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Modder creates a definitely-not-Pokémon Palworld mod

‘Who’s that legally-distinct pocket creature?’

Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Oddish, is that you? No, actually. It’s Potted Onion! YouTuber ToastedShoes had some Nintendo legal trouble after teasing a video on a Pokémon mod for Palworld last week, but has eventually found a way around the DMCA takedown letter he received. When Nintendo said no to adding Pikachu to developer Pocketpair’s Palworld, heralded as “Pokémon with guns,” ToastedShoes said, How about Yellow Rat?

In a video published Tuesday, ToastedShoes showed off the new Palworld mod, “The legally-distinct pocket creatures into Palworld Mod Pack.” The idea behind the original Pokémon mod was playing off the discourse that Palworld is a Pokémon clone. Nintendo is “investigating” Palworld, by the way: The closeness comes from the ability to capture cute creatures and fight them, but Palworld is more open-world survival than anything else.

When Nintendo shut that idea down, a group of modders tweaked the idea to include creatures very vaguely shaded with Pokémon inspiration. They look nothing like Pokémon, using low effort models, but if you know, you know.

Wooloo? Nah, that’s Braided Sheep. Pikachu? Nope, Yellow Rat. Oddish? That’s Potted Onion. Flareon? Negative. It’s Fire Fox — a realistically modeled fox that’s on literally on fire. The list goes on, including beauties like Educated Owl, Vegetative Turtle, Floral Deer, and Blue Penguin. It’s a very dumb and beautiful mod, which is topped off with an exceptional boss fight: The DMCA notice.

Unlike the original mod, the legally-distinct version has made it onto Nexus Mods, the popular mod site, where it’s free to download. (Nintendo hit ToastedShoes with the takedown notice before the mod ever made it online, and a Nexus Mods representative said the site wasn’t comfortable hosting Pokémon mods for Palworld, given Nintendo’s litigious history.)

Palworld doesn’t have mod support just yet — which will make modding much easier — but Pocketpair said in a Steam FAQ it intends to add it later.

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