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What Are The Pokemon Sword And Shield Legendaries Based On?

The newest legendary Pokemon are so elusive and so secretive that even the people of Pokemon Sword and Shield's Galar region aren't aware they exist. This is a departure from previous games, in which the legendaries are just that: well-known legends that the people of the region talk to the protagonist about.

It's hard to miss two massive, weapon-carrying wolves, so how have these two stayed secret? We're not yet sure about that, but we do know this: Zamazenta and Zacian's designs are deeply inspired by the lore and history of the United Kingdom.

What is Zacian based on?

We'll be the first to admit that we joined in on all the memes about Zacian following the reveal of this legendary Pokemon. It carries a sword in its mouth, looking very much like another sword-carrying wolf from Dark Souls. All jokes aside, the Pokemon Company says that, "Zacian attacks so gracefully that its movements can even captivate its opponents. It holds what appears to be a sword in its mouth. Its shining blade can cut through anything."

That sword, the namesake of Pokemon Sword, might just be inspired by Arthurian legend. Ever heard of the sword in the stone? According to British myth, this magical weapon was gifted to King Arthur, who then went on to establish the Knights of the Round Table and the legendary, prosperous land of Camelot. It's not hard to see how knightly Zacian looks with all that armor.

What is Zamazenta based on?

In contrast, Zamazenta represents Pokemon Shield. This massive wolf of a warrior really is a living shield. The Pokemon Company says that "Zamazenta's regal and majestic movements overwhelm any opponents that dare face it. Its body is covered in what seems to be a shield. Its gleaming shield can turn back any attack."

That shield bears quite a bit of resemblance to the traditional British coat of arms, a design used to represent noble and knightly houses. Zamazenta represents the more defensive, but nevertheless essential shield that those Knights of the Round Table likely carried on their adventures in British lore.