Pokemon Legends Z-A: Everything We Know About The Switch Spin-Off

Game Freak and The Pokemon Company are in an interesting place with the Pokemon series ahead of the launch of Pokemon Legends Z-A. Pokemon Legends Arceus was a fresh take on Pokemon set in the far past that was well received, if not fully realized, and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet brought a fully realized open-world to the mainline series for the first time, along with massive performance problems. Now Game Freak has announced Pokemon Legends Z-A, the next entry in its experimental Pokemon Legends series. The announcement of Pokemon Legends Z-A comes two years after the release of Pokemon Legends Arceus, the first game in the Legends spin-off series.

Pokemon Legends Z-A is taking players back to Lumiose City in Kalos from Pokemon X and Y. While the announcement trailer didn’t feature any gameplay, it did provide some insights into the setting and story. The Pokemon Company also shared a few details after the announcement, proving some surprising information about the game. Here’s everything we know about Legends Z-A so far.

When Will Pokemon Legends Z-A Be Released?

While an exact date was not revealed, it was announced that Pokemon Legends Z-A will release in 2025. Pokemon Legends Z-A was announced in late February as part of the Pokemon Day Pokemon Presents livestream. Nintendo has offered no further specifics regarding a release date, but Pokemon Legends Arceus released in January of 2022 instead of the typical holiday release that most Pokemon titles get, so it’s possible that Pokemon Legends Z-A could follow in its footsteps and release in the early part of 2025.

Reports have suggested that the next Nintendo Switch console will release in March 2025. Given that Arceus and especially Pokemon Scarlet and Violet were criticized for performance issues, it seems possible that Legends Z-A could be a cross-gen release, something that we previously saw with Nintendo games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Twilight Princess. Doing so could allow Legends Z-A to take advantage of the new console’s extra power, but with Nintendo still not having confirmed new hardware, there’s no official indication of whether this might happen.

With no exact release date and few other details, Legends Z-A is not yet available to preorder.

Watch The Pokemon Legends Z-A Trailer Here

Pokemon Legends Z-A was revealed with this announcement trailer on February 27, 2024. The trailer doesn’t include any gameplay, but it does give a stylized look at the setting of Pokemon Legends Z-A, Lumiose City. It shows a document for the redevelopment of Lumiose City, promising a coexistence of people and Pokemon. It starts with a sketchbook version of some buildings and a Pikachu running, before transitioning into a Tron-like visual style showing off the rest of the city and a number of Pokemon that will be in Pokemon Legends Z-A.

The response to the trailer was mostly positive, thanks perhaps in part to Pokemon Legends Arceus being well-regarded. Some people were negative about the trailer not including gameplay or explaining more about how the game will work, since it takes place in a single city and not a whole region. The transition from a sketchbook style to a futuristic one also confused some people, making it unclear when this game takes place in the Pokemon series timeline.

Pokemon Legends Z-A Platforms

Pokemon Legends Z-A is set to release on Nintendo Switch platforms, according to a tweet from the official Pokemon account. While this confirms that it will be on the current Nintendo Switch, the language also points to a possible cross-gen release, similar to when The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launched on both the Wii U and Nintendo Switch on the same day.

While neither Nintendo nor The Pokemon Company have confirmed what the other Nintendo Switch platform might be, it is likely the long rumored sequel to the Nintendo Switch. This doesn’t confirm that the game will launch on both platforms on the same day either, as it could come out before the new console, but still be available for both.

Pokemon Legends Z-A Story, Setting, and Characters

The Pokemon Legends Z-A trailer features a Tron-like recreation of Lumiose City.

The setting of Pokemon Legends Z-A is Lumiose City in the Kalos region from Pokemon X and Y. However, it’s important to note that the game takes place entirely within Lumiose City, according to a tweet from Nintendo. Considering that Pokemon Legends Arceus, released in January 2022, featured multiple large wild areas to explore and catch Pokemon in, this setting seems like a drastic shift from the previous title, though we don’t yet know the scope of the Legends Z-A map.

It’s also not clear what time period Pokemon Legends Z-A takes place in. The trailer mentions the “Urban Redevelopment Plan” for Lumiose City, suggesting that it might take place in the recent past, when the city was under construction. Considering that Lumiose City is a stand-in for Paris, this might be based on the renovation of Paris that took place between 1850 and 1870. The trailer does represent the rebuilding of Lumiose in both a sketchbook style and a more futuristic neon style, teasing some connection to a more modern or even futuristic aspect as well. Fans also discovered that some of the text from the trailer matches up with text in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, linking it to the Paldea Realty Company, which could be involved in the redevelopment of Lumiose City.

Pokemon Legends Z-A Gameplay

While the trailer didn't include any gameplay, it did show a vibrant city filled with people and Pokemon.
While the trailer didn’t include any gameplay, it did show a vibrant city filled with people and Pokemon.

Not much has been revealed about the gameplay of Pokemon Legends Z-A, but there are a few hints from both the title and trailer. First, the trailer seems to tease the return of Mega Evolutions, as the icon for the mechanic is shown towards the end. Mega Evolutions were featured in Pokemon X and Y and are special temporary evolutions you can activate in battle for extra power or to change your Pokemon’s type.

Considering that this is in the same series as Pokemon Legends Arceus, there is a strong possibility it will feature the same catching mechanics for wild Pokemon. Instead of needing to battle Pokemon in that game, you would just sneak up on them and hit them with a Poke Ball.

While it might not have much impact on the gameplay, since the trailer focuses on the redevelopment of Lumiose City, there could be some city-building aspects. This could be something as simple as just gathering resources to progress construction. The main city in Pokemon Legends Arceus had new facilities built as you progressed through the story, so it could be something as minor as that, but anything on this front remains guesswork.

Pokemon Legends Z-A Development News

Pokemon Legends Z-A was announced on February 27, Pokemon Day, with the official announcement trailer. Nintendo and Game Freak have not shared any further information about the game since that day, with details still scarce about the title. With Pokemon Legends Z-A arriving sometime in 2025, it’s expected that more information will be shared throughout 2024 about the game, including which Pokemon are included, how the gameplay might differ from that of Arceus, and details about the setting.

Pokemon Legends Arceus was revealed in a similar way, with an announcement trailer that didn’t share many details. Instead, small videos were shared during the lead up to its release, like a trailer showing the two clans from the game.



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