Why the next Pokemon Legends game shouldn't have new starters

Pokemon Legends: Arceus Irida
(Image credit: Game Freak)

The upcoming DLC for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet got a lot of love during the latest Nintendo Direct. Hype is certainly building for The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero, but there was a notable absence during the presentation – that being any sign of the continuation beyond Pokemon: Legends Arceus. There's certainly more room for the game to grow beyond Legends Arceus, with the possibility of exploring more legendary Pokemon and the regions they reside in.

Legends Arceus established a new formula within the Pokemon canon, using starters from different regions in an ancient Sinnoh rather than its original trio. This change allowed players to begin their journey with Pokemon they may not have necessarily chosen before. Still, some may think it's wise to have a set of brand new starters in a potential sequel to provide a more considerable distinction between the mainline games and the Legends series. But as exciting as this may sound, there's a resounding reason why this wouldn't work.

The case for no new starters

Pokemon Legends Arceus

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Players of the mainline Pokemon games are used to each generation introducing a new region with a trio of starters. It's not that these regions have just been discovered, rather that players don't encounter them until they're the game's focus. Once these regions and their Pokemon are canon, references to other areas and lore follow. As Legends is based on an already established region set in the past, bringing in three new starters from an unknown land in the mainline series wouldn't make much sense.

There's a solid reason why Pokemon outside of Hisui have found themselves in the ancient land presented in Legends Arceus. Cyndaquil, Rowlet, and Oshawott were introduced to Hisui by Professor Laventon for unknown reasons, and as players train these newly introduced Pokemon, the mystical energy emanating from Mount Coronet influences the evolution process, resulting in different forms and typings by the time they reach their final stage.

This process is markedly different from the other regional variants found in Hisui, in addition to new evolutions of Pokemon like Stantler or Ursaring. Adapting to the Hisuian environment suggests that either these variations are extinct in present-day Sinnoh or have evolved out of these forms as time has passed.

Spicing things up

Pokemon Legends Arceus

(Image credit: Nintendo)

"The best remedy to not having new starters would be to transform the entire evolutionary line into regional variants"

If a new Legends game is in the works, Game Freak could flip the switch completely and follow a never-before-seen region from its inception to the current day, introducing new starters in the process. But again, this would make a potential sequel to Legends Arceus a little too convoluted – primarily since that game is set in an ancient Sinnoh and explores the already-established myth of Arceus.

The best remedy to not having new starters would be to transform the entire evolutionary line into regional variants. Say the next Legends game is based in Johto, centered around Raikou, Entei, and Suicune following their resurrection by Ho-Oh in the Brass Tower. This game would again introduce a new trio of starters from canon regions, but this particular trio could have adapted to the ancient Johto environment through breeding, so much so that their whole evolutionary line has changed.

This way, the next Legends game follows the template established by Legends Arceus, but it's not a carbon copy. It would retain the core components of the game but for different reasons and can continue to be set apart from the mainline games. The difference between Legends Arceus and a potential sequel would satisfy fans in the interim, and all that could be done without throwing brand-new starters into the mix.

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Sophie McEvoy

Sophie McEvoy is a freelance journalist and writer based in the U.K. With eight years of experience covering entertainment for online outlets, Sophie decided to focus on her first love – video games. Sophie has produced news, features, guides, and deep-dive content for all manner of franchises, with particular expertise in Pokemon. When she's not working, you can find Sophie cheering on Foo Fighters at their latest gig, losing herself in open-world games, or getting stuck into her latest cross-stitching project.