With the release of the Pokémon Super Bowl commercial that was hyped up during Pokémon’s 20th Anniversary celebrations announcement, many fans have been able to pinpoint a number references and Easter eggs that all relate back to the original Red, Green, Blue and Yellow games.

There’s one brief moment in the commercial that has us all at Nintendo Inquirer just a little bit puzzled.

RB Flags full

Do you see those two flags? Upon immediate inspection, we’re sure that you, just like us, assumed the coloring was the Easter egg itself– red and blue, just like the games. Tucked away in the corner of the shot, it’s something small and seemingly insignificant. But what if it’s not? It’s clear from even a first glance that there are symbols adorning both flags, and if you’re like me you probably quickly assumed they were the symbols for the Water- and Fire-Types. But when you take a closer look, the symbols are actually identical, albeit reversed from each other. And while it’s slightly unclear as the zoomed shot is rather small, the symbols appear to be something similar to a tree.

RB Flags zoom

Now, what relevance could a tree have in Pokémon lore? My first guess was Xerneas and Yveltal. The reference to Xerneas is even more obvious, with Xerneas literally being awakened from a tree towards the end of Pokémon X and Y. However, the concept of a tree is relevant in both Pokémon’s lore. But that raises the question of, when every reference in this commercial has to do with Pokémon Red, Green, Blue and Yellow, why this single instance alludes to Xerneas and Yveltal? Well, as it turns out, the whole idea of the “tree” goes much deeper.

It’s no secret that Xerneas and Yveltal are two Legendaries within a trio, with Zygarde being the third. There’s been a large amount of speculation around Zygarde’s meaning and relevance within Pokémon X and Y, and being the third legendary of the trio, his possible importance within the “third game” of the generation. Recently, the Zygarde found in the X and Y games was revealed to not be Zygarde’s full form, but rather his 50% Forme, with four other Formes of Zygarde existing, all building off of each other. When this information was revealed, even more believed that this was a sign that, by expanding the information about Zygarde as well as its importance (its inclusion in the anime being revealed as well), that Pokémon Z was a guarantee. Unfortunately, no such announcement has been made as of yet.

Zygarde 50%

But despite the lack of information still known about Zygarde, we do know that it, along with its counterparts, were not based off nothing. In fact, Zygarde was based off of one third of the Yggdrasil myth, which is an immense tree in Norse mythology. While the myth is extensive, the simple version is as follows: The mythical tree, Yggdrasil, is an immense ash tree that is central and considered very holy, and is where the gods go daily to assemble their things. The tree connects the nine different worlds within Norse cosmology. Its branches extend far into the heavens, while its three roots extend far into other locations. Three kinds of creatures live within Yggdrasil, those being a snake or wyrm at the roots, four stags at the tree itself, and a large eagle perched at the top or flying above the tree.

Yggdrasil

I’m sure these creatures sound familiar. Yveltal represents the large eagle at the top of the tree, Xerneas clearly represents the stags, and Zygarde has ties to the snake at the roots, its Dragon typing even referencing the dragon-like qualities of a wyrm, and its Ground typing referencing the snake’s underground home, where it gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasil.

Could the tree represented on the blue and red flags be Yggdrasil? Perhaps Pokémon is trying to give subtle references to an ultimately bigger reveal, still to be shown to us. While it is just about the tiniest hint you could have, it’s still worth considering. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Xerneas’ and Yveltal’s colors do match the colors of the flags, and the decision to make the trio red, blue, and green, which harkens back to the colors of the original games, is interesting to say the least.

And the references don’t end there! While Zygarde’s 50% Forme is an obvious reference to the Norse myths, some may argue that these become less relevant when considering his other Formes. However, all of Zygarde’s forms have ties to Norse mythology. Its 10% Forme is reminiscent of Fenrir, a child of Loki which is described as a monstrous beast meant to cause trouble to the gods. Because of his harmful nature, the gods created three fetters, or shackles, to bind Fenrir, which could be represented by the fact that three of his four legs are entirely black, while one remains green. However, none of these fetters worked. Only the final shackle, which was a ribbon-like binding created by the dwarves, could successfully subdue Fenrir, and this is obviously represented by the scarf-like object around Zygarde 10% Forme’s neck.

Zygarde-Core-Colors

Zygarde Complete Forme seems to be a reference to Hel, the ruler of Helheim, which is the land of the dead in Norse mythology. Hel’s Queen status is represented by the crown-like headpiece on Zygarde Complete Forme’s Head, and many depictions of Hel see her as a half-alive and half-dead being, which could be a direct parallel to Zygarde’s balance between life and death, to counteract Xerneas’ creation and Yveltal’s destruction. Zygarde’s Complete Forme also has red on one arm and blue on the other, which are notably absent from any of Zygarde’s other Formes, which again, tie back to the two flags, the original games, and Xerneas’ and Yveltal’s color schemes.

While we haven’t seen any of Zygarde’s other forms in the games, all of its forms have appeared in the anime. Puni-chan is a Zygarde 10% Forme kept by Bonnie that was originally met as a Zygarde Core, while Z2 is an escaped Zygarde Core that was in captivity by Team Flare. Interestingly enough, Puni-chan’s core is red, while Z2’s is blue.

And although this is probably a mere coincidence, did anyone else catch the fact that Yggdrasil is an ash tree? This has significant ties to both the games and anime, as all Pokémon Professor’s are named after tree types, while our main character is, obviously, Ash.

Pokemon-Ash

My guess is that Pokémon still has much to reveal to us, and the commercial the company showed us today is only the beginning. Rarely, if ever, do any companies or brands decide to show their Super Bowl commercials early, as they have much more impact and relevance when they’re kept hidden until the day of. Chances are, this isn’t all we’re going to see from Pokémon, and if that’s the case, judging from the possibilities of these references, we could have a very big reveal on our hands. And let’s not forget that the Super Bowl takes place in February, which is the same month that CoroCoro claims to be releasing an installment that will have a “major announcement that will affect the entire world.”

That being said, keep in mind that this is all purely speculation, and that despite the research that went into it, is still a little bit of a stretch. Who’s to say that these flags mean absolutely nothing? Chances are, that’s not true, as commercials are much more carefully crafted than most might think. Still, they really could just be references to the original Red and Blue games (even if we’re celebrating the Japanese release dates of Red and Green). Stay tuned for more information regarding Pokémon’s upcoming news– there’s been a lot of it lately!

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Written by George Comatas

As a wannabe social media personality and professional in the world of sarcasm, George does his best to always adapt to the changing world around him. He considers himself a maverick: a true-to-heart gamer with the mind of a pop star. Whether this makes him revolutionary or a setback, he's yet to find out. But one thing’s for sure; he's one-of-a-kind.

George Comatas