Official Trailer Asks, What If Pokémon Legends: Arceus Was A Horror Movie?

Official Trailer Asks, What If Pokémon Legends: Arceus Was A Horror Movie?
Image: The Pokemon Company / Kotaku

It’s fair to say that the world of Pokémon rarely ventures into territories that might be considered “adult.” This most family friendly of franchises works extremely hard to ensure, no matter how large the grown-up interest, it’s always open and welcoming to children. And then, today they released a VHS-horror short.

Ostensibly promotional material for next year’s Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the video features some incredibly unclear, artefact-ridden footage of a man exploring in the snowy hills of the Hisui region. He seems happy at first. He thinks he sees a wild Pokémon. And then the screaming begins.

Whatever it is that very clearly brutally murders this man, he at first thinks it’s a Growlithe, but then a Vulpix. Conditions are bad, and while they may sound like very different monsters, they do have a similar silhouette. But he concludes it’s neither.

“The tip of its tail is red and swaying,” he notices. Then, as it turns his way, he exclaims that, “it’s adorable!” It has white fur on top of its head and around its neck, which is apparently very fluffy. “Its eyes are round and yellow,” he adds, like he’s playing Pokémon Trivia, and then at that point whatever it is attacks and kills him, presumably leaving his corpse preserved in the snow for generations to come.

And yes, you’d be right to ask, “Um, pardon, I thought Arceus was set in the Olden Days? Where’d they get video camera footage?” But I answer with two responses.

1) Video cameras ARE from the Olden Days, Grandma.

2) They’re going to have Pokédexes and stuff, aren’t they? Players won’t be taking notes on slate. So maybe they had cameras then too?

Screenshot: The Pokemon Company

There’s clearly more going on here than first meets the eye, as the associated social media accounts are asking people to “report back with your findings,” adding, “they may prove useful during your adventures in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.” And, yes, obviously we’re meant to guess.

It seemed immediately likely to me to be some sort of Charmander, right? Red tip of the tail? But no, fluffy fur — surely a Hisui Charmander couldn’t look like that? Replies on Twitter seem to be gravitating to a Hisuian Arcanine, while others have suggested a Litleo (surely not?), and even a variant Flaafy. I mean, that’s insane, but it could match the description!

Now we must wait for the truly great/ludicrous people to analyse the video for hidden clues within the artifacts, metadata only visible via electron microscopes, that sort of thing.

However, final credit must go to one Johnstone, for this extraordinary piece, presumably created using data analysis and facial recognition software: