Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Villain Can Avoid Sword & Shield's Worst Choice

With Pokémon Scarlet and Violet shaping up to be the series' most ambitious region yet, Game Freak has a chance to avoid the story mistakes made with Pokémon Sword and Shield's villain Chairman Rose. When the franchise originally debuted in 1998, the Pokémon Red and Blue RPGs established the regional villain plotline which has become a staple of every Pokémon game since. Despite being a favorite story element of each generation, many fans were left confused by the Galar region's villain arc in 2019's Pokémon Sword & Shield. However, Game Freak can avoid similar story issues in Gen 9 because of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's unique features.


In June, fans got their first look at the Gen 9 Pokédex after Nintendo released a short Pokémon Scarlet and Violet gameplay trailer. Game Freak unveiled even more details about the upcoming RPGs in an August Pokémon Presents presentation, where they revealed the new Palda region. The lengthy update showed off a handful of new Pokémon Scarlet and Violet characters such as Nemona, Penny, Arven, and Director Clavelle.

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The Gen 9 protagonist was also revealed to be a new student enrolled in Paldea Region's oldest academy. The Pokémon Scarlet and Violet story centers around students embarking on a school assignment to explore the region to find their own adventure. While the August trailer didn't confirm who the villain group would be in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Gen 9 could end up having a much better villainous plotline than Pokémon Sword and Shield due to its new story campaign format.

Paldea Region Villian Can Avoid Pokémon Sword & Shield's Chairman Rose Mistake

Pokemon Sword Shield Chairman Rose Darkest Day Cutscene

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, the story is brought to a halt when Chairman Rose of the Galar Pokémon League reveals that he is triggering an apocalyptic event called the "Darkest Day". While the story makes it clear that his goal is to try to harness infinite energy to power the region, the abrupt execution of the plotline left players scratching their heads. Even more confusing, is that Rose suddenly disappears from the game altogether after players battle the Galar Legendary Pokémon Eternatus. There is no resolution, and the Gen 8 villain simply vanishes from the story after almost destroying the entire world. For many fans, the plotline felt rushed and underdeveloped.

While the Galar region's story seemed to take a back seat to the traditional Pokémon League campaign, it looks like Game Freak is putting a heavier emphasis on storytelling in the Gen 9 RPGs. In a first for the franchise, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will actually have three separate story campaigns that can be completed in any order. Players will be able to leave the Pokémon League plotline whenever they want and tackle two other adventures. Because of this feature, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will have much more time to focus on the Paldea Region's villain and flesh out their story. In previous generations, villain groups often felt sprinkled in as tiny plot points in between each Gym. By the time the protagonist reaches the region's Champion, the antagonist of the game has very little screen time.

Gen 8 Pokémon Sword and Shield's Chairman Rose is actually a terrifying villain, he's just not given enough time to have his motivations fleshed out. Because of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's new triple-story campaign format, the Paldea Region villain could finally get the spotlight they deserve by having their own separate plotline. With Game Freak promising Gen 9 to be the series' first "open-world" game with seamless borders, Paldea is looking like it might be the franchise's most ambitious generation ever made. As a result, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet might also end up featuring the best villain the series has seen in years as well.

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