source around, so it’d still be good to be sceptical of its claims.
Nonetheless, the more noteworthy bits of the rumour are as follows, which means now is the time to turn back if you’d like to remain spoiler-free:
POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!
- Sword and Shield’s enemy team will be called Team Yell.
- An “evil” Legendary Pokémon named Eternatus can be expected.
- Complementing the Dynamax mechanic is the similar Gigantimaxing feature, which changes a Pokémon’s appearance in addition to growing its size. Three examples given are Meowth looking like a “long cat”, Lapras getting “layers like musical bars to its shell and musical notes” (whatever that means, and Pikachu looking like “retro fat Pikachu”.
- The game will introduce “regional evolutions”, with Farfetch’d turning into Sirfetch’d, and Meowth looking like “a ball of spiky grey fur”.
- Chipmunk Pokémon named “Skwovet and Greedunt” are set to hide in berry trees, and will attack players if they shake them too many times, leading to a half loss in berry count.
- An endorsement is needed to challenge a gym leader, which will see one taking on a gym challenge that has to be completed before the Trainer showdown can happen.
- Three gym challenges are described, including one where players have to herd Wooloo while avoiding a new Electric corgi Pokémon called Pamper, one where you navigate a maze with water blocking your path, and one where you have to catch Pokemon and “get 5 points” while in a team battle with another trainer who is also trying to catch them at the same time.
- The Wild Area works like an interaction corner, allowing players to “randomly see nearby players and interact with them to get their league cards and items.”
- Camping with Pokémon is now a thing, and doing so allows Trainers to make curry and use toys for stat-raising benefits.
- Grookey’s final evolution is a giant gorilla that uses a wood drum to attack.
- Sobble’s evolutions Sizzile and then Intelleon will feature a spy theme.
- “Scorbunny will have fighting moves, but is pure fighter.” (There could be a typo in here, it reads as if it meant to say “but is pure fire” or “but isn’t pure fighter.”) Its second evolution is called Raboot, and its final evolution looks like a humanoid fighter.
- A blue seagull Pokemon was described that will get either a “barracuda or a Pikachu” in its mouth when it dives, which it then throws at the enemy.
Phew, that’s a lot to take in. While it’s true that many of the alleged truths have turned out to be legitimate, it’s still important to note that there are some typos and potential errors present, such as the slight misspelling of Yamper as Pamper in the above.
It’s a minor mistake, but again, only serves to reinforce the necessity to take the leak with a grain of salt, especially since the rest isn’t guaranteed to be true in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Regardless, it seems fans can really look forward to a whole bunch of new content in Gen VIII. Some have embraced the changes, others are slowly getting used to the newfangled world of Pokémon, and the rest are perhaps still stuck in the past, but the love of Pokémon is most certainly felt within the community. November 15, 2019 is the date to embark on the journey to be the very best, though those looking to pre-order the Pokémon Sword and Shield Double Pack can already start doing so.
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.