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Pokémon Sun and Moon’s leaked new Pokémon, reviewed

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We don’t know their names, but that won’t stop us from judging them

pokemon sun and moon

Here it is: Pokémon Sun and Moon’s full regional Pokédex. That’s according to some players who pored through the games’ first demo last night, when it hit in Japan and elsewhere. Turns out that Game Freak left a chunk of new Pokémon buried in there, and that includes shiny versions and regional variants.

All we have are these sprites, dutifully posted to Twitter, Reddit and elsewhere by various excited Pokémon fans. There are no names or numbers attached to any of these, and in some cases, like with the possible extended Ultra Beast line, we’re not sure if they classify as rare or common Pokémon.

That’s not going to stop us from assessing each and every one, though. We’re warning you now that we’re drifting into Pokémon Sun and Moon spoilers territory. If that doesn’t scare you off, continue on with us as we browse through these Pokémon-filled galleries of wonder and novelty.

New Pokémon

We have no names for these new Pokémon, but we do have sprites. Dataminers suggest that there are 81 Pokémon specifically from the Alola region in the games, but we’ve actually seen many of these previously. We’ll just focus on the Pokémon we’ve never met before, with both regular (left) and shiny versions (right) shown below.

Remember that person you want to grade school with who was kind of cool, but then grew up to be a narcissistic tool that was super into themselves? That’s what Rowlett’s final evolution is. Seriously, Rowlett had an adorable little bowtie that made you want to protect it from all the evils in the world, and its middle evolution rocked the perfect, angsty hairstyle that screamed complex teenage emotions.

This? This is a person who gave up on their dream of saving the world through art to join the corporate world. It definitely prefers the term “bro” over anything else.

Why. Why. Why. We were hoping that the Chinese leak that popped up earlier this summer would prove false, since it showed Litten’s final form as an upright, anthropomorphic feline wrestler. Remember how cute and tiny Litten is? This form just goes to show that gold never stays.

Maybe you’re big into biceps. That’s cool. We’re not hating on fighting-type Pokémon or anything ... we just wish that our adorable baby kitten would stay cute until the bitter end. Is that really so much to ask, Game Freak?

Unlike Rowlett, Popplio suffered from ugly duck syndrome. It didn’t really fit in at grade school and had a really awkward adolescence, but just when you thought you’ve seen it all, Popplio’s final evolution walks through the gym doors at your high school reunion and is the belle of the ball. Seriously, look at this magnificent creature! It’s got style and grace and a flair that screams, “I’m better than you now.”

While some Polygon staff members hated on Popplio from the beginning, for the few that chose it from the start, this is our — I mean their — redemption.

The Pokémon on the left comes right after Pikipek in the Pokédex. We don’t want to assume that the toucan on the right is the third evolution in the latest line of birds, however, since it would be weird even by Pokémon biological standards for a simple woodpecker to become a giant tropical bird.

Like many of the other Pokémon in Moon and Sun, the best part about these creatures are the vibrant colors that adorn their bodies. Unlike some of the other creatures in this game, the spider-looking egg on legs is terrifying and should be banished from all of our memories immediately.

We really dig the colors on the tiny critter on the left. We think the colorful design is a nod to some aquatic inspiration, although we can’t quite place what this pair of Pokémon is meant to resemble. Some sentient sea anemone, perhaps?

These water spiders are not our favorites. We do appreciate Pokémon Sun and Moon’s commitment to the oceanic theme with these designs, though.

Don’t get it twisted, the evolved form of Salandit is a dinosaur. You know what’s cooler than a Raptor-looking Pokémon? Nothing. This is the epitome of cool, Game Freak. Well done.

Remember Wimpod? That little bug that was literally named “Wimp”? Turns out that it was just one of those classic late bloomers. We’re as afraid of this beefy quarterback of a Pokémon as we are jealous of it.

Remember when Game Freak introduced Trubbish in Pokémon Black and White? We all laughed and said there was no way the company could make a worse Pokémon?

Based on the Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired anchor above, we were wrong.

This Pokémon immediately follows Tapu Koko in the ‘dex. That suggests that it’s one of the special Pokémon guardians that protect Alola’s islands. We’re gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that this Pokémon also bears the name “Tapu,” which we have a feeling designates that it’s deified. We’re also gonna call it here and say this is the cutest island guardian by far.

These are the other two, for a total of four. That checks out; there are four islands that make up the Alola region. No clue yet how we acquire these special spirit Pokémon, but we think there’s probably just one of each for the taking.

These two Pokémon look like direct appeals to those galaxy print-loving millennials. We recently played a bit of the full game under Nintendo’s supervision, and the Pokémon on the left made an appearance alongside Lillie, one of Professor Kakui’s young charges. All we know about it is that it says “Pewpy” a lot ... so one would think that’s its name, right? We have no clue, but it seems likely.

These final two rows of Pokémon are very exciting for one reason: these may be some more of the Ultra Beasts being introduced in Sun and Moon. Based on information that we have from The Pokemon Company, we now that there are a couple of Ultra Beasts that play a major threat to the Alola region and who players will encounter on their journeys.

Although this top row isn’t too frightening (the middle Beast looks like a rolled up leaf), the bottom row seems pretty menacing.

In fact, there’s reason to believe that the Ultra Beast to the very right is Beauty. Described by The Pokemon Company as a creature with “narrow, graceful legs [that] allow it to accelerate with such explosive speed that people claim it can dodge lightning,” the black and blue versions of the Beast seem to perfectly match that description.

Let’s not ignore the crab-looking monstrosity to the left. Why does it need pincers, claws, shark teeth and the mouth a size of a whale, we don’t quite know yet. And we’re okay with not finding that out until we absolutely need to know.

Alola region Pokémon

One of the coolest additions to Pokémon Sun and Moon is the inclusion of Alolan versions of classic Pokémon, including Meowth, Cubone and Ninetails. We’ve seen a couple over the last few months, including Alolan versions of Vulpix and Sandslash that are absolutely stunning. Although the noticeable difference with each of the Pokémon is their aesthetic, there’s a reason for each different take on the monsters.

Some of the Alolan versions of the Pokémon inhabit the snowy mountain tops and because they’re covered in snow, take on an icier, pale tone. Others, like the Diglett and Dugtrio below, are native to hotter, sun-kissed Alolan regions, and their appearances reflect the climate they’re situated in.

Today, we got a look at a couple of new Alolan versions of Pokémon, and a special treat in the form of different Pikachus, including an Ash Pikachu.

To the untrained eye, there’s not a big difference between the Diglett on the far left and the version of the Pokémon you may remember from the original series growing up. But if you look at the very top of his head, you’ll notice what appear to be a couple of branches sticking out. It’s subtle, and compared to its red cousin just beside it, not overly shocking.

The Dugtrio at the far right, however, are worth discussing. Or rather, its different hair styles are worth acknowledging if only to call out how ridiculous they are. We’re not sure which decade they’re trying to go for, but they’ve got a ‘60s, Beatles cut on the bottom left, an ‘80s perm to the right and then a ‘70s, “long hair, don’t care” style on the third member. It would be kind of cute if it wasn’t so distractingly annoying.

Unfortunately, it’s even worse in red.

The Alolan versions of Meowth may be my favorite of this particular pack of Pokémon. There’s something very sassy about the way the creature is standing, and the gold emblem that sits atop its head makes it look more regal than ever before.

It’s evolved form, Persian, sits directly beside it. There seems to be an entirely new attitude and look to Persian from its original form, but there are also subtler differences happening that mesh well with the other Alolan Pokémon. The jewel in the middle of its head, for example, is blue instead of red because it’s ice cold. Or something like that.

It’s hard to look at the new forms of Geodude without bringing up the bushy eyebrows sitting on its face. Yes, obviously the fact that one is orange is also worthy of mentioning, but that’s no where near as jarring as the Rock Lee eyebrows that have donned this one eyebrow-less creature.

Not to mention that its evolved form, Graveler, has these eyebrow-looking pieces of hair taped to random parts of his rocky body. He has them sitting atop his eyes, for sure, but they’re also on the side of his face and on his forearms, for some strange reason. We could understand Nintendo wanting to bring back the ‘90s in Pokémon Sun and Moon as a treat for older fans of the franchise, but this ‘70s vibe is inexplicably odd.

Then there’s the final evolution of Geodude and Graveler, Golem. But unlike its predecessors, the hair has exploded all over his body. He know has a full on beard and mustache. It’s not the coolest looking Pokémon, but he definitely looks better than Geodude and Graveler.

Arguably the best leak to come out of the data mining is the different variations of Pikachu that can be found in the game. These aren’t necessarily Alolan versions, but it’s an interesting take on the series’ most iconic creature that we thought best belonged in this group.

There are different hats from a variety of titles that have been released over the years, but the most important one is the cap sitting on the Pikachu at the far left. We now have an official Pikachu in an official Pokémon game wearing legendary Pokémon trainer Ash Ketchum’s official hat. If that doesn’t tickle the fancy of every Pokémon nerd, we don’t know what will.

Shiny version Pokémon

Our feelings about the uncommon shiny versions of Pokémon aren't that different from those on the standard ones, and you can see many of them above. Some shiny Pokémon are certainly cooler than others, but they're so hard to find in-game that we're content to just marvel at them. There's a side-by-side comparison of every single shiny Pokémon with their regularly colored counterparts on Imgur, but glance at a few of our favorites below.

Dartrix’s shiny changes subtly, but that colder color palette might increase our crush on this cool guy. Look at that electric blue flip of hair! Those bright red feet! That even more intimidating smolder! All we can say is, damn Rowlett. You sure do age well.

Of course Alolan Raichu gets a major tan. All that time spent surfing in the sun is gonna have an impact on your fur, but this guy looks like a piece of bread that’s done maybe 12 rounds in the toaster. All we can hope for is that Raichu wears sunscreen.

This form of Zygarde, “Complete,” looks like it came straight out of a mech anime, but we love the white. It’s hard enough to get one of these legendary Pokémon, though, so we’re not expecting to ever actually see the shiny version in our travels.

One of the prettiest Alolan variations gets even prettier — and pastel.

Magearna is one of the new mythical finds, and we dig that familiar-looking color scheme on the left a lot.

We tend to prefer Solgaleo, the legendary cover star of Pokémon Sun, but that blood-red Lunala is undoubtedly rad. It won’t turn us into Pokémon Moon converts or anything, but y’know. It’s nice to know it exists.

800-plus, and more to see

We won’t dare count the total number of Pokémon now in the series, but it’s well past 800. We’re looking forward to the Pokédex doing that work for us when the games are finally out for real on Nov. 18.