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Pokemon Legends Z-A’s story may already be known, and it’s epic

xerneas Pokemon legends z-a

Pokemon Legends Z-A is still a long way from release but fans might already know the story of the game. In fact, they may have known since 2021.

Pokemon games aren’t really known for their stories, but Legends: Arceus changed that to some degree. The normally whimsical world of Pokemon was shown to have a dark past, with the story starting with a literal do-or-die ultimatum where the player needs to complete objectives for the Galaxy Expedition Team or face death by exposure in the wilderness. What follows straddles the line between classic Pokemon and the grim reality that giant rock snakes and flaming horses likely wouldn’t be kind to humanity.

How the upcoming game, which has a trailer built around the idea of a utopian city for both people and Pokemon, can bridge that narrative gap with the original remains to be seen. But while those general themes remain vague, the actual main story of Pokemon Legends Z-A may have been revealed years ago in New Pokemon Snap. Warning: Spoilers ahead for New Pokemon Snap.

New Pokemon Snap may have spoilers for Pokemon Legends Z-A story

The Pokemon Legends Z-A story likely centers around stopping a genocidal event with the aid of Pokemon X and Y’s legendary Pokemon.

New Pokemon Snap has special levels equivalent to boss battles that see the player follow around Illumina Pokemon, which are larger versions of Pokemon that have mysterious bioluminescence. Among these Pokemon is Xerneas, the cover legendary of Pokemon X.

xerneas mural and lumiose Pokemon legends z-a
Lumiose City in the trailer and the New Pokemon Snap mural

During its stage, players can spot a mural in the background that shows a fringed circle depicting Xerneas and the other Illumina Pokemon. This pattern bears a striking similarity to the map of the reimagined Lumiose City shown in the Pokemon Legends Z-A trailer. This similarity was pointed out by @Light_88_ on Twitter.

Also on the mural are what appear to be comets flying toward the Pokemon. While @Light_88_ speculates that this is a meteorite, that’s likely not true. Though meteorites actually have a place in the story or lore of multiple Pokemon games including Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, Sword, and Shield, these are more likely to be related to the Ultimate Weapon showing in Pokemon X and Y.

During the events of Pokemon X and Y, players discover the dark history of Kalos and how it was embroiled in a war that ended when its king used the Ultimate Weapon to unleash a cataclysm that wiped all human and Pokemon life from the region. Though the games never actually show this event, depictions in the anime show the Ultimate Weapon firing a blast of energy into space that realigns its trajectory and returns to the surface.

Pokemon Legends Z-A’s story will almost certainly lean on this, something that has already been speculated based on the shape and color of the “A” in the game’s logo. There’s still very much that isn’t known, however.

The biggest question is how Zygarde will fit into the equation. Pokemon Legends: Arceus starts with Arceus pulling the Sinnoh champion back in time, but it takes a backseat to Palkia and Dialga in terms of the main story.

The nature of Zygarde was never fully explored despite being a legendary in Pokemon X and Y and being featured prominently in Sun and Moon. It’s one of the few legendary Pokemon that has multiple forms, with Ultimate Forme Zygarde having a Pokedex entry that states “it uses force to neutralize those who harm the ecosystem” and that “the orifice on its chest…radiates high-powered energy that eliminates everything.”

Whether Zygarde will help the player prevent that cataclysm or be the catalyst behind it is unclear. Either way, players can almost certainly expect some weight behind the story of Pokemon Legends Z-A.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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