With the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet quickly approaching, I wanted to spend some time talking about how excited I am and also discussing everything we know thus far. So, let’s just dive right in!
Scarlet and Violet take place in the Paldea region. Just as the Galar region in Sword and Shield was based on the UK, Paldea is based on Spain and Portugal. The map shows a giant, circular continent divided into large biomes with a massive volcano in the center. Large mountains can be found along the northern part of the island, including a massive snowy mountain. A large lake can be found on the northwest side of the island, along with several rivers and smaller lakes to the south. There are three sandy looking regions and a fourth with desert plateaus. There appears to be coastal towns on each side of the island, with the main city found just south of the central volcano.
Scarlet and Violet continue the long tradition of having trainers choose among a grass, fire, or water Pokémon as their starter. We still don’t have any information about starter evolutions, but I’ll briefly run down what we know about the first form of our Paldean starters.
The grass starter is an adorable cat named Sprigatito. Sprigatito can release a sweet and therapeutic aroma by kneading its paws. This may indicate a signature healing move or a move with strong evasion. Sprigatito’s fur is similar to plants, so it can use its fur to photosynthesize. I’m thinking this may lead to a killer HP recovery move or a strong solar beam like attack. Sprigatito’s ability is Overgrow.
The fire starter is a crocodile like Pokémon named Fuecoco. Fuecoco can use its scales to absorb heat and convert it into fire energy. A small flame atop Fuecoco’s head is produced from excess fire energy leaking from its body. These flames may grow and multiply when Fuecoco gets excited. This hints at an epic fire signature move. Fuecoco’s ability is Blaze.
The water starter is an adorable duckling named Quaxly. Quaxly’s feathers are coated in a glossy gel that can repel water and grime. This may indicate a move that will eliminate status conditions. Quaxly also has very strong legs. I’m thinking Quaxly’s evolved form will have a stellar kicking signature move similar to Cinderace’s Pyro Ball. Quaxly’s ability is Torrent.
Scarlet and Violet will also be the first Pokémon games to be fully open world. This means there is no set path like earlier games. Instead, players will have a choice between three different storylines. Another change from the earlier games is that you are part of an academy. Does this mean that parents in Paldea don’t allow their 12-year-old kids to run free in the world battling monstrous animals as they see fit? (Honestly, it’s a wonder there aren’t copious headlines about children being mauled by dangerous Pokémon.)
The first story line is the Starfall Street path. Team Star, a group of troublemaking students, is the main rival group in Scarlet and Violet. Different squads from Team Star are spread across Paldea, each with their own team leader. It looks like this path will be similar to traditional gym battles in execution.
The second story line is the Path of Legends. In this path, you will aid Arven in gathering rare ingredients called Herba Mystica. Unfortunately, these Herba Mystica are guarded by Titan Pokémon, and Arven isn’t that great at Pokémon battles. It looks like helping Arven defeat the Titan Pokémon will offer rare ingredients and recipes for your picnics.
The last story line is the Victory Road path. This path most closely resembles the traditional Pokémon games. Trainers will work to defeat the 8 regional gyms to become the champion. Each gym will require trainers to pass a test before they can battle the gym leader. The main difference is there is no set order for the gym challenges. You can battle them in any order you see fit.
The open world nature of the game is paired with true multiplayer gameplay. You will be able to explore Paldea with three other trainers using the Union Circle, a newly added feature to the Poké Portal.
The specialty of the Paldea region is terastallizing. A Pokémon can terastallize into a crystal-like form to boost moves of its tera type. All Pokémon will be able to terastallize, and even some wild Pokémon will terastallize in battle. The tera type of a Pokémon does not have to match its Pokémon type. For example, a gameplay trailer shows a Jigglypuff, a normal fairy type Pokémon, with a water tera type. There are 18 different tera types. It seems that each tera type is signified by a different hat. Unlike in the Galar region where you needed to be in a dynamax zone to dynamax your Pokémon, it looks like your Pokémon can terastallize anywhere in Paldea. Your Pokémon can also learn the move tera blast, which changes type based on the tera type of your Pokémon. This new mechanic will provide an ability for your Pokémon to cover potential type weak spots, but it will also add some unpredictability for battling other Pokémon.
Another new mechanic is a secondary battle form called “Let’s go.” With Let’s go, you send your Pokémon ahead of you to battle a wild Pokémon on its own. You don’t give any instruction to your Pokémon, and it doesn’t look like you will be able to capture the wild Pokémon with this battle mode. All the Pokémon in your party will still gain experience off these battles, so this function will offer a quick way to level up your Pokémon. Your main Pokémon can also be sent ahead to pick up items for you. After countless times circling sparkles on my bike in Sword, I’m going to especially appreciate this function.
You will also be able to use machine in Scarlet and Violet to make your own TMs. League Points can be combined with other crafting materials to make craft able TMs such as Charm, Thunder Fang, Struggle Bug, Aerial Ace, and Icy Wind. TM Machines are available in Poké Centers.
Returning Fan Faves with a Twist
There is a picnic option in Scarlet and Violet that looks like it combined the best aspects of the care function in Sun and Moon with the camping function in Sword and Shield. You can give your Pokémon baths after hard battles, use toys to play with your Pokémon, and have meals together. You may also find an egg in one of your picnic baskets! Instead of curries, this time meals are centered around different types of sandwiches.
Trainers will also be able to team up in groups of 4 to battle strong Pokémon in tera raid battles. Instead of a turn or KO limit like max raid battles in Sword and Shield, Scarlet and Violet have a time limit, similar to Pokémon Go raids. The tera raid battles look pseudo turn based, with a certain amount of time having to pass before your battle menu reappears. In addition to giving your Pokémon an attach command, you can choose a cheer for your team. A “Go all out!” cheer will boost attack and special attacks, a “Hang tight!” cheer will boost defense and special defenses, and a “Heal up!” cheer will let your Pokémon recover HP.
There are a few small bonuses for fans who pre-order or early-order Scarlet and Violet. The most exciting of which is a Pikachu with a flying tera type that knows the move Fly. The flying tera type “hat” is four crystal balloons, which is perfect for this little guy. I’m not sure what started this adorable tradition, but I remember working hard to find a Pikachu with balloons in the original Pokémon Snap on Nintendo 64. Flying Pikachu will be available through the Get via Internet Mystery Gift option until February 28, 2023.
Players who pre-order a physical copy through Pokémon Center will get an exclusive floral-print backpack. You will also get a code for 100 Pokéballs. It looks like the backpack is available if you purchase either game, but the Pokéballs bonus is only available if you order the double pack. But you do get a code for each game, resulting in 200 Pokéballs total.
Amazon is offering an adventure set for digital download orders through their website. This set includes 10 potions, 5 full heals, 3 revives, 3 ethers, a rare candy, and a nugget. Amazon claims the code for this set is available for everyone who purchases the game from the Nintendo eShop by February 28, 2023 and will be valid through March 7, 2023. Pre-orders for the physical game come with a healing set, which includes 10 potions, 10 antidotes, and 3 revives.
Best Buy is offering a berry set for their pre-orders. This set includes a cheri berry, a chesto berry, an aspear betty, a pecha berry, a persim berry, and a rawst berry. It looks like pre-order through Best Buy and Target may also have the 100 Pokéball bonuses as well.
Game Stop is offering an exclusive pin set of the legendaries for pre-orders of their double pack. Unfortunately, several people have claimed that Game Stop is not accepting pre-orders for Scarlet and Violet at this time.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve preordered your copies of Scarlet and Violet, and what starter you’re going to choose for your adventure. Until the next time, stay cool, be you. Bye!