Pokémon Legends: Z-A Theory – Its Story Is Based On A Real Historical Time Period
6 mins read

Pokémon Legends: Z-A Theory – Its Story Is Based On A Real Historical Time Period


  • The teaser for
    Pokémon Legends: Z-A
    reveals city plans and sketch-like designs focusing on urban redevelopment.
  • Legends: Z-A
    may be inspired by 19th-century Paris, emphasizing city renovation during the reign of Napoleon III.
  • While the
    spin-off series is known for its pre-modern settings,
    has broached history before.



The latest trailer for Pokémon Legends: Z-A revealed historical sketch-like designs, unveiling the approximate time and place where the game will be set. Amid the excitement of the new teaser, longtime players of the series will recall that the Kalos region from Pokémon X and Y is based on France and, respectively, Lumiose City on Paris. The video also showcased multitudes of urban-focused imagery, hinting at what players might experience ahead.

The Legends spin-off series has so far brought players to a pre-modern world. For instance, in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, trainers explore a historical Sinnoh called Hisui, a parallel to the real world’s 19th century Hokkaido in the Meiji period. Given the prequel’s strange lore and historical background, players should expect a similar experience in Legends: Z-A.


Pokémon Legends: Arceus Easter Egg Was Teasing Legends: Z-A All Along

The newly revealed Pokémon Legends: Z-A had already been teased within Pokémon Legends: Arceus, nearly two years before its official announcement.

Pokémon Legends: Z-A May Be Based On A Real Renovation Of Paris

The Pokémon Legends: Z-A trailer’s title card greets viewers with text noting, “Urban Redevelopment Plan” followed by a message that the project will foster coexistence between Pokémon and humans. The video then flies to architectural sketches resembling the facades of buildings on the Champs-Élysées, a famous avenue in Paris. With the French background of Kalos, all of these are hints that Pokémon Legends: Z-A‘s story and setting may correlate to the works of Georges-Eugène Haussmann during the Second French Empire and the reign of Napoleon III in the mid-19th century.

Between 1853 and 1870, Haussmann led the renovation and redesign of Paris. Commissioned by Napoleon III, the project oversaw a vast array of changes to the city, including the widening of streets, the creation of parks and green spaces, and the construction of theaters. While the renovation received intense pushback from contemporaries, it forged the current layout and design of the city.

Amid the redevelopment plan, players should expect to see how their actions will contribute to the state of Lumiose City as it is presented in Pokémon X and Y. Trainers might experience side quests that use their Pokémon to aid with the construction of the city, similar to how players can expand farms in Legends: Arceus‘ Jubilife Village. Players could also stumble upon disgruntled residents and Pokémon who are unhappy with the changes to their homes. It will be up to the player to find out how to ameliorate these issues for the citizens of Lumiose.


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Pokémon Legends: Z-A has been announced; however, the teaser trailer did not give much away. Fans are theorizing what the next game has in store.

Napoleon III’s France Is Great Inspiration For A New Pokémon Game

A map of Pokemon X and Y's region, Kalos.

Pokemon Legends: Z-A can draw from a rich setting during the Second French Empire. France witnessed momentous change under the reign of Napoleon III. While the regime’s foreign policy faltered with its loss during the Franco-Prussian War after the disastrous Battle of Sedan in 1871, players might experience inspiration from the domestic side of Napoleon’s changes. Society increasingly shifted from an agricultural to an industrial lifestyle, a struggle that trainers might grapple with in a burgeoning Kalos.

Aside from an urban development angle, the regime saw intense economic and infrastructure growth. For instance, the regime built a cohesive railway network. If players explore multiple quest hubs in Legends: Z-A, towns might be connected by rail. If the game’s setting reaches a decade or two later into the Belle Époque, trainers might experience the beginning of Lumiose’s golden age and the construction of the world’s Eiffel Tower equivalent, the Lumiose Gym.


Pokémon Legends: Z-A Might’ve Confirmed At Least One Switch 2 Rumor

One detail in Pokémon Legends: Z-A’s teaser trailer may have also quietly confirmed a popular rumor about the Nintendo Switch 2’s capabilities.

History Has Been Reimagined Before Through Pokémon Games

Cover art of the Nintendo DS game Pokémon Conquest.

The Legends series has not been Pokémon‘s only foray into history. In 2012, Pokémon Conquest was released on the Nintendo DS, covering the turbulent Sengoku period in Japan. Players follow and attempt to hinder the ambitions of Oda Nobunaga as he seeks to unify the Ransei region, an analog of Japan, making the game is a fun dive into the Warring States era through the colorful lens of Pokémon.

As the Legends series continues to innovate, players will be drawn into different fascinating realms inspired by the real world. The franchise’s connections with the past do not end with just the settings of games, as even individual Pokémon find nspiration from history. And while the release date of Pokémon Legends: Z-A is not yet certain, evidence from previous titles, the history of the Kalos region, and the footage from the trailer lends credence to the idea that trainers may enjoy a setting inspired by the Second French Empire.

Pokemon Legends Z-A Game Logo Poster

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