Scarlet and Violet’s ‘Paradox Pokemon’ successfully makes the concept of version exclusive Pokemon interesting

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One of the last bits of information revealed about Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet before launch was the concept of “Paradox Pokemon.” A lot of the information surrounding these are kept in a book held by Arven, one of the new characters you meet on your journey. Depending on which version of the game you’re playing he’ll have one of two different books, either the Scarlet Book or the Violet Book.

These allow the player to go after and study specific Pokemon known as “Paradox Pokemon” which are essentially new forms of familiar favorites that have a new look. And keeping with the past and future theme of much of the game, the Paradox Pokemon have a VERY different look depending on which version of the game you’re playing. Scarlet’s Paradoxes have a decidedly prehistoric look like Salamence getting more of a feathered dinosaur look. Violet’s Paradoxes more look like futuristic robot versions of Pokemon. The long-neglected Delibird, for example, looks almost like the kind of robotic courier we’ll have to deal with once Amazon triggers the Singularity.

Some Pokemon actually have new forms in both games!

Donphan, for example, is a Pokemon I’ve wanted to see a new evolution for years now so I was so excited when it was announced it’ll have TWO new forms.

In Scarlet, you’ll find it in the form known as The Great Tusk.

While over in Violet you’ll find a different form known as Iron Treads.

These forms are not only catchable, but after you achieve a certain point in the game you’ll actually be able to snag them in the wild where you can encounter their shiny forms.

The designs on these are really interesting. And while I love the vast majority of these, some of them are real stinkers. Magneton’s form in Scarlet, for example, is known as Sandy Shocks and is just awful looking. It looks like someone tried stretching a picture of Magneton in Photoshop until it looked like it had long legs. It’s gross. But as long as I get that excellent Iron Treads Donphan I’ll be okay.

Oh, and if you’re going to only have access to one version of the game, worry not. Playing online with your friends, as long as they have the appropriate version, will give you the chance to catch their Paradoxes for yourself as long as you’ve both met the appropriate criteria.

There also seems to be a bit of set up in the game that seemingly hints that more Paradox Pokemon could be added as DLC later so I’m really hoping to see what comes next for these as finally, game-specific Pokemon seem to actually have a reason for being how they are. It’s made the long-used gimmick of “region-specific Pokemon” something that actually makes sense within the story and I love it.