Why Cyclizar confirms Legendary Pokemon are changing for the better

cyclizar could change scarlet and violet legendary PokemonThe Pokemon Company

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s most recent trailer implies the new mascot Legendary Pokemon evolve from a baby form. This change indicates a brighter future for Legendary inclusion in future generations of the series.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet received a new competitive gameplay trailer on August 21 as part of the 2022 World Championship closing ceremonies, adding a thrilling treat to the end of an exciting weekend. The trailer, which focuses on highlighting battle mechanics and Terastallizing, both answers questions and adds new mysteries to content in the upcoming Pokemon games.

Article continues after ad

One aspect of Pokemon Scarlet & Violet that has many fans scratching their heads is the new approach to Legendary Pokemon. It was shown in early trailers players will likely gain access to Legendary mascots Koraidon and Miraidon much earlier than in previous games, acting as a key part of transportation around the region.

However, the new trailer indicates the player’s bond to the Legendary Pokemon may start even sooner than originally theorized, with the reveal of what appears to be a common baby form for the version-exclusive lizard beasts battling for the main female protagonist.

Article continues after ad

Legendary Pokemon were originally trophies

In past Pokemon games, the Legendary mascots and any other additional species were seen as trophies to be won after large accomplishments, or as post-game challenges.

From epic battles to save the world against Groudon and Kyogre in Ruby and Sapphire, to terrifying cave encounters against Mewtwo in almost every game entry, they weren’t cuddly companions who traveled alongside players throughout the region.

Pokemon Legendary MewtwoThe Pokemon Company
Mewtwo appears in in a Sword & Shield Dynamax Raid battle

However, this narrative could be changing, giving players the chance to bond with Legendary Pokemon just as they can with their starters. This transition was originally seen in Pokemon Sun & Moon, with players meeting Cosmog early in the story.

Article continues after ad

However, Cosmog spends its time primarily with the NPC Lillie, limiting the player’s ability to interact with it.

In Sword & Shield, players get an understanding of Zacian and Zamazenta at the start of the narrative after wandering deep into the Slumbering Weald, but the Legendary Pokemon stay hidden until much later in the game.

Pokemon Bonds can’t be forced

The call for more meaningful Legendary Pokemon encounters was also explored in the Sword & Shield DLC: The Isle of Armor. In the overarching story, players were paired with Kubfu. The small, Fighting-type bear is timid and nervous, and the player must earn its trust through a series of tasks in order to evolve it into one of two different forms of Urshifu.

Article continues after ad

However, the DLC is hollow, with most of the “bonding” done through generic, uninspiring cutscenes crammed between dull fetch quests.

Legendary Pokemon like Kubfu need a seamless and natural growth progression. Players need the opportunity to raise these Legendary Pokemon from a low level, get stronger together, earn Gym Badges together, and travel the world together as both new trainers and seasoned Champions. This tender and emotional process can’t be achieved in the footnotes of DLC or as a post-game challenge.

Article continues after ad

What makes Scarlet & Violet’s Legendary Pokemon Different?

In the new Pokemon Scarlet & Violet trailer, shown on the Official Pokemon YouTube Channel, players are introduced to the Dragon/Normal-type Cyclizar. While not officially announced as the pre-evolution for Koraidon and Miraidon, the similar body design indicates this is likely the case.

The trailer showcases its “Shed Tail” ability as the main female protagonist battles against an opponent in what appears to be a practice arena. Knowing the Legendary Mascots will be used to traverse the expansive open-world map of the Paldea region, this could mean players receive a Cyclizar very early in the game.

Article continues after ad

This is an important potential change for the Pokemon series, as the sheer number of Legendary trophies in games has steadily devalued their importance in the franchise. By including these powerhouses earlier in the story, players have more opportunities to use them and form special connections as part of their primary team.

While it is too soon to say exactly when players will meet Cyclizar for the first time in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, the trailer indicates that new directions could be on the horizon for the series as a whole.

Article continues after ad