Pokemon Legends: Arceus Knocks Pikachu and Eevee Off Their Ivory Tower

Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes away one of the key ways Pikachu is differentiated from other Pokemon in the franchise. Today, Nintendo launched Pokemon Legends: Arceus, a brand new take on the Pokemon franchise. The game is radically different than past main series – battling and catching Pokemon have both received radical new makeovers, as has how players interact with Pokemon. The new game also takes advantage of the soft reset to make changes to even some miniscule features, such as restoring the cries of Pikachu and Eevee to how it sounded when the franchise first came out. 

Since Pokemon X and Y, Pikachu has used the voiceover work of Pokemon anime actress Ikue Ohtani as its cry instead of the digitally created cry heard in earlier games. This feature first appeared in Pokemon Yellow, a game inspired by the anime, but returned as a permanent feature in more recent games. While other Pokemon make the same noise over and over, Pikachu was given a whopping 15 cries in recent games, allowing the Pokemon to express a range of emotions in and out of battle. More recently, Eevee was also given the Pikachu treatment in Pokemon Let's Go: Eevee (and its counterpart game Pokemon: Let's Go: Pikachu) in which it used cries voiced by actress Aoi Yūki. Pikachu and Eevee have retained their special cries in more recent games, including last year's Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. 

Pokemon Legends: Arceus does away with these special cries, giving both Pikachu and Eevee their original cries from Pokemon Red and Blue. There's no reason given for this change, but it does make the two popular Pokemon feel significantly more mundane in the game than they were in past installments. In fact, both Eevee and Pikachu are relatively common Pokemon that can be obtained early in the game – both are available in the Obsidian Fieldlands, the first area that players explore during their time with the Galaxy Expedition Team. Given that the game is set in a past era of the Pokemon world, perhaps the retro cries were used to demonstrate how even beloved Pokemon once seemed a lot more alien and dangerous than they are today.