Those looking for Pikachu in Pokémon Legends: Arceus are finding that the yellow creature sounds different in the new game. In recent titles, Pikachu’s cry has sounded more like the mascot’s cry in other areas of the Pokémon franchise, such as the anime. However, Pokémon Legends: Arceus’s Pikachu sound as if their shouts are coming out of a robot rather than a living creature.
Actually, most Pokémon’s cries used to sound robot-like in the series. Between Generations 1 and 3, the Pokémon games were played on the Game Boy Color and the Game Boy Advanced. Perhaps because of the compression necessary to fit all of the data those games contained onto a Game Boy cartridge with less advanced technology, the cries of Pokémon had to be less detailed animal sounds and more technological in nature. It wasn’t until Gen 4 – which Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are remakes of – was put onto the Nintendo DS that new Pokémon cries began to sound more natural.
Pikachu’s cry in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a reversion to the robotic cries of the games before Gen 4. Instead of a cute “Pika pika,” Pikachu’s voice now sounds like a garbled computer mess. While that might sound like a bad design choice by The Pokémon Company, in actuality, such a throwback to the older games in the series is perfect for Pokémon Legends: Arceus because of its setting and gameplay.
Pikachu’s Cry Is A Fun Reference In Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is something of a reset for the series. Players have desired an open-world Pokémon game like Legends: Arceus for ages, even if the new Switch title is not necessarily as much of a free-roaming game as originally expected. It thus makes sense that Pokémon Legends: Arceus would make subtle callbacks to earlier games in the series in the same way Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee! did when it radically changed the gameplay formula of Pokémon. However, instead of modeling itself after Pokémon: Yellow, Pokémon Legends: Arceus does so with its cry change for Pikachu.
Additionally, Pikachu’s older cry better suits the setting of Pokémon Legends: Arceus. The new Switch title takes place in the ancient Hisui Region that becomes Sinnoh later in the Pokémon world’s timeline. It thus only makes sense that wild Pikachu use their cry from past games to emphasize Hisui’s place in the timeline. Even if the cry’s more technological sound may better fit a futuristic game, it also better suits the more wild, untamed pocket monsters in Pokémon Legends: Arceus than the sweeter-sounding cries from the anime.