Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s Cyclizar Is Clearly A Legendary Pre-Evolution, Right?

I’m not being funny, but Cyclizar is obviously related to Koraidon and Miraidon, right? I mean, look at it. It’s got those protruding chest wheels and you can ride it like a bike. You know, hence the ‘cycle’ in the name. If you’ve got no idea what I’m on about, Pokemon has just revealed its newest monster arriving in Scarlet & Violet, and it’s a little lizard bike dude.

Cyclizar’s signature move is Shed Tail, which puts out a Substitute in its place before it then switches in one of your Pokemon in its place. It’s a clever trick that could have great utility, especially in singles battles. But I’m not here to talk about that, I’m here to talk about the fact that we’ve got another Dragon-type bike Pokemon, and that’s surely not a coincidence.

Legendaries didn’t used to evolve. Then came along Phione, which can evolve into Manaphy. Sun & Moon added Cosmog, which evolves into Cosmoem and then Lunala or Solgaleo, depending on which game you chose. Your rival owning and battling with the cover Legendaries’ pre-evolution from the first moment of the game was a bold new direction for Pokemon, and it looks like Scarlet & Violet is taking inspiration from Gen 7.

I could see motorbike Pokemon, or vehicle Pokemon generally, being an overworld gimmick for Gen 9, and I’m still holding out hope that the hot rod car is a new Rotom form. This particular announcement, however, is just too on the nose. It’s another dragon, like Koraidon and Miraidon, and it fits in perfectly with the theories that have been floating around. The cover Legendaries look like past and future versions of the same Pokemon, to match the ancient and future professors. What if they both evolve from Cyclizar, like Lunala and Solgaleo evolve from Cosmoem? Cyclizar’s description on the Pokemon website says it’s been around since ancient times, so evolving into the Stone Age-vibe Koraidon is definitely on the cards.

The other option is that it is a ‘present’ form of the Legendaries, with Koraidon representing the past and Miraidon the future. Rather than evolving into the cover Legends, perhaps it’s more of a form change. That would explain why Cyclizar is apparently so common and the Legendaries are – we assume – not so. Perhaps we find a rare time-changey device that zips regular old Cyclizar into its past or future forms? It’s green, which fits with the red/blue/green colour scheme of classic games and Legends. Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza, anyone? Xerneas, Yveltal, and Zygarde? It seems that Miraidon, Koraidon, and Cyclizar are following in the well-worn footsteps of previous generations.

The description also says that Cyclizar can travel at speeds of 70mph while carrying a human on its back. Obviously that’s great for getting around Paldea on your Nintendo Switch, but what are the repercussions for early human civilisation if it has access to free, fast movement at that stage of its development? Could Cyclizar have helped humanity to create Stonehenge a thousand years too soon, or to actually finish the Sagrada Familia?

Aside from the Paldean repercussions of having an ancient motorbike lizard on hand at all times, there are some gameplay questions, too. Will Cyclizar even use the giant wheels sticking out of its body and ruining what was otherwise a perfectly fine, if a little boring, Dragon-type design, or will it be like Koraidon and just use its legs instead? What an unbelievable decision that was. Why does it have the chest wheels if it doesn’t use them?

I don’t mind that the Legendaries are ride Pokemon, or that we get them right at the start of the game. I don’t mind if Cyclizar does end up evolving into them either. But I just think the designs are a little silly. Before you all get up in my grill for complaining about silly designs in a game series that prides itself on silly designs (some of which I love, including you, Bruxish), I just think this concept could have been executed better. It could have been cool to see the Pokemon undergoing some kind of transformation – or evolution, if you will – to grow the wheels out of their spines or feet or bellies or whatever. Like a natural transformer made of flesh and scales. You could even call it, I don’t know, an evolution or something. Ride Evolution? Sorted. Then your dragons could just be dragons.

For what it’s worth, I think Miraidon kind of suits its wheels, it just doesn’t work as well on the more natural looking monsters like Koraidon and Cyclizar. But Cyclizar isn’t a coincidence, it’s not just another Dragon-type motorbike, it’s clearly a pre-evolution to the cover Legendaries, and that’s actually pretty cool. Its Dragon/Normal typing also suggests that the Legendaries themselves will have secondary types, my guesses being Rock and Electric for Koraidon and Miraidon respectively. My colleague Eric Switzer reckons that it might be just one pre-evolution and there’ll be another for Miraidon, but Cyclizar’s head shape is too similar to the future-Legend for me to believe that theory. Personally I can’t wait to saddle up on my cyberpunk dragon and take it for a spin. I just might have to don my spandex and hop on my Cyclizar before I do.

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