Posted August 2, 2016 by Zachary Clarke in Previews

Pokemon Sun & Moon Alola Forms, Z Moves & Island Challenges Revealed

Pokemon is hot right now with Pokemon GO but The Pokemon Company doesn’t want you to forget the upcoming 3DS games, Pokemon Sun and Moon launching later this year. A trailer released today for the games lifts the lid of some of the biggest new features and changes coming to the seventh generation of Pokemon, that are going to shock and surprise new and old Pokemon fans alike.

The trailer began by revealing some of your old favourites from the original Pokemon Red/Blue games that will be returning in Sun and Moon… though they might look a bit different this time around. You see the Alola region, being a different ecosystem to that of the original Kanto region, has caused some variations of the Pokemon you know and love, sporting new looks and types.

pokemon sun and moon

The trailer opened with Exeggutor sporting a much longer neck, with an appearance more in line of a stereotypical palm tree. This Alolan Exeggutor also features a 4th head on it’s tail, which controls the tail independently from the rest of Exeggutor’s body. While the original Exeggutor was a Grass/Psychic Pokemon, this new version is a Grass/Dragon type.

Next up were Vulpix and Ninetales. These normally “fiery” foxes have mellowed down a bit and one could say they are a bit more “chill” than what you’re used to. You see when, Vulpix were introduced to the Alola region, they ended up taking residence in the snowy mountains and over time developed in to ice types! When the Alolan Vulpix evolves in to the Alolan Ninetales, it also takes on the Fairy as a secondary type, fitting of its spiritual look.

However Vulpix are not the only Pokemon that migrated to the snowy mountains and took on the Ice type. Sandshrew and Sandslash also decided to take up residence in the snow and subsequently became Ice/Steel type Pokemon. This new form has made Sandshrew and Sandslash a bit heavier and slower than their Ground type counterparts, however they are also said to pack quite a punch.

However it wasn’t just new forms of old Pokemon we got to see in this new trailer, of course we also saw the reveal of a number of new Pokemon!


Oricorio is a bird-like Pokemon known as the “Dancing” Pokemon. Oricorio come in four varieties, one for each of the Alolan islands. Each style of Oricorio has a different primary typing (with its secondary type consistently being Flying) as well as a different dance style. The Baile style Oricorio is a fire type, Pom-Pom style is Electric, Pa’u Style is Psychic and lastly the Sensu style is Ghost. Oricoria also has a unique move known as “Revelation Dance” which takes on the typing of its corresponding style and a new ability called “Dancer”, where if a Pokemon on the field uses a dancing move (think Swords Dance), Oricorio will immediately copy and use that same move.


Minior is the next Pokemon to come crashing in on players. Based on a meteorite, Minior are formed in the stratosphere until they become too heavy and come crashing down to Earth. Minior has a new ability known as “Shields Down”, where the Pokemon will wear a brown shell that gives it excellent defensive abilities and prevent status effects from being inflicted unto it. However once it drops below half HP, Miniors shell breaks causing its core (which can come in four different colour variants) to be revealed and sacrificing Minior’s defensive capabilities for more speed and attack prowess.


Back at E3, Yungoos was revealed to be this generations Rattata as well as many saying it bared a resemblance to one candidate in the upcoming US election who I shall not name. Well now it’s evolution, Gumshoos, has been revealed and the Pokemon bares even more of a resemblance to said US politician.

formantis lurantis

Fromantis and it’s evolution Lumantis are grass type Pokemon that seem to have a dependence on photosynthesis in order to survive (much like real plants). Lumantis can also learn a new move known as Solar Blade, which seems to act much like Solar Beam, except presumably a physical attack rather than a special attack.

A few weeks ago in a previous trailer we saw the reveal of Mudsdale, a horse Pokemon. Well now we see it’s pre-evolution, Mudbray, a cute little ground type donkey Pokemon that possesses superhuman strength.

However new Pokemon isn’t all that the trailer revealed. A number of new features, most of which have been hinted at in previous trailers, have finally been fully unveiled.


First off are Poke Rides. While not entirely a new feature as it is similar to the ability to “Soar” on the backs of Latias/Latios in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, this feature has been expanded upon. In Alola, due to the close bonds shared by Pokemon and humans, it is common for Pokemon to assist humans in their daily travels.  Trainers will be able to call Pokemon on a whim to help them traverse rugged terrain, rough waters or take off in to the skies, however these won’t be Pokemon that also join your team. This could be a way of eliminating the need for players to carry Pokemon with specific HM’s on them, allowing them to keep their move slots freed up for more suitable combat moves.

bloom doom

Speaking of moves, a new type of move known as a “Z-Move” was revealed next in the trailer.  Z-Moves are a special fifth move that can be used once per battle when the trainer and Pokemon’s wishes resonate with each other. Every Pokemon can use a “Z-Move” and there is one for each type. In order to use “Z-Moves” players must first collect a Z-Ring (similar to Mega Bracelets in the 6th generation games) and a “Z-Crystal”, with their being a “Z-Crystal” for every Pokemon type that you will need to collect. The corresponding Pokemon will also need to know a move the same type as the “Z-Move” you wish to use and it must be holding the corresponding “Z-Crystal”. With that said, there is no mention of the Pokemon needing to have the corresponding typing itself.

However that is not all when it comes to “Z-Moves” as The Pokemon Company and Tomy International are teaming up to make a real life “Z-Ring” that players can wear while playing the latest Pokemon games that will light up and vibrate to match the cut-scenes in the game that happen when a “Z-Move” is used. Pricing has not been confirmed but its release is said to time up with the launch of Pokemon Sun and Moon.

Lastly, it appears that traditional Pokemon Gyms have been replaced by “Island Challenges”. Each of the four islands will have a Trial Captain, which will present to you a trial you must complete. The trials still seem to match up to a corresponding Pokemon type much like a gym, however they involve more than just battling, with one trial tasking you to “collect four ingredients” and another appears to require the player to memorise dance moves. At the end of a trial, the player will be confronted by a “Totem” Pokemon which appears to be a powered up version of one of the local Pokemon of the island (for example Gumshoos and Lumantis are two of the totem Pokemon). The totem Pokemon also appear to call support in from ally Pokemon acting a little like horde battles from generation six. After completing a trial the player then must take on the island’s “Kahuna” which appears to be the substitute for a gym leader. This is a very interesting set up for a number of reasons. Not only do these trials sound a lot more engaging than your standard Pokemon gym, it also seems there will be less of them, with only four main islands in the Alola region.  there are only four trials in contrast to the standard eight gyms.

While this latest batch of information is already a ton to take in, it has already been revealed the next set of announcements will take place on August 12th, so pencil it in to your calendars Poke-fans!

Zachary Clarke

Zach is a unabashed Nintendo fanatic, however that doesn't mean he doesn't partake in the forbidden fruits of Playstation & Xbox consoles... he even plays on PC from time to time. Zach has dabbled in the video game industry in a number of ways over the past few years, from writting content for Gonintendo & Another Castle, to running the Society for Electronic Entertainment at the University of Melbourne. There is nothing more he loves than getting together, either online or offline with a bunch of fellow gamers, to yell at each other until we just want to punch one another in the throat while discussing video games.


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