Hot professors! Four-player co-op! Lechonk! There’s a lot to like about Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, due out November 18 for the Switch. But perhaps the biggest draw are the two new version-specific legendary Pokémon, Koraidon and Miraidon, who look very silly.
This article was originally published on June 1, 2022. We’ve updated today in the light of new information.
The mainline entries in Game Freak’s series of monster-hunting RPGs are most clearly differentiated by their legendary Pokémon—enormously powerful, one-of-a-kind beasts you typically can’t capture until late in the game. Some, like Gold and Silver’s Ho-Oh and Lugia, became instant icons. Others, like those patently ridiculous wolf-beast-things from 2019’s Sword and Shield, have fallen into the series’ recent pit trap of genericism.
Koraidon and Miraidon, who were teased in a brief cinematic trailer earlier this summer, are at least inspired in their designs, and are available respectively in Scarlet and Violet (if their colors didn’t give it away already). The official descriptions don’t get into the weeds about what makes them, y’know, legendaries—their types and movesets and base stats. Rather, this is all you get: “These two Pokémon are said to have powers that far surpass those of other Pokémon.”
Following the initial reveal, Braviary-eyed fans quickly spotted how these two legendary Pokémon could effectively be motorcycles. The two circular spoked segments on Koraidon’s torso look a whole lot like wheels. Miraidon, meanwhile, seems to have a set of jet-engine boosters for legs. (Because this is the internet, some observers took away some PG-13 inferences from Miraidon’s silhouette.) And both Pokémon have tendrils arced such that they look like handlebars.
That speculation turned out to be spot-on. Today’s big Pokémon Presents live stream showed the first in-game footage of Koraidon and Miraidon. Yes, these Pokémon indeed pull double-duty as rideable machines, though it’s worth pointing out that, in the footage, you can see the ruby red Koraidon steadfastly refusing to use its built-in wheels. Nope, it runs. With its legs.
It’s unclear where exactly you’ll meet them in Scarlet and Violet’s Paldea region. Mainline Pokémon games have you battling eight strong trainers called gym leaders, whom you typically come across in a linear procession. For the first time in the series, you can tackle gyms in any order—a true open-world. That’s an exciting prospect, but it also raises an interesting question: Just when will you encounter Scarlet and Violet’s legendaries?
Historically, you’ve gained the option to capture legendary Pokémon pretty late in the game, sometime around the seventh gym. But Koraidon and Miraidon are essential for traversal. Both of them have the ability to morph into three “builds,” which you can make use of to get around the Paldea region. The “sprinting” build turns it into “drive mode,” which allows you to cover land quickly. The “swimming” build activates “aquatic mode,” basically the Surf ability from previous Pokémon games. Finally, the “glide mode” turns Koraidon and Miraidon into hang-gliders, because if Pokémon Legends Arceus isn’t gonna be BotW, one Pokémon game has gotta do it.
It’s hard to imagine Pokémon Scarlet and Violet withholding such key abilities until you approach the endgame, which has led some players to surmise that you get the option to capture the version-exclusive legendary Pokémon far earlier than previous games have let you.
Whatever the case, there’s no real reason to pine for Koraidon and Miraidon, as they’re both far weaker than a Pokémon you’ll meet hours in the early goings: Lechonk.