Raikou Paradox Form Predicted Featured

Paradox Raikou’s Pokemon Design Was Predicted Months Earlier

Apollo just hit another person with the gift of prophecy

From all of the cool stuff announced in the latest Pokemon Presents announcements, the Scarlet and Violet portion really stole the show once again. More specifically, the new Legendary Paradox forms were the biggest deal. Following up on Walking Wake and Iron Leaves, we now have Raging Bolt and Iron Crown, alternative versions for Raikou and Cobalion arriving in The Teal Mask DLC pack for the game.

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And within this duo, Raikou certainly stole the show here. Its new giraffe-like form got everyone by surprise with how ridiculously goofy it turned out to be. I’m having the hardest time even trying to take it seriously for once. A definitely unexpected design for such a beloved Pokemon. Or was it really that unexpected?

Back when Walking Wake was officially announced on Pokemon Day, people’s imaginations started to run wild, trying to figure out what would the other Legendary Beasts look like in their Paradox forms. And it turns out that digital artist Bulbbyboi ended up making an incredibly accurate depiction of what would eventually be known as Raging Bolt. And that was five whole months before its reveal!

Image via Bulbbyboi

An Early Design with Mythical Inspirations

His original design for a Paradox Raikou is named Rumbling Ray, keeping it in line with the alliteration we’ve seen in Walking Wake’s name (he also did the same for his original Paradox Entei design, named Feral Flare). Complete with an original Dex entry and model, Rumbling Ray was surprisingly similar to the official design we got. 

The big neck is the defining aspect here. The longer fur to accompany it is present in both designs, too, as well as the larger limbs. The most notable differences in Bulby’s design are the dinosaur-like scales and the larger “whiskers.”

The official design instead boasts some large back spikes and a new “haircut” for Raikou, almost like it was supposed to be his pseudo-horns. Both the official and fan-made designs seem to draw from similar sources.

While this is an incredible coincidence, Bulbbyboi knew his references well enough. In his Instagram post, he described this design as being “based on sauropod dinosaurs (…) and the mythical beast Kirin.” This aligns with Scarlet’s emphasis on the past as well as with Raikou’s own mythical origins.

Raikou’s original design is mostly influenced by the mythical Raiju beast, but it seems like the Qilin (or Kirin), the Chinese horned mythical beast, was, at least partially, an inspiration for his Paradox incarnation. Qilin’s imagery is often related to giraffes, and the word for “giraffe” in both Korean and Japanese is literally “kirin.” No wonder Raikou now looks like one itself!

Related: How to Get A Free Mew in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

As for the non-mythical part, one could also argue that the Brontosaurus (long-neck dinosaurs just like the Sauropods) could also be an inspiration for Raging Bolt. The word “brontosaurus” itself means “thunder lizard” in Greek. Fitting for the Thunder Pokemon.

Raikou Paradox Form Predicted Brontosaurus

It’s still strange to look at it, especially while some are still coming to grips with Walking Wake’s looks, but I’m sure everyone will get over it…eventually. And since this is almost the confirmation that we’ll eventually see a Paradox Entei (as well as Paradox Cobalion) coming to life at a later date, it would be even more amazing if Bulbby’s design for Entei turned out to be just as accurate.

Personally, I love when fan-imagined designs turn out to be on point with the real deal, especially when it’s more than a mere coincidence. I’m currently trying to get in touch with Bulbby to know what he thinks of all of this, so you might see an update to this article soon!

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Image of Patrick Souza
Patrick Souza
Patrick has been working for Prima since 2022 and joined as a Staff Writer in 2023. He's been interested in gaming journalism since college, and that was the path he took once he had his degree in hands. Diligently ignores his ever-growing backlog to keep raiding in Final Fantasy XIV, exploring in Genshin Impact or replaying some of his favorite RPGs from time to time. Loves tackling hard challenges in games, but his cats are still the hardest bosses he could ask for.