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– by Brendan Hughes

With Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! Set to release on November 16, 2018 one would expect new information regarding Game Freak’s latest project. While the games aren’t the much-discussed Generation 8 games, instead of being essentially a port of Pokémon Go for Nintendo’s Switch platform, they do offer some benefits. Being able to play through Kanto, Pokémon’s original region, a feature that hasn’t been available since 2009’s Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. There is also the ability to play cooperatively with friends locally rather than via online use.

However, the most exciting part of this game is that in the trailer, roughly two months ago, the game announced that “You’ll meet a Special Pokémon.” This has gone on to be confirmed that this will indeed be a new creature for the games but besides that, there is very little information except a detailed map highlighting the region. The release dates for these games is rapidly approaching, so when could we reasonably expect more information regarding this mystery monster?

What this monster will be is still to be determined but fans have speculated a few different options. The first option is that it is either another evolution for Pikachu or Eevee as the games are heavily centered around them. It has been revealed that the starters will not be able to evolve as was the case for the original Pokémon Yellow which this game is heavily influenced by. However, there are wild Pikachu and Eevee which are able to evolve making the option of an added evolution not out of the question. With Eevee having three different evolution potentials, in Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon, seeing an evolution to Pikachu beside Raichu would make sense giving Let’s Go, Pikachu! an advantage over Let’s Go, Eevee!

The possibility of it being a creature from next year’s main series games seems slightly unlikely now that Serebii announced that the game was pushed from the second half of 2019 to late 2019. This could mean that the games have experienced a setback in production which would make rendering a new Pokémon for the Let’s Go series relatively hard. However, this could mean nothing as Pokémon main series games tend to release in November of their release year targeting the holiday sales rush. Game Freak also spends a few years before release working diligently on the aspects of the new game which would make inserting one new creature out of at least 70 in a new region possible. It also should be mentioned that the “Special Pokémon” could be Mew as it was not included in the First Generation, no matter how many times you look under a certain truck. Mew has been announced in the series via the PokéBall Plus, a Joy-Con fashioned as a PokéBall, though this isn’t likely the new creature as concealing a Pokémon already available in Pokémon Go seems futile.

The leading favorite for the announcement was during Pokémon Go Fest which takes place in Chicago and is the largest event for the game in North America. Gathering thousands of like-minded gamers for an “immersive play experience” would have been a great time to reveal the new creature but this did not happen during the mid-July event. The biggest attraction was the legendary creature Celebi and an increased rate of shiny creatures. While this option is crossed out it is still plausible this creature could be released during an event later down the road.

Recently there have been rumors that Niantic is about to drop Generation 4 Pokémon, later in August, to the mobile game unleashing many new monsters. If the new exclusive Pokémon were to premiere in this latest patch it would get lost in the shuffle of the other Pokémon joining the game. There could be an exclusive event closer to November but for the time being the odds are low the Generation 8 Pokémon will show up in Pokémon Go anytime soon.

It is no surprise that Nintendo rolls out next generation Pokémon from time to time in the anime series or film releases. I mean this was shown in the very first episode, “Pokémon – I Choose You!”, when Ho-Oh the legendary Rainbow Pokémon appeared over Ash’s head in the final scene. Ho-Oh’s counterpart Lugia also appeared before the Second Generation starring in Pokémon the Movie 2000. As was seen in the trailer for the latest Pokémon movie, Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us, it is heavily based off the film 18 years prior. The Power of Us will introduce a new Pokémon but this is not a new creature for the Let’s Go games as Zeraora is from Generation 7. Given that the next Pokémon movie premiered in Japan on July 13, 2018, and there is still nothing regarding this creature it is very unlikely it is in the film. The option that randomly showing up in the anime is a possibility as was the case with Helioptile and Gogoat showing up in Best Wishes, “The Journalist from Another Region!”, though the Sun & Moon series isn’t close to completion.

Crossing out anime and Pokémon Go, for now, does that leave any other options? That question is, of course, rhetorical to those still reading this. There is a possibility that the new creature shows up in a Nintendo Direct or an upcoming issue of CoroCoro. There is a rumored brand-new Nintendo Direct coming out this August, which is supposedly spotlighting the latest Super Smash Bros. game though there are always some surprises not discussed in the description beforehand. While CoroCoro has been a popular method to reveal new creatures, I doubt this will be the method this time as CoroCoro tends to release filler Pokémon. This method will be more of a news dump with little warning which would be an interesting delivery method.

There are many places where fans can look for that “Special Pokémon” in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! leading up to the November release. As we get closer to the release date we will undoubtedly receive more information about what the creature will be. My hope is that Game Freak will finally release Gorochu as an evolution to Pikachu after scrapping the design in Generation 1. I also expect that the delivery method will be via a patch in Pokémon Go or a Nintendo Direct around September. At this point, it is just speculation but the days to reveal the new Pokémon are running short.

Let us know your thoughts. What are you expecting the new Pokémon to be?

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