Solgaleo, Lunala and more!

Man, nothing wakes up my interest in posting my opinions and thoughts on stuff like new Pokémon information.

After all, it’s June 2nd, and we have a Sun and Moon trailer to talk about.  Are they still considered trailers?  Probably not, but it’s the easiest thing I can think to call the videos at least.  Semantics aren’t what I’m here to argue about however, so let’s get into the nitty gritty shall we?  It’ll be all under the read more as usual to take up less space, so click on if you want to see some thoughts and opinions!

If you ask me, there were a few different cool things shown off in this particular new video.  More details on the legendaries, the characters and the Pokédex.  Because yeah, the developers managed to make the Pokédex a major talking point this time around.  Good on you, Game Freak.


The Legendaries

So… The legendaries for Generation 7 have names now.  And abilities.  And typings.  And special moves.  And all that other jazz that’s required of you if you’re a legendary Pokémon.  While I’m happy about that, I’m still a little bit upset to find that my early predictions were wrong.

All images courtesy of Serebii.net

Solgaleo, Lunala, you two will always remain Mega Pyroar and Mega Noivern in my heart.  Names out of the way, however, there are probably some more crucial things to discuss about these two.

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Pokémon Sun Box Art, image courtesy of Serebii.net

Solgaleo is a Psychic/Steel type.  It has a new ability called Full Metal Body and a special move called Sunsteel Strike.  Admittedly, I’ve been on the Mega Noivern team since the two were announced some time ago, so I probably found this lion a little bit more underwhelming as a result, but there are some cool things about him.

The typing is a little ‘been there, done that’ for my tastes, I’ll come out and say it.  The Metagross line, Jirachi and the Bronzong line already claim this type combination for themselves, and I’m sure everyone still remembers how the combination was nerfed by the Steel-type’s loss of resistance to Ghost and Dark attacks.  The ability Full Metal Body is also essentially just Clear Body with a new coat of paint, though considering how useful it is to negate status effects this might not be such a bad thing.  It’s useful, even if a bit boring.

Also, I have to say, in the video the scene that shows off Full Metal Body and Sunsteel Strike also shows the Battle User Interface in action.  It looks as though the abilities which pop up and the health bars and everything have rough streaks of paint behind them, and just looking at those really reminds me of things like Super Mario Sunshine and Lilo and Stitch in a way, just aesthetically speaking.  I like it.

Probably the most interesting thing about Mega Pyroar comes from the official Pokémon website, at least in my opinion.  I’ve seen plenty of complaints about him not being a Fire-type Pokémon despite filling in the role of the Sun cover Legendary. I fell into the same trap in my first trailer post, thinking he was perfect for a Fire-typing.  However, I think these complaints are fairly unjustified when you consider the bigger picture.

“Since ancient times, Solgaleo has been honored as an emissary of the sun. It is referred to with reverence as “the beast that devours the sun.” Solgaleo’s body holds a vast amount of energy, and it shines with light when it’s active. It has a flowing mane with a remarkable resemblance to the sun. Its signature move is Sunsteel Strike, an attack that charges at an opponent with the force of a meteor, disregarding the target’s Ability.”  – Solgaleo’s description on Pokémon.com

Yes that’s right, our friend Mega Pyroar doesn’t represent the sun.  He eats it.  This legendary is literally like a steel-trap that devoirs the sun, a container of sorts to store all of its energy.  Sounds like that could be plot relevant but… We’ll have to see.  Unlike Mega Noivern, he clearly has some sort of connection to the celestial body that isn’t necessarily perceived as positive – at least in terms of Pokémon lore.

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Pokémon Moon Box Art, image courtesy of Serebii.net

Lunala is Psychic/Ghost type.  It has a new ability called Shadow Shield and a special move called Moongeist Beam.  Get it?  Moon because of obvious reasons, Geist like poltergeist because of the Ghost-typing?  I think it’s a nice attack name.

So far, Mega Noivern is the second Psychic/Ghost type that exists in the continuity of Pokémon, following only the very recent addition of Hoopa.  One of the things I love about getting a new generation of Pokémon is the idea that we’re getting a new cast of Pokémon to mess around with, and they’re especially fun to mess around with when you get brand new typings!  Sure because of Hoopa it technically isn’t a ‘new’ typing, but Hoopa was so recently released that it might as well be.  The x4 weakness to Dark-type attacks might be a bit of a nuisance, but…

Shadow Shield is likely one of the counters to this weakness.  As an ability, it reduces the damage taken by attacks when Mega Noivern is at full health.  Multiscale.  It’s basically a rehashing of Multiscale, one which is very underutilized and highly desired among competitive Pokémon.  So far only Dragonite and Lugia can claim this same strength, so I’d say it’s a welcome ability even if it isn’t something unique.  Plus, considering how it looks, I can only imagine Roost will be in the list of moves granted to this cover legendary, as well as possibly Recover due to its Psychic-typing.  Recovery with Shadow Shield will likely be something to fear.

Also, because I did bring it up in passing before:

“Since ancient times, Lunala has been honored as an emissary of the moon. It is referred to with reverence as “the beast that calls the moon.” Lunala is constantly absorbing light and converting it into energy. With its wings spread to absorb the surrounding light and glittering like a crescent moon, it resembles a beautiful night sky. Lunala’s signature Moongeist Beam attack releases an ominous beam of light that disregards the target’s Ability.” – Lunala’s description on Pokémon.com

In my opinion, this description seems much more positive than Mega Pyroar’s did.  Or at least, it seems much less violent and aggressive.  The big old moon bat calls to the moon and emulates the image of the night sky with a glittering, beautiful appearance. Not very likely to devour the moon, or even steal it for that matter.  Unless that’s what the evil team wants.

That’s about all we got for these two, though it was pretty much the blunt of the information dump we got today as far as I could tell.  It seems like we know just about everything we’re going to know about them up until the release of the games, so I’m hoping that means it’s onward and upward to talking about new Pokémon and mega evolutions and such!


The Characters

I’ll admit, I’m someone who plays Pokémon games in at least a large part because of the story and the characters.  I love characterization, so whenever details of people like gym leaders and rivals in Pokémon are fleshed out I have a great time.  That’s one of the reasons I loved the Unova-based games so much.  The idea of returning to the region with Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 gave the already vibrant characters a chance to grow and show change, something done especially well in my opinion.

So, it’s time to talk about the new characters we’re getting – at least in whatever capacity we have available to us.

The Silent Protagonists

How can you not love a good silent protagonist?  I mean really, they’re easy to write for because you essentially get to write their personalities into your own personal perception of how that character acts – they don’t outwardly speak past saying yes and no on most occasions after all.

Pokémon X and Y introduced character customization into the Pokémon canon, something which I’m sure will be continuing on in this iteration since we don’t have the pre-established Brendan and May characters to stay true to like in ORAS.  However, judging by the sort of things we’ve gotten so far, I get the feeling that Pokémon as a series is starting to move this idea into a different, much larger direction.

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Playable character customization screen, courtesy of thezonegamer.com

Now, beyond it just being nice that a wider range of skin tones are going to be available to help more people feel included, there’s something about this particular screenshot that always got me thinking – even back around the first trailer when the characters were shown off for the first time.

The male and female character models, at least in my opinion, look almost eerily like one another in their different categories.  It’s something about the way their faces are shaped and look to me that makes them look like the same character just as different genders one way or the other.

I can’t help but think when I reflect on this, is Game Freak slowly moving us toward a place of complete and utter character customization?  Many games today like to give you a base model and let you do whatever you want with it as if you were molding a sculpture out of putty, and that’s the impression these protagonists give me more than any others have in the past.  After all, the male and female characters have always been totally distinct and unique characters up until now: Red and Leaf, Ethan and Kris or Lyra, Brendan and May, Lucas and Dawn, Hilbert and Hilda, Nate and Rosa, Calem and Serena… But with these two, they really seem like one character that could be chosen to go either way.  I’m sure they’ll have distinct names and everything like usual, but there really seems to be something of a long-term goal of progression in my head when I look at them.

The Professor

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Official art of Professor Kukui, courtesy of kotaku.com

Look at this guy, am I right?  Personally I’m still a bit more of a fan of Professor Sycamore in terms of ‘younger 3D model Pokémon Professors’, but I can definitely see why people seem to be freaking out over this guy.  Professor Kukui, named after the state tree of Hawaii, will apparently be researching Pokémon moves as his primary focus.  At least, according to the Pokémon website.  I’ve always liked that every professor has a different concentration in the Pokémon world, it usually adds a special dimension to their character in some way that you wouldn’t get otherwise.  Maybe we’ll finally get some sort of reason as to why we can only have 4 moves learned at once?  Who knows.

That’s about all I have for this guy for now though, so…

The Assistant

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Official Art of Lillie, courtesy of bulbapedia.net

Now here’s a cutie I can really get behind.  And yes I’m well aware that there’s probably plenty of fan-art already depicting just that, but you know I didn’t mean it that way.  So stop going there.

According to her short bio on the Pokémon website, Lillie is Professor Kukui’s assistant.  She supposedly hates to make Pokémon fight – something I can assume is the cause of her rather upset expression in her art – but I’m sure all things considered she will have Pokémon to fight against you with.  If the Professor is researching attacks it would be strange if her Pokémon never fought, after all.  She’s got sort of a Southern Belle kind of thing going in her design and GOD it’s cute.  I know I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more information about her when it starts to come out.

Lillie is also described as being a bibliophile of sorts, devouring all manner of books.  Hey… Wait a minute… Devouring books?  Just like Mega Pyroar devours the sun?  Guys.  Lillie is Solgaleo.  They’re the same thing.  It’s confirmed everyone.  You heard it here first.

The Rival

hau
Official Art of Hau, courtesy of techraptor.net

We’ve seen this face before, Hau here was also more or less revealed in the first trailer, though we haven’t had as much information on him as we do now.  The guy looks a little goofy if you ask me, and he’s described at (you guessed it) the official Pokémon website as big-hearted and friendly, as well as constantly hungry.  Overall, he kind of reminds me of Barry from Diamond and Pearl, if not more laid back and less off-the-wall full of energy.

Hau and Lillie got me thinking a little, as a duo more than anything.  It’s more than likely, the way I see it, that these two are going to fill the main rival roles in Sun and Moon.  Hau will probably get the starter that’s stronger than yours, Lillie will probably get the one that’s weaker than yours, and you’ll run into them both throughout your journey and watch them get stronger and blah blah so on and so forth.  However… Based on my observations about the protagonists before, this would seem like an odd shift to me.

In just about every game since Ruby and Sapphire, the opposite player character acts as a rival in-game.  The Black and White games were an exception to this, but they still showed up in the Battle Subway so I’m going to count that as their canonical appearance next to your character.  X and Y had like anywhere between 4 and 6 rivals (or friends as the case may be) depending on who you counted as rivals, but either Calem or Serena were still your main competition throughout the game.  It could also play out like the relationship between you, Barry and the other player counterpart in Diamond and Pearl, but… I don’t really see that happening with the silent protagonists of Sun and Moon, and in fact I don’t see the opposite person being very likely to show up at all.

Of course I could be very wrong and just overthinking things based on my own already overthought thoughts, but it seems like a distinct possibility to me.  It would be strange to go back to the days of Pokémon Crystal in my opinion, where there was an opposite gender choice for a character that just never appeared in-game anyway.


The Pokédex

Okay, I’ll be honest… This new Pokédex information is cool and everything… But I don’t really have much to say on the subject.  So this’ll probably be a shorter segment wrapping this post up.

rotom
The Rotom Pokédex, courtesy of serebii.net

So your Pokédex is now going to be fused with a Rotom and become a new strangely sentient Pokédex?  I mean… I’ll admit, I know Rotom turning into technology is a pretty big part of its character as a Pokémon, but I definitely didn’t see this coming.

On the one hand, I think there are a lot of cool things that come out of this idea of the fusion.  For one, it shows once again that older Pokémon are going to continue to be relevant in a region full of new guys.  It also will apparently add on special features to the Pokédex, such as allowing for a town map that shows where you are in real time.  That’s pretty awesome!  Rotomdex(?) is also apparently able to talk and do things like give you advice on where you’re going.  This makes the device more efficient, but it also adds a kind of advancement to the capabilities of Pokémon and human interactions.  While the anime has all sorts of Pokémon talking to Ash, particularly legendaries, I always personally imagine that the only Pokémon truly able to communicate to their trainers are the psychic types.  Sort of a mental telepathy thing, you know?  With this revelation however, it seems like Rotom is able to fully comprehend and repeat human speech patterns so it can communicate with whoever has it’s device on hand.  Could other Pokémon gain the ability to do so with similar technology?  Who knows, I certainly like to think so though.

On the other hand… I get a distinct feeling of dread when thinking about this addition of a talking Rotomdex.  Yeah it’s a cool idea and everything… But if it isn’t handled well, we could very well be falling back into an annoying Legend of Zelda partner mentality.  Everyone knows the kind, partners like Navi and Fi who are helpful for the most part but either chime in way too often or have some sort of annoying quirk that makes them almost unbearable to listen to.  Hopefully Pokémon handles things with more tact than that… Because I’d rather not have my Pokédex talk to me if it’s anything like when my sword talked to me in Skyward Sword.


While yes there are other things – like the more expansive series of Alola region islands – to talk about, there’s not really enough new things given so far to justify rambling on about them any longer as far as I’m concerned.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve talked people’s ears off enough here to just about make up for the week or two that I haven’t done any posting.

So, are there any details that really stood out about the Pokémon reveal for all of you reading this?  Are there any serious questions or headcanons starting to form that you feel are worth talking about or reflecting upon with what we have so far?  Feel free to let me know in the comments section, I always love to add more opinions into my lexicon of ideas.

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