GameFreak sure knows how to kick off the year for its biggest franchise. While Zelda fans are left wondering whether or not they’ll even see a Breath of the Wild sequel, Pokémon fans have been treated to not one, not two, but three new game announcements in the past month alone.
While much of the attention has centered around the new Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes, there’s still a lot going for Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which finally brings an open-world sandbox environment to the series that was first teased in Sword and Shield.
Just going from the title, the plot Pokémon Legends: Arceus will likely involve the legendary Arceus in some form. It was first introduced in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, and it’s considered to be a bonafide god in the Pokémon universe. Clearly, the release of Diamond and Pearl remakes in the fall is a build up to tie into Pokémon Legends: Arceus in early 2022.
And it’s very likely that Arceus itself isn’t the only connection to Diamond and Pearl. In the original games, as in every entry of the Pokémon franchise, there is a villain-led team of baddies, whether it be Team Rocket from Red and Blue, or Team Yell from Sword and Shield.
In Diamond and Pearl, the villainous team happens to be called Team Galactic, led by none other than Cyrus of the Sinnoh region. Without going into too much spoiler territory, the fate of Cyrus is left ambiguous by the end of the Generation IV. And now, some fans are speculating that the antagonist could return in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
For starters, the uniform worn by characters in the trailer for Pokémon Legends: Arceus bears a symbol that heavily resembles the insignia for Cyrus’ Team Galactic. In fact, not only does it look like Team Galactic’s logo, but the kanji it’s based upon directly translates to “Galactic” in English.
Fans have also long speculated that time travel plays a major role throughout the series. Based on the trailer, we already know Pokémon Legends: Arceus will take place “long ago” in the Sinnoh region. It’s possible the world of Pokémon Legends: Arceus will feature an evil time-traveling Cyrus in the distant past.
While my first impressions of the game weren’t as positive as I thought they would be for the first open-world Pokémon title, the trailer is beginning to age like fine wine the more I consider the possibilities both from a gameplay and narrative perspective. Cyrus has long been one of my favorite Pokémon nemeses, and if he even makes a cameo appearance in Legends: Arceus, I will be overjoyed.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus launches on Nintendo Switch in 2022.