Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes place in the Sinnoh region of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl before it was known as Sinnoh and hundreds of years before the events of the fourth generation of Pokemon. Naturally, some of the locations have corollaries, such as Jubilife Village to Jubilife City, but what’s even more fascinating are the number of NPCs that appear to be the ancestors of characters in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.
Some of the resemblances are more uncanny than others, and there are probably many more that require a trained eye to spot. But we’ve tracked down a number of the most interesting ancestors of Diamond and Pearl characters hidden in Arceus for you here.
Minor spoilers for Pokemon Legends: Arceus characters and story below.
The first and most obvious one you’re likely to meet is Captain Cyllene, the leader of the Galaxy Team’s Survey Corp. If you’ve played Diamond, Pearl, or the recent remakes at all, she will immediately be recognizable to you as the distant ancestor of the villain in those games and leader of Team Galactic: Cyrus. Fortunately, she’s not a villain in Legends: Arceus, and in fact goes out of her way to assist the player despite her cold demeanor.
The second character you might immediately recognize is Kamado, the serious and mistrustful head of the Galaxy Team. Kamado bears a striking resemblance to Diamond and Pearl’s Professor Rowan, and like Rowan is very interested in the player’s completion of the Pokedex.
The first Warden you meet, Mai, is tasked with watching over Wyrdeer in the Obsidian Fieldlands and uses a Munchlax. She looks an awful lot like Marley, one of the trainers who joins the player in Diamond and Pearl to overcome a specific area — specifically, Victory Road and the Battle Tower.
Meanwhile, Kleavor’s Warden, Lian, will look familiar instantly due to his hat, hair, and expression, but surprisingly none of his progeny is to be found in Diamond and Pearl. Instead, he looks a lot like Clay, the leader of the Driftveil City Gym in Black and White/Black and White 2 and a ground-type specialist.
The two don’t have any other clear connections, as Lian uses a dragon-type Goomy, but the resemblance is clear.
In the Crimson Mirelands, you’ll probably instantly recognize the stylish Arezu as the ancestor of Mars, one of the Commanders for Diamond and Pearl’s Team Galaxy. You can also find the ancestor of Mars’ Galaxy companion, Saturn, as a part of a bandit triad you meet in the same area. Check out Coin’s hair — it’s the same as Saturn’s.
The bandit triad Miss Fortunes is entirely made up of Diamond and Pearl Ancestors. Charm looks a lot like Bertha, the ground-type Elite Four member in Sinnoh, and Clover is the ancestor of Snowpoint Gym Leader and ice-type specialist Candice.
In the Alabaster Icelands, Braviary Warden Sabi should look a bit familiar as the distant parent of Cheryl, another companion character who journeys with you through Eterna Forest in Diamond and Pearl.
There are a few NPCs hanging around Jubilife Village that also have Diamond and Pearl counterparts. Colza, who runs the berry farm, is a lookalike of Eterna City Gym Leader Gardenia, for instance.
Pesselle, who gives you quests related to Pokemon medicine and healing, is clearly the ancestor of Sinnoh’s Nurse Joy clan that runs the Pokemon Centers (and even alludes to that future in her dialogue).
And Ginter, one of the Ginko Guild merchants, is a grey-haired lookalike to Sunyshore Gym Leader and electric specialist Volkner.
It’s worth mentioning Warden Ingo here, even though he’s not exactly anyone’s ancestor. In fact, his situation is far weirder. Though you may not recognize Ingo immediately if you didn’t get into the Battle Subway in Black and White/Black and White 2, he references having traveled through time and space just as the protagonist did.
Turns out, this is the same Ingo that’s one of the Battle Subway leaders, alongside his twin brother Emmet. Sadly, Ingo was separated from both his brother and Pokemon when he came back through time.
One of the strangest mystery lookalikes in Hisui is the fact that Diamond and Pearl Champion Cynthia has not one, but two ancestors who don’t seem to be related in Legends: Arceus, but who both bear a shockingly close resemblance to her.
The first, who you’ll meet early on, is Volo. Much later in the game, you’ll battle Volo and might observe that much of his Pokemon team is similar to Cynthia’s, minus her Milotic (which isn’t available in Legends: Arceus). The two characters also share a fascination with Sinnoh/Hisui’s ancient history.
But another character who appears much later in the game, Cogita, also looks a lot like Cynthia and has some similar interest in the ancient past. We never see Cogita battle, so it’s harder to get an idea of her Pokemon team, though she does appear to have some connections with legendary Pokemon.
Both Cogita and Volo have strange and mysterious origins that are never fully explained, and Cogita especially seems both timeless and well-dressed in a way that could connect her with Cynthia.
Finally, there’s the protagonist themselves. Canonically dubbed either Akari (girl) or Rei (boy), they respectively resemble Dawn and Lucas, the protagonists of Diamond and Pearl. But it’s not clear how they’re related, especially given the time-travel plotline.
It could be that the player actually *is* Dawn or Lucas who is sent back to the past by Arceus at the start of the game, or they could be someone from an alternate timeline or universe brought back to be Dawn or Lucas’ eventual ancestor.
There are a number of other characters that have slightly less obvious resemblances to characters that appear in other Pokemon games and could conceivably be their ancient ancestors. For instance, Galaxy Team’s Sanqua looks a lot like Karen, an Elite Four member from Pokemon Gold and Silver, but that connection is a bit less obvious, and there are others. Legends: Arceus seems to have intended all these similarities to be mostly easter eggs rather than directly acknowledging any of them, so feel free to hit us with your fan theories in the comments.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.