A new feature trailer has been released to accompany the start of Team GO Rocket’s PokeStop invasion campaign and it seemed like a good idea to take a deeper look at each of the key frames in the trailer. We were fortunate enough to perform the analysis quickly and spot a familiar face – or rather, silhouette – in one of the key frames.

Giovanni, the big boss of Team Rocket, can be seen raising his hands at 0:21 and seemingly just before the sinister end quote is shared: “Earth is where I shall unleash my evil schemes now! Players that are familiar with the general Pokemon lore will recall Giovanni’s words from the end of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon: “Now…what new world shall I unleash my evil schemes upon…?” I think we know the answer to that question now – it’s Earth.

In my mind, Giovanni’s appearance hints that Team GO Rocket’s plans for Earth have just started unfolding. Yes, I just said that. Yes, I really think that there is more to Team Rocket Invasions than just giving us a new “mini-raid” to bait us into Trainer Battles. Here me out before picking up your pitchforks and torches.

Here’s why I think Giovanni and Team Rocket will be a major plot character in Pokemon GO:

  • In the new special research quest line – A Troubling Situation – Professor Willows sends us to investigate Shadow Pokemon. Sure, we fight Team Rocket at invaded PokeStops, but this is essentially a “hey, what are these new Pokemon” quest line.
  • At the end of the quest line, despite defeating several Team Rocket Grunts and purifying several Shadow Pokemon, Willow is still worried. He literally says “The world is under attack!”:

Now that you have this knowledge, we need your help with saving as many Shadow Pokemon as possible by taking back PokeStops that are under Team GO Rocket’s control! The world is under attack! Can we count on you to help protect it? l do hope there’s nothing more to this…

  • There is more going on here. Willow is not sure that it’s over, he’s “hoping there’s nothing more to this” which looks like a setup for the next stage of this plot line. Willow is a strong boy and we’ve been helping him for a while now. Seeing him worried even after completing the quest line is strange.

Previous data mining efforts have revealed a metric ton of Shadow Pokemon that haven’t been released yet, and there’s no chance on earth these will be released as Grunt encounters, especially not Legendary Pokemon. The following table lists all Pokemon that have built in Shadow and Purify forms in the code base. Of course, not all of them are currently released or available. The table is sorted alphabetically, top to bottom and then back up:

Pokemon with Shadow Forms
Pokemon GO AbraAbra Pokemon GO MawileMawile
Pokemon GO AbsolAbsol Pokemon GO MeowthMeowth
Pokemon GO AlakazamAlakazam Pokemon GO MetagrossMetagross
Pokemon GO AmpharosAmpharos Pokemon GO MetangMetang
Pokemon GO ArbokArbok Pokemon GO MisdreavusMisdreavus
Pokemon GO ArcanineArcanine Pokemon GO MismagiusMismagius
Pokemon GO ArticunoArticuno Pokemon GO MoltresMoltres
Pokemon GO BagonBagon Pokemon GO MonfernoMonferno
Pokemon GO BeedrillBeedrill Pokemon GO MudkipMudkip
Pokemon GO BeldumBeldum Pokemon GO MukMuk
Pokemon GO BellossomBellossom Pokemon GO NidokingNidoking
Pokemon GO BellsproutBellsprout Pokemon GO NidoqueenNidoqueen
Pokemon GO BlastoiseBlastoise Pokemon GO Nidoran (M)Nidoran (M)
Pokemon GO BulbasaurBulbasaur Pokemon GO NidorinaNidorina
Pokemon GO CacneaCacnea Pokemon GO NidorinoNidorino
Pokemon GO CacturneCacturne Pokemon GO NinetalesNinetales
Pokemon GO CarvanhaCarvanha Pokemon GO NuzleafNuzleaf
Pokemon GO CharizardCharizard Pokemon GO OddishOddish
Pokemon GO CharmanderCharmander Pokemon GO OmanyteOmanyte
Pokemon GO CharmeleonCharmeleon Pokemon GO OmastarOmastar
Pokemon GO ChimcharChimchar Pokemon GO PersianPersian
Pokemon GO CrobatCrobat Pokemon GO PolitoedPolitoed
Pokemon GO CuboneCubone Pokemon GO PoliwagPoliwag
Pokemon GO DragonairDragonair Pokemon GO PoliwhirlPoliwhirl
Pokemon GO DragoniteDragonite Pokemon GO PoliwrathPoliwrath
Pokemon GO DratiniDratini Pokemon GO PorygonPorygon
Pokemon GO DrowzeeDrowzee Pokemon GO Porygon-ZPorygon-Z
Pokemon GO EkansEkans Pokemon GO Porygon2Porygon2
Pokemon GO ElectabuzzElectabuzz Pokemon GO PsyduckPsyduck
Pokemon GO ElectivireElectivire Pokemon GO PupitarPupitar
Pokemon GO ExeggcuteExeggcute Pokemon GO RaltsRalts
Pokemon GO ExeggutorExeggutor Pokemon GO RaticateRaticate
Pokemon GO FlaaffyFlaaffy Pokemon GO RattataRattata
Pokemon GO FlygonFlygon Pokemon GO SalamenceSalamence
Pokemon GO GalladeGallade Pokemon GO SandshrewSandshrew
Pokemon GO GardevoirGardevoir Pokemon GO SandslashSandslash
Pokemon GO GligarGligar Pokemon GO ScizorScizor
Pokemon GO GliscorGliscor Pokemon GO ScytherScyther
Pokemon GO GloomGloom Pokemon GO SeedotSeedot
Pokemon GO GolbatGolbat Pokemon GO SharpedoSharpedo
Pokemon GO GolduckGolduck Pokemon GO ShelgonShelgon
Pokemon GO GrimerGrimer Pokemon GO ShiftryShiftry
Pokemon GO GrotleGrotle Pokemon GO ShuckleShuckle
Pokemon GO GrowlitheGrowlithe Pokemon GO SkuntankSkuntank
Pokemon GO GyaradosGyarados Pokemon GO SneaselSneasel
Pokemon GO HitmonchanHitmonchan Pokemon GO SnorlaxSnorlax
Pokemon GO HitmonleeHitmonlee Pokemon GO SquirtleSquirtle
Pokemon GO HoundoomHoundoom Pokemon GO StunkyStunky
Pokemon GO HoundourHoundour Pokemon GO SwampertSwampert
Pokemon GO HypnoHypno Pokemon GO TorterraTorterra
Pokemon GO InfernapeInfernape Pokemon GO TrapinchTrapinch
Pokemon GO IvysaurIvysaur Pokemon GO TurtwigTurtwig
Pokemon GO KadabraKadabra Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitar
Pokemon GO KakunaKakuna Pokemon GO VenomothVenomoth
Pokemon GO KirliaKirlia Pokemon GO VenonatVenonat
Pokemon GO KoffingKoffing Pokemon GO VenusaurVenusaur
Pokemon GO LaprasLapras Pokemon GO VibravaVibrava
Pokemon GO LarvitarLarvitar Pokemon GO VictreebelVictreebel
Pokemon GO MachampMachamp Pokemon GO VileplumeVileplume
Pokemon GO MachokeMachoke Pokemon GO VulpixVulpix
Pokemon GO MachopMachop Pokemon GO WartortleWartortle
Pokemon GO MagikarpMagikarp Pokemon GO WeavileWeavile
Pokemon GO MagmarMagmar Pokemon GO WeedleWeedle
Pokemon GO MagmortarMagmortar Pokemon GO WeepinbellWeepinbell
Pokemon GO MagnemiteMagnemite Pokemon GO WeezingWeezing
Pokemon GO MagnetonMagneton Pokemon GO WobbuffetWobbuffet
Pokemon GO MagnezoneMagnezone Pokemon GO ZapdosZapdos
Pokemon GO MareepMareep Pokemon GO ZubatZubat
Pokemon GO MarowakMarowak Pokemon GO MarshtompMarshtomp

Details in the trailer

The trailer features quite a few throwbacks to older Pokemon game. We spotted a few frames that make the Pokemon GO logo look like something you would see on a Game Boy. Check this out:

Additionally, the “garbled text” in the trailer is not real text. It’s actually small glyph sets that look like text, but carry no meaning – at first glance. We didn’t investigate if the symbols can be “decrypted” and reversed into something meaningful, but our gut feeling says it won’t be the case. Every text element that moves on the screen looks like it’s made up of these mysterious symbols.

And that wraps it up! It’s a fine trailer, drops a Giovanni reference and goes into history as the “most red trailer ever”. Before we forget, here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it: