Pokémon Sun and Moon are filled with throwbacks to the original generation of games, as we’ve seen with the various Alola region variants of familiar monsters. A feature at the end of the game, introduced in the games’ latest video, drives the nostalgic angle even harder, giving fans a chance to compete alongside their idols.
The Battle Tree is a special location reserved for Alolan trainers who have finished up all of the Island Challenge Trials, which replace the gyms of old. The strongest Pokémon champions from across the land gather there to do battle, but the goal goes beyond simple victory. Players can recruit fellow trainers to fight with them in future matches once they’ve proven themselves worthy — and considering they’ll be fighting against heroes like Red from the original Pokémon games, that’s a tall order.
Red and Blue (a.k.a. Gary, the original Pokémon rival) have found their way to Alola, as have Pokémon champions like Cynthia of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. There’s also an appearance from Wally, the trainer you helped support throughout Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. After winning against them in a one-on-one match, players will do multi-Pokémon battles in the Battle Tree with these masters as their partners.
This seems to be the end goal instead of the traditional Pokémon League, which is another of Pokémon Sun and Moon’s big departures. The new trailer hints that there’s a fledgling Pokémon League in the works after years of the Alola region doing without one. It could be up to the player to develop and define the island area’s ultimate test of Pokémon mastery ... once they’ve earned the title of Pokémon Master themselves.
We’ll get a chance to prove ourselves to the most capable trainers we’ve ever known on Nov. 18, when the Nintendo 3DS games launch.