Nostalgic Pokémon Go players (so Pokémon Go players, basically) will be getting a treat from the anime this weekend. The sunglasses-wearing Squirtle from the Squirtle Squad will be available for capture on July 8th. This one-day only event is the first time an anime-original variant of a Pokémon has been in the game, so it'll be a popular prize for sure.
The Squirtle Squad was featured in an episode of the anime's first season, back when Pokémon was at the height of its cultural domination. The gang of turtles caused trouble for humans until Ash taught them to trust again. After going legit, the leader Squirtle abandoned his rad shades and joined Ash's team. But Squirtles with shades have always been a fan-favorite image, so it was long overdue for an appearance in a game.
The special Squirtle will spawn as part of July's Community Day, a fairly new monthly event in Pokémon Go. On Community Day, a certain Pokémon is given increased spawns, exclusive attacks, and even higher chances of appearing in its coveted shiny form. Squirtle is the last of the first generation starters to get a Community Day, with Bulbasaur and Charmander already being featured. However, Squirtle is the only one of the trio to get a special variant like this.
Shiny Squirtle and special moves will still appear like on any other community day, Eurogamer reports in its coverage of the event. To get the shades-wearing variant, players will have to complete Research Tasks, Pokémon Go's new quest system. New Research Tasks will occur on Community Day that give shades Squirtle as a reward.
Of course, Pokémon fans will be asking one important question: what shades will this Squirtle be wearing? Will it be the cool pointy ones the leader wore, or will it be the round ones donned by the minions? There's been no official word or image of the reward Squirtle, but it's probably safe to assume it'll be the pointy shades.
For a game that keeps making mistakes, Pokémon Go knows how to bounce back. Even the small gesture of an anime reference is enough to keep fans coming back for more. I know I'll be out there trying to get a cooler-than-cool Squirtle.