Pokémon doesn’t exactly shy away from providing dark backstories for its different monsters, and fittingly, that’s especially true of ghost-type Pokémon. But it does feel like Scarlet and Violet are a lot more comfortable than their predecessors were with putting heavier subjects like death at the forefront, rather than relegating them to subtext and Pokédex entries. (Just look at the final boss reveal.) But it seems like Game Freak is leaning into the darkness once again with the reveal of Poltchageist, a new grass/ghost-type Pokémon that will debut in the Teal Mask expansion launching on September 13.
In the character’s reveal trailer, we see a group of children gathering around to hear a story about a wise but strict tea master who drove everyone away with his tendency to chastise people mercilessly for the slightest mistakes during tea ceremonies. Eventually he died of exhaustion over his broken tea caddy. Any Pokémon fan who knows of Polteageist from the Generation VIII games probably knows where this is going. Eventually, the tea caddy came to life as Poltchageist, and cursed an ill-mannered woman with a Matcha tea-based spell, putting her into a coma-like state. Not all its abilities are destructive, however, as Poltchageist still maintains the tea master’s disdain for broken and chipped tea cups, and seals any broken objects it comes across.
The whole backstory is kinda fucked up, as is the case for many ghost-type Pokémon in the series. For example, Yamask, which was introduced in Pokémon Black and White, is said to be the wandering spirit of a dead human. Those poor unfortunate souls went through entire human lives just to get caught in a Pokéball by a 10-year-old. You hate to see it.
It seems Poltchageist is similar to Wiglett and Toedscruel, in that they are similar to Pokémon from previous generations but are actually a completely different species. So despite the resemblance to Polteageist and the similar naming convention, this isn’t a new form of an old monster, but instead, something else entirely.
Scarlet and Violet’s upcoming DLC seems to be riffing on a lot of older Pokémon, including adding new evolutions to older monsters and creating new Paradox forms for established legendaries. So whether Poltchageist ends up being a regional variant or a different species entirely, it fits with the trend Game Freak seems to be following with the upcoming expansions.