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/SKILL | August 18, 2019

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New Pokemon, Tapu Koko, and Other News

New Pokemon news came this July, gracing trainers with the reveal of several new pokemon (which were leaked the day prior on several sites), a couple of interesting screenshots, and English translations or versions for some information that was previously only available in Japanese or via the rough translations of other sites. Without further ado, let’s look at what we have this time!

 

New Pokemon!

The most exciting news is probably the release of several new pokemon. Some of the designs were received a bit better than others, but, ultimately, the in-game personality and use-ability of the new pokemon will probably have the most impact on if fans enjoy them or not. Bruxish (seen location), was probably the most ill viewed of all the new releases, but, in actuality, it may end up being a very good pokemon. The pink, puckered lip fish sports a water/psychic typing and the abilities dazzling and strong jaw. The Pokemon website states, “Bruxish can have the new AbilityDazzling, which no other Pokemon has ever had. The Dazzling Ability prevents opponents

Bruxish's official artwork

Bruxish’s official artwork

from using priority moves that normally strike first.” This could make the new pokemon very helpful against sucker punch using pokemon. We also get information about how this new pokemon interacts with the people of Alola. “[L]ifeguards let Bruxish remain in their area to prevent dangerous Water-type Pokemon from gathering there,” says the information given upon Bruxish’s release. This may seem insignificant, but it tells us a lot about the pokemon and where it will appear. Despite the pokemon’s harsh looking face, it isn’t dangerous enough to people that lifeguards would try to shoo the pokemon from the area. This will probably be the explanation for a lack of pokemon like Sharpedo or Gyarados, which we would expect to see as Alola is rich with oceanic water, in certain areas. Likewise, we will probably see pokemon that are more dangerous to humans in areas where Bruxish isn’t common. This also tells us that the pokemon should be found in public beach areas by either surfing or fishing (most likely with a good or super rod).

Next up is my personal favorite of all the new releases: Cutiefly! With the honey gather and shield dust, the new pokemon isn’t super exciting in terms of abilities and it doesn’t seem as though it will be much in terms of stats either. The bug/fairy typing is compelling and could mean the pokemon will evolve into something definitely worth using. All-in-all, it will be something to keep an eye on, but, honestly, it probably won’t be part of an evolutionary line for a competitive pokemon.

cutiefly

Cutiefly’s official artwork

That said, I think Cutiefly is adorable and I’ll probably be using it, regardless of stats. It is stated to “mostly live in the fields and meadows on the outskirts of cities, but [to] sometimes appear in towns and even inside buildings, drawn in by the emotions of the living beings of the community.” This shows us where to expect Cutiefly – in flower fields similar to where we found Flabébé in Kalos. We will probably see a few interacting with NPCs inside of buildings as well. My favorite part of this pokemon is this part of the information we are given about it: “Cutiefly can detect the auras of living things, including people, Pokemon, and plants. They search out flowers by the color and brightness of their auras and then gather their nectar and pollen. When living creatures are excited, it seems that their auras resemble those of flowers in full bloom. As a result, these Pokemon tend to gather near people or Pokemon feeling particularly happy or sad.” I think this is a great angle to play on Cutiefly because it could be used to explain its habitat and also any appearances it may make in the story overall. Honestly, if Pokemon wanted to make time-based festivals and such that would appear in the game, it would even explain a mobile habitat for the pokemon and could make Cutiefly very rare as you would have to be in the right place at just the right time.

Drampa was also introduced. He has a very interesting typing – both normal and dragon. To be fair, that normal typing really does work with his look; he definitely doesn’t strike the audience as a pure dragon type. However, that may be more of a hindrance than a help.

Drampa's official artwork

Drampa’s official artwork

It could open up some major weaknesses and it really only covers the pokemon from ghost types. Drampa will have berserk or sap sipper. The prior will probably be the preferred ability as it will cause the special attack to go up by one level when the pokemon’s hit points drop below half. It may end up being a pokemon we can only capture at certain times of day as the website states that it, “live[s] alone in the mountains 10,000 feet above sea level. Since [it] can’t obtain the Berries [it] feed[s] on at that range, [it] descend[s] to the base of the mountains at dawn every day.” This sounds suspiciously like the pokemon will only be available at dawn, however, there is always the chance that the player is going to have to scale that mountain, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. It’s also stated that Drampa loves children and appears at playgrounds and such, so, if nothing else, we may see playground equipment in the game styled after the pokemon as a homage to this. It may be that he appears at a playground at dawn once a day so that the player can capture him.

We also have Togedemaru – the Pikachu look-alike for this generation. This new pokemon can have iron barbs or lightning rod and is a steel/electric type.It will likely have stats similar to Pachirisu’s or Emolga’s, but with an emphasis on its defense rather than anything else.

Togedemaru's artwork

Togedemaru’s artwork

It has some very severe weaknesses, so it probably won’t be competitive, but you never really know. Some trainers may come up with a strategy to use it efficiently before it is obliterated by an earthquake attack. It’s doubtful that this new pokemon will even evolve as none of the other Pikachu look-alikes have and it’s unlikely that such a trend will be broken free from. With that knowledge in mind, this pokemon is a bit of a “what you see if what you get” kind of deal (unless we have a super surprising mega here) and it’s probable that only water and flying types should beware of this little spike-ball.

Who remembers when Grubbin was introduced? Remember that statement that made us all say, “that’s probably going to get an electric typing?” The one that said, “[it] loves electricity, which is why it can be found near power plants and substations?” Well, we were all right! We now have Charjabug and Vikavolt – the second and third stages of Grubbin. Just as predicted, these two bugs have the electric typing and Vikavolt even gets levitate! Based off of what we see for this pokemon, it’s likely to be pretty useful. Though most bugs don’t have amazing stats, this one seems well on his way and, if we can grab one early on, it may be a very helpful pokemon during our adventure.

 

Tapu Koko!

Tapu Koko, who has been hinted at during E3, was also revealed as a new pokemon. He is, indeed, the deity-like being who inhabits Melemele Island. tapukokoHis information states that he battles those he takes an interest in and the battle with Hau was also stated to be a ritual used to appease him. It will be interesting to see if there is only one of this pokemon per game, if it is owned by Hala or another trainer (as Hala appears to battle with it at one point, but it also seems to battle on its own at another), and what affects appeasing it will have on the gameplay. Notably, this is another electric hybrid pokemon. It also has a fairy typing, but it seems as though the Alola Region with be rich with lightning because of all the electric type pokemon here. If nothing else, Melemele has a lot of electric types. It could just be an island theme.

 

English Translations

We also get more information on “Nekkoala” and “Iwanko,” known in English translation as Komala and Rockruff. Komala’s ability is translated to English as “comatose.” Some of its information states, “No one has ever seen a Komala awake. It eats, travels, and even battles while sound asleep! Its saliva can be used as medicine for the sick or sleepless, according to ancient people. They say if you take a small amount of the saliva remaining after it eats leaves, water the saliva down, and drink it, you’ll be able to sleep well.” Rockruff, our little rock puppy pokemon, has information that states, “[it] is a sociable Pokemon, but as it grows, its disposition gets wilder. If it begins to howl when the sun goes down, that is proof that it’s close to evolving. It’s said that it leaves its Trainer’s side to evolve and returns again when fully evolved.” This may give us insight to how Rockruff evolves. If this information is mirrored in gameplay, we will probably have to do whatever it is that we do to evolve it at night. It sounds as though it may be a bond based evolution which would mean that it could evolve in the exact same way that Eevee evolves into Umbreon.

 

Screenshots

We also get a look at some screenshots. Firstly, we see a forest in one. It doesn’t seem like much, but, honestly, this shows players just how unbelievable gorgeous this game is going to be. Never has a forest in the Pokemon franchise looked this amazing. Though, there seems to be a considerable lack of grass to encounter pokemon in,

The beautiful forest screenshot that players were treated to

The beautiful forest screenshot that players were treated to

so perhaps the forests now operate in the same manner as caves – having pokemon appear randomly as you travel through it with no grass required. The other screenshot reveals that riding pokemon will again be in the game. This time we see a Stoutland as the transport pokemon . It also appears as though it has a collar on and as though the trainer is wearing a helmet. Though many players are hoping that riding pokemon won’t be limited to just a certain area and to only certain pokemon , it’s probable that it will be. From the looks of the helmet and the collar, that Stoutland isn’t one of the player’s pokemon.

This month’s update answered quite a few questions we had, but also raised quite a few more. The new pokemon revealed told us a bit about the region and the way that the Alola citizens will behave while also answering who and what Tapu Koko was and is, but the screenshots seems the most tantalizing as it promised better graphics, interesting areas, and the return of features that players found interesting from the previous generations.

New Pokemon

Riding Stoutland in Sun and Moon

All-in-all, this shows not only the amazing progress that the company and the franchise has made over the years, but this also shows that the Pokemon Company is listening to its fanbase. We saw the return of character customization, which everyone really wanted, and now we see much more interaction with the pokemon in our environments. Hopefully the trend of monthly information continues and we will have more to discuss and speculate on in August. Until then, trainers, prepare your offerings to Tapu Koko and ready your pokéballs – an adventure awaits us in only a few short months!

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