Pokemon Sun and Moon: A Journey into the Seventh Generation

There is officially only about a month left until the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon, and Nintendo has kept up with rolling out reveal after reveal. September alone was chock-full of new Pokémon, Z-Moves, new characters and exciting new features, but the first week of October held one of the most anticipated announcements: the second evolutions of the starter Pokémon. There have been theories, speculations, hypotheses, concept drawings and all kinds of other synonyms for guesses towards what our adorable little owl, smooth looking feline and awkward little clown seal would grow into. But now we know. So without further ado, let us begin the final stretch.

In the new Pokémon department:

  • Type: Null, the Normal type Synthetic Pokémon. This Pokémon reeks of being story-heavy, as its Pokédex entry states that it was created to be powerful enough to rival mythological Pokémon for a "certain mission." It looks like a strange Frankenstein monster with heavy, hindering armour on its head. I am intrigued.
  • Jangmo-o, the quintessential little Dragon type that is bound to be the first evolution of a pretty kick-ass three-stage Dragon evolution family for this version. From the looks of it, I'm guessing it will be a Dragon/Steel type in the end.
  • Passimian, the Sun exclusive Fighting type simian Pokémon. It has a new ability called Receiver, which allows it to inherit the ability of any ally that faints in battle.
  • Oranguru, the Moon exclusive Normal/Psychic type simian Pokémon. Oranguru also has a new move exclusive only to itself, Instruct, which seems to be a one-time specific version of Encore as it allows Oranguru to have any selected target repeat its last used move.
  • Lycanroc, the evolution of the little Rock type dog Rockruff, gets version exclusive forms. In Sun, Lycanroc resembles a wolf and can learn the move Accelerock which is guaranteed to strike first. In Moon, Lycanroc resembles a werewolf and learns Counter instead of Accelerock.

Before I continue with the three starter evolutions, and to build some suspense, I'd like to re-iterate something I said in the beginning. Remember when I said I didn't trust the Professor's assistant? That I bet that she was up to something and probably had a major role in the story? Well, case and point, I present to you Ultra Beast UB-01.

  • Ultra Beasts are introduced to us in the Alola region as strange creatures that may pose a threat to both humans and Pokémon. Each one is identified by a code name, so far UB-01 through UB-02 with version variants, but the official website hints that there may be more.
  • Ultra Beast UB-01 resembles a humanoid jellyfish that looks super-duper suspiciously like the Professors assistant. Even its description on the website says that "for some reason, its movements resemble those of a young girl." Just gonna say it now: I called it.

Ultra Beasts UB-02 Absorption for Sun and Beauty for Moon are bug-like beasts. Absorption looks like a mosquito got stuck inside a gym and sucked the steroid-laden blood of one-too-many body-builders, and Beauty looks like a... sexualized translucent cockroach. Don't get me wrong, the design is cool, but that's the best description I have for it. The website description states that any Pokémon that comes across it will become infatuated with it, no matter their gender.

There appears to be a theme happening in Sun and Moon with artificially created Pokémon. Ultra Beasts don't appear in the Pokémon section of the website, nor do they appear in the list of new Pokémon on serebii.net. Are they Pokémon? I think they might be. Whether or not they're the legendaries that Type: Null was created to thwart or if they're experiments themselves will have to be seen, but I figure if I can fight it, it's a Pokéy-mans.

And now, our starters' teenage phases:

  • Dartrix, Rowlet's second evolution. It is legitimately listed as Rowlets "troublesome stage." Dartrix becomes a bit of an-air head, more focused on its looks than its battles. But I can't be upset at my little gentleman's change, he keeps his little bow tie and gets a suave Californian surfer-boy hair-do. Is my bias showing?
  • Torracat, Litten's second evolution is the cattiest cat to ever have catted its way into Pokémon. It almost, almost, made me question my first choice starter. What worries me however, is that its Pokédex entry states that the "cat punch [...] is extremely powerful." That sounds like the makings of another Fire/Fighting type.
  • Brionne, Popplio's second evolution, brings me hope for this little Water type. There are theories that Popplio's final evolution will be a beautiful mermaid-esque Pokémon, much little Ralts' evolution into Gardevoir. With this development, I would not be surprised if that is exactly the case.

To wrap-up this part on new Pokémon, we have Rattata and Raticate both receiving Alolan forms, making them Dark/Normal types with either the ability Gluttony or Hustle. While not quite "new Pokémon" it is refreshing to see a new twist on some old staples.

In the last article, I introduced the concept of Z-Moves. Now we are starting to see more Pokémon that will be able to tap into this ability. Alolan Raichu will have the Stoked Sparksurfer Z-Move, early purchases of the game, I'm hoping that means pre-orders, will include a special Munchlax with Snorlium Z, allowing Snorlax to perform the Pulverizing Pancake Z-Move. Pikachu's Catastropika Z-Move takes place after doing a little dance, looking Pikachu straight in the eye and tossing your pal into the sky... I wish I were kidding, it's kind of awkward. And Eevee's somewhat anticlimactic Extreme Evoboost Z-Move is essentially Ancient Power without doing any damage, it just sharply boosts all of its stats.

Asides from Pokémon, we're also introduced to a few more characters. Most substantially, the Aether Foundation: they claim that they're goal is to care for injured Pokémon and shelter them on their artificial island... but they also conduct various research projects and probably have something to do with the Ultra Beasts. Lusamine is the Foundations president, Faba is the branch chief along with assistant branch chief, Wicke, and their various employees. Now, it's not unusual for a Pokémon version to have only one villainous team, but the way the Aether Foundation is built strikes me as though we may have two villainous teams in our tropical little paradise.

Speaking of Team Skull, Team Skull's enforcer Gladion was briefly introduced in a video in early September. Not much is known about Gladion, other than the fact the acts a lot like your nameless rival in Gold/Silver/Crystal and that he uses Type: Null.

Finally, we'll finish up with the announced features.

According to Pokémon, there will be a 12-hour time difference between Sun and Moon. This will affect the time, as Moon will occur at night instead of the day and vice-versa, as well as certain events in the game. Specifically so far, this will mean that players in Moon will battle Alolan Raticate during their first trial instead of Trumpshoos. I mean Gumshoos.

As a bit of a side-quest, players will also be collecting Zygarde cells in a Zygarde Cube as they travel from island to island. This may mean that Zygarde will be available once all the cells are collected.

Fans of Pokémon Snap will be happy to hear that a similar mini-game will be appearing in this version called Poké Finder. So far all that has been seen is that players will be able to take pictures of wild Pokémon in certain areas via their Rotomdex.

The ability to further customize your character has been confirmed. A wider variety of clothes can be bought with Festival coins, substantially more hairstyles will also be available as well as the ability to go hat-less.

While Pokémon Amie may not be making a come-back, grooming Pokémon in Pokémon Refresh will build closeness and can allow you to cure status ailments without the use of potions.

Festival Plaza will be a new multiplayer feature, where you can earn coins by fulfilling other player's requests. Festival Coins can be used on clothes, activities to boost your Pokémon's stats and buying special items from shops.

Last, but certainly not least, players will now be able to send PC Pokémon to Poké Pelago where they can find items, train and encounter wild Pokémon. You can also buy them fruity tropical drinks that boost their base stats. This, to me at least, is a neat way to not only train-up more Pokémon at once, but re-implement the kind of item-mining system Pokémon Diamond/Pearl and Platinum had. I was a big fan of that.

Before I finish, it's worth mentioning that a special demo version will be available in the Nintendo e-store October 18th, which will include a limited edition Greninja that can transform into Ash-Greninja through its ability Battle Bond and is transferable to the full version later on. For those unfamiliar, Ash-Greninja became popular after episode 32 of Pokémon XYZ in Japan.

Our next update will be a special article for the first week of November where we will look at the most popular theories that have been discussed and debunked about the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon. It will be our last article until the actual game release, after which I will post my review of the game for early December, just in time for Christmas!



  • Type: Null [link]
  • Alola Rattata, Z-Moves, Special Munchlax [link]
  • Type: Null, Jangmo-o, Alolan Raticate, time difference, The Aether Foundation, Team Skull's enforcer Gladion, Zygrade pieces, Poke Finder, Ultra Beasts [link]
  • Samson Oak [link]
  • More Ultra Beasts [link]
  • Version exclusives, character customization, Pokemon Refresh, Z-Moves for Pikachu and Eevee [link]
  • Starter second evolutions, Festival plaza, Poke Pelago, Mega Evolution, Demo version and Ash-Greninja [link]
  • Ash-Greninja battle in episode 32 of XYZ the anime [link]



Catlin Spencer is a long-time volunteer and news director at CJLO with experience in writing, hosting, producing, and training under her belt. A lover of satire, cartoons and video games, Catlin is a huge dork who is always one line away from making a really bad pun.