Around a month ago, Nintendo released a trailer on YouTube that revealed the names, types and designs of the Generation VII starters. Last Thursday, they followed it up with a second trailer that revealed information about the games’ Legendary mascot Pokemon, as well as several of the players in the plot. So, for those of you, like me, who have a bit of a gap in your Pokemon world knowledge, here’s what we know about the new games, as well as a little speculation, just for fun.
- Solgaleo, the lion-like Pokemon Sun mascot character, is a dual Psychic/Steel type. It has a unique Ability, called Full Metal Body, that prevents it from taking stat reductions during battle, which will undoubtedly come in handy when that little Sandshrew turd you’re battling won’t stop using Sand-Attack. It also has a signature move called Sunsteel Strike, which appears to feature Solgaleo jumping into the air, gathering energy, and charging straight at the opponent with, according to the official Sun and Moon website, the full force of a meteor. Yikes.
- Pokemon Moon’s Lunala, a Psychic/Ghost type who looks like a giant bat with moon-shaped wings, also has its own signature Ability, called Shadow Shield. This Ability reduces the amount of HP damage Lunala takes from attacks when at full health. Lunala’s signature move is called Moongeist Beam, and the trailer shows Lunala spreading its wings and firing a beam of blue energy at the opponent.
- Both Sunsteel Strike and Moongeist Beam “disregard the target’s Ability”, meaning that the Ability feature, which was introduced in Gen III, may play a significant role in the design of the new Pokemon.
- We also see some more shots of the Alola region, which is based on Hawaii. It’s very pretty, and takes advantage of the 3DS’ ability to render a full, 3-dimensional environment.
- Not only can you choose your character’s gender, you can choose their skin color! YES! It only took 20 years, but it’s progress.
- Your Pokemon Professor for this generation is Professor Kukui, a cool looking dude who wears a trucker hat with a rainbow on it and a lab coat with some sort of capri-sweatpant hybrid and no shirt underneath. His name comes from the native Hawaiian word for the candlenut, which is the official state tree of Hawaii, keeping with the long-standing tradition of naming Professors after trees. He is also notably the first non-white Pokemon Professor.
- We also meet some secondary characters: Lillie, who is billed as “Kukui’s Mysterious Assistant” and Hau, an excitable Pidgin-speaking friend/rival to the player. According to the website, Lillie is working for “personal reasons”, doesn’t like battling Pokemon, and will play an important role in the plot.
- For those who haven’t been paying close attention, the Pokemon games (particularly Black/White version and their sequels) have been addressing themes of human exploitation of Pokemon and the ethics of owning them and forcing them to battle each other for their own entertainment. This subtext that has always lingered around the franchise but had not been addressed in the early games. This, combined with the setting being based on Hawaii, a place with a culture that is extremely reverent of nature, makes me suspect that Lillie, who seems to have animal (Pokemon?) rights, academic, and pacifist beliefs may play a “righteous antagonist” role, not unlike N from B/W and B/W2.
- Finally, the biggest news of all: ROTOM. POKEDEX.
You heard me right.
Rotom, the lovable little weirdo Electric/Ghost Pokemon who inhabits electrical appliances and haunts them, will inhabit the player’s Pokedex in some capacity. Not much is known about how exactly that’s going to work, except that Rotom will communicate directly with the player through the Pokedex. For those unfamiliar, Rotom was introduced in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, and in the newest games, has the ability to take several different forms, including that of a microwave, a dishwasher, a lawnmower, an electric fan, and a refrigerator. Rotom’s type depends on which form it takes (in its microwave form, for example, it is Electric/Fire type).
What is not clear is whether you will have Rotom immediately, or whether you have to catch it first, or whether you can use it to battle, or what its role in the game is in general. Based on the gameplay footage, it seems like this could either be the Lumas from Super Mario Galaxy, or something closer to the paper clip in Microsoft Word. Nintendo will have to tread carefully, if they’re planning on making major mechanical changes, to make sure that the Rotom is a helpful tool, not a pestulent and clingy hanger-on to the player.
There are also, according to Inquisitr, two sections to the Pokedex, called the Alola Pokedex and the Mele Mele Pokedex. The information was reportedly made public through a video that is only available in Japan. While it’s not new for the game to divide the Pokedex into a regional and “national” section, it’s unclear at this point what the MeleMele Pokedex is. The only clue we have is the name, which comes from a Hawaiian word that refers to a chant or a song. It could just be a new, local-sounding name for the National Pokedex, but the name gives just enough information for me to wonder if this is a new feature of some kind that has yet to be announced.
Pokemon Sun and Moon will be released for the 3DS on November 18th, and are available for pre-order at several major retailers.