I don’t know about this…
There have been numerous alleged leaked pokemon from the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield games which have been appearing on social media the last couple days, apparently originating from this Twitter account.
While the “leaks” look professional and convincing, there is a possibility that they could be fake, as fakes of such high quality can be produced by ordinary people. A prominent example would be the “leaked” starter pokemon concept art from over a year ago which were supposedly of the gen 8 starters, complete with the confidential stamp which was already known to be used for internal GameFreak documents:
That really had the fans going, but when the real source came forward, it served as proof that just one guy and his friend who knows Japanese can trick a collective.
But what really makes the latest “leaks” more convincing is the use of quality 3D models, such as this one:
The reason I’m not convinced is because it is possible for an ordinary person to create a 3D model, texture it, and animate it, as shown in the following video:
This was the work of a first-year student in 3D modelling and animation, and he was able to produce something of demonstrably higher quality than the official models, and he did this to spite an ignorant commenter.
The other type of possible fake going around supposedly comes from a yet-to-be-released “Trainer Handbook”:
If the guidebook is legit, then there’s a huge problem with the guidebook itself: it’s a terrible guidebook. Most strategy guides, particularly for RPGs such as the Pokemon games, are packed with helpful statistical information, movesets, and typing information. This particular guidebook would seem more concerned with filling pages with illustrations of pokemon.
As you might remember, the official strategy guide for Pokemon Platinum was the size of a phone book, even though the pages were thin and the font was small. It stands as a bulky example of just how complex the Pokemon games have become, and this was from a few generations ago.
Another problem with these leaks is the recurring use of blurred photographs, which have been used to create the impression of taking a hasty photograph with limited opportunity, but is used to cover up possible flaws in the designs:
There is another problem, and this is a huge one: if these leaks turn out to be true, then GameFreak succeeded in making a bunch of pokemon that I’m not really interested in capturing. The following montage image showcases some of the images being circulated:
Most of them don’t really have the kind of appeal that is normally associated with Pokemon. The Galarian Meowth looks goofy, and its inclusion is confusing considering that we get to see a Gigantamax variant to Meowth introduced. And that weird thing next to it is supposedly a Galarian Persian.
That purple dragon-looking thing looks more Neopets than Pokemon, and seems out of place. Then there’s the red fox, which looks like it doesn’t want to be there. Also, that Farfetch’d is supposedly a Galarian variant, with the difference being a larger leek. Most regional variants have radically different designs, so why does Farfetch’d get such a half-hearted treatment?
I could keep going with what’s wrong with these designs, but you see them. Not only do I doubt that these leaks are real, I want them to be fake. If they aren’t fake, then the gen 8 pokemon designs will easily go down as the worst in the series.
I actually like Scorbunny, so I don’t want its final stage to look so bland.
I’ll grant that these “leaks” are very convincing, but that’s not very comforting considering that what we’ve seen from them so far looks pretty bad.
This is an interesting time for entertainment media, because social media has resulted in a rise of a culture of leaks. People love the attention that comes with having something exclusive, and there are people who like crafting a convincing ruse. It really isn’t anything new to Pokemon. Some who have been at it for a while remember the Shaymin Sky Forme “leak” from 2008, which was eagerly posted by Pokebeach with their watermark, even though it was made by a DeviantArt user called PurpleKecleon:
The same thing is happening with other media franchises, such as Star Wars, with communities speculating wildly about the contents of the next film in the series, The Rise of Skywalker. In the case of Star Wars, hoaxes have been carefully crafted around information that’s already available to make them sound more believable. Such has been the case with Pokemon, too. The hoaxes have gotten more sophisticated, resulting in fandoms that have to be far more cautious than they have been in times past.
UPDATE: The Twitter account that has been posting these leaks has been suspended. It’s possible that Nintendo requested this suspension because they didn’t want these pokemon leaked. Some of the designs have grown on me, but whether they’re legit remains to be seen.