Since Bandai Namco added the never-before-seen Pokémon Shadow Mewtwo as a final boss to the Pokkén Tournament arcade game last October, Pokémon fans have had one burning question about the character: Is Shadow Mewtwo a canonical part of the Pokémon universe?
Speaking to Polygon through a translator, Pokkén Tournament producer Masaaki Hoshino said that while Shadow Mewtwo was created in close collaboration with the folks behind Pokémon, he has no idea if the darker Mewtwo variant will appear in future Pokémon media.
"When we were originally coming up with the design, we worked very closely with The Pokémon Company and Game Freak to make sure everything was right," Hoshino said. "What happened was, we at Bandai Namco had the idea of making a really cool dark-colored Mewtwo, so we had one of our designers take a crack at it and then presented that to The Pokémon Company and Game Freak. They all thought it looked really cool, so then we worked together to brush it up."
Shadow Mewtwo, who is playable for the first time in the game's upcoming Wii U console version, is also being immortalized in an amiibo card included in first-run physical copies of the game.
"Because everyone really liked Shadow Mewtwo, I have a personal hope that they'll continue to use it, but it's not really our decision, unfortunately," Hoshino said.
According to longtime Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada, Pokkén's status as a Pokémon spinoff leaves Shadow Mewtwo, known in Japan as Dark Mewtwo, in canonical limbo for the time being.
"For this game, it is kind of a spin-off from the main series. It takes place in this area called the Ferrum Region, which means something like 'Iron Region,' playing back into the Tekken connection," Harada said, alluding to Tekken's literal Japanese meaning of "iron fist."
"So, within the context of this spin-off, [Shadow Mewtwo] is obviously a canonical character. Of course, how The Pokémon Company and Game Freak decide to use the character is up to them, but I think Mr. Hoshino's passion for the character might inspire them and encourage them to use it!"
Asked whether The Pokémon Company considers Shadow Mewtwo to be canon, a company representative responded with "No comment."