A recent Twitter thread suggests that the newly announced Polteageist Pokémon of the upcoming Pokémon Sword & Shield games was actually a fakemon posted by a 4chan user back in 2014. While we're still not over the fact that you can literally drink this Pokémon, the similarities between the 4chan post and the actual Pokémon are striking.
Polteageist was first announced last Wednesday, September 4, during the Nintendo Direct when a new trailer for the upcoming Pokémon RPG revealed four new features for the game. After demonstrating the new avatar customization options, Pokémon camp, and curry on rice, an image of a flying teapot was shown and introduced as one of the new Pokémon in Sword & Shield. Polteageist, a Ghost-type Pokémon, has a body "made of tea, complete with its own aroma and flavor."
Twitter user @TodoNintendoS tweeted on September 5 at 7:13 PM with a screenshot of the aforementioned 4chan post, where an anonymous user pitched the idea of a haunted teapot Pokémon named Polteageist (the evolved version of the user's other original Pokémon idea, Entitea, a haunted teacup). The tweet goes on to claim that the 4chan user was actually hired to work on Sword & Shield, even tweeting out a source post where another anonymous 4chan user confirms the hire. Fans have even joked that the original anonymous user was James Turner, Gamefreak graphic designer and Art Director for Sword & Shield.
DAILY NINTENDO FACT #613— TodoNintendoS (@TodoNintendoS) September 5, 2019
In 2014, a 4chan user suggested two "haunted teacup" Pokémon called Entitea and Polteageist, the latter being officially revealed for Gen VIII. This user was actually hired by Nintendo in 2015 and had been since then trying to bring the idea to the table pic.twitter.com/6Bv13it5Wm
While it's impossible to confirm whether the 4chan user was actually brought onto the team behind Sword & Shield, the uncanny similarity of this fakemon versus the real Polteageist brings up another interesting series of questions within the Pokémon universe: Are there any other Pokémon that have derived from fans' ideas? And will we be seeing more Pokémon that resemble fans' ideas in the future?
Even within the above Twitter thread, another user @DeadEyesArt shared a story and image of their 10 year old fakemon "Lycanice", who bears a resemblance to Pokémon Lycanroc, who first appeared in Generation VII's Pokémon Sun & Moon.
So far, there have been seven generations of Pokémon. Generation I (1996-99) introduced 151 new Pokémon, Generation II (1999-02) introduced 100, Generation III (2002-06) introduced 135, Generation IV (2006-2010) introduced 107, Generation V (2010-13) introduced 156, Generation VI (2013-16) introduced 72, Generation VII (2016-19) introduced 88, and so far 19 new Pokémon have been announced for Generation VIII's Sword & Shield. This means there are currently at least 828 Pokemon in existence.
And Generation VIII is just beginning. If every Generation introduces us to at least 70 new Pokémon, then we have at least 50 more new creatures to look out for in this eighth round.
Whether GameFreak is actually hiring creative fans and turning their fakemon into reality, or if all of this is just wild coincidence, it's inevitable that after 23 years fans and designers might start to create similar Pokémon. It's impossible for designers to continuously come up with 1000s of different kinds of Pokémon without overlapping with at least a few fan ideas. Or, in this case, accidentally (or not so accidentally) bringing a fan creation into reality.