Pokémon Sword and Shield were revealed to the world last week and like clockwork, a deluge of supposed leaks have followed in the announcement’s wake. One fresh take is that, like past generations, Sword and Shield will introduce a new evolutionary (e.g. Mega Evolutions) mechanic called Armored Evolutions.
Whether that rumor holds any weight, only developer Game Freak can say, but while we wait with bated breath on that front, there’s been a surge of interest surrounding Sword and Shield‘s setting and the implications it may have on gameplay. Pokéfans have flocked to Reddit in order to divulge their theories concerning the newly-revealed Galar region and how it could be the perfect excuse for Game Freak to bring back locations from past games.
Galar, like Kanto, Johto and those in between, is inspired by a real-life landmass, Great Britain. Alone, the setting means little, but fans of past games have rightly pointed out that Pokémon X and Y were set in Kalos, a fictional interpretation of France. Given the two countries’ real-world proximity, the theory is that both locations will be present in Sword and Shield, a suspicion further supported by the series’ backstory. In X and Y, narrative beats concerning a war that took place between Kalos and another belligerent three centuries prior has prompted the belief that Galar was the other participant, mimicking Great Britain and France’s historically bloody past.
A farfetched theory? Perhaps, but Game Freak has before allowed Trainers to revisit multiple areas in the same game. Pokémon Gold and Silver famously allowed access to the original Kanto region after beating the Elite Four, so the conjecture certainly isn’t without precedent. If Game Freak has since declined to follow that format due to the hardware limitations of Nintendo’s handheld consoles, then the transition to Switch would provide the perfect opportunity to revisit the feature once more.
Whatever the case, expect a whole lot more Pokémon Sword and Shield details to drop at this year’s E3 before launch in the latter half of 2019.