• Welcome back to Pokécharms! We've recently launched a new site and upgraded forums, so there may be a few teething issues as everything settles in. Please see our Relaunch FAQs for more information.

Alola Forms, Z-Moves, Island Challenge, And More Revealed!

Teapot

Virtual Duck Enthusiast
Staff member
Administrator

Pokémon.com has, once again, updated with a giant stack of news on Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon – and have finally revealed the major new battle mechanics we can enjoy in November. We've also learned about Island Challenges in Alola, and seen a sneak peek of a new Poké Ride feature!

As there's so much to talk about, we're going to split it into separate headings – click through to start reading all about it![prebreak][/prebreak]

Alolan Forms

Many of the Pokémon in the Alola region are also seen in other regions – but in Alola, some of them have adapted to suit the different environment. This means that some of the classic Pokémon are very different to those found elsewhere – not just in appearance, but typing too...

Alolan Sandshrew
A-Sandshrew_RGB_300dpi.png
[type]Ice[/type]/[type]Steel[/type]
Sandshrew have historically lived in desert areas, but the frequent eruptions of nearby volcanoes drove the them to abandon the desert and migrate to snowy mountains where they took on this form.

Alolan Sandslash
A-Sandslash_RGB_300dpi.png
[type]Ice[/type]/[type]Steel[/type]
The Alolan Sandshrew of the snowy mountains evolve into Alolan Sandslash with spiny backs that are covered in ice. Alolan Sandslash hide themselves in the snow when strong enemies appear, leaving only their needles exposed and ready for business.

Alolan Exeggutor
A-Exeggutor_RGB_300dpi.png

[type]Grass[/type]/[type]Dragon[/type]
Unlike other Exeggutor, the Alolan Exeggutor has a fourth head—on its tail! This fourth head controls the tail independently and can take on opponents to the rear that can’t be reached by the main heads’ attacks.

Alolan Vulpix
A-Vulpix_RGB_300dpi.png

[type]Ice[/type]
It is said that Vulpix came to the Alola region together with humans, but the Fox Pokémon moved to the snowy mountain peaks to avoid the normal habitats of other Pokémon, and thus it ended up taking on this form.

Alolan Ninetales
A-Ninetales_RGB_300dpi.png

[type]Ice[/type]/[type]Fairy[/type]
Alolan Ninetales is able to produce ice crystals from the fur that covers its body. It can use these ice crystals to block attacks, or it can form balls of ice, which it fires like bullets at opponents. These ice missiles have enough power to pulverize rock.

Z-Moves and the Z-Ring

Z-Moves are a new mechanic in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon that allows you to unleash a single, super-powerful move once a battle. It's said that this explosive force is the result of a Trainer and Pokémon releasing their full power together when their wishes resonate with each other. All Pokémon can use Z-Moves, but two elements are needed – and this will sound familiar to anyone who has used a Mega Evolution...

The first element is a Z-Ring, which is worn on a Trainer's wrist. The second element is the Z-Crystal, which is set into the Z-Ring, and any Pokémon who holds the same variety of Z-Crystal can resonate wth their Trainer, and unleash Z-Moves. There are many different types of Z-Moves, and which is unleashed depends on the Z-Crystals used.

Zmove_Illustration(1606010)_RGB_330dpi.png
Tomy are also producing a Z-Ring toy, which is coming to toy shops later this year. The Z-Ring toy will connect to the game, and will light up, make sounds, and vibrate along with the action.

The Alola Island Challenge

As we know, the Alola region is made up of four natural islands and one man-made one. It is a tropical, tourist-filled place with a diverse ecology, both of Pokémon native to Alola and of Pokémon that have recently arrived from other regions. Pokémon and humans share a very close relationship in Alola, and the culture there is different from other Pokémon regions.

One unique aspect of Alolan culture is the island challenge, which sees young trial-goers travel through all four natural islands, which helps them grow into powerful and wise Pokémon trainers. To complete the challenge, trial-goers must overcome various challenges on each of the four islands. These trials aren't limited to Pokémon battles – for example, they also involve finding items, or completing tests of knowledge as well as other trials. The player character is destined to attempt these challenges.

At the end of each trial stands a mighty Pokémon known as a "Totem Pokémon," which is much larger than other Pokémon of its species and enveloped in a special aura – for example, the video in this article shoes a giant Gumshoos with a yellow aura. The Totem Pokémon can also summon other Pokémon as allies, which makes them much more powerful.

Once a trial-goer has finished all the trials on an island, their final test is the Grand Trial – a Pokémon battle against the leader of that island known as the island kahuna. The kahuna is chosen by the Guardian Deity Pokémon on each island, and their power is renowned throughout Alola.

Hala_RGB_300dpi.png

The kahuna of Melemele island, the island that the player character has just moved to, is Hala. As well as giving you your starter Pokémon, Hala is Hau's grandfather, and a formidable Pokémon trainer.
Each trial has a captain, whose role is to guide players through the challenges. They're all Trainers who undertook the trials of their own island challenge many years ago. Some of the captains are:

Lana
Lana_RGB_300dpi.png

Captain Lana is an expert with Water-type Pokémon. She is dedicated to her family and is a reliable older sister who watches over her younger sisters.​

Mallow
Mallow_RGB_300dpi.png

Captain Mallow is an expert with Grass-type Pokémon. She loves cooking, but it seems that sometimes her taste is a bit particular.

Sophocles
Sophocles_RGB_300dpi.png

Specializing in Electric-type Pokémon, Captain Sophocles is good with mechanics and has invented various machines.

Kiawe
Kiawe_RGB_300dpi.png

Captain Kiawe’s expertise is in Fire-type Pokémon, and together with his Marowak, he studies the traditional dances that have been passed down in the Alola region.

Poké Ride

ride_RGB_300dpi.jpg

In the Alola region, the bond between Pokémon and humans allows for some interesting mechanics unseen in other regions. One of these is the ability to travel on Ride Pokémon, who do not join the Trainer's team, but can be called on at any time to help them travel through places inaccessible through air, sea, and rocky areas. Some of the Pokémon who we've seen helping players with Poké Ride are Charizard, Sharpedo, and Mudsdale.

To speculate for a moment, this mechanic is possibly a sign that hidden machines won't be making an appearance in this game – a change that seems more likely given how little they were used in the Unova and Kalos games. Such a change would also appease the fanbase, who have spent much of the last 20 years clamouring for their removal...

New Pokémon

More new Pokémon have also been revealed, including some evolutions of Alolan Pokémon revealed previously...

Oricorio
Ability:
Dancer
Oricorio changes its form by sipping the nectar of certain flowers. It has four forms – seemingly one per Alolan island. All four Oricorio forms learn Revelation Dance, a move that changes type based on Oricorio's primary type. Its Dancer ability, which is new to Sun and Moon, causes it to copy any other dancing move used by a Pokémon on the field. This means that if another Pokémon uses Quiver Dance, for example, Oricorio will also use Quiver Dance and gain its effects.

Oricorio_BaileStyle_RGB_300dpi.png
Baile Style Oricorio
[type]Fire[/type]/[type]Flying[/type]

Oricorio_Pom-PomStyle_RGB_300dpi.png
Pom-Pom Style Oricorio
[type]Electric[/type]/[type]Flying[/type]

Oricorio_PauStyle_RGB_300dpi.png
Pa'u Style Oricorio
[type]Psychic[/type]/[type]Flying[/type]

Oricorio_SensuStyle_RGB_300dpi.png
Sensu Style Oricorio
[type]Ghost[/type]/[type]Flying[/type]

Minior
Minior_1_RGB_300dpi.png Minior_2_RGB_300dpi.png

[type]Rock[/type]/[type]Flying[/type]
Ability: Shields Down
Minior are formed in the stratosphere and live by absorbing the detritus around them. When they’ve consumed a large quantity of particles, their bodies become heavy, and they fall toward the planet’s surface. Minior has a hard and heavy outer shell with a core within. Its new ability, Shields Down, renders it immune to status conditions and allows it to have excellent defences. However, once it drops below 50% health, its shell breaks, and it will lose those advantages in favour of switching to a form better suited to attacking.

Gumshoos
Gumshoos_RGB_300dpi.png

[type]Normal[/type]
Ability: Stakeout / Strong Jaw
Gumshoos is the evolved form of Yungoos, and has the opposite personality to it – instead of prowling around, it will stake out and wait patiently for a single prey, withstanding a great deal of hunger. However, it runs low on stamina once night falls, and it falls asleep right on the spot.

Formantis
Fomantis_RGB_300dpi.png

[type]Grass[/type]
Ability: Leaf Guard
Fomantis is nocturnal, and it performs photosynthesis while it sleeps during the day by spreading out its leaves in all directions. Because of the danger of staying in the same location two days in a row, Fomantis begins its search for the next day’s spot as soon as the sun sets.

Lurantis
Lurantis_RGB_300dpi.png

[type]Grass[/type]
Ability: Leaf Guard
Lurantis draws opponents near to itself with its flowerlike appearance and aroma—and then it takes them down. Lurantis can learn Solar Blade, a move that releases a blade-shaped beam to mince up its foes. It works like Solar Beam, absorbing energy from the sun on the first turn and then unleashing a powerful attack on the second. Lurantis is the Totem Pokémon of Lush Jungle, the site of an Akala Island trial.

Mudbray
Mudbray_RGB_300dpi.png
[type]Ground[/type]
Ability: Own Tempo / Stamina
Mudbray is the pre-evolved form of Mudsdale. It could once be found all over the world, but it was overhunted and ended up on the verge of extinction. It’s said that the Alola region is the only place in the world where Mudbray can still be found in the wild. Mudbray loves playing in the mud. It’s easy to live in harmony with this Pokémon, as long as you provide an environment where it can play in the mud. If it can’t frolic in the mire, however, Mudbray will become stressed and may stop listening to orders.​
 

Attachments

  • PR_Alola__RGB_300dpi.png
    PR_Alola__RGB_300dpi.png
    1.2 MB · Views: 71
Last edited:
It's so awesome, the new forms of Kanto Pokemon, just everything!

I'm kind of sad gyms won't be in this game, but this new "Try to be the strongest trainer on each Island" sounds interesting. I love the new Pokemon too, even though I was hoping for starter evolutions. The new Z-Moves are really cool looking, and there is one for every type.

All of this news is awesome! :up::up::love:
 
Let me make a serious post now. We've been calling for Game Freak to change it up for a while now and it looks like it's finally happening. No gym challenge? Z-Moves? Pokemon with new forms? We've seen fan-made things like this and we've seen similar stuff done in the anime (like the Crystal Onix and the Island of the Pink Pokemon), but now we're seeing it in the games. I'm showing my age here, but I'm also seriously getting Orange Islands vibes from that trailer. In that series, there was a throw away line about how some Pokemon look different because of the tropical climate and an unorthodox trainer challenge. And look what we're seeing now.
Valencia_Vileplume.png

I feel like this is a meta joke on the old school fanbase--they're finally putting "Orange Islands" in the game lol
 
Last edited:
I'm very curious about the different changes here! I'm shocked that they're actually putting Delta pokemon into the main series games, but it's very cool and I can't wait to see where it goes.

The lack of Gyms is really interesting although I do note that there are 4 islands with 4 challenge masters and 4 kahunas, so that's still 8 gym leaders, as it were.

Loving the hawaiian wildlife, very impressed so far, although I'm annoyed that the orchid mantis isn't bug/fairy. I've been waiting 10,000 years gamefreak...

The poses and the Z-move names are killing me, though. Leaked footage of the steel-type Z-move:
tumblr_nq7hd2duOq1rirdwco3_500.gif
 
So I've rewritten this post about three times now because my opinion on the retypes keeps changing. Originally I wasn't too cool with the idea, which was probably just a knee jerk reaction to such drastic changes to some old favourites of mine, but now that I think about it it makes total sense. I mean, we have Pokemon that have literally adapted over time to new environments, which is awesome. My only fear with this is that they'll use these retypes as an excuse to not make as many completely new Pokemon, in a similar way to how they used Mega's in Kalos. Still, it makes heaps of sense, and the forms are pretty cool (Well, Exeggutor aside, that thing is terrifying).

Anyway, the new Pokemon look pretty awesome, I especially like Formantis and Lurantis design wise. Shield's Down seems pretty similar to Zen Mode, which makes me question how much competitive use Minior will have, but I guess we'll see with time. I also think the idea of having the Island challenge rather than Gyms is pretty sweet, I'm really curious as to how those will work. The Z-Moves and how they work feel like a replacement for Mega Evolutions in this game maybe? There's heaps of similarities, so I'm kind of thinking that maybe we won't have Mega's at all, which will be interesting for the metagame. Actually a lot of these mechanics will be interesting for battling in general, so it should be cool to see how that ends up working.
 

Shiny Motley

2016 Singles Football
ice fairy ice fairy ICE FAIRY AND LOOKIT MY LITTLE ICE STEEL SANDSLASH I'M SO EXCITED~

Also Lana is a cutie and I'm in love with her ahhhHH~

Watching the Z-Moves demonstration.... well, I only had one thought, and that was "there's no kill like overkill".
 
Last edited:

StellarWind Elsydeon

Armblades Ascendant
Staff member
Administrator
Good grief. Delta Species. I wonder if Ice-Vulpix evolves into Ice-Ninetales in some different manner because it'd be rather ludicrous for an Ice-type to evolve with a Fire Stone, wouldn't it? I guess it's easier to edit existing species than to invest in designing new ones, eh, Gamefreak. >>

Keleri pretty much said everything I have to say on the Orchid Mantis being randomly Grass-type and the absolutely ridiculous Z-moves. I have every intention of training a Gloom, naming it Recoome, and having Recoome the Gloom use Bloom Doom and YOU WILL BE HURTIN' ALL TOO SOON.

That said, all the Riding Pokemon around and the Gym Challenge replaced with an 'Island Challenge' (plus regional variants) screams Orange Islands which makes it rather amusing that the 20th-anniversary generation was modeled after an anime filler arc. Gives the whole thing the feel of a spinoff moreso than a real main-series game to me, which... well, I am still not too sure what to think about it.

But hey, the fact they've acknowledged hawaiian honeycreepers and the insular varieties of which is awesome.
 
Let me make a serious post now. We've been calling for Game Freak to change it up for a while now and it looks like it's finally happening. No gym challenge? Z-Moves? Pokemon with new forms? We've seen fan-made things like this and we've seen similar stuff done in the anime (like the Crystal Onix and the Island of the Pink Pokemon), but now we're seeing it in the games. I'm showing my age here, but I'm also seriously getting Orange Islands vibes from that trailer. In that series, there was a throw away line about how some Pokemon look different because of the tropical climate and an unorthodox trainer challenge. And look what we're seeing now.
Valencia_Vileplume.png

I feel like this is a meta joke on the old school fanbase--they're finally putting "Orange Islands" in the game lol

Same here! I'm loving this! :D
 
Pokémon changing its formula? Is this heaven? I mean don't get me wrong, the whole battling 8 gyms was cool, but I always wished Pokémon games would do something different. Looks like that wish came true. Also, my love for Ninetales and Sandslash just grew based off those designs alone. I can already tell these games are going to be amazing!!!!
Can I also bring up how Alola Exeggutor is part Dragon and Charizard isn't XD
 
Last edited:
In all honesty, I was actually once afraid of how the new games would be, as I always am for new games that have such giant fanbases (and are just amazing in general). But, when the news hit me, I'm now up in the hype for Sun and Moon! I love the designs (though a few are a bit weird, but, hey, all are amazingly weird in their own way!), especially the Alolan Ninetales! And don't get me started on the Z-Moves and Z-Ring! (Litten's Z-Move reminds me of some sort of nuclear explosion, but it is of fire instead).
I'm very glad and hyped up for Sun and Moon and it's different features that separates it from the other Pokemon Games (Especially where you only have island challenges, and get to actually fly on Charizard). Amazing so far, and I have a definite feeling it'll stay that way! ^^
 
Alolan Sandshrew, my Rowlet, Komala and Grubbin welcome you with open...
paws, wings and...
legs?
Anyhow, the Z-Moves are really neat looking and I'm very interested to see how they fit it in with the story, and if your rival, Hau, will be able to access this himself.
Speaking of Hau, I DO think my theory about is Pichu could be correct, and this Mudbray little donkey might be fit for fighting Litten...
And again, Hau is the grandson of Hala... Maybe it'll be similar to Blue and Samuel Oak's relationship, just chiller.
AlolanForm Pokemon look amazing, especially Sandshrew. He's officially on my team. And I've been wanting a Grass/Dragon since Gen 3, and I think Exeggutor is, surprisingly, the best candidate.
Now, let's go over to all these brand, new spanking Pokemon.
Orocorio is REALLY cool and cute looking, not sure if I'm gonna use one, but it MIGHT evolve, so...
Mudbray? You're an amazing, adorable little donkey with, sadly, a horrible haircut...
I love you.
But I don't think I'll use you...
Hau, can you?
Fomantis, Lunantis...
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww....
Were my thoughts on Fomantis.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!
Were my thoughts on Lunantis.
They are STUNNING.
And finally, we have Gumshoos, which I think is obviously a pun on Gumshoe, which is a detective. That PERFECTLY describes this Donald Trump mongoose.
And finally, Minior. Well, you are adorable and a very funny looking little rock guy, and I'm hoping you evolve so I can use you.
Alright, there's just one last thing...
The island challenge.
Well, all of the trial leaders look very awesome and look like they might serve as your mentors...
Though the little tasks you have to perform for them might be a bit annoying. Though, they do have specialties, so you might end up battling them at some point...
And finally, we have the Kahunas.
Well, we only have one, and that is Hala.
Who is awesome. Also, I have a theory that after beating the final Kahuna, you must go to the artificial island to challenge the league, which is built up of previous trainers who have defeated the challenge, and have organised their own league, with the strongest of them being the champion.
To be honest, I'm perfectly fine if we don't get many new Pokemon, because we'll probably still get a crap ton of Alolan forms, which are, in my opinion, just as good...
Now, all we need is the evil team...
?
 

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
I have been trying very hard these last six months to reserve judgement on S&M until I've actually played them, I really have. I keep telling myself not to let the hype get to me, go in with an open mind. But I can't with this update. Hoenn's 13 year reign as my favorite region is over. ORAS has fallen to second place. The Alola region of Sun and Moon has become my new favorite! ♥

I mean this is incredible. As soon as I saw Exeggutor's new forme I couldn't stop laughing. Ice Vulpix is just the cutest damn thing ever and Ninetales! Ice Sandshrew and Sandslash are... where have you been!? I just realized that Sandslash is now Super-effective on Exeggutor now. Everything I've known for the last two decades is being shaken up! I love it! I want to see more Alolan formes! I want to know who else is thriving in Alola! It's a pity that I won't have a Mega Infernape to look forward to but I can imagine the wanton destruction Axel can inflict with Inferno Overdrive! >:D I am going to love wreaking havoc with these Z-Moves, or as I like to call them, Dragon Ball Z-Moves. I'd like to say good bye Gym Leaders, hello Kahunas and Island Challenges! I embrace you with open arms! Also, did anyone else notice the Game Boy and Link Cable on Sophocles's shirt? Way to pay homage to us old school fans GF.

I totally called Mudsdale having a pre-evolution. Mudbray is pretty much exactly what I was expecting. I was kind of hoping Yungoos was going to evolve into Oldgoos but I'll take Gumshoos. I died when I saw Lunantis using Solar Blade. It is so over the top, it's glorious! Part of me wonders if Minior and Oricorio are going to be Version Exclusives since they both have a different form for each Island. Unless of course Minior's different colors are arbitrary like East/West Shellos and hold no baring on anything but Aesthetics.
 
I have been trying very hard these last six months to reserve judgement on S&M until I've actually played them, I really have. I keep telling myself not to let the hype get to me, go in with an open mind. But I can't with this update. Hoenn's 13 year reign as my favorite region is over. ORAS has fallen to second place. The Alola region of Sun and Moon has become my new favorite! ♥

I mean this is incredible. As soon as I saw Exeggutor's new forme I couldn't stop laughing. Ice Vulpix is just the cutest damn thing ever and Ninetales! Ice Sandshrew and Sandslash are... where have you been!? I just realized that Sandslash is now Super-effective on Exeggutor now. Everything I've known for the last two decades is being shaken up! I love it! I want to see more Alolan formes! I want to know who else is thriving in Alola! It's a pity that I won't have a Mega Infernape to look forward to but I can imagine the wanton destruction Axel can inflict with Inferno Overdrive! >:D I am going to love wreaking havoc with these Z-Moves, or as I like to call them, Dragon Ball Z-Moves. I'd like to say good bye Gym Leaders, hello Kahunas and Island Challenges! I embrace you with open arms! Also, did anyone else notice the Game Boy and Link Cable on Sophocles's shirt? Way to pay homage to us old school fans GF.

I totally called Mudsdale having a pre-evolution. Mudbray is pretty much exactly what I was expecting. I was kind of hoping Yungoos was going to evolve into Oldgoos but I'll take Gumshoos. I died when I saw Lunantis using Solar Blade. It is so over the top, it's glorious! Part of me wonders if Minior and Oricorio are going to be Version Exclusives since they both have a different form for each Island. Unless of course Minior's different colors are arbitrary like East/West Shellos and hold no baring on anything but Aesthetics.
AWESOME.
Also, I called Mudsdale having a pre evo too...
Twinsies.
 
Top