Pokémon Scarlet/Violet: The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero – Part 1 The Teal Mask DLC Review

Despite being a fairly new fit, DLC feels like such a natural extension for mainline Pokémon games.

The first expansion pass debuted with Pokémon Sword and Shield to good results, really turning that game’s quality and fortunes right around.

And after completing The Teal Mask, I really feel we’ll be saying the same about Pokémon Scarlet/Violet when The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero is all done and dusted.

How to Play

Once purchased, The Teal Mask is added to the game when the game is fully updated. You will then need to make sure you’ve reached the point in Pokémon Scarlet/Violet where you’ve started the Treasure Hunt. At that point, you’ll receive a call from Jacq on your Rotom Phone which will let you to travel to Kitakami.

Most importantly, you need to ensure you’ve purchased the Expansion Pass relevant for your game. You cannot use the Pokémon Violet Expansion pass on Pokémon Scarlet, for example.

Before I begin, a note on the performance. This was a big sticking point for people at launch of Pokémon Scarlet/Violet as the game was sluggish with frame rate drops and issues that affected direct gameplay. Things seem much improved going into The Teal Mask.

While still not perfect, I cruised around Kitakami relatively smoothly, moving from point to point, progressing from a cutscene to gameplay, from one battle to the next. And you’ll be relieved to hear the game feels less sluggish and chaotic. There are improvements for Pokémon Scarlet/Violet in regards to performance.

But also, from the moment I started my journey in Kitakami, I was invested in a way the base game was never able to quite grip me. This DLC is telling a clear story from the off, introducing us to new characters, taking us to a brand new area, featuring all new Pokémon but also reuniting us with some of the classics.

It’s also very clearly a two part adventure. The Indigo Disk is setup to be a direct continuation from The Teal Mask, with a semi cliff-hanger helping to bridge our adventures between Kitakamia and Blueberry Academy.

As The Teal Mask begins, your trainer and class from Paldea are on a school trip to Kitakamia to learn more about the village’s culture, to explore their wide open spaces and add some new (and familiar) faces to your Pokédex.

From the classic Vulpix, to Seedot, Feebas and even version specials, you’ll also be introduced to Ogerpon, the headliner of the Teal Mask, as well as a few new varients and unique Kitakamia types.

Ogerpon makes for a fascinating addition to your party, with various masks which offer him unique bonuses and protections, but primarily the Teal Mask which increases its speed.

But the story to get to that point offers some really unexpected twists and turns, making for perhaps the most satisfying, engaging Pokémon narrative I’ve seen in a mainline game.

It doesn’t follow the usual patterns of fighting at various gyms to prove supremacy or fighting against a common threat like Team Rocket. Instead, this content sees you team up with Kitakamania residents, learning about the village, the legends they’ve passed around, and monuments that have been built.

But as you’re venturing, absorbing, so you learn about some hidden truths, both about the legends that travel the village but also the people within it. I don’t want to say much more for spoilers – there’s something I never thought I’d be worried about saying for a Pokémon game – but this is one you’re best served going into cold and without foreknowledge.

Moving away from story, there’s a fairly large sized map to explore with each territory feeling noticeably different and unique, ensuring you have to move across it all to find every Pokémon in the region. From dank caves, to hilly mountainsides, crystal lakes and grassy verges, the mons can be found all over and some are really tricky to spot. Especially the Cutieflies and Ekans which really take advantage of long grass.

That can add a little to frustration in traversal, as there’s so many small sized Pokémon around and the draw distance isn’t massively improved from launch. As such, it’s really easy to keep bumping into creatures you don’t want to battle or catch and you can find yourself having to play hopscotch or the floor is lava to get around half the time.

Fast travel is definitely your friend in Kitakamia, as there’s also a lot of tricky surfaces to travel on and around which can lead you off the beaten path quickly and cause great difficulty when you try to get back to where you need to be. I also found myself getting really lost sometimes even though I can set my destination and focus point via the map. This is because some destinations can be deceiving and are actually set higher or lower than your current position, so you quite often need to take long ways around.

One other thing to be wary of, you can quite easily find yourself in very dangerous territory without forewarning. Some trainers have super high powered mons who can wipe you in one hit if you’re not careful. Don’t be afraid to look around, but also be careful what you bump into or who you throw challenges at.

The good news is there’s a healthy amount of content here, with lots of new Pokémon to catch and of course to fill your dex, there’s quite a few which need to be evolved. Throw in the amount of new shinies you can now pick up and the fact that there is some ‘end-game’ content once you’ve collected all the mons and you work through the various side activites. Even a fun little mini game which is all about speed and timing.

I also must commend the beautiful vibrancy of The Teal Mask, between its really engrossing cutscenes and the natural marriage between gameplay and storytelling, as well as the real variety between landscapes which really help you connect with this world. The music, too, really situates you and ensures Kitakami remains one of the most memorable, enjoyable locations in franchise history you’ll be talking about for years to come.

The Teal Mask is a really solid piece of content and surely sets up an exciting second part this Winter, rounding out what is shaping up to be an excellent Expansion Pass. Between a surprisingly compelling story, some really great fan favourite mons as well as a potential future fan favourite, I’ve had such a good time exploring Kitakami. Despite some traversal pitfalls.


The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero is off to a great start with The Teal Mask. There’s mystery in the storytelling, a great introduction for new Pokémon and even a cliffhanger to set things up for Part 2. The dex is rich, varied, and full of enjoyable encounters. The environments within Kitakami, along with the music make for a truly memorable region, and the activities ensure you can spend plenty of time here, whether you’re looking for a quick way to level up your team, or you’re in the mood to add some new faces to your Shiny dex. 


+ Kitakami is a beautiful, memorable new region
+ A good, varied dex that will take some time to complete
+ Surprisingly strong storytelling makes for one of the DLC’s biggest selling points
+ New mons could be future fan favourites


– Traversal can get impeded by multiple encounters with small mons and tricky surfaces

Pokémon Scarlet/Violet: The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero – Part 1 The Teal Mask DLC Review

9 out of 10

Code kindly received from Nintendo for Review Purposes 

Part 2 – The Indigo Disk – Releases this Winter

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