With the launch of The Crown Tundra, Pokémon Sword and Shield are finally all wrapped up. Like previous generations, the Galar region has an “evil team” to defeat, but they’re relegated to the background for most of the game. It’s only at the end of your Gym Challenge that Team Macro Cosmos steps out of the shadows on the Darkest Day, which is short-lived. But Pokémon is a series full of secrets and world-building. If you dig a little deeper, you just might find out there’s more to the story. Let’s explore a Pokémon theory!
Pokémon Theory: The secret story of Team Macro Cosmos
Before we go any further, be warned that there will be story spoilers in this article. Will be talking about the plot of Sword and Shield, including the DLC. This Pokémon theory also touches on some of the lore of the Sun and Moon games and briefly references the Gen 3 remakes. If you’re ready to take a closer look at the stories of Pokémon, then dive on in!
Macro Cosmos and the Darkest Day
So what is Team Macro Cosmos hiding? First, let’s recap their known goal. Chairman Rose wants to awaken the true form of Eternatus. This will trigger an event known as “The Darkest Day,” spreading Dynamax energy across the region like a storm. The Darkest Day will cause Pokémon to go berserk, but that’s not Rose’s goal.
The ground in the Galar region is soaked in Dynamax energy, and they use it for power. Rose is worried that Galar will run out of energy in about 1,000 years, so he wants to use Eternatus to replenish the region’s reserves. He’s counting on Leon to subdue Eternatus and put an end to the Dynamax storms after the energy has been unleashed. Instead, Hop and the player character show up and summon Zacian and Zamazent to save the day.
Macro Cosmos is a massive conglomerate, and the Darkest Day isn’t their only interest. After the credits roll, you get a pretty big clue about another Pokémon phenomenon they’re investigating. In the Battle Tower lobby, there’s a Macro Cosmos employee that gifts you the Pokémon Type: Null. This is strange because Type: Null is a Legendary Pokémon from the Alola region and a man-made one at that.
In Sun and Moon, the Aether Foundation created it as an artificial Arceus, and they designed it to battle Ultra Beasts in Ultra Space. So what’s it doing in Galar? Here’s what the Pokedex has to say.
“Rumor has it that the theft of top-secret research notes led to a new instance of this Pokémon being created in the Galar region.”
It sounds like Macro Cosmos either hacked into the Aether Foundation or broke in, and that’s how they got their hands on a Type: Null. What other Aether knowledge and goodies did they steal? They must know about Ultra Space if they have Type: Null’s research notes because that’s literally what it was designed for. So is Chairman Rose looking to pick up where Lusamine left off? There’s one other potential clue in the base game, and that’s the name Macro Cosmos itself.
“Cosmos” refers to the whole of physical reality, the universe in its entirety. And Cosmology as a study includes multiverse theory. That’s kind of a strange name for Rose’s company when you think about it. The games list 14 different subsidiaries that are part of Macro Cosmos, including banks, TV stations, insurance agencies, and media companies. None of them have anything to do with outer space or other dimensions. And there’s not even any indication that Rose wants to “take over the world” like other stereotypical villains. But the name makes a lot more sense if Rose is investigating the multiverse behind the scenes. It wasn’t much to go on, but then The Crown Tundra released and gave us new clues to plug into this Pokémon theory!
The Max Lair and Ultra Space
The Dynamax Adventure cave is full of Legendary Pokémon from all over the world. The scientist who runs the expedition even says they’re not from Galar, so how’d they get there? If you talk to Peonia enough times, she’ll eventually tell you that Solgaleo or Lunala (depending on if you have Sword or Shield) was the first Legendary Pokémon to appear in the Den, then others followed suit. These two Pokémon are famous for their ability to open Ultra Wormholes, and that’s how the other Legendaries are showing up. They’re coming from parallel universes.
And like just about everything else in Galar, it seems like the whole Dynamax Adventures operation is owned and managed by Macro Cosmos. If you look at the entrance to the Max Lair, you’ll notice a bunch of energy containers with cables running inside and connecting to scientific equipment. These energy containers are identical to the ones we see in the Eternatus egg room in the Power Plant. This is Chairman Rose’s tech. If you talk to Peonia enough, she’ll also reveal that the scientist running the Max Lair used to work at a lab in the Alola region. Now those stolen research documents make sense! It seems Rose has been recruiting Aether Foundation employees…and whatever secrets they can bring along with them.
Ultra Beasts and Type: Null
Ultra Beasts almost destroyed the Alola region, so turning an Ultra Wormhole into a tourist attraction is playing with fire. At any point, Ultra Beasts could burst through and threaten Galar. In fact, that’s exactly what happens in the DLC! After you complete Peony’s various missions you can find a “Legendary Clue?” item that kicks off a new quest. It shows an Ultra Wormhole near the Max Lair, and after you view it, Ultra Beasts will begin appearing in some Dynamax Adventures. It’s fortunate that the new Galar Champion is there to clean things up, but what if you weren’t? Maybe that’s why Chairman Rose was keeping Type: Null around.
It’s also possible that he wanted a Type: Null because he believed it could stop Eternatus. We’re never told that Eternatus is an Ultra Beast, but it would make sense for Rose to draw that conclusion. It came from outer space, and it can warp space-time. We’re also told that it fell to earth in a meteorite, and Peonia speculates that the Max Lair contains a giant Wishing Star. The reason you’re forced to use rental Pokémon during Dynamax Adventures is that the Max Lair makes normal Pokémon lose control, just like Eternatus on the Darkest Day. The Max Lair might be the impact crater where Eternatus crashed to the ground or at least a massive chunk of the original meteorite. When an Ultra Wormhole suddenly appeared in the den, Rose may have connected the two.
Whether or not Eternatus truly is an Ultra Beast, Rose was wise to have an Ultra Beast slayer at the ready. However, Rose likely ran into the same problem as the Aether Foundation. Without a proper trainer, Type: Null simply cannot be controlled, so it ultimately proved useless as a tool for subduing Eternatus on the Darkest Day.
Connecting the dots
Whatever his end goal ultimately was, it’s clear that Macro Cosmos is deeply interested in researching the multiverse. The same is true for both the Aether Foundation and the Devon Corporation, providing continuity between the post-credits plot of the past three generations. This ties the new Dynamax Adventures feature into the overarching series lore in a way that’s rewarding for players, and that’s something I can really appreciate.
Because Pokémon games are primarily aimed at children, the main storyline may never be the well-crafted, compelling masterpiece that older players crave. But there are still passionate people at Game Freak dedicated to filling the games with interesting lore. Some of the best stories in Pokémon are hidden away in Pokédex entries and optional NPC conversations. This allows the series to stay accessible to young players while rewarding longtime fans for digging deeper. I hope you’ve enjoyed this Pokémon theory, and there may be more to come!