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a close-up of the Pokémon Dialga on a blue blackground Image: ILCA, Inc./The Pokémon Company

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I’ve seen Pokémon taste buds now, and my life will never be the same

These renders are almost uncomfortably detailed

Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

To say that Dialga and Palkia, the two legendary mascots of the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games, got a “texture update” is an understatement.

Nintendo released cover artwork for the Nintendo Switch remakes, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, on Wednesday. The two images show the respective cover stars in painstaking, almost uncomfortable detail.

The covers are pretty straightforward: The one for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond shows Dialga with blue light shining from a jewel on its chest, and the Pokémon Shining Pearl art features Palkia with light streaming from an orb on its left shoulder.

The two Pokémon are front and center on their respective covers, and there are no other Pokémon alongside them. The design is a marked contrast with the style of the two games, which have a cutesy 3D chibi look. And while it’s nothing out of the ordinary to provide high-quality renders of game characters for images, these are perhaps a little too detailed.

Joe Merrick, founder of Serebii, highlighted this fact in a tweet on Wednesday morning. As Merrick noted in a follow-up message, Dialga’s taste buds are visible on its tongue. If you look closely, there are a few other remarkable details: Parts of Dialga’s body are all scuffed up, and its skin looks rather wet. It’s almost as if it were ... sweating.

Another account, Out of Context Pokemon, pointed out a weird detail on the Palkia as well: The creature appears to have fur on its body.

The two Pokémon occupy a godlike status in the world of the games. Dialga has the power to control the fabric of time, whereas Palkia controls space. So who knows — maybe this is just what it’s like to face a god up close for the first time. Either way, it’s a little uncomfortable.

If you’re interested in seeing what the two Pokémon will actually look like in game, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl come to the Nintendo Switch on Nov. 19.


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