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The Entire Pokemon Sword And Shield Story Explained

The newest mainline Pokemon games have finally been released, much to the satisfaction, and ire, of Pokemon trainers everywhere. There is no denying that Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are rather divisive titles; certain features (or lack thereof) in these games have incited online protests and widespread controversy in the months leading up to release. Now that they are here, however, we can unravel one part of these games that we haven't heard very much about: the story. 


For the most part, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield tell the same story of battling, bravery, and British euphemisms, relying on myth and legend to tell the story of two heroes who overcome darkness. The two tales diverge in minor ways, as Pokemon titles have for decades. But we'll be sure to cover the whole, howling story here.

Now, without further ado, let's take at the tale told in Nintendo and Game Freak's latest.

Welcome to the Galar region

You, dear player, start your adventure in the sleepy village of Postwick, where you live with your mom. Your neighbor and best friend, Hop, has no problem rushing in and telling you that, soon, his big brother Leon will be home. Leon is kind of a big deal: he's the Champion of the Galar region, and the biggest celebrity of all the land. You were just watching one of his battles when Hop burst in, in fact. 


A quick jog over to the local train station in Wedgehurst and you get to meet Leon in the flesh. He's happy to meet you, and even has presents for you and Hop: your choice of one of three starter Pokemon. Hop already has a trusty (and adorable) Wooloo, so you get first pick. Whichever Pokemon is left over becomes a part of Leon's team, training alongside his famous and powerful Charizard.

Hop is ready and raring to unseat his brother as Champion, and after proving your skills at battling Pokemon, Leon is willing to endorse both of you. This means that you can enter the annual Gym Challenge and test your mettle against eight mighty Gym leaders.

Howling in the woods

Before you're able to tell your mom that you're running down to Wedgehurst to pick up your very first PokeDex, you notice that the gate leading to the Slumbering Weald has been left wide open. This is bad news, because the Weald is an eerie, forbidden place. Hop reminds you that, earlier, a rogue Wooloo was tackling the gate, so it's up to you and your new partner Pokemon to save the lost lamb. 


In the Weald, you encounter mist, fog, and a bone-chilling howl. Suddenly, you spot a strange, wolf-like Pokemon that you've never seen before. Any attempt to attack it proves futile — is this thing made of fog too? The creature disappears, and you and Hop discover that Leon has already rescued the Wooloo. 

Back in Wedgehurst, you meet Professor Magnolia and her stylish granddaughter, Sonia. Thanks to Magnolia's research, trainers are able to harness Galar's Dynamax energy and make their Pokemon huge with the power of wishing stars. Dynamax and its origins are still mysterious, but not to worry: Sonia is (rather reluctantly) on the case.

Joining the Gym Challenge

Standing between you and the opening ceremony for the Gym Challenge is a vast swath of Wild Area. You and Hop opt to take a train, but thanks to a herd of Wooloo on the tracks, it's delayed. So you both decide to make it to the city of Motostoke on foot. 


The Wild Area is free to explore, filled with a wide variety of Pokemon. Some of those Pokemon, however, are very powerful and downright dangerous for a low level trainer. After a camping trip or two in the Wild Area, you arrive at Motostoke, the steam powered city where many other trainers have gathered to take on the Gym Challenge. There, you meet an arrogant trainer named Bede who has been endorsed by Chairman Rose – the businessman in change of the Challenge — and a girl named Marnie who has her very own fan club, Team Yell.

These hooligans are harassing the folks at the Budew Drop Inn, where Sonia is admiring a statue of the legendary hero. This hero, she tells you, defeated the darkness that once covered Galar with his trusty sword and shield. Sonia is studying these old legends to see what they might have to do with Dynamaxing.


More battles and a dinner date

You don't have to travel far for the first two Gym Challenges. To the West is Turffield, where you fight Milo, the Grass-type leader. In Hulbury to the West, you take on Water-type leader Nessa.

While you're in the lovely harborside town of Hulbury, you're invited to a seafood dinner with Chairman Rose. Like Leon, he's clearly a celebrity. It is thanks to his companies that the country has enough energy to thrive. He's nice, but his assistant Oleana is a bit waspish. Bede, the haughty trainer, is much worse. Apparently, the Chairman took this wayward boy in and gave him his very first Pokemon. 


After a brief dinner date with the Chairman, you make your way back to Motostoke in order to take on the Fire-type leader, Kabu. You met him prior in one of Galar's mines earlier after another dust up with Bede. But unlike Bede, he's a cool guy who congratulates you when you defeat him.

On the way to the next Challenge with Hop at your side, you're stopped by — you guessed it — Bede. He challenges Hop to a battle while you go on ahead.

Unlocking secrets at Hammerlocke

You make it to Hammerlocke after another jaunt in the Wild Area, but Hop doesn't catch up with you. Apparently Bede actually beat him, and the prideful victor shoves past you on his way to an appointment with the Chairman. You overhear Bede say that the reason he's been collecting Wishing Stars is to help the Chairman save Galar. What could that mean?


You eavesdrop on the conversation, but when you're discovered, the Chairman doesn't seem to mind. In fact, he takes it as an opportunity to explain how his company harnesses energy from Wishing Stars in an underground power plant. He directs you to the vaults, where you discover Sonia and the story of the kingdom of Galar: two youths took up sword and shield to stop the Darkest Day. 

After heading over to the nearby city of Stow-on-Side and taking on the gym there (Ghost-type for Shield, Fighting-type for Sword), you and Sonia discover Bede, who is about to destroy a famous mural there in the pursuit of Wishing Stars. You stop him, and the Chairman revokes his endorsement, but the damage is already done. The mural crumbles to reveal an ancient statue of two Pokemon: one with a sword and another with a shield.


Opal's replacement

The next challenge is with Fairy-type gym leader Opal. You've run into her before; she's a sassy old lady who loves the color pink. She's also pretty tough to beat. Opal is in search of her replacement: a strong trainer with just the right amount of pink. When you walk her down to Hammerlocke, she finds her replacement then and there. It's Bede, wearing his signature magenta jacket. 


In the chilly city of Circhester, you get your next badge: Rock-type for Sword, Ice-type for Shield. Sonia is waiting for you at the warm Bob's Your Uncle cafe, where there just so happens to be another ancient tapestry. It depicts the two heroes standing sadly over two graves: one marked with a sword and one marked with a shield.

What could this mean? Sonia has some theories, and Hop remembers that mysterious wolf Pokemon you met in the Slumbering Weald. 

Spikemuth and the Darkest Day

Next stop is the gym at Spikemuth. Spikemuth doesn't have a big stadium like other cities do. It's a rather rough and tumble place where Team Yell runs rampant. They want Marnie, and only Marnie, to win the Gym Challenge. She tells them off, however, because everyone deserves a chance to win. She shows you into the gym, where her older brother (and Dark-type leader) Piers reigns supreme. 


Piers is a punk rocker, but he's pretty morose. He wants Marnie to take over as Spikemuth's gym leader, but Marnie has her eye on the title of Champion. This leaves you to run back to Hammerlocke in order to take on the final hurdle: Raihan, the Dragon-type leader. There, you run into Professor Magnolia, Leon, and Sonia, who are discussing a mysterious red light that covers Hammerlocke and could be connected to the Darkest Day.

But they want you to focus on the Gym Challenge rather than earthquakes and mysteries. So you ready up for your battle with Raihan.

Tower of terrible arguments

You are able to beat Raihan. Yay! Sonia is also on cloud nine after getting her professor's lab coat from her grandmother. Your next stop is Wyndon, where the Champion's Cup takes place. There you take on your fellow Challengers, Marnie and Hop. Of course, you win.


As a celebration of your victories, Leon invites you both you and Hop out for dinner... but he never shows up. It turns out that he had a meeting with the Chairman at the top of Rose Tower. Oleana, that secretary of his, is absolutely adamant that they cannot be disturbed. So she sics a series of goons on you. 

After many battles, and taking on Oleana herself, you finally get to the top of the Tower where the Chairman and Leon are arguing about postponing the Championship Match. The Chairman seems to think that some kind of tragedy is on the way, but Leon insists that they cannot postpone the Championship.

Championship postponed

The next day, you head to the stadium where all the gym leaders you previous bested are waiting for revenge. Just kidding — they want a good, friendly rematch to see who gets to take on Leon for the title of Champion. Bede is there too, ready to quit Pokemon training altogether should he lose (which he does). After some encouragement from the crowd, though, he resolves to continue as the Fairy-type gym leader. 


You successfully battle your way through the lineup. But just before you're able to take on Leon at last, the Chairman interrupts on the stadium's big screen, saying — with a smile no less — that he is about to trigger the Darkest Day for the sake of Galar's future. Leon goes to stop him and you and Hop travel back to the Slumbering Weald to seek out the legendary Pokemon who can stop the Darkest Day. There you find a rusty sword and shield... but no Pokemon. You then follow Leon to Hammerlocke. He might need help stopping Chairman Rose.

Return of Eternatus

At the underground power plant, you find Oleana pacing about in a mess of worry. Apparently Pokemon everywhere are Dynamaxing and running amok as a result of whatever the Chairman did. She's on your side now, and she asks you to stop Chairman Rose and a legendary Pokemon that he summoned called Eternatus


The Chairman had been giving Wishing Stars to Eternatus in order to harness its power for the sake of Galar, but Eternatus cannot be controlled. After you find the Chairman and defeat him in battle, you head up to the roof where Leon is taking on the giant, pink dragon Pokemon all by himself. Leon is sure that catching it is the answer to stopping the Darkest Day... but that's not how the legend went, right? 

Hop gets the idea to raise the old sword and shield against Eternatus. And off in the Slumbering Weald, the legendary wolves Zamazenta and Zacian awaken. They are the sword and shield that defeated the Darkest Day. Reunited with the sword and shield, they transform and fight alongside you. This is how you catch Eternatus and stop the Darkest Day.


You are the champion

Finally, you get the chance to battle Leon now that the end of the world has been averted. Leon might even be a tougher opponent than an ancient, evil Pokemon (which you just so happen to own now). But hey — hats off to you. You defeat Leon, win the title of Champion, and get a thanks from Leon for the greatest battle he's ever had. You, dear player, are now the Champion of the Galar region. 


Congratulations, Champ! But your battle isn't quite over. Even though the credits rolled on this particular story, there is still some post game story to reckon with. We're still left with some questions, such as: Where did Zamazenta and Zacian go? What will Hop do after his defeat? What will Leon and Sonia do?

The post game story starts in your sleepy hometown of Postwick, where Professor Magnolia calls on you. Both she and Hop have been pretty down since the Darkest Day. You go off to find Hop in the Slumbering Weald.

The royal scandal

Hop is hanging out at the old shrine where you found the sword and shield that once belonged to Zamazenta and Zacian. He asks you for one last battle, for old time's sake. The commotion attracts Sonia, who is now Professor Sonia. She has put all her findings about the legends and history of Galar into a best-selling book, and being an expert about the legendary sword and shield, she prompts you and Hop to return the old artifacts to their original resting places. 


This is when the so-called "new kings of Galar" show up.

Sordward and Shielbert, who look as ridiculous as they sound, claim that Sonia's research is entirely inaccurate. They would know, being the descendants to Galar's royal family, so they steal the sword and shield. After battling the namesake of your particular game, you're able to recover the item, but Hop fails in his battle against the other brother.

The brothers are to blame

At Sonia's research lab, you discover that there are randomly Dynamaxing Pokemon on the loose at the Stadium there. You, Hop, Piers, and Milo stop it, but the question remains: How did this happen? Is the Darkest Day returning? As it turns out, those terribly-named royal brothers are to blame. They admit that they are conducting some kind of experiment by forcing Pokemon to Dynamax. 


Basically, it becomes your job to chase after these "celebrities" and stop their destruction as they go from gym to gym, causing Dynamax chaos. After all that hullabaloo, their next target is Sonia's lab. There, they demand that the Professor hand over all the Wishing Stars that the Chairman had gathered. You know, because they're "celebrities." Thankfully, you're able to trounce them. Unfortunately, Sonia's newly hired assistant hands over the Wishing stars to the brothers, as she's apparently on board with the plan to put Galar under the control of the royal lineage.

Taking up sword and shield

Sordward and Shielbert have headed to the underground power plant in Hammerlocke, where they reveal that they plan to ruin Zamazenta and Zacian for stealing their ancestor's thunder. They want to Dynamax the legendaries and effectively turn the two true heroes of Galar into villains. You, of course, won't stand for this, and you defeat one of the brothers. 


It might be too late, however, as you discover that they have managed to corrupt one of the legendary wolves, using their stolen artifact to summon it. You battle the beast to calm it, and thankfully, its sibling shows up to help. Once you wear the one wolf down, Hop goes to return the stolen artifact. As thanks, the other wolf allows you to fight and capture it. 

Back at the shrine in the Slumbering Weald, the other legendary has taken a shine to Hop, as well. Both armed with the legendary heroes of Galar, Hop challenges you to one final battle, which you win. But Hop doesn't take the defeat too hard, because he's found a new dream: he wants to help people and Pokemon as a Professor. As it just so happens, Sonia has an opening for an assistant.