Pokemon Sun and Moon: A Journey into the Seventh Generation

It's only fair to issue a tsunami warning for the amount of information about to be covered: August flooded fans with a massive amount of updates for Pokémon Sun and Moon. So much so, that it was almost too much to handle. Rather than try and run the last month chronologically, we'll run through it feature by feature, starting with the newly-revealed Pokémon.

  • Komala, the Normal type Koala Pokémon was officially announced.
  • Bounsweet, the Grass type fruit Pokémon.
  • Wimpod, the crustacean Bug/Water type, which I have my fingers crossed, gets a Kabutops-esque evolution.
  • Comfrey, the flower-crown Fairy type. It's a flower crown. It goes along well with the key-ring.
  • Mimikyu, my cosplay child received an official North American release.
  • Mudsdale, the Ground type Clydesdale horse I didn't know I was waiting for.
  • Bewear, the cartoony red panda Normal/Fighting type bear also received an official release.
  • Morelull, the Grass/Fairy type that looks like a studio Ghibli mushroom child.
  • Pyukumuku, the... Water type sea cucumber... that attacks by... punching you... with its insides. Lovely, Game Freak. Just lovely.
  • Wishiwashi, the Water type with two forms. In its solo form, it's just a little unsuspecting fishy, but with its ability Schooling- it transforms into its School form from which even Gyrados flee! According to its Pokedex entry.
  • Oricorio, a dancing bird Pokémon with alternate forms. Baile style is Fire/Flying, Pom-Pom style is Electric/Flying, Pa'u style is Psychic/Flying and Sensu style is Ghost/Flying.
  • Minior, the small Rock/Flying meteor child of Solrock and Lunatone. Its Shields Down ability allows it to be invulnerable to status conditions and have a higher defence as long as its HP is above half. Below fifty percent of its HP however, its shield breaks and it becomes faster and better at attacking. It also comes in four different colours.
  • Gumshoos, the Normal type evolution of Yungoos and further evidence that the Pokémon team may be poking fun at Donald Trump.
  • Fimantis, the Grass type pre-evolution of Lurantis. At first, I expected Lurantis to be Grass/Bug due to its praying mantis styling, but it's actually pure Grass. And I'm okay with that.
  • Mudbray, the pre-evolution of Mudsdale. Also the first donkey Pokémon.
  • Turtonator, the Fire/Dragon turtle. Its face. I can't. It looks like a Florida soft shelled turtle and it's constantly looking over its shoulder at you.
  • Crabrawler, the fighting type mantis shrimp. Why it's not half Water I'm not quite sure.
  • Sandygast, the living sandcastle and its evolution Palossand are Ground/Ghost.
  • And finally, Stufful, Bewears pre-evolution. My favourite thing about Stufful is it's attack animation and the fact it has a tag on its butt. Like an actual stuffed animal.

Among the reveals for the new generation, players were introduced to a new twist on some old favourites. In the region of Alola, certain first gen Pokémon develop new forms.

  • Alolan Raichu becomes an Electric/Psychic type, and gains the ability Surge Surfer which means its Speed will double on Electric terrain.
  • Alolan Meowth becomes a Dark type, with its Pokedex entry stating that it's form changed due to the pampering it received after being gifted to the royal family, making it selfish and prideful.
  • Alolan Marowak, who is my top pick out of the new forms, becomes a Fire/Ghost type and is an excellent nod to Hawaiian fire dancers.
  • Alolan Exeggutor becomes a giraffe. I'm not kidding. It's typing changes to Grass/Dragon of all things and it literally looks like a tall palm tree with legs. This may be a throwback to Exeggutors old Pokedex entry in Gen three, which read "Exeggutor originally came from the tropics. Its heads steadily grow larger from exposure to strong sunlight. It is said that when the heads fall off, they group together to form Exeggcute."
  • Alolan Vulpix and Ninetales are a close second favourite in new forms. Both become Ice types with Ninetales becoming Ice/Fairy and my goodness are they majestic.
  • Alolan Sandshrew and Sandslash also become Ice types with the addition of Steel. I'm not so much a fan of Sandshrew's design but Sandslash is definitely a keeper.

Now, that may seem like a lot to dish out and try to absorb in four weeks, especially considering that there are still two and a half months left until the games release, but there was more. So much more.

Hyper training was very briefly thrown in during one of the video updates. On the official website, it's explained as being able to increase a Pokémon's "individual strengths" after they've reached level 100. Players can do so by bringing Bottle Caps that they find to Mr. Hyper who is located "somewhere in the Alola region." There have been arguments on various YouTube channels since mid to end July as to whether or not Hyper Training is beneficial at all, and I personally doubt I'll ever get around to experimenting with it. I'm one of those players that usually drops the game once I've beaten all the gyms and caught as many Pokémon as I can, and by that time, my team is around level 85 or so.

The new villain team was announced and I couldn't be more excited to introduce Team Skull. Team Skull are Alola's no-do-gooders, stealing Pokémon and causing all kinds of headaches. They're lead by Guzma, who apparently failed at becoming an island captain and turned to a life of crime. He's followed by the team Admin, Plumeria, and their Grunts. If you have the chance, I highly recommend looking up the Team Skull battle theme. Some YouTubers have been able to isolate the theme music from the battle sound effects and it is pretty amazing.

In my last article I wrote about how it looked like players would be able to ride their Pokémon on land and through water. I was almost right. Players will be able to call on specialized Pokémon to get through certain areas much like Pokémon Ranger.

I also questioned the true purpose of the bracelet and the symbols that appeared correlating to a Pokémons typing. Turns out it's a new feature called Z-Moves. Much like Mega Evolution, a Z-Move can be used once per battle and the Pokémon the player is using must be holding a Z-Crystal that is the same type as the one on the players bracelet and know a move that is the same type as the crystals. According to Pokémon, Tomy International will be releasing a real Z-Ring bracelet for players to wear. When players use their Z-Crystals in the game, their actual bracelet will light-up, vibrate and play sounds. Now if it could help me track Pokémon in Pokémon GO, I'd be sold.

Now, Pokémon Sun and Moon seem to be moving away from the traditional path of Gym battles leading up to the Elite four challenge to become the Champion. Instead, it will have players take The Island Challenge. The Island Challenge is a rite of passage, where trail-goers must travel to each of the four islands and complete unique quests ranging from item hunting to tests of knowledge. It is only at the end of each island trial that the player will have a battle with a Totem Pokémon, who are more powerful than other Pokémon of their species- the top-percentage, you could say- and are able to call on allies to aid them in battle. There is then a Grand Trial on each island where players will battle against the islands Kahuna. Once a player has defeated a Kahuna, their trial on that island is complete, and they are free to move on to the next. The trial captains all represent the basic typing elements: Lana is a Water Pokémon expert, Mallow is a Grass-type expert, Sophocles specializes in Electric types and Kiawe uses Fire type Pokémon. At the moment, only one Kahuna has been announced: Hala of Melemele Island. He also happens to be your rivals grandfather. I imagine it a lot like being such good friends with Gary that you decide to fight Professor Oak instead. And then it turns out that Oak is a powerhouse because he's been using all the really good Pokémon from your PC.

What a mooch.

With that, September is here and no doubt more updates and reveals are soon to come. What else could Sun and Moon possibly throw at us?