With Pokémon Sword and Shield only two weeks away from release, the season is peak time for leakers to start revealing in-game secrets. Last generation, with Pokémon Sun and Moon, players were able to datamine the game to uncover tons of information, from Pokémon stats to typing, to in-game sprite designs and movesets.
This time around, a leaker on the internet has done it the old fashioned way, taking a final copy of Pokémon Sword and Shield and playing it guerilla-style, release screenshots of various new monsters in short intervals. A second leaker also got their hands on the games strategy guide, and showed off some in-game artwork and new designs for the selected gigantamax forms of various Pokémon as well.
There was question as to whether or not these leaks were fake, but at this time the general Pokémon community believes them to be real. That said, if this is an elaborate hoax, the designs being released are thus far confirming the few previous leaks that are considered to be true, most notably the famous 'Ben Affleck' leak from May of this year.
From this point forward, massive spoiler alert for those reading. Several designs, typings and names of new Pokémon are going to be discussed. While I won't post any pictures of them up here, I will be leaving links to the reddit and twitter streams currently following the leaks as they are revealed. If you don't want to be spoiled, please skip to the bottom of the article. You have been warned.
Thus far, there have been 94 new confirmed Pokémon from these leaks over the past three days, with the leaker playing through the game. The full Pokedex is 400 Pokémon, so including the estimated 14 new Galarian forms, there are 81 new Pokémon and around 319 Pokémon from previous games are included in Sword and Shield. There is currently no estimate on how many Gigantamax Pokémon there are, though a total of 9 new Gigantamax forms have been confirmed as well.
A full chart has been compiled here, for those to see which of their favorites made it into the game. Some highlights include the fact that all starters and legendaries from previous games, save for the Charmander line and Mew, are not present in Sword and Shield at all.
The leakers biggest reveals thus far have been the evolutions of the three starters. Grooky, Scorbunny and Sobbles final evolutions are officially Rillaboom, Cinderace, and Intelleon respectively. All three are mono-types, the first time that has happened since Generation two, and all three fit into the long theorized molds of being a musician, football player and spy, respectively.
Outside of the starters, we also now have the full evolution lines for Wooloo, RolyColy, Impidimp, Yamper, and Corviknight, who is the third stage evolution of what is believed to be a pure flying-type named Rookidee. We also got glimpses of the long-lost squirrel Pokémon that were hinted at in the Affleck leaks, as well as a screenshot of the Elephant-like Pokémon that was briefly seen in possession of Chairman Rose.
Other highlights include a Ice/Bug moth, a Fire/Bug centipede, a Ground-typed snake, a Grass/Dragon apple creature, fossil Pokémon that can be mixed and matched together (from what is believed to be four different fossils) and a purple Poison/Electric monster that looks like a baby dinosaur of some kind.
New Gigantamax and Galarian forms have been confirmed as well, including a Galarian form for Yamask and Corsola, each with an evolution, the evolution of Galarian Ponyta, and a possible Galarian form for Farfetch'd. Gigantamax forms include some for other Gen 8 monsters such as Rolycoly, the Fire/Bug centipede, and unexpected choices such as Kingler and Garbodor.
While it is believed that these are all the Pokémon at this time, the leakers do not seem to be slowing down either on other details. As the story evolves, it is possible that more Pokémon designs, names and typings will be revealed, as well as post-game content and story elements.
For those who wish to follow all the action themselves, the Pokémon Sword and Shield Leaks reddit has the most up to date information. The twitter channel aptly named Pokemon Sword/Shield Leaks, and the Spanish-speaking twitter channel Centro Pokemon Leaks, are also up to date on the leaked images as they come in.
What are your thoughts on the new Pokémon designs? Leave your comments below.