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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s new trailer may confirm ‘Paradox Pokémon’

Trailer shows ancient and futuristic versions of Donphan

A mysterious, mechanical Pokémon known as Iron Treads. It’s got a glowing red eyes and a big tusk protruding from its body. Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo

The Pokémon Company’s new trailer for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is a nearly four-minute overview of the anticipated Nintendo Switch games, but it didn’t have a ton of new information. However, the company did give Pokémon fans a brief look at two mysterious creatures that it’s calling “The Monster Known as Great Tusk” and “The Monster Known as Iron Treads.”

The two Pokémon, which look a lot like Donphan, appeared for mere seconds in the trailer. The Pokémon Company identified these two as Great Tusk and Iron Treads in an accompanying news release: “Photographs and sketches of unidentified creatures fill the pages of both books. While there have been sightings of similar creatures in recent years, such reports are rare, and specific details of their biology are still a mystery.”

The expedition records in these two books “were written long, long ago,” The Pokémon Company said, noting that the expedition was held in “an uncharted area of the Paldea region.” Great Tusk, for its part, is described as a “savage monster” that attacked the team “with its large body and tusks,” killing one explorer. Yikes! Iron Tread is a mechanical-looking monster that can curl up in a ball to attack, leaving “a trail gouged into the ground, as if it had scorched the earth.”

Notably, both of these monsters look a lot like Donphan, the elephantine, ground-type Pokémon that debuted in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver. You can see the similarities clearly, particularly in the trunk, which is connected to the entire length of Donphan’s body. These two forms appear to confirm that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet include past and future forms of some monsters, a detail leakers have been calling “Paradox Pokémon.”

Pokémon leakers have suggested that so-called Paradox Pokémon are a new feature in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. A paradox is, by definition, something that’s contradictory or illogical, and for that to apply to Pokémon, it seems like some Pokémon have a form that’s not typical — not necessarily an evolution, but a past or future form. It plays into Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s time-traveling themes — Scarlet has a lot of ancient details in its Legendary Pokémon and its professor, while Violet has the futuristic look. In line with that, Great Tusk will be exclusive in Scarlet, while Iron Treads is for Violet.

Indeed, Legendary Pokémon Koraidon and Miraidon mimic these themes, too; some people think they, too, are Paradox Pokémon — and that Cyclizar is the “normal,” everyday form.

The Pokémon Company itself hasn’t labeled these creatures — or even mentioned — the Paradox Pokémon, but today’s glimpse of the two potential Donphan forms definitely suggests that Pokémon do have past and future forms in Scarlet and Violet. With just under two weeks until Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Nov. 18 release date, it sounds like we’ll be waiting until then for answers.

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