A new trailer for the upcoming 3DS games Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon was released this morning, revealing the new starter Pokémon, the legendaries that will be featured on the cover, and the new region that the games will be set within.
As usual, the three starters revolve around the dynamic of one grass, one fire, and one water type. The new grass starter, Rowlet, begins with a rare combination of grass and flying types. While the other two are pure fire and pure water types respectively, it’s possible that they’ll each develop a second typing as they evolve. Getting back to Rowlet, its profile on the official Pokémon website further reveals that it will have the Overgrow ability, a staple of grass-type starters since the third generation, that strengthens grass-type attacks when the Pokémon’s health is down to one third or less. It will also start out with a brand new move called Leafage, although this will likely end up being a fairly low-tier grass-type move on par with Ember and Water Gun, which the other two starters begin with respectively.
The cat-like fire starter, Litten, has fur cloaked in flammable oils that it uses to generate its scorching attacks. It has the Blaze ability, which is the fire-type equivalent to Overgrow. While this hasn’t been officially confirmed, it seems likely that Litten will develop into a fire-dark type as it evolves. Alternatively, it could become a fire-poison type given its relation to machine oil and several existing poison types relate to industrial waste.
Popplio, the water starter, is based on trained sea lions that were commonly seen performing in circuses and it can generate large, durable bubbles to perform tricks with. It has the Torrent ability, which operates along the same line as Overgrow and Blaze. What secondary typing it could develop as it grows is difficult to predict, but I would presume either psychic or fairy as the clown-like Mr. Mime has those types and Popplio is following a similar harlequin aesthetic. We also catch a glimpse at the new professor that will be mentoring players and setting them off on their journeys, although there is no mention of his name. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s going to be Professor Palm or something along the same tree convention that all previous professors have followed.
We also get an extensive look at the new Alola region that the games will be set in. As many predicted based on details in the original reveal trailer, this new region will be heavily inspired by the tropical islands of Hawaii, its name even being derived from the Hawaiian phrase ‘aloha’ meaning peace and compassion and is used to say hello and goodbye. This is entirely new territory for the franchise and the tropic atmosphere is sure to make for some of the most unique games in the series.
The new legendary Pokémon that will be featured on the cover art for the games were also shown in full. A white lion will be the star of Pokémon Sun while a bat with a moon-shaped wingspan will represent Pokémon Moon. No details on them were revealed outside of the appearances, but an earlier leak claimed that their names will be Solgaleo and Lunaala. Even if that leak may be accurate, these may only be the Japanese names for these legendaries and their names for other regions may still be in the works.
Interestingly, I think that these new legendaries may actually be taking advantage of the Hawaiian setting by paying homage to a Hawaiian demigod named Maui. Maui is a popular figure in Polynesian legend and his feats include battling the sun itself and taming it like a wild animal and slaying a giant bat. Perhaps the new Pokémon games will have a central theme of recreating some of Maui’s adventures. Then again, the series has never been exceedingly faithful to the real-life locations they’re based on, such as Black and White being based on New York City and having legendaries based on The Three Musketeers and Japanese deities.
One last thing to note is that the Japanese trailer is very different and has a few additional details not seen in the international trailer. Namely, we have confirmation that character customization will return in some capacity as there are four different skin tones to choose from for your character. While its a extremely weak amount of customization compared to many other RPG’s, it is a step up from X and Y where there were only three tones. Whether or not costume customization will return remains to be seen. The Japanese trailer also may have given us a glimpse at the new rival character at 2:07.
What are your thoughts on all the new information we’ve received with this new trailer? Which starter has caught your eye as your personal favorite? Do you have any theories on the significance of these new legendaries? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.