We all know that Pokemon is a pretty formulaic series. Every new title in the franchise is basically the same as the last — with a bunch of new Pokemon species and a new region to explore. Not so in Sun and Moon. Finally, the universe got a sharp shake-up with tons of new features and changes to the standard badge-collecting format.
Everyone already knows about basic changes like islands, captains, trials, and totem battles. I’m here to dig just a little bit deeper. Here, we’re going to discuss all the weird, miniscule secrets that basically changed everything (we thought) we knew about the Pokemon franchise.
The Alternate World
As you complete the main story of Sun and Moon, you’ll pick up plenty of strange info that’s totally new to the series. Not only are there alternate dimensions that spawn weird creatures referred to in-game as “Ultra Beasts”, but you can actually enter one of these alternate worlds yourself! This is no new region, but there’s still reason to investigate.
If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s a mysterious portal that appears in the Altar of the Sunne / Moone (depending on your version) – the portals only open up at night or day, too. Entering these portals, basically, changes the time. AM becomes PM and vice versa. Otherwise, the alternate world is pretty much exactly the same, save for a bonus Cosmog at the Lake of the Sunne / Moone.
Ultra Beasts & Necrozma
The adventure ends with the player traveling into Ultra Space after wormholes appear all over the region, dumping dangerous “Ultra Beasts” all over the place. These Ultra Beasts aren’t just boss battles for the story mode, they’re all critters you can capture with Pokeballs! They’ll only appear after the game is complete, and only when completing special “Looker” quests – the NPC investigator appears in route motels all over the place.
After hunting down the various Ultra Beasts, and learning that the strange agent assigned to the Looker might actually be a dimensional-traveller herself, you’ll be able to find the super-tough Necrozma legendary. This thing, according to the in-game Pokedex entry, is an ancient creature, implying it might actually be an Ultra Beast from the far-flung past.
Red and Blue Are Back – Battle Tree Arena, Poni Island
Another post-game event brings back the original hero (and rival!) or the series. No, it isn’t Ash Ketchum – the canonical hero of Red and Blue is named, well, Red. And his rival is, duh, Blue. They’re master trainers now, and you can fight them at the Poni Island Battle Tree Arena. The entire east section of Poni Island becomes available after completing the main story, so it’s worth dropping in and checking out everything north of the Ancient Poni Path. Revisiting old friends and enemies isn’t the worst nostalgia trip.
The Mysteries of Poke Pelago and Mohn
Spend enough time in Sun and Moon, and you’re bound to send a Pokemon or two into the Poke Pelago mini-game resort. These islands, which are unlocked piecemeal and watched over by Mohn, an NPC hanging out on a raft shop, are slightly more interesting than they first appear.
Mohn, if you read into the various dialogue hints and notes left throughout Sun and Moon, is actually an incredibly important character. He’s one of the founders of the Aether Foundation, one of the first to discover “Ultra Space” and experiment with alternate reality technology, and is father to major characters Lillie and Gladion.
According to in-game lore, the President of the Aether Foundation’s husband disappeared down a wormhole a few years before the events of the game. Why hasn’t he contacted his family? Is Poke Pelago another dimension? Mohn even bares a striking resemblance to his kids! No, there’s no explanation for any of this.
Team Skull’s Bedroom Origin
The leader of Team Skull, a punk named Guzma that runs his own ramshackle walled village called Poe Town, apparently wasn’t always so bad. The head of the criminal gang even has a house that you can visit on Route 2 – his parents’ house, that is. Guzma’s room is totally intact, complete with trophies and other hints at his aspirations and upbringing.
Guzma, at one point, aspired to become a Trial Captain and even worked with an Island Kahuna. But, something didn’t work out, and his dreams turned bitter. We don’t know what happened that caused Guzma’s turn to bad behaviour, but we do know that he used to be a normal Poke-kid, which is more backstory than most Pokemon villains ever get.
GAME FREAK’s Akala Island Office & Battle Morimoto
The developers of Pokemon Sun and Moon, GAME FREAK, didn’t just include their office in-game as an Easter egg. There’s a challenging battle awaiting you too. If you get strong enough, the Battle Designer himself, Shigeki Morimoto, will challenge you to a duel.
This isn’t Morimoto’s first fight in the series. He also appeared in Black and White and Black and White 2, and every single time he brings his A game to the fight. This is the real-life guy that helped design the combat system in Sun and Moon, and a few dozen other games. That’s a pretty impressive record.
Unlocking the IV Judge Function
The IV Judge Function doesn’t really change everything, but it does make life a whole lot easier for stat-hungry Poke-enthusiasts that don’t want to trek back to the IV Judge every time they need to see their Pokedex stats. Let’s back up – IVs are invisible stats that determine the potential of your Pokemon. Better IVs make for better breeding and growth, but they’re totally invisible – at least, until you find the IV Judge.
The IV Judge NPC in Pokemon Sun and Moon doesn’t just judge Pokemon, he gives you the ability to check out IV stats all by yourself. Once you hatch 20 Pokemon eggs, talk to the guy near the Battle Tree arena entrance on Poni Island and he’ll unlock this function in your Pokemon boxes. A new prompt will appear when examining. Very handy for checking the IVs on tons of Poke-pals.
The Meaning Behind the Final Battle
The final fight against Professor Kukui in Pokemon Sun and Moon might seem like a regular denouement battle, one that reminds the player how far they’ve come since selecting their starter Pokemon. Kukui uses a fully-evolved starter Pokemon in the battle – using whichever starter the player (and Hau) didn’t select at the start of the game.
It’s a clever little way to end the game, but there’s more to the story. This is actually a reference to dummied out content from the original game in the series. At one point in time, Pokemon Red and Blue ended with a battle against Professor Oak. Just like the Sun and Moon fight, Oak was supposed to use whichever starter Pokemon Blue (and Red) didn’t select. The final fight is actually an ode to the history of the franchise, marking it as a true sequel to the original.
Like always, that’s just a small sample of all the weird secret stuff hidden in Sun and Moon. Got your own favorite stuff? Don’t care about Pikachu and pals in the slightest? Let us know in the comments!