Look at that picture of Snorlax. Does not it look cool as hell? Bad news, though: According to the official lore of Pokémon Go our favorite big buddy is in pain while in this form.
Earlier this week, Pokémon Go added Team Rocket grunts who are taking over Pokestops around the world. Beating these grunts will allow players to capture "Shadow Pokémon," spooky-looking variants of iconic critters. These monsters have dark auras, and have slightly weaker stats – until you purify them. Most people go on to purify their buddies, as doing so helps complete research tasks. Also, most folks do not want lesser versions of their monsters
Some, however, are in the whole Shadow Pokémon aesthetic.
" They Look Like Cooler as Shadows, " one opined.
"I want to keep my shadows," one Redditor wrote. "I know the purified version is more powerful … but the Shadow looks so sweet! I am looking over the stats here. "
Some fans I spoke to said that they plan on collecting shadow Pokémon
" The dark boys are so damn cute, "Joe Tirado said on Twitter.
"My collector brain says" one of every one, "" said Herman Lilleng on Twitter
Why is this noteworthy? Well, the official Pokémon Go account had one of the team leaders discussing the shadow monsters, stating, "Not only does Purification heal the Shadow Pokémon from its painful state, it also makes it stronger. Purify the Shadow Pokémon you catch, and you'll create a powerful bond with a Pokémon that's been through so much. "
Confronted with this reality, some players are genuinely having a moral crisis over what to do with their awesome looking buddies.
"I want to keep one of every shadow Pokémon but I feel guilty not purifying them" said a player on Twitter.
Pokémon has pulled stuff like this before. Back when Mega Pokémon were released, Game Freak quietly made the lore surrounding the mechanic terrifying. Pokedex entries for these evolutions had gems such as "The excess energy from Mega Evolution spilled from its mouth, breaking its jaw," and "Mega Evolution also affects its brain, leaving no other function except its destructive instinct to burn everything to cinders. "At this point, I'm getting conditioned to think cool-looking Pokémon are probably getting hurt somewhere down the line.
For many, though, this story does not matter. Shadow Pokémon in gyms, like so:
"Think I'll keep him suffering," one player said in response to Pokémon Go's reveal that monsters are hurt in Shadow form.