Pokemon Sword & Shield Discussion RD: 15/11/2019 **Official news only**

One thing's for sure, even if nobody gets punished for this, this is gonna suck hard for GI's credibility. They have been having tough times recently with layoffs a plenty and regional divisions such as their Australian branch being shut down, so this gaffe won't help them on that front. It's also a huge damper to have this unfortunate reveal come out just a day before a big livestream. Maybe it's better to have it before the news drop than killing the hype afterward, though...

If I gotta look on the bright side, it seems like the majority of the fanbase is quelling their rage boner and putting the blame straight on GameInformer for this big goof instead of GF.
The tough times would be more part of a larger cultural trend where we have a brand-humping, celebrity-humping culture that allows these powerful entities to dictate the story on their own terms and villainize 'the media' (even something like the video game media which has traditionally just been an additional PR arm for the industry) for anything other than pure cheerleading and massive tech platforms such as Google and Facebook have squeezed newspapers and magazines out of ad revenue; like it frankly takes an impressive amount of myopia for you to not realize that this is happening across the board rather than a just punishment to some random video game publication for not making Pokemon look like the best media franchise EVAR by daring to interpret some ambiguous spin answer the same way anyone else would have.

Q: What are the differences between the two games?

truthful A: Just the same old bare minimum cosmetic differences like a gym or two is different and not having all the Pokemon in one game so you're forced to buy the other game or pay for an online subscription to get the 'complete' experience.

spin A: A couple of the gyms are different. We like to imagine this is because in the Galar region there is a major league and a minor league and of the 18 different gyms, there will be different types in the major leagues at different times, which is why for example one version has a fighting gym and the other version has a ghost gym.

So basically they just brought up some lore thing that doesn't even show up in the game to make it seem like they were doing something new (oh, a couple of the gyms are different because it's like soccer with different leagues! That's fitting because it's in England and is totally different than how you arbitrarily fight a totem Raticate in one game and totem Gumshoos in the other), which was just confusing and had nothing to do with the question that was asked. With how many vague no-comment type answers there were, it's hard to blame anyone for taking an answer about how there are 18 different gyms and major and minor leagues at face value.
 
So now they are saying there are 8 Major League Gyms and 10 Minor League gyms.

Maybe it's something like "beat N Minor League gyms to challenge for this badge". The leak did mention doing some tasks to be allowed to challenge each gym leader, after all, and if we are nitpicky, the website mentions 8 badges, but not 8 gyms...
 

Codraroll

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If I'm not mistaken, we already know that Milo and Nessa are the first two Gym leaders in both Sword and Shield, and their typings are always Grass and Water respectively, so unless they somehow reduce the number of types we know not all types can be represented in each game.

If they stick to the pattern of 8 "main bosses" and 4 "end bosses" (plus a Champion that doesn't specialize in any single type), there would be 12 "slots" per game for type specialist Gyms, or 24 between the two games. Four of these slots are already taken by Milo and Nessa. Let's make that six, since if both Grass and Water are confirmed to be the first two Gyms in both games, we can conjecture that Fire will be the third in both of them too. That leaves 18 slots for the remaining 15 types. This means there would have to be three more Gyms present in both games before every type is taken. That means, the two versions would share six Gym types and have six unique ones each. This disregards the possibility that unique type specialists could happen outside Gyms, like how Guzma, Plumeria and Molayne were type specialists in Gen VII without being trial captains.

Looking at the Galar map, it seems like Ice and Dragon are pretty safe bets to be among the shared Gym types, as the icy town is presumably icy in both versions and the dragon city has the same architecture too. We still don't know the location of every Galar gym, though, so it's hard to tell what the last one could be. The fact that the sandy cliffs of one city hosts a Ghost gym in one game and Fighting in the other (despite Ground or Rock being natural choices based on the surrounding terrain) means we can't be certain of much based on the map alone. The Gym in the enchanted forest looks like an obvious candidate for Fairy, but it could also be Poison, Psychic or even Dark.
 
So now they are saying there are 8 Major League Gyms and 10 Minor League gyms.

Maybe it's something like "beat N Minor League gyms to challenge for this badge". The leak did mention doing some tasks to be allowed to challenge each gym leader, after all, and if we are nitpicky, the website mentions 8 badges, but not 8 gyms...
I'd be more inclined to believe that the minor league gyms are not actually in the game but a pure lore thing where the 8 gyms you face in a particular game can be said to be the ones that happened to qualify for the top league in that particular 'season.' The 18 thing just comes from there being 18 different types, so whichever types aren't in your game you can just headcanon to say are in the minor leagues instead. The trainers you face before a gym leader are already inconsequential enough that it would be hard to conceive of a more minor version of a gym; at that point it's no more difficult than random trainers you'd find on a route.
 
I've been thinking about what could be the Sirfetch'd counterpart for Shield.

Bear with me, this might get weird but... Stantler.

Stantler could either get a Galarian Evo or just a form retyping it to Ghost or Normal/Ghost.


Btw, the latest batch of news about the gyms are terrible. The minor league exists in the bottom of the barrel of insignificance.

It does fit the football angle they're going for though.
 
I'd be more inclined to believe that the minor league gyms are not actually in the game but a pure lore thing where the 8 gyms you face in a particular game can be said to be the ones that happened to qualify for the top league in that particular 'season.' The 18 thing just comes from there being 18 different types, so whichever types aren't in your game you can just headcanon to say are in the minor leagues instead. The trainers you face before a gym leader are already inconsequential enough that it would be hard to conceive of a more minor version of a gym; at that point it's no more difficult than random trainers you'd find on a route.
That's what I'm thinking as well. I wouldn't be surprised if there are 18 type specialists in the game... but 10 of them are non-Gym Leader NPCs that either play bit roles in the story or are post-game only, just like in SM. Maybe they'll actually have "gyms" that are locked to the post-game only and will probably participate in whatever this Gen's tournament is.
 

Pikachu315111

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Going to skip responding to other comments to get some of the major news out of the way:

101 Rapid-Fire Questions:
  • Party Experience: When asked if Exp. Share can be turned off, they said the "item doesn't exist". Then asked if you have to train each individually, it's said that they all gain experience FROM DEFAULT. Now this is important because this neither confirms or deny you can turn off the "Party Experience" feature. There's still hope it's an Option in the menu.

  • Future Dex: No comment on whether a future SwSh title will have all the Pokemon. This is notable because, when they first announced they plan on not having every Pokemon in SwSh, they said this was a new policy going forward. So the answer to this question should have been a straight "no" with maybe then clarifying the new policy. However with this "no comment" now that throws that policy change into question and, if they do include the whole dex in a future title, means these policy changes are pointless as they can just change their minds about it. Now, I of course would want the Pokemon games to have all the Pokemon, but if this is what happens this might be a start of a new trend we should be weary about: the initial paired games will only be restricted to the region dex and future releases will have the entire Dex. And if that happens, it may make players wonder whether it would be worth buying the initial paired games as they'll now more than ever be inferior to the later released versions. You're walking on thin ice here, GF. (BTW this is not to say I discourage them adding in more Pokemon for future releases, what I'm saying is them adding in the entire Dex after saying they couldn't/wouldn't feels like they're just placating us and leading us along while they mess around).

  • Why ask if they listen to the "Red Trainer theme" specifically and not just Pokemon music in general? Also why specifically ask if they do it while driving or on the train? A better question to ask would be "Do you listen to any Pokemon music outside of work? Where and doing what?".

  • Realistic Cries: Whoever's asking the question may want to do some research before asking these questions. He asks if some Pokemon will have 8-bit cries which the answer was no too... because they updated most Pokemon cries to being more realistic in XY!

  • No Difficulty: Surprise, surprise, no difficulty settings because they want players to be free to choose their own play style... which is what giving us difficulty levels would do. Or do they mean for trainers who want a more challenging experience they should ignore all the ways they can gain experience to purposely make their Pokemon low level. Is it really that hard to at least raise the levels, improve moves, and maybe give better moves to opposing trainers? And if you're worried that newer/younger players might get stuck if they chose a higher difficulty allow them to change the difficulty either in the options or when selecting the save file to load. Oh, and don't make them a post game unlock and only unlocked by one version...

  • If Zamazenta picks up Zacian's sword it'll become the most powerful Pokemon. Now obviously they're joking though now I have the image in my head where Zacian & Zamazenta are losing to a powerful foe. "It's no use" Zacian growls, "our powers alone aren't enough". "I know you don't like to but we may have to do it" Zamazenta tries persuading. "Grr, fine then" Zacian says facing Zamazenta. "LET US FUSE OUR POWER!" both howl as wind and light picks up around them. The powerful foe steps back, readying itself for what's coming next. "Ready?" Zacian asks. "Ready" Zamazenta answers. Zacian spits out his sword and Zamazenta picks it up. "I AM ALL POWERFUL!" Zamazenta says standing proudly. The powerful enemy looks on in confusion as Zacian walks under the shade of a big tree nearby, "yeah, yeah, wake me up when you're done".

  • Why specifically ask if Leon dyes his hair and not EVERY character with anime hair color? Actually why even ask that when you know the answer that it's anime hair. I get that GF probably may have told you what questions you could ask and what you couldn't but surely there was plenty of better questions than all the stupid ones you asked or are going to, especially when you and everyone already knows the answer.

  • Dynamax Show: So Dynamax isn't actually growing the Pokemon but is a "visual projection" with the Pokemon somewhere inside it (though even GF didn't think exactly how it worked, being unsure if the Pokemon is "just floating" inside it). I guess this at least explains how the Poke Ball also grows and dodges around real world physics if Dyanamax is just an energy construct and not a solid body.

  • Why would it be confusing if Aegislash was in the game? If anything it makes sense for it to be in the games. It just won't be a version exclusive.

  • Rise Of Competitive: They never really answered if they were surprised about the rise of the competitive Pokemon scene (thinking "it was great" is what they think about it, not if they were expecting it). Iwao and Morimoto are also the most competitive players in GF.

  • Also stop wasting questions asking ones you know they're obviously not going to answer. You should be using these questions to clarify things or actually ask honest curiosities.
  • Development Difficulty: On a scale of 1 to 10, the difficulty of developing Sword & Shield was a 9. Now a good interviewer would ask why that is but the guy asking the questions would rather try to be "cute" with his questions. Though at the very least when asked if "Crunch" was one of their moves they did say it's not one they want to use. Probably did mean there was crunch periods, especially if they rated the development experience a 9, but hopefully this also meant they ignored forcing a crunch if they could.

  • Slang Shrug: It's not likely we'll see any attempt to replicate a UK dialect or seeing slang terms. At least not in the English versions of the game, other language translators may through in some English words here and there to show its UK basis.

  • Yes Random Battles occur outside of the Wild Area WE'VE SEEN IT THE TRAILERS!

  • Starters Finals: They may actually keep the Starters evolutions (especially their final evos) secret this time around. I actually would like them to do that as well as keep any other evolutions secret for revealed Pokemon. Part of the fun of playing a new gen game is discovering new Pokemon that wasn't revealed beforehand. :bloblul:

  • One Word: In one word, Pokemon Sword & Shield is about "Aspiration". Now obviously the player and rivals are aspiring to be the Champion this time around, but the themes of past games have gone deeper than surface level so curious if there's any deeper levels of "aspiration".

  • Political?: Huh, when asked if the game was political instead of an outright "no" it was a "don't know". Now I can see hints of possible cultural commentary but whether it's political is an interesting case as it can be subjective whether it is or not. Pokemon does often push messages though it's the usual and universally accepted messages of "be good to each other" and "take care of nature". Is there any political message Pokemon can say that may be considered bias or even controversial? Considering current political climates I guess anything is possible, especially when we have political leaders who don't want to be good nor take care of nature.

  • Parenting Or Childhood: Pokemon are said to be games about being a child. Though are they? While I also don't think they're games about being a parent, the playable character's age honestly doesn't feel like a factor in the game design 99% of the time. It's more about the adventure and the experience gained from it by interacting with other Pokemon and characters.

  • Pokemon World Sausage: So when asked what the curry sausages are made of, they didn't want to answer. COWARDS! Just admit the true purpose of all those Tauros we've seen on ranches! Though I guess they at least didn't say it was artificial meat, if anything them not wanting to say what it was made of sort of confirms that it is Pokemon. And there's no reason to be coy about it, you guys even wrote an "out" for yourself about the ethics about eating a Pokemon: as long as you pick the bones clean and dump them into a river Arceus will resurrect it as it was before being slaughtered.

  • Wailmer family are still unconfirmed...

  • Mapless Planet: There's no map of the Pokemon planet. Makes sense, though also I'd imagine it would mostly like the real world map anyway.

  • Rhyme City MIA: So it's unclear whether Rhyme City is canon or not to at least the core series. Don't see why it wouldn't be, for one thing it'll be the Rhyme City of the games and not the movie version.

  • Masuda says his earliest memory of hearing about Pokemon was in 1992, 4 years before the Gen I games.

  • Gotta Catch 'Em: Something I didn't know, the original catchphrase for the English side was "Catch 'Em If You Can". I'm guessing this was maybe based off the original Japanese catchphrase which, when translated, was simply "Gotta Catch Pokemon". The Japanese version never really pushed the "catch them all" idea to the forefront, thus why Ash only catching a handful of Pokemon in the anime didn't seem that off.

  • Starter Types: GF had thought about using other Types for Starters but Grass, Fire & Water just makes the most sense. Which I get what they mean, because if you look at the other "triangles" that are possible they all do feel odd in some way. Plus there's the classical element angle which is easy to understand. Though even if they don't ever make an official group of Starters anything outside Grass/Fire/Water, I don't think they should maybe rule out creating another group of three-stage Pokemon which form their own Type Triangle and offer them as give Pokemon early on as a sort of "second option".

  • Under Tangela's vines is darkness. (Insert Kingdom Hearts joke here).

  • Masuda doesn't like Venomoth's back. He also didn't think the plush of the Gen I Bug-types like Caterpie and Venomoth would sell well but they did to his surprise.

  • Satoshi Tajiri wrote all the TV messages in Red & Blue, including adding in the "Stand By Me" reference which is a favorite movie of his.

  • Just Animals: So according to GF, Pokemon aren't "that sentient" and more just making it by and living. Which doesn't really jive with things we've seen in the games and other media. Is GF's honest viewpoint is that Pokemon aren't sentient or are they just saying that because, much like they did in Gen V, they sort of want to dodge the ethical question of people keeping Pokemon as pets when they have the ability to be at least as conscious as a human?

  • Pokemon Snap 2 still looks to be only a dream...

  • Virtual Boy Game: GF was thinking about making a non-Pokemon game for the Virtual Boy but by the time they had the opportunity to the Virtual Boy was on its way out. Masuda said he personally liked the Virtual Boy. Now, to be fair, just looking at the games alone there was a batch that looked perfectly fine and fun even. The problem is that the Virtual Boy sucked as a system because the screen was red so staring at it too long made your eyes hurt. Thinking about it, was a bit of a missed opportunity for Nintendo not to release a Virtual Boy game collection for the 3DS to give the good games on the system maybe a second chance or at least be on a good system.

  • Nintendo never asked if GF was interested in making a console RPG in the past (NOTE: This isn't the same of GF not wanting to make one, though at the same time GF seemed perfectly fine with sticking to the handhelds until the Switch). They're also not interested at the moment making a game with another Nintendo franchise (which makes sense, Nintendo would probably be WAY MORE involved with the development then they want them to be).

  • GameFreak Magazine will never be coming back. Real shame... Wait, GameInformer why are you asking for someone to make what would be a competing magazine?

  • Let's Go Future: So questions of a sequel to Let's Go was a "no comment"... hard to tell whether that means it's a definite yes or no. I'm at least for now believe for the Switch's lifespan we're done with Let's Go.

  • Masuda's most flattering fan interaction was when he went to France he said on Twitter he didn't speak French so a group of around 20 fans, some who spoke Japanese, me him at the airport to translate for him and show him around. They talked about Pokemon, had lunch together, and went to an arcade. It was a really flattering experience for him.

  • AZ's Mystery: When asked about AZ's "deal" they didn't give an answer. Seemed really odd as Masuda was head director and Ohmori was planning director so out of anyone they should know. So either they didn't really plan much out for AZ besides what we saw and been told later or maybe AZ has some other secrets to be revealed in future games?

  • Professor Funding... Too Many "Secrets": The answer to who is funding the Pokemon Professors was "a secret". Seemed rather ominous as an obvious default answer would be the Pokemon League. Of course a lot of these answers feel like Masuda and Ohmori don't know how to answer them so they're just shrugging them off with either joke answers or being ambiguous/"mysterious". While I'm all for asking some "deep" questions if this is how they're going to answer maybe should just focus on questions concerning mechanics in the game and experiences they'd had.

  • Masuda's favorite arcade game is Xevious.

  • Masuda always wanted to make a game like "R-Type". This was an answer to a question whether they're tired of making Pokemon games. Once again feels like a dodge possibly out of conflicting feeling of wanting to say "yes" and "no". Though since Masuda isn't the lead director anymore he should have the free time to make that "R-Type" game, maybe after Little Town Hero.

  • No Pokemon Maker: The fans will never be given the opportunity to make their own species of Pokemon. Probably for the best, even though I do hear the cries from CAP over yonder (they'll at least always have Showdown). But, come on GF, how can you look at the massive success of Mario Maker and not think about giving us at least a "Region Maker" (obviously using existing Pokemon but everything else plus making an in-depth character editor...).

  • The interviewer also should stop with the English-based references and jokes, the Japanese game makers are likely not going to get it. Though surprised they never heard of at least "Pikablu" rumor, feels that one would have crossed to the ocean in at least knowledge of an international joke.

  • No answers on Pokemon Sleep aside "wait and see". Never asked a question about Home though I imagine the answer would be similar.

  • Theory Of Pokemon Evolution: When asked if Pokemon actually go through the real process of evolution (the one that takes thousands of years) it was given an interestingly "don't know but not set in stone", even when the interviewer gave them an out saying these were fictional creatures. Now this could just be GF keeping their options open, after all we have the fossil Pokemon and some dex entries have mentioned the evolution process (Magikarp once were as fierce as Gyarados in the far past). Maybe one day they could have a mechanic where you can "primitize" your Pokemon to how its species was like thousands of years ago. *Shrugs*


18 Gyms Mistranslation:
So turns out the games having a Gym for every Type was a mistranslation of sorts. The Galar region does have 18 Gyms as part of its lore and there's a Major League & Minor League. However the main game's Major League will only be 8 Gyms and there will be Gyms in both Leagues that are version exclusive. There seems to be a competition between the Gyms during each year's Champion Cup of which one would be in the Major League and which one in the Minor.

So, what does this mean? Sounds like the Major League is made up of the eight Gyms who won over the other Types in their game version. The other Gyms in the game version that didn't are placed in a Minor League. Both Major & Minor Leagues will share Gyms but also have their own version exclusives. Also sounds like the Minor League will have less Gyms than the Major League.

So not as exciting as we originally thought, but it still does mean extra Gyms with some still being version exclusive. Now if we're to assume that the version exclusives were going to stay version exclusive no matter what here is how I see it working:

Major League will share 4 Gyms and have 4 version exclusive Gyms (so 8 Gyms combined) for a total of 12 Gyms.
Minor League will share 2 Gyms and have 2 version exclusive Gyms (so 4 Gyms combined) for a total of 6 Gyms.
12 + 6 = 18.

However, there's nothing saying they can't make one Gym in one versions Major League be in the Minor League in the other version and vice versa. With this in mind they have more options in how the version exclusives and size of the Minor League is done.

Though this doesn't answer where the Minor League Gyms are on the Galar Map which looks to barely have room for the 8 Major League Gyms.
 
Going to skip responding to other comments to get some of the major news out of the way:

101 Rapid-Fire Questions:
  • Party Experience: When asked if Exp. Share can be turned off, they said the "item doesn't exist". Then asked if you have to train each individually, it's said that they all gain experience FROM DEFAULT. Now this is important because this neither confirms or deny you can turn off the "Party Experience" feature. There's still hope it's an Option in the menu.

  • Future Dex: No comment on whether a future SwSh title will have all the Pokemon. This is notable because, when they first announced they plan on not having every Pokemon in SwSh, they said this was a new policy going forward. So the answer to this question should have been a straight "no" with maybe then clarifying the new policy. However with this "no comment" now that throws that policy change into question and, if they do include the whole dex in a future title, means these policy changes are pointless as they can just change their minds about it. Now, I of course would want the Pokemon games to have all the Pokemon, but if this is what happens this might be a start of a new trend we should be weary about: the initial paired games will only be restricted to the region dex and future releases will have the entire Dex. And if that happens, it may make players wonder whether it would be worth buying the initial paired games as they'll now more than ever be inferior to the later released versions. You're walking on thin ice here, GF. (BTW this is not to say I discourage them adding in more Pokemon for future releases, what I'm saying is them adding in the entire Dex after saying they couldn't/wouldn't feels like they're just placating us and leading us along while they mess around).

  • Why ask if they listen to the "Red Trainer theme" specifically and not just Pokemon music in general? Also why specifically ask if they do it while driving or on the train? A better question to ask would be "Do you listen to any Pokemon music outside of work? Where and doing what?".

  • Realistic Cries: Whoever's asking the question may want to do some research before asking these questions. He asks if some Pokemon will have 8-bit cries which the answer was no too... because they updated most Pokemon cries to being more realistic in XY!

  • No Difficulty: Surprise, surprise, no difficulty settings because they want players to be free to choose their own play style... which is what giving us difficulty levels would do. Or do they mean for trainers who want a more challenging experience they should ignore all the ways they can gain experience to purposely make their Pokemon low level. Is it really that hard to at least raise the levels, improve moves, and maybe give better moves to opposing trainers? And if you're worried that newer/younger players might get stuck if they chose a higher difficulty allow them to change the difficulty either in the options or when selecting the save file to load. Oh, and don't make them a post game unlock and only unlocked by one version...

  • If Zamazenta picks up Zacian's sword it'll become the most powerful Pokemon. Now obviously they're joking though now I have the image in my head where Zacian & Zamazenta are losing to a powerful foe. "It's no use" Zacian growls, "our powers alone aren't enough". "I know you don't like to but we may have to do it" Zamazenta tries persuading. "Grr, fine then" Zacian says facing Zamazenta. "LET US FUSE OUR POWER!" both howl as wind and light picks up around them. The powerful foe steps back, readying itself for what's coming next. "Ready?" Zacian asks. "Ready" Zamazenta answers. Zacian spits out his sword and Zamazenta picks it up. "I AM ALL POWERFUL!" Zamazenta says standing proudly. The powerful enemy looks on in confusion as Zacian walks under the shade of a big tree nearby, "yeah, yeah, wake me up when you're done".

  • Why specifically ask if Leon dyes his hair and not EVERY character with anime hair color? Actually why even ask that when you know the answer that it's anime hair. I get that GF probably may have told you what questions you could ask and what you couldn't but surely there was plenty of better questions than all the stupid ones you asked or are going to, especially when you and everyone already knows the answer.

  • Dynamax Show: So Dynamax isn't actually growing the Pokemon but is a "visual projection" with the Pokemon somewhere inside it (though even GF didn't think exactly how it worked, being unsure if the Pokemon is "just floating" inside it). I guess this at least explains how the Poke Ball also grows and dodges around real world physics if Dyanamax is just an energy construct and not a solid body.

  • Why would it be confusing if Aegislash was in the game? If anything it makes sense for it to be in the games. It just won't be a version exclusive.

  • Rise Of Competitive: They never really answered if they were surprised about the rise of the competitive Pokemon scene (thinking "it was great" is what they think about it, not if they were expecting it). Iwao and Morimoto are also the most competitive players in GF.

  • Also stop wasting questions asking ones you know they're obviously not going to answer. You should be using these questions to clarify things or actually ask honest curiosities.
  • Development Difficulty: On a scale of 1 to 10, the difficulty of developing Sword & Shield was a 9. Now a good interviewer would ask why that is but the guy asking the questions would rather try to be "cute" with his questions. Though at the very least when asked if "Crunch" was one of their moves they did say it's not one they want to use. Probably did mean there was crunch periods, especially if they rated the development experience a 9, but hopefully this also meant they ignored forcing a crunch if they could.

  • Slang Shrug: It's not likely we'll see any attempt to replicate a UK dialect or seeing slang terms. At least not in the English versions of the game, other language translators may through in some English words here and there to show its UK basis.

  • Yes Random Battles occur outside of the Wild Area WE'VE SEEN IT THE TRAILERS!

  • Starters Finals: They may actually keep the Starters evolutions (especially their final evos) secret this time around. I actually would like them to do that as well as keep any other evolutions secret for revealed Pokemon. Part of the fun of playing a new gen game is discovering new Pokemon that wasn't revealed beforehand. :bloblul:

  • One Word: In one word, Pokemon Sword & Shield is about "Aspiration". Now obviously the player and rivals are aspiring to be the Champion this time around, but the themes of past games have gone deeper than surface level so curious if there's any deeper levels of "aspiration".

  • Political?: Huh, when asked if the game was political instead of an outright "no" it was a "don't know". Now I can see hints of possible cultural commentary but whether it's political is an interesting case as it can be subjective whether it is or not. Pokemon does often push messages though it's the usual and universally accepted messages of "be good to each other" and "take care of nature". Is there any political message Pokemon can say that may be considered bias or even controversial? Considering current political climates I guess anything is possible, especially when we have political leaders who don't want to be good nor take care of nature.

  • Parenting Or Childhood: Pokemon are said to be games about being a child. Though are they? While I also don't think they're games about being a parent, the playable character's age honestly doesn't feel like a factor in the game design 99% of the time. It's more about the adventure and the experience gained from it by interacting with other Pokemon and characters.

  • Pokemon World Sausage: So when asked what the curry sausages are made of, they didn't want to answer. COWARDS! Just admit the true purpose of all those Tauros we've seen on ranches! Though I guess they at least didn't say it was artificial meat, if anything them not wanting to say what it was made of sort of confirms that it is Pokemon. And there's no reason to be coy about it, you guys even wrote an "out" for yourself about the ethics about eating a Pokemon: as long as you pick the bones clean and dump them into a river Arceus will resurrect it as it was before being slaughtered.

  • Wailmer family are still unconfirmed...

  • Mapless Planet: There's no map of the Pokemon planet. Makes sense, though also I'd imagine it would mostly like the real world map anyway.

  • Rhyme City MIA: So it's unclear whether Rhyme City is canon or not to at least the core series. Don't see why it wouldn't be, for one thing it'll be the Rhyme City of the games and not the movie version.

  • Masuda says his earliest memory of hearing about Pokemon was in 1992, 4 years before the Gen I games.

  • Gotta Catch 'Em: Something I didn't know, the original catchphrase for the English side was "Catch 'Em If You Can". I'm guessing this was maybe based off the original Japanese catchphrase which, when translated, was simply "Gotta Catch Pokemon". The Japanese version never really pushed the "catch them all" idea to the forefront, thus why Ash only catching a handful of Pokemon in the anime didn't seem that off.

  • Starter Types: GF had thought about using other Types for Starters but Grass, Fire & Water just makes the most sense. Which I get what they mean, because if you look at the other "triangles" that are possible they all do feel odd in some way. Plus there's the classical element angle which is easy to understand. Though even if they don't ever make an official group of Starters anything outside Grass/Fire/Water, I don't think they should maybe rule out creating another group of three-stage Pokemon which form their own Type Triangle and offer them as give Pokemon early on as a sort of "second option".

  • Under Tangela's vines is darkness. (Insert Kingdom Hearts joke here).

  • Masuda doesn't like Venomoth's back. He also didn't think the plush of the Gen I Bug-types like Caterpie and Venomoth would sell well but they did to his surprise.

  • Satoshi Tajiri wrote all the TV messages in Red & Blue, including adding in the "Stand By Me" reference which is a favorite movie of his.

  • Just Animals: So according to GF, Pokemon aren't "that sentient" and more just making it by and living. Which doesn't really jive with things we've seen in the games and other media. Is GF's honest viewpoint is that Pokemon aren't sentient or are they just saying that because, much like they did in Gen V, they sort of want to dodge the ethical question of people keeping Pokemon as pets when they have the ability to be at least as conscious as a human?

  • Pokemon Snap 2 still looks to be only a dream...

  • Virtual Boy Game: GF was thinking about making a non-Pokemon game for the Virtual Boy but by the time they had the opportunity to the Virtual Boy was on its way out. Masuda said he personally liked the Virtual Boy. Now, to be fair, just looking at the games alone there was a batch that looked perfectly fine and fun even. The problem is that the Virtual Boy sucked as a system because the screen was red so staring at it too long made your eyes hurt. Thinking about it, was a bit of a missed opportunity for Nintendo not to release a Virtual Boy game collection for the 3DS to give the good games on the system maybe a second chance or at least be on a good system.

  • Nintendo never asked if GF was interested in making a console RPG in the past (NOTE: This isn't the same of GF not wanting to make one, though at the same time GF seemed perfectly fine with sticking to the handhelds until the Switch). They're also not interested at the moment making a game with another Nintendo franchise (which makes sense, Nintendo would probably be WAY MORE involved with the development then they want them to be).

  • GameFreak Magazine will never be coming back. Real shame... Wait, GameInformer why are you asking for someone to make what would be a competing magazine?

  • Let's Go Future: So questions of a sequel to Let's Go was a "no comment"... hard to tell whether that means it's a definite yes or no. I'm at least for now believe for the Switch's lifespan we're done with Let's Go.

  • Masuda's most flattering fan interaction was when he went to France he said on Twitter he didn't speak French so a group of around 20 fans, some who spoke Japanese, me him at the airport to translate for him and show him around. They talked about Pokemon, had lunch together, and went to an arcade. It was a really flattering experience for him.

  • AZ's Mystery: When asked about AZ's "deal" they didn't give an answer. Seemed really odd as Masuda was head director and Ohmori was planning director so out of anyone they should know. So either they didn't really plan much out for AZ besides what we saw and been told later or maybe AZ has some other secrets to be revealed in future games?

  • Professor Funding... Too Many "Secrets": The answer to who is funding the Pokemon Professors was "a secret". Seemed rather ominous as an obvious default answer would be the Pokemon League. Of course a lot of these answers feel like Masuda and Ohmori don't know how to answer them so they're just shrugging them off with either joke answers or being ambiguous/"mysterious". While I'm all for asking some "deep" questions if this is how they're going to answer maybe should just focus on questions concerning mechanics in the game and experiences they'd had.

  • Masuda's favorite arcade game is Xevious.

  • Masuda always wanted to make a game like "R-Type". This was an answer to a question whether they're tired of making Pokemon games. Once again feels like a dodge possibly out of conflicting feeling of wanting to say "yes" and "no". Though since Masuda isn't the lead director anymore he should have the free time to make that "R-Type" game, maybe after Little Town Hero.

  • No Pokemon Maker: The fans will never be given the opportunity to make their own species of Pokemon. Probably for the best, even though I do hear the cries from CAP over yonder (they'll at least always have Showdown). But, come on GF, how can you look at the massive success of Mario Maker and not think about giving us at least a "Region Maker" (obviously using existing Pokemon but everything else plus making an in-depth character editor...).

  • The interviewer also should stop with the English-based references and jokes, the Japanese game makers are likely not going to get it. Though surprised they never heard of at least "Pikablu" rumor, feels that one would have crossed to the ocean in at least knowledge of an international joke.

  • No answers on Pokemon Sleep aside "wait and see". Never asked a question about Home though I imagine the answer would be similar.

  • Theory Of Pokemon Evolution: When asked if Pokemon actually go through the real process of evolution (the one that takes thousands of years) it was given an interestingly "don't know but not set in stone", even when the interviewer gave them an out saying these were fictional creatures. Now this could just be GF keeping their options open, after all we have the fossil Pokemon and some dex entries have mentioned the evolution process (Magikarp once were as fierce as Gyarados in the far past). Maybe one day they could have a mechanic where you can "primitize" your Pokemon to how its species was like thousands of years ago. *Shrugs*


18 Gyms Mistranslation:
So turns out the games having a Gym for every Type was a mistranslation of sorts. The Galar region does have 18 Gyms as part of its lore and there's a Major League & Minor League. However the main game's Major League will only be 8 Gyms and there will be Gyms in both Leagues that are version exclusive. There seems to be a competition between the Gyms during each year's Champion Cup of which one would be in the Major League and which one in the Minor.

So, what does this mean? Sounds like the Major League is made up of the eight Gyms who won over the other Types in their game version. The other Gyms in the game version that didn't are placed in a Minor League. Both Major & Minor Leagues will share Gyms but also have their own version exclusives. Also sounds like the Minor League will have less Gyms than the Major League.

So not as exciting as we originally thought, but it still does mean extra Gyms with some still being version exclusive. Now if we're to assume that the version exclusives were going to stay version exclusive no matter what here is how I see it working:

Major League will share 4 Gyms and have 4 version exclusive Gyms (so 8 Gyms combined) for a total of 12 Gyms.
Minor League will share 2 Gyms and have 2 version exclusive Gyms (so 4 Gyms combined) for a total of 6 Gyms.
12 + 6 = 18.

However, there's nothing saying they can't make one Gym in one versions Major League be in the Minor League in the other version and vice versa. With this in mind they have more options in how the version exclusives and size of the Minor League is done.

Though this doesn't answer where the Minor League Gyms are on the Galar Map which looks to barely have room for the 8 Major League Gyms.
I’ve thought about it a bit with this post in mind and remembered we’ve had a precedent for this type of between-gym competition before: Sabrina’s Gym and the Fighting Dojo in RBG and it’s sequels/remakes.

In those games, the Dojo is relegated to just an optional area of specialty trainers and your reward for beating all of them is a Pokémon. Maybe that’s how the Minor League will fare? A sort of generic loser’s building in a few towns (as opposed to a Stadium) where you fight a few trainers and the leader for a prize (a mon, tm, item, etc.)?
 
Going to skip responding to other comments to get some of the major news out of the way:

101 Rapid-Fire Questions:
  • Party Experience: When asked if Exp. Share can be turned off, they said the "item doesn't exist". Then asked if you have to train each individually, it's said that they all gain experience FROM DEFAULT. Now this is important because this neither confirms or deny you can turn off the "Party Experience" feature. There's still hope it's an Option in the menu.

  • Future Dex: No comment on whether a future SwSh title will have all the Pokemon. This is notable because, when they first announced they plan on not having every Pokemon in SwSh, they said this was a new policy going forward. So the answer to this question should have been a straight "no" with maybe then clarifying the new policy. However with this "no comment" now that throws that policy change into question and, if they do include the whole dex in a future title, means these policy changes are pointless as they can just change their minds about it. Now, I of course would want the Pokemon games to have all the Pokemon, but if this is what happens this might be a start of a new trend we should be weary about: the initial paired games will only be restricted to the region dex and future releases will have the entire Dex. And if that happens, it may make players wonder whether it would be worth buying the initial paired games as they'll now more than ever be inferior to the later released versions. You're walking on thin ice here, GF. (BTW this is not to say I discourage them adding in more Pokemon for future releases, what I'm saying is them adding in the entire Dex after saying they couldn't/wouldn't feels like they're just placating us and leading us along while they mess around).

  • Why ask if they listen to the "Red Trainer theme" specifically and not just Pokemon music in general? Also why specifically ask if they do it while driving or on the train? A better question to ask would be "Do you listen to any Pokemon music outside of work? Where and doing what?".

  • Realistic Cries: Whoever's asking the question may want to do some research before asking these questions. He asks if some Pokemon will have 8-bit cries which the answer was no too... because they updated most Pokemon cries to being more realistic in XY!

  • No Difficulty: Surprise, surprise, no difficulty settings because they want players to be free to choose their own play style... which is what giving us difficulty levels would do. Or do they mean for trainers who want a more challenging experience they should ignore all the ways they can gain experience to purposely make their Pokemon low level. Is it really that hard to at least raise the levels, improve moves, and maybe give better moves to opposing trainers? And if you're worried that newer/younger players might get stuck if they chose a higher difficulty allow them to change the difficulty either in the options or when selecting the save file to load. Oh, and don't make them a post game unlock and only unlocked by one version...

  • If Zamazenta picks up Zacian's sword it'll become the most powerful Pokemon. Now obviously they're joking though now I have the image in my head where Zacian & Zamazenta are losing to a powerful foe. "It's no use" Zacian growls, "our powers alone aren't enough". "I know you don't like to but we may have to do it" Zamazenta tries persuading. "Grr, fine then" Zacian says facing Zamazenta. "LET US FUSE OUR POWER!" both howl as wind and light picks up around them. The powerful foe steps back, readying itself for what's coming next. "Ready?" Zacian asks. "Ready" Zamazenta answers. Zacian spits out his sword and Zamazenta picks it up. "I AM ALL POWERFUL!" Zamazenta says standing proudly. The powerful enemy looks on in confusion as Zacian walks under the shade of a big tree nearby, "yeah, yeah, wake me up when you're done".

  • Why specifically ask if Leon dyes his hair and not EVERY character with anime hair color? Actually why even ask that when you know the answer that it's anime hair. I get that GF probably may have told you what questions you could ask and what you couldn't but surely there was plenty of better questions than all the stupid ones you asked or are going to, especially when you and everyone already knows the answer.

  • Dynamax Show: So Dynamax isn't actually growing the Pokemon but is a "visual projection" with the Pokemon somewhere inside it (though even GF didn't think exactly how it worked, being unsure if the Pokemon is "just floating" inside it). I guess this at least explains how the Poke Ball also grows and dodges around real world physics if Dyanamax is just an energy construct and not a solid body.

  • Why would it be confusing if Aegislash was in the game? If anything it makes sense for it to be in the games. It just won't be a version exclusive.

  • Rise Of Competitive: They never really answered if they were surprised about the rise of the competitive Pokemon scene (thinking "it was great" is what they think about it, not if they were expecting it). Iwao and Morimoto are also the most competitive players in GF.

  • Also stop wasting questions asking ones you know they're obviously not going to answer. You should be using these questions to clarify things or actually ask honest curiosities.
  • Development Difficulty: On a scale of 1 to 10, the difficulty of developing Sword & Shield was a 9. Now a good interviewer would ask why that is but the guy asking the questions would rather try to be "cute" with his questions. Though at the very least when asked if "Crunch" was one of their moves they did say it's not one they want to use. Probably did mean there was crunch periods, especially if they rated the development experience a 9, but hopefully this also meant they ignored forcing a crunch if they could.

  • Slang Shrug: It's not likely we'll see any attempt to replicate a UK dialect or seeing slang terms. At least not in the English versions of the game, other language translators may through in some English words here and there to show its UK basis.

  • Yes Random Battles occur outside of the Wild Area WE'VE SEEN IT THE TRAILERS!

  • Starters Finals: They may actually keep the Starters evolutions (especially their final evos) secret this time around. I actually would like them to do that as well as keep any other evolutions secret for revealed Pokemon. Part of the fun of playing a new gen game is discovering new Pokemon that wasn't revealed beforehand. :bloblul:

  • One Word: In one word, Pokemon Sword & Shield is about "Aspiration". Now obviously the player and rivals are aspiring to be the Champion this time around, but the themes of past games have gone deeper than surface level so curious if there's any deeper levels of "aspiration".

  • Political?: Huh, when asked if the game was political instead of an outright "no" it was a "don't know". Now I can see hints of possible cultural commentary but whether it's political is an interesting case as it can be subjective whether it is or not. Pokemon does often push messages though it's the usual and universally accepted messages of "be good to each other" and "take care of nature". Is there any political message Pokemon can say that may be considered bias or even controversial? Considering current political climates I guess anything is possible, especially when we have political leaders who don't want to be good nor take care of nature.

  • Parenting Or Childhood: Pokemon are said to be games about being a child. Though are they? While I also don't think they're games about being a parent, the playable character's age honestly doesn't feel like a factor in the game design 99% of the time. It's more about the adventure and the experience gained from it by interacting with other Pokemon and characters.

  • Pokemon World Sausage: So when asked what the curry sausages are made of, they didn't want to answer. COWARDS! Just admit the true purpose of all those Tauros we've seen on ranches! Though I guess they at least didn't say it was artificial meat, if anything them not wanting to say what it was made of sort of confirms that it is Pokemon. And there's no reason to be coy about it, you guys even wrote an "out" for yourself about the ethics about eating a Pokemon: as long as you pick the bones clean and dump them into a river Arceus will resurrect it as it was before being slaughtered.

  • Wailmer family are still unconfirmed...

  • Mapless Planet: There's no map of the Pokemon planet. Makes sense, though also I'd imagine it would mostly like the real world map anyway.

  • Rhyme City MIA: So it's unclear whether Rhyme City is canon or not to at least the core series. Don't see why it wouldn't be, for one thing it'll be the Rhyme City of the games and not the movie version.

  • Masuda says his earliest memory of hearing about Pokemon was in 1992, 4 years before the Gen I games.

  • Gotta Catch 'Em: Something I didn't know, the original catchphrase for the English side was "Catch 'Em If You Can". I'm guessing this was maybe based off the original Japanese catchphrase which, when translated, was simply "Gotta Catch Pokemon". The Japanese version never really pushed the "catch them all" idea to the forefront, thus why Ash only catching a handful of Pokemon in the anime didn't seem that off.

  • Starter Types: GF had thought about using other Types for Starters but Grass, Fire & Water just makes the most sense. Which I get what they mean, because if you look at the other "triangles" that are possible they all do feel odd in some way. Plus there's the classical element angle which is easy to understand. Though even if they don't ever make an official group of Starters anything outside Grass/Fire/Water, I don't think they should maybe rule out creating another group of three-stage Pokemon which form their own Type Triangle and offer them as give Pokemon early on as a sort of "second option".

  • Under Tangela's vines is darkness. (Insert Kingdom Hearts joke here).

  • Masuda doesn't like Venomoth's back. He also didn't think the plush of the Gen I Bug-types like Caterpie and Venomoth would sell well but they did to his surprise.

  • Satoshi Tajiri wrote all the TV messages in Red & Blue, including adding in the "Stand By Me" reference which is a favorite movie of his.

  • Just Animals: So according to GF, Pokemon aren't "that sentient" and more just making it by and living. Which doesn't really jive with things we've seen in the games and other media. Is GF's honest viewpoint is that Pokemon aren't sentient or are they just saying that because, much like they did in Gen V, they sort of want to dodge the ethical question of people keeping Pokemon as pets when they have the ability to be at least as conscious as a human?

  • Pokemon Snap 2 still looks to be only a dream...

  • Virtual Boy Game: GF was thinking about making a non-Pokemon game for the Virtual Boy but by the time they had the opportunity to the Virtual Boy was on its way out. Masuda said he personally liked the Virtual Boy. Now, to be fair, just looking at the games alone there was a batch that looked perfectly fine and fun even. The problem is that the Virtual Boy sucked as a system because the screen was red so staring at it too long made your eyes hurt. Thinking about it, was a bit of a missed opportunity for Nintendo not to release a Virtual Boy game collection for the 3DS to give the good games on the system maybe a second chance or at least be on a good system.

  • Nintendo never asked if GF was interested in making a console RPG in the past (NOTE: This isn't the same of GF not wanting to make one, though at the same time GF seemed perfectly fine with sticking to the handhelds until the Switch). They're also not interested at the moment making a game with another Nintendo franchise (which makes sense, Nintendo would probably be WAY MORE involved with the development then they want them to be).

  • GameFreak Magazine will never be coming back. Real shame... Wait, GameInformer why are you asking for someone to make what would be a competing magazine?

  • Let's Go Future: So questions of a sequel to Let's Go was a "no comment"... hard to tell whether that means it's a definite yes or no. I'm at least for now believe for the Switch's lifespan we're done with Let's Go.

  • Masuda's most flattering fan interaction was when he went to France he said on Twitter he didn't speak French so a group of around 20 fans, some who spoke Japanese, me him at the airport to translate for him and show him around. They talked about Pokemon, had lunch together, and went to an arcade. It was a really flattering experience for him.

  • AZ's Mystery: When asked about AZ's "deal" they didn't give an answer. Seemed really odd as Masuda was head director and Ohmori was planning director so out of anyone they should know. So either they didn't really plan much out for AZ besides what we saw and been told later or maybe AZ has some other secrets to be revealed in future games?

  • Professor Funding... Too Many "Secrets": The answer to who is funding the Pokemon Professors was "a secret". Seemed rather ominous as an obvious default answer would be the Pokemon League. Of course a lot of these answers feel like Masuda and Ohmori don't know how to answer them so they're just shrugging them off with either joke answers or being ambiguous/"mysterious". While I'm all for asking some "deep" questions if this is how they're going to answer maybe should just focus on questions concerning mechanics in the game and experiences they'd had.

  • Masuda's favorite arcade game is Xevious.

  • Masuda always wanted to make a game like "R-Type". This was an answer to a question whether they're tired of making Pokemon games. Once again feels like a dodge possibly out of conflicting feeling of wanting to say "yes" and "no". Though since Masuda isn't the lead director anymore he should have the free time to make that "R-Type" game, maybe after Little Town Hero.

  • No Pokemon Maker: The fans will never be given the opportunity to make their own species of Pokemon. Probably for the best, even though I do hear the cries from CAP over yonder (they'll at least always have Showdown). But, come on GF, how can you look at the massive success of Mario Maker and not think about giving us at least a "Region Maker" (obviously using existing Pokemon but everything else plus making an in-depth character editor...).

  • The interviewer also should stop with the English-based references and jokes, the Japanese game makers are likely not going to get it. Though surprised they never heard of at least "Pikablu" rumor, feels that one would have crossed to the ocean in at least knowledge of an international joke.

  • No answers on Pokemon Sleep aside "wait and see". Never asked a question about Home though I imagine the answer would be similar.

  • Theory Of Pokemon Evolution: When asked if Pokemon actually go through the real process of evolution (the one that takes thousands of years) it was given an interestingly "don't know but not set in stone", even when the interviewer gave them an out saying these were fictional creatures. Now this could just be GF keeping their options open, after all we have the fossil Pokemon and some dex entries have mentioned the evolution process (Magikarp once were as fierce as Gyarados in the far past). Maybe one day they could have a mechanic where you can "primitize" your Pokemon to how its species was like thousands of years ago. *Shrugs*


18 Gyms Mistranslation:
So turns out the games having a Gym for every Type was a mistranslation of sorts. The Galar region does have 18 Gyms as part of its lore and there's a Major League & Minor League. However the main game's Major League will only be 8 Gyms and there will be Gyms in both Leagues that are version exclusive. There seems to be a competition between the Gyms during each year's Champion Cup of which one would be in the Major League and which one in the Minor.

So, what does this mean? Sounds like the Major League is made up of the eight Gyms who won over the other Types in their game version. The other Gyms in the game version that didn't are placed in a Minor League. Both Major & Minor Leagues will share Gyms but also have their own version exclusives. Also sounds like the Minor League will have less Gyms than the Major League.

So not as exciting as we originally thought, but it still does mean extra Gyms with some still being version exclusive. Now if we're to assume that the version exclusives were going to stay version exclusive no matter what here is how I see it working:

Major League will share 4 Gyms and have 4 version exclusive Gyms (so 8 Gyms combined) for a total of 12 Gyms.
Minor League will share 2 Gyms and have 2 version exclusive Gyms (so 4 Gyms combined) for a total of 6 Gyms.
12 + 6 = 18.

However, there's nothing saying they can't make one Gym in one versions Major League be in the Minor League in the other version and vice versa. With this in mind they have more options in how the version exclusives and size of the Minor League is done.

Though this doesn't answer where the Minor League Gyms are on the Galar Map which looks to barely have room for the 8 Major League Gyms.
For the evolution bit, I feel like Regional Variants require the theory of evolution to apply to pokemon for that to work. Unless those adaptations apply over the course of a lifetime (unlikely as native variants can exist in variant regions), evolution is taking place if the species gradually change over generations.
 
After looking at the original quotes in-depth, I unfortunately have to place the blame squarely on Game Freak here. (Barely) paraphrasing, the statement "there are 18 gyms in Galar, 8 major league and 10 minor league" in no way reasonably implies "all 10 minor league gyms are background-only and can never be battled". Not even if you throw in "the game has 8 Gym Badges" on top.

And TPCi did clarify the latter part: they directly said "Each version will have eight Gym Leaders that Trainers can battle" which flat-out means "the other 10 leaders can't be battled". No postgame battles, no side battles without a badge, no Fighting Dojo. They just can't be battled at all.

:(

---

Unrelated side note: the question "Is there a Mrs. Mime?" must've been really hard to translate. Shame we didn't get to hear the translation.
 
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What a mess this week has been. Well, at the very least, we get the livestream tomorrow so that’s something to look forward to. Hoping for an official reveal of Impidimp.
 
What a mess this week has been. Well, at the very least, we get the livestream tomorrow so that’s something to look forward to. Hoping for an official reveal of Impidimp.
Jinxed it, now Impidimp will be the only new reveal tomorrow. :kappa:

Now that i think about it, Alola technically had a "gym" as well..i really hope thats not the case tho, the kantonian gym sucked.
It's sadly worse. Saying "Galar has 10 minor league Gyms" is less like saying "Alola has a Gym" and more like saying "Alola has a golf course" or "the Kalos Power Plant has five entrance rooms".
 
They should have never mentioned 18 gyms, there are... very few ways to interpret that. How else was Game Informer supposed to report that? Not to mention there were so many non-answers throughout the entire piece, I don't blame them for picking out the only truly interesting, click worthy piece of information.

Given that they've now corrected themselves and each game has only 8 gyms, I'm guessing the most realistic scenario is that there will be a few shared leaders, more than one or two unique leaders per game, and at best we'll get mentions of the exclusive or essentially non-existent "minor league" leaders.

We know from the Affleck leak that the 4th gym is lead my Opal and specializes in Fairy, and another leader was named Kabu but a type wasn't given. I'm assuming they are the third, and are all shared between games*. Maybe the last 4 leaders are all different so:

Grass
Water
?
Fairy
Fighting/Ghost
?/?
?/?
?/?

5/18 types are already represented, 1 is unknown, and at best we'll have 6 more unique leaders. That will leave 6 types in the dust (watch one of these be Dark...).

*I'm assuming that the leaker would have mentioned if the gym leaders were unique to one version, but they didn't specify that Sirfetch'd was an exclusive so they could be going off of Sword only. Kabu and Opal could very well be Sword exclusive as well, which means we could get 2 more leaders. This ideal scenario leaves 4 types gym-less.
 
Pikachu315111 I wonder when this interview may have been conducted, as Aegislash does appear on that Dynamax camera site, so it’s in. Or maybe they’re being coy about returning Pokemon in general.

Also watching the interview made the Dynamax thing a lot more clear, as the way it had been stated didn’t seem as clear on what was going on. It’s kinda similar to what the Tapus do for their exclusive Z-move in a way, neh? It also gives an in-universe explanation for Dynamax Levels and why only certain individuals in certain species can Gigantimax. I do reckon their lack of explanation is more of not thinking about it as much as fans usually do.
 
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Because knowing those things isn't necessary to beat the game. I'm sure nudging the minority of players who are interested in anything beyond that towards the Internet where they can find communities of like-minded players does more for Gamefreak's sales numbers than any strategy guide or random NPC would.
You got it. I'm just frustrated because this is their most "buyer beware" of the main titles (between the new pricetag, the game being a consolle seller, and all the contradictory info we have got so far) and they're not doing their reputation any favor.
I, simple as that, need to buy a Switch (as I am sure a lot of other people) to play the game and I know I eventually will. A lot of people are just starving for technical information that would direct them to either buy everything on day one or wait for some decent sale bundles/discounts, or not buy at all.
Come to think of it, as I'm trying to go in blind while needing to know how the game works to decide if and when to purchase, I'd need a guinea pig to inform me about the game mechanics without spoiling the game/mons etc. Anyone volunteering? lol)
TLDR: clarity would help, but not help their sale figures. You have a point.

Going to skip responding to other comments to get some of the major news out of the way:

101 Rapid-Fire Questions:
  • Party Experience: When asked if Exp. Share can be turned off, they said the "item doesn't exist". Then asked if you have to train each individually, it's said that they all gain experience FROM DEFAULT. Now this is important because this neither confirms or deny you can turn off the "Party Experience" feature. There's still hope it's an Option in the menu.

  • Future Dex: No comment on whether a future SwSh title will have all the Pokemon. This is notable because, when they first announced they plan on not having every Pokemon in SwSh, they said this was a new policy going forward. So the answer to this question should have been a straight "no" with maybe then clarifying the new policy. However with this "no comment" now that throws that policy change into question and, if they do include the whole dex in a future title, means these policy changes are pointless as they can just change their minds about it. Now, I of course would want the Pokemon games to have all the Pokemon, but if this is what happens this might be a start of a new trend we should be weary about: the initial paired games will only be restricted to the region dex and future releases will have the entire Dex. And if that happens, it may make players wonder whether it would be worth buying the initial paired games as they'll now more than ever be inferior to the later released versions. You're walking on thin ice here, GF. (BTW this is not to say I discourage them adding in more Pokemon for future releases, what I'm saying is them adding in the entire Dex after saying they couldn't/wouldn't feels like they're just placating us and leading us along while they mess around).

  • Why ask if they listen to the "Red Trainer theme" specifically and not just Pokemon music in general? Also why specifically ask if they do it while driving or on the train? A better question to ask would be "Do you listen to any Pokemon music outside of work? Where and doing what?".

  • Realistic Cries: Whoever's asking the question may want to do some research before asking these questions. He asks if some Pokemon will have 8-bit cries which the answer was no too... because they updated most Pokemon cries to being more realistic in XY!

  • No Difficulty: Surprise, surprise, no difficulty settings because they want players to be free to choose their own play style... which is what giving us difficulty levels would do. Or do they mean for trainers who want a more challenging experience they should ignore all the ways they can gain experience to purposely make their Pokemon low level. Is it really that hard to at least raise the levels, improve moves, and maybe give better moves to opposing trainers? And if you're worried that newer/younger players might get stuck if they chose a higher difficulty allow them to change the difficulty either in the options or when selecting the save file to load. Oh, and don't make them a post game unlock and only unlocked by one version...

  • If Zamazenta picks up Zacian's sword it'll become the most powerful Pokemon. Now obviously they're joking though now I have the image in my head where Zacian & Zamazenta are losing to a powerful foe. "It's no use" Zacian growls, "our powers alone aren't enough". "I know you don't like to but we may have to do it" Zamazenta tries persuading. "Grr, fine then" Zacian says facing Zamazenta. "LET US FUSE OUR POWER!" both howl as wind and light picks up around them. The powerful foe steps back, readying itself for what's coming next. "Ready?" Zacian asks. "Ready" Zamazenta answers. Zacian spits out his sword and Zamazenta picks it up. "I AM ALL POWERFUL!" Zamazenta says standing proudly. The powerful enemy looks on in confusion as Zacian walks under the shade of a big tree nearby, "yeah, yeah, wake me up when you're done".

  • Why specifically ask if Leon dyes his hair and not EVERY character with anime hair color? Actually why even ask that when you know the answer that it's anime hair. I get that GF probably may have told you what questions you could ask and what you couldn't but surely there was plenty of better questions than all the stupid ones you asked or are going to, especially when you and everyone already knows the answer.

  • Dynamax Show: So Dynamax isn't actually growing the Pokemon but is a "visual projection" with the Pokemon somewhere inside it (though even GF didn't think exactly how it worked, being unsure if the Pokemon is "just floating" inside it). I guess this at least explains how the Poke Ball also grows and dodges around real world physics if Dyanamax is just an energy construct and not a solid body.

  • Why would it be confusing if Aegislash was in the game? If anything it makes sense for it to be in the games. It just won't be a version exclusive.

  • Rise Of Competitive: They never really answered if they were surprised about the rise of the competitive Pokemon scene (thinking "it was great" is what they think about it, not if they were expecting it). Iwao and Morimoto are also the most competitive players in GF.

  • Also stop wasting questions asking ones you know they're obviously not going to answer. You should be using these questions to clarify things or actually ask honest curiosities.
  • Development Difficulty: On a scale of 1 to 10, the difficulty of developing Sword & Shield was a 9. Now a good interviewer would ask why that is but the guy asking the questions would rather try to be "cute" with his questions. Though at the very least when asked if "Crunch" was one of their moves they did say it's not one they want to use. Probably did mean there was crunch periods, especially if they rated the development experience a 9, but hopefully this also meant they ignored forcing a crunch if they could.

  • Slang Shrug: It's not likely we'll see any attempt to replicate a UK dialect or seeing slang terms. At least not in the English versions of the game, other language translators may through in some English words here and there to show its UK basis.

  • Yes Random Battles occur outside of the Wild Area WE'VE SEEN IT THE TRAILERS!

  • Starters Finals: They may actually keep the Starters evolutions (especially their final evos) secret this time around. I actually would like them to do that as well as keep any other evolutions secret for revealed Pokemon. Part of the fun of playing a new gen game is discovering new Pokemon that wasn't revealed beforehand. :bloblul:

  • One Word: In one word, Pokemon Sword & Shield is about "Aspiration". Now obviously the player and rivals are aspiring to be the Champion this time around, but the themes of past games have gone deeper than surface level so curious if there's any deeper levels of "aspiration".

  • Political?: Huh, when asked if the game was political instead of an outright "no" it was a "don't know". Now I can see hints of possible cultural commentary but whether it's political is an interesting case as it can be subjective whether it is or not. Pokemon does often push messages though it's the usual and universally accepted messages of "be good to each other" and "take care of nature". Is there any political message Pokemon can say that may be considered bias or even controversial? Considering current political climates I guess anything is possible, especially when we have political leaders who don't want to be good nor take care of nature.

  • Parenting Or Childhood: Pokemon are said to be games about being a child. Though are they? While I also don't think they're games about being a parent, the playable character's age honestly doesn't feel like a factor in the game design 99% of the time. It's more about the adventure and the experience gained from it by interacting with other Pokemon and characters.

  • Pokemon World Sausage: So when asked what the curry sausages are made of, they didn't want to answer. COWARDS! Just admit the true purpose of all those Tauros we've seen on ranches! Though I guess they at least didn't say it was artificial meat, if anything them not wanting to say what it was made of sort of confirms that it is Pokemon. And there's no reason to be coy about it, you guys even wrote an "out" for yourself about the ethics about eating a Pokemon: as long as you pick the bones clean and dump them into a river Arceus will resurrect it as it was before being slaughtered.

  • Wailmer family are still unconfirmed...

  • Mapless Planet: There's no map of the Pokemon planet. Makes sense, though also I'd imagine it would mostly like the real world map anyway.

  • Rhyme City MIA: So it's unclear whether Rhyme City is canon or not to at least the core series. Don't see why it wouldn't be, for one thing it'll be the Rhyme City of the games and not the movie version.

  • Masuda says his earliest memory of hearing about Pokemon was in 1992, 4 years before the Gen I games.

  • Gotta Catch 'Em: Something I didn't know, the original catchphrase for the English side was "Catch 'Em If You Can". I'm guessing this was maybe based off the original Japanese catchphrase which, when translated, was simply "Gotta Catch Pokemon". The Japanese version never really pushed the "catch them all" idea to the forefront, thus why Ash only catching a handful of Pokemon in the anime didn't seem that off.

  • Starter Types: GF had thought about using other Types for Starters but Grass, Fire & Water just makes the most sense. Which I get what they mean, because if you look at the other "triangles" that are possible they all do feel odd in some way. Plus there's the classical element angle which is easy to understand. Though even if they don't ever make an official group of Starters anything outside Grass/Fire/Water, I don't think they should maybe rule out creating another group of three-stage Pokemon which form their own Type Triangle and offer them as give Pokemon early on as a sort of "second option".

  • Under Tangela's vines is darkness. (Insert Kingdom Hearts joke here).

  • Masuda doesn't like Venomoth's back. He also didn't think the plush of the Gen I Bug-types like Caterpie and Venomoth would sell well but they did to his surprise.

  • Satoshi Tajiri wrote all the TV messages in Red & Blue, including adding in the "Stand By Me" reference which is a favorite movie of his.

  • Just Animals: So according to GF, Pokemon aren't "that sentient" and more just making it by and living. Which doesn't really jive with things we've seen in the games and other media. Is GF's honest viewpoint is that Pokemon aren't sentient or are they just saying that because, much like they did in Gen V, they sort of want to dodge the ethical question of people keeping Pokemon as pets when they have the ability to be at least as conscious as a human?

  • Pokemon Snap 2 still looks to be only a dream...

  • Virtual Boy Game: GF was thinking about making a non-Pokemon game for the Virtual Boy but by the time they had the opportunity to the Virtual Boy was on its way out. Masuda said he personally liked the Virtual Boy. Now, to be fair, just looking at the games alone there was a batch that looked perfectly fine and fun even. The problem is that the Virtual Boy sucked as a system because the screen was red so staring at it too long made your eyes hurt. Thinking about it, was a bit of a missed opportunity for Nintendo not to release a Virtual Boy game collection for the 3DS to give the good games on the system maybe a second chance or at least be on a good system.

  • Nintendo never asked if GF was interested in making a console RPG in the past (NOTE: This isn't the same of GF not wanting to make one, though at the same time GF seemed perfectly fine with sticking to the handhelds until the Switch). They're also not interested at the moment making a game with another Nintendo franchise (which makes sense, Nintendo would probably be WAY MORE involved with the development then they want them to be).

  • GameFreak Magazine will never be coming back. Real shame... Wait, GameInformer why are you asking for someone to make what would be a competing magazine?

  • Let's Go Future: So questions of a sequel to Let's Go was a "no comment"... hard to tell whether that means it's a definite yes or no. I'm at least for now believe for the Switch's lifespan we're done with Let's Go.

  • Masuda's most flattering fan interaction was when he went to France he said on Twitter he didn't speak French so a group of around 20 fans, some who spoke Japanese, me him at the airport to translate for him and show him around. They talked about Pokemon, had lunch together, and went to an arcade. It was a really flattering experience for him.

  • AZ's Mystery: When asked about AZ's "deal" they didn't give an answer. Seemed really odd as Masuda was head director and Ohmori was planning director so out of anyone they should know. So either they didn't really plan much out for AZ besides what we saw and been told later or maybe AZ has some other secrets to be revealed in future games?

  • Professor Funding... Too Many "Secrets": The answer to who is funding the Pokemon Professors was "a secret". Seemed rather ominous as an obvious default answer would be the Pokemon League. Of course a lot of these answers feel like Masuda and Ohmori don't know how to answer them so they're just shrugging them off with either joke answers or being ambiguous/"mysterious". While I'm all for asking some "deep" questions if this is how they're going to answer maybe should just focus on questions concerning mechanics in the game and experiences they'd had.

  • Masuda's favorite arcade game is Xevious.

  • Masuda always wanted to make a game like "R-Type". This was an answer to a question whether they're tired of making Pokemon games. Once again feels like a dodge possibly out of conflicting feeling of wanting to say "yes" and "no". Though since Masuda isn't the lead director anymore he should have the free time to make that "R-Type" game, maybe after Little Town Hero.

  • No Pokemon Maker: The fans will never be given the opportunity to make their own species of Pokemon. Probably for the best, even though I do hear the cries from CAP over yonder (they'll at least always have Showdown). But, come on GF, how can you look at the massive success of Mario Maker and not think about giving us at least a "Region Maker" (obviously using existing Pokemon but everything else plus making an in-depth character editor...).

  • The interviewer also should stop with the English-based references and jokes, the Japanese game makers are likely not going to get it. Though surprised they never heard of at least "Pikablu" rumor, feels that one would have crossed to the ocean in at least knowledge of an international joke.

  • No answers on Pokemon Sleep aside "wait and see". Never asked a question about Home though I imagine the answer would be similar.

  • Theory Of Pokemon Evolution: When asked if Pokemon actually go through the real process of evolution (the one that takes thousands of years) it was given an interestingly "don't know but not set in stone", even when the interviewer gave them an out saying these were fictional creatures. Now this could just be GF keeping their options open, after all we have the fossil Pokemon and some dex entries have mentioned the evolution process (Magikarp once were as fierce as Gyarados in the far past). Maybe one day they could have a mechanic where you can "primitize" your Pokemon to how its species was like thousands of years ago. *Shrugs*


18 Gyms Mistranslation:
So turns out the games having a Gym for every Type was a mistranslation of sorts. The Galar region does have 18 Gyms as part of its lore and there's a Major League & Minor League. However the main game's Major League will only be 8 Gyms and there will be Gyms in both Leagues that are version exclusive. There seems to be a competition between the Gyms during each year's Champion Cup of which one would be in the Major League and which one in the Minor.

So, what does this mean? Sounds like the Major League is made up of the eight Gyms who won over the other Types in their game version. The other Gyms in the game version that didn't are placed in a Minor League. Both Major & Minor Leagues will share Gyms but also have their own version exclusives. Also sounds like the Minor League will have less Gyms than the Major League.

So not as exciting as we originally thought, but it still does mean extra Gyms with some still being version exclusive. Now if we're to assume that the version exclusives were going to stay version exclusive no matter what here is how I see it working:

Major League will share 4 Gyms and have 4 version exclusive Gyms (so 8 Gyms combined) for a total of 12 Gyms.
Minor League will share 2 Gyms and have 2 version exclusive Gyms (so 4 Gyms combined) for a total of 6 Gyms.
12 + 6 = 18.

However, there's nothing saying they can't make one Gym in one versions Major League be in the Minor League in the other version and vice versa. With this in mind they have more options in how the version exclusives and size of the Minor League is done.

Though this doesn't answer where the Minor League Gyms are on the Galar Map which looks to barely have room for the 8 Major League Gyms.
AZ and Floette-E were in all likelihood part of the Z plot that got scrapped, so they're never going to be thorough about it. They fit the third game modus operandi, as Zygarde: hinted at, present but not core to the experience of the first two games, possibly a lot to be worked on.

As far as evolution goes, as someone as already stated, they did a pretty good job with regional variants. Keep it, expand on it and I think we're good at that.
 
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Thinking of it a little more... we are thinking of gyms as the way they were until Gen VI... but what if Galarian gyms are more like the Alolan Island Challenge?

The Minor League gyms would be regular Trial Captains (think Ilima, who puts you a task and then battles you), and the Major League gyms would be the Grand Trials.

Technically, between Trials and Grand Trials, Gen VII had 12 mandatory specialists (counting the unsupervised Vast Poni Canyon trial as a specialist) before the Elite Four, so it's not like the series is still confined to 8.
 
Only 15 minutes to go, so here's the livestream link!

Also, since the last update was a few pages back, here's a refresher on the Galar Pokedex count thus far.

Kanto - 45 (44 original, 1 regional variant)
Johto - 24 (15 original, 5 cross-gen evolutions, 4 cross-gen pre-evolutions)
Hoenn - 29 (26 original, 2 regional variants, 1 cross-gen pre-evolution)
Sinnoh - 31 (19 original, 9 cross-gen evolutions, 3 cross-gen pre-evolutions)
Unova - 53 (all original)
Kalos - 26 (25 original, 1 cross-gen evolution)
Alola - 22 (all original)
Galar - 20 (18 original, 2 cross-gen evolutions)
Total - 250

Percentages (Rounded down)
Kanto - 29% of Kanto mons
Johto - 24% of Johto mons
Hoenn - 21% of Hoenn mons
Sinnoh - 28% of Sinnoh mons
Unova - 34% of Unova mons
Kalos - 38% of Kalos mons
Alola - 25% of Alola mons
 
Thinking of it a little more... we are thinking of gyms as the way they were until Gen VI... but what if Galarian gyms are more like the Alolan Island Challenge?

The Minor League gyms would be regular Trial Captains (think Ilima, who puts you a task and then battles you), and the Major League gyms would be the Grand Trials.

Technically, between Trials and Grand Trials, Gen VII had 12 mandatory specialists (counting the unsupervised Vast Poni Canyon trial as a specialist) before the Elite Four, so it's not like the series is still confined to 8.
That's why this is so disappointing. They said "you can only battle 8 of the Gym Leaders".
 
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Unrelated to the stream, but an event has been announced for LGPE in Japan; if people there pre-ordered SwSh, they're getting a shiny Krabby in LGPE. Looks more and more likely Krabby will be in SwSh.
 

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