Gaming Editor Tom Martin summarises the action of the 24-hour Pokémon Sword and Shield live stream, including the reveal of a mysterious new Pokémon!

Incoming Online Editor for Redbrick Gaming. Corphish stan.
Last updated

I must be a glutton for punishment, because the moment Pokémon announced that there would be a 24-hour Pokémon live stream, I was already set-up with a mug full of coffee and a laptop ready to cover all 86,400 seconds of it.

‘[Setting] up a live camera and conducting some Pokémon observation research in Glimwood Tangle, a strange forest area in the Galar region’ sounds like a fantastic treat for any Pokémon fan! Imagine those cool end bits from every David Attenborough show where the crew are all messing around with penguins and stuff, but with Pokémon instead! Surely this was going to be a crazy display of the wealth of Pokémon populating the new region! Unfortunately not… fans were in fact rewarded with an example of why animal/nature researchers, documentary makers are some of the most patient people you’ll ever meet…

Pokémon Sword and Shield takes place in the Galar region, based off the UK!

Think I’m exaggerating? Here is the first hour of the notes I took:

  • 9:00 – We’re off!
  • 9:05 – Pikachu appears!
  • 9:10 – A group of Morelull in the background!
  • 9:37 – Unidentified Pokémon cry
  • 9:46 – A bush rustled.
  • 9:54 – A lone Swirlix floats off in the distance.

Granted, the stream wasn’t as painful as the time I watched a Bobblehead for 24-hours straight, then – presumably as a result of some kind of induced madness – make wildly inaccurate guesses as to what Fallout 76 was going to be… this stream had twinkly music at least.

And, of course, patient fans were eventually rewarded. After occasional glimpses, familiar cries and the sound of galloping hooves, a Pokémon believed to be a Galarian Ponyta was strolled out into the clearing. Working a fabulous glowing pastel blue and pink mane, as well as an adorable new horn, the design seems to find inspiration in the Unicorn. Drawing on the famous mythological creature makes a lot of sense considering the new region, Galar’s, reminiscence of the UK, the Unicorn being Scotland’s national animal.

The design seems to find inspiration in the Unicorn.

As for how the Pokémon will function in the game in general e.g. type, ability, nothing has been officially revealed: though, due to the appearance of Pokémon such as Swirlix (Fairy), Morelull (Grass/Fairy), Shiinotic (Grass/Fairy) and Phantump (Grass/Ghost) many are speculating a likely Fairy typing with a possible Ghost secondary type to play on the cryptic nature of its appearance. The Pokémon will be the third to receive the regional variant treatment in Generation 8, following the Zigzagoon, Linoone and Koffing, Weezing lines but it is unknown if the Pokémon will receive a new third stage, as is the case foe the former – with the Gene Simmons inspired Obstagoon – and Farfetch’d, who received a new evolution in the form of the Leek Knight, Sirfetch’d.

UPDATE: The mysterious Pokémon was revealed to be a Galarian Ponyta. The ‘Unique Horn’ (well played Game Freak) Pokémon is a pure Psychic type and will be exclusive to the Shield edition of the game!

Ponyta’s Generation 1 evolution, Rapidash, also made a cameo; as the stream concluded, heavier hooves were heard as well as the Pokémon’s cry. Though nothing was shown for this Pokémon, I would hazard to guess that it’s design will steal from the Scottish coat of arms: a white horse with a golden horn bounded by a golden crown and chain. Or, perhaps, the Pokémon will closer resemble the Pegasus. I don’t know about you but flying around Galar on a rainbow Pegasus sounds pretty great to me.

The real breakout star of the show however was the – still technically unannounced – Impidimp. The noodle limbed tri-type (Fairy, Dark and Scoundrel) caused numerous moments of enragement throughout by not once but twice standing directly in front of the camera, just as the mysterious new Pokémon walked by. The Pokémon did all fans a favour by inspiring various memes to fill the downtime. Watching the imp’s antics over the course of the stream, I eventually came to quite like the little rotter with their nonchalant saunter and the way their weird feet made it sound like they were walking on little suction cups. Top job on that mad lad Game Freak.

And, by and large, top job on the entire production. It’s been a rough old time for the Pokémon developers since announcing that not all 800+ Pocket Monsters would be available in the game, with their poor social media manager subject to barrages of ‘#BringBacktheNationalDex’ (even though they have no say in the development of the games) day in day out. Along with the wealth of other new features such as stadium battles, dynamax, camping and cooking the title is shaping up to be a fantastic addition to the series!

All in all, though the stream was a little dull at times, a steady stream of 20,000 viewers on a 24 hour long looping PNG with some twinkly tunes is nothing to be scoffed at. I loved the fantastical aesthetic of the Glimwood Tangle itself, and I look forward to exploring it on my own adventure, but first, I’m excited to get a better look at Galarian Ponyta and Rapidash before Pokémon Sword and Shield release on November 15, 2019.

I stayed up 24 hours so you wouldn’t have to! Please have a look at some of my other articles:

Review: Spyro the Reignited Trilogy

Retrospective: Grand Theft Auto V

Or, check out mine and Editor Sam Nason’s thoughts on the original Sword/Shield trailer!

Pokémon Sword and Shield Announced