Nintendo's long-running Pokemon franchise is enjoying one of its biggest years ever in 2016. Between Pokemon Go becoming the biggest mobile game ever released, news of a long-anticipated live-action Pokemon film having entered pre-production and offbeat spin-offs such as Pokken Tournament and Detective Pikachu having expanded the boundaries of what a Pokemon game can be, this has been an important frame for the franchise in more than one way.
The lifeblood of the property continues to be the main series of Pokemon games released to Nintendo hand-held consoles, and fans are eagerly awaiting the release of the latest two titles, Sun & Moon. A new trailer for the games has now been released, showing off even more new Pokemon from them - as well as the surprise return of some old favorites.
In a press release for the Sun & Moon games, set for release on November 18th this year, the new and returning Pokemon characters were laid out in greater detail. Those characters include the third and final "evolved" form of the three new Starter Pokemon (Rowlet, Litten and Popplio) but also several never-before-seen new creatures and a region-specific "Alolan form" of Persian, among others.
Here are the official details on Pokemon characters in Sun & Moon, from Nintendo's press release:
DecidueyeType: Grass/GhostThe Arrow Quill Pokémon Decidueye is the fully evolved form of the Grass- and Flying-type first-partner Pokémon Rowlet. Decidueye attacks with astonishing speed, plucking arrow quills from its wings to send them hurtling towards its target with precise aim. This Pokémon is able to move about whilst completely masking its presence from others. Decidueye is the only Pokémon that can learn the move Spirit Shackle. This new Ghost-type move hits an opponent and makes it unable to leave the battle—it can’t flee or switch out.
IncineroarType: Fire/DarkThe Heel Pokémon Incineroar is the fully evolved form of the Fire-type first-partner Pokémon Litten. As Incineroar’s fighting spirit increases, the flames it produces within its body burst from its navel and waistline. These flames resemble a championship belt, which it uses to unleash its moves. Incineroar is the only Pokémon able to learn the move Darkest Lariat. This new Dark-type physical attack allows Incineroar to deal damage to an enemy whilst ignoring the effects of any stat changes on that enemy.
PrimarinaType: Water/FairyThe Soloist Pokémon Primarina is the fully evolved form of the Water-type first-partner Pokémon Popplio. As Primarina dances, it releases balloons of water and controls their movement using the sound waves from its voice. Primarina uses some of these balloons to jump on and maneuver in battle whilst others explode when touched, which can trigger chained explosions. Primarina is the only Pokémon that can learn Sparkling Aria, a new Water-type special move which heals the burns of any target it strikes.
CosmogType: PsychicThe Nebula Pokémon Cosmog is extremely rare, known only to a select few across Alola. Named by the Aether Foundation, Cosmog is very curious, and its gaseous body is so lightweight that it’s sent flying when the wind blows. When light falls on the Pokémon, Cosmog can absorb it and grow bigger.
Alolan PersianType: DarkAlolan Persian is highly intelligent and doesn’t like to grow attached to its Trainer, making it something of a difficult Pokémon to have as a battle partner. The round face of Alolan Persian is a symbol of the rich Alola region, and it is held to be a Pokémon of great beauty. Its exquisite coat shines with the glow of high quality and enchants both humans and Pokémon. For this reason, it is a very popular Pokémon in the Alola region.
The games take place primarily in the new Polynesian-themed Alolan Region - where a Pokemon League has yet to be established and Trainers are vying for the chance to stake their claim, at the very beginning of a new region's Pokemon infrastructure. The mysterious new island is governed by a group of Guardian Deity Pokemon, several of whose previously-hidden forms are here revealed for the first time:
Tapu LeleType: Psychic/FairyTapu Lele is the guardian deity of Akala island. This Pokémon scatters glowing scales that have physical effects on others—providing stimulation to their bodies and healing their illnesses or injuries. Tapu Lele has the Ability Psychic Surge, an Ability that no other Pokémon has previously had. With Psychic Surge, the field will be turned into Psychic Terrain, which boosts the power of any Psychic-type moves used by Pokémon on the ground and prevents them from being hit by priority moves.
Tapu BuluType: Grass/FairyTapu Bulu is the guardian deity of Ula’ula Island. This Pokémon has the power to manipulate vegetation and cause it to grow. It can use this power to make its wooden horns change shape and grow larger. Tapu Bulu has the Ability Grassy Surge, an Ability that no other Pokémon has previously had. With Grassy Surge, the field will be turned into Grassy Terrain, boosting the power of any Grass-type moves used by Pokémon on the ground and restoring a bit of HP to them each turn. It also halves the damage taken from the moves Earthquake, Magnitude and Bulldoze.
Tapu FiniType: Water/FairyTapu Fini is the guardian deity of Poni Island. This Pokémon is able to attack by manipulating water. It does not like to risk being harmed during battle, so it creates a thick fog to disorient its opponents and lead them to their own destruction. Tapu Fini has the Ability Misty Surge, an Ability that no other Pokémon has previously had. With Misty Surge, the field will be turned into Misty Terrain, halving the damage taken by Pokémon on the ground from Dragon-type moves and preventing them from being afflicted with status conditions or confusion.
As a final bonus, the trailer also makes a point to spotlight the Alolan "Battle Tree", where Trainers can meet to battle further or team up - with potential encounters with famous trainer characters from previous games, built in as a nostalgic callback feature, now revealed to include original Kanto Region leads Red and Blue.
Pokemon: Sun & Moon arrive on November 18th, 2016.