The reduced number of Pokémon in Pokémon Sword & Shield has been a source of controversy over the past few months, but it seems that Game Freak is keeping a few fan-favorite Pokémon in reserve, as there is data for 35 additional Pokémon within the files of the games that cannot be accessed through normal means. It was revealed at E3 2019 that Pokémon Sword & Shield would not include every Pokémon in the series. Pokémon Sword & Shield don't include the National Dex and only Pokémon from the Galar region would be available in the games.
The number of Pokémon in Pokémon Sword & Shield's Pokédex has been revealed in leaks and it has caused a backlash from fans who feel that the games have cut too much content. There are lots of fans who are disappointed that their favorite Pokémon haven't made it into Pokémon Sword & Shield, even though the producers have confirmed that cut Pokémon will return in future entries in the series.
There are copies of Pokémon Sword & Shield that have made their way into the hands of hackers and people have already dug through the files of the games in search of secrets. A Twitter user named Kaphotics has been uploading his findings to Pastebin and he discovered data for an additional thirty-five Pokémon hidden within the files of Pokémon Sword & Shield. Be warned: this list could potentially be SPOILERS for upcoming content. The hidden Pokémon include the Bulbasaur line, the Squirtle line, the Alola starters, Mewtwo, Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion, Keldeo, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Cosmog, Cosmoem, Lunala, Solgaleo, Necrozma, Marshadow, Zeraora, Meltan, and Melmetal.
Beyond the known count in the Galar Dex, there are 35 other species that have stats and models (which explains Melmetal sprite). Kanto & Alola starters, and some legendaries. 435 species available in total! https://t.co/JYOQhbktCE— Kurt (@Kaphotics) November 11, 2019
Once this information became available, a Twitter user named DeathChaos managed to hack the leaked versions of Pokémon Sword & Shield to add Bulbasaur and Squirtle into Hop's party, as well as making them encounterable on the world map.
The Pokémon games have had hidden Mythical Pokémon that Nintendo distributes through live events, but the existence of these Pokémon has always been revealed straight away thanks to hacking and save editors. The lack of hidden Mythical Pokémon in Pokémon Sword & Shield's data suggests that Game Freak has wised up and will distribute the Pokémon gradually through updates, which seems to be the reason why these additional 35 Pokémon are in the games.
It's possible that the hidden Pokémon are being saved for the launch of Pokémon Home, which is intended to act as a digital storage space for Pokémon. There is also a chance that the hidden Pokémon will be used in timed events in the future. Pokémon Sword & Shield have Max Raid Battles involving groups of trainers teaming up to take on a special Dynamax & Gigantamax Pokémon and the hidden Pokémon could be used for them. The plan could be for Game Freak to distribute the hidden Pokémon over the next few years as part of regular events in order to keep the fans coming back for more.
Pokémon Sword & Shield Pokémon will be available for Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019.