The Pokemon Company finally unveiled the designs and typings for the final evolutions of Pokemon Sun and Moon’s starters last night. With the reveal, several Reddit users are saying, the Pokemon Company and Gamefreak unmasked an extremely effective and well-thought out trolling move. The move fits in with the lore behind the fearsome-looking fire-type starter Pokemon, Incineroar, and it is more than a little hilarious in retrospect.
Since you are reading this article, you are likely already aware of yesterday’s huge Pokemon Sun and Moon news. In case you’re not up to date, though, the Pokemon Company debuted the third and final stages for each of the three starters that will be available in the upcoming Pokemon titles. The grass-type starter, a bow and arrow-slinging owl Pokemon, is named Decidueye, and the water-type, a mermaid/sea lion Pokemon, is named Primarina. The starter most relevant to this article, the fire-type, is modeled after a wrestler and is named Incineroar.
Way back in early July, detailed designs for all three of the starter evolutions were leaked from a Chinese Pokemon source. The leak, which has been covered multiple times by The Inquisitr, was taken quite seriously because many of the details it foretold were confirmed to be true in some of the Pokemon Company’s game teaser trailers after the leak was released.
One of the many things the leak said that the final starter evos would be based on an archer, a siren, and a wrestler. When it was announced that the fire starter would become a wrestler, the Pokemon community let out a collective groan. This is because a wrestler suggested partial fighting typing, and fire-fighting starters have become greatly despised.
When the Pokemon Company unveiled way back in 2002 that the fire starter’s evolution in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, Blaziken, would be a fire/fighting-type, Pokemon fans were happy with the decision. After all, the dual-typing had never been used for any Pokemon before. When the same dual-typing was reused for Pokemon Diamond and Pearl’s final-stage fire starter, Infernape, fans were bemused but gave Gamefreak a pass because the Pokemon’s design was so well-received. When fire/fighting appeared yet again as the typing for the Pokemon Black and White fire starter evo, Emboar, Pokemon lovers were downright angry. That was three consecutive generations of fire/fighting starters. From that point on, the dual-typing, especially for starters, was greatly maligned.
The fire/fighting trend was not repeated with Pokemon X and Y’s fire/psychic-type Delphox, but fans prepared themselves for the worst when they saw the Pokemon Sun and Moon fire-type starter evolution was based on a wrestler. The prospective Pokemon, which was at the time unnamed but was dubbed “Luchalitten,” quickly became hated. People who had fallen in love with Litten, the unevolved fire starter, swore off the Pokemon because of what it would later become. Not only would it transition from quadrupedal to a Pokemon that stands on two legs, another much-disliked attribute of Luchalitten, but Pokemon fans would be getting another fire/fighting type?
With last night’s news, though, Gamefreak changed everything. First, they revealed that the Pokemon, whose true name was revealed to be “Incineroar,” is not actually a fire/fighting-type. Instead, he is fire/dark. True, he is modeled after a wrestler, but not in a traditional sense. The Pokemon and its design are inspired by a heel, the term for the contestant who is assigned to act out the role of the “bad guy” in a staged wrestling bout. Both the Pokemon’s design and Pokedex entry support this, as Incineroar looks decidedly underhanded and is said to act very cold and abrasive most of the time.
Funnily enough, Incineroar’s tendency to alienate Pokemon fans and turn them against him before his true typing was revealed completely fits the actual role of a heel. Was it a coincidence or a brilliant trolling maneuver by the Pokemon Company and Gamefreak? Reddit user Seemingly_Sane very insightfully points out that it may have been the latter.
“From a wrestling perspective, getting hated by people is what a Heel should strive for. Gamefreak, either deliberately or by complete accident, made Incineroar exactly like that.”
“Have we been trolled?” comments fellow Pokemon fan 1-3-4. “Well played, GF.”
“Yes we have,” answers user Mjangelvortex. “We’re talking about the same people who made an XY trailer that had Fennekin using Power Up Punch. This was definitely done on purpose.”
The last comment is referring to the marketing campaign leading up to the 2013 release of Pokemon X and Y. In the teaser trailers, Fennekin, the unevolved fire starter, was shown using fighting-type moves such as Power Up Punch. Was it actually an attempt by the Pokemon Company to trick people into believing that yet another fire/fighting starter was on the way?
Do you think the Pokemon Company and Gamefreak were just trying to play into Incineroar’s “heel” persona by making him into the “bad guy?” What do you think of the big bad Pokemon now that you know his typing? Make yourself heard in the comments section below.
And as always, Train On, Pokemon fans.
[Featured image by Pokemon/Creative Commons]