Welp, Pokémon Legends: Arceus appears to have leaked ahead of its Jan. 28 release date. Renders of new Pokémon and Pokémon forms have been circulating on social media Wednesday — including what seems to be the new game’s full PokéDex and opening sequence. Nintendo seems to be taking down the leaks quickly, but the damage is already done: Images and video are everywhere, and some leakers are already datamining the game.
Reports suggest the leaks are coming from physical versions of the game that were meant to be sold in retail stores.
[Warning: The following contains potential Pokémon Legends: Arceus spoilers.]
If you’re worried about spoilers, you will likely want to look away from this post — and then head straight to Twitter to mute certain keywords related to the game. The leaks are already trending there, and Pokémon fans, of course, have thoughts. The standout Pokémon looks to be the new Hisuian form for Typhlosion, the final evolution for starter Cyndaquil. (The other two evolutions for the starters have leaked, too.)
The large fire boy looks like he’s been through a lot. Typlosion looks sleepy. Stoned, perhaps. Generally, just pretty lethargic.
In fact, Typhlosion is not the only one who looks like they stayed up too late playing video games. Goodra, too, looks like she’s seen better days.
Unfortunately for Nintendo and The Pokémon Company, leaks like this have been increasingly common for new releases in the series. Photos of a Pokémon Sword and Shield strategy guide were posted online ahead of that game’s 2019 release date, and The Pokémon Company sued and settled with those leakers. Nintendo also blacklisted a Portuguese website after it leaked Sword and Shield details online. More recently, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl leaked early in 2021.
Last week, The Pokémon Company published an in-depth gameplay preview showing off certain parts of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, although the company was careful to keep plenty under wraps. The 13-minute video focuses on mechanics and gameplay features that are new to the franchise. It heavily featured the new (old) Sinnoh region, once called the Hisuian region.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is set so far in the past that PokéBalls are made of wood. Naturally, it’ll feature an ancient and mythical Pokémon called Arceus, but there are other legendary Pokémon to be found, too — including the Forces of Nature, who seem to have a new, pink addition.