This isn’t really a secret, but a Pokémon could kill a human at any point if it wanted to. These beloved creatures harness elemental powers well beyond the strength of any human, and even a lowly Weedle could easily maim or kill a person. If you really think about it, every Pokémon trainer is only one Razor Leaf or Flamethrower away from death.
For the longest time, it’s been relatively easy to ignore these sorts of ambiguities of the Pokémon world. I, for one, am much more focused on taking cute selfies with my Pawmot and less concerned with overthinking every unexplained detail in the world. However, new content in the first part of the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet DLC, called The Teal Mask, brings some of these questions to the forefront in a surprising way.
[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for the story in the first part of the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet DLC, The Teal Mask.]
In part one of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s DLC, The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero: The Teal Mask, trainers venture to the land of Kitakami. As we play, we learn the town has a local legend that took place generations ago. According to the legend, three Pokémon — Okidogi, Munkidori, and Fezandipiti — once saved the town from a rampaging ogre. At the time the story takes place in the game, the townspeople call these Pokémon “the Loyal Three” and honor them in a local festival. However, as we learn more about the history of the village, we discover this legend has a secret dark side to it.
The DLC introduces two new characters to the game: Kieran and Carmine, siblings and local inhabitants of the region. At the festival, Carmine and the player encounter a mysterious Pokémon named Ogerpon who drops its teal mask in fear. It’s up to the player to then return the mask. As part of the mainline quest, the player and Carmine show the mask to Carmine’s grandfather, who then reveals that the touted version of the legend is a lie.
As it turns out, the true villains of the legend were the Loyal Three. They aren’t, in fact, loyal; instead, they seemingly murdered Ogerpon’s only friend and trainer. In the true version of the legend, the ogre — a docile Ogerpon — lived its life as an outcast alongside its human trainer after being rejected by the local villagers for looking different. Only one villager, a mask maker, took pity on Ogerpon and its trainer, and he made them beautiful masks as a gift so they could blend in at the local festival. The masks were noticed for their beauty and quality, and this eventually attracted the attention of greedy Pokémon — the Loyal Three. One day, the Loyal Three decided to steal the masks.
Carmine’s grandpa recounts the true legend as follows: “The man happened to be there. He managed to hold on to one of the masks… but he was not strong enough to protect them all. The Pokémon stole the other three masks. Several hours later, the ogre returned to the cave… It found its beloved home in ruin. All that was left were the signs of a struggle and a teal mask.”
The legend doesn’t say these three Pokémon murdered the man outright, but all signs point to his death. Following the theft of the masks, the legend ceases to mention the man, and Carmine’s grandfather says that the ogre returned to its home “alone and with great sadness.”
So, although it’s never explicitly stated, it looks like the Pokémon series has one of its first big cases of Pokémon murder. The story serves as a grave reminder: You know those battle-ready creatures that can manipulate the elements and unleash powerful attacks basically at will? Well, you might not want to get on their bad side.