Ever since Pokémon X and Y were announced, fans have speculated on the potential release of Pokémon Z (except during the brief period when people thought X and Y might refer to DNA and chromosomes instead).
Pokémon generations traditionally include three games: two released together, and then one—usually with improvements, more significant changes, and additional content—released at a later date. However, the previous Pokémon generation deviated from this pattern. Instead of a third Pokémon game to accompany Black and White, those two games received direct sequels instead.
So far, over two years after the launch of Pokémon X and Y, there has been no announcement of a third version.
Rumors of Pokémon Z persist, though, and with good reason.
Each game always has a mascot Legendary Pokémon. In the case of Pokémon X and Y, they were Xerneas and Yveltal, numbers 716 and 717 respectively in the National Pokédex. Then there’s the 718th Pokémon, Zygarde.
Its placement and name both make it the ideal mascot for a Pokémon Z game. Not only that, but new information was revealed about Zygarde just this past September. Zygarde has multiple forms and a Mega Evolution, none of which are present in Pokémon X and Y despite Zygarde itself being catchable.
However, it’s important to note that Pokémon Black and White also had a trio of Legendary Pokémon, even though that generation did not receive a traditional third version. The third member of the trio, Kyurem, was the mascot of both Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. It could take on two different forms, one for each game, depending on which Pokémon it fused with. Therefore, it’s possible Zygarde is the mascot for Pokémon X 2 and Y 2, although there has been no indication of X and Y receiving direct sequels.
The mere existence of Zygarde was always enough to hint at a Pokémon Z, and why would new information be released about Zygarde two years after the game’s release if it wouldn’t play a role in a new game? Fans are waiting for a new main-series Pokémon game, and Pokémon Z is the most likely candidate.
This Friday, February 26, Nintendo is holding a special Pokémon-themed Nintendo Direct at 7 AM PT/10 AM ET. It’s short, but many fans are hoping to see a trailer for a new Pokémon game. Will the long-rumored Pokémon Z finally be announced… or will it remain the stuff of rumors?
Share your Pokémon Z theories in the comments below.