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PokéJourney: The Shirla Chronicles
Developer(s) Game Freak, The Pokémon Company, Monolith Soft
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo Switch
Genre(s) Action, Adventure, RPG
Series Pokémon
Composer(s) Yoko Shimomura, Yuzo Koshiro,

Junichi Masuda, Go Ichinose, Kazumi Totaka, Motoi Sakuraba

Amiibo Support? Yes
Mode(s) Singleplayer
Age Ratings E +10 (ESRB), 7 (PEGI), A (CERO)
Media Included Nintendo Switch Game Card, Digital Download

PokéJourney: The Shirla Chronicles is an action adventure game in the Pokémon series in development for the Nintendo Switch by Game Freak, The Pokémon Company, and Monolith Soft. The game will be directed by Junichi Masuda and produced by Satoshi Tajiri.

Setting

This Pokémon game takes place in a world disconnected and unrelated to the other Pokémon games. The world is called Shirla (pronounced Sheer-la), a world where Pokémon can speak, communicate, and trade like humans do. Pokémon, and the animals and plants that are not Pokémon are all that inhabit Shirla. There are no humans and there never was, is, or will be on Shirla. The planet is Earth-like. The Pokémon that are man-made in the main series are made by mutation or the actions of Arceus, Mew, or the other "Legendary", "Mythical" or any other like powerful Pokémon.

There are a total of 8 continents on Shirla. Serenada, Walzo, Sano, Cantato, Oper, Phuegs, Caden, and Noct.

All of the Pokémon and Ultra Beasts do exist on Shirla. There are at least an estimated 3 billion Pokémon on Shirla as of the events of this game.  There are some Pokémon that fall under a rare, but harmless condition where they can switch between forms that normally cannot be switched between, mostly on command. It is a natural occurance.

Pokémon on Shirla are more advanced than their main series counterparts, even breaking known limitations. The Pokémon can trigger their own Mega Forms and suffer no ill effects from them. They also can use Z-Crystals without dancing or posing, but only twice. If they go feral, they will have same limitations as their main series counterparts.

Plot

The story revolves around a male Totodile named Tidero, who is the equivalent of an 18 year old. He wishes to travel and he finally gets the permission to leave his hometown of Cotton Town, alongside his best friend Forrest. Tidero and his friend Forrest head out of town on their first and grand adventure. They want to see the world of Shirla, but not abandon their home. This journey may prove more than just a experience of sight seeing in the Serenada continent. It could be an adventure of a lifetime.

Characters

Party Characters

There are total of 15 characters to use in the game total. Four characters are only temporary members and are not ment to permanently join the party.

Permanent Party Members
Name Starting Species Type Description Hometown Area where member joined
Tidero Totodile Water Main protagonist. Polite, intelligent, and curious. Has his father's fighting talents and egg moves. Cotton Town Cotton Town
Forrest Treecko Grass Strong and silent. He and Tidero are mutually unaware that they are cousins. Cotton Town Cotton Town
Gulf Chimchar Fire Smart-alec and rude at times. Often starts fights with his words, but is first to admit his faults. Arena City Arena City
Geist Ghastly Ghost-Poison Mostly causes harmless pranks. Underneath the pranks, would do anything for her friends. Realmsville Goldenrod Trail
Dusk Zorua Dark Hangs in regret. Tends to keep to herself and doesn't say much Melodia Papaya Road
Pix Eevee Normal Wants to be a fairy and often gets clutzy and oblivious. However she does know a fairy type move. Dazzle City Dazzle City
Slade Rockruff Rock Loyal and dedicated to a cause to a just end. He has a great sense of moral character. Rockmine Village Terra Path
Blaze Charizard Fire-Flying Almost exactly like Tidero in personality except he's less serious. He is Tidero's father. Proudsmith L'Amour (Outside)
Radia Electrike Electric Always full of energy and doesn't really care who knows it. She also has a knack for easily finding her way around places. Thymefield Eldervine Road
Sora Starly (Shiny) Normal-Flying

A bit lost in thought and mostly content with things. He tends to talk as if he was a high class gentleman and has said qualities to back the talk up.

Prudence City Route 10 a.k.a Scroll Path
Clad Scyther Bug-Flying

Smarter than he looks, Clad would often appear dumb on the surface. Clad is mostly serious, but can take a joke.

When it comes knowing the best things and places to eat, Clad is the guy to turn to.

Paparik Paparik
Temporary Members
Name Species Type Reasons for being temporary Personality/ Unique attributes

Seij

Lucario Fighting-Steel

Assists the party in defending Sunhonor. He doesn't want the village near his home to be overrun by the Fallen Swords.

Isolated, yet calm hearted individual. This martial artist is considered the best in Serenada, and arguably all of Shirla. He is very picky of selecting students.

Interestingly, his only connection to the outside world is Sunhonor and his son, Falster, when he visits Sunhonor.

Ace Pikachu Electric He doesn't want his merchandise taken without payment. Becomes a vendor after leaving the party. Ace is a very charismatic Pikachu. All business and very forward. Ace refuses to evolve into a Raichu, preferring to be a Pikachu for the customers and didn't want to regardless of business.
Whisk Meowstic (Male) Psychic All as part of a diversion. He intended to force the party into servitude, but Dusk betrays him out of a guilty conscience and tells you about Whisk's plans. Whisk angrily leaves and attacks your party after Dusk joins you.

Whisk is on the surface a leader of level-headed and intelligent planning. Whisk loses his temper when things go wrong and tends to stay that way.

He's a member of the Cute Face gang, but not a high ranking one.

Dravel Excadrill Ground/Steel He wants to help build an area for Arena City's "Training Cave" outside the city. Leaves after the "Training Cave" is finished.

Enemies

There are a wide range of enemies in the game to fight and gain Experience from. The enemies vary in skill level, Pokémon specie, tactics, and even group identity if they are identified in a group. As with most games with enemies go, there are boss characters to fight as well. Here are some of the enemies that the party will be facing up against in their journey.

Ruffians

The Pokémon vary in species, tactics (or sometimes lack thereof) and are affiliated with nobody but themselves. These enemies have criminal intentions and will not hesitate to steal, vandalize, and any other criminal acts towards innocent people to any extreme, just because they can. These guys also may at times, deliberately fight each other at a whim. In most cases, these enemies are not difficult in battle to defeat, but in sheer numbers or well coordinated ruffians can still happen, so be on guard at all times.

Cute Face Gang

As their name implies, they are a gang of "cute" and like described gang of Pokémon that use their looks and charisma to commit criminal acts. These usually involve impersonating law enforcement, corporate espionage, extortion, and illegal protection activities (that means smashing up places and then demanding money for "protection" against others as part of their "turf".) This group prefers to use attraction and confusion techniques and layering attacks afterwards.

The leader of this gang is an Azumarill named Cara. Cara is very fond of the vegetable of her namesake, carrots. She rarely does any footwork, now that she's the boss and gets angry when she has to do a job. Cara acts very spoiled and acts as if she is royality. Her diva attitude is a cover for her skill and power, however.

Dark Fang

This gang is composed of Dark and Dragon types. They are the biggest crime group in eight Serenada countries and have three leaders, who surprisingly work very well together and are equals in terms of leader authority. The crimes the gang has committed are numerous and varied and the law enforcements find it difficult to fight back. This group is notable is for the Dark Fang insignia on their gloves or vests if they don't have hands. This group is one of the smartest gangs around, so know how to adapt to their strategies at all times. One slip up can cause devestating results.

The former leader, a Hydreigon named Vlad, wanted the successors to expand the influence to all 40 countries. The new successors are named Cerb, Yaku, and Diz, all who can use Mega Forms. Cerb is a Houndoom that has been with the gang since he was a Houndour pup and is the most merciful out of the three leaders, preferring not to use his supposedly permanently, painful flames. Yaku is a Garchomp whose sociopathic tendencies make him dangerous to even his allies. Yaku is also known to correct people when he gets called a psychopath, saying that he wasn't born with these tendencies. Diz is a female Salamance who was formerly the right hand of Vlad's in Dark Fang and her intellect and sheer power is what she uses to spread her namesake, despair. Diz will not hesitate to swiftly take care off her problems. All three leaders are highly threatening and are very difficult to take down if they team up.

Swift Hand

This is a cult of thieves who are dedicated to thievery. Every member of this cult knows the technique "Thief".  These cultists claim their stealing is a path to an enlightenment which they think serves an intellectually focused goal. This "intellectual" goal of theirs is rather a dedication to a psyco/sociopathic tedency to steal from anyone just to watch people suffer. They claim greed as their virtue. Most people in Shirla think this cult is nothing more than a sadistic, nihilistic, and anti logical group of people without a good point to make. They do work well with other ill willed groups and rarely end up being used. These guys bear their cult's symbol on their heads, making them easy to spot without a hat or some headcovering. These guys will be compelled to steal at the beginning of an encounter, regardless if anyone has something to steal. They will use their speed to ensure that their plundering is successful and will end fights in a victory as quickly as possible. They have a general weakness of not being able to take hits and will often panic with techniques like "Protect" and "Detect" if in trouble.

The current head of the cult is a female Persian whose new name from the cult is Avaria. Avaria is a rare individual in Shirla who has the ability to shift between two forms, unlike other member of her specie and evolutionary family. She willingly joined this cult as a Meowth just to spite her late parents. She is excels at thievery to the point where the now former higher members allowed her into the higher eschelon with ease. She easily discarded her former name Generi during her acceptance in the cult. Avaria is a heartless thief and doesn't even care to justify her actions. Avaria truly embraces her namesake well, Avarice. 

Terrange

An evil corporation that aims to dominate the economies of Arena City and affiliated settlements and towns through illegal activity. This illegal activity involves slave labor (It is banned in Arena City and everywhere else in its political and economic jurisdiction,) theft of land and property, and bribing government officials. Most willing workers are dressed in brown suits or brown vests with the company's logo pinned on, making them easy to spot. As for the Pokémon in Terrange, the tend to favor bidpedal members and those with strong physical power. Somtimes, they also have those with psychic abilities, too. Regardless, the willing workers are all who you fight and tend to favor stat increasing tactics and causing status problems to their targets.

Terrange is supposed to be a construction company headquartered in Dazzle City, but its legitimate opperations only happen within Arena City and areas within Arena City's political jurisdiction. Terrange's CEO and majority owner is a Weaville named Swin, who was once called Percy. On the surface, Swin seems to be charitible guy, but his actual behavior is destructively greedy. 

Fallen Swords

A so-called "honor" group who do nothing more than tarnish the very honor they claim to have. They split from a group of honorable warriors called the Honorable Eye, who guard a martial artist named Seij, his home, and the village that surrounds Seij's home. The Fallen Swords terrorize Sunhonor, the village that has sprouted around Seij's home, in order to draw him and the Honorable Eye out. The Fallen Swords think power is honor and they seek more of it nigh endlessly. Sunhonor and the Honorable Eye have been fighting the Fallen Swords for two years. The Honorable Eye are also Sunhonor's de facto police force. The Fallen Swords fight by overpowering their foes, so they are easily able to fall to those who can outlast them.

They formally have no leader, but they will establish one if they take over the village. The leader is likely going to be the founder, an Aggron named Fergress. As part of his name suggests, Fergress is indeed aggressive and will not hesitate to use his might to enforce the "might makes right" mindset. Fergress has tried to conquer Sunhonor many times before by himself and lost every time. The two year war is his most successful attempt since he has an army. He's frequently in battle so most of the time is spent being in his Mega form.

Gameplay

Overall

This Pokémon title utilizes Pokémon type weaknesses and advantages, Egg moves, Abilities, and Evolution. It also utilizes open world mechanics similar to that of Xenoblade Chronicles X, and the very first Legend of Zelda title. Players are free to move around the vast world of Shirla and its towns, cities, villages, caves, woods, and even bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and even the oceans. Players fight enemies to grow and learn new attacks. You can shop with the town, village, city vendors, or the traveling merchant named Ace. The Pokémon that is listed on top on the party lists is the leader. The leader is the one doing the talking or interacting with NPC's. Different characters can provoke different responses. The leader is also the one the tutors will select to teach moves to when interacting with them.

Pokémon of Shirla

This Pokémon title will feature Pokémon from all currently released "Generations" of Pokémon, including the new Alola region. Alolan forms of earlier generations of Pokémon and the Alolan forms' "shiny" will also make an appearance in Shirla. The Pokémon will be based off of their statistics from the base Pokémon games, but it will not be based entirely on the Alolan generation's statistics.

Evolution

Evolution is story based and is tied to a specific moment in the story. Each permanent party member can and will eventually evolve as the story progresses. All the permanent party members will assemble first before anyone of the party will evolve. The evolution, similar to the main Pokémon games, will get the party stronger with stats boosts and speed changes to be faster. As for Mega Evolutions, they function just like their main series counterparts in that Pokémon who have a Mega form must use a stone that responds to their respective species. Rayquaza is also just like in the games in that it can use its Mega Form without a stone. Unlike the main series, Pokémon can trigger their own Mega forms without requiring assistance.

Combat

Enemies are encountered either by plot elements, exploring outside of towns, or as part of training and tournament fights in Dojo Village. Fighting happens when the camera shifts to a fighting combat viewpoint. Then, three active party members will begin the fight with the enemy force(s). For battle, statistics of the party members in battle are Attack, Special Attack, Defense, and Special Defense. These stats affect how much damage a Pokémon will do and take and work similar to newer mainline Pokémon games. The party members have their speed built-in and will change as they evolve, not as they level up. Attacks connecting are a matter of knowing how the attack works and if the target dodges, gets hit, or blocks the attack somehow. The party and foes have HP. To win the fight, drop the enemies HP to zero. If the whole party is defeated, it is a game over and will prompt players to continue or not. Continues will pick up where the selected save is left off, auto save or manually saved.

The attacks themselves have damage power that can increase as a Pokémon grows stronger and have types similar to Pokémon. Players can equip up four techniques per battle set-up. Unlike the main Pokémon games, Pokémon do not forget the moves they have learned, have no PP limits, and can discover combo techniques. The combo techniques can be traditional Pokémon combos like Sunny Day and Solarbeam, or team attacks. Team attacks are triggered when players use a technique that a party member calls for. Party members are aware of what technique is equipped on them and each other. Most of the time, the team attacks are tailored to teammates for the intention of making that team attack unique.

Vendors

The Shirla vendors use a very durable stone that resembles a sunflower seed as currency. These crystal looking stones are called "Seedems" which get their name from putting the words "seed" and "gems" together. Give these to the vendors to purchase items and services. There are four types of vendors; item shops, inns, move tutors, and accessory shops. There are also Pokémon that are willing to help out with traveling.

Item Shops

These shops give out potions, status cures, gifts, Escape Ropes, and more. These vendors are present in every settlement that can be travelled to. However, there are two variants of item shops. General is where you can get a variety of items, but it will not contain everything to buy from in the item department. Specialty item shops offer specific item types and usually there's one per settlement. Specialty item stores carry a wider range of their specialty, but will cost slighty more Seedems. The traveling vendor Ace, is a general store merchant. Ace can discount some items on certain days and encounters.

Inns

The party members can all rest up here to recover to full HP and cure status problems. Inns are found in every settlement and fits within' the settlements' setting. Just pay enough Seedems and the party is good for the night.

Move Tutors

Tutors will instruct a party member of any move that a tutor can teach. The party member being taught must go on a mission for the tutor to teach the move. The missions vary by not only by the move, but the tutor as well. By finishing the mission, the move will be unlocked for the party member. The moves being taught are moves not learned from leveling up. The tutors are usually are the one teaching if the tutor knows the move. If not, an assistant will take their stead.

Tutors Available in the Game
Tutor species Tutor Name Tutor Location Moves Taught Availability (to teach and do missions, generally.)
Greninja Tsunami Seaweed Town (Shower Island) Water, Dark Upon reaching the Island and Seaweed Town
Golem (Alolan) Cucopper Rockmine Village Rock,  Ground, Electric After finishing Dravel's mission of helping him build the "Training Cave"
Meganium Bloom Cotton Town Grass After Tidero's journey officially begins.
Blaziken Falster Arena City Fire, Fighting After winning the Silver cup in the Fighter's Tournament.

Gengar

Spect Realmsville Ghost, Poison After finding Spect's sister, Geist, and she joins the party permanently.
Gardevoir Librare Dazzle City Psychic, Fairy
Haxorus Zar Prepario City Dragon
Glaceon Jack La'mour Ice
Forretress Steelis Sunhonor Bug, Steel After rescuing Sunhonor from the Fallen Swords 
Braviary

Clyde

"Sarge"

Paparik Normal, Flying

Accessory Shops

These vendors sell accessories that alter only appearances. The accessories vary from settlement to settlement. Accessories can range from stuff that anyone can equip to party member specific accessories.

Items

There are many different item types that players can pick up in the game. Restorative, Exploration, Power ups, Berries and Key Items.

Restorative

Restorative items are non-berry items that restore health, status effects such as paralysis, unnatural sleep, etc. These can be found in stores and lying around in places to be explored. Common item examples are Potion, Burn Heal, and Antidote.

Exploration

These items help out with exploring Shirla. These items performs tasks like escape from caves/dungeons and get away from foes. Such items examples are Escape Ropes, Smoke Balls, and Poké Dolls.

Power-Ups

These items boost stats. They either effect party members temporary or permanently. Examples of these items are HP Up, X Defense, and Mystic Water. Some can be held, others are used.

Berries

These items are berries. They have similar effects to restorative items. However, these can be used as ingredients for other items. Examples of berries are Oran, Pecha, Durin, and Leppa berries.

Key Items

These items are important to the story and/or mission. These items are used or removed based on the events of the game. These items vary on purpose. Examples of key items include Z-Stones, Mega Stones, and maps of places to go.

Music

The music in this game is composed of an all-star music team led by Junichi Masuda and Go Ichinose. Yoko Shimomura, Motoi Sakuraba, Yuzo Koshiro, and Kazumi Totaka provided not only new compositions, but arrangements from the other Pokémon games as well.

For the arrangements, each generation of Pokémon music was carefully picked by everyone on the staff in music from a mixture of fan favorites and what the staff found appealing.

Here is a sample of the tracks that were arranged for the game.

Sample Arrangements
Title Person Responsible for the Arrangment Arrangement's Use Original Game
Battle Arena Yoko Shimomura Used during the Dancing Fists Festival. Pokémon Emerald
Silph Company (Team Rocket Takeover) Junichi Masuda Used while inside Terrange's HQ in Dazzle City. Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow
Team Charm Motoi Sakuraba Dusk's Theme. First played when she finally makes a stand against Whisk's squad of the Cute Face Gang. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
Battle! Gym Leader! Yuzo Koshiro This Gym Leader track is remixed for the battle trials for the tutors, when the tutors themselves are the opponent in a trial. Pokémon X and Y

Trivia

  • This Pokémon game is developed as a response for Pokémon fans who'd like to see a Pokémon game on the Nintendo Switch.
  • The continents of Shirla are named after musical terms. Serenada - Serenade, Walzo - Waltz, Sano - Sonata, Cantato - Cantata, Oper - Opera, Phuegs - Fugue, Caden - Cadenza, and Noct - Nocturne.
  • As with most games with Kazumi Totaka as a composer, the famous "Totaka's Song" does appear as an easter egg in this game.

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