Well, consider the hype for Pokémon’s seventh generation to have officially begun. The first trailer showing actual gameplay from Pokémon Sun and Moon has been released and beyond even the revealed starters, there’s a ton of information to be found here. So let’s not waste any time. We’ve got our own personal Hidden Machine, the old Analysis Machine naturally, to discover all the secrets and hidden details from this latest Pokémon trailer! Let’s see if we can catch ‘em all! The most exciting part of any Pokémon game is seeing what new Pokémon there are. And we’re in for a strong Generation if the Starters are anything to go by. First up is Rowlet, a dual Grass and Flying type which is based on an owl. The Pokémon Company has even released more information about it stating that it’s classified as the Grass Quill Pokémon and has the ability Overgrow. It goes on to say, “Rowlet can attack without making a sound! It flies silently through the skies, drawing near to its opponent without being noticed, and then lashing out with powerful kicks.
It can also attack from a distance using the razor-sharp leaves that form part of its feathers.’ ‘Its visual abilities are impressive. The darkness of night is no obstacle to Rowlet! It can twist its neck nearly 180° from front to back so it can see directly behind itself. It has a habit of turning its head in battle to face its Trainer and receive instructions. The move Leafage attacks an opponent by striking it with leaves. Rowlet knows this move from the moment it becomes your partner!” We even see it’s ability to rotate its head 180° during its idle animation.
But the most interesting thing here is the move, Leafage. It is a brand-new Grass-type attack that seems designed to give Grass types an early move on par with Ember and Water Gun, and we even see it in action where it sends three green energy balls at its opponent. Next is Litten, the Fire-type starter. Though considering its dark coloring, we do have to wonder if its final evolution could be a dual Fire and Dark type.
What we do know thanks to the Pokémon Company is that Litten is classified as the Fire Cat Pokémon and it has the ability Blaze. They describe it as, “Logical but also passionate, Litten always remains coolheaded and doesn’t show its emotions on the surface. Litten can attack with flaming hairballs!’ ‘Its fur is rich in oils and immensely flammable. Litten grooms itself by licking its fur, and then uses the collected fur as fuel for fireball attacks! When the time comes for Litten to shed its old fur, it all burns up in a glorious blaze. The move Ember attacks an opponent by firing a small flame at it. Litten knows this move from the moment it becomes your partner!” So with that description, Ember is kinda gross when used by Litten. But you can’t deny its effectiveness. We even see Litten lickings its paws during its idle animation before using Ember. And during its attack, we can see the hair on Litten’s back stand on end. But the coolest detail about Litten are the markings on its fur which, when combined with its eyes, resembles the alchemic symbol for sulfur.
Finally, there’s Popplio, the Water type Pokémon. The big question with it is whether its final evolution will gain the Ice type. We’re not entirely confident about that since the typing and design could make it a little too similar to the Seel and Dewgong family. However, Popplio’s classification is exactly the same as those two as the Sea Lion Pokémon. Unlike them however, its ability is Torrent. The Pokémon Company also gives it this description, “Popplio’s swimming speed is known to exceed 25 mph. It’s better at moving in the water than on land. Still, when it’s on land, it takes advantage of the elasticity of its balloons to perform acrobatic stunts and jumps.’ ‘Popplio can snort out balloons made of water! Watch it spin water balloons into a playful battle strategy! Both frivolous and hard-working, Popplio can easily get carried away—unleashing enough power in battle to make quite a spectacle! But Popplio’s determined spirit means it can usually be found practicing hard on its balloon skills.
The Water Gun move attacks an opponent by firing a jet of water. Popplio knows this move from the moment it becomes your partner!” And like the others we see it use its Water Gun and see its idle animation. In this case, Popplio takes a very proud-looking stance. What’s clear about all of the starters is that they’re full of personality. From their idle animations to their attacks, they really do stand out. And there might be even more of a connection between the chosen starter and your trainer since, in the Japanese trailer, we see the trainer picking up his chosen Pokémon.
It’s a level of interaction we don’t normally see in the Pokémon games. At least outside of Pokémon-Amie. However, we saw two more Pokémon during this reveal trailer. Toward the end, we were given our first look at the titular Legendaries. First is Sun’s Legendary Pokémon which has a definite lion-like design which seems to back up the trademark filed for a Pokémon called Solgaleo. The legendary is located near some kind of ruin with the Sun and Moon symbols on either side of it on nearby columns.
Behind it, there’s a carving that shows two hands raised into the air. We see more of the ruin when Moon’s Legendary Pokémon is revealed. Here we see that the ruin seems to be part of a mountain as the hands are shown to be holding up some kind of giant circle. It could be either the sun or the moon or perhaps represent both. It’s difficult to say conclusively. But the Moon Legendary seems to be designed after a kind of bat which is quite fitting. The trademark seems to indicate that its name is Lunaala, but there’s almost no evidence here to back that up.
Like many of the past Legendary Pokémon that have represented the generation, Sun and Moon’s are shown to be different yet interconnected. In this case, it’s in the eyes. The Moon Pokémon has orange eyes while the Sun Pokémon has blue, which is the primary color of their opposites. Finally, we get to see the Moon Legendary’s unique move. It brings up its wings into a full moon shape before combining six beams of energy into one massive attack. Unfortunately, we don’t see anything concrete for the Sun Legendary, only that it’s unique move brings the camera close to its eyes before attacking. Still, it does look quite fierce. And, surprisingly enough, that’s every Pokémon that’s been shown so far. Or is it? In the Japanese trailer, a small scene takes place in the trainer’s house. And behind this woman is a Meowth.
It’s not much, but it does show that the seventh generation will not be repeating what the fifth generation did and only have brand new Pokémon in the region. Instead we expect the game to keep the sheer variety of Pokémon that Kalos and the sixth generation had. But that’s everything that the trailers and supplementary material has on the Pokémon of Sun and Moon. And we’re only scratching the surface. Let’s continue on and take closer look at the trainers and the other characters we meet during both trailers. The Japanese trailer actually shows the biggest news when it comes to the trainers, like X and Y, players will be able to choose how their trainer looks. There are four options for each gender though they all follow a similar style. The male trainer has a rather simple design with shorts, a blue and white striped shirt, the customary hat, and a backpack.
Meanwhile, the female trainer has a wool cap with tufts sticking up on top like a chicken and a square Pokéball symbol. She’s also wearing shorts and carries a bag while her shirt is tied off in the front. While they may not stand out compared to previous trainers, there’s actually some clever theming with the two of them. The male trainer has a blue hat while the female has orange. Her shirt and shoes are colored yellow while his are blue. So far it seems that the male trainer is themed for Moon while the female trainer is designed for Sun. However, the male trainer also has orange highlights on his shorts which keeps him themed for both versions. Unfortunately, we were unable to find anything blue on the female trainer, though her green shorts are a cooler shade than anything else she’s wearing. Along with the male trainer, we also get a look at his room.
We can see his desk next to a window where books and a globe sits. The globe actually displays the real world’s Europe and Africa rather than any Pokémon geography. Next to it, one of the books is open and can likely be read. On the left, there’s a Pikachu doll near the TV. A Wii U is displayed in front of the TV with no NX in sight. So no preview here! Strangely enough, there’s no PC to be seen anywhere in the trainer’s room though we think he has to have one. Just maybe not in the form we’re used to. And that’s because of a scene from before this during the Japanese trailer. In it, we see a new character, Kukui, either sending a video message to the trainer to welcome him or it’s a live-feed chat. What’s interesting is the aesthetic of a web message is fully here as we see options to minimize, expand, or exit Kukui’s window as well as symbols for the video feed, which is indicated to be on, a camera, and an options menu.
You obviously can’t interact with these options at the moment, but we even see that the background wallpaper is of the ocean. This is where the missing PC ties in. What if instead of a desktop computer, the trainer has a laptop or a tablet that is with them at all times, allowing the ability to have a video chat with characters that they meet along the way? Going one step further, what if it’s a laptop that allows you to change out your Pokémon at any time without going to a Pokémon Center. It’s quite the reach and a change we can’t quite see them making for the sake of balance, but it could be a major update to the Pokémon formula. The other key component to this talk with Kukui is that, like Generation 3, your trainer has just moved to this new region, Alola. It’s an obvious play on the word Aloha and the region is guaranteed to be based on Hawaii. And this move and the location is reflected in the live-action segments of the Japanese trailer.
It tells the story of a boy and mother moving to Hawaii so it’s possible that there may be details on what the opening story will be in Sun and Moon. For one, the boy’s name is Shohei. Is it possible that this will be the male trainer’s name in the Japanese version? There are more distinct uses of color during these moments as well.
Shohei is wearing blue when introduced to his new class and the boy who claps is wearing orange. We believe this nice boy, who later reveals his name to be Hoku, is a real-world stand-in for Sun and Moon’s rival, for lack of a better term. We’ll detail him in full later, but what’s intriguing is that Hoku chooses the starter that is weak to Shohei’s choice. Could the opposite trainer, the gender you did not choose, be the true rival in the game, just like Serena and Calem from X and Y? Maybe the rival that Hoku represents is more like Shauna from that same game. There’s actually more evidence to support this, but we’ll get to that soon enough as there are a lot of characters introduced in the trailer. But first, let’s look at Kukui. He’s the first character you seem to meet and may even be your cousin unless that’s just a colloquialism. We believe he works as an assistant to Sun and Moon’s professor.
After all, he shares a name with the Kukui nut that can be found in Hawaii. It’s had many different uses throughout the history of the islands, but the ancient people actually burned the nut to provide light. They did this by stringing the nuts in a row on a palm leaf midrib before lighting it on one end. Each one took about 15 minutes to burn so it could also be used as a way to tell time. The oil from the nut was also used in lamps. It may be a coincidence but this ties into the light motif that Sun and Moon seem to be going for. In the Japanese trailer, we see the house you’re moving into. Boxes are everywhere and there’s a Wailmer pail sitting next to a plant.
It’s the same house we saw from before with the Meowth. We can see Kukui’s telltale green shoes meaning this is at some point in the same timeframe. It also means that this woman is the trainer’s mother. She’s wearing a floral sundress as well as glasses on top of her head. Throughout the same trailer, we see moments of Kukui talking to the player. He talks about how it’s your first time in the region and how you need to get out there to meet friends and Pokémon before concluding with a confident ‘Let’s go!” Kukui seems to be your link and guide to the new region early on, and he may even be married as the video message with him shows a ring on his finger.
Though it may just be a visual flourish to his character. As we stated before, we believe Kukui works for the new Professor who we get a good look at here. He seems to be even more laid back than even Professor Sycamore and has a fan tucked into his belt. The Japanese trailer shows that his name is Hala and, fitting tradition, is named after a tree. The Hala tree is one that can be found in Hawaii and even ties into a special location on the island, which we’ll discuss when we talk about the region itself. Needless to say, Hala is the one to give you your first Pokémon. While you receive your starter on a platform that seems to be designed for either ceremonial purposes or Pokémon battles, we can see a building with double doors just to the left which is likely Professor Hala’s lab.
An NPC is hanging around nearby, likely to provide more information on it. Just before Hala sends out the Pokémon though, we see a shadow just to the right of the trainer. A person is just off-screen while a wide-brimmed hat or perhaps umbrella sticks out from the side. This person seems to be roughly the same height as the trainer but is standing behind him which could mean it’s your mother. However, there’s a white piece of cloth just below too which your mother just doesn’t wear.
So who could this other character be? The last new character we see is this young boy that runs up to the trainer. Considering his backpack, he’s likely the rival for this generation though he seems pretty laidback. We believe he could be tied to the real-world Hoku and become the trainer’s first friend in Alola. He’s also different from past rivals since he is the one running behind. After all, as he’s giving a big grin, we can see Hala’s belt sticking out from the left side of the screen. Also, his hair style is incredibly similar to Hala’s so it may be possible that he’s the Professor’s grandson.
As we said before, we wonder if this boy will be a Shauna-type rival for the player since Hoku, who we presume to be this boy’s analogue and possibly even share the same name, picked the starter that was weak to Shohei’s choice. We can’t say for sure, but we are confident on this point. But this scene also has a clue to whether trainer customization really is fully returning for Sun and Moon.
While the trainer was wearing a blue-striped shirt before, now it looks like it’s a brown-striped shirt. And the orange highlights on his shorts are now white. So, unless this was a coloring mistake, it looks like different outfits will be available to purchase. The bigger question we have though is how the trainer was able to change his shirt before even receiving his first Pokémon. It’s not a major change so maybe there are limited clothing options at your house that you can choose from? Either way, we’re confident that you’ll be able to have your own personal style once again in Sun and Moon. Before we move on to the Alola region itself, there’s a small scene where we can see the trainer’s mother looking out over the island. Could this be a scene where she says goodbye to him before he goes on his Pokémon journey? Or maybe it’s a true farewell as the trainer prepares to leave this island entirely? What do we mean by this? Well, despite the fact that we were shown a pretty detailed map of Alola, we highly doubt it’s everything.
Let’s take the region one step at a time though as the trailer reveals more to us. Right off the bat, there’s a tropical feel as we’re talking with Kukui. Flowers are blooming while a short palm tree can be seen to the right. Then the trainer is off running and we get to see even more. This is just slightly further up the path where he was talking with Kukui. We can see the darker spot from before which the trainer is now running through while an NPC is hanging out on the right. Even more foliage helps sell the tropical nature of the region. The camera is dynamic once again with it panning to the side of the trainer to show off the mountains and ocean in the distance. It’s also possible to see the winding road loop around and continue on. And we believe that most of these landmarks can be visited. Just behind the place where we receive our starter, we can see a sign and a path that leads into what appears to be a dark forest.
It’s then that we get an overhead view of Alola, or at least part of Alola. Professor Hala’s lab is the building near the top center. Nearby we can see the ceremonial platform, and it’s surrounded by the same small buildings and even the entrance to the forest guarded by two trees. Following the path south we come to a crossroad. Here we could go north to cross a bridge and explore the mountains east of the forest. There’s likely another side path from there as well in order to reach the nearby beach and a cave that can only be Surfed to. If we take the path east or south, we’ll roughly reach the same destination.
We’re not sure why there are two paths in this case, but we suppose it does add variety. The paths eventually lead to another building that we believe to be a school. But we’ll give our reasons for that shortly. South of that is a beach house which we think is the trainer’s home. There are even small islands that we could eventually Surf to. However, what’s strange is how long of a distance it is between your house and the Professor’s lab. Either it’s just an especially long trek or we’re wrong on the location. However, it is worth noting that at no point during this trailer do we see tall grass.
So it may be possible to reach the lab without a single Pokémon encounter. But of course we can’t confirm if this will actually be the case. West of the blue-roofed building is a red building that’s reminiscent of the newly designed Pokémon Center. It’s strange because it’s so far from the city to the west. There does seem to be an apartment complex next to it, but then we reach the city itself. The city is larger than anything else around it but still not so big that we can’t see the ocean to the west of it. And north of the city are more dirt routes with more houses. There’s also a natural cul-de-sac in the mountain that could lead to a cave. The Japanese trailer even gives us a better look at the western edge of the city. This seems to confirm that the giant building on the southern end is some kind of dock while a newly seen building on the western side could be important in some way since it’s disconnected from everything else.
Another Pokémon Center can be seen on the northern edge of the island with a waterfall nearby. This look at the map tells us one thing loud and clear, this is only the first island in the Alola region. Going one step further, we come to two major conclusions. The first is that this island seems to be based on Oahu, which is one of the northern islands of Hawaii. And the general shape of the island is a near perfect match. In fact, the city is in the exact same spot as Honolulu further linking the two locations. Finally, there’s the Professor’s name, Hala. As we said before, the Hala is a tree that can be found in Hawaii. But even more interesting is the fact that the Hala tree is featured on the seal of a prestigious private school known as Punahou School.
This school, which is the same President Obama graduated from, is located in Honolulu lending further credence to either the blue-roofed building being the school or the building on the western edge. That seems to nail down this island as Oahu, but the bigger question is where the trainer’s journey will take him next? Would he continue to Alola’s version of Kauai in the north or would he depart for the smaller islands between Oahu and Hawaii’s main island? We actually believe he will head for the main island first. It’s the largest island in Hawaii and provides plenty of room to grow and eventually earn the Surf HM. From there, the trainer could travel around the islands of Maui, Molokai, Kahoolawe, and Lanai. In fact, we believe that the game might even attempt to take a page out of the first Generation. There may be a gym on the first island, but it can’t be accessed until the very end. That’s when the trainer discovers that Kukui is the gym leader all along and is a test of the strength he’s developed to that point.
Then the journey to the northern Kauai is where Victory Road will take place before challenging the Elite Four. We could be wrong of course, but based on this island’s map, we think at least some of this makes sense. The other conclusion we can draw from this map is how detailed it is compared to previous Pokémon maps. The way it pans to a specific point could indicate that this is all a cutscene, or perhaps, this is what the player’s map actually looks like. Each island would have its own map that can be panned and scouted since, at least based on the roads and locations we can see, there’s a lot more to explore in Alola. This all seems slightly more complex than the typical Point A to Point B design of Pokémon maps. The rest of the trailer shows some of the locations from this first island in greater detail.
One has the trainer running along one of the dirt paths except this one is lined with tiki-esque carvings that may or may not be representations of Sun’s Legendary Pokémon. It would make sense though since it is considered a legend. We then get a more detailed look at the city. Most of the buildings aren’t that large with the exception of the one we presume to be the docks, and a cylindrical structure that pops out of a square base. If anything, this scene and the one of the trainer running through the city shows that the proportions aren’t that big on the overhead map. It shouldn’t take long at all to fully explore the city in comparison to something like Lumiose City in Kalos.
But like that city, the NPCs will shift their position to watch your trainer run by. Likewise, we can see stairs leading down to the beach area and the building on the west end that appears to be some kind of mansion. It’s difficult to say what all of these buildings may hold, but we’d suspect a few of them are clothing stores for trainer customization. The last location we visit is the same place where the starter is received. Except this time the camera is pulled back to show an NPC in front of the lab’s door and can clearly see that the northern path leads into the mountain. It could be a cave instead, but we still fully expect a forest. On the outskirts, we can see the doors to the nearby houses to talk to the various residents. One of them may be the player’s house as well though we couldn’t spot the usual mailbox declaring it as such.
So for now, we still believe our house is on the beach. Finally, we see the female trainer running around at night which indicates that the real-time day/night cycle will return. It looks like the trainer is heading toward the NPC on the cliff though it’s impossible to say if she’s actually important or not. What’s more interesting is the uneven geometry of this section which is a bit rare for Pokémon. Most of the time, the series focuses on gentle slopes or maybe mountains to change up the locations. This shows that not everything will be flat. And as a fun note, we can see a Pokéball item hiding behind the nearby rock. Ok, we’re almost done but there’s one last thing we wanted to point out. During the live-action segment of the Japanese trailer, the moon is shown when Shohei is feeling down.
However, his moment of determination is highlighted by the blinding sun. It’s obviously thematic, but what does this say about the relationship between the legendaries? Is the Sun Pokémon naturally good making the Moon Pokémon jealous? Or are we reading far too much into this? Either way, that’s everything we could find in the Pokémon Sun and Moon starter reveal trailers. It’s obvious that there’s so much more to show, but this small taste is enough to get us excited for the seventh generation. It’s a long wait until the games are released on November 18th, but we’ll be covering them every step of the way! Of course, let us know if we missed anything in the comments. If you liked this video, but sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at GameXplain to keep up with everything we do. Thanks for watching and make sure to stay tuned to GameXplain for more on Pokémon and other things gaming.
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