Pokémon Legends: Z-A - What could it be?

A new addition has been confirmed for the legendary saga...

George Brownless
20th March 2024
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
A surprise for the Pokémon community on Pokémon Day, as a new Legends game, following on from the success of Legends: Arceus was announced for release at some point in 2025. Legends: Z-A is set within Lumiose City, the central city of the Kalos region, based on Paris, France. However, beyond the teaser we know scarcely little about the game beyond its vague 2025 release date.

One aspect in the trailer that was pushed quite heavily is the fact that it focuses on an urban redevelopment plan for Lumiose City. The main problem here is we don’t yet know which side of the timeline this lands in. Is this game pre–Pokémon X and Y, or some time afterwards? The futuristic look of the trailer would suggest to me that we are looking after the events of X and Y. Given how Legends: Arceus plays out, set in the past of the Sinnoh region, we could be looking quite a way into the future for this game.

The most recent main series games, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet may lend some credence to this, with a lot of themes surrounding the past and future, in particular with the introduction of Paradox Pokémon, taken from the distant future and past. Legends: Arceus may well be that past representation, whilst Legends: Z-A could look more into the future. I do however expect Legends: Z-A to play much differently to Legends: Arceus. Arceus had a very unique goal, in completing the very first Pokédex, in a time where people and Pokémon didn’t really work together, as is seen across the main series. More hints to the timeframe of Z-A confirm this in the trailer, as there is clearly a lot of interaction between trainers and their Pokémon throughout the trailer. We see Sylveon and Aegislash battling it out and a trainer sat in a café with their Furfrou and Klefki.

Of course, the question then turns to the name of the game itself, why Z-A? There are two links here, but firstly it is important to note that Pokémon X and Y were the first main series games to not be followed up with a third version (think Pokémon Emerald for example), or DLC (Sword, Shield, Scarlet and Violet). Pokémon Z has been a long running meme in the community, with Xerneas and Yveltal being the box legendries for their respective games, whilst the third of the trio, Zygarde, was left to just be caught in a cave in the postgame. The Z in the game’s logo, definitely bares resemblance to the design of Zygarde, so it would be surprising if it doesn’t see a major role in the game. Pokémon X and Y also have a character you meet through the story called AZ. AZ is the former king of Kalos, using “the ultimate weapon” to end the war in the Kalos region, 3000 years in the past. There is a (so far) unobtainable Pokémon known as AZ’s Floette which relates to this. Lots of Pokémon died, including the Floette, and the ultimate weapon was initially used to revive Floette, before being used to end the war. Seeing this devastation, Floette left, and AZ just continued to wander, looking for it. AZ is someone I expect to play a big part in the story of this new game, potentially as a professor type figure, wanting to see Kalos flourish after the events of X and Y.

Nintendo of America also seemed to specify that the story takes place within Lumiose City entirely. This seems to be an odd choice at first glance. But if the redevelopment of the city plans to expand its size, I could see it working out well. But time will tell, as we have quite a long wait ahead of us.

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