Some alleged art featuring Pokemon Sword and Shield's evolved starter Pokemon have surfaced, but are these concepts fan art or the real McCoy? The latest pair of core Pocket Monster titles were announced during a dedicated Nintendo Direct presentation on February 27, which confirmed a number of new aspects about the games. Taking place in the region of Galar, which is inspired by the United Kingdom, Pokemon Sword and Shield's reveal gave fans a good look at what to expect from a core experience on the Switch.
Of course, the most intriguing aspect of any new Pokemon game are the creatures made available to new trainers at the beginning. Pokemon Sword and Shield's starter Pokemon are some of the most adorable in the series, and they once again occupy the Grass, Fire, and Water typing structure that has been present in previous games. Fans immediately began clinging to Gookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble, respectively, but which one of these monsters fans choose will ultimately come down to the final evolutions of each Pokemon.
A few pieces of art have begun making their way around the internet, allegedly showcasing the second and third evolutions for Sword and Shield's starter Pokemon. The art originates from 4Chan, which is immediately a cause to be skeptical of the images. Admittedly, legitimate leaks for various games have been posted on the board before, but the reason why these evolution concepts are worth highlighting is because of the detail put into them for all three of Pokemon Sword and Shield's supposed starters.
The above image features proposed concepts for Grookey's evolutionary line. While some fans may ask why the Grass-type monkey would evolve into a man-looking Pokemon. It's possible that the creature is taking a page out of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, where he explores the theory of evolution. As a famed English scientist, his philosophies feel right at home in the U.K.-inspired Galar and Pokemon as a whole.
Next up is the alleged evolutionary line of Scorbunny. The Fire-type rabbit looks to capitalize on its growing speed with these designs, although this is the line that looks the most off from traditional Pokemon designs. Still, the artist did a great job playing into the themes of Sword and Shield, as well as the swiftness of Scorbunny.
Finally, Sobble's line of evolutions in Pokemon Sword and Shield standout as some of the coolest – provided they are legitimate. Playing into the chameleon design of Sobble, the creature maintains its curly tail while its head ornament grows to look more like a flag atop a castle. Its final form even looks like a nod to arguably the funniest move of all time, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and its Black Knight character – which (in a weird way) also makes sense given the United Kingdom-inspired setting of Galar.
In truth, while very well done pieces of art, it's rare that Nintendo and The Pokemon Company would be so careless as to let these designs slip through the cracks just yet, so it's unlikely that these are anything but fan art. That's not to say Pokemon leaks haven't happened in the past, as Pokemon Sun and Moon's final starter evolutions all leaked prior to the release of those games. Still, fans should take in the above images with a grain of salt and simply enjoy this period of time that encourages speculation, excitement, and fan art. Truthfully, it is a fun moment in the games' development period.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield arrive exclusively for Nintendo Switch in late 2019.