Climate change has started to come for Pokémon, too

Pokémon Sword and Shield — OK, technically just Pokémon Shield — has a dire message about the impact of climate change on our world. Corsola, the adorable pink coral Pokémon, has a new regional form in Pokémon Sword and Shield that serves as a somber warning about our changing environment.

The standard Corsola, which has been part of the Pokédex since Pokémon Gold and Silver, is a cheerful, pinkish little Pokémon. Previous games in the franchise have warned that pollution or dirty will cause Corsola to migrate to cleaner waters, lest they lose their color and deteriorate.

But the description of the new Galarian Corsola in Pokémon Shield paints a harrowing picture about the fate of Corsola having faced the effects of climate change. Normally, Corsola is a water/rock-type Pokémon. But its Galarian form is, sadly enough, ghost-type.

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“Sudden climate change wiped out this ancient kind of Corsola,” reads Galarian Corsola’s Pokédex entry in Pokémon Shield. “This Pokémon absorbs others’ life-force through its branches.” (The description differs in Pokémon Sword: “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’s a huge bummer! Regular Corsola is spritely and chipper, while Galarian Corsola is cursed and forlorn, bleached white and evoking calamitous, real-world coral bleaching. If this doesn’t put the fear of climate change into you, what will?

Incidentally, Galarian Corsola evolves into a form that’s just as terrifying to look at as it is sad. Behold Cursola:

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And be warned; Cursola will have her revenge: “Be cautious of the ectoplasmic body surrounding its soul,” the Pokédex says. “You’ll become stiff as stone if you touch it.”

Of course, Corsola isn’t the only Pokémon that adapted to Galar’s pollution problems over the years. The bong-esque Galarian Weezing, with its smokestack top hats, adapted to the region’s filthy air to became something different from its original poison-type counterpart.

“Long ago, during a time when droves of factories fouled the air with pollution, Weezing changed into this form for some reason,” reads Pokémon Shield’s dex entry for Galarian Weezing, while Sword notes, “This Pokémon consumes particles that contaminate the air. Instead of leaving droppings, it expels clean air.”

Thank you for being a force for positive change, Galarian Weezing. We need some good news right now.

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