Hello PUCLonians! This week there was a Coro Coro leak about Volcanion this week, but prior to that, there was a faked leak showcasing some rather dubious (in hindsight) fake starters and potential designs of the main characters. These two events got Fluffiest and I thinking about leaks, fakes, and spoilers of the past and present. If you haven’t yet, check out “The Fluff” written by our very own Fluffiest Whimsicott to find her perspective on the topic. Then come back and read my article to see how our opinions compare.
The time leading up to a new Pokemon game, especially a new generation, is very special. People are looking forward to the games and want to get their hands on them in any way possible. A leak can be a gem in the rubble of waiting before a game that can generate a huge amount of hype for what is to come. For example, the rumors of “Pikablu” leading up to Gold and Silver was huge.
Is this a new Pokemon? Is this a joke? What does this mean? This was before the Pokemon fandom even considered the word “generation” and also before the internet proliferated our feeds with to the day leaks and updates. (There weren’t even really feeds at the time.) It was exciting though! The leak of “Pikablu” and eventually the reveal of a few other Pokemon in the Pokemon movies were perfect leading up to the new games. They were perfect because (at least as I remember them) there were very few of them. And, being an early adolescent, I wasn’t scouring the internet for the latest Pokemon news all the time. Just a few drops leading up to the games was enough to drive hype and not spoil too much.
Leaks these days can be a double edge sword. Wait… I forgot. This is a Pokemon website… Leaks these days can be like the move Double Edge: a benefit and a hinderance. For example, I took advantage of leaks of the most recent Gen VI games to help me determine which starter I would pick. I waited until I saw the final stage of evolution before I decided on Chespin as my Kalos starter and helped me settle on Mudkip (because of Mega-Swampert) for Omega Ruby. But too many leaks can also ruin the experience of the game. I feel like if leaks over-saturate the experience before the games, they are less interesting. For example, going into ORAS, I think all of the new Megas were revealed before the game. There was less to discover because of this. For me, I want to see a few small leaks leading into new games, but in recent history, it seems as though official leaks are plentiful and spoil the games a bit more than I would like.
Spoilers! These were so prevalent when the Japanese games would release several months before the rest of the world. I truly have to commend the Pokemon Company in synchronizing the releases of the games, which prevents many of the spoilers of the games. I remember Serebii would have spoiler buttons on their site because they played the Japanese games before they were released world wide. Through this site, you could have every step of the journey played out for you, if you chose. And I remember this going back as far as Platinum, but may have existed even before that. I suppose each person can encounter spoilers as they see fit, but I would try to avoid them as much as possible.
The one thing I have yet to comment on in regards to this topic are fake leaks, or some people know them as Fakemon. Now, some Fakemon are designs that fans have made without the intention of fooling people, but there are some that were made intentionally to deceive anticipating fans. Serebii has a wonderful list of great examples of Fakemon that I have linked to here. Some of these I wish were actual Pokemon. I think Rhinox and the Unicorn Mudkip look pretty cool.
Above are the most recent fake scans that were supposedly from Coro Coro. These proved to be fake, and I do think that’s a good thing. I’m not a big fan of the designs of the starters shown, but the silhouettes on the box art are pretty sweet! That’s the other thing I hate about Fakemon… The fact that they exist means they can’t be put into a real Pokemon game.
Overall, I would say that leaks and spoilers are necessary to drive hype about upcoming games, but when so much is revealed, as has been in recent iterations of the games, it makes the games lose some of the magic. But, we also get a wide array of Fakemon to inspire us and get us hopeful for the new games, even though it may be misplaced. What do you think about leaks, spoilers, and Fakemon? Do you avoid leaks and spoilers or do you seek them out? Share your thoughts in the comments below!