The original Pokemon anime played fast and loose with the rules of the Pokemon world set in video games, highlighting various Pokemon with unique traits whose existence didn’t make much sense at the time. However, Pokemon video games have repeatedly introduced new tricks that actually eliminated these anomalies in some way, with the latest example related to the Onyx crystal from the anime and the new Terastal trick introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet present a new gameplay trick called the Terastal phenomenon. Terastallized Pokemon receive a glowing crystal shell with a strange object on their head, which is an amplified type (for example, a chandelier for the fire type and balloons for the flying type). While one might think that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are the first time we see something like this in the Pokemon franchise, an earlier example can be found in the Pokemon anime season “Orange Islands”.
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As the PokeBeach Twitter user pointed out, the Onyx crystal can be seen in the 87th episode of the Pokemon anime “Crystal Onyx”. In this episode, Ash and company encounter a special Onyx crystal that is resistant to water-type attacks, but weak to fire-type attacks. Although it’s not exactly the same as the Terastic phenomenon from Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, there are some obvious similarities that might make you wonder if the Game Freak developers were inspired by this episode of the Pokemon anime at all.
Orange Islands is also mentioned as the earliest example of Pokemon anime featuring regional variations. While Pokemon video games eventually introduced regional variants with Pokemon Sun and Moon games, Pokemon anime was more than a decade ahead of them. Another early episode of the Pokemon anime also features an abnormally large Dragonite, and in Pokemon games a similar concept is presented through Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing in Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Of course, it is quite possible that all this is just a coincidence, and video games about Pokemon do not refer to these anime episodes about Pokemon intentionally. In the end, it can be argued that this crystal Onyx is actually the best example of regional variants, and not Terastallization, since the phenomenon of Terastall includes much more, which is not represented at all in the anime series “Pokemon”.
There’s still a lot to learn about the Terastic phenomenon, but Pokemon fans just need to play new games to learn more. Fortunately, there are only a few months left before the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are released on November 18 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.