Pokémon Twilight Wings Delivers an Immersive Perspective on Sword & Shield’s DLC

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Pokémon: Twilight Wings, "The Gathering of Stars,"  available now in English from The Official Pokémon Channel on YouTube.

Pokémon: Twilight Wings returns with a special episode advertising the Expansion pack in Sword & Shield. Unlike the Twilight Wings series which presents an anime original story following John and Tommy, this episode goes through the journey a trainer would take if they were to play Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra themselves. It's filled with easter eggs and little details relating to the Expansion pack story that Pokémon fans will adore.

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As former Champion Leon heads towards the Isle of Armor, there's a shot of a Galarian Slowpoke and that giant Wailord you can encounter in the distance. Meanwhile, Avery is using his psychic-abilities to train someone at the Max Dojo, while another trainer is foraging Max Mushrooms with Klara. The Klara moment especially is a nice way to tie-in to the game as Max Mushrooms are needed to make Max Soup. After these establishing shots of the region, Honey is shown with a Bulbasaur and Squirtle, two classic starter Pokémon.

Leon is here to see his Master Mustard and give him the invite to the Galarian Star Tournament. Of course, he can't just visit without a friendly explosive battle. As Charizard and Mienshao have a short, yet intense duel Mustard mentions how fighting against powerful rivals helps a trainer grow. To get Kubfu, the cute Pokémon watching over Leon and Mustard's talk, in the DLC, one must defeat their rival in a battle at the Max Dojo, along with collecting some escaped Slowpoke's and Max Mushrooms.

With Mustard accepting the invite, a montage showcases other participants Leon invites. The shot with Bea at a cafe with friends is especially chockful of little easter eggs. Machop is offering Bea an energy bar, much like he did in her episode in the series. On the table, a Polteageist and Sinistea lay as the girls eat cake, scones and even have a platter of berries set aside. Meanwhile, funnily enough, Machop's plate is an apple curry, which makes one wonder how the Flapple and Appletun feel seeing Machop eat those apples. This shot also reminds the audience of Bea's age, as she is in school uniform too.

Opal allows fashionable Bede to join the competition. The shot of Mustard's League Card is another easter egg, and also showcases Opal's rivalry and relationship with Mustard. There's been a theory that Opal was the previous Champion prior to Mustard, and her owning his card might be a hint that the theory is true.

As Raihan, Leon's long-time rival, receives his letter, he mentions a certain "someone" is missing. Who could it be? It's you — the player! Now at the Crown Tundra, we open with a POV shot on the train as Peony and his daughter argue in the background. The player works with Peony in an exploration team as they try to find Legendary Pokémon like Galarian Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno which are revealed in rather distant shots as the train flies on by. As the player wakes up, they receive a message from Leon, likely the invite to the Tournament.

At Wyndon Stadium, the celebrations are wild. One stall is selling candied Applin-looking treats, Ball Guy warms his hands on the fire of a bouncing Galarian Darmanitan in Zen Mode and another guy chomps on some sausage curry. As a Cinderace kicks a firework towards the sky, we cut to Leon's speech. Even amongst all this madness, Twilight Wings manages to sneak in a shot of Sordward and Shielbert watching over the match and Oleana working at the Galar Mine as all the invitees do their hero's walk towards the stadium.

As all the trainers pose, one last trainer walks in. Only their feet are seen, but they're the same shoes the player character wears in their tournament uniform. It's unknown if the character was Victor or Gloria walking in, a decision which seems intentional to keep this identity a mystery.

It was unexpected Twilight Wings would get more material after its finale. Though it's unlikely we will be seeing more of Twilight Wings, here's hoping Pokémon continues to deliver immersive animation that highlights and adds to the games' story.

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