Awkward-looking leaked Pokémon designs have been a staple of all Pokémon games. They are part of what keeps fans excited about what might come, even though most of the leaks will end up being fake.
However, some highly reputable pokéleakers have filtered the alternate Hisuian forms of returning Pokémon, on top of the new evolutions and even new Pokémon.
Among these forms, we have some of the most beloved Pokémon designs in the franchise. Changing them up can make or break the sales of a game, even for a big company like Game Freak. After all, Pokémon is one of the largest media franchises in the world.
Now, where do all these supposed leaks come from?
While some might believe that this is an elaborate hoax, the leaks are likely accurate as the game was sold in a few stores before its official release date. The entire Pokédex was revealed when a fan hacked into the game to search for its files.
Leaks have always been an issue for The Pokémon Company, with many reaching memetic levels. Still, with Pokemon Legends Arceus, they’ve reached MCU’s Spiderman: No Way Home levels of effort of keeping gameplay and new additions undercover.
The leaker who posted many of these spoilers is known as PoryLeeks. Previous leaks from other recognized leakers such as Khu did confirm the existence of new final evolutions and type combinations for starters months before the latest 3D renders were distributed online.
Specifically, Typhlosion was rumored to be a Fire/Ghost-type, Decidueye a Grass/Fighting-type, and Samurott a Water/Dark-type. Their designs definitely fit within this description, especially Decidueye’s, whose design is more similar to a new Pokémon than the original design.
Pokémon Legends Arceus is set in the Sinnoh region during the Feudal Japan period, and as expected, most returning Pokémon’s new forms fit within the theme. Most notably, Hisuian Growlithe has the appearance of the famous Japanese lion dogs believed to ward off evil spirits, the Komainu statues.
Pokémon fans across the internet have reacted in shock regarding the starters’ new final evolutions and other uncommon designs that fill the game’s data files.
Most notably, Hisuian Samurott’s design was warmly received, but H-Typhlosion and H-Decidueye’s had a more mixed reception. H-Typhlosion’s leaked 3D design didn’t feature any flames as some fans would’ve expected, and its doozy facial expression has been mocked almost universally on Twitter. A couple of hours later, an in-game model of Hisuian Typhlosion’s battle stance with flames helped assuage some of these complaints. Hisuian Decidueye has kept fans baffled by how over-the-top Feudal Japanese is different from its original form it looks. Hisuian Decidueye resembles a Ronin with a straw hat and a straw raincoat.
Redditors on r/PokeLeaks decided to wait until the games are released to analyze the walking and fighting animations to pass judgment.
Other majorly controversial forms include alternate forms for Dialga and Palkia, the Sinnoh region’s main legendaries.
Another significant leak was the new Force of Nature member, a pink Flying/Fairy genie Pokémon with both a Therian and Incarnate form. The Forces of Nature trio hails from the Unova region, featured in the fifth generation of Pokémon. Dataminers scoured the game files and found no trace of the original forms of nearly all of the Hisuian form Pokémon and their new evolutions, save for Dialga and Palkia.
One Redditor commented: “Dialga and Palkia forms look pretty bad, look like both have half melded with Arceus. Hopefully in game will look a lot better.”
Another commented: “Let’s see them in game. Some may grow on us too: don’t be hasty!”
Pokémon fans indeed tend to outrage (no pun intended) whenever any design, real or not, is leaked, as has happened with almost every generation to date. However, most grow into the newer designs once they are played with in-game.
Pokémon Legends Arceus is set to release worldwide on January 28, 2022, for the Nintendo Switch, priced at $59.99. With its open-world gameplay similar to Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and a brand new storyline exploring the past version of the beloved Sinnoh region, there’s no doubt that this game will be a before and after in the history of Pokémon games.