While Pokemon Scarlet and Violet has introduced a broad range of new Pokemon with many quickly becoming fan-favorites, others like Veluza haven’t become as popular, and a possible explanation is that it feels like a missed opportunity for a new regional form or evolution. As a single-stage Water/Psychic type based on a fish with a design that’s left fans unsure, it’s been hard for players to not compare Veluza to the likes of Bruxish as another Pokemon that wasn’t well-liked. It’s become apparent then that there could have been more done with Veluza creatively in order to catch players’ attention.

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With ideas ranging on how best to have enhanced Veluza’s design, it wasn’t just Bruxish that the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet newcomer has been compared to. After noticing the striking similarities between Veluza and the Arrokuda line from Sword and Shield, many players began speculating that Veluza wasn’t new to Gen 9 and was instead a leftover from Gen 8. This wouldn’t have been the first time Game Freak saved ideas for future generations, which has left some fans convinced that whether true or not, Veluza was possibly a cut final evolution or ought to have been a regional evolution of the Arrokuda line.

RELATED: Why Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Don’t Feature a New Eevee Evolution


Arrokuda, Barraskewda, and Veluza

Arrokuda, Barraskewda, and Veluza overlaid on Pokemon Sworld and Shield

Though Veluza’s influence appears to come from hake unlike Arrokuda and Barraskewda’s combination of barracuda and pike, the three still share an uncanny resemblance regardless. But this similarity isn’t outright evidence of a connection, especially when considering that several Pokemon over the years have shared appearances, such as every Pikachu clone or those like Luvdisc and Alomomola looking as though they’re connected. Moreover, creating a regional variant for a Pokemon line introduced just one generation ago would be unusual, but players feel it’s too much of a coincidence that these similar Pokemon would debut so close together without some kind of connection.

This has fed into the theory that Veluza was either a planned evolution for Arrokuda or Barraskewda respectively that was ultimately scrapped, or it was initially intended to be a regional variant before the idea joined the cut content of Pokemon. What complicates this theory though is that all three are featured in Scarlet and Violet, so it’s unlikely that Veluza was originally an evolution or regional variant. But while the Arrokuda line serves as a useful early-stage Water-type Pokemon, Veluza still feels incomplete for fans which could be why this theory has gained traction as it’s trying to explain the Pokemon’s shortfalls.

Veluza Should Have Been A Regional Variant

Veluza's Pokedex entry from Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

It may just be a fan theory, but reimagining Veluza as a regional variant would give it the interest it currently lacks. As a late-stage Pokemon with no evolutions and a type combination players have seen several times before, there isn’t much incentive for capturing and using Veluza beyond completing the Pokedex. Players will have already encountered more interesting Water-types or the much-talked-about regional fake Wiglett line. If Veluza was a regional variant, however, players will not only have encountered it sooner by evolving Arrokuda, but they would have a reason for going out of their way to do so.

Not only that but Scarlet and Violet have an unusual lack of regional variants already, so by not making Veluza one Game Freak has dropped the Pokeball on both the Pokemon itself and the games it debuted in. While there are many ways Game Freak could have introduced new regional forms, such as a regional Vanillite line reflective of the games’ abundance of ice cream stands or a Smeargle variant to rival Grafaiai, it seems failing to capitalize on Veluza’s similarity to the Arrokuda line is a missed opportunity. However, with the canon established that these Pokemon aren’t connected, there’s little anyone can do to remedy this.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are available now for Nintendo Switch.

MORE: Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Miss Out on a Chance to Make Lucario Shine

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