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Comparing Regional Fakes to Their Originals

Among the many new features & gimmicks introduced in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, it seems the focus has been drawn away from regional forms & onto regional fakes, with new Pokemon that take after classic designs but by contrast are total opposites. Since their debut back in Sun & Moon, regional forms & evolutions have been a popular fixture of new upcoming generations with at least one or two new variants showcased via Pokemon’s marketing. However, despite the rumors of a Paldean Diglett being based on leaks, the actual truth behind Wiglett changed the l&scape of Pokemon forms yet again.

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With Pokemon Scarlet & Violet officially launched & fans trawling through its Paldean Pokedex, these new regional fakes consisted of not just the Wiglett line but also a new Toedscool line, making it a tentative first step for Game Freak into a new gimmick that could be its next series staple. While reactions to these Pokemon have been mixed, it does open a door for future designs to explore previous concepts & reimagine them in new & interesting ways. By breaking down the similarities & differences between the originals & the copycats, fans can start to underst& how future regional fakes might evolve.

RELATED: The Science Behind Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s Regional Fakes


Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Comparing the Visual Designs of Regional Fakes

Of the two regional fake lines introduced in Scarlet & Violet, Wiglett is not only the first but it & its evolved form Wugtrio are arguably the best of the two that demonstrates the base inspiration from the Diglett line while providing its own unique spin. Though the two lines share common design elements such as a cylindrical body, button nose, & rounded head, there are significant differences too, such as different coloration & the transition from Diglett’s dirt to Wiglett’s s& & then Wugtrio’s boulder. Though they look similar, the design has enough altered to it that confirms Wiglett & Wugtrio are new Pokemon, not just new forms.

Toedscool’s line & its visual design, on the other h&, are a closer copy to the original Pokemon they are based upon. Both the Tentacool & Toesdcool lines share a similar appearance, each having the same general shape & form, right down to the “tentacles” & orbs on their heads. Their differences then seem to be superficial, with the easiest observation being a swapped blue color palette from Tentacool to Toesdcool’s green. The only other outright difference is the transition from Tentacruel’s pincer-like appendages to Toedscruel’s “nozzle” mouth. Compared to Wiglett, Toesdcool’s line is more directly inspired by Tentacool’s.

The core of these regional fakes then seems to require that convergent species of Pokemon must appear as close to their original as possible in terms of visual design, even if certain design elements can’t be easily paralleled. For example, Toedscool’s line keeping its “legs” from its counterparts’ tentacles is likelier due to it being based on the Gen 1 line & not because of any real-life fungal inspiration. Future regional fakes would therefore need to remain as similar to their original Pokemon in order to be actual examples, as other instances of convergent evolution like carcinization & Pokemon’s abundance of crabs don’t fall under regional fakes.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Comparing the Naming Conventions of Regional Fakes

pokemon scarlet violet toedscool toedscruel tentacool grass ground run reskin color palette regional form

In the world of Pokemon, names can carry significance for characters, locations, & even Pokemon themselves. Oftentimes, some Pokemon names aren’t overflowing with creativity, but there are occasions when these names have multiple different interpretations that give fans an insight into the Pokemon themselves. For example, Scarlet & Violet’s own Lechonk has a deep background to its name, demonstrating that Game Freak, as with all its other Pokemon, is considering every element that goes into regional fakes.

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Admittedly, fans acknowledge that Wiglett’s name might be little more than an adaptation of “Diglett,” suspecting the name derives from “wiggle” to refer to its gooey, eel-like aesthetic. However, in contrast, the Toedscool line showcases greater attention to detail, as in its Paldean Pokedex entry, it is classed as the Woodear Pokemon since it takes after the mushroom of the same name. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the literal translation of the Japanese for wood ear mushrooms “kikurage” is “tree jellyfish,” perfectly aligning with Tentacool’s jellyfish-inspired line, & moreover, its English name based on “toadstool” neatly parallels the naming style of “tentacle.”

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Comparing the Typing of Regional Fakes

pokemon-type-combinations

While the regional fakes share designs to draw attention & their different names confirm they aren’t regional variants, there’s further evidence to suggest these Pokemon are complete opposites. In both cases with the regional fake lines that currently exist this is best reflected not just in their designs but also in their typing. Since Wiglett’s & Diglett’s lines are based upon distinctly different animals, specifically moles & garden eels respectively, the result is that while Diglett’s line has remained a Ground-type even when given a regional form, Wiglett’s line is a Water-type. This should have been an early indicator that Wiglett was not a regional form at all.

Again this is reflected in Tentacool’s line & Toedscool’s line, as the original Water/Poison type is a direct contrast to the Scarlet & Violet’s Grass/Ground combo. Put into context alongside Wiglett’s line & its type, fans have pointed out that the regional fakes have an outright type advantage against their originals. Some have argued that this was likely intentional as if it was Game Freak’s way of explicitly demonstrating that these were never intended to be regional forms. After all, regional forms of current existing Pokemon adapt to changes in their environment & so often retain part of their original type, like Paldean Wooper’s Ground type.

Future regional fakes then would likely see current designs being completely inverted to create an entirely new Pokemon. For example, if Game Freak was to create a convergent Electric-type Pokemon, then the ideas shown so far dictate that the resulting regional fake would be a Ground type as its only type weakness. Though the initial reaction to regional fakes believed they would set a Rotten precedent, it’s becoming more apparent that there is greater nuance to these designs that must consider many factors, from visual concepts to the Pokemon’s typing.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet are available now for Nintendo Switch.

MORE: Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire Marked Evolutions for the Series that Continue 20 Years Later


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