Meet the "Pokémon Sword and Shield" Starters: Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble
New Starter Pokemon Revealed for Generation VIII
Pokémon Sword and Shield, the eighth-generation main series Pokémon games were just announced for Nintendo Switch on February 27th, 2019. This new pair of Pokémon games will be released world-wide later in fall of 2019. While Nintendo only showed a small taste of what these new games will offer, the internet is buzzing about the three new starter Pokemon that were showed during the first Nintendo Direct regarding the new Nintendo Switch Pokemon games.
As with the previous seven generations of Pokémon games, players begin their adventure in the newly-revealed Galar region by choosing one of three starter Pokémon; a grass type, a fire type, or a water type. The new starters for Pokémon Sword and Shield are the grass type Grookey, the fire type Scorbunny, and the water type Sobble. What do we know about these three new Pokémon so far?
The grass type starter Pokémon in Sword and Shield is a green monkey-like Pokémon called Grookey. Grookey appears as a small green monkey with orange forearms and a brown prehensile tail. Its face is orange and yellow, and it appears to have leaves growing from its head, which are held in place by a wooden stick.
Grookey’s name is believed by fans to be a combination of the words “groove” or “groovy” and “monkey.”
Grookey’s first and final evolutions haven’t yet been revealed but based on the patterns of previous grass type starters, it is likely that the leaves on Grookey’s head will grow into a larger and more magnificent flowering plant of some kind. Grass starter evolutionary lines are typically inspired by extinct prehistoric animals and the concept of real-world evolution. Because of this, it is likely that Grookey’s line will be based on some sort of extinct primates. I’m hoping for a final form based on a species of extinct hominid. If the “groovy” naming theory holds true, perhaps we can expect a hippy cave man Pokémon as Grookey’s final evolutionary form?
The newly revealed fire type starter Pokémon discovered in the Galar region is called Scorbunny. Scorbunny is a white bipedal rabbit-like Pokémon with orange ears and toes and what appears to be a yellow bandage across its nose.
The name Scorbunny may be a combination of either the word “scorch” or “score,” and “bunny.” Scorbunny’s design keeps with the pattern of fire starter Pokémon representing the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.
Scorbunny’s evolutionary line has yet to be seen, but some fans speculate that it will become yet another fire/fighting dual type starter Pokémon. Some speculate that the bandage-like feature on its nose and its bipedal stance indicate a fighting type Pokémon. If its name comes from “score” rather than “scorch,” perhaps it will evolve into a final form based on a soccer player, which would be quite fitting, given that the Galar region is based on the Great Britain, where soccer is a popular sport. Perhaps this theory would make a fire/ground typing more likely?
The water starter for the generation VIII Pokémon games is called Sobble. As with previous water type starter Pokémon, Sobble appears to be based on a semi-aquatic animal. Sobble is a small blue quadrupedal Pokémon that resembles a sad, blue amphibious creature, perhaps a frog or salamander. Sobble has a light blue body with darker blue spots, what appears to be a large, curled tail, hands similar to those of a chameleon, and a yellow fin on top of its head. It has a sad, forlorn expression on its face, fitting with its name. As shown in the first trailer for Pokémon Sword and Shield, Sobble is able to make itself transparent.
Sobble’s name seems to be a combination of the words “sob” and “bubble.”
Some fans speculate that, because of Sobble’s ability to become invisible at will, that it’s evolutionary line will lead to a water/ghost dual type Pokémon. The name “Sobble” may also hint at a part-ghost type evolution, as ghosts are often associated with sadness and grieving.
What Other New Pokémon Can We Look Forward To?
A new pair of legendary Pokémon are likely to be revealed soon, and feature on the cover art of each game. The logos for both Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield feature side profiles of wolf-like creatures in silhouette. This leads many fans to believe that the new pair of legendary Pokémon will be based on wolves.
There is also reason to believe that a new Eeveelution is on its way for generation VIII. We did not receive a new Eeveelution last generation, so following this pattern, a new evolution for Eevee Will we finally get a ghost or dragon type Eeveelution, or will an entirely new type of Pokémon be revealed, representing out new Eeveelution’s type? Will there be just one new Eeveelution, like when Sylveon was introduced in Generation VI, or will we get a new pair of Eeveelutions like Espeon/Umbreon and Lefeon/Glaceon?
The Galar Region
Like the other regions in the world of Pokémon, Galar is based on a place in the real world. Not much is known about the newly discovered Galar region at present, but we do know that it is based on the real-world location of Great Britain.
How will this real-world connection to Great Britain influence the story and lore of Pokémon Sword and Shield? Is the name Sword and Shield a hint that this generation will be heavily based on medieval folklore and Arthurian legend?
More Information to Come
Pokémon Sword and Shield were just announced, so we can expect much more information about the new starter Pokémon, and their evolutionary line, as well as information about other new Pokémon and gameplay elements to be revealed in the coming months. These new Pokémon adventures are scheduled for release this fall.
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© 2019 Jennifer Wilber