This past week Nintendo and Game Freak unveiled Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet‘s newest Pokemon, Wiglett, and have now shared more information about the strange and surprisingly controversial creature. Wiglett, as the name implies, is a variation of the Pokemon Diglett. It’s not a traditional Regional Form, like Alolan Raichu or Galarian Meowth though. Wiglett is a distinct Pokemon, perhaps better referred to by the community-decided category of “Regional Fake.”
The Regional Fake, RFakes, or Convergent Species, have long been hinted at by Pokemon Scarlet and Violet leakers. Insiders often described them in very negative light, practically calling them half-steps from Game Freak, taking old Pokemon and presenting them as new to avoid endeavoring to create something entirely fresh. Wiglett’s reveal, however, dashed much of that hearsay. The eel Pokemon is familiar but significantly different in meaningful ways. Unsurprisingly, Nintendo’s descriptions for Wiglett focus on those differences.
The official Pokemon website for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet put up a profile for Wiglett with the Pokemon’s description reading, “It’s said that Wiglett’s resemblance to Diglett might be a mere coincidence — a result of its adaptation to its environment.” A subsection of the profile further delves into the idea that Wiglett is just a white-colored Diglett. It says that while the two look similar, Wiglett is an entirely different species.
While Nintendo and Game Freak do want to make clear that Wiglett is a distinct new Pokemon, they don’t shy away from its similarities to Diglett, either. The website points out that Wiglett also buries its body within the earth, or sand more specifically, and pokes just a part of itself out. The size of the rest of its body and what its look like isn’t entirely clear. It can also burrow into the sand to conceal itself, as necessary.
General information for Wiglett includes a category of “Garden Eel Pokemon, Water typing, a height of 3’11”, weight of 4 lbs., and the abilities Gooey/Rattled. Prior leaks said that Wiglett would be a Water/Ground type, which may still be true for a potential evolution. It just goes to show that even accurate leaks may not have every detail correct.
Wiglett is likely to be just the first of multiple so-called Regional Fakes to be announced for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. All in all, it’s an interesting new direction that could be a lot of fun. New Pokemon that are familiar offer some interesting opportunities, though Pokemon fans can be very selective, to say the least. It remains to be seen if Pokemon fans wouldn’t rather just have entirely new Pokemon or if they’ll warm to Regional Fakes in the long run.
Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet release November 18 on Switch.