Classic Pokémon are getting a new look in Pokémon Sun and Moon

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Alola Region Map Art

Until Pokémon Go hit millions of small screens around the world, the first generation of Pokémon was largely an afterthought. An archaic, retro style of pocket monsters that had long since been replace by cooler and more contemporary creatures with each new generation of games released. Pokémon Sun and Moon is planning on changing all of that this year however, in a way that will completely surprise you so here’s how NO GEOFF I’M SORRY I’LL NEVER CLICKBAIT AGAIN PLEASE NOT THE FACE!

#SpitsOutTeeth

Where was I? Oh yes, new forms of old Pokémon! Here’s Vulpix and it’s final evolution Ninetails, which are now swapping their Fire-Type attributes for some Ice flavouring, with the official description from Nintendo:

Some Pokémon have adapted to the distinctive microclimates of the Alola region and have taken on different forms than they have in other regions. These Pokémon are called regional variants. After taking root in the Alola region, they live like native Pokémon. These regional variant Pokémon can have different appearances and types, and their way of living can also differ from that of the forms previously known.

Alolan Vulpix

Alolan Vulpix

Type: Ice

It is said that Vulpix came to the Alola region together with humans, but the Fox Pokémon moved to the snowy mountain peaks to avoid the normal habitats of other Pokémon, and thus it ended up taking on this form.

Alolan Ninetales

Alolan Ninetales

Type: Ice/Fairy

Alolan Ninetales is able to produce ice crystals from the fur that covers its body. It can use these ice crystals to block attacks, or it can form balls of ice, which it fires like bullets at opponents. These ice missiles have enough power to pulverize rock.

They’re not the only first-gen Pokemon that are getting a remake, as Sandshrew, Sandslash and Exeggutor are also popping up with new forms and abilities. Exeggutor of course, looks completely ridiculous:

Alolan Exeggutor

Alolan Exeggutor

Type: Grass/Dragon

Unlike other Exeggutor, the Alolan Exeggutor has a fourth head—on its tail! This fourth head controls the tail independently and can take on opponents to the rear that can’t be reached by the main heads’ attacks.

Alolan Sandshrew

Alolan Sandshrew

Type: Ice/Steel

Sandshrew have historically lived in desert areas, but the frequent eruptions of nearby volcanoes drove them to abandon the desert and migrate to snowy mountains where they took on this form.

Alolan Sandslash

Alolan Sandslash

Type: Ice/Steel

The Alolan Sandshrew of the snowy mountains evolve into Alolan Sandslash with spiny backs that are covered in ice. Alolan Sandslash hide themselves in the snow when strong enemies appear, leaving only their needles exposed and ready for business.

Next up, new Pokemon! Say hello to the latest faces in Pokémon Sun and Moon:

Oricorio

Oricorio Baile Style

Oricorio changes its form by sipping the nectar of certain flowers. Since it has four different forms—the same as the number of islands in Alola—it would seem that different Oricorio live on each of the islands.

Baile Style

Type: Fire/Flying

The Baile Style Oricorio is very passionate, and power fills its body when it dances. It sends downy fluff flying during its intense dances.

Pom-Pom Style

Oricorio Pom-Pom Style

Type: Electric/Flying

The Pom-Pom Style Oricorio is very friendly toward people, and it uses dancing to encourage Trainers who are feeling glum. When it dances, its feathers are charged with static electricity.

Pa’u Style

Oricorio Pau Style

Type: Psychic/Flying

The Pa’u Style Oricorio acts at its own pace, which sometimes makes it difficult to deal with. It sharpens its spirited moves through dance, which increases its psychic power.

Sensu Style

Oricorio Sensu Style

Type: Ghost/Flying

The Sensu Style Oricorio is quiet and collected. By means of its dance, it gathers the spirits drifting about in an area and borrows their power to fight.

Minior

Minior

Minior 2

Type: Rock/Flying

Minior are formed in the stratosphere and live by absorbing the detritus around them. When they’ve consumed a large quantity of particles, their bodies become heavy, and they fall toward the planet’s surface. Minior has a hard and heavy outer shell with a core within.

Gumshoos

Gumshoos

Type: Normal

Gumshoos is the Evolution of Yungoos. It will call on Yungoos allies and stand in the way of trial-goers.

Fomantis

Fomantis

Type: Grass

Fomantis is nocturnal, and it performs photosynthesis while it sleeps during the day by spreading out its leaves in all directions. Because of the danger of staying in the same location two days in a row, Fomantis begins its search for the next day’s spot as soon as the sun sets.

Lurantis

Lurantis

Type: Grass

Lurantis draws opponents near to itself with its flowerlike appearance and aroma—and then it takes them down. It’s said to be the most gorgeous of all Grass-type Pokémon, due to its brilliant coloration and elegant moves.

Mudbray

Mudbray

Type: Ground

Mudbray could once be found all over the world but is now a protected species. It’s said that the Alola region is the only place in the world where Mudbray can still be found in the wild.

Here’s where things also get more interesting. Along with powerful new Z-Moves that re designed to deliver WWE-level finishers in combat, it also sounds like the usual gym setup is being rewritten for Pokemon Sun and Moon. Instead of challenging eight gym leaders and moving on to the Elite Four, players will now tangle with Trial Captains and big Kahunas.

 

Each island in the Alola region has a Trial Captain, with players needing to go on “an adventurous rite that involves traveling through each of the four islands”.

As the main character of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, each player is destined to attempt this island challenge. To complete the island challenge, young trial-goers must overcome the trials on each of the four islands. These trials are not limited to battling with Pokémon. They take a variety of forms including finding items or completing tests of knowledge.

At the end of each trial, a mighty Pokémon known as a Totem Pokémon will be waiting. A Totem Pokémon is much larger than others of its species, and its body is enveloped in a special aura. When Totem Pokémon battle, they summon ally Pokémon to join them. With the support of these allies, the Totem Pokémon become more powerful. Pokémon other than Totem Pokémon sometimes also call on allies to aid them.

The final trial on each island is called the grand trial where Pokémon battle against the kahuna who leads that island. If a trial-goer succeeds in clearing this grand trial, they will be publicly recognized as having cleared all of the island’s trials and can move on to the next island.

The Captains revealed so far are:

Lana

Lana – An expert with Water-type Pokémon, she is “dedicated to her family and is a reliable older sister who watches over her younger sisters”.

Mallow

Mallow – An expert with Grass-type Pokémon. “She loves cooking, but it seems that sometimes her taste is a bit particular.”

Sophocles

Sophocles –  An expert with Electric-type Pokemon,  “is good with mechanics and has invented various machines.”

Kiawe

Kiawe– An expert with Fire-type Pokémon and together with his Marowak, “studies the traditional dances that have been passed down in the Alola region.”

Kahunas

Hala

All of this leads to the Kahunas, Pokemon trainers who represent the ultimate challenge in Pokemon Sun and Moon. Here’s the description:

Each of Alola’s four islands has a leader, called the island kahuna, who governs the island. Kahunas are chosen by the Pokémon known as guardian deities, which are also found on each island. Hala is the kahuna of Melemele Island, where the main character has just moved to, and he is also the rival character Hau’s grandfather. Hala’s skill is renowned in the Alola region.

He gives the player their first partner Pokémon and expects great things from them.

This honestly sounds like a MASSIVE shake-up to a familiar formula. Less of the predictable series staples that have defined the franchise so far, and a ton of new gameplay elements mixed in with a style that will still feel natural to veterans. I’m proper excited now.

For more on Pokémon Sun and Moon, don’t forget to check out our ever-evolving Pokédex to see every new reveal made so far.

Last Updated: August 2, 2016

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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