Players of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl share a video showcasing Garchomp’s creepy, shark-inspired follow animation.
The Pokemon franchise has been around for 25 years, and there are now almost 900 Pokemon for fans to capture, all of them spread across a wide variety of games, spin-offs, and merchandise – including the newly-released Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. However, not all Pokemon are created equal. Though it seems that each new monster has its fans, some are considered cuter, cooler, or generally more appealing while others are viewed with concern, mistrust, and even fear. The launch of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl appears to have added Garchomp to the second category thanks to its unexpectedly creepy follow animation.
In Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, players can set Pokemon to follow them around on the overmap, not just in Amity Park. This allows Pokemon to help find invisible items, show off their 3D models, and generally adds to the feeling of exploring the Pokemon world with monster friends.
While this may sound great, TikTokker WillyPVG discovered that setting Garchomp to follow his character around looked like something out of a horror movie. Known as the Mach Pokemon, Garchomp is a dragon/ground-type pseudo-Legendary that resembles a cross between a dragon and a shark – and its follow animation has it spread its wings and glide silently after the player. WillyPVG shared a video of a Garchomp gliding after his character, utterly motionless, drawing ever closer as he struggles to keep some distance between them. Although he added some spooky sound effects for flavor, the result is downright uncanny.
Sharks are often considered to be creepy when they glide through the water, but they do still have to move in order to propel themselves forward – in fact, many sharks must constantly remain in motion in order to force water over their gills. Garchomp’s Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl follow animation evokes the image of a shark without any accompanying movement. The result makes the Pokemon look less like a real animal and more like a terrifying specter.
As of writing, it appears that other fans agree that Garchomp’s follow animation is unnecessarily creepy. One user noted that Garchomp is shown flying like that in the Pokemon anime and manga, but other follow animations don’t appear to be based on how the Pokemon moves in expanded universe materials. A second user wishes that Garchomp’s model wasn’t so stiff and rigid in motion, while a third stated that it reminded them of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who.