Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / Pokémon Sword and Shield

Go To

As a Headscratchers page, all spoilers are unmarked, per policy.

  • So why exactly did Chairman Rose need to unleash Eternatus and cause the Darkest Day specifically during the Champion fight? Couldn't he have waited? Was it just out of spite since Leon didn't want to comply 'til after the fight? On top of that, why even bother with Eternatus at all? He claims that Galar would have a big problem a thousand years from now, something about needing the energy from the Wishing Stars to continue to power the Galar region. That's fine and all, but Fire type Pokemon exist, Electric type Pokemon exist, both provide a source of energy. Does he just think or expect them all to go away at some point?
    • It is possible he meant Dynamax energy which is what Eternatus is the embodiment and source of. After all, Dynamaxing is a unique Galar selling point to bring tourists. This is why everything started to involuntarily Dynamax around Galar.
    • It's established at a couple points throughout the game that he's the kind of person who hates waiting to do something that can be done straight away; basically the extreme inversion of Ridiculous Procrastinator. He simply didn't see the Champion fight as a valid reason to delay it.
      • That's exactly it. The only reason for the conflict is that Rose is impatient.
    • Advertisement:
    • From a meta standpoint, Rose and Eternatus' story seems to be a metaphor for nuclear energy. Just as the real world we are at risk of running out of our energy-supplying resources, Rose was concerned of an eventual energy crisis. Just as some people in real life view nuclear energy as a solution, Rose viewed harnessing Eternatus' Dynamax energy as a solution. Both can cause mass destruction on a regional scale if mishandled, and cause creatures to grow to gigantic proportions. Rose may simply rush to awaken Eternatus as a parallel to those who would rush towards nuclear power as a solution to a future crisis before its time.

  • Couldn't they simply bring two identical fossils to the lab to create whatever the Draco, Arcto, -zolt and -vish Pokemon originally were, instead of randomly mixing and matching parts where they don't belong?
    • Also, why do the Dex entries state how the fossils once lived millions of years ago, if they never existed that way to begin with? The entries keep saying how their poorly-adapted bodies made them go extinct, even though it was the unethical scientists who made them that way in the first place.
    • Advertisement:
    • Who writes Pokédex entries has always been questionable; is it the player, the professor, or someone else, we're not sure. The Dex entries for the Fossil Pokemon, however, sound completely fabricated, almost as if someone made them up on the spot to cover up for their mistake when reviving the Pokemon.
      • It's likely that whoever wrote those entries was making it up on the spot, possibly as a reference to the Piltdown Man hoax. It's likely that no one In-Universe has figured out the truth yet (similar to how the Piltdown Man wasn't discovered as a hoax for at least four decades).
    • Fossil resurrection in Pokemon has never needed a full skeleton before - remember the Old Amber? They could easily recreate the original species if the Galar scientists didn't insist on using two fossils at once.
      • It is noted its odd that the various combinations of Galar fossils are able to be revived like that at all, suggesting that there might be something more to the mystery of these unholy chimeras than just a (literally named) careless scientist.
      • I like to believe that Dracozolt and Arctovish are the least wrong combinations, either just missing parts, having parts on the wrong way, or both.
  • So there's apparently the issue of Arctovish having its head upside down, but given it's an aquatic creature why doesn't it just swim upside down so its mouth is facing downward? A bit less efficient, sure, but at least not the "it can't eat at all and eventually starved to extinction" stuff the Pokedex says.
    • Because, due to its head being attached upside down, its digestive systems and esophagus would likely be attached incorrectly as well, so it can eat the food, but it wouldn't go anywhere.
      • Well in that case, why doesn't it just invert itself when its chewing, then revert itself to begin the digestion process?
      • I think what they meant was that the stomach and esophagus are either not connected at all or connected in such a way that food can't actually go through it no matter what way up the Arctovish is facing, due to the weird orientation.
  • Leaf Stones and Ice Stones suddenly work for Eevee, as well as Thunderstones for Charjabug. A convenient retcon for the sake of gameplay, But it raises questions in the actual world building aspect.
    • It is possible the Leaf and Ice Stones are related to the Moss and Ice Rock, and the previous players just...never thought to use them? Charjabug's case is less easy to explain, however.
    • It could be that the Leaf, Ice and Thunder Stones are special kinds that using the ones from other regions won't work.
    • The series has long since introduced the concept of multiple universes to explain away retcons like this. These games simply take place in an universe where those stones have this extra functionality.
    • Also, Eevee are very adaptable by nature, with unstable genetics. It's possible that in recent years in the Pokémon world they became able to evolve with Leaf and Ice Stones. They wouldn't be the first Pokémon that have more than one way of evolving (i.e. Onix are noted to sometimes evolve into Steelix on their own via age and diet, using metal coats was just a recent way that humans invented). Perhaps the Thunderstones in Galar are naturally magnetically charged, or they come from floating rocks similar to the ones in Chargestone Cave, which would enable Charjabug to harness their electromagnetism to evolve as well.

  • So what's even up with that one spot Galarian Yamask needs to evolve? It doesn't seem to have any similar runes around it, and it just seems like any other spot of the Wild Area.
    • The lore of it seems to be about the horrific memories/curse on the tablet and how the spirit that forms Yamask is drawn to it. Perhaps that stone archway is connected to the curse and provides additional energy?
    • It seems more like, once Yamask is beaten and weak, Runerigus can emerge and build itself a body out of the stone nearby, consuming the Yamask in the process.
      • The issue with the above idea is that Runerigus' rune "stone" body is specifically said to be made out of clay (hence its Ground typing) rather than actual stone. Plus even if it used the rock archway for material, it wouldn't explain why it needs that specific location when there is stone all over Galar.

  • If Spikemuth is a rundown ghost town that nobody seems to visit, then how are challengers able to complete the Gym Challenge? Was it only this way because Marnie set out to do her challenge and so Piers got his Gym Trainers to do whatever it takes to help Marnie alone win? Has it always been visited as part of the Gym Challenge but just isn't a popular spot to stick around in thanks to the lack of a Power Spot, so no Dynamaxing?
    • It's possible that maybe there's a different 7th gym that trainers visited instead, so that's why Team Yell was willing to do whatever it took to get people to recognize that Spikemuth had a gym in it.
    • It probably doesn't help that it's the second to last gym, so by that point most challengers would've given up.
    • I believe it is explained that Spikemuth's decline was linked to how popular Dynamaxing became. A normal gym, regardless of how powerful the gym leader was, was simply not as much of a draw for tourists, television viewers, etc. in Galar. Gym trainers of course did continue to go to the gym to complete the Gym Challenge, but there was little fanfare. It's noted Chairman Rose even tried to have the gym moved to a distant area with a Power Spot, but then Piers refused the plan (probably because without any gym Spikemuth would decline even more).

  • Judging by the Hatterene line's Pokédex entries, namely their intense dislike of strong emotions & people who are too loud, by all logic it should be illegal for any Trainer to use one in an official Gym battle - let alone for Bede's ace Pokemon as the new Fairy-type Gym Leader to be a Gigantamax Hatterene - lest the crowd be put at risk from its going insane and rampaging from the loud cheering.
    • Presumably, a Hatterene that belongs to a trainer would not act on its impulses the same way a wild one would. Pokémon instantly obey their owners as soon as they're captured, after all.
    • Indeed, it is noted by an NPC that wild Pokémon can be frightening but that if they have a trainer they are trusted allies. Plus one can wager that like many Pokédex entries, the Hatterene line's are exaggerated/hyperbole, refer to a specific individual that then got associated with the species as a whole (like the idea that every Cubone somehow loses its mother), etc.
    • Isle of Armor confirms that trained Hatterene at least are not so dangerous. You can encounter Bede in the desert with his Hatterene and he'll note how she likes such out of the way places because she's not stressed out by having so many minds and emotions nearby to sense, the implication being that trained Hatterene simply get stressed out by strong emotions rather than being triggered to violence.
  • The idea of Dynamax is pretty much Fridge Horror incarnate. Why would anyone have the bright idea to have it happen in crowded stadiums? Has anyone thought of the possibility of Pokémon attacks missing or having it's residue hit the audience? And that is not counting the possibility of the Dynamaxed Pokémon's bodies straight up crushing the audience if they were sent flying...
    • Maybe all the gyms have countermeasures in place to protect the spectators, like a crew of Mr. Mime putting up barriers to block the moves.
    • I believe at least one NPC does remark that the stadiums are built with withstanding Dynamaxing in mind, though specifically how they protect the audience isn't addressed.
    • Dynamax/Gigantamax does not actually make Pokémon grown bigger, that's just an illusion so there's no fear of an enormous Pokémon's body falling on the crowd. In the same vein, its not unreasonable to think their enormous, powerful moves are also an illusion (maybe in the sense of being regular moves and the power of Your Mind Makes It Real), but that's more in the vein of WMG.
      • I think you may have misunderstood that. The game specifies that indeed the Pokémon are warping space rather than actually increasing in mass, but at the same time its specified this same space warping enables them to effect their surroundings as if they really had become that giant size. The attack moves not being as powerful (or at least as massive) as they appear could be true though, given their power caps at about 140. They are still enhanced though, breaking through Protect/Detect and having various special, powerful extra effects.
      • So instead of becoming Kaiju like most fan perceptions due to Square-Cube Law, Dynamaxing works more like the Susanoo or Tapu Koko's Z-Move? Still, the danger of collateral damage still stands.
      • The battle elevator at Rose Tower is explicitly stated (during the raid to "rescue" Leon from Rose and Oleana) to have forcefields to enable Pokemon to battle without risking the safety of the battlers or the building. Also, the building is constructed atop a Power Spot, which enables Dynamax, so that has to be accounted for as well. Macro Cosmos Construction likely installed similar safeguards to ensure the spectators would be safe from such misfires.
      • Related to the above, an NPC will outright note that especially if one sits in the front rows at a stadium that attacks from the pokemon do sometimes get shot in their direction. However, they only state how it adds to the excitement when this happens, rather than referencing any actual danger.
      • Strangely enough, the anime portrays Dynamax/Gigantamax as something fully physical. However, that's the anime, a different medium that likely portrays an alternate reality, so perhaps it doesn't count.
      • Citation for the above? The Gigantamax Snowlax in the anime didn't appear to do anything a Gigantamax in the games couldn't (i.e. the game versions can interact physically with the world around them, the structures they grow in their changed forms can be eaten, and so on).
      • Also, what about the trainers? They stand in front of the Dynamaxed Pokemon. I doubt any safety measures that the audience have will also apply to them. Then again, trainers have dodged Pokemon attacks for years now.
      • The trainers are likely protected to an extent by their Dynamax Bands. If Dynamax Power can make barriers for Pokemon, they should be able to create barriers for people, too.
      • In Gen 4, Cyrus' research on his computer mentions that Catching a Pokemon like Dialga/Palkia in a Pokeball limits their power. This influenced his mission for the red chain. If we can assume this affects any Pokemon and not just legendaries, It is possibly this is also in play when a Pokemon is Gigantamaxed.
      • Related to this topic, a recent episode of the anime confirmed that for the anime at least the stadiums do have force fields set up (presumably like those described in the game for the Macro Cosmos elevator) to keep pokemon attacks from hitting the audience.
  • So why didn't Leon think to call Hop and tell him he was going to be late for dinner before having his meeting with Rose?
    • Didn't Leon tell Piers to tell Hop he'd be late? Hop just got worried because it had been hours, and everything escalated unnecessarily from there.
    • Piers only showed up to say so after it had been several hours and Hop was already worked up. The real question is why it either took Leon that long to think to send a messenger or why it took Piers so long to deliver that message.
  • The archway I can sort of understand, but what's up with Galarian Yamask needing 49 damage in addition? That's a weirdly specific number.
    • Best guess is that it's a reference to the "intermediate state" in Buddhism. In Buddhism, 49 days is one of the lengths of the intermediate state between one's death and the universal resurrection.
    • As this Reddit thread explains, 49 is a particularly bad number in Japan, as it combines the infamous 4 (shi) with the lesser known 9 (ku).
  • Why in Arceus's name is Inteleon the "Secret Agent" Pokemon? The only things in the whole line that suggest "secret agent" is Sobble being able to become invisible when wet, it's Regional Dex number (007), Drizzile's intelligence and laying traps and Inteleon's water gun finger...thing.
    • That's exactly it. The 007 reference is probably intentional, stealth and intelligence are traits a good secret agent should have, and secret agents usually have a gun to pack some heat.
    • It's body is also full of what could be termed biological equivalents of spy gadgets. Aside from the finger gun, it has the gliding membrane, special third eyelids that help it aim (seen when it uses Snipe Shot), and a blade hidden in its tail (the last according to the official website at least, as its not seen in-game).
  • What makes Galarian Weezing a Fairy?
    • Perhaps the fact that it's spitting out purified air instead of more toxins? But then maybe the Grass-type would be more fitting.
    • It's a helpful fey who cleans the air for people and fellow Pokémon.
  • Why is Arctovish's head on upside down? I can understand mashing two skeletons together For Science! or because "Dr." Cara Liss is too dumb to recognize they're two animals, but aren't dorsal and ventral sides of skulls, torsos, and anterior ends pretty much universal in shape between vaguely similar species?
    • Cara Liss obviously had no idea how to attach the fish head. On Arctovish she (or her machine) at least put it on the correct end of the body. On Dracovish she stuck it to the tip of the dragon body's tail rather than to the front end. There's no way it should function at all.
  • So if the Pokémon League in this game is supposed to be a clear stand-in for Association Football, then what's the online/competitive battling scene supposed to be? I mean, it has completely different rules than regular League matches (the Trainers can't use items, you can forfeit, Olympus Mons are banned in some instances if a Trainer managed to get their mitts on one, etc.) Is it closer to a professional wrestling match, instead? Is it a subset of rules of the regular League? Or is it just unorganized battling?
    • It probably depends on the kind of competitive match. Something like VGC, the officially supported format of the main series, could be seen as a subset of rules of the regular League (since in VGC, the main draw is double battles, unlike most matches in the regular Champion Cup), but would still be just as important or official. Whereas regular ol' 6v6 Singles, like what Smogon partakes in, would just be seen as unorganized, but regular matches.

  • Why doesn't the Galarian region have a liquid posion like Grimer/Muk or something similar? Britain still has sewers and pipes full of toxic liquids.
    • That may be the case in Britain, but maybe Galar's water is cleaner, perhaps thanks to Rose's philanthropic efforts to improve the region.
    • Also, just because toxic liquids exist in an area doesn't mean there has to be pokemon there that eat or are born of them. Muk for instance didn't exist in Alola until people took it there (wherein it became a new form due to the people intentionally giving it the task of eating garbage rather than living in sewers).
  • Okay, so in the postgame, Leon turns Rose Tower into the Battle Tower. That's all well and good, but wasn't Macro Cosmos responsible for Galar's, well, everything? Have Macro Cosmos and all the services it provided vanished into the aether to be replaced by absolute null, or is Leon the new CEO?
    • All the battles take place on the top floor, which was just a personal thinking place for Rose originally. So presumably the rest of the tower is still devoted to the various Macro Cosmos companies (the Poke Jobs offered by Macro Cosmos certainly continue without change as far as I know).
  • OK. What in the Reverse World is Bede's deal? I get he grew up in an orphanage and sees Rose as a father figure, but that doesn't explain why he's an insufferable jerk most of the game, even after he becomes a Gym Leader. Every time I see him, I wish I could use Thief to steal the stick up his ass and then use Wood Hammer to smack him upside the head with it.
    • He has a arrogant and prideful nature and its noted he often got into fights at the orphanage, but more than that Opal summarizes what is "with him" shortly before she takes him away for training. Namely Bede is very "sincere and straightforward" but also "twisted and misguided." To invoke a trope, one could even theorize that thanks to his rather lowly past Bede suffers from a Inferiority Superiority Complex, although we don't get to see enough of his insecure side to really confirm this.
  • The part during the Opal battle where Opal asks the player what her age is. For background, the choices are "16" and "88", and taking one good look at Opal, you'll know that "88" is the obvious correct choice, but apparently it's still counted wrong in the game because Opal doesn't like being called old and wants a player to say that she's younger. I know it's Played for Laughs, but doesn't this seem like cheating on Opal's part? The entire point of a quiz is to answer questions correctly, and "88" is the correct choice, so technically it should be considered correct. Imagine being a trainer participating in the gym challenge who did tons of research on the gym leader knowing that the gym was quiz themed, only to get hit by a stat downgrade and called "insensitive" by the gym leader for answering a question the way it's intended to. It's basically the same equivalent of a game show host asking the question "What kind of ingredients do you put on a sandwich?" and counting "mayonnaise" wrong because he doesn't like mayonnaise.
    • Such is the way of fairies and Fairy type users, the right answer isn't always the correct one, and vice versa. The quizzes Opal gives to seek a successor are at least partly just to learn about the trainer and to see how well they understand Fairy type pokemon and Opal herself. Besides, giving a challenger extra difficulties is within the discretion of the gym leader. One could say "forcing" a stat downgrade on one pokemon during the battle counterbalances all the essentially free stat upgrades you got from earlier battles at her gym. Not to say she gets no criticism for it, given her first league card outright says some think she gives unfair quizzes "out of spite" (while Opal maintains she wants to see who the trainer really is by putting them in a bad situation).
    • That isn't the only unfair question she asks. She also asks what she usually has for breakfast (a fact unmentioned previously) and her favorite color (In a gym surrounded by pink, where pink is the wrong answer because she likes it for others but not herself).
    • Fairies and the fey are frequently portrayed, especially in the Celtic myths that are common in the European regions that Galar was based off of, as tricksters who are prone to holding grudges against people who are disrespectful toward them. Opal might be 88 years old, but saying that she's 16 is the sort of flattery that one of the fey would expect someone to say if they're trying to be polite and respectful, and her age goes along with the idea that you really should be nice to the older and more powerful fey creatures. Most regions of the Pokemon world show Fairy-types as being based around light, purity, and overall "cutesy-ness"; Opal is showing her challengers the less-friendly side of the Fairy-type's origins that tends to get ignored.
    • When I played this fight I assumed the questions were flat-out rigged. The unfairness is definitely the point, and you're supposed to shut her up by overcoming the disadvantage to win anyway.
  • What qualifies the Galarian Yamask line for the Ground typing in favor of Rock typing, which still has not been seen in any Ghost-type Pokemon?
    • The distinction between Ground and Rock type has always been a bit unclear, however in this case despite it looking like a rune stone carved from a boulder, the pokedex entries describe Galarian Yamask as carrying a "clay slab" and "clay tablet" respectively. Clay is often more associated with soil/ground than it is with rock (due to it typically being soft/malleable in its original state, hardening by drying or firing).
  • Since Leafeon and Glaceon got item-based evolution methods now, will they change the Magnezone evolution method in the DLC when the Magnemite line is added? What could replace the magnetic field location level-up?
    • For Charjabug's case, it evolves with the Thunder Stone. While the same can be presumed with Magneton, one wonders how it'll work out with Nosepass given neither it nor Probopass are even partially Electric-type.
  • Why are Rookidee and Corvisquire the first pure Flying type non Legendary Pokemon? Tornadus got special treatment due to being a Legendary based on Fujin and Arceus and Silvally merely had the type as a form.
    • Because Game Freak finally decided that adding a Normal-typing to any bird Pokémon who fits the Flying type but doesn't fit another type to be pointless? Maybe it'll eventually become the norm for all Com Mon birds.
  • If Ball Guy isn't officially involved with the Pokemon League, why do they allow him to give rewards to tournament winners?
    • They don't really have any reason to stop him. I mean, would you argue with the crazy costumed man?
    • Where did you get that he isn't? You can see him (or rather, cartoon versions of him) on the screens in the stadiums at some points, so he probably is connected to the league in some way.
      • He might be, but his homemade League Card notes that he merely dresses up to look like the official mascot, and he tells the player character he hopes that befriending them (the Champion) will allow him to get a official position.
  • Why are the Galarian forms of the Legendary Birds (at least mostly) evil? Galarian Articuno is the Cruel Pokemon, Galarian Moltres is the Malevolent Pokemon. Galarian Zapdos being the Strong Legs Pokemon is the least intimidating of the three.
    • One possibility is that it has to do with whatever caused them to become Galarian forms to begin with. For many regional forms their extreme or different personalities are heavily influenced by the history that led to them becoming those forms.
  • Whom, besides the Chairman and the Champion, could a trainer theoretically be endorsed for the Gym Challenge by? I assume that Gym Leaders are also capable of doing so (which would explain how Marnie is eligible), but what about your Average Joe/Jane newbie trainer who doesn't have any connections like you, Hop, Bede, OR Marnie do? How else could there be 25+ trainers at the start going for the Champion's title?
    • Given the various sports comparisons, perhaps the League sends out talent scouts to assess local trainers and potentially recruit them for the Gym Challenge? How things work could depend too on just how many trainers are already signed up.
    • There are 18 gym leaders active in this region, even if we personally don't get to see all of them, that's more than enough for anyone interested in entering the competition to find one and get an endorsement. If a trainer can't be bothered to travel to a town with a gym leader they're not going to bother with a challenge that involves travelling all over the region in the first place.
  • How did Bede manage to get so far into the Gym Challenge? His Psychic-type team should've been dominated by any other trainer. And on another note, how did Hop lose to him? His team is overall way more diverse.
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation. That is we can assume in the actual story Bede simply had more powerful and well trained pokemon, regardless of the levels he's at in-game compared to Hop at the time. For a clearer case, we can look at how Hop doesn't use a full team until the post game despite explicitly having more than six pokemon (since he had enough to switch out his team at one point). Even levels themselves may be a game mechanic to indicate strength/skill rather than a real thing in the pokemon world, hence how in-game trainers can train all their lives and not get anywhere close to level 100, whereas our in-game prodigies progress at rapid rates.
    • Another story reason could be simply that Hop got pulled into Bede's taunts and ended up giving bad commands to his pokemon.
    • His team of Psychic-type only is not really a problem for the first three gyms; the closest to a disadvantage would be Kabu's Bug-type Centiskorch. Also, although Hop's team is more diverse, he does not have any particular advantage against Psychic when he first battle Bede, aside from Sucker Punch if he has Drizzile.
  • How are the finals of the Champion Cup supposed to work when by all rights there should be nine competitors? Presumably Opal didn't compete due to her training Bede as her successor, but if she hadn't stepped down, how would they have organized the bracket?
    • Perhaps the highest ranked minor division gym leaders step in as needed?
    • Either the lowest-seniority Gym Leader sits out, or (in recent tournaments) Piers might just volunteer to stay home since he hates Dynamaxing so much. He skips the Opening Ceremony too, so it would be in-character. He might've only competed this year because Opal was already sitting out, plus Marnie would be a contestant for the first time.
  • The more I think about it, the less Calyrex's relationship with his steed makes sense. Whether you pick the ice-type Glastrier, or the ghost-type Spectrier, the mystical horse is gonna have the offensive advantage against their grass/psychic-type rider. So how is Calyrex the dominant half of their union?
    • Even underpowered Calyrex is noted to be able to "influence" the will of its steed, so perhaps that plays a part (certainly in the "taming" scene we see Calyrex send it own blue energy into the body of its steed) . Ghost may be super effective against Psychic, but its not resistant to it, so mental domination is quite possible. Also, for the initial win in ancient times at least this was Calyrex running off the power it gained from the support and adoration of the people, perhaps effectively making it a much higher level than Glastrier/Spectrier were back then. The reins are also said to play a important part.
  • Why are the Fighting- and Poison-type Max Moves not as strong as those of the other types?
    • Most likely because their effect of boosting the user and their allies Attack/Special Attack is simply such a strong effect. Reducing their base power compared to other Max Moves was probably an attempt to balance that.
      • That makes sense. I kinda figured it was a balancing issue (at least for the Fighting-type ones), but I wasn't 100% sure.
  • Why are Wooloo able to roll away from danger, but can't learn Rollout to defend themselves?
    • It is a Rock type move, maybe their thick wool makes their bodies just too soft to perform the attack?


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: