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Pokémon Sun and Moon are changing one of the series’ most frustrating mechanics

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Send those machines back into hiding

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Datamining of the Pokémon Sun and Moon demo continues, and the latest video from YouTuber Kaphotics presents some exciting and spoiler-filled findings for longtime players. Among various move and item data is this highlight (and, again, potential spoiler): Hidden Machines, or HMs, have been removed.

HMs have long been the bane of trainers’ existence, due to their highly specific, irreversible nature. These moves, like Cut, Strength and Surf, are often required to travel across the world and complete puzzles. Yet to teach a Pokémon an HM is to commit them to it for a long, long time; unlike the more common Technical Machines (TMs), the only way to get rid of one of these special attacks is by visiting the Move Deleter.

Anyone who’s ever carried around an unexciting Pokémon just because it knows the cave-brightening (and otherwise useless) Flash will be pleased with this change. The data retrieved by Kaphotics and fellow miners doesn’t indicate what’s replacing HMs, however. Certain attacks have become either obtainable through TMs or naturally occurring, like Fly and Rock Smash. But as for Surf and Cut, their fates remain uncertain.

Playing the new demo in which all of this information is buried suggests a potential replacement for these moves. Trainers can now ride certain Pokémon around the overworld, registering them into a special device that allows them to be called up at will. The demo lets us roam around on the back of a Tauros who comes with the special ability Tauros Charge, which approximates Rock Smash or Strength. Instead of wasting both a slot in our Pokémon party and in the Pokémon itself’s moveset, we can simply conjure a Tauros to bust through boulders instead.

We’re pumped for Pokémon Sun and Moon’s Nov. 18 launch, and the secret-filled demo has helped whet our appetites. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for big changes the new Nintendo 3DS games are bringing to the 20-year-old franchise.