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UC, Irvine alum + B.A in English. Passion for creative writing and blogging. I run THE JOHTO PRESS, a Pokeblog on news + community + gaming

With the latest Pokemon Sun and Moon trailer, the community is ecstatic with the surprising appearance of nostalgic old trainers, final starter evolutions, more Alolan pokemon and new beginnings.

has been the motto for Pokemon Sun and Moon since its announcement back in February of 2016.

It was unclear what was meant by "it all comes together" but as the year progressed with news on the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon entries, it has become much more clear that Pokemon Sun and Moon will be a celebration of the pokemon journey.

The Pokemon Journey

With all this in mind, it’s important to understand that Pokemon is so much more than discovering pokemon, battling, and completing the game; it’s about the actual journey and Pokemon Sun and Moon will be a testament to that. Whether you started your adventure in Kanto or later in the series, Pokemon Sun and Moon will be the adventure to pay homage to the foundation of what it means to be the best there ever was.

Although Pokemon Sun and Moon take place in a new region with new pokemon and new characters, the overall theme seems to point to the importance of bonding with pokemon and the journey that every trainer must embark on to become a pokemon master.

In many ways, Pokemon Sun and Moon is a gift from the franchise to remind fans that the journey itself is the true reward. The journey doesn’t end at 8 badges, completing a pokedex, or winning the toughest battles; it continues as a trainer takes the lessons learned from the adventure to become closer to pokemon.

How will 'Pokemon Sun'and 'Moon' celebrate the franchise you ask?

Well in the Alola region you will encounter familiar trainers and even old pokemon with fresh new designs that for some will remind them of their past adventures throughout the pokemon franchise. The direction of the upcoming entry seems to have a clear focus on the meaning behind the journey and here a couple of ways that Pokemon Sun and Moon pays its respects.

The Return Of Kanto Pokemon

Besides from introducing new pokemon, the Alola region seems to highlight some of the most iconic first generation pokemon by giving them new life through Alolan forms which are pokemon that have adapted to the environment of Alola. In their adaptations, some Kanto pokemon have gained new abilities, typings, moves, and psychical characteristic that make them more suitable for living in the tropical climate and variant ecosystems of the Alola region, furthermore, giving the original 151 an increased chance to see some competitive use.

Pokemon like Sanshrew, Sandslash, Exeggutor, vulpix, and ninetales have adapted to their environments
Pokemon like Sanshrew, Sandslash, Exeggutor, vulpix, and ninetales have adapted to their environments

With 2016 being Pokemon’s 20th year anniversary, it seems quite proper to highlight and revel the original pokemon from the first generation that for many who have been with pokemon since the beginning symbolize the foundation of the pokemon series.

Beyond The Badge

As with most main series Pokemon games a trainer obtains a starter pokemon, catches pokemon to assemble a team and collects badges to ultimately compete in the Pokemon League in the hopes of becoming champion of the region. Well, in Sun and Moon that doesn’t seem to be entirely the case.

In Alola, Trials have replaced gyms. A trainer will travel around islands completing island trials to measure their potential to be great trainers. Trials can encompass a variety of task like battling, finding items and pokemon, or completing a particular request. Initially, some fans were not thrilled with the new formula because it felt as though removing gym challenges would hinder the purpose of pokemon battling.

However, in celebrating the pokemon journey it's important to remember that connecting with pokemon and learning from the adventure has always been at the core of the franchise. This is why the island trials are the perfect way to pay homage to the series. The trials hit at the core of the franchise by connecting the ideals of bonding and growing alongside pokemon.

Why Are Island Trials Better Than Gyms?

The trials celebrate the significant bond between a pokemon and their trainer. A good example is the first trial where Illima tasks the trainer to find Alolan Rattata that are hiding in small caves in a cavern. At first glance this may seem like a time wasting task, but it's critical to look at what can be learned by exploring Rattata’s environment.

The first trial has a trainer explore a cave in search of Alolan Rattata
The first trial has a trainer explore a cave in search of Alolan Rattata

It can be argued that crawling through a cave and finding Rattata does nothing to add your pokemon skills, but in the pokemon world, the experience of learning a Pokemon's natural living environment and behaviors is helpful information to foster a meaningful and caring relation between a trainer and pokemon. A trainer who can be in tuned with their Pokemon's needs, behaviors, and natural instincts is more likely to create a stronger bond which in the long run will make for a well rounded trainer capable of training a variety of pokemon.

In the past badges were a great indicator that speak to a trainer's ability to create an effective team to defeat a gym leader. Trials on the other hand are the rite of passage and relate more to the situations a trainer will face along the journey to become the very best; a more telling and enriching accomplishment.

Witness The Creation Of The Pokemon League

In Alola, the trainer will witness the creation of the first pokemon league. The first of its kind in Alola to be exact. A trainer may be able to challenge it once they become a mastered trainer. This game event is quite exciting because it entails a trainer engaging in the creation of the league.

The act of defeating the league is among the highest achievements in pokemon games and allowing a trainer to be part of the creation of the league speaks to the franchise's gratitude to all pokemon trainers that without their support, pokemon would not be celebrating 20 years of success.

Battle Legends

In Pokemon Sun and Moon battle some of the most recognizable trainers from the franchise. Two of the most iconic being Red and Blue from the original first games of the pokemon gaming series. Red has appeared in other games like Pokemon Gold and Silver their respective remakes, and in Pokemon Black and White through the Word Tournament Arena events. Blue and Red’s return to series is the icing on the cake as they represent the journey of every pokemon trainer to become the best there ever was.

Red and Blue, Pokemon's most iconic trainers from the Kanto region are in Alola and they are ready to battle!
Red and Blue, Pokemon's most iconic trainers from the Kanto region are in Alola and they are ready to battle!

From the trailer it can be seen that the trainer will get an opportunity to challenge Red and Blue to a battle. Nothing further is known as to why they make an appearance in the Alola region. Furthermore, it’s speculated that they may be unlock-able teammates to be scouted through the Battle Tree challenge that also revealed that a player can challenge other famous trainers from different regions like fan favorite Champion Cynthia from Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. Wally from Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire makes an appearance as a challenge-able trainer. In the Battle Tree you can even scout trainers to fight in tag team battles. The hopes is that if you can challenge Red and Blue that they too can be scouted to join you in your endeavor to become a pokemon master!

Because Red and Blue are among the most iconic trainers from the Pokemon universe, its the icing on the cake in the spirit of celebrating 20 years of Pokemon.2520

Friends Till The End

In Pokemon Sun and Moon, the Poke Pelago helps to further build and strengthen your bond with pokemon. The Pelago paradise is comprised of different isle that help your pokemon grow, train, play and collect items for you like poke beans and evolution stones.

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The Poke Pelago is in many ways the perfect feature to ensure that every pokemon caught has a meaningful relationship with their trainer as they work together through different activities to aid in fostering a positive lifetime of bonding.

The direction of Pokemon Sun and Moon is deeply rooted on the pokemon journey. A journey that time after time, trainers take when they play a main pokemon series game. Some go as far as to replay the entire story by challenging themselves with a different starter and a new pokemon team. The experience is always new and refreshing because the journey can be experienced in many ways. The games have replay-ability because the journey through these 20 years of Pokemon can be experienced in challenging and most importantly meaningful ways which make the franchise an exciting series to play.

Poll

How will you be challenging yourself in 'Pokemon Sun' and 'Moon' Journey?

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