With only 3 months until Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, it’s about time we got some details on the new game! Now I’ve joked in the past that these two seem like nothing more than finished versions of Sun & Moon; but considering some newly revealed details, I’m not sure whether that’s the case or the long rumored Pokemon Stars was rebranded as these two “Ultra” versions.
Semantics and names aside, these two new Pokemon games actually do look like a lot of fun. So let’s recap everything we know thus far – as well as a few other secrets!
A Completely New/ Alternate Story – Changes To The Map & Lore:
As we learned initially, Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon won’t be a continuation of Sun & Moon, but rather tell an alternate story. In short, it’s kind of a reboot – but a much more detailed reboot. We can see signs of this in the trailer as the locations not only look more detailed, but minor characters also return with added emphasis. I’m of course speaking of Ryuki (red anime protagonist) and Kahili (golf club girl) who we met briefly in Sun & Moon. There Kahili was a member of a Elite Four and Ryuki was someone who challenged you as Champion. Seeing these improved cinematic and dialogue scenes show that they will have somewhat of a larger role here – even if it’s just to give them more character background.
Though it’s not just the characters that will be more fleshed out, but also the map as well. And comparing these two maps, we can find one glaring difference between Sun & Moon and Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon. Sure there’s some slight geographical differences (light blue circles) such as the new beach areas and shallower lake on Melemele Island and Akala Island respectively; but what about that massive swirling black vortex (green circle)?
If you look at the Pokemon website, you can find the following official release:
“Ominous dark clouds are spreading in the sky above the Alola region… In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, a story unfolds on a grand scale, with the Legendary Pokémon Solgaleo, Lunala, and Necrozma at its center. Secrets about Necrozma and the Alola region—undisclosed in the previous games—will come to light.”
Additionally, on Pokemon.com, we find that the descriptions for Solgaleo, Lunala and Necrozma all contain the phrase “ancient times”. Will Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon actually delve into the history of this Legendary Trio more? Will we even get some descendents of those ancient ones like we did in Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire with Zinnia and the Draconid tribe? It would make sense as these versions seem to place special emphasis on the most mysterious Pokemon from Sun & Moon, Necrozma. Though are Solgaleo and Lunala the only Legendaries to get new forms, or will Necrozma’s true form be revealed as well?
A New Pokemon? – Necrozma (Unarmored)
We already touched upon the 3rd new form of Lycanroc (Dusk); but what if I told you there was also a 3rd (new) legendary Pokemon in the box art that we had overlooked? Well after taking a closer look at the trailer and static image posted on Pokemon.com, it looks like Solgaleo, Lunala and Necrozma aren’t just tied together in the lore of this game but actually in some of the promotional images as well. And if you’re confused how Necrozma can be fused with the other legendaries while still having another new form, then we have to wonder if the other legendaries are simply wearing Necrozma’s armor.
You see, Necrozma is know as the prism Pokemon and its Pokedex entry mentions that it gets its power from light and angrily fires off lazers. Well what if “light” is actually it’s true form? If you look at the Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon art, we see what appears to be a star-shaped Pokemon made of pure light up top. The eyes are what gives it away, but could this be Necrozma? That fiery look makes it seem likely – not to mention that fact that these 3 Pokemon are always mentioned together. There’s still a lot we don’t know, but looking again at this possibly new Necrozma form, we can’t help but notice how it truly does look like a … Star.
Pokemon Stars was the long rumored/ hinted game we thought we were getting. Are these games the remains of Pokemon Stars (a game purely about this new form of Necrozma) or is Pokemon Stars still the “in-development” console game for the Switch? Either way, there’s still a lot to be revealed; but I wouldn’t be surprised if the coming weeks revealed a new Necrozma form – a form it achieves by shedding its crystalline armor and becoming pure starlight.
Z-Moves – More Moves & Times To Use Them:
When Z-Moves were first introduced in Sun & Moon, there were two types: general Type-Based Z-Moves and Pokemon Specific Z-Moves. As an artist, I found the first type pretty lackluster – powerful, but uninspired. The Pokemon-Specific Z-Moves on the other hand were not only more powerful but also more fun to watch. Well it looks like these Pokemon-specific Z-Moves are back in full force for Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon as Kommo-O and various other Pokemon will receive their own Z-Moves.
As you can see above, Z-Moves are immensely powerful and can turn the tide of battle in an instant. It’s a good thing you can only use them once per battle right… right? Well possibly not because Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon will introduce the Z-Power Ring and its effects need a little bit of clarifying. On the official site it says:
“In Pokémon Ultra Sun & Pokémon Ultra Moon, the main character will put on a Z-Power Ring, which can use even more varieties of Z-Moves than the Z-Ring! And the games also feature new Z-Moves for certain Pokémon!”
So does the Z-Power Ring allow a player to use more Z-Moves per battle or is this simply a mechanic ensuring that Pokemon with new Z-moves can’t make use of them if transferred to Pokemon Sun & Moon? Either way, there’s plenty of new Z-Moves still to be revealed, but one Youtuber, Shofu, believes that Lycanroc and Mimikyu will be two such additions – and I believe him! His theory is based on how both Pokemon received special animations in the original Nintendo Direct announcement, and upon closer inspection they both look like they could be Z-Move cinematics.
Alola Photo Club – Pose With Your Pokemon Like Never Before:
The final new aspect to talk about in this update is something we found out thanks to GameInformer. Whereas Sun & Moon had a few spaces to take a random photo of the world, Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon will have a new feature called Alola Photo Club. In this feature, you’ll not only be able to take a photo with your Pokemon, but also perform different poses and change the angle by which you’re taking the photo. THIS is a game feature I’m incredibly excited for as it really makes you feel closer to your Pokemon. This feature will usually be available in a studio in the game; but like Sun & Moon, there are some places in the world where you can do impromptu photoshoots as well. As you progress through the game, more options will unlock – including giving your Pokemon props. I hope this isn’t the only new game feature of Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, but even if it is, it’s a pretty exciting one!
What aspect of Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon are you most excited for thus far? With the game arriving November 17th, we’re sure to have more updates. So please stay tuned for my Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon ULTRA Update #2!
Image Credit: The Pokemon Company & Game Informer