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Pokemon Theory: The Timeline Placement Of Let's Go Pikachu & Eevee

The upcoming Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu! & Eevee! seem like it has an ambiguous timeline, but we may (or may not) have it all figured out based on subtle clues.

So, the Pokemon series is full of alternate dimensions and timelines, but people have figured out where every game, including remakes lie within each version. Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! are no exceptions to this rule. But, where do the new games sit? Put on your tinfoil hats and hold on tight, because this theory is a wild ride.

The timelines are a bit wibbly wobbly

First thing you have to understand is that there's multiple timelines for the core games. Sitting all of the side games out of this equation (because Pokemon Quest and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon are kinda just their own things), there's three in the core franchise, which we'll code name as Original, Remake, and Mega here.

(Shoutout to AzzyFox for making this theory easier.)

The Original timeline started in the first generation and ended with the second generation. Think of this as a self contained story between the two generations that tell the original story and the direct sequel to it. This "Elementary Dimension" gives three instances of a "what if?" scenario for each story. Between two, the only differences are between which Pokemon can be encountered/captured. But, the third story diverges further by adding something new to the story behind it. Additionally, Pokedexes and Pokeballs seem to be new here, showing that modern Pokemon haven't existed terribly long.

The map in Pokemon Let's Go is nearly identical to Gen 1.
The map in Pokemon Let's Go is nearly identical to Gen 1.

This brings us to the Remake timeline, also known as the "Connectivity Dimension" due to having fully connected remakes to all previous games. This timeline started to give us remakes of the originals, as well as new stories in other regions. It starts in generation three and ends in five, even though it technically has some form of game from all generations from one to five. This timeline starts with Firered and Leafgreen and ends with Black 2 and White 2, canonically. Aside from multiple regions, there's 649 Pokemon possible here (as opposed to 251 for the Original Timeline) and there's no Fairy type either (which was introduced in Gen 6).

The current main universe is the Mega timeline (or Infinity Dimension), which incorporates generation six and beyond. This started by telling an alternate story that included a king (AZ) from 3000 years ago in X and Y, as well as Pokemon from the newest generations showing up in the distant past. The king was involved in a war that brought Infinity energy (hence the name). Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby are, in fact, the first real mentions of alternate dimensions during the post-game event, Delta Episode. This universe also includes Mega Evolutions, which are important to the Let's Go theory.

Mega Evolution exists in Let's Go.
Mega Evolution exists in Let's Go.

Needless to say, each alternate version of each of the game generations take place as an alternate dimension. The most recent games, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (SM, USUM), serve as alternate dimensions to Sun and Moon, and so on. In fact, in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Team Rainbow Rocket proves that there's multiple timelines just among each evil Team leader, as they come from worlds where they "won" their conflict. But, I digress.

Let's Go Pikachu & Eevee exist in...

This brings us to the newest games, Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee!, which are due out 2018. They serve as full remakes of Pokemon Yellow, which hails from generation 1, utilizing the story but incorporating Pokemon Go-like features. Aside from the anime influence (like its Yellow counterpart), including direct characters from the television series like Officer Jenny, Jessie, and James, the game adds some interesting features that can help detect where and when the game takes place.

Starting off, what dimension is it in? As of August 2018, Mega Evolution exists in the game, making it part of the Mega timeline. Alright, so that narrows it down more for us. But, when does it take place? That part gets trickier.

Our best clue comes from the post-game of Pokemon SM and USUM during the path to the Battle Tree. As the protagonist approaches, they are stopped by none other than Red and Blue from, well, Red and Blue (or the alternate Firered and Leafgreen in this case). They are visibly much older and way more experienced than the last time they were seen. It's likely that this is their first canon appearance in this timeline, but their stories may be similar to the happenings in the Remake timeline.

Source: Youtube, The Pokemon Company
Source: Youtube, The Pokemon Company

Although they show up in the Pokemon World Tournament during Black 2 and White 2, the last time any story has been told involving either of them would be during the Heartgold and Soulsilver remakes (that take place in the Remake universe). Red was last seen training on Mt. Silver and Blue took over the gym for Viridian City after Team Rocket's initial collapse. So, they're visibly older, but how much older?

There's two theories in the wild about this. Either they're around 20 years old or around 30 years old. Considering the anime and games explain that Pokemon trainers start their journey around 10 years old, this does make a difference. It is widely assumed that Red was around this age at the beginning of his journey. The reason for the decade difference in theories is because some people understand that the inclusion within the games were due to the 20th anniversary of the series and thus equate the same amount of time has passed in-universe. But, based on imagery of the characters, it's more likely been closer to the 10 year mark. In any case, this means Red is between 20 and 30, roughly.

How does this affect the Let's Go series?

During Red's journey in the original games, he defeated Team Rocket and Giovanni went into hiding. As this game's primary antagonists are the original Team Rocket (likely pre-collapse), this game is set during the same time frame. Now, since we don’t know Red and Blue’s past in this world, we can also assume some of the story is potentially different here.

This isn't Rainbow Rocket. This is old school Team Rocket (blasting off again).
This isn't Rainbow Rocket. This is old school Team Rocket (blasting off again).

So, Pokemon Let’s Go takes place during this same window of time as the original games, but offers a new male or female protagonist. As these characters are new designs, it’s unlikely this is meant to stand-in for Red himself. But, what if these new kids take on the legendary role that Red had previously?

Knowing Team Rocket exists in the game and that it’s a remake of Yellow (which in itself is based loosely on the anime), it’s likely to follow the same story, albeit with alterations and changes. So, say it’s actually these kids that defeat Team Rocket in this universe. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the younger versions of Red and Blue won’t show up in the game as well to tie it all together, but they may not be the primary heroes in this game.

They come from the same town, so it’s always possible that Red and Blue got their Charmander and Squirtle, some other kid (Green?) grabbed the Bulbasaur, and that the only remaining Pokemon is the Pikachu or Eevee. This is exactly how Ash got his Pikachu in the show (and the 2017 I Choose You! movie), so it’s always plausible that they could recreate this scenario.

As the game is set in Kanto either 10 or 20 years prior to the events of SM and USUM, things seem to be simpler. But, first generation Pokemon with Alolan forms can be brought into the game as well. Mega evolution exists in the game, making this a real upgrade to the original games, as well as completely separate in the timelines. But, only time will tell as we add more red string to our theory pin board before November.

Do you want to get Mew in your Pokemon Let’s Go game? You probably want to buy a Pokemon Plus to make it easy. Or, you can check out our guide on getting him the much cheaper (though much longer) way in Pokemon Go.

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