Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness are regarded as two of the best Nintendo GameCube games by Pokemon fans – but will they ever make their way to the Switch?
Colosseum first released onto the GameCube in the West in March 2004, and swiftly became a favorite among lovers of the franchise due to it being the first true 3D RPG entry in the series. It followed the story of Wes, a former member of antagonist Team Snagem, as he makes it his mission to purify Shadow Pokemon – monsters who have had their hearts closed off artificially. They could only level up and use normal moves once they were cleansed.
XD: Gale of Darkness was the successor, and came out in October 2005. It continued the story of the Shadow monsters, and saw a new protagonist trying to purify them and also return legendary Lugia back to normal, too.
GameCube on the Switch
In 2016, reports surfaced stating that the gaming giant would be putting GC titles onto its handheld console in the form of Virtual Console support. Nintendo were quick to shut down the rumors, and said that the Switch wouldn’t ever get VC, but that it would be releasing Nintendo Entertainment System games through its Online service. The company later stated that it wanted to “extend” the virtual software library offered through its online subscription, and followed this through by adding SNES titles.
During an Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in June 2019, Nintendo Japan president Shuntaro Furukawa was asked about GC ports coming to the handheld. “At this place we cannot tell new information about future classic hardware among others, but we are thinking about providing an extension of the online service which is currently providing Famicom [NES] software, as well as other methods of providing them,” he responded. “We also recognize that there are opinions wanting to play past titles.”
While there’s no official news yet regarding GameCube titles coming to Switch Online, it’s hard to believe that Nintendo will just stop at SNES ports. It might not be GC straight away, but the possibility of Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, or N64 titles being added next is a hopeful thought in fans’ minds.
Nintendo is remaking Pokemon spinoffs
In January 2019, a Pokemon Direct revealed that the Red & Blue Mystery Dungeon games were being remade as a DX version for the Switch, which sparked hope that the company would finally be open to more spin-off remakes or remasters.
While there has been a history of remakes with the mainline series in HeartGold and SoulSilver, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu, there hadn’t been a re-release of a spin-off series before.
Obviously this doesn’t relate to Colosseum or XD at all, but it at least shows that Nintendo are open to giving non-main entries in the series a chance to be replayed again on new systems, and leaves the door open for them to be remade again or ported with the Online service in the future.
Shadow Pokemon in other games
Perhaps the biggest “hint” – if you can take it as one – lies with Niantic and The Pokemon Company’s hit mobile game Go. In June 2019, Shadow monsters were hinted at in the game’s code, and later launched properly into the app in August. The evil critters can be found by visiting a Team GO Rocket Pokestop and defeating the Grunt there. One bested, players are given a shot at capturing one.
Like the GameCube titles, the monsters can then be purified to return them to their normal selves, but it's not as easy in the mobile version. Trainers have to collect either 1,000 Stardust and one Candy, 3,000 Stardust and three Candy or 5,000 Stardust and five Candy, depending on the species, whereas in the original games you either took them to Celebi’s shrine, used a Time Flute, or put them in a Purification Chamber after befriending them.
This throwback to Colosseum and XD might be nothing, but it serves as one step closer to fans possibly being able to revisit the GC classics in the future. Out of all the mechanics and gimmicks Nintendo could have chosen to use in Go, it strikes many as odd that the company went with the Shadow Pokemon.
Shadow Mewtwo was seen in 2015’s Pokken Tournament for the Wii U, and later on in the DX version on the Switch. It was included in first-edition copies of the first game, or could be unlocked after beating the Red and Chroma leagues.
In February 2016, Polygon interviewed PT producer Masaaki Hoshino and asked him if Shadow Mewtwo was considered as canon in the Pokemon universe and whether fans would be seeing more of the foe in the future. “Because everyone really liked Shadow Mewtwo, I have a personal hope that they'll continue to use it, but it's not really our decision, unfortunately,” he said.
When the outlet reached out to The Pokemon Company for an answer, a representative responded with “no comment” – something that seemed rather strange. Why wouldn’t they just say no if they had no plans? Though, it could be Go related, it doesn’t stop supporters from holding out hope of the monster being added to a DX remake of the GC games.
While fans have had absolutely no official confirmation of Colosseum or XD ever being remade or ported onto the Nintendo Switch, it doesn’t stop anyone from holding out hope – especially when the company has revisited Shadow Pokemon since.
Regardless, it just goes to show that fans desire for the spinoff series is very much alive, and who knows? Maybe prayers will be answered some day.