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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Galarian Regional Variants and TEAM YELL!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This is a positive direction.

Shells up: On KoopaTV, you'll notice that the coverage of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield is substantially more interesting than vast quantities of National Dex complaining spam—there's a legitimate concern there, but it won't interrupt how we'll cover the game's pre-release news drops.

And the last news drop was last month about Gigantamaxing, so this is a good improvement over every week from three years ago and GAME FREAK is taking our advice about not revealing everything in the game ahead of time

Today's news drop comes in the following themes:
  1. New Pokémon!
  2. New people!
  3. New features!
Most of these are available in this two-minute trailer put out by The Pokémon Company International, with the official Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield website filling in the gaps:

New Pokémon: Morpeko; Obstagoon; Galarian Zigzagoon, Linoone, and Weezing

Morpeko appears to be the Pikachu-esque rodent of Galar, this time specialising in being hungry all the time. If it doesn't get food, it gets really mad. It's the first Electric/Dark Pokémon.

Hoenn's resident trash collector raccoon, Zigzagoon, has a Galar variation! Its evolution, Linoone, does as well. This is notable because back in Alola, Alolan regional variations were only for Pokémon originally seen in the Kanto region. In fact, what's even more special is that Obstagoon, which exists to obstruct progress, is an evolution of Galarian Linoone that doesn't exist for Hoenn Linoone! This puts Galar's regional variants a whole tier above Alola's in terms of being interesting, with the potential for expansion. It also means you don't need Mega Evolution to return if you can just have regular evolutions. (I personally think a Mega Evolution for a three-Pokémon line was always excessive.)

I'll note what the official website states for Galarian Linoone, because I like where this world-building is going:
“It’s popular among unhappy and angry youths

Galarian Linoone are rash and fearless, and they will recklessly pick fights even with opponents stronger than themselves. Their fearlessness, as well as their tendency to attack opponents head on, make Galarian Linoone very popular among the disaffected youths of the Galar region, who have nowhere to direct their frustration and anger.” 

Disaffected and angry youths, eh? Yes, there are lots of those nowadays. Very hot topic. Sometimes they're blamed for voting in favour of Brexit. Sometimes they're blamed for mass-shootings (or the videogames they play are). Seems like Galarian Linoone is the Pokémon for them.

But the best character design out of anything revealed today is Galarian Weezing. Just look at it:

Galarian Galar Weezing Pokémon Sword Shield Poison Fairy
Galarian Weezing has self-evidently brilliant character design, and is the first Poison/Fairy type.

Galarian Weezing eats poison gas and polluted air and expels clean air, leaving the poison inside of its body... and sometimes leaking through its porous body in the form of those green toxic clouds that suspiciously resemble facial hair. Presumably the clean air bit justifies the Fairy typing. Or maybe it's those question-marks for a second ability that'll do it.

Galarian Weezing sports two exhaust pipes on its heads shaped like stylish top hats. It also increases Weezing's height dramatically—Kanto Weezing is 3'11", while Galarian Weezing is 9'10". Super stylish though. Wish Vortex was still around to see this.

Galarian Koffing has not been confirmed to exist or even discussed.

New people: Bede, Marnie, and Team Yell

Fortunately, the Hau-esque Hop isn't the only rival your character must deal with. There is Bede, a prideful guy who wants to become Champion and also “seems to have other objectives as well” according to the official website. Well, good. At least he's not single-minded. It's best to have multiple reasons for living. 

Compare that to Marnie and her fan club, Team Yell. Team Yell exists just to support Marnie become Champion by any means necessary, including preventing free-flowing traffic. We haven't seen any dialogue scenes from them, so it's unknown if they communicate in ALL-CAPS or not. I assume all of Team Yell's membership count as disaffected youth. Marnie doesn't look like someone I'd even want to be a fan of. Not my type...

New Features: Poké Jobs and Rotomi

Lastly, there are Poké Jobs. These aren't even mentioned or shown in the trailer, so I'm going off the official website's page.

Galar has a lot of corporate sponsorship, especially with the Pokémon League and the stadiums where gym battles take place. We previously discussed how Corviknight, the raven Pokémon, are conscripted for Galar Taxi. I wondered how they're compensated, and it seems like there is a whole feature called Poké Jobs where different companies (corporations and universities alike) post Help Wanted advertisements to do various things, like construction work or farmhands, for specific companies. WORLD-BUILDING. Rewards include experience points, but there doesn't seem to be any monetary reward. It's sort of like working for KoopaTV.

Each Pokémon Center in the region has a Rotomi, which appears to be Rotom inhabiting a public computer. With Rotomi, you can search the Help Wanted ads. Rotomi also supports other, less productive features, like distributing lottery tickets.

I'm not sure why Rotom needs to take over a computer instead of just having the computer by itself with no Rotom involved. I guess it's a huge improvement over possessing a smartphone, however.

Judging by Ludwig's actual write-up, it seems him writing that this is a positive direction is almost entirely justified by Galarian Weezing and the amazing character design contained in that Pokémon. Meanwhile, he is either neutral or actively frowning at all of the designs of the Galarian humans so far, except for Allister, who is pretty much the least human of the cast. BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Galarian Weezing's special ability is revealed!
There's another evolution of a Pokémon that previously didn't have any over here.


  1. "Sometimes they're blaming for voting for Brexit."

    I'm personally not great with grammar myself but I feel something is off here.

    The Galarian forms made me regain my interest in gen 8.

    1. It's not wrong, but it is vague and also not parallel-constructed with the following sentence. Bad sentence overall. I'll repair it.

      Glad! (About regaining interest, not me making typos.)

  2. Wait so, am I reading this wrong or is the enemy villain group (which is always prefixed by "Team") just some notable trainer's fanclub? And is it just me or is that REALLY lame? However, they could salvage this by including a much more sinister (and competent) second villain group, just like last time. Sun and Moon had the incompetent and unambitious Team Skull (though admittedly Guzma himself was a legitimately powerful trainer) contrasted with the Aether Foundation with much more sinister designs but disguised with good PR.

    So I hope we do get something along the Aether Foundation's lines this time as well, not necessarily the whole "villain with good publicity" thing but an organization with more ambitious evil designs that doesn't fall under the "Team" naming convention.

    1. You are reading it correctly. Team Yell is Marnie's fanbase composed of disaffected youths.

      It's unclear if Team Yell is Marnie's OFFICIAL fanbase though. As in, Marnie probably doesn't officially sanction it. She might even be appalled by them. Expect this to be a plot point.

    2. I've still got my eye on the Chairman as the true main villain.

    3. I don't disagree anymore.

      Some people think Marnie is the Chairman's daughter! 'cause of the hair.

  3. If Bede is going to be a rival, then at least we should avoid Sun/Moon's issue with both of your friends/rivals being non-competitive.

    1. Gladion was competitive! He just wasn't competing for the same thing.

    2. ...Who is the other, non-Hau rival you have in mind? >_>

    3. I said "friends/rivals" instead of just "rivals" because I meant Lillie. In my review, I wrote about my feeling that having a non-competitive rival like Hau might not have been so bad if it wasn't in the same game that gave you a friend who wasn't a trainer at all (and likewise, I wouldn't have minded Lillie as much if she wasn't in the same game as Hau).

      So in short, my main point is that even though Hop looks like he might be Hau 2.0, it should feel more balanced.

      ...But then again, Bulbapedia does consider Gladion to be a rival, so never mind.

    4. When you said friends/rivals I thought that was a slight against Hau for being introduced as YOUR FRIEND HAU. ...And it seems like it sort of was.

      Yeah, Gladion is considered a rival, even though he's not really a competitive rival and more just an edgelord.


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