Bless you, hackers, for doing the work that Game Freak should have done.
As all of you surely already know, Pokémon Sword & Shield doesn’t have all 900-odd Pokémon in its National Dex. Instead, Game Freak removed nearly half of the game’s back catalog of monsters and ended the 20-year-long tradition of never leaving a Pokémon behind.
Nevermind the fact that continuing this tradition made developing a balanced game unfeasible. Nevermind that it would eventually cause Pokémon to have thousands upon thousands of entries that would need to be stored and cataloged in just a few years time, making it virtually impossible even for the most dedicated player to truly “catch them all.” Pokémon fans were incensed that this pillar of the franchise had been removed, and they were all too clear with expressing their rage.
While some fans turn to social media to vent their frustrations, others turn towards more constructive endeavors. If Game Freak and Nintendo won’t do it, then hackers will just add those cut Pokémon back themselves.
Michael, or @SciresM on Twitter, is a well known Pokémon data miner and Nintendo Switch hacker. He was first on the scene to provide a solution when some players reported a bug that could delete their save files in Sword & Shield, and he’s been tinkering with the game ever since its release.
Today, we got to see some of the fruits of his labors. Omastar was added to Sword & Shield despite being officially cut from the game’s files. Michael used the model and animations from Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu/Eevee and inserted them into the game’s model table using a save editing tool called PKHeX.
Animation on entering battle is pretty broken, but it works okay other than that.— Michael (@SciresM) November 18, 2019
Obviously stats are broken (didn't fix the personal entry yet), and this was originally an edited yamper that I didn't bother giving legitimate moves. pic.twitter.com/m1C8CzDQCt
As you can see, Omastar looks right at home in the game--almost as though it were never removed to begin with, although Michael admits the process wasn’t exactly easy.
His current plan is to add a few Pokémon himself and then make the tools/instructions publically available so that others can add back in the rest of the cut National Dex. However, that might be easier said than done; many of the cut Pokémon don’t have models and animations to steel from Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee. Those ‘Mons will either have to be made totally from scratch or have their models/animations taken from the 3DS games and updated to work on the Switch.