Fans who were scared that Charmander was going to be the only Kanto starter available in Pokémon Sword and Shield can rest easy now that both Bulbasaur and Squirtle have been confirmed for the Galarian Pokédex.
But they aren’t in the standard Pokédex or included in any of the promotional material. So where exactly are the original Grass and Water-type starters?
At time of writing, the answer is in limbo.
There are fully-functional collections of data for both Bulbasaur and Squirtle in Sword and Shield, including movesets, animations, and more, but they’re unobtainable right now. They allegedly won’t be available through normal means, according to the data miners who initially found the locked data.
This could mean that the starters will be used as event Pokémon in the near future or that they’ll be featured in some of the Max Raid Battles that will have trainers working together, similar to Pokémon Go, to catch special Pokémon. This idea is also supported by the fact the Alola region starters—Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio—are in the extra 35 Pokémon that were discovered.
While the news that the remaining Kanto starters won’t be available for use right away might upset some trainers, at least we know that we’ll be getting them at some point. This could also mean that more Gigantimax forms will be added for them so Charizard isn’t the only special one for yet another generation.
Several legendaries from each region are also included along with the two remaining Kanto starters, like Mewtwo, Celebi, and even a few non-legendaries, like Meltan and Zeraora. Even if the starters aren’t raid bosses, it looks like Game Freak is ready to roll out some big fights once the game is fully released.