In this recurring series, I’ll analyze the origins of Pokémon designs, their culture, and their historical allusions to British culture.
Eternatus at first looks like an odd Pokémon. It slightly resembles a dragon skeleton, with slim limbs and a thin, long body. It’s a Poison and Dragon-type Pokémon, making it the first real Poison-type legendary. Its name is derived from the word “eternal” with the Latin word “aeternatus” meaning “immortal”.
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In the Pokémon anime it is named by Chairman Rose, who uses Eternatus to retrigger the Darkest Day and stave off a looming energy crisis.
The core on its chest absorbs energy emanating from the lands of the Galar region. This energy is what allows Eternatus to stay active.
It was inside a meteorite that fell 20,000 years ago. There seems to be a connection between this Pokémon and the Dynamax phenomenon.
Eternatus appears to be an extraterrestrial being that fell to earth a long time ago. It once triggered the Darkest Day, which forced Pokémon to Dynamax uncontrollably. After a heroic duo defeated Eternatus, it fell asleep until being reawakened during the present day. Though it was defeated, it has been leaking energy out and is the source of all Dynamaxing.
If Zacian and Zamazenta are meant to represent the siblings King Arthur and Morgan le Fay, then Eternatus may represent the father of the pair, King Uther Pendragon. In this myth, the king saw a dragon-shaped comet and adopted the name “Pendragon” afterwards.
Dragons have long been part of British folklore. The dragon, in particular a red dragon, is a symbol that is on the national flag of Wales. Eternatus bears a passing resemblance, more particularly its redder shiny form, although it is more skeletal.
Eternatus may also have some origins in the concept of nuclear energy or weaponry, especially how the topic influenced Japanese media. Much like the original plot of Godzilla and other kaiju cinema, Eternatus’ influence has resulted in creatures becoming larger and sometimes mutating into a different appearance. The kaiju genre played a large role in inspiring some original designs of Pokémon.
Galar is facing an energy crisis and this is challenge is accepted by Chairman Rose, a famous industrialist. Rose acts in a Machiavellian way, as his persistent efforts at harnessing this energy blind him to the environmental damage of this energy. While it can provide enough energy for Galar to be sustained for millenia, the energy quickly gets out of control and creates a disaster.
At the time of the game’s original planning, the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant would’ve been fairly recent in their minds. A massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck that region of Japan, followed by a huge tsunami. This tsunami caused significant damage to the power plant, shutting down cooling systems and resulting in a nuclear meltdown.
The moral of the story of Sword and Shield seems to be a warning about power that you cannot control. Finding new, more sustainable energy sources is vital. Chairman Rose knows that the coal mines under his direction are not the future. Yet the replacement must be safer.
Eternatus can change into the Eternamax form, but it is not a change that can be done by the player. Its body grows to a huge length and coils up, while it attacks from a a five-pointed star.
As a result of Rose’s meddling, Eternatus absorbed all the energy in the Galar region. It’s now in a state of power overload.
Infinite amounts of energy pour from this Pokémon’s enlarged core, warping the surrounding space-time.
This appears to be an allusion to a nuclear meltdown in some ways, where it unleashes tons of energy in an uncontrollable manner. It requires heroic effort to capture the Eternatus and subdue its energy.
Eternatus has two signature moves: Dynamax Cannon and Eternabeam. In its former, Eternatus unleashes a strong beam of energy that doubles in power when used on Dynamax Pokémon. In its latter, Eternatus briefly returns to its Eternamax form to unleash a beam of energy that requires it to recharge on the next turn.
In conclusion, Eternatus is a Pokémon of intense energy. It could power the next thousand years of development in Galar. But what happens when the energy cannot be controlled? Let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to join our Discord server!
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