Pokémon Black and White don’t need remakes, they need a Legends: Arceus-style prequel

Reshiram and Zekrom from the Pokémon Black and White box art.
(Image credit: The Pokémon Company, Nintendo)

If there’s one thing you can count on the Pokémon fanbase for, besides getting upset about Pokémon based on inanimate objects, it’s begging for remakes. Whatever the current oldest mainline games are (that don’t have remakes already), there’ll be an army of dedicated, nostalgic fans pleading for The Pokémon Company to bring them to the latest console, complete with every new feature you could imagine. 

I’d know, because I’ve been guilty of this before. I was a proud member of the Sinnoh remake movement for years… until Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were actually shown. The less said about those, the better. But one new Sinnoh game I was thrilled about was Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which took fans back in time to the region’s past, which had previously only been described in the occasional lore tidbit from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.

Since Legends: Arceus’ reveal, Pokémon fans have been contemplating what other games could be released using the ‘Legends’ title, and while many have suggested that a Johto-themed game could be a great fit, I personally can’t imagine anything working better than Pokémon Black and White’s Unova region. After all, a prequel could focus on an ultra-powerful Legendary Pokémon that’s never even been named, never mind seen. 

In Black and White’s lore, it’s stated that the two Legendary Pokémon featured on the game boxes - Reshiram and Zekrom - were each used by two twin heroes to create the Unova region. Before that, though, they existed as one powerful Dragon-type Pokémon, which ended up splitting itself in two in response to the twins being unable to agree on which ideals they should follow. 

The only way to see the mysterious beast for ourselves would be to go back in time

Pokémon Black and White’s third Legendary Dragon, Kyurem, is also thought to have been created from the one original Dragon. The Unova region’s Dragon-type Gym Leader, Drayden, tells the player of an old legend, which suggests that Kyurem was created from the leftovers of the Dragon’s split into Reshiram and Zekrom. Clearly, this ties into the fact that in Black and White 2, it’s possible to fuse Kyurem with either of the region’s other two Legendary Dragons to create Black Kyurem and White Kyurem, but the player is never given the option to fuse all three. 

As such, there’s no way in the existing Pokémon games to see the mythical creature which sits at the heart of the Unova’s beginnings; so what better way to explore the region’s past than to play through the events that led to its split into the three Legendary Dragons that fans know? At this point, it seems clear that there’s no way to bring the original Dragon back to life in the current-day Pokémon universe, so the only way to see the mysterious beast for ourselves would be to go back in time.

Stepping back in time

A screenshot of the protagonist running around Nacrene City in Pokémon Black and White.

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company, Nintendo)

Beyond that, an ancient prequel to Black and White would be fascinating, purely due to the fact that Unova is arguably the most ‘modern’ region to date. With skyscrapers towering over Castelia City, an entire area inspired by Hollywood (complete with a movie production set and theater), and Pokémon like Trubbish and Garbodor which are based on literal trash bags, there’s no doubt that the Unova fans know is meant to represent an urbanized world not unlike our own. A historical version of the Trubbish line, for example, would have to take on a different appearance, simply because there’s no way that they could exist as they do now before the items that they’re based on were invented. And what would happen to those heavily urbanized areas? Pretty much anything could be done with them.

Perhaps it’s just because Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl disappointed me, but, personally, I’m done with asking for full remakes of games that still hold up well to this day (although I wouldn’t say no to Nintendo Switch ports to make them accessible to those without older hardware). 

With the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s first wave of DLC, The Teal Mask expansion, it’s been confirmed that the second expansion, The Indigo Disk, will take place in a school located in the Unova region. Needless to say, speculation is now rife online, with fans contemplating if this is a hint towards Black and White making a full-scale return on the console. I just hope it could mean something more, and that we might finally discover the Unova region’s most important Pokémon, 13 years after the original games were released. 

For more Pokémon, be sure to check out our ranking of the best Pokémon games. You can also look for more game recommendations with our roundup of the best Nintendo Switch games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.