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Eevee’s starring role in Pokémon: Let’s Go was inspired by fan art

Eevee’s starring role in Pokémon: Let’s Go was inspired by fan art

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Over the last few years, the Pokémon series has gingerly offered the mostly Pikachu-occupied spotlight to a handful of other characters. Slowpoke and Magnemite got their own theme songs; Magikarp was granted not only a track, but a mobile game. With Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, a new pair of Switch games coming from Game Freak, the series’s creators are giving another old face, Eevee, a fresh chance to impress. And according to longtime Pokémon developer Junichi Masuda, it’s all because of fan art.

As a callback to the old days of Pokémon, Pikachu is an obvious choice. Let’s Go, Pikachu! is already a nod to Pokémon Yellow, from its inclusion of the game’s original creature lineup and location to the appearance of pokémon walking outside around next to players. Adding Pikachu to the game, says Masuda, would allow players to feel like Ash — the star of the animated show — with the iconic butterball riding around on their shoulder.

But the team needed another mascot to headline the second game. “Looking at what pokémon were [available], we saw that a lot of fans would make their own fanart illustrations of Eevee,” Masuda says. “A lot of people. It was pretty obvious to tell they thought it was really cute. It’s kind of like a, not really a dog, not really a cat, something in between, a very different color from Pikachu.” (Masuda says he’s actually a big fan of Psyduck, but “unfortunately it’s the same color as Pikachu, so I decided not to choose it for the game.”)

The vaguely canine, definitely adorable Eevee — in addition to offering the series’s widest variety of evolutions — also has roots in the original Red and Blue games. It was a staple of the game’s rival character, Masuda says.

Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! launch November 16th.