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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s leaked designs may be the most divisive yet

The leaked designs have split the community

Sprigatito, the Grass Cat Pokémon, Fuecoco, the Fire Croc Pokémon, or Quaxly, the Duckling Pokémon from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo
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.

In the lead-up to the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, The Pokémon Company has shown fans banger after banger. Trailers have given fans a look at the weed kitty Sprigatito, along with Fidough’s luscious buns; there are plenty of adorable little guys to scream about until the game comes out. Everything was cherries and roses. But then the leaks happened, showing off starter evolutions and other new Pokémon. And while fans are largely still excited about the character designs, the fan community has never been more split over a generation of Pokémon.

[Ed. note: Potential Pokémon Scarlet and Violet spoilers ahead.]

It started in early November, when a Pokémon Go dataminer leaked Gimmighoul, a li’l coin-hoarding dude. On Monday, more leaks started spreading in earnest. People leaked new information about the three starter Pokémon, Sprigatito, Quaxly, and Fuecoco — including their evolutions — as well as new forms of returning Pokémon. The news has since spread like wildfire across platforms like TikTok, Reddit, and Twitter, even as leakers have had DMCA takedown notices leveled against them.

Though Polygon can’t confirm the authenticity of these leaks, they look very convincing — and they certainly have caused commotion among fans. For a number of fans, it’s especially a bummer to see that Sprigatito’s evolutions may very well be bipedal with a humanoid design. Bipedal evolutions have become a cliche in the Pokémon series, so fans were hoping that its final evolution might change it up.

Fans have expressed disappointment with other leaked designs, including Quaxly’s evolution — while Fuecoco’s evolutions have elicited mixed reactions. Some fans have even said that they wouldn’t train or level up their first partner Pokémon on their journey because they disliked these designs. A commenter on a TikTok about Quaxly’s leaked evolutions said, “at least scarlet and violet are consistent, all three starters look like hell.” The comment was liked over 2,000 times.

Still, there is plenty of excitement around other reveals. Fans have reacted in near universal admiration over developer Game Freak’s ability to deliver new cuties, like Smoliv, Greavard, and Lechonk. Leaks have seemingly revealed another new, and already beloved, design: the armless pre-evolution to Cetitan named Cetoddle.

Leakers have also speculated that there will be special “past” and “future” forms for certain Pokémon in each game version — a nod to the forthcoming games’ past-and-future theme — that leakers are calling “Paradox Pokémon.” In that batch of leaks, fans saw a badass robot Delibird and a lizardlike neon Salamence. Fans have expressed excitement for ancient forms of the “Paradox Pokémon” like Salamence, Volcarona, and Donphan. Some have even taken to TikTok comments to say that they’ll pick Scarlet over Violet in case the ancient forms are exclusive to that version.

For now, the conversation has largely been based on unconfirmed leaks. If fans want to get a final verdict on what the official designs look like, they will have to wait until the games are officially released on Nov. 18.

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