Pokemon Sword and Shield Galarian Corsola was morphed by climate change

Pokemon Sword and Shield has been out for a few days now and fans have been busying themselves with catching new creatures and looking for secrets. One secret, however, is buried in the game’s Pokedex: it seems that the Galarian Corsola in Pokemon Sword and Shield has been transformed due to climate change.

The Galarian Corsola from Pokemon Sword and Shield is seen in our header image. It looks like pretty standard fare for a Pokemon design, but it’s vastly different from its previous appearances as this submission on the /r/NintendoSwitch subreddit points out.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Galarian Corsola Original

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What was once a cheery, colorful Water/Rock-type Pokemon is now a creepy white Ghost-type Pokemon. What the heck happened to Galarian Corsola? In a word, climate change. You see, Corsola is based off of coral, and coral isn’t doing too hot in some parts of the real world.

Here’s the descriptions of Corsola from the game’s official Pokedex:

“Corsola’s branches glitter very beautifully in seven colors when they catch sunlight. If any branch breaks off, this Pokémon grows it back in just one night.

Clusters of Corsola congregate in warm seas where they serve as ideal hiding places for smaller Pokémon. When the water temperature falls, this Pokémon migrates to the southern seas.”

And here’s the Pokedex description for Galarian Corsola according to the Reddit submission:

“Sudden climate change wiped out this ancient kind of Corsola. This Pokémon absorbs others’ life-force through its branches. Watch your step when wandering areas oceans once covered. What looks like a stone could be this Pokémon, and it will curse you if you kick it.”

It seems that Galarian Corsola was a victim of something called “Coral bleaching,” a phenomenon that occurs when rising ocean temperatures cause coral to shoot out the algae that normally resides within them. This algae provides them with 90% of their energy. Once it’s gone, most coral don’t recover.

Pokemon Sword and Shield might be a game set in a vastly different world, but the developers have never been one to shy away from tackling environmental issues; even the first game had Pokemon like Koffing and Muk showcasing the after-effects of pollution. That said, this just might be the first time environmental changes have shown such a radical shift in a Pokemon’s design.