Is Pokémon’s zodiac pattern for Fire-type starters over?

Last February 27, 2022, The Pokémon Company held their fourth “Pokémon Presents” presentation during their 26th anniversary. The presentation revealed a lot of new events and updates for their spin-off games, mobile games, & more. Out of all the announcements, Pokémon fans were brought to the edge of their seats as the company revealed the first look at the new starters for the next entries in the main series, Pokémon Scarlet & Pokémon Violet.

Fans got their first glimpse of Sprigatoto, the Grass Cat starter, Fuecoco, the Fire Croc starter, and Quaxly, the Duckling starter. Fuecoco received a lot of attention for its resemblance to a chili and adorable dino-like design.

But it also highlighted a conundrum: until now, Fire-type starting Pokémon have seemed to follow the creatures of the Chinese zodiac. The Pokémon Company has not spoken about this nor confirmed anything about this theory, but the image above shows how reasonable the theory is (right?!).

Based on the image, each animal on the Chinese zodiac represents a Fire-type starter since Generation 1. Charmander and Cyndaquil are somewhat looser interpretations of the zodiac animals they represent, because Charmander is considered to be a Fire Lizard Pokémon (but later on evolves into the dragon-like Charizard) and Cyndaquil is more of an echidna rather than a rat, but according to its Pokédex entry, it’s categorized as the Fire Mouse Pokémon. The release of the starters from Generation 3 to 8 strengthened the theory because each new Fire-typer starter appeared to correspond to one of the zodiac animals… until the release of Fuecoco.

Looking into Fuecoco’s released initial Pokédex information, the company categorized it as the Fire “Croc” Pokémon and its design certainly could be seen as inspired by real-world crocodiles. This has caused Pokémon fans to question whether or not its reveal has “debunked” the zodiac theory.

However, some Pokémon fans are still holding onto the hope that the Fire Croc Pokémon’s evolution will ultimately show that it deserves a spot in the zodiac and that Game Freak has simply taken a more surprising route with its design. Considering the fact that in the animal kingdom, crocodiles and snakes belong to the Reptilia (Reptile) class (hello there science nerds :p), it may be possible that Fuecoco’s evolutionary line may change before its final evolution. To continue the zodiac pattern, it’s evolution would have to fit into one of these four archetypes:

  • Snake
  • Horse
  • Sheep
  • Oxen

Will this be the end of the zodiac fan theory that has been feasible for the past 8 generations? Or has the Pokémon Company decided to tease fans a bit before continuing the pattern? That’s something we don’t know yet until Pokémon Violet & Pokémon Scarlet releases later this year. Leave your own thoughts in the comments below OR bring the discussion to our Discord server!