Pokemon: Let's Go will have a new rival character, but some longtime players will be disappointed by his helpful attitude.
Junichi Masuda, one of the lead designers and directors of the Pokemon games, showed off some footage from the new Pokemon: Let's Go games at today's Treehouse Live presentation at E3. During the presentation, fans got their first look at "Trace," the new rival character for the players.
While Pokemon: Let's Go is considered a remake of sorts of the classic Pokemon: Yellow games, the new Nintendo Switch games will feature a new player character instead of Red, the protagonist of the first Pokemon games. Game Freak also replaced Blue (or Gary as he's known to most anime fans) with a much kinder and less abrasive personality.
As seen in the screencaps below, the playthrough showed the player character meeting up with Trace in Pewter City. While Gary would have told players "Smell ya later!," Trace helpfully gives players directions to the Pewter City gym and even encourages them to battle Brock to get stronger. Trace also scares easily, which isn't exactly an intimidating trait.
New Rival for Pokemon Switch! pic.twitter.com/zqsKWC9RGB— RPG News Moogle (@MoogleKupoCake) June 12, 2018
This continues an ongoing trend in Pokemon games, in which the rivals are friends first and rivals second. While Blue, Silver, Barry, and Cheren were all jerks in their own ways, the newer Pokemon games have had far friendlier rivals. Pokemon Sun and Moon's Hau, for instance, was a smiling dope who was more interested in filling his belly with sweets than crushing the spirit of their opponents.
Some Pokemon fans also didn't seem too pleased about Trace's pleasant personality.
I miss the older Pokemon games where the rival was a giant fucking asshole and you got so much satisfaction RUBBING THEIR FACE IN THE GROUND AFTER EACH DEFEAT.— Have no FEAR the QUEER is HERE (@Shittypurplecat) June 12, 2018
FUCK OFF BLUE, YOU PRICK
Pokemon: Green isn't the rival— ??Kamen Rider Amazon Prime (@KRAmazonPrime) June 12, 2018
me: Makes sense since Green is in Alola and this isn't Red a-
Pokemon: He's a nice friendly guy
me: *cancelling my preorder*
i dont like how in sun/moon your rival is very nice. it makes you feel like an asshole when you beat the tar out of his pokemon.— Flak Jacket (@FlakVest) June 12, 2018
There is at least one silver lining to having a new rival in Pokemon: Let's Go. One fan is already speculating that Trace is the son of Red and Blue, which is an amazing and adorable fan theory.
Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu and Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee comes out on November 16th.