GRASS KITTY and the others, I guess: reflecting on my predictions for the Pokemon Scarlet/Violet starters

Back in March, Nintendo forced my hand when they unexpectedly revealed the next generation of monster catching games.

Emboldened by the inclusion of the darling Gras-Kätzchen, Sprigatito, I felt compelled to rush EZIYODA’s launch, hastily tying up as many loose ends as I could with the reassurance that I’d clean things up later.

Over nine months later, I haven’t cleaned up jack shit. Haha.

Other than a short introductory article (the Luigi’s Mansion of EZIYODA), the main draw card was my opinion piece on the starter trio (totally EZIYODA’s version of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle). With nothing to go on other than a static image and a few paragraphs of flavour text, I saw fit to prognosticate on what their final evolutions would look like.

At long last, Pokemon Scarlet and/or Violet are in our hot little hands, and I can self-critique myself. The short version: great job, Tony. Your reward will be lots of money and a rocket ship and a cool girlfriend who doesn’t judge you for crying so much.

As you might anticipate, a spoiler warning is in effect for those of you yet to meet the fully evolved forms. How you got this far without watching videos like this one, I’ll never know.

Quaquaval, aka Quaxly’s boisterous uncle who is no longer invited to Christmas

Artwork by BombomDraws

Prediction: The safe money, then, would suggest that Quaxly will fall somewhere in the middle, sporting business casual attire that is trendy yet comfortable.

I was only being facetious when I stated this claim, and yet, it convinced me that making predictions would be kind of fun. This isn’t the first time I’ve pursued this fruitless endeavour, and yet somehow, my stupid jokes about the Galarian starters somehow ended up being more accurate.

So now I sit here gazing at the festive splendour that is Quaquaval and asking myself… is this the wardrobe of a billionaire? It’s perhaps a bit of a stretch, unless you are referring to Ikhnaton of BattleClash fame.

Quaquaval’s garb is rather exotic, not understated as I had surmised. It also has a really big ass, another aspect (asspect?) that I failed to consider. However, the fact that its plumage resembles clothing at all is an absolute win on my part. How many people out there made the jump from Quaxly’s Josuke Higashikata pompadour to snappy threads?

I believe myself to be in a small, vocal and very drunk minority, already on the fast path to success. Thank you for showing me the way, flamboyant fiesta fowl. I’ll gladly invest in shares of whatever company you currently helm.

Tony’s accuracy score: 6 out of 10. When I’m rich I’ll dress like this, too.

Skeledirge, aka I told you Fuecoco was Mexican, hombre

Artwork by Kitchi Drachenblut

Prediction: Perhaps the final destination for Fuecoco is to become an absolute unit of pure chonk. I’m talking dummy thick lizard folds.

I must confess, though Skeledirge is the closest to the concept I had in my mind, what with its rather robust frame, it still falls short of my understanding of the term “dummy thick”.

In actuality, its thickness is rather well educated, and more in line with the muscular Feraligatr that I had alluded to in the initial post. I can’t really take full credit for this one. I just wanted a big fat lizard boi, dammit.

I further failed to foresee that it would have a badass candy skull aesthetic and feature the hairstyle of Larry Fine. For those keeping score, Skeledirge is the Latino home brand version of a long-dead comedian, Quaquaval has cheeks that defy science. Anticipating any one of those things was probably a long shot, though, so I’m not really blaming myself there.

Overall, Skeledirge is probably my favourite of the three evolutions, and ironically, only the second time a hitherto bipedal starter has learnt the folly of its ways and transitioned into a rewarding life as a quadruped.

But did its deciduous feline contemporary follow suit? Let’s spare the suspense, you already know the goddamn answer, and it has rendered every other correct prediction completely moot.

Tony’s accuracy score: 7 out of 10. Thick enough for a passing grade.

Meowscarada, aka you deceived me, Sprigatito

Artwork by Wolf-Wick

Prediction: I am staking my reputation on the claim that it will not metamorphose into a bipedal, anthropomorphic otherkin.

Well, fuck.

If everything else had gone awry, this was the one thing I was truly hoping for. The sordid past of adorable mammalian starters that grow up to become Jellicle cats has been long chronicled and lamented, and many of us were optimistic that Sprigatito would break that accursed trend.

Not only has Meowscarada failed to do that, but it has arguably ramped things up by adding another prime candidate for rule 34 trauma. Step aside, Lopunny and Gardevoir, this little number comes equipped with its own gimp mask.

There is no real way I can spin this to my own benefit — I was just flat-out wrong, leading me to believe that there is some intention behind all of this madness. I don’t have access to the franchise’s merchandise and engagement figures, and I am somewhat ponderous as to whether the thriving cosplay community has some sort of influence here.

To wit, though Meowscarada was not the result I wanted from my kitty monster, it is quite a unique and lovely design that invites real-life recreation. Could it be that Game Freak want to promote their creations through such word-of-mouth? Or, more spitefully, do they revel in the traction that this endless furry cycle seems to generate?

I’m not 100% certain what Meowscarada should represent to me. I feel as though it will stalk me in the night, quietly hiss “give a man his mask and he will become his true self”, and then disappear before my very eyes with a flourish and a trail of rose petals.

Regardless, Sprigatito will remain my starter all the same. And who knows, maybe Meowscarada is actually the cool girlfriend I had been seeking all this time? You could do a lot worse, just take one peek at those gams, baby.

Tony’s accuracy score: 0 out of 10. Waifu betrayal.

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