Pokemon dropped a new video out of nowhere this morning. In it they introduce us to Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s Electric Type gym leader, Iono, in a very interesting way — by just letting her be herself. The result is…something.
Iono is not only the game’s Electric Type gym leader but also a very famous online influencer, this explains her being allowed to dress like a circus nightmare while our brains just accept it.
In the video, she doesn’t really explain much about what’s going to actually happen at the gym but gives you an idea by leading her fake comment section in a game of “Guess My Partner Pokemon.”
In it, she describes that her partner Pokemon is cute, laid back, has two things on its head that people often mistake for eyes, and expands and contracts to build up electricity. As someone who’s played since Pokemon Yellow, I genuinely have no idea what is it, even after going through all the electric-type Pokemon so I’m assuming it’s going to be a new one.
But beyond my confusion, beyond how it might be a bit obnoxious, I think this is a step in the right direction for the Pokemon series. Especially if this is actually something that happens IN GAME.
There is no fine print anywhere on this video that says “not actual game footage” which is something Nintendo is normally good with if you’ve seen any of their Smash Bros. character reveals.
If this is actual game footage this is a massive reveal for the series for two reasons.
One, for too long the vast majority of gym leaders have been these bizarre characters we get to learn precious little about. They’re weird, they have crazy fashion styles and mannerisms, and the only way we get to learn more is by watching the anime or reading the manga as the games tell us nothing. Getting to meet an absolute legend like Roxy is a joy only countered by the realization that after you beat her you won’t ever see her again. So having actual in-game personality given to the gym leaders as part of this world is great.
Two, and this is a big number two, is that if this IS in-game footage, Nintendo may have also revealed something that Pokemon games have desperately needed for a long time. Voice acting.
You probably don’t think about it when you first watch this video because you’re confused by her hairclips that she insists are just hair clips despite them getting off her head and looking at you from time to time, but she’s actually talking. With a voice. You can hear her. That’s not something you normally get some ANYONE in a Pokemon video game. In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, but the only time you really get to hear anyone’s voice is that insane voice Professor Oak speaks to you with in Pokemon Snap.
Sure, the Pokemon Trainer talks in Smash Bros., but Smash Bros. is a Pokemon game the same way that Samus being in NES Tetris makes Tetris a Metroid game. Hopefully, I’m right, for once, and this is a reveal that we finally get both personality AND voice acting in a Pokemon game. Fingers crossed.