The fourth Pokémon to star in the upcoming 8th generation Pokémon Sword & Shield might have just been leaked online, and it goes by the name of Petromite.
So far, Game Freak has revealed just three Pokémon in Sword & Shield: the grass monkey Grookey, the fire rabbit Scorbunny, and the sad tadpole Sobble. These three starters continue in a long tradition of Fire/Grass/Water types that form the holy trinity of Pokémon games.
But we might have just been introduced to a fourth Pokémon thanks to a leak on 4chan.
Before we get into this, let’s just first say that anything from 4chan needs to be taken with a hefty grain of salt. This could all be an elaborate hoax for someone else’s amusement and not a big leak at all. That said, this is a pretty intriguing story with enough backing it up that we think gamers oughta know about it.
The Pokémon is called Petromite, and we know that thanks to an anonymous tipster that posted a video of the ‘Mon as it enters a battle. The video seems to be from a cell phone camera and captures the 3-second battle introduction where the game says “a wild Petromite appeared!”
Petromite isn’t really much to look at. A long tubular body seems to have strange wave-like arms (or possibly ears) riding atop a strangely glowing base. The very top of Petromite looks almost like a stovetop and the overall shape is very reminiscent of a kerosene lamp with eyes straight off of an Eevee.
The name itself would seem to lend credence to the theory that Petromite is some sort of Pokémon version of an old-timey handheld lamp. Petrol is a British term for gasoline, a type of fuel that’s closely related to kerosene.
We only have these three seconds to go on, and apparently, there's a good reason for that. According to the original 4chan post, the person uploading the video is a "critique/quality assurance" tester for Pokémon Sword & Shield. They say that each test game features watermarks on most screens that reveal which test copy is being played. This is fairly common in the games industry to prevent testers from leaking games online--the watermark would allow them to be identified with enormous legal consequences.
However, some areas of the game do not have watermarks, according to the poster, and one of those areas is the battle screen. "I assume to be due to no ui textures being used here (They are on other UI pieces)," the poster wrote.
The comments responding to the video seem almost perfectly divided, with half believing it to be true and the other half thinking it’s an elaborate fake.
Those believing Petromite to be a fake point at the strange and somewhat jerky movement of the Pokémon as though the faker couldn't quite animate it as well as a team of Nintendo engineers could. Others point out that the battle scene is the exact same one featured in the game's online trailer, which makes it theoretically possible for someone to take that footage and alter it to include Petromite.
However, if it is fake, then it is quite convincing. There’s a lot of work going into the overall animation as the camera breaks through the grass, and while Petromite’s movements aren’t exactly fluid, maybe they’re just not supposed to be. It’s a living lamp, after all.
There’s no way to tell for sure until we get official confirmation from Game Freak, but so far we haven’t heard anything. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date if either Nintendo or Game Freak throw us a bone. Or a lamp.