Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s first DLC, The Teal Mask, brings a handful of new ‘mons to add to your Pokédex, and one in particular is becoming a fan favorite: Dipplin. The grass/dragon-type Pokémon is based on a candy apple, and is drenched in a warm, red syrup. However, if you catch its shiny form, the alternatively-colored little guy is instead enveloped in a golden coating. That’s all well and good, but what makes Dipplin’s shiny form significant is that this alternative appearance alters the way its attacks are rendered, in a way only a few Pokémon can claim.
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Dipplin has a signature move called Syrup Bomb. As the name suggests, this attack has the sentient candy apple lobbing a grass-type glob of gloop at its opponent. On top of doing some damage, it also slows down whoever’s on the other end of the one-sided food fight for three turns. So it’s good for counteracting any speed buffs your rivals might have in place, as well as just evening the playing field against any quick foes. But because it is a signature move, the animation is tailored to Dipplin, and so it typically appears with the same shade of red that covers the Pokémon. This changes for the shiny form, as the attack instead takes the same golden tone.
Fans took note of this and highlighted it on social media, the phenomenon being so rare a few mistakenly thought Dipplin might be the first Pokémon to get this treatment. However, there are two other moves that have shiny forms, but they’re so disparate and obscure that you may have never actually seen them in color. And unfortunately, you can’t see them in Scarlet and Violet.
Both of these shiny attacks are also signature moves, which is why they’re able to tailor them to one Pokémon’s shiny form. Blacephalon was the first, in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Its attack, Mind Blown, has the unsettling Ultra Beast remove and toss its spherical head at its opponent, and because its spotted cranium trades a bright white for a dark blue, the projectile used in Mind Blown is changed to reflect that.
Blacephalon isn’t in Scarlet and Violet, so Mind Blown isn’t in the game at all to compare. However, Dragapult—the third Pokémon whose signature move is altered in its Shiny form—is. Dragapult’s signature move in Sword and Shield is Dragon Darts, which fires, well, the tiny Dreepy that it keeps in its horns (they’re fine, probably—the Pokédex says they love being launched at the enemies of their fathers). And because Dragapult’s Shiny form comes complete with Shiny Dreepy hiding in the cannons on its head, Dragon Darts also has a different-colored animation to go with it. Well, it did before Scarlet and Violet, at least. The most recent games have made Dragon Dart much more generic-looking.
So while Dipplin isn’t the first Pokémon to get this neat little detail, it does bring attention to just how few attack animations feel tailored to the Pokémon using them in recent games. This makes sense given Scarlet and Violet have pushed the Pokédex over the 1000 monster mark, and Game Freak cannot reasonably make every attack for every Pokémon look like it was animated for every combination you can think of. But it does make little touches like this feel special in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully Dipplin’s golden Syrup Bomb doesn’t get sanded down to a generic red in future games.