Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon: Everything We Know So Far

The release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon is racing toward us. Before we know it we will be knee deep in the Alola region and experiencing the seventh generation of Pokémon games. (Yes, before you ask, that does make me feel old).

We don’t know everything about these two games yet, but The Pokémon Company has been kind enough to give us dollops of information every few weeks. This has helped to give everyone a peek at the games and to help build hype for them at the same time.

Take a look below for a listing of everything that we know about Pokémon Sun and Moon!

The More Things Change…

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Sun and Moon may be new games, but there is no question that they will follow some of the same formulas and tropes as the previous games in the franchise.

  • They will still feature a young  Trainer on their journey across a region as they collect different Pokémon and complete challenges. 
  • They will choose between three different “starters.”
  • There will still be secrets all over the place,  and treasures to collect.

In truth, Pokémon will still be an RPG just like it always has even. I’m not saying that as a pejorative either. Pokémon is a series built on formulas. It makes them immediately accessible to experienced players, and simple to explain to newcomers.

Settling into a new game in the seriesis like sitting in a favorite chair that you just pulled in from the garage. It is warm, comfortable and feels just right even if you haven’t sat in it for a while.

Island Theme

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Every Pokémon game is designed after a different real world location. Sun and Moon are no different. These games take place in the Alola region, which is deeply analogous to the Hawaiian Islands.

This is reflected in the art direction for the landscape, the landlife, and even in the costuming of the characters you run into.

The fact that the region is a series of islands as opposed to one contiguous landmass also makes traversal more interesting as well. You can’t just walk from route to route anymore. This could make getting from place to place more interesting as you have to find boards, choppers, ferries, or even Pokémon to help get you where you need to be.

It is worth noting that the Hawaiian Islands are a very diverse. It isn’t all grass and beaches. There are cities in Hawaii just like everywhere else, so we can expect to see some of that diversity reflected in the art design as well.

Poké Ride

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Residents of the Alola region have a very close relationship with the wild Pokémon who live there. This goes beyond the capturing and battling that happens in other regions. There are certain Pokémon (some familiar and some new) that will help transport residents of the region from place to place and help to overcome obstacles. This is what the Alola residents called “The Poké Ride.”

This isn’t entirely new. There are times in previous games where players have ridden on Pokémon to get over certain terrain, but this feels like it will be a much more common phenomenon in Sun and Moon.

Alola Forms

alola forms pokemon sun and moon

There is something very mysterious about the Alola region. Not only are there different Pokémon there, but some known Pokémon have different forms that have different typing as well! For example, Vulpix and its evolved form Nine-Tails have an Ice/Fairie type form as opposed to their usual Fire type.

The more I think about this, the more I am excited to see what other unique Alola forms there are. This is a great way to expand the diversity in the Pokémon available in the game without having to create new character models. It is also a way to help players play with their favorites even if the typing is different than what they need.

Z-Moves

pokemon sun moon z moves

Pokémon trainers who are adventuring across the Alola region will eventually come across a special bracelet. This bracelet, when combined with items that can be equipped to Pokémon, will give trainers and their Pokémon access to devastating Z-Moves. These are advanced maneuvers that can only be used once per battle that and look awesome when used.

The debut video stated that there was one per type, but it was unclear if there are multiple moves available per type and that you need to choose one, or if they are truly are unique.

New Pokémon

pokemon sun moon new pokemon

What would a new Pokémon game be if it didn’t include new and never before seen Pokémon. Sun and Moon are no exception and we have already seen some splendid additions to the Pokémon roster. Some fan favorites, like the adorable Mimikyu, have already emerged.

New Legendary Pokémon

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Sun and  Moon follow the form from the last several generations by each including legendary Pokémon that is unique to their game.

Pokémon Sun features Solgaleo a massive white Lion that is Psychic and Steel type. His ability is Full Metal Body. It prevents his statistics from being altered by his opponents moves or abilities.

Pokémon Moon features Lunala. This is a giant bat that is both Psychic and Ghost typed. Lusaka has the ability Shadow shield, which limits the amount of damage taken when at full health.

There will definitely be more legendary Pokémon available in the region, but they haven’t been announced yet.

Island Challenges

pokemon sun moon island challenges

It appears that at least one standard Pokémon game formula is being turned on its head. It looks, based on the videos we have been shown, that there are no Gyms in the Alola region. Instead traveling Pokémon trainers complete Island challenges on each of the four main islands in the region. Each challenge consists of a task, or series of tasks, laid out by a powerful Pokémon Trainer who specializes in a specific Pokémon type (a la gym leaders). Once the task is completed, trainers can then challenge the Kahuna Pokémon. This is a Pokémon that is more powerful than others of the same species and is even able to summon other Pokémon to help it in battle.

Battle System Updates

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The Pokémon Company is always striving to update the combat system to make it more user friendly and interesting to look at. At the end of the day Pokémon is a turn based RPG so it is important for players to have all of the information they need at their fingertips. Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon take this even further than previous games by including information about each move type and its effectiveness against other Pokémon.

This change has been criticized by some long time players, but anyone who is still learning or just starting, this is a godsend- helping new players learn the increasing complexity of the game with each iteration.

Keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for more information about Pokémon Sun and Moon as we get closer to the game’s release on November 18th 2016!

This article originally appeared on Pixelkin.org. Make sure to check them out!

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