When fans compare the new regional fakes in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet to their real counterparts, they can see how this new feature may change in the future.
It appears that, among the many new features and gimmicks introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, the emphasis has shifted away from regional forms and toward regional fakes, with new Pokemon that resemble classic designs but are polar opposites. Since their debut in Sun and Moon, regional forms and evolutions have been a staple of new generations, with at least two new variants being promoted by Pokemon’s marketing. Despite the fact that rumors of a Paldean Diglett were based on leaks, the truth about Wiglett altered the landscape of Pokemon forms once more.
With Pokemon Scarlet and Violet officially released and fans scouring its Paldean Pokedex, these new regional fakes included not only the Wiglett line but also a new Toedscool line, marking Game Freak’s tentative first step into what could become its next series staple. While reactions to these Pokémon have been mixed, they do pave the way for future designs to explore previous concepts and reimagine them in novel and engaging ways. By analyzing the similarities and differences between the originals and the imitations, fans can begin to comprehend how regional imitations may evolve in the future.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Comparing Regional Fakes’ Visual Designs
Wiglett is not only the first of the two regional fake lines introduced in Scarlet and Violet, but it and its evolved form, Wugtrio, are arguably the best of the two, demonstrating inspiration from the Diglett line while adding their own unique twist. Even though the two lines share design elements such as a cylindrical body, button nose, and rounded head, there are significant differences between them, such as different coloring and the transition from Diglett’s dirt to Wiglett’s sand to Wugtrio’s boulder. Wiglett and Wugtrio are new Pokémon, not just new forms, despite their resemblance. Their design has changed sufficiently to indicate this.
On the other hand, Toedscool’s line and visual design are closer to the original Pokemon they are based on. Even down to the “tentacles” and orbs on their heads, the Tentacool and Toesdcool lines have similar physical characteristics. Their differences appear to be superficial, with the easiest distinction being that Tentacool’s color palette is blue and Toesdcool’s is green. The transition from Tentacruel’s pincer-like appendages to Toedscruel’s “nozzle” mouth is the only other clear distinction. Toesdcool’s line is more directly influenced by Tentacool’s than Wiglett’s.
The core of these regional forgeries appears to require that convergent Pokemon species appear visually as similar to their original as possible, even if certain design elements cannot be paralleled. For instance, Toedscool’s line keeping its “legs” separate from its counterparts’ tentacles is more likely due to its resemblance to the Gen 1 line than to any real-world inspiration. Future regional fakes would therefore need to be as similar to their original counterparts as possible in order to qualify as actual examples, as other examples of convergent evolution such as carcinization and the prevalence of crab-type Pokemon do not qualify as regional fakes.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Comparing Regional Fake Naming Conventions
In the world of Pokemon, characters, locations, and even Pokemon themselves can have meaningful names. Occasionally, Pokemon names have multiple interpretations that provide fans with insight into the Pokemon themselves, despite their lack of creativity. For instance, Scarlet and Violet’s Lechonk has a lengthy history, demonstrating that Game Freak, as with all of its other Pokemon, considers every aspect of regional fakes.
Fans acknowledge that Wiglett’s name may be little more than an adaptation of “Diglett,” with the name likely deriving from “wiggle” to refer to the Pokémon’s slimy, eel-like appearance. In contrast, the Toedscool line displays greater attention to detail, as its Paldean Pokedex entry classifies it as the Woodear Pokémon due to its resemblance to the same-named mushroom. The literal translation of the Japanese word for wood ear mushrooms, “kikurage,” is “tree jellyfish,” which aligns perfectly with Tentacool’s jellyfish-inspired line. Furthermore, the mushroom’s English name, “toadstool,” neatly parallels the naming style of “tentacle.”
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Comparing Regional Fakes’ Types
Despite the fact that the regional fakes share designs to attract attention and their different names indicate they are not regional variants, additional evidence suggests that these Pokémon are polar opposites. In both cases with the currently existing regional fake lines, this is best reflected not only in their designs but also in their typography. Since Wiglett’s and Diglett’s lines are based on distinct animals, namely moles and garden eels, respectively, Diglett’s line has remained a Ground-type even after being given a regional form, whereas Wiglett’s line is a Water-type. This should have served as an early warning sign that Wiglett was not a regional form.
Again, this is reflected in Tentacool and Toedscool, as the original Water/Poison type is in stark contrast to Scarlet and Violet’s Grass/Ground combination. In context with Wiglett’s line and its type, fans have noted that regional fakes have a distinct type advantage over their authentic counterparts. Some have argued that this was likely intentional, as Game Freak’s way of demonstrating explicitly that these forms were never intended to be regional. In fact, regional forms of currently existing Pokemon adapt to changes in their environment, retaining a portion of their original type, such as Paldean Wooper’s Ground type.
In the future, regional fakes might be made by turning existing designs upside down to make a whole new Pokémon. For example, if Game Freak created a convergent Electric-type Pokemon, the resulting regional fake would have a type weakness to Ground, according to the ideas presented thus far. At first, people thought that regional fakes would be bad because they would set a bad example. However, it is becoming clear that there is more nuance to these designs, which must take into account things like how the Pokemon looks and what type it is.