The build up to Pokemon Sword and Shield was engulfed by leaks and rumors but which turned out to be true, and which didn't?
It's always fun to look back at leaks before a game was released. The occasional one will call the game verbatim while others will look ridiculous once the actual details have been revealed.
Eternatus - true
Those who had been following the build up the Gen 8 would have seen the name Eternatus dotted around the Pokemon community. During the build up the evil legend was never once alluded to in any official capacity.
This understandably made trainers question the leak's authenticity. However, we now know the leak was absolutely correct — hindsight is a wonderful thing.
While the Pokemon Company left Eternatus until the release itself, two other legends were confirmed beforehand. Zacian and Zamazenta were first revealed in June and are very much in-keeping with the Sword and Shield theme of the game.
Another leak went into greater detail too, claiming that "the actual evil organization is the Codex Organization, which is presented as a group of historians researching the region's history and lore." It looks like this subsequent leak was wrong, though.
It went on to say: "However, after that happens, their leader has a change of heart, and he decides to help you, telling you that the legendary Pokemon (of your version) is the only Pokemon capable of handling Eternatus."
What feature do you most want to see in #PokemonSwordShield?
— Pokemon Sword & Shield (@PokemonSwordNS) September 12, 2019
A return to Kalos - false
There had been strong rumors that the Pokemon Sword and Shield post-game will entail a return to the Kalos region. Long-term fans of the series will know that this was the setting of the 2013 games, Pokemon X and Y.
Several hints of a re-imagining of Kalos surfaced, one of which could be seen in the initial Pokemon Sword and Shield reveal trailer. There's a particular part of the video shows one of the protagonists in a crystal cave. The significance of this is that it looks very similar to the caves seen in Kalos.
There was more, though. With the Galar region expected to be based on Britain, and Kalos in France, they geographically align. Furthermore, within the confines of the Pokemon X and Y story, Kalos was at war with an unnamed region. To this day, it hasn't been revealed who.
Elsewhere, one Reddit user made a very interesting point regarding the game: "Pokemon X and Y was slightly unfinished. They are the only main games in the series to never get a remake/sequel. There are few areas in the game that are inaccessible and there are some items that haven't seen any use."
One of those inaccessible areas is the train station in Couriway Town. With train stations being confirmed in Pokemon Sword and Shield this could be how you travel to it. Couriway Town is on the east side of Kalos, however.
-suspicious train on world map
-UK and france are close geographically
-kalos has a lot of open ends which need explaining
-masuda said there'd be a big postgame
Yep, its Kalos time
— pual (@Clubp3ngu) July 8, 2019
This appeared to be almost certainly true given the details that seemed to align. However, now we have been able to play the Pokemon Sword and Shield post-game it looks like Kalos will remain a pipe dream.
Starter evolutions - true
The Pokemon Company decided to keep details about Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble's evolutions a secret until the game releases. They successfully did this other than the last minute leak which did reveal the Galar starter's evolutions.
- Read More: Trainers confused by Galarian Ponyta's type
However one leak, known as the Affleck leak, shared what proved to be correct details. This included your rivals' name being Hop, Team Yell, the Gigantamaxing phenomenon and even Sirfetch'd. All of these were proved correct.
The source claimed the following details about the starter evolutions, as seen here:
- Grookey will end up as a giant gorilla that beats a wood drum to attack
- Scorbunny will have fighting moves, but is a pure fighter. It becomes Raboot and that its final evolution is a humanoid
- Sobble becomes Sizzile and then Intelleon, a chameleon with a spy theme
It's impossible to know which leaks are true before a game is released, at least for the most part, but it's fun going back and seeing which you should have listened to and which fooled you. We'll no doubt get to enjoy the whole leak fiasco for whatever the 2020 Pokemon game turns out to be, too.