The surprises promised by Pokémon Sun and Moon’s new trailer may have been spoiled yesterday by some extensive leaks, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are several new characters to meet, both Pokémon and human. Below, we’ll introduce to you to the latest additions to the Pokédex, as well as the heads of Team Skull, the jerks who are trying to ruin everyone else’s fun in the upcoming Nintendo 3DS games.
The misfits of Team Skull
Team Skull revels in its malevolence, according to the group’s official descriptions; they’re bad for the sake of being bad. Their day-to-day includes, among other things, committing grand theft and destroying sites, all in the name of having fun at others’ expense.
Even so, there’s something endearing about head honcho Guzma and his second-in-command, Plumeria. The website and latest trailer suggest that "your boy, Guzma" has a history with Professor Kukui and the island captains of the Alola region. He even refers to the group as a bunch of rejects on several occasions. Does that mean that Guzma is a failed island captain, hellbent on getting revenge on those who have succeeded? It remains to be seen.
Plumeria is Team Skull’s "older sister," both a maternal figure and an imposing force. She’s in charge of hiring and firing and looks after the low-level Grunts. She also, it must be said, has some pretty rad hairstyling going on.
Seven more Pokémon join the battle
The most exciting announcement, as always, is seven more Pokémon coming to the game. Most of these were leaked in advance of today’s new trailer, but we now know more about them after seeing them in action. Plus, there are three more classic Pokémon that get the Alola region treatment, each with a unique background explaining their transformations.
Morelull is a very, very tiny grass/fairy-type. The "illuminating Pokémon" is just 8 inches tall, but the nocturnal creature leaves a large impression thanks to its glowing spores. Those appear whenever it feels as though it’s in danger; its Effect Spore ability helps to protect it.
This Pokémon is the cutest sea cucumber ever. Maybe visitors to the Alola region who have never seen one before find Pyukumuku repulsive, but the water-type sounds like a loyal, proud creature. Tourists have a tendency to throw it away — it’s even an activity advertised at beaches — but like a boomerang, the Pokémon always comes back.
Chucking a Pyukumuku sounds kind of gross, considering that its organs are inside-out and it’s covered in a gooey liquid that keeps it moist. (Its ability is even called Innards Out, celebrating its unique body.) Slimy as it sounds, the little guy is adorable — maybe because of how grotesque and put upon it is.
Wishiwashi (solo form)
Wishiwashi starts life as a "small fry Pokémon," an itty-bitty fish who needs others to help it out. It seems odd, then, that Alola locals are terrified of the Pokémon. Yet just one look at its leveled-up form below should explain why.
Wishiwashi (school form)
When Wishiwashi reaches a certain level, its Schooling ability allows it to transform into this terrifying sea monster. The school form of the Pokémon spans 26 feet and weighs 173 pounds; that’s because it’s actually a bunch of tinier Wishiwashi that have come together to save a friend in need. They may look scary, but they sure sound like loyal companions.
The reason behind Marowak’s new fire/ghost-type form is also one of fear. Traditional ground-type Marowak tend to avoid grass-type Pokémon, which litter the Alola region. It’s said that pairs of Marowak warded off these grass-types together, hiding out and growing stronger in seclusion. That directly led to the Alolan Marowak developing the typing needed to take on grass Pokémon. In this region, Marowak has the ability to light its bone on fire to drive away foes.
Meowth has always been kind of snooty, albeit not to the degree of its evolution, Persian. In the Alola region, however, Meowth becomes even more prissy and self-important. It’s said that the Pokémon migrated to the area as the companions of royalty, living the sweet life. This is some intriguing social commentary from the developer of the Pokémon games, in that Meowth’s rich and famous upbringing is the direct cause of its dark-type variation.
This is the best new Pokémon of the pack. It's a Raichu, the underrated evolution of the series’ mascot, Pikachu, and it's a surfer, something its pre-evolution has shown an interest in before. Yes, the electric/psychic-type "mouse Pokémon" is a professional beach bum, using its tail as a board and asking everyone around it to go with the flow. This Raichu comes with the Surge Surfer ability that ups its speed on electric-type terrain, but research as to how it learned that move and developed the new form proves inconclusive. The Alolan natives’ educated guess is that Raichu "ate too many sweet and fluffy round pancakes," which, hey, sound good to us.