New trailers for Nintendo 3DS titles Pokémon Sun and Moon have been released, offering a first look at gameplay, the game's setting, five new Pokémon and confirming a November release for the follow-ups to 2013's X and Y.
A trailer for western audiences was released alongside one for the Japanese market, and we've trawled through both to pick out some interesting tidbits that offer us a little more information about the upcoming handheld adventures.
Welcome to Alola
Sun and Moon takes place in the region of Alola. The name alone implies that the world will be inspired by Hawaii (where Aloha means hello), and this is supported by the clothes of various characters, the coastal look of the environment and some Pacific island iconography. The Japanese trailer (embedded below) outright confirms this, as it starts with a Japanese family moving to Hawaii and tells the story of a young boy making new friends thanks to the game.
The western trailer begins with a character called Kukui saying to the player: "Welcome to paradise, cousin. This is the Alola region!" This is clearly the player character's cousin, and may also be the professor. The character's name could refer to the kukui nut tree – also known as the candlenut tree* – so it would fit with the series' tradition for naming professors after foliage.
When we next see Kukui, he's alongside an older character – potentially the player character's uncle – who could also be the game's professor. He doesn't speak and we don't learn his name, but he certainly fits the mould.
*Very disappointed there isn't a Professor Candlenut.
A wide shot overlooking a large portion of the game world is an even wider shot in the Japanese trailer, revealing a single, quite small island. Certain parts of this island align with other shots in the trailer, so it seems it was entirely set here and that this location houses the first few hours of the game. Presumably, other, bigger islands await the player.
New starters, new moves
We cover the new starters here, so there's no need to go into detail but there is one little nugget of new info we noticed in the accompanying press release, which offered more detail about Rowlet, Litten and Popplio.
Fire-type Litten and water-type Popplio utilise ember and water gun as their starting moves, but grass-type owl Rowlet has a new move called Leafage. Given it's a starter's first ability, it's not going to be all that powerful, but fans will be interested to learn of Sun and Moon's first new move.
Characters that look like humans
Sun and Moon looks like it will introduce properly proportioned character models for the first time since X and Y radically changed the look of the mainline handheld series. In those games, the player character was short with a large head, but here all the characters look human in shape. They still have their animé-style facial designs, making sure these are still as close to the animated series as fans have come to expect.
The trailer doesn't just reveal the three-starter Pokémon, but also the two legendaries that will serve as the two games' cover stars. The Moon cover star (above, top) is a winged beast, whose wing unfurl into a circular shape reminiscent of the moon, while Sun's star is a huge white lion.
In the background of the images is a large structure not seen on the island that serves as your adventure's starting point. The symbols for both games are also seen either side of the Pokémon, but reversed depending on the version. Either they're reversed because that's just one of the numerous differences between versions of the game, or there's some purpose to that.
Perhaps there are two towers, one representing the Moon, the other the Sun? We'll find out for sure when the game launches in November.