While Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are still a week out from release, it’s currently open season on leaks and spoilers as copies of the game begin to circulate in the wild. But perhaps no leak has yet torn the Pokémon community apart quite like the Sprigatito’s second and third evolutions. Players who decide to pick the Paldea region’s grass starter are in for a wild ride.
Out on Switch November 18, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s leaks began back in the middle of summer when blurry screenshots circulated online revealing not just gym leaders and the game’s terastalize mechanic, but entirely new Pokémon as well. The leaks ramped up again this week as some fans got hold of physical copies of the game ahead of its official launch. We got a glimpse of Fuecoco’s first evolution, as well as a few other new additions to the Paldea region’s Pokédex. But nothing prepared fans for what the game has in store for Sprigatito.
A star back when the Gen 9 starters were first revealed in February, fan theories abounded regarding everyone’s new favorite weed cat. Would it change types as it evolved? Would it go from four legs to standing upright? Well we now know the answer, and it will shock you. A number of Pokémon leak accounts on Twitter, including CentroLeaks, shared the following screenshot of the first evolution, Fluragato:
In addition to going from four legs to two, Fluragato sports a long-stemmed flower that’s equal parts “come hither/don’t fuck with me.” Step aside Farfetch’d. Leeks are so 1996. The fan reaction to Fluragato has, so far at least, appeared to be almost universally positive. “Sooo good, I was already choosing Sprigatito, but this is it man,” one person responded on Twitter. “Same and this is only it’s middle evolution,” wrote another. “Can’t wait to see it’s final one.”
Yeaaa. About that. Leakers also let fly a screenshot of Sprigatito’s third evolution and it has torn the community asunder. May I introduce to you Meowscarada:
Goodbye Zorro, hello clown school. Even more humanoid-looking than the mid-evolution, Meowscarada looks poised to be an understudy in an all-Pokémon rendition of Carmen. Some fans are into it. Really into. Others, not so much. “GOTY,” wrote one person. “I hate it here,” declared another.
One thing Meowscarada has going for it is that the final evolutions for the other starters—Skeledirge for Fuecco and Quaquaval for Quaxley--haven’t exactly set fans’ hearts ablaze either, though the allegedly leaked images for those make it much harder to judge:
Starters are always a lightning rod for controversy and fan passion, and it will take time with the actual games themselves to see how each Pokémon looks in action. As the mainline series’ first attempt at a more open world-style RPG, Meowscarada and everyone else will have plenty of room to show off their personality and win fans over in new and different ways. I for one will still be picking Fuecco. I just won’t ever let him evolve.