The Indigo Disk will establish a challenging endgame for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

We went hands-on with the second part of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's DLC prior to its December launch.

The Pokemon Company

This December, The Indigo Disk will conclude the two-part Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Taking players to a new location, this DLC will introduce a new Legendary Pokemon, reintroduce some old favorites, and add plenty of battles to the open-world adventure. I was invited to come play a small slice of The Indigo Disk and got a sense of the endgame that Game Freak is looking to craft.

New school

A player bending down to greet an Alolan Sandshrew

Source: The Pokemon Company

Picking up where The Teal Mask left off, The Indigo Disk is set at Blueberry Academy, an underwater school where the best trainers come to hone their battling skills. My demo was broken into two parts. The first part allowed me to explore the terrarium, an area of the school divided into four distinct biomes: Savannah, Coastal, Canyon, and Polar. Each biome has unique Pokemon within, including several of the returning Pokemon from previous games. Most notably, The Indigo Disk brings back all of the Starter Pokemon from past mainline entries.

In one mission, I attended a class inside of the Terrarium, where we briefly learned about the regional versions of Pokemon that exist in the world. Following this lesson, I was tasked with finding and catching the Alolan form of a Pokemon. After battling a nearby trainer who had a party full of them, I caught an Alolan Muk.

There were several trainers scattered throughout the Terrarium eager to battle. They were a bit tougher than the folks I battled in The Teal Mask, and it was neat seeing their team compositions given the newly added classic creatures. However, it was just a sample of what I would experience toward the end of the demo.

Become elite

A trainer takes a selfie with two Alolan Exeggutors.

Source: The Pokemon Company

In quite the interesting move, The Indigo Disk introduces another Elite 4, this one composed of the best trainers at Blueberry Academy. I got to battle one of these trainers for the second part of my demo. It was without a doubt, the hardest battle I had in all of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Their team was carefully constructed to cover their own typing weakness, the clever utilization of held items, movesets that took advantage of the double battle format, and some Hidden Abilities, too.

The demoists warned me that the final battle would be challenging, and I vastly underestimated them. My first two Pokemon were quickly cleared off the board, and I found myself in deep thought over every move I made. I just barely eked out a win thanks to the large portion of Max Revives conveniently placed in my inventory. I felt like I had just battled another player online.

Pokemon Academia

A player stands atop a mountain, looking down at the different biomes of the terrarium.

Source: The Pokemon Company

I walked away from my demo of The Indigo Disk excited about what challenges may lie in the new DLC. If it can deliver at least four battles on the same level as the one I played, it’ll arguably be the most engaging experience in the entire game. There are also some interesting story developments that I’m looking forward to exploring, so here’s hoping Game Freak can stick the landing when The Indigo Disk launches on December 14, 2023.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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