The CEO of The Pokémon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara, had previously let it slip that the organization will focus on series mascot Pikachu and a boy who, according to a Siliconera report on the statement, uses “playfulness” as a weapon. That last part’s a little weird, but okay, no real surprises there. Today, however, the folks over at Siliconera unearthed a clip from Japan’s NHK that might reveal a little bit more about the game. And boy, does it look freaky.
The short video, which is a teaser for a TV special that will air on NHK next Monday, depicts what looks to be a prototype of the game that uses some primitive motion capture and devil magic to map a player’s facial expressions onto a Pikachu. Theoretically, the final version of this would use the Nintendo 3DS’ cameras for motion capture, but there’s no indication of what was being used in the video. Whatever the method, it does a great job of turning Pikachu into a horrible cackling hell beast.
This won’t be the first time Pikachu stars in a game with weird, experimental player input. In 1998, Nintendo released a game for the Nintendo 64 called Hey You, Pikachu! that had players talking into a microphone and giving commands to their yellow rat friend—or shouting dirty words at it to see how it would react, because come on, that’s what everyone did. Scientists still haven’t entirely figured out voice recognition, so you could imagine how well it worked in a 15-year-old video game.