Vulpix or Growlithe? Zangoose or Seviper? Ever since Arceus made the world in its image, Pokémon fans have had to grapple with a huge choice: which version to get. That quandary will remain in place for the latest games, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
Every generation of Nintendo’s zeitgeisty monster-hunting RPGs splits up its roster of Pokémon, with a handful showing up in one game while remaining absent from the counterpart (and vice versa). This strategy makes a certain degree of sense, if cynically. Pokémon games have always launched as a pair. Making some Pokémon available in one version but not the other potentially incentivizes additional sales. (Nintendo reports sales figures for Pokémon games lumped together.) Or, less cynically, it forces players to actually engage with each other and trade.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are no different. We already knew the legendary Pokémon, two motorcycle-inspired dragons called Koraidon and Miraidon, were exclusive to Scarlet and Violet respectively. But in the wake of a massive news dump this week, the roster is slowly coming into clarity. Here are the version-exclusive Pokémon known so far, a list we’ll keep updated as more information becomes available in the run-up to the game’s November 18 release on Switch.
- Larvitar, a rock-ground-type lizard creature who first debuted in Pokémon Gold and Silver.
- Pupitar, the second-stage evolution of Larvitar. It floats for some reason. Though Pupitar hasn’t been officially confirmed, we’re including it since it evolves from a confirmed Pokémon. (One caveat though: In Pokémon Sword and Shield, Slowpoke, who has been part of the series since the days of Red and Blue, could not evolve unless you picked up the expansions.)
- Tyrannitar, the final stage of Larvitar’s evolution chain. Unlike the prior two evolutions, Tyrannitar drops the ground-type affiliation and is rock-dark-type.
- Stonjourner, a rock-type from Pokémon Sword and Shield who, I guess, is supposed to be a play on the famous Stonehenge monument in England.
- Koraidon, Scarlet’s legendary Pokémon and cover model.
- Bagon, a dragon-type Pokémon who debuted in Pokémon
- Shelgon, the second-stage evolution of Bagon. The same logic that applies to Larvitar’s evolution chain applies to Bagon’s, too.
- Salamence, a dragon-flying type Pokémon and the final stage of Bagon’s evolution chain. Some people (guilty as charged) are convinced Salamence is the coolest Pokémon of all time, ever.
- Eiscue, an ice-type penguin Pokémon with a giant ice cube for a face.
- Miraidon, Violet’s legendary Pokémon and cover model.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are set to reimagine other long-standing aspects of the series. Set in a region called Paldea, inspired by the IRL Iberian Peninsula, these games are fully open-world for the first time in series history. There’s four-player co-op. Gyms are back, with one leader in particular leaving many fans sexually confused. And in lieu of debatably silly features like “Mega Evolution,” some Pokémon are capable of a thing called—this is a very real word, by the way—“terastallizing,” which means they cover themselves in crystals and can change their type on the fly.