The accusations of Palworld copying Pokémon designs have been circulating for some time now. However, a modder has gone the extra mile to remove any doubt by transforming the Palworld creatures into actual Pokémon. YouTube user ToastedShoes recently shared an overhaul mod that replaces Palworld’s “Pals” with their Pokémon counterparts. The result is that the Pokémon-like creatures, previously seen using guns and working in mines and factories, are now transformed into authentic Pokémon characters performing the same tasks. The brief gameplay clips reveal familiar faces such as Pikachu, Oddish, Piplup, Hoothoot, and Torchic.

Palworld’s Transformation

In addition to the creature swap, the mod completely changes the player character model to Ash Ketchum, the beloved protagonist of the Pokémon anime series. Furthermore, the NPCs in Palworld are now represented by Ash’s reformed gym-leader companions, Brock and Misty. Misty is even shown carrying a shotgun. The mod takes it a step further by replacing Palworld’s first boss encounter with Team Rocket’s Jessie and an actual Electabuzz.

While Palworld might manage to stay within legal boundaries by designing creatures that are similar but not identical to those in Pokémon, the introduction of this mod creates a more direct link between the two games. It is unclear if the mod violates copyright laws. However, the image of Pikachu brandishing a machine gun may push the boundaries too far and attract the attention of Nintendo, the owners of the Pokémon franchise. While Pocketpair, the developers of Palworld, maintain that they have not infringed upon any intellectual property, the presence of this mod raises questions about the legality of their game and its monster designs.

Despite the controversies surrounding its design choices, Palworld has gained tremendous popularity since its release. The game exploded on Steam and temporarily overwhelmed its servers. However, the question remains whether the success of Palworld is deserved or not. Critics argue that the game’s significant similarities to Pokémon have propelled its popularity. It is hard to ignore what many consider to be the biggest game of 2024 so far.

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