Welcome back to Lorekeeper’s Logs! This series hopes to delve deep into the strangest lore of the Pokémon world and investigate the unexplained, the unanswered, and the unknown. You can find past Lorekeeper’s Logs articles here!
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet spoiler warning for this entire article!
I definitely didn’t expect to be returning to this topic immediately, but when time travel comes calling, you don’t leave that unanswered! Last time in the Lorekeeper’s Logs, we discussed time travel and Paradox Pokémon, and since then, we’ve encountered two new Paradoxes- the powerfully primordial Walking Wake and the fiercely futuristic Iron Leaves.
Editor’s note: You can currently challenge and catch one of each of these Paradox Pokémon in Tera Raid Battles! Learn more at the bottom of our post here.
While it was certainly not surprising to see new Paradox Pokémon, it was certainly surprising to see Paradox Legendaries, especially since we had seen “conjectural” Pokémon of the Legendary Beast and Sword of Justice trios within the Scarlet and Violet books, based solely off of the imaginations of the authors. To see these Pokémon actually appear is quite unusual… especially given the stories associated with both of their present-time counterparts.
So what can we gather based on the appearance of these two Pokémon? Do they complicate lore, or give us a better understanding of it? Can we get an idea of what the past and future of Paldea look like from these two time traveling titans? Synchronize your watches, Loreseekers, because we’re going on another trip through time…
The Crystalline Beast of the Brass Tower
Suicune’s origin is one of the more well-known in the series, thanks to it having been the focus of an entire game and mentioned in several others. As a resident of the Brass Tower in Ecruteak, the Pokémon that would come to be known as Suicune–along with its siblings, the future Raikou and Entei–were killed in a great fire. Taking pity upon them, the rainbow Pokémon, Ho-Oh, revived them into their new forms, Suicune specifically becoming a Pokémon of the north wind that can run on water and outrun storms.
For years, it’s been theorized as to what, exactly, these Pokémon were originally. Many people believed they were much as they are now, simply revived in the form of more powerful versions; others looked at the specific trio of typings (Water/Fire/Electric), noted that it’s not the most common trio typing (since Grass is missing), and hypothesized they were perhaps, instead, a trio of Eeveelutions that were killed in the blaze. While we have no definitive answer, I don’t believe that the new addition of Walking Wake has to complicate this story- in fact, I think it gives us our answer. You see, I think the Pokémon that died in the tower was Walking Wake- or, more specifically, a halfway point between Walking Wake and what we now know.
This concept of a “halfway point” of evolution is not unknown to us. We see the same thing in Scarlet and Violet; Koraidon, Cyclizar, and Miraidon are all stated to be the same Pokémon at different points in its evolution, with Koraidon being the prehistoric version, Cyclizar the modern-day, and Miraidon the far-flung future. While I don’t know that I’d buy that the big dinosaur weirdo that is Walking Wake was itself hanging out in Ecruteak, I do think that it could have simply been a mid-stage between Walking Wake and whatever our future version would have been had this not been disrupted by Ho-Oh’s intervention.
Of course, the very concept of “future versions” is complicated by the fact that they are clearly not a natural evolutionary state- they’re apparently adapted by humans into what they have become. Let’s take a look at our second new Paradox and examine this…
The Unyielding Sword of Justice
The Swords of Justice, affectionately known as the Musketeers by the fanbase, are a trio (later quartet) of Pokémon who dedicated themselves to protecting the world from evil. Having challenged the humans of Unova in an attempt to protect the Pokémon of the Moor of Icirrus from a great fire started by the ongoing war, the Swords are said to be distrustful of humans. (It is worth noting that we once again have an origin story involving a great fire. Coincidence?)
As Pokémon who fought against humans, the Swords are unique in their status as being openly hostile to humankind, though of course they can be tamed by the right kind of trainer. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that, unlike the Beasts, these Pokémon are somewhat mysterious in their origin; they simply appeared when they were needed most, and are said to be able to reappear should conflict arise once more that will require their skills. Virizion, specifically, is known to have a very romantic sense of justice that causes it to take on doomed causes.
This of course raises the question of why Iron Leaves exists. It is rather clear from the Pokémon of the future that the future is a very hostile and dangerous place; every single future Paradox Pokémon we witness is inherently hostile and threatening, to the point that our Miraidon in Violet is said to be a rare exception. Even Iron Bundle, a funny little guy, wants to kick your butt. So why, exactly, does Iron Leaves exist? My theory is this- Pokémon are being turned into what could charitably be called “abominations” by humankind. The future is a dangerous place, hostile to Pokémon, at least, and possibly to humans. What time could require a Sword of Justice more than that? What possible cause besides a highly hostile timeline could bring these Pokémon out of hiding? But did Virizion become robotic willingly, in order to better protect its brethren, or was it forced into this by some shadowy organization?
And what shadowy organization could possibly do such a thing to Pokémon? Who on Earth would possess the evil will to do such a thing to a Unovan creature?
The Paradox of Convergent Evolution
Of course, we may never know the answer to any of these questions. The idea of convergent evolution- presented to us in Paldea through the Wiglett and Toedscool lines- may mean that there is no relation between Walking Wake and Suicune whatsoever. Similarly, perhaps Iron Leaves is simply built in Virizion’s image in order to evoke the memory of the fearsome Sword of Justice. Maybe Iron Bundle tells us that sometimes future Pokémon are just built to look like someone’s favorite without too much concern for its capabilities.
When confronted with these questions, it is of course tempting to say that we may never know the answers, as I did above. But with the announcement of the upcoming DLC, perhaps we will learn more about these Pokémon. Perhaps we will encounter them in the new areas of the world, or history about them, or even meet the other Paradox versions of the Beast and Sword trios. I know for one that I would love to see this happen, and I hope that these questions keep coming, as I have never found myself quite so fascinated with Pokémon lore as I do at this very moment. We live in a golden era, my friends! This convergence of past, present, and future is a beautiful time that I am proud to get to see.
What do you think about these new Paradoxes and their possible counterparts? What do you think we’ll learn about them in the future (or the past)? Let me know in the comments down below or on Discord, and until next time, remember…
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