After months of leaving everyone guessing just when exactly Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s two-part DLC would finally hit the Nintendo Switch, the first half of The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero finally has a release date.
During today’s Pokémon Presents stream, The Pokémon Company announced that The Teal Mask, the first half of Scarlet and Violet’s major DLC drop, is set to debut on September 13th and will introduce a host of new gameplay features as well as multiple new pokémon. A new trailer for the DLC details how players will travel to the land of Kitakami as part of a joint school trip that coincides with a local festival celebrating the Loyal Three — Kitakami’s legendary trio — and Ogerpon, a new masked legendary monster.
The trailer also spotlights how The Teal Mask will introduce new characters like photographer Perrin, whose photo-focused side quests will send players out into Kitakami’s wilderness to snap shots of wild pokémon, and features like Roto-stick, which will allow players to take selfies from wider angles with the game’s built-in cameraphones. Interestingly, the trailer also explains how Kitakami is home to a variety of wild pokémon from older generations that can’t be found in Paldea as well as entirely new creatures like Dipplin, a new Applin evolution that resembles a candy apple while (presumably) still being a dragon type.
While the trailer doesn’t go into detail about how Dipplin can be obtained, it does make clear that the species is a favorite of new trainer Kieran — one of the many students you’ll meet at Blueberry Academy, which will take on a larger role in the second half of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s DLC. The Indigo Disk will follow trainers as they become exchange students at Blueberry Academy, which is located somewhere out in the ocean, partially submerged beneath the water, and is home to multiple artificial biomes filled with different pokémon species. When players aren’t exploring, they’ll be able to take on Blueberry Academy’s BB League — the school’s battle ranking system — and its unique quartet of Elite Four trainers.
As interesting as it is to see one of the Elite Four members sending out a new evolved form of Duraludon and the appearance of what seems to be Paradox forms of Raikou and Cobalion, what’s even more promising is the trailer’s implication that some of the Elite Four trials will push your legendary ride pokémon to unlock “latent powers” like full-on flight. The feature could make Scarlet and Violet play very differently if it were worked into the rest of the game in a future update, and that does seem to be part of Nintendo’s goal with the DLC.
It’s not clear yet whether all of these new changes will end up making Pokémon Scarlet and Violet feel more robust than they did at launch, but it’s obvious that The Pokémon Company’s at the very least trying to keep the games on people’s radars. Unlike The Teal Mask, The Indigo Disk does not yet have a release date.