Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s first DLC, The Teal Masks, is lastly out, and it takes the participant and all their pocket monsters on an trade pupil program to the land of Kitakami. On this wondrous land they’ll discover new Pokémon to catch, new associates to make, and, as followers have found, restrooms which might be gender-neutral.
I, like many different gamers, stumbled upon this discovery within the first 10 minutes of arriving in Kitakami, on the neighborhood heart the place my character was staying. Within the foyer, you discover three restrooms. The lads’s and girls’s restrooms are designated by Pikachu tails, with the previous that includes the flat edge on the finish that male Pikachus have and the latter displaying the rounded, heart-shaped finish females do. The third restroom is marked by only a silhouette of Pikachu’s head, and whenever you look at it, the textual content reads “This restroom can be utilized by anybody!”
It’s a small factor in a universe that has definitely had queer characters and even what appear to be in-universe references to queer tradition, like ex-Galar Champion Peony possibly being a gay icon with a largely male fanbase. However a number of that has been subtext, and having gender-neutral restrooms is a fairly express recognition of queer and non-binary characters current inside the Pokémon universe. It’s nice to see, and hopefully this implies we may see an precise gender-neutral character creation choice within the sequence’ future, with they/them or different pronoun toggles in later video games.
Even when Pokémon has stored a lot of its acknowledgment of queer identification buried in subtext, the franchise has amassed an enormous queer fanbase over time, particularly surrounding the Fairy kind.
The Teal Masks is the primary of two DLCs coming to Scarlet and Violet, with the second, titled The Indigo Disk, set to launch later this 12 months. Collectively, they make up the Hidden Treasure of Space Zero enlargement that wraps up the story of the principle sport.