Nintendo has announced that Pokkén Tournament, its Bandai-collaborated mashup of Pokémon and Tekken, is coming to its Wii U console in 2016.
Up until now, the game's only been playable in a handful of old-school arcades throughout Japan. The idea behind the game is simple: take a bunch of pokémon, put them in a fighting ring, and instead of having a classic turn-based battle, they fight like Tekken characters. It. Is. Glorious.
Along with today's announcement, Nintendo dropped yet another trailer showcasing the game's visuals and mechanics. Toward the end of the video, though, a new-ish character was unveiled: Pikachu Libre.
A regular Pikachu has been a part of the Pokkén lineup since the game was first announced last year, but Pikachu Libre is a whole new character unto her own. To the untrained eye, Pikachu Libre might just seem to be a regular Pikachu wearing a luchador mask, but she's actually much more.
Sexual dimorphism (physical differences based on sex) in pokémon were recently introduced. Pikachu Libre is one of five Pikachu variants in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that are able to gain abilities based on what they're cosplaying as. In the games, it should be pointed out, Cosplay Pikachu are always female You can tell that Cosplay Pikachu are female because of heart shapes at the ends of their tails.
There are a number of female characters in the Tekken franchise, but Pikachu Libre is technically the first confirmed female character to be playable in Pokken. In addition to being visually different from the male Pikachu in the game, Pikachu Libre's also been given a distinctly higher voice and a different personality associated with a love of lucha libre (she puts on a show.)
Those details may seem innocuous, but female characters in fighting games usually suffer from developers spending more time on their jiggle physics as opposed to their characterization.
We'll have to wait to see just how Pikachu Libre will stack up against Machamp, Lucario, and Blaziken until next year, but until then one has to wonder: Who could her equally badass trainer be?