We’ve already spoken at length about the Pokémon Sword & Shield reveal trailer. We’ve got the analysis on our channel to prove it. But we’re not done with this reveal yet as the Direct also provided a map of the new Galar region. And like many of the past region maps, it’s incredibly detailed making it possible to look ahead at what we might encounter on this Pokémon journey. So we’re running it through the old Analysis Machine to see what secrets and hidden details it can find.
But be sure to watch our reveal trailer analysis as we’ll be referring back to it throughout this. Now as we said before, the Galar region is based off the United Kingdom, just flipped upside down. And the trailer featured plenty of scenes of the opening areas including the trainer’s house, which we can find on the map at the very bottom. This means that technically your trainer is from Scotland, and that’s quite important to a small correction we need to make. We said before that female trainer was wearing a pom pom beret. It’s actually a stylized version of the Scottish Tam O’Shanter hat. So Game Freak is trying to be accurate in regards to the trainer’s origins. We talked about this opening area at length in the reveal trailer, but let’s do a quick rundown nonetheless.
We have the trainer’s house and directly next to it is a large red house that features both a pond and a Pokémon battle arena making us believe that your rival in this gen will be a bit of a rich kid. It would be pretty cool if your rival was actually a jerk who thought only the rich can be great. There would be a lot of possibilities with this rich and poor dynamic that could be mined for a good rivalry. But knowing recent Pokémon and Game Freak’s unwillingness to create jerk rivals, it likely won’t happen. What we think will happen is that your rival will want to go to the nearby foggy forest to the west where a professor will promptly stop you and ask that you go to their lab. This sends you along Route 1 where the curved part will be blocked off until you have your first Pokémon. That is unless you receive your starter in those foggy woods, similar to rescuing Professor Birch in Gen 3. Either way, you’ll eventually arrive in the first town which features both a train station and a purple building that we believe is one of the professor’s labs.
This is likely where you’ll receive your starter but not your Pokédex. Instead, you’ll be sent further along the path until you reach the purple building near a lake. As we said in our previous analysis, we believe this belongs to a second professor. The first, or the one in town, gives you a Pokémon to defend yourself, while the one on the outskirts gives you the Pokédex so you can explore the region and catch ‘em all. We’ve seen this sort of spread between receiving a Pokémon and a Pokédex before as it was Professor Oak who gave the device in Gen 2, not Professor Elm. Whatever the case is, there will be some reason to travel to this lakeside house, but it is a dead end.
And that’s where the train station comes in. We saw a train waiting there in the trailer, but we don’t think it’ll actually go anywhere until these beginning tasks are completed. In fact, the train might not even arrive until you finish them. The train tracks lead directly into a mountain, but we see another station on the other side. This is where you’ll get off and we’re pretty the game opens up in a big way at this point. We can see two large lakes that take up the majority of this area along with an old castle turret to the northwest and a bridge to the left before opening up to the coast. But there’s something missing here. There are no roads at all. It could be possible that this entire area is fully explorable allowing players to walk along the lake shores until they reach the mountains or even go west until they reach the beach. They could even return here once surf is learned in order to visit that small in the middle of the lake. And that castle turret might even hide some cool Pokémon.
It would be a really cool example of nonlinearity in Pokémon, but on a smaller scale. Now having said that, there is only one way forward through the center and the right and left paths could be blocked off in some way. As we mentioned in our previous analysis, this map isn’t exactly one to one. Not every single element is represented, only the most important points. So this area actually being linear is a very real possibility. Still, we’re hoping that more exploration will be available. At the very least, this seems to be the equivalent to the Lake District in the UK. It’s interesting to note, but as we’ll soon see the locations of some of these landmarks doesn’t necessarily mean they were inspired by them. Continuing north, there are two paths that the player can take. One leads directly into the industrial city while the other crosses a bridge into a valley-like area. However, we believe this bridge will be closed, forcing players to enter the city. Why’s that? Well if we look farther north, this path doesn’t have access to the other two towns in this area.
Instead, it leads directly to the next city. So obviously we’re going to have to check out the rest of these towns first. And that means that the second major place you’ll visit in the Galar region is this industrial city, which is a bit similar to visiting Lumiose City early on in the Kalos region, though it wasn’t fully accessible in this first visit. We do believe that the industrial city will be completely explorable though.
And thanks to the trailer, we know it houses one of the new Stadiums in Sword & Shield as part of that central tower. What we don’t know is if it will be the first of these Stadiums, but we have a feeling that it will be. The city’s location in relation to the UK seems to put it around the Newcastle area though this city doesn’t seem to take any inspiration from it, instead going with the more steampunk aesthetic. It certainly makes it stand out. Now this city seems to be another opportunity for the game to be non-linear. Players could either leave to the east or west and end up in another town that features a Stadium.
After completing that Stadium, a bridge to the north would immediately take them to the next with no backtracking. It’s a bit of a circular path. But there’s always the possibility that some kind of barrier will force players along a certain route. With that said, we’re going to go west first as that leads to one of the towns from the trailer. But before we even reach it, there are some intriguing landmarks just outside the city. There’s a normal path leading away from a bridge and towards the mountain and it even has a circular area where the player can cross the tracks and reach some kind of building. These tracks, however, are unlike any other on the map which leads us to believe that this nearby mountain is where the mining scenes in the trailer took place. The minecarts leave the mountain and stop by the nearby building for processing before they continue on to the city for proper use. At least, that’s our theory. So the path allows the player to visit this place before entering the mountain. But there’s one other major mystery here, the bridge to the south.
It connects two mountains though we can’t see a destination. The train that goes across this bridge absolutely originates from the city, the lowest crossing on the left proves it. But where is it going? Well, we have a rough theory, but let’s save it for later in the analysis. Instead, let’s return to the northern mountain which we believe the trainer travels through to reach the next town that’s dotted with mysterious Stonehenge-like rocks. There’s even a path leading from the south where the trainer will presumably exit. This is where we got our best look at the new Stadiums in the trailer, specifically that this is the Grass Stadium. It’s also the location of the hillside artwork of a presumed Legendary. The location of this town is roughly near Yorkshire in the UK and matches much of that area. However, this artwork which is based on the Cerne Abbas Giant is nowhere near Yorkshire. Instead, it’s near Dorset which is south of London. It’s another indication that Game Freak is playing fast and loose with the actual locations.
If we head east from this town, we can actually see another conspicuous building. It’s all on its own while the path splits off around a small pond. We can even see some kind of sign above the front door. While we’re not exactly sure what this place is, we have a feeling that it’s the new Pokémon Day Care where you’ll be breeding your Pokémon. It’s then that we come to the large bridge leading to the other town. But rather than head that way, let’s return to the industrial city to see what it’s like to head east from there. Right away we see a blue bridge that’s likely another set of train tracks. It goes into another mountain and we believe turns north as we can see more tracks just above until those head into a tunnel as well.
We don’t know exactly where that tunnel leads, but presume it ends up in the next city. Of course, there’s a normal bridge as well for trainers to walk across that also leads into the mountain. And we think it’s very possible that the exit is just to the north where we see a paved road lead directly into a tunnel. But this brings us to a coastal town that does feature a Stadium. And considering the blue emblem on the front along with its location, it’s extremely likely to be the Water Stadium. Beyond that, there’s a lighthouse on the edge as well as a sailboat.
While it’s not exactly likely, this sailboat might a key aspect to Sword & Shield’s postgame. If Kalos is nearby like France is to the United Kingdom, then maybe we can return there though we find that highly unlikely. Another possibility is that this location is based off Blackpool which is also a coastal resort on the Irish Sea. And that’s where our other idea comes in. What if Ireland actually is featured in Sword & Shield? Could it be the game’s Battle Frontier? That is something fans have wanted to return for a while, but it’s difficult to say if this will actually be a possibility. As much as we want it though, we doubt this will be the case. Once these three Stadiums have been completed, we’d expect the small bridge north of the Lake District to finally open, allowing players to head for the next major city. The route in between though is dotted with strangely arranged stones and some out of place dead trees.
Perhaps these are scars from some kind of battle? Unfortunately there’s just not enough details, but this next city is a wholly different beast from the industrial one, almost literally. A massive wall with turrets lines the front and the entrance is marked by a giant dragon head. In the center is a large castle featuring a tower with a crown at the top and branches of the castle emanate from the base that almost give the appearance of wings. For a sense of scale, we can see normal buildings at the base and they seem tiny by comparison. On the right side, there’s what looks to be a cathedral or some kind of school while the left side features its own tower with a Chinese-inspired dragon at the top. Not only that, but there’s another Pokémon battle arena outside of it, the third and final one displayed on the map. Looking at all of this, we can only wonder what the purpose really is.
Is this city the home of Galar royalty? Or is it where the Champion resides? Could they one and the same? Or has this location been adapted from medieval times into a Stadium. After all, we’d expect the game to feature eight in total as that’s always been tradition, even in Alola with the Island Trials. So this place needs to have a Stadium and as we saw with the industrial city, they’re not always obvious. But the dragon iconography is really interesting as that all but confirms that this would be a Dragon Stadium despite being the fourth Stadium we’ve visited. Well, we wouldn’t expect it to be the fourth. It’s extremely likely that players will have to go elsewhere before challenging this Stadium, though we don’t exactly have evidence of this. It’s just that most dragons evolve very late and most would only just be evolving for the first time by the fourth gym.
Now a new Pokémon could throw a curveball, but we wouldn’t expect that at the moment. But this doesn’t answer the question in regards to the purpose of the dragon tower. Could this be like the Battle Chateau or Battle Tower in past games? Or is it something a bit different? There’s a lot of questions revolving around this city, but we are pretty sure that it won’t be open ended as far as where players go next.
We can see a drawbridge on the western end meaning it’ll likely be closed when we first arrive. So it looks like we’re heading east. And as we go that way, we’re immediately greeted by a fork in the road. Heading north leads to the canyon maze that we saw a brief glimpse of in the trailer while east leads through a small tunnel to a mysterious complex. Both eventually lead to another town to the north, but the path taken depends on whether we have Surf yet or not. We’re going to guess though that Surf isn’t earned until this upcoming town which means players will have to navigate the canyon in order to reach the town. And as many of you mentioned, this town is very likely the same one we could place in our previous analysis. The map inaccuracies got as this place on the map features no central area. However, we can clearly see the the museum-like structure just in front of another Stadium. And considering the region it’s in, we’re very likely looking at the Ice Stadium.
Once completing it and earning Surf, players can then use that ability to travel through the ice flows we saw during the trailer and reach the complex to the south. We still don’t know what this building could be though. Maybe it’s the corporate headquarters of that company we saw advertised in the trailer. It was only a snippet, but it’s the best guess we’ve got. After all, there is a sign out front. We would then return to the fortress city and go west through the newly opened drawbridge. It’s then that we’d immediately see a monument to Dugtrio built into the side of the mountain, which is more than a little odd.
We guess Dugtrio is revered in this part of the Galar region. The town is also a bit odd as the houses are built directly into the mountain as well. This is a common practice of places around the world, but it’s the first time we’ve seen it in Pokémon. This does lead to the town’s Stadium though which we’d assume is a Ground if only because of the Dugtrio nearby.
But that might not be the case. During the trailer, we see Lucario facing off against Tyranitar, which is a dual Rock and Dark type, in a Stadium. That could mean that the battle is taking place here. However, there’s a problem with that theory. Pupitar doesn’t evolve into Tyranitar until level 55. In every previous Pokémon game, the fifth Gym Leader, which we think this is the equivalent of only ranges in the 30s. Some are as low as the upper 20s while another has a few in low 40s. But that’s still nowhere close to level 55. So we’re going to stick with our original theory that this is a Ground Stadium. We think we have an idea of where Tyranitar could fit in later. To the left of this Stadium, we see a giant painted picture displaying gears and a shield. It’s possible that this is the companion to the artwork we saw in the south. After all, in our analysis we stated that the hill artwork was likely connected to the Sword Legendary.
And that seems to be panning out considering this shield imagery. But we’re not sure of the connection otherwise, just that this scene is a lot happier with all kinds of crazy colors being used. It could also be the place where the box Legendary is confronted in Sword & Shield. But that’s all guesswork. There’s still one more town to see in this area though. A path on the right side leads into the thick woods where it eventually opens up into a small town. And this place seems like something out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. There are giant multi-colored mushrooms surrounding the town while the homes look like they’re made out of gingerbread. We’re not sure what to think of this place, but it does have a Stadium and we’d be shocked if wasn’t based around the Fairy type.
It’s just too fitting. After completing that Stadium, players would return to the fortress city and likely take on its Stadium as the 7th in Galar. Once that was finished, a train to the north would become available. We can even see the tunnel to the north and a train station on the other side of this huge natural wall. It’s then that we’d walk through the snow valley, which we actually saw in the trailer, until arriving in the final northernmost city. And once we’re past the man-made wall, the snow disappears and everything is green again. That’s a heck of a wall to affect what the temperature is going to be like. But this city is absolutely based on London. We can see its equivalent to Big Ben, the London Eye, and even Piccadilly Circus in the central area.
Or should that be Pika-dilly Circus? More skyscrapers line the background, but nothing draws the eye quite like the central tower that seems lined with crystals and a dome at the top. It’s impressive to say the least. But before getting to that, we also see our final Stadium. But rather than a Pokémon type symbol, it has the Stadium symbol. So what’s this one based around? Previously, we’ve seen Grass, Water, Ice, Ground, Fairy, and Dragon, all of which we’re positive will be the themes. We don’t know the industrial city’s Stadium theme though we’d expect it to be Fire based off the steampunk aesthetic. So that leaves this final one. The shape of the Stadium appears somewhat like a flower but as we’ve seen Grass is already taken.
So that would make our best guesses Bug, Electric, because of the city setting, Poison, or Psychic. And then we remembered Tyranitar. We don’t believe there’s any way that this is Rock or Dark-Type Stadium. It just doesn’t look the part. But the Stadium symbol on the front could indicate that anything goes. Any type could appear here and the trainers you face have balanced teams. It wouldn’t be the first time this was done as we saw with Blue in Gen 2. And while the levels of many of the past final gyms tend to be in 40s range, Wulfric in Gen 6 did have his entire Pokémon team in the mid-50s.
So we believe we’re looking at something similar here. Now while there are mountains all around this final city, we don’t think they can actually be visited. But this does beg the question of where Victory Road, the Elite Four, and the Champion might be located. And we think it’s possible that the Crystal Tower is Victory Road with man-made hurdles to overcome until reaching the dome where the Elite Four await. This isn’t a guarantee though. After all, Big Ben and the London Eye could serve some sort of purpose and the train tracks over the bridge all the way to the south could lead to a Victory Road. And this isn’t even mentioning the new evil Team’s base.
That could be in any of the places we just mentioned or the complex near the icy drifts or even somewhere in the fortress city. Nailing down where these specific places might be is a tad tricky. Pokémon does enjoy throwing some curve balls at us on occasion. But that’s everything that we could find on the Galar region. It’s looking like a place full of possibilities and even the chance of some non-linear sections. We can’t wait to see more of it and discover what the Stadiums and each of these cities is all about. Of course, if we missed anything, let us know in the comments.
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