ByBobby Anhalt, writer at
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Bobby Anhalt

Okay, so by now hopefully all of us [Pokémon](tag:2538552) fans have seen the trailer for the brand new generation of games, Pokemon Sun and Moon. If not, make sure to check it out right here before we get started.

Alright, so now that we are all on the same page, let us get down to the details from this reveal that many less obsessive fans may have missed out on. The trailer for these new games might only be just north of two minutes long, but it sure is chocked full of information. Of course, the one aspect of this preview that immediately stands out is the newly revealed starter Pokémon, so let's talk about these three first.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Starters

From Left: Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio
From Left: Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio

Whether you love or hate this generation of starter Pokémon, or even if you find yourself somewhere in between, it appears that the reveal of Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio have evoked strong reactions from the fanbase. Each respective creature has garnered an online following, already declaring their allegiance and ensuing selections, and contrastingly, each starter of course has their haters as well. Before we judge these books by their respective covers, perhaps we should learn a bit more about each of these three prior to hurling our Pokéballs and, at the top of our lungs, declaring "I choose you!" Luckily, the Pokémon company has uploaded illustrations of these revealed starters with detailed descriptions of each. All of which will be provided below.


CATEGORY: Grass Quill Pokémon

HEIGHT: 1'00"

WEIGHT: 3.3 lbs.

TYPE: Grass/Flying

ABILITY: Overgrow

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!


CATEGORY: Fire Cat Pokémon

HEIGHT: 1'04"

WEIGHT: 9.5 lbs.

TYPE: Fire


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!


CATEGORY: Sea Lion Pokémon

HEIGHT: 1'04"

WEIGHT: 16.5 lbs.

TYPE: Water

ABILITY: Torrent

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!


Pokémon Sun & Moon box art and release dates!
Pokémon Sun & Moon box art and release dates!

In addition to the starters for the region being revealed, we also got a look at two new legendary Pokémon as featured on the box art for the respective games. Other than aesthetics, not much has been revealed about these two apart from the fact that they will be featured on the covers of both titles. Additionally, it has been announced that the new generation of Pokémon is slated for release on November 18, 2016 for Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS, and the Nintendo 2DS.

These five new creatures might be attracting all of the immediate attention, but that being said, the trailer for Sun and Moon revealed much more than a handful of unfamiliar Pokémon. What stands out as truly unique, and potentially, very telling as far as new gameplay is concerned, is the brand new region, Alola.


Bird's eye view of the region of Alola
Bird's eye view of the region of Alola

The region of Alola is inspired by the Hawaiian Islands and thusly a play on the Hawaiian greeting, Aloha. The picture above gives us a bird's eye view of the island, in which we can see (if you look closely enough), Pokémon centers, houses, and the Professor's laboratory. While it doesn't look like much, there are a few pieces of speculation that we can reasonably extrapolate from this picture.

Firstly, take notice that the island is rather small, if intended to be an entire region. Not to mention structures, the likes we have seen in the first teaser for this highly anticipated game, are nowhere to be seen from this bird's eye view. This leads many to believe that this island is only one of several areas that players will be able to explore. That would also make sense when considering that Hawaii, the inspiration for the new region, is made up of multiple islands. Another interesting theory is that Sun and Moon could make use the gameplay feature "soar" –- the ability to fly on the back of your respective flight-capable creatures as introduced in the last generation remakes, Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire.

Soaring in 'Pokémon Alpha Sapphire & Omega Ruby'
Soaring in 'Pokémon Alpha Sapphire & Omega Ruby'

The theory is based around two observations. Firstly, the ability to soar was a new implementation introduced in Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, and was seen as a wild success by virtually everyone as it was very well-received. The continuation of this gameplay mechanic would certainly be seen as a win for fans of this series . Also, this would do away with the need to surf from island to island, and would certainly serve as a much more enjoyable form of transportation. Additionally, the stacks of rocks surrounding the island make it appear as though surfing to and from this island may be fairly difficult, if not impossible.

Another note about the region: the appearance of the first generation Pokémon Moewth suggests that a mix of creatures from various regions are likely to be found Alola. So far, the only generation to stray from this formula were the games Pokémon Black & White. This decision was met with some criticism among fans and critics, but was generally praised as innovative.

Character Customizations

Different characters available in 'Sun & Moon'
Different characters available in 'Sun & Moon'

Character customization is a feature that was really expanded upon in the last generation, and it appears as though Game Freak and the Pokémon Company has decided to stick with that, as in the picture above spotted in the Japanese trailer for the game. Also, the character is seen with different color shirts, shorts, and shoes throughout the various trailers and shots, suggesting that more than just the face and complexion can me modified.

It is also interesting to note that the character customization, as displayed above, is seen within what appears to be a computer window. This is seen earlier in the Japanese trailer as well, in which our character is talking to what appears to be the professor's assistant. One theory is that the main character may carry around a laptop or tablet on his adventures, which could be an interesting way to change up gameplay and potentially Pokémon storage. Also, it is just plain neat that video chat has become a part of the game, and hopefully we will see it implemented to a greater extent throughout the course of the story.

The trailer for the new generation of Pokémon appears to be placing an emphasis on terrain and exploration in ways that fans of the series have yet to experience. Despite criticisms, the last generation of Pokémon games – Pokémon X & Y – was a giant step for the franchise, and hopefully Sun & Moon can be equally bold in its design.

For those hungry for news and trailer analysis, make sure to check out GameXplain's breakdown of the latest trailers as they truly have done a great job. I am in no way affiliated with them, I just thought I would spread the word as it is truly informative.

What do you make of these latest Pokémon trailers? Make sure to let me know all of your thoughts concerning the new starters, legendaries, and of course, the latest theories in the comments section below.


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