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To the surprise of absolutely no one, Nintendo has issued a DMCA takedown notice for the recently revealed Pokémon model swap mod for Palworld. A teaser video posted on Twitter by mod creator ToastedShoes yesterday made the colloquial moniker of “Pokémon with Guns” quite literal as it swapped not only all of the creature models but also the player character models with Pokémon ones. Talk about painting a target on your back.


How is the Pokémon Palworld mod crossing the line?


For those unaware, Palworld is a survival game heavily inspired by the Pokémon franchise. In it, players will capture and collect monsters (and sometimes fellow humans) to enslave them to build fortresses and fortify those fortresses. Players can also brandish guns and straight up kill the Palworld creatures, which is a bit heavy.

In the video uploaded by ToastedShoes, you can witness Pokémon series protagonist Ash doing battle with various Pokémon and sometimes hunting them with flaming arrows. He also does battle with Team Rocket’s Jessie and builds fortresses in a way that feels basically anti-Pokémon. What’s notable is that there is a plethora of voiced dialogue for Ash, which is likely where Nintendo started to draw the line. In a statement given to Kotaku, ToastedShoes stated he had hired an actor to perform the lines but is honoring the actor’s wish to remain anonymous.


What’s next for Palworld?


As you can likely imagine, Nintendo issued the DMCA takedown and ToastedShoes is now laying low. In a post on Twitter, ToastedShoes wrote, “Due to Nintendo sending a DMCA over the last tweet we want to tread lightly for the time being.” The intention was to release this mod for free, but if legal action will prevent that, ToastedShoes doesn’t want to take the chance.

What muddies this is that there is a new video on YouTube that shows off roughly 17 minutes of footage from the mod and even has a thumbnail where Ash is pointing a desert eagle at Pikachu’s head. That doesn’t sound like treading lightly to me.


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Written by Peter Glagowski

Peter has been a freelance gaming and film critic for over seven years. His passion for Nintendo is only matched by the size of his collection.