Evolution

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Every Cross-Gen Evolution Explained

Thanks to the new cross-gen evolutions introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, the Pokemon universe got expanded upon in interesting ways.


Just like the many games before them, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet have added new cross-generational evolutions to some of the more popular Pokemon lines from across the years, right from Gen 1 all the way up to Gen 5. Cross-gen evolutions have been a core part of the Pokemon series ever since Pokemon Gold and Silver, and with Pokemon‘s ninth generation it was inevitable that this tradition would be continued. Typically, these new cross-gen evolutions included Pokemon with underdeveloped designs or untapped potential to be given a second chance, while others used older Pokemon as springboards to create new concepts.

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When Pokemon Scarlet and Violet officially launched, they brought four new cross-gen evolutions that followed in the footsteps of previous games. Some new evolutions explored older Gen 2 Pokemon that fans had been clamoring for Game Freak to revisit, with a prime example of this being Dunsparce, a Normal-type critter that never did much. However, as is the challenge with any changes to existing Pokemon lines, players have had a mixed reaction to some of these new evolutions. As such, it’s worth breaking the new Pokemon down to better understand their core sources of inspiration and overall design choices.

RELATED: Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Fans Discuss New Evolutions of Older Pokemon


Annihilape

Annihilape's Pokedex entry, introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

The only new Pokemon introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet belonging to a Gen 1 line, Annihilape is likely one of the best-liked cross-gen evolutions for Gen 9. Both Mankey and Primeape were already easily recognizable Gen 1 Pokemon and therefore seemed less in need of a new addition to their evolution line, but Annihilape is a fitting addition. Riffing on Primeape’s older Pokedex entries about how it can get so angry it might die, Annihilape’s Fighting/Ghost typing is a nostalgic nod to the Kantonian creatures. However, its Pokemon Legends: Arceus-inspired evolution method has caused some fans to see Annihilape’s evolution as a missed opportunity.

Dudunsparce

Dudunsparce's Pokedex entry, introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

A long-requested Gen 2 cross-gen evolution introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet comes in the form of Dudunsparce, which has undeniably been the most controversial among fans. Ever since Pokemon Gold and Silver, Dunsparce’s underwhelming design, stand-alone evolution line, and generic Normal-typing have fueled near-constant demand for it to receive something, whether it’s a new evolution or regional form. But though Dudunsparce is a new evolution it does little fans had hoped for, where it retains its Normal type, gains either one or two extra body segments, and otherwise changes little beyond a handful of superficial details.

Farigiraf

Farigiraf's Pokedex entry, introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

The second and final Gen 2 cross-gen evolution in Gen 9, Farigiraf was actually among the first pocket monsters to be revealed to players prior to Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s launch. Though Girafarig was a generally favorable stand-alone Pokemon, like Dunsparce fans had hoped a new evolution might be added sooner or later. But unlike Dunsparce, Farigiraf was far better received by fans, with an interesting design inspired by its original beta motif. Understandbly so, too, as Farigiraf’s game-changing abilities are nothing to scoff at. Though it still kept its Normal/Psychic typing, Farigiraf came across as a better thought-out evolution from its core concept to final execution.

Kingambit

Kingambit's Pokedex entry, introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

As the last of the new cross-gen evolutions added to Paldea’s Pokedex, Kingambit is conversely a new addition to the youngest line among these evolutions. Pawniard and Bisharp were already some of Gen 5’s more popular Pokemon, but with their inspirations taken from chess pieces, fans were curious to see if Game Freak might expand the line further. Cue Pokemon Scarlet and Violet‘s Kingambit, the difficult-to-obtain evolution of Bisharp, which requires players to have Bisharp hold a Leader’s Crest and simultaneously knock out three other Bisharp also holding the same item. However, some players have pointed out that stats-wise between Bisharp and Kingambit it might not be worth the trouble.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are available now for Nintendo Switch.

MORE: Why Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Don’t Feature a New Eevee Evolution


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