Pokémon Sword & Shield ANALYSIS – Gym Battles, New Characters, & More! (Secrets & Hidden Details)


We’ve already covered quite a lot from the
Pokémon Sword & Shield Direct. There’s the Wild Area, the Max Raid Battles,
and Dynamaxing, but we still need to talk about the people. A handful of new characters were introduced
and many of them have quite a large role to play in this adventure. But there’s always more to learn. So it’s time to send out the old Analysis
Machine to see what secrets and hidden details it can find. Of course, be sure to check out our previous
analyses as we won’t be referencing anything already mentioned there. Before we get to the characters, let’s take
a closer look at the new Gyms. We see a familiar scene of the new stadiums
before showing off a clearly excited crowd. And this is most certainly the Grass Gym as
nearly every person is wearing green of some kind. They’ve got some major hometown love going
on. We then see the trainer heading toward the
field in his uniform, which has seen a change since the reveal trailer. Before, his number was 227, a reference to
the original release day of Pokémon Red & Green in Japan, as well as the date of this reveal. But now it’s 65, a seemingly random number. Does this mean that players will be able to
choose their number or is 65 the number every player will be given? In fact, these numbers have us quite curious. When we get our first look at the Gym Leader,
Milo, as he enters from the opposite side, it’s shown that his number is 831. That number doesn’t have any significance
when it comes to Pokémon, and there’s too little information about Milo to say if it’s
important to him. But we have a feeling that these numbers do
matter in some way. After all, as we’ll see later, the Champion’s
number is one. But for now, we don’t know if every number
matters in some way. As mentioned in the Direct, Gym Battles are
widely loved across Galar to the point that they’re televised. And we see this in action during the trailer
as Rotom camera drone flies by the battle. Another Rotom drone can even be seen focusing
squarely on the fight. It’s a small touch, but it does give the
sense that players are seeing how the battle is playing out for people at home. The camera angles shown do give the illusion
that this is a bigger deal than ever before. There are even special seats at ground level
behind glass to really give it that stadium feeling like a sports event. And this of course reflected in the player’s
uniform which shows off the League’s symbol, which does have the feel of a soccer league. And then there’s Milo, the baby-faced Gym
Leader with muscles like a bodybuilder. He’s a jovial guy, always smiling during
the battle. The Pokémon website describes him as having
a kind heart with his credo being to always enjoy battles. He specializes in endurance matches using
Grass-type Pokémon and is well liked by the Trainers of his Gym. Now these two points are quite fascinating. The latter point means that other trainers
can be faced before Milo like in past Gyms. In fact, it’s likely that this huge crowd
isn’t summoned until the player reaches Milo for a challenge. What has us curious though is the mention
of endurance matches. Is this an extra element of Gym Battles now? Maybe each Leader will be focused on a certain
aspect of battle in addition to their type. So Milo would be focused on defense or high
HP while other Gym Leaders could focus on speed or other strategies. We can’t be completely certain, but it would
help the Gyms feel even more unique. As part of Milo’s design, he has six Poké
Balls hanging from his side, potentially giving us hope that more trainers will have a full
team to battle. But that’s unfortunately not the case as
a screenshot from the website reveals that he only has two Pokémon. This screen also shows that weaknesses won’t
be displayed for players as in Sun & Moon since Scorbunny’s Ember is obviously Super
Effective against Grass types. There’s still something curious about Milo
though. In this scene, we can see that one of his
Pokémon is in an Ultra Ball. So what could that mean? Does this indicate that he won’t be the
first Gym Leader that you face? After all, a screenshot from the Pokémon
website reveals that his Eldegoss is level 19. That’s typically the level of the second
or third Gym that players challenge. This could mean that the first Gym players
encounter is actually the one in the steam city. But what does his Ultra Ball mean for the
player? Is it simply a way of subtly revealing Milo’s
skill or is it an indication that they’ll be available in Poké Marts after this fight? That does seem a little early though as Ultra
Balls are not usually stocked until players have 3 to 5 badges. Maybe it’s unlocked earlier though we kind
of doubt. But the scene itself has both trainers recalling
their Pokémon which could mean that one fainted while the other is replacing that Pokémon
though we think is part of the Dynamaxing sequence. The Pokémon needs to be brought back into
its ball where the Dyna Band then supercharges the Pokémon through the glove both wear,
creating the huge Poké Ball we then see them toss. Our look at the Gym comes to and end with
the appearance of Galar’s Champion, Leon, as smoke clears in front of him. But this isn’t the Grass Gym. This stadium is bigger as it features the
glass boxes we mentioned before as well as two floors of seats, rather than just one. This is a much bigger event. The question is, is this the final battle
against Leon or could players take him on in another capacity before the final showdown? We obviously don’t know but let’s take
a closer look at what we do know about Leon. For one, his outfit screams Champion in a
way that few others have. The sports uniform, with the sword and shield
on his chest, along with a cap with the sharp design reminiscent of a crown along with freaking
cape. This guy is a star and he knows it. As we said earlier, even his number is one. And he might be reaping the rewards that this
fame grants. When we see him in Professor Magnolia’s
kitchen, we get a look at the back of his cape, which is actually covered in sponsorships. That would explain the massive house that
his younger brother, Hop, lives in. Interestingly, he also has two bands on his
wrists. Now the one on his right hand is his Dynamax
Band while the other just has the symbol for the League. Still, we wonder if this element has at least
some importance as the characters we’ve seen so far only wear one band on their wrist. Now the thing is, we don’t really know much
about Leon’s personality. The Pokémon website just states that it,
along with his skill as he’s never been defeated in battle, has made him extremely
popular. And we see this in action as he stands in
front of the train station of the first town. People are screaming wildly for him and he
even does a pose. He truly is the star of the Galar region. Leon is in this small town for a reason though. From the few scenes that he appears in, he
seems to be the one who gives the player and Hop their first Pokémon. So let’s talk about Hop and his role as
your rival. We do see the Starters line up near the rival’s
house, not Magnolia’s. We can see a nearby shed and table next to
the battle arena which can also be spotted during the inevitable first battle against
Hop. However, we don’t believe the Starters are
immediately lined up like this when they’re first introduced. The Pokémon website has two screenshots featuring
Sobble and Grookey. Sobble is near Hop’s pond, crying while
Grookey is using its stick near a fruit in a tree. We believe this indicates that each Starter
will have a small introduction to better show off their personalities before the player
chooses one. It’s a wonderful idea to immediately build
a connection, and it seems to be further emphasized after picking one as we see Scorbunny give
the player a fist bump. We can’t really imagine Sobble doing something
like that so it’s likely that each one will have a greeting closer to their personalities. This is also a small taste of how the player
character actually emotes now as we can see her small smile turn into a big one. As we’ll show, the player no longer has
a permanent grin with a thousand-yard stare. After picking your Pokémon, you’ll naturally
have a first battle against Hop as we see the two of you face off in the arena. He sends out Sobble while the male trainer
sends out Grookey which indicates that he’ll pick the Pokémon weak to yours rather than
the one strong against it. However, there’s a bit of a twist to this. In a screenshot from the Pokémon website,
we see the female trainer using Scorbunny against Hop’s Grookey. It seems pretty standard until we see that
Scorbunny is already level 6 while Hop has two Pokémon despite Grookey only being level
5. So could this mean that Hop gets both of the
Starters that you don’t choose? After all, it is his brother that’s giving
away the first Pokémon. Or is it possible that Hop already had another
Pokémon on hand? We can’t say for sure, but another oddity
is the player trainer. In this battle, neither the girl or boy are
wearing their backpack yet, which makes sense as they haven’t began their journey yet. But then there’s the scene where Scorbunny
gives a fistbump. This would seem to be where the player chooses
their partner and yet here she has her backpack. So what’s going on? Do players get to use a Starter before the
official selection is made? It would explain why Scorbunny is level 6
in the screenshot. But there’s no way to know for certain. After this battle, we presume the next destination
is Professor Magnolia’s house. We hesitate to call this a lab as the player,
Hop, and Sonia are all obviously inside her kitchen. Plants are everywhere and there’s even baskets
of freshly picked vegetables in the background. But the scene just before does feature Sonia
in the familiar library setting that we saw in the original trailer. So it’s not too surprising that Magnolia’s
house is also her lab. As we mentioned in our previous analysis,
growth seems to be a major theme in Sword & Shield. This is taken both literally thanks to Dynamaxing
and perhaps figuratively as Magnolia’s home is covered in plants, has a garden outside,
a greenhouse, and even her home is nearly overtaken by a tree. Yet despite all this plantlife, her main focus
of research is said to be the Dynamax phenomenon. What connection could there be between plants
and this new ability? At the very least, we’re pretty sure this
is where players will receive the new Pokédex and this is likely guided by Leon as we see
him in the kitchen with Magnolia and near her front door as she greets the young trainers. A lot of attention has been paid to her cane
with many presuming it to be a pre-evolution Corviknight, but we think that’s just Corviknight
itself as the ridges on its head matches. Amusingly, both Magnolia and her granddaughter,
Sonia, have a way of twirling their fingers when talking, Magnolia around her glasses
and Sonia with her hair. It’s a subtly cute family trait. Now unfortunately, we don’t learn much about
Sonia during this Direct. The Pokémon website mentions that Magnolia
gave her a certain unnamed research task, but she’s also there to offer help and advice
to the player. In fact, we see her hand over something in
Magnolia’s library. This could be the Pokédex or maybe the Dyna
Band is given early since they’re such a fixture of Galar’s Gym Battles. Though that might not happen until players
reach the Grass Gym town as she’s also met there. Still, her full role is certainly a mystery. That’s all the named trainers that we know
so far, but there’s still a few trainer classes that can be seen throughout the trailer. The first is when the player is heading toward
Magnolia’s home. A trainer awaits just before the small bridge. It’s difficult to say from this distance,
but we think that it may be a Youngster. Now we did see a young boy with a Grubbin
in the previous trailer, but rather than a Youngster, he may have been the new Preschooler,
as this boy looks at least a little older. We have a better look at the next trainer,
who’s just outside the Grass Gym town. Based on his overalls, we’re pretty sure
he’s a Breeder as that’s what Breeders wore in Sun & Moon. However, that outfit was a little different
from what came before so it may be possible that he’s a new farmhand trainer class. We do see farm equipment in the area after
all. But if we had to choose one, we’re going
to go with him being Galar’s version of a Breeder. The next trainer is on a path lined with trees. We don’t get a good look at her, but she
does carry a Poké Ball and a cell phone we think she might be the new design for Beauties. The scene then shifts back into the caves
from the first trailer, which is now populated by a trainer. Based on his outfit, he’s very likely the
Galar version of a Worker trainer. Finally, we see the new look for the Black
Belts as one hangs out near the ice flows to the north east. Okay, we’re almost done here, but there’s
still a few things that we wanted to mention. First of all, there are no text boxes to be
seen anywhere in this trailer despite the fact that multiple characters, including Milo,
Leon, Sonia, and Hop, all have pretty complex movements with no real pause given. While text boxes are undoubtedly going to
be in the game, it’s appearing pretty likely that at least some form of voice acting might
be featured as well. Now, we’re not completely sure on this as
areas that were completely empty in the previous trailer are now populated so hiding text boxes
shouldn’t be that hard, but it does raise some suspicions. And related to this is how much more the player
trainer emotes throughout this Direct. We mentioned the joy of meeting Scorbunny,
but then there’s also the moment when summoning a Dynamax Pokémon. But both of these are big events. Maybe smaller scenes don’t get that same
love? We don’t think that’s the case though. There’s a moment when the player and Hop
are riding on a train, likely after the first town. Both are looking at their Pokédexes with
the player’s being red and Hop’s blue. But at one point, Hop stretches and in reaction
the player gives a big smile. Even when the two are looking at their phones,
the player looks engaged. For the first time, player characters are
going to look like they care about what’s happening around them! But speaking of the Pokédexes, we get more
information on them thanks to the Pokémon website. This time they’re part of something called
the Rotom Phone. So Rotom is joining the journey once again,
but he’ll be able to do more than just act as the Pokédex. He can also receive special upgrades so that
when he’s attached to the returning bike, it’ll move faster on land or even help travel
across water, which we do see in the trailer. So the Rotom Phone in conjunction with the
bike seems to be how HMs are replaced in Sword & Shield. It can likely even call for the Corviknight
taxi. It really is a Pokémon Lyft! Finally, we see what online battles will look
like in the game as well as the symbol for online battles. It’s similar to what we’ve seen in the
past except they’re modeled after the Gym Stadiums. Considering the fact that Dynamaxing can be
used, this setting makes a lot of sense. But that’s everything that we could find
in the Pokémon Sword & Shield Direct. There’s a lot of fun changes coming to the
game along with characters and elements that have certainly piqued our interest. We’re looking forward to seeing what else
the 8th generation has to offer. Of course let us know if we missed anything
in the comments. And don’t miss our previous analysis on
the Wild Area. Thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe
to GameXplain for more on Pokémon and other things gaming.

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