oh no, not again

why won’t they just let me die

so… we’re dealing with an Iberian region, pretty clearly. We’ve got a building that seems inspired by La Sagrada Família basilica in Barcelona (which has inspired Pokéverse architecture before: https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Space-Time_Towers)…

…and, more explicitly, there’s a map of Spain pinned to the corkboard in the Game Freak office from the trailer.

Part of the in-game map is also briefly visible on the wall of the player character’s home.

The question that sticks out for me here is, what are they going to do about Portugal? Just folding everything into one region with absolutely no comment is… more workable here than it would be in many other parts of the world; Portugal and Spain are both EU members, so the real-world border between the two countries is basically invisible, and they’ve been on very good terms for a long time. Still, I feel like just shrugging and saying “¿Portugal? ¿Qué es Portugal?” would be a bit of a dick move there? Also, I don’t believe any previous Pokémon games have been available in Portuguese, which would be a nice addition for players in Brazil as well as Portugal itself, so… y’know, not saying they have to, just that it seems like it would be polite if we’re going to Iberia.

The aesthetics emphasised by the trailer are all big, beautiful plazas, sparkling fountains, colourful mosaics and seaside villas – the tourist highlights of Spain, just as previous games have given us a lot of the tourist highlights of France, Hawai’i and England. I imagine the Balearic Islands will also feature, including the legendary party island of Ibiza.

I dunno why we’re going back to colour names now, of all times, with Scarlet and Violet. Spain’s national colours are red and yellow, Portugal’s are red and green. Are violets an important symbolic flower in Spain? Is that a thing? I don’t think so, no more than anywhere else in Europe.

I will be entertaining absolutely no Discourse, at this time or indeed ever, about animation frame rates on these wind turbines. I will, however, entertain Don Quixote windmill discourse. Come on, Game Freak, you can’t show us windmills in your trailer for a game set in Iberia and not give us a lovably deluded windmill-slaying knight.

Their names are apparently Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly.

oh yeah, also we have these fµ¢£ers

My only concern, the single solitary thing on my mind when I look at these starters, is that I will lose my $#!t if the Fire-type evolves into a snake.

because there is this “the Fire-type starters are all based on the Chinese zodiac!” idea out there that I just… do not like, because Cyndaquil is not a rat and foxes are not the same thing as dogs, especially not in the mind of a Japanese designer. But if this fµ¢£in’ derpy toothy dinosaur bastard turns out to evolve into a massive fµ¢£-off fire snake, I will be forced to conclude, for the seventeenth time, that Game Freak have been trolling me specifically all along. And then the stars shall fall from the heavens, and I shall rest.

Also, let’s throw out a wild prediction just on the off chance that I’m somehow right and then get massive fandom cred for it; that’s what #Content Creators do, right? The duck is Picasso. The duck is gonna evolve into a moody Spanish surrealist painter. No, I will not elaborate.

27 thoughts on “oh no, not again

  1. I was *literally* just about to comment conceding defeat on the zodiac front but then you went and *insisted* on keeping the battle alive, for at least a little bit longer XD

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      1. I am a strong supporter of the Zodiac theory. Cyndaquil is a shrew, which is a rodent… and fox is a canine….. and come on, do you really believe we just so happened to get a bunny and a tiger and a chicken? 😀 But yeah, this guy hurts me because I can’t pinpoint him to any zodiac sign. Dragon could work but that is already covered by Charizard. I actually hope he evolves into a snake tbh.

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        1. Cyndaquil’s chatacteristics are closest to an echidna which is not a rodent, but this is Pokémon, so it could’ve inspired by multiple animals. There might be some shrew in there, but shrews actually aren’t rodents either! But again, that might not matter to the people who made a fish evolve into an octopus, and the Pokédex does call it a “fire mouse” even though it has nothing in common with mice. I think the most important thing to realize here is that shrews are classified under an order of animals called Eulipotyphla, which means “truly fat and blind.” And I find that delightful.

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          1. Eulipotyphla is delightful, but I personally am just enchanted by the decision to give its sister clade (the one that includes bats, ungulates and all carnivora) the name “Scrotifera” – the “scrotum-bearing” mammals, which apparently (despite my own personal observations to the contrary) do not include humans.

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  2. I think it’ll just be Spain since no other region has taken inspiration from more than one country (at least not to a noticeable degree.)

    Best guess is that the colors are references to infrared and ultraviolet, although who knows what that could mean for the theme.

    Starters are cute as usual, but I’m holding off judgement until their final forms are revealed. Been let down too many times. I hope Sprigatito stays quadrupedal. Fuecoco looks like an apple, which is weird for a Fire type. Or maybe it’s a chili pepper? Quaxly is hilarious. I doubt it’s based on Picasso (he wasn’t exactly known for his luscious hair), but it would be amazing if it was. Maybe it’ll evolve into some cubist shit, with a square head and its beak growing out the side and an eye in the middle of its face. I would die laughing.

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      1. True, I forgot about that. Guess that goes to show Sword/Shield didn’t leave much of an impact on me lol. Although it’s a little different since the UK is still referred to as a country whereas Spain and Portugal together are not. I don’t know, the world is too complex for my simple brain.

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        1. I agree. Spain as a modern nation is kinda analogous to the UK anyway (megasuperoversimplifying: Castile+Catalonia – England+Scotland). Including Portugal would be like Galar including Ireland, or maybe The Netherlands might be more analogous?

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          1. I’m not really thinking of political borders so much as the shape of the two countries. Like, Portugal isn’t an island; there isn’t an obvious geographic border. Will that whole western strip of the Iberian peninsula just be empty and unaccessible?

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            1. I’m sure they can frame the map so that it seems natural and non-weird. After all, they removed France’s southern coast.
              Of course, it’s equally as possible they’ll just make this region an Iberian mish-mash – my point was mostly that Portugal+Spain isn’t comparable to Scotland+England.

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              1. We do see the west edge of the in-game map in the trailer; that’s the thing. They *haven’t* framed the in-game map to not include Portugal, the way Kalos didn’t include the south of France.

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  3. You know, interesting you mention that Violet doesn’t have an obvious cultural significance in Spain/Portugal, that might be intentional. If you noticed in the game titles, “Scarlet” is done in a more classical font, while “Violet” is done in a more futuristic font, complete with a design that’s evocative of space. It might be setting up a “tradition vs innovation” theming in this game, so of course the Violet is what’s defying norms if it represents the innovation one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Scarlet and Violet” instantly brings Babylon the Great to mind, but that’s a bit risqué for Pokémon to go for. A Book of Revelations-centered Pokémon gen would be fantastic though.

    Of course, it’s Violet and not Purple, so Jumping Joltik’s suggestion makes 576437689 times more sense.

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  5. a friend of mine pointed out the possibility that, because “quaxly” is a very evocative name, there’s a real possibility it could go down a don quixote route itself!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I just realised something else. I know I am writing this a bit late but oh well. The zoidac theory is NOT down the drain. Noone ever said that each zodiac sign must be represented by only one starter. Maybe Fuecoco is just our second dragon?

    Liked by 1 person

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