On February 27, Nintendo held a “pokemon presentslive event. These events usually give small updates on current Pokemon games, announce special giveaways or activities available in current games, and sometimes announce new games. Fans have been expecting updates for pokemon unite and Pokemon Legends: Arceus, which was just released at the end of January this year. Instead, any small updates have been overshadowed by surprise announcements of two new Pokémon games coming to Nintendo Switch later this year.
In a dramatic trailer that previewed the new Pokémon region, fans saw many beloved Pokémon roaming free in a new landscape.
The trailer featured two main areas, a seaside cottage with red brick detailing and lush greenery. Familiar faces like Pikachu and Swablu frolicked around a huge town square decorated with colorful bricks and banners hanging from a tower with a Pokéball statue atop.
This landscape has made it obvious to dedicated fans – aware that every game in the franchise is set in regions based on real world locations – that this new generation draws inspiration from the landscape and culture of Spain. While Nintendo has yet to confirm this or give the new region a name, there are plenty of other clues that point to a game inspired by Spanish culture.
The first clue is the name of the games themselves. The names Scarlet and Purple differentiate between the two versions of the game and remind me of the original generation of Pokemon with the Red and Blue versions. Corn Pokemon Scarlet and Purple aren’t the first games in the series to use color names as differentiators, there might be a historical reason why that’s the case this time around.
The flag of Spain today is red and yellow, but below is the flag of the Second Spanish Republic from the 1930s:
It could also give a clue as to what kinds of historical references and technology we might see in the game. It’s possible the game is also set in the early to mid-20th century, which could provide some unique storylines. Although games in the series are filled with new technology to help players travel with, store, and manage their Pokémon, often the characters and locations you see along the journey tell stories from another era. Just like with Pokémon Sword and Shieldwhich had landscapes and Pokémon based on the history of Great Britain, Scarlet and Purple already display their links with Spain, if only through their names. Players can expect to see more Spanish architecture and characters full of personality in the new games.
Another heavy clue that the game is inspired by Spain is the names of the three cute Pokemon you can choose from as companions at the start of the game. Starter Pokemon have always been a key part of every Pokemon game, and they often become the most iconic Pokémon of their generation. Here are the three friends you can choose from once you start playing Pokemon Scarlet Where Purple:
Sprigatito, or the Grass Cat Pokémon, includes a play on the word “gatito,” which means kitten in Spanish. Fuecoco, the central Pokémon, alludes to the “fire crocodile”.
I’ve played a lot of Pokemon games since I was young, and I’ve always picked a water- or grass-type starter Pokemon. I’ve always been drawn to designs of water-type Pokemon, and sometimes grass designs are too cute to resist. But Fuecoco will definitely change this pattern. I’m a big fan of creatures that look a bit silly and maybe even confused about what’s going on around them (I’m a big fan of Quagsire), and I feel like Fuecoco releases these vibrations perfectly. The little crocodile is exactly what I’m looking for in a companion to start my adventure.
Nintendo still hasn’t released any information on how these three starter Pokemon evolve as you play the game, but fans are eagerly waiting to see how their picks pan out.
Pokemon Scarlet and Purple should be released “end of 2022” according to the official website. For the latest titles in the series, this has meant a mid-November release, usually the week before Thanksgiving in the United States. So if you’re starting to plan what games to play for the rest of 2022, I’d definitely put that on the list!
Thumbnail image courtesy of The Official Pokemon Youtube Channel / Youtube.