Niantic, don’t play with my heart like this. After enduring years of Pikachu hats for various events in Pokemon Go, there may be a chance that Niantic will finally give some ascetic love (beyond shinies) to a Pokemon outside the electric mouse family: Squirtle.
Since the announcement of Squirtle Community Day, people have flooded the official Pokemon Go twitter announcement with demands that Niantic do more than it usually does with other Pokemon, giving rise to the hashtag #SquirtleSquadorRiot. While there’s been no official announcement, fans are hoping that the above header image may be a clue that the team has heard fans’ cries,
though I remain skeptical at this point. (Update– It’s been confirmed).
Casual Pokemon fans just need to know that the original manga and anime had a gang of Squirtle in sunglasses that causes mischief, which naturally the hero must put right, eventually causing the gang to turn over a new leaf. The gang has been referenced in the game series as early as Pokemon Yellow and remains a fan favorite.
However, while Niantic has given plenty of opportunities for company mascot Pikachu to shine, the studio has squandered opportunities to feature a shaded Squirtle during the first Water Festival event, the game’s summer first-year celebrations, and the second Water Festival. As Surfing Pikachu (meaning the electric mouse learned a usually unlearnable move, surf) lacked its surfboard seen in previous media and evolving it robbed Raichu of the ability, the chances that Niantic gets this right look grim.
That being said, the upcoming Community Day could be a good starting point for new and returning players, what with the drastic improvements the game saw earlier this year and the newly added friends and trading systems. Oh, and the usual longer lures, in-game bonuses, and tons of people publicly playing the game around noon local time, July 8th, just two days after the game’s second anniversary (and some upcoming surprise).
Update: A Facebook update has confirmed that Squirtles with sunglasses may be randomly encountered after completing quests.