Everything you might have missed in the Pokémon Sword and Shield Direct
Pokémon Sword and Shield just had their June Direct, and they revealed a bunch of new information. They unveiled new Pokémon, new characters, and new areas of Galar that we can explore. However, there is plenty of small details hidden throughout the Direct. They’re little details that can foreshadow future news for the game.
In the very beginning of the Direct, a new trailer for Pokémon Sword and Shield was shown off. In this trailer, we got to see more footage of the playable trainer traveling the Galar region. We got to see more of the towns, including the city with steam coming off of it. We even get to see day and night versions of some of the cities. The tall tower in the middle of the Galar map is shown prominently for the first time since the map first appeared.
During the trailer, we see the trainer riding their bike. Bikes were the old-way of transportation for players in older Pokémon games until the games allowed gamers to summon Pokémon to ride through the region. The device used to gather Pokémon to ride on was called Poké Ride in Sun and Moon.
Not only is the Bike back in Pokémon Sword and Shield, but it has also received an upgrade. The trailer shows the trainer riding on water. In all Pokémon games, before Poké Ride was there, gamers needed to teach their Pokémon specific HM to surf on water or fly to different towns. Poké Ride got rid of HMs, but now it seems like Bikes are more versatile than ever. If we can ride on the water with them, then what would be the point of calling in a Pokémon to use surf? The Direct will later reveal that there’s a Taxi system in Sword and Shield, and trainers can use them to fly to towns they have already visited.
We see several Pokémon flying above ground in Sword and Shield, out of reach for the trainer. Will we be able to summon a Pokémon to hover above the ground, or will the Bike upgraded to fly as well?
At the end of the trailer, we witness the playable trainer face off against the grass Gym Leader, Milo. Both the trainer and Milo wear jerseys with numbers on them. The trainer wears a jersey with the number 65 on it, while Milo wears one with 831. At this moment, we don’t know the significance of these numbers. Since character customization is coming back, we wouldn’t be too surprise if players are capable of changing their jerseys.
As the gym battle is about to start, the trailer goes into the point-of-view of a hovering camera. We know it’s a camera because of the white corners that appear along the sides while filming something. On the side of the screen, there’s an image of a Rotom mixed with a drone. It looks like Rotom takes control of a drone and films the gym battle.
New Pokémon and Random Encounters
The Direct then moves on by revealing more about the new Pokémon first shown. These new Pokémon are Wooloo, Gossifleur, Eldegoss, Drednaw, and Corviknight. There aren’t too many details about these Pokémon that we haven’t revealed before. The only thing worth noting is the fact that Corviknight looks like a dark knight from classical, medieval tales, which explains why it is a flying/steel type. Its feathers are probably as robust as steel, and they look like a knight’s armor.
The next major part of the Direct is giving more information on the Wild Area. The Wild Area is a large section of open land that the trainer can traverse in freely. It isn’t a usual route where it has a straight forward starting point and destination. Trainers can walk around the Wild Area anywhere they want.
Based on the limited footage shown off, the Wild Area appears to be mostly that huge land where the lakes reside in the Galar Map. However, as the Direct mentions, the Wild Area stretches to the city to city. We wouldn’t be surprised that if everything below the black castle in the map, that isn’t a town, is a part of the Wild Area. While we do know that weather does affect the Wild Area, there were certain parts in the Direct that clearly showed the Wild Area having different terrains. We also see the bridge in the center of the Galar map as part of Wild Area, and the bridge is further north from the large lakes.
We see Pokémon walking through the Wild Area just like we did in Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, meaning we probably can confront different Pokémon directly and battle them. However, we’re not convinced that random encounters are entirely gone. For one, in the reveal trailer for Pokémon Sword and Shield, we see a trainer go into a Pokémon battle with a wild Pokémon while sneaking in the grass. There was no sign of the Pokémon on screen, and the grass appeared to be empty.
Admittedly, the announcement trailer for Sword and Shield could have been using early development footage of the game. We would later see the trainer sneaking in the grass again in today’s Direct. This time, we see the trainer sneaking up towards something hidden in the grass.
With that said, we are not ruling the possibility that the Wild Area is the only place to encounter wild Pokémon walking in the overworld. There’s a chance that the Wild Area functions like Pokémon Let’s Go, while the towns and areas near cities work just like any old Pokémon game.
Dynamax is a new feature in Pokémon Sword and Shield that turns Pokémon into giants. Dynamaxing Pokémon gives them Max Moves, which are extra-powerful moves. We see an example of Max Moves in the Nintendo Direct. At the 8:52 mark in the Direct video, we see a Raichu’s move before Dynamaxing. Raichu’s moves are Thunderbolt, Light Screen, Brick Break, and Quick Attack. After Dynamaxing, Raichu’s moves become Max Lightning, Max Guard, Max Knuckle, and Max Strike.
What’s interesting is that Light Screen is a Psychic move, yet turns into Max Guard, which is seemingly a normal type move. Max Guard, Max Strike, and Quick Attack have a white circle next to their names. Quick Attack becomes Max Strike after Dynamaxing, which implies they are both normal type moves. Light Screen, on the other hand, had a swirl next to its name, suggesting that the surge represents psychic type moves. Nonetheless, Light Screen turns into Max Guard, which has a circle next to its name. There is a possibility that Max Guard is the default Max Move for all moves that raise the defenses for Pokémon, meaning it doesn’t matter what the original type for the move was.
The next focus in the Direct was introducing the new major characters in the game. We get to meet the undefeated champ of Galar, Leon. Leon wears a royal mantle, and a t-shirt with a sword and shield on it (get it?). Gym battling is a big sport in Galar, so the Gyms are stadiums filled with people. Leon is in many ways the ultimate sports star in Galar. Just like how race car drivers have different sponsors all over their jackets, Leon has several sponsors on the back of his mantle. You can see it at the 12:43 mark in the Direct video above.
Hop is Leon’s younger brother, and he is one of your rivals. The translator for Shigeru Ohmori says that Hop will be one of your rivals, implying there will be more than one rival in the game. Is that the case, or was that a mistranslation? Hope has a logo on his backpack that is identical to the logo that Leon has on his shorts. It’s a black and red logo, and we don’t know if it means anything or the brother love the same brands.
Continuing the trees/plant theme of past Pokémon Professors, Professor Magnolia of Galar, which derives from the name of a flower. She also carries a crane that looks like a Corviknight. Her necklace has a gem that oddly looks like Z Crystals from Pokémon Sun and Moon. It is most likely a coincidence, but what if it’s not? Then there’s Sonia, Magnolia’s granddaughter, and assistant. She has the same kind of armband that the main trainer uses to Dynamax; does that imply she is also a Pokémon trainer and not just an assistant?
Finally, the Direct ends with a showcase of the two boxed Legendary Pokémon. They are Zacian and Zamazenta, and they are both wolf Pokémon. Zamazenta has a large shield covering its body, while Zacian carries a sword Dark Soul-style.
In the footage at the end of the Direct, there’s a CG video showing Zacian and Zamazenta fighting against each other. They quickly stop and take notice of the rustling in the leaves. They stand back-to-back as if they are preparing to face against something together. What they are making for we don’t know. Are they about to meet a third Legendary or the evil Pokémon team that we have yet to see?
That’s all the hidden details we can spot in the Pokémon Direct for June 2019. Nevertheless, there may still be many more information that we have a miss. Keep checking to see to more on Pokémon Sword and Shield.