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Everything we know about Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Paldea region

Let’s look at the map

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.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Paldea region looks like it might be an island or a peninsula, modeled after the Iberian Peninsula, which is largely made up of Spain and Portugal. The Pokémon Company revealed a colorful, top-down map of the region during its Pokémon Presents broadcast on Wednesday — the first major look at the world we’ll explore in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

The region is centered around Mesagoza, Paldea’s big city, which is home to one of two schools for players to attend. Naranja Academy and Uva Academy, respective to Scarlet and Violet, are open to both children and adults looking to learn about — and with — Pokémon, according to the Scarlet and Violet website. Both schools — again, depending on the game — are located inside Mesagoza, described as the largest city in the region.

a colorful map of pokemon’s paldea region Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

On the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet map, Mesagoza looks to be just south of center, underneath the big swirling hole in the center. From there, other cities and different biomes are linked by bridges, roads and trails, spanning all corners of the crowded peninsula.

The official site described the region as having “a land of vast open spaces dotted with lakes, towering peaks, wastelands, and perilous mountain ranges,” and you can see those different areas on the map. There’s one huge lake in the upper left corner, with a few small islands scattered on the water. Rivers flow into the lake from a snowy peak, where a bunch of cold-weather creatures presumably reside.

Some areas look barren, with little greenery, but most of the map looks lush, with lots of small lakes and rivers that transition into heavily forested areas with numerous trees. Between these wild areas, there’s more than a half dozen small settlements or cities, too.

“To support Pokémon Trainers, there are many outdoor Pokémon Centers scattered about Paldea,” the game’s official site said. “Trainers can easily find Pokémon Centers even from far away — Pokémon Centers light up at night, and each of them has a Poké Ball sign on the roof.”

If you look closely, there are also a few areas that are clearly Pokémon gyms or battle areas; the green fields with the Poké Ball emblem are noticeable from the top-down map. That’s not surprising; battling and the quest to become a Pokémon champion are staples of the series. In fact, the game’s website confirmed that the standard champion quest is one of three storylines to expect in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. (The other two have been kept under wraps for now.)

The last thing to mention about the Paldea region is that Pokémon there have a special ability — something similar to Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokémon in the Galar region. Pokémon in Paldea can turn into gemstones with unexpected elemental types; it’s called the Terastal Phenomenon. It sounds like there will also be crystals scattered around the land, used to recharge Tera Orbs embedded in special Tera Orbs: “It’s said that the Terastal energy that seeps from the ground of the Paldea region is involved in the phenomenon,” The Pokémon Company wrote. Naturally, this unique phenomenon is something you’ll study with Professor Sada and Professor Turo.

This is all we know about Paldea for now, but we’ll all be able to explore the new region when Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are out Nov. 18 on Nintendo Switch.

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