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January 8, 2013

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It's what y'all been waiting for, ain't it?

Summarizing the events leading up to this reveal would be pointless; the hype train has crashed through the minds of any and all Pokémon fans already. We know all the little things that connected to one gigantic arrow and sign combination pointing at January 8th saying "HUGE NEWS COMING, GET READY POKEFANS!" So I won't do that. We're heading right into this.

In a Nintendo Direct specifically made for Pokémon, fittingly called a Pokémon Direct, Iwata has announced the next big step for the series, announcing Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, which are arriving worldwide in October 2013 for the 3DS.


Click here to see Iwata's original reveal from the Nintendo Direct.
Chespin Froakie Fennekin
grass starter chespin water starter froakie fire starter fennekin

In the video we see full 3D gameplay for both battles and overworld exploration, each of the protagonists, various battles, and some gyms and towns. The gym logo that we became familiar with in Unova is seen at least once. As you can see above, official art for the starters is available (click to enlarge): Chespin (Grass type), Fennekin (Fire type), and Froakie (Water type).

Region: From the beginning of the trailer, when Pikachu's thunderbolts encompass the globe, it is clear the origination of this and Pikachu's location is France. In addition, in the background you can spot the Eiffel Tower, or at least a look alike, so perhaps an assumption this game is based in France/Europe wouldn't be inaccurate. Other thoughts/notable things follow...

  • Male protagonist stares in the mirror and is wearing sunglasses, later they are gone. Is minor character customization coming?
  • The protagonist can be seen using rollerblades to travel quickly
  • When the protagonist is being followed when running through a forest, it seems the characters are out of sync and could indicate movement by an actual second player and not an NPC
  • While entering a town, a sign that presumably indicates a Route number displays 3
Xerneas Yveltal
legendx.jpg legendy.jpg

The legends (Speculation warning): In the video we also get to see the two presumed featured legendary Pokémon. Our first inclination after seeing these Pokémon, and noting the significance of their shapes to the games' titles, was to attempt to make some connection with chromosomes. This may eventually prove to be relevant but what was more stunning was noting the appearance of Xerneas, a stag-like Pokémon, infront of a large tree...

This is very reminiscent of Yggdrasil, an Old Norse Myth. You can read up after the jump to Wikipedia for an in-depth explanation, so we'll keep it sweet. There are six central characters there, yes six. Four of which are stags (for the sake of the games this may well be reduced to one but then there could be a weaker trio of stags and then Xerneas for all we know). Then there are the remaining two characters in the story: An eagle, Yveltal bears heavy resemblance to this, and finally a wyrm, which is a dragon in the myth. Many are already speculating that there will be a third Pokémon to round out this generation's upper trio, resembling a Z. Well a wyrm-like dragon could certainly fit the Z theory.

Please share your thoughts and more in the comments!

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article by Ze Colonel  on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:17 am utc -0600
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2013-01-08 05:16:04
I'm excited enough by this that I'm back, at least temporarily. If however there is a Fire/Fighting started again, I will be so angry with Gamefreak.
Ze Colonel
2013-01-08 06:43:59
I feel like it's Psychic if anything. Especially because of that wave-y move it's using.

EDIT: General thoughts...

-Starters are nice, especially Grass and Water
-Dislike male protag design immensely, female one looks great
-It's in France and that's AWESOME
-Not sold on the legendary designs, they look a bit too... synthetic? But if they're not real that would explain the names
-Ooo maybe customization: https://twitter.com/PLDHnet/status/288626402192932864
2013-01-08 11:00:19
Oh yeah, that was today, wasn't it...

My thoughts:
-Swingin' on ropes; what is this, Donkey Kong Country? Not saying it's bad, but I don't really expect something like that from Pokemon. Maybe Iris's vine-swinging in the anime was foreshadowing this? I dunno.
-Hey, the Grass starter isn't a reptile for once! I'm guessing that was Aerial Ace it used.
-On the one hand, I don't really want a fourth Fire/Fighting starter in a row. On the other hand, it's a fox; if it's even possible to make a believable Fighting-type out of that, they probably deserve some kind of medal for creativity.
-I wanna say Psywave, but that's totally not Psywave.
-That frog's totally a ninja.
-One of those girls sorta looked like Mei/Rosa.
-I'm gonna guess devil-vulture is the X-exclusive and god-deer is the Y exclusive, because I can sorta see an X and a Y on each of them. Then again, devil-vulture is red and god-deer is blue, so I could see it being the other way around.

EDIT: Japanese names, as far as I'm willing to guess:
ハリマロン: ハリ(needle, pin, thorn, etc.) + マロン(chestnut(apparently from the French "marron"); the English name "Chespin" seems like a mostly literal translation.
フォッコ: I'm guessing, but フォックス(the English word "fox") combined with コ(indicator of a girl or, much more likely in this case, a child); "Fennekin" probably comes from "Fennec" (a kind of fox native to the Sahara) and "kin".
ケロマツ: ケロ(ribbit) + マツ(I honestly have no clue; most of the translations I can find are about pine trees, endings, or the verb for "to wait/anticipate". There was a particular phrase that apparently meant "to place an obnoxious person in an out-of-the-way post to be rid of him or her", but I really doubt it's from that); "Froakie" is similarly baffling; the first part is obviously "frog" + "croak", but I have no clue what the ending is supposed to mean.
Ze Serenade
2013-01-08 13:37:13

-looks amazing
-havent played properly since Platinum but Im def going to get this game
-i like all 3 of the starters, but ill probably pick fire out of tradition

its going to be amazing going into this game with like no knowledge
im not even gonna look at the evolutionary lines of the starters, i want as much as possible to be a surprise

i dont like the way the male protag walks or rollerblades or whatever he does
female is slightly better

the battles are going to be fantastic

legendaries looks great too

this is gonna be the best pokemon game since red
2013-01-08 15:06:28
That's all I can really say.

Anyway, I feel like the Grass starter might still become some sort of reptile thing, maybe a dinosaur or something.
Fire starter will probably pure Fire or Fire/Psychic. I'll laugh if they still somehow make it Fire/Fighting.
Water starter will probably be a ninja. Maybe Water/Dark or Water/Fighting.

I think we'll have a Psychic or Ghost gym and a Bug gym.
Ze Colonel
2013-01-08 22:39:37
I'm fairly certain the X = deer and Y = bird. The deer has X's in its eyes. When the bird spreads its wings in the trailer it forms a perfect Y. It even has these wire-like things running through it in the same shape. Not sure if that's supposed to mean it's translucent or if that's a design on the outside. There's a DNA strand in the Japanese logo though, so these are definitely synthetic Pokemon. Dunno if that means they're man-made like Porygon Z or it's more of a Deoxys type of situation.

Teej mentioned it seems like the bird/Y is the protector of the sky, and that the deer is the same for nature, so then the third legend would be a sea serpent. A Godly Water legend has been done but it'll be cool if you have to voyage out to some sunken French cruiser to find a serpent living in it, Mario 64 style. But if these are actually man-made then maybe it'll be more like a lost experiment? Sooo many theories.

I think the vine swinging is from a gym. There's little feet marks on the ground to let you know where to trigger the action. That would be a Grass gym, then the web bit is definitely from a Bug gym. The shapeshifting gym where you can see the Unova gym logo would be... Ghost? Or Psychic? Then the one with the fire columns would be, uh, Fire.

I dunno about Chespin becoming a reptile. Doesn't it look like a chipmunk? Or maybe it's like a mole rat. I actually can't decide between these starters so I'ma need to see those evolutions. Hope they don't make Chespin totally hideous or shapeshift him like Dewott -> Samurott.
"RDS1" said...

-One of those girls sorta looked like Mei/Rosa.

Yeah I thought this too. Like a cross between May and Mei.
2013-01-08 23:08:31
Huh, I did notice the DNA strand.
In that case, Z as the 3rd version makes no sense.

I was considering the vine place as a gym, but it just seemed too... circular.
And I feel like the fire-column place seems more endgamey, like the villain's lair or a league battle.

There's been a trend with the starters:
Grass- Something reptilian
Fire- Zodiac animal
Water- Something somewhat aquatic

Water definitely checks out and foxes are apparently dogs, so the Fire one works.
So, I'm going to stubbornly assume the Grass one will be some reptile.
Also, its tail looks very reptilian.
2013-01-08 23:21:06
"Ze Colonel" said...

I'm fairly certain the X = deer and Y = bird. The deer has X's in its eyes. When the bird spreads its wings in the trailer it forms a perfect Y. It even has these wire-like things running through it in the same shape.

I'm seeing quite a bit of argument for that side, and honestly, it really does make more sense than my first opinion. But I still can't see anything but a Y when I look at that deer. By this point, though, I'm fairly well convinced that it won't turn out like I guessed.

"Ze Colonel" said...

Teej mentioned it seems like the bird/Y is the protector of the sky, and that the deer is the same for nature

As I mentioned in my other post, the bird is black and red, and it has horns. I have a very easy time believing that it's meant to evoke a devil, so I'm not sure how willing I am to accept the "protector" thing offhand. Also, don't we already have a legendary protector of the sky (Rayquaza)?

The deer thing I can accept, though, because the first thing I thought of when I saw it was the Forest God from Princess Mononoke. Which is another reason I like my devil-bird idea, because it adds another level of conflict to the land-sky dynamic.

"Ze Colonel" said...

I think the vine swinging is from a gym. There's little feet marks on the ground to let you know where to trigger the action. That would be a Grass gym, then the web bit is definitely from a Bug gym. The shapeshifting gym where you can see the Unova gym logo would be... Ghost? Or Psychic? Then the one with the fire columns would be, uh, Fire.

Yeah, that's what I thought too about the vines when I rewatched the video more closely. But I thought the fire room looked a lot more like an Elite 4 or Champion's room than a gym.

"Ze Colonel" said...

I dunno about Chespin becoming a reptile. Doesn't it look like a chipmunk? Or maybe it's like a mole rat.

I heard an argument that Chespin is supposed to be a hedgehog; personally, the first thing I thought of was "tree otter", and if it actually does turn out to learn Aerial Ace, the similarity to Oshawott will become much more apparent.

Also, Fennekin seems to be crazy popular right now, which makes it ironic that it was already my least favorite.

"superflous" said...

Huh, I did notice the DNA strand.
In that case, Z as the 3rd version makes no sense.

Actually, as I was reading on TV Tropes earlier:

"TVTropes" said...

...Additionally, a Z chromosome also exists (but not in humans), so if they do not go by the obvious choice for the third game (which would be XX or XY), then the entire generation's title would also be a Double Meaning Title.

In addition to that the Z chromosome is paired with the W chromosome so if they go the Black 2 and White 2 route they could have Pokemon Z and W versions.

Interesting to consider, if nothing else.
2013-01-09 03:08:08
Updated the post on the site with some stuff awhile ago.

It really gets into some interesting stuff regarding the boxart legends. Particularly their relation to Norse Myth and Yggdrasil.

I'd recommend you check it out if interested. It really does explain this and after thinking about it enough I can't be convinced otherwise!
2013-01-09 03:50:04
I was thinking that the deer had something to do with Yggdrasil.
Ze Colonel
2013-01-09 17:09:57
Well, the legend names have been revealed: the deer is Xerneas and the bird is Yveltal. Haven't a clue as to what those names are supposed to mean. Any ideas? Should shed some light about their mythos.

I always saw Rayquaza as a general guardian, watching over people to make sure they don't do anything too disastrous, flying down to scold when such is done. You're right that Yveltal looks devilish, but that might just be design elements to match a /Fire typing. I dunno if I still think they're protectors of individual domains anymore because based on nza's theory they'd have to be protecting the tree, together, right? Also, neither of them have mouths. Guarantee they're gonna end up Psychic, specifically Psychic/Grass and Psychic/Fire or /Flying.

Now the specific reason we had Black 2 and White 2 was, during development, they noticed they were becoming predictable and they wanted to do something new. They revised Black and White so that its loose ends were better fitted for a sequel than a story revision. I don't remember them specifying how far into development of BW they had this realization but it does mean they're interested in switching things up. If there's a Z and a W then we need two more legends which isn't exactly out of the question and if nothing else would fit in with Gamefreak's urge to stop being predictable.

Also: Teej took a shot at what he thinks the male protag looks like. Cravats n' stuff.

2013-01-09 17:26:39
Well, the fact that the bird's name starts with "Yvel" makes me more sure that it's up to no good...

Also, to me, given that it's described as extremely territorial, Rayquaza makes more sense as a guardian of the sky rather than a guardian of people. It probably doesn't really care what we do as long as we're not violating its airspace.

Why would new games need new legendaries? If their goal is to stop being predictable, I think having non-legendaries would be less expected of them.
2013-01-10 08:33:11
I feel like no-one has really touched on the inevitable Z, other than a chromosome reference. Of course, the more obvious reasoning is X, Y, and Z axises (how do you properly pluralise axis?), wherein Z is the axis that denotes three dimensionality
2013-01-10 09:14:12
The plural of axis is "axes", like Chinese or Japanese, but this is "ax-ese".
2013-01-10 09:48:57
I felt it was too obvious.
Axis is the first thing that comes to mine when I think of X and Y.
So, naturally, Z.
Ze Colonel
2013-01-10 19:51:53
I don't think they're gonna make it so there's a bad and a good mascot legendary. At best it'll be misunderstoooood. You're probably right on Rayquaza.

They won't put a normal Pokemon on a box anytime soon. Iwata even described in the announcement video how, Gen I aside, the boxarts were supposed to show legends meant to be met at the climax of stories, and those legends are related to the name of the games. Starting with Gen III they've been working on integrating legends more and more into the story.

The Cartesian coordinate system (your Xs, Ys and Zs) was made by famous thinkerman Rene Descartes, a French man.
2013-01-10 23:12:38
That is actually a pretty good coincidence.
I somehow doubt they did it on purpose, but wow.
2013-01-11 01:22:51
They could always go for the 2nd version as XX and XY >_>

In all honesty though, I wouldn't mind if they went back to the old non-legend on the box ways.
Ze Colonel
2013-01-11 17:33:35
nza couldn't get the article up because of a small glitch he'll have to fix later involving the forum restructuring, but the Sugi art for Xerneas and Yveltal is out.

[spoiler=CoroCoro Scans][/spoiler]

I'm actually sold on the legends now. Didn't like them in the CGI, but now I think they're pretty great. And I think I'll be picking X; Xerneas is awesome. Not as imposing as legendaries usually are, but it looks like a sleeker, classier Arceus.

Of course Teej made the walls and I'm now using Xerneas' as mine.
2013-01-11 19:02:09
"Ze Colonel" said...

nza couldn't get the article up because of a small glitch he'll have to fix later involving the forum restructuring, but the Sugi art for Xerneas and Yveltal is out.

Oh, wish I had seen this before posting in that one other thread. =/

I kinda like Yvelta more but only because Xerneas looks like it has an upside-down bug on top of its head.
2013-01-12 01:58:01
I really do like those antlers.
It just seems so...
Ze Colonel
2013-01-12 17:19:20
Yeah, it reminds me of lots of Tree of Life interpretations that have it with mana or chemically absurd sap flowing through it.
2013-01-14 01:11:13
Honestly I think this is the first time I'm having a hard time deciding which box legendary I like more. They both are really cool/unique from what we've had in the past.
2013-01-14 04:10:52
Right now I'm having trouble seeing any sort of link between them, other than the germ-layer theory. I mean, land and sky, but we had that with RSE.

Creation (tree of life connections with Xerneas) and destruction?

I think I like Yveltal slightly more than Xerneas, so I'll probably go for Y.
2013-01-14 12:16:04
That would actually be really cool SI. I could see these legendaries being part of the Hindu religion (even though were in Eastern Europe). We have Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. Based off of this triad we have Xerneas as the potential Preserver, Yveltal as the potential Destroyer, and then the third as the Creator.
Ze Colonel
2013-01-19 13:28:24
^That's actually a really interesting observation.

What I think is perplexing, though cool, is that I'd say it's obvious that these Pokemon have some odd, unnatural origin; whether it be more like Mewtwo or more like Deoxys we can't say yet. And yet, it's also quite clear there's some mythological and more natural origins too. The CoroCoro scan that came out actually had the desert lab screen and then had a caption asking "where is the legendary Pokemon?"

It actually seems rather realistic to assume in a Pokemon world scientists would want to create a Pokemon for the sake of protecting the environment.

But with CoroCoro a grain of salt should be taken because I swear I remember they claimed that a new method of transportation might be in BW but then, uh, it wasn't there.
2013-01-19 15:08:05
dat CERN
2013-01-20 00:29:41
"Ze Colonel" said...

^That's actually a really interesting observation.

But with CoroCoro a grain of salt should be taken because I swear I remember they claimed that a new method of transportation might be in BW but then, uh, it wasn't there.

1)Thank you, I'm glad a random religion of Eastern Asia class payed off freshmen year of college.

2)It is possible that at the time there was a new method of transportation. I mean, we have never been able to explain what the one scan/video clip was showing to my knowledge. And if memory serves, that statement in CoroCoro came pretty early in development.
2013-01-20 08:41:42
I don't see Xerneas as being especially artificial looking. I can see a better case for Yveltal though.

Side-note on alternative transportation: I hope those really were rollerblades in the trailer, and they'll be in the final version. I just need rollerblades in my pokémon games.
Ze Colonel
2013-01-20 14:55:25

It's true. The scan in question was, iirc, a distorted shot of the protag over Skyarrow Bridge. I remember reading that GSC was meant to have a skateboard so I think it's entirely possible there *was* a new transportation thing in the works.


Those were definitely rollerblades. He's pushing himself forward on one leg then just rolling across the ground. You can see the normal running motion in the rest of the trailer. I'm assuming that if you can still run quickly *and* you have rollerblades, they're scrapping the bike. I secretly dislike having the bike music come on all the time so I'm okay with this.

EDIT: I wanna add there's a slight (slight!) chance we'll get something new next week. XY are scheduled in at the World Hobby Fair in Japan and also have an appearance on Pokemon Smash. We might get something small like a boxart reveal from this. Or some extra, random footage from Smash like how battles work.
2013-01-31 09:19:40
I was fortunate enough to watch the Nintendo Direct thing live with a group of friends. We were all glued to our computers.

I couldn't hear much of it at first because we were all to busy screaming and joyously exclaiming over what we were seeing. That recap of all the previous gens was getting us all so excited. Then the Pikachu starts talking and I instantly clenched every clenchable body part to get it ready. Watching the trailer unfold before me was just such an amazing experience. I felt like I was having a seizure with all the excitement running through my blood. October cannot come sooner enough.

So far Fennekin and Yveltal seem like my ideal choices for starter and game respectively.
2013-02-04 04:07:27
The Legndary Pokemon sprites must have been hard to create for such a small system
2013-02-04 22:04:12
I was playing BW2 the other day and I actually figured out on accident what the scan was showing. A backpacker/hiker with her back turn, so we see the back pack at that weird 3D angle. It makes so much sense now, I don't know how no one figured this out after the first day.
Ze Colonel
2013-02-09 17:38:17
That's definitely what it is. I had the same realization sometime after the scan came out, but is it possible CoroCoro mistook her backpack for a vehicle, though? I don't know about that. They would have actually had the screen in the highest res before it got to the magazine. I always felt they were commenting on something else.

Today on Pokemon Smash (one hour from now), they promise some sort of XY related news. They specifically say it's "breaking" news but I doubt that. CoroCoro will be about within a week from now so I anticipate it's a teaser of what they'll show next week which in turn will be what we'll figure out from CoroCoro in a few days.

EDIT: The official Pokemon site updated its own episode summaries and there's no mention of anything XY related. Just lots of Eevee stuff next week.

EDIT2: Yep, just a teaser for what's to come next, and that teaser was just the logos on the screen and a promise of information next week mixed in with an Eevee crazy episode. The anime flick will be that old one with the Kimono Girls and their little sister with a normal Eevee, and they're going to all dress up as Eeveelutions. Does that mean there's a new Eeveelution? Eh, maybe. The Genesect movie's Pikachu short is an Eevee one and they also plan to address the movie in the episode, so it's also entirely possible it's just for the short.
2013-03-06 04:01:05
Upon seeing the announcement I went out and got myself:
http://media.gamer.nl/site/dump/2012111 ... iginal.jpg
2013-03-07 02:07:34
So lucky ;_;
2013-03-08 07:44:31
It was the last one they had, clerk said he was going to buy it himself at the end of the day. :)
2013-03-08 13:47:12
I hope you enjoy your awesome new 3DS ;_;
Ze Colonel
2013-03-08 17:45:46
Niiice. The cameras make it look like Pikachu's head is bolted on.
2013-03-11 08:11:33
It actually is.