One of the details revealed in the latest Pokémon Scarlet & Violet trailer was that the game would have three main stories, which could be played in any order. We were told about one of the three: The story of battling through all the gyms to get to whatever this game's equivalent of the Pokémon League is.
But what about the other two stories? The trailer implied that they would be of a roughly similar length or size, although we could just be reading too much into it. So what could they be? Let's speculate!
Well, we don't know what this is, but the trailer promised us a treasure hunt of some kind, proposed by the academy's principal.
Our thoughts went immediately to the Underground from Diamond and Pearl, but it's almost definitely not that — our money is on a real treasure hunt, framed by Pokémon ScaVi's past-vs-future theming, which has us discovering historical artefacts. It wouldn't be the first time that Pokémon has tangled with ruined civilisations, either: Pokémon Gold and Silver had the Ruins of Alph, which were filled with Unown; Ruby and Sapphire had the Regis — golem Pokémon found in strange ruins in the desert.
But what would the treasure hunt be for? What does it have to do with Pokémon? And how would it last for as long as the normal Pokémon League story? We can only guess. Perhaps the treasure is long-lost Pokémon, or fossils. Perhaps the treasure is actual shiny gold. Perhaps the treasure... is the friends we made along the way.
We know that Scarlet and Violet have a lot of past/future theming, but what we don't know is what that means. Will we be travelling between the two, like in Pokémon Legends: Arceus? What if one of the stories concerns linking the two in some way? We don't really think that time travel will be a part of the game, because it largely seems to be about the "you're at school" angle, but it would be interesting to find out why the game is so concerned with the past and future.
This is an easy guess. The Pokémon games always have an element of Pokémon research, whether it's just a case of "fill in the Pokédex", or a more in-depth role as one of the Poké professors' researchers.
We'd put money on at least one of the game's stories being about finding out about the Pokémon in the Paldea region, potentially with a focus on evolution, as the past/future theming could play into research in some interesting ways. Imagine having to do archaeological digs to find out how Koraidon evolved into Miraidon, or why Poison Wooper diverged from the normal Wooper — or, on the other side, speculating how other Pokémon could evolve in future. How cool would that be? Biology!!
This is the first Pokémon game that has actually given the child-aged protagonists a school to attend. Usually these ten-year-olds are left to run around the country unsupervised, and the task of fighting off villains who want to, you know, kidnap and pillage and literally end the world is left up to kids that don't even know algebra yet.
So what if one of the stories focused on the actual school, with all the school activities that usually go on at school? Imagine it like a Harry Potter sort of thing: Adventures, quests, and lessons that take place in the grand campus of Paldea's academies, sort of similar to how Pokémon Legends: Arceus' research center worked as a hub to return to, and learn from.
This would have to be a bit more exciting than "you're at school", in our opinion, because the whole point of the Pokémon games is getting to explore the wide world, but we can imagine there being field trips to other towns and wild areas. And, honestly, we would love to know what it's like to be at school in the Pokémon world...
Another recurring theme in the Pokémon games — there's always an evil organisation that you have to thwart on your way to the Hall of Fame. They range from "super-evil" to "actually, they have a good point", but either way, it's your job to smack 'em down with your team of Pokémon.
The Team Rocket of each game is usually concerned with stealing Pokémon and waking the legendaries, but so far, the box legendaries are... the motorbikes that it looks like we'll have access to from near the beginning of the game. This means that the evil guys either don't want the legendaries, or they want different legendaries — and there have been rumours that other legendaries exist. Or the story could be completely different! We're just guessing!
It'll be interesting to see how the stereotypical "evil team" interacts with the non-linear nature of the game — would this story also be able to be played in any order? Can you just jump straight to the boss, or will it be like Breath of the Wild's Yiga Clan where they just pop up all over?
Well, those are our ideas, but we're not Pokémon designers. If we had to guess (and be disappointed), we'd imagine that the other two stories are Pokémon research and fighting evil, which is just... a normal Pokémon game. But it does seem like the treasure hunt is an important part of the game, so we're excited to see how that pans out.
What would you like the stories in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet to be? Let us know in the comments!