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Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Paldean Journey... it's like Girafarig gets an Evolution in... Monster Hunter!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They're making it pretty easy for me to grasp straws.

In a totally unexpected surprise, The Pokémon Company International not only published a video for Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet this morning... but it's over fourteen minutes long! Just be warned that this isn't equivalent to fourteen minutes of new information. The footage itself is new, but much of the information is not. Still, there are a lot of new details in this, and the thumbnail is an outright spoiler (so I don't feel bad about my headline namedropping Girafarig... which, in the context of KoopaTV, could refer to multiple things that aren't necessarily what the actual thing is):

The trailer decides to follow “four particular trainers’ journeys in Paldea” as its format, so I might as well structure my article about the trailer (maybe “trailer” isn't the right word for this...?) in the same way.

The Terastallizing Team Star Battler

This trainer does battle with a Lechonk and then a wild Water Tera Type Jigglypuff. A little bit of new information is if you do enough damage to a wild Tera Pokémon, it'll lose its Tera-stuff, and then you can catch it with a Poké Ball. Presumably this is only a mechanic for wild Pokémon and your actual competitive Terastallizing won't just lose its type.

We also have it clearly confirmed that auto-battling (or LET'S GO) is a required mechanic in the ★ Starfall Street ★ mode when fighting legions of Team Star Grunts. I'd like to know what's the point of mandating that the game plays itself as a core part of the game design.

The Technical Machine Machinist on the Path of Legends

This trainer uses the Technical Machine Machine to create her own one-use Technical Machines. (Remember when TMs were infinite-use?) The TM Machine can make as many copies of a TM as you can afford with required resources, being League Points and materials dropped by defeated Pokémon. In other words... it's a very Monster Hunter-esque mechanic, as I said. And to hit the point home, the trainer attacked a titan Klawf, which was the Pokémon that originally made me point out that monster material drops from Monster Hunter are in these new Pokémon games to begin with and are a central mechanic.

Pokémon Scarlet Violet TM Machine Thunder Fang resources Monster Hunter Stories 2 Bull Grunt upgrade Bulldrome
Can we get Team Bull Grunts instead of Team Star Grunts?
In any case, you're going to be grinding defeating Pokémon to collect their resources (LIKE THEIR FANGS AND FUR) much like a Hunter would do in Monster Hunter.


At this point, the trainer who attacked the Klawf traded away their Girafarig to another trainer. This trainer was training their Girafarig and leveled it up, evolving Girafarig into Farigiraf, which only Girafarig living in the Paldea region can evolve into. You can't tell from the evolution sequence in the video because Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are upholding a long-standing tradition of not bothering with proportions, but Girafarig is 4'11" while Farigiraf is more than twice as tall at 10'6". They're both Normal/Psychic types and called the Long Neck Pokémon, but it's Farigiraf's neck that is actually substantial in length.

I'm probably going to get in trouble from ShinyGirafarig if I don't put a screenshot of Farigiraf in this article,

Pokémon Scarlet Farigiraf Long Neck Pokédex entry
I... don't see how this is a good thing? Like, the tail took over and can bite down over the giraffe-looking head.
You can see it as a protective helmet, but I see it as horrifying.

While Girafarig's two standard abilities are Inner Focus (prevents Girafarig from flinching) and Early Bird (Girafarig will wake up earlier from sleep), Farigiraf packs two new abilities: Cud Chew (after eating a Berry during a turn, will then eat the Berry again at the end of the next turn) and Armor Tail (clone of Dazzling and Queenly Majesty in stopping the opponent's priority attacks).

The Photo-Loving Picnicker at the Hair Stylist

This trainer starts their day at the hair stylist getting a makeover and then taking selfies. Clearly, this trainer is all into slice of life and not into big adventures (despite having the legendary Koraidon). They then have a big picnic with Koraidon, Goomy, Sableye, Sprigatito, Paldean Wooper, and Grafaiai. At the picnic, the trainer grooms their Goomy, and also discovers a Pokémon Egg in a basket by the table that they're about to make sandwiches on. ...Eh? What?

Pokémon Scarlet Violet Egg basket picnic Monster Hunter Stories 2 den
Going inside Monster Dens to find eggs makes total sense. Dens are where monsters raise offspring and such.
An egg just suddenly materialising in your picnic basket does not make sense. Is this the consequence of Spain's restrictive 14-week abortion laws?

Why is there a Pokémon Egg suddenly in the basket that wasn't there before? How did it get there? Anyway, the trainer bought a bunch of sandwich ingredients in town and has ten minutes to put the sandwich together. Eating sandwiches grants benefits, such as somehow attracting certain types of Pokémon to your location. Somehow before and after making the sandwich, the trainer got a Greedent and lost Paldean Wooper.

The Tera Raid on Chansey

The trainers all come together to harass an innocent Chansey that happens to be a Ghost type. That seems to be what people's problem with her is: Ghost-type Chansey are rare. Apparently, in these four-trainer and four-Pokémon Raid battles, the trainers can spend their turn doing a CHEER. There are three varieties of cheer: “Go all out!” (party-wide Attack and Special Attack boost), “Hang tough!” (party-wide Defense and Special Defense boost), and “Heal up!” (party-wide healing).

Pokémon Scarlet Violet Tera Raid battle Cheering Monster Hunter Stories 2 Cheer skill increase attack
Monster Hunter Stories 2 also has four-party battles where Riders work together with their Monsties, featuring a Cheer command that is also a party-wide attack boost.
There are also other commands the Rider can do for party-wide healing and party-wide defense boosting.
...The Pokémon Trainer does the exact same Cheer pose as the Rider does.

So far, I have the same advice I gave back with Pokémon Legends: Arceus: if you think you're interested, maybe just get Monster Hunter Stories 2 instead. They share a lot of the same mechanics and game beats, but Monster Hunter Stories does it better. Monster Hunter Stories 2 has a very lengthy free demo that transfers over to the full game should you choose to buy it, and the full game goes on sale all of the time. (Not literally right now, but... quite frequently.) And best of all (for me), it's not an open world game, which remains the big deal-breaker for me on Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet.

Though I suppose Scarlet and Violet have some advantages. Like Girafarig is in it. And I'm looking forward to Armarouge!

Is Ludwig totally wrong in his takes here? Did he reduce what Pokémon is doing by too much? Did he ignore some things that he couldn't compare to Monster Hunter to make his points, but if he didn't ignore them, then maybe he'd appreciate Scarlet and Violet more? Let him know in the comments section what you think, and also maybe try to answer where the sudden eggs in the baskets all across Paldea come from.

The next bit of news is next week, and it's about Iono, an “influencer” who is also an Electric-type gym leader.


  1. Horray, you wrote about giraffes first and not about the plumber so I did not have to wait so long.

    It's great to see so much Farigiraf discussion everywhere.

    1. I... I mean, I wasn't that flattering towards Farigiraf, though I am getting used to writing its name.

    2. I was wondering if you'd reappear to react to this.

    3. #BringBackGirafarig

      I'm sure finding out what Shiny Farigiraf looks like is one of her top priorities in life.

    4. A lot of pain in real life made me not as social anymore.

    5. May your pains be healed and not come back in your new year!


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