On Wednesday morning, the Pokémon Company revealed new information about the highly anticipated Sword and Shield games releasing this November. There are jobs for your Pokémon, the angsty Team Yell and Galarian forms exclusive to the region. Weezing got a British makeover, adding a proper moustache and smokestacks to the two gloating gas balls. Zigzagoon and Linoone, who were first introduced in Ruby and Sapphire, received Galarian forms and a new evolution that make them look like bona fide rock stars.
The evolution line bares a striking resemblance to members of the band KISS, the disco-metal group that's been wearing white and black face make-up since Richard Nixon was in office. Galarian Zigzagoon, Linoone and the brand-new evolution Obstagoon have stars over their eyes; similar to the make-up worn by KISS guitarist Paul Stanley. Linoone and Obstagoon have long, dragging tongues synonymous with the band's lead singer. Gene Simmons.
No official statement has been made by Gamefreak or the Pokémon Company about the similarities, but fans on Twitter have definitely taken notice.
Comparisons between celebrities and Pokémon are nothing new for the storied game franchise. In 2016, Gumshoos and Yungoos were announced for entries Sun and Moon, and both look a lot like President Donald Trump. Fans speculated that the homage may be intentional, wondering if this might be a dig at the controversial commander in chief. In an interview with Game Informer, Series Producer Junichi Masuda denied the relation, saying "we had started the design of this Pokémon a long time back, and we didn't have any intention to make it look like Donald Trump."
In the same interview, Masuda said that "sometimes when designing Pokémon is kind of see what kids of that era might like." The Pokémon franchise has always borrowed from the real world, with each game taking place in a juxtaposed map of a country or city. The Galar region is based off England and has new monsters like Yamper, who is a reference to the Queen and her love of Corgis. I guess they thought that British kids really had a thing for prog rock.
"Pokémon has been a part of our household for decades, ever since our kids first discovered them," Simmons told Newsweek in a statement. "And to see Pokémon pay homage to KISS, is flattering."
How do you feel about the similarities between the band and Zigzagoon? Tell us in the comments.