Pokémon Sun and Moon introduce a new set of special attacks into the metagame, and they’re as fun to watch as they are to use. Z-Moves are overpowered versions of regular moves, although they’re more of a spectacle than a major game-changer — but that’s perfectly fine, as you’ll see in the video above.
Players will need a compatible Z-Crystal to use with their Z-Ring to perform a (see where this is going?) Z-Move, of which there are several across every Pokémon type. Gathering the majority of these items is easy, as they’re doled out after island challenge trials instead of badges. After attaching one to a Pokémon that has an attack of the same element, a trainer can activate the attack once per battle. That leads into a 30-second cutscene of some wild theatrics unlike any seen in a Pokémon game before.
We’ve broken out some of our favorites from the compilation uploaded by YouTuber New Game+. In case you’re wondering why everything looks so weird and shiny, it’s because the footage above was captured from an early copy of the game, and the graphics were upscaled in a PC emulator.
Frankly, we think the glossy look just amps things up. Judge for yourself as you browse our favorites:
Catastropika is one of Pikachu’s special abilities. You probably remember seeing it in an early trailer, because it’s unforgettable: The trainer is required to throw Pikachu as hard as they can into the air. It’s super worth it, clearly.
Any voltage of Thunderbolt is frightening. Here’s Pikachu commanding a 10,000,000-volt Thunderbolt attack.
We’re partial to Devastating Drake, performed here by new Pokémon Kommo-o. It’s a dragon-type move, obviously.
We see the legendary Pokémon Mew performing Genesis Supernova here. Mew is extremely rare and requires a special event to obtain, so this move will be hard to try it out in Sun and Moon for ourselves. That’s a letdown, since this move owns.
Incineroar, the final form of fire-type starter Litten, looks like a pro wrestler. Turns out it fights like one too, and Malicious Moonsalt amazing.
Primarina, who evolves from Popplio, is a water-type superstar. Her exclusive Z-Move is mesmerizing.
The Tapu line of legendary Pokémon all share a Z-Move only accessible to them. Guardian of Alola is kind of ... odd, like something out of a Japanese monster movie. That makes it endearing all the same.
This is it. This is the best Z-Move. Snorlax rises to its feet, charges ahead and slams into its foe to flatten them, and it’s amazing.
Here’s Decidueye’s fancy Z-Move. The final evolutionary form of Rowlet proves it’s not just some cute owl with Sinister Arrow Raid.
Here’s the tiny legendary Marshadow, one of the most mysterious new Pokémon. Its personal Z-Move is Soul-Stealing 7-Star Strike, which is as impressive as its long-winded name suggests.
It will take some time to see every Pokémon perform a Z-Move, since there are more than 800 of the monsters now. Sun and Moon are well worth wading through, and Z-Moves are a fun addition to their battle system, as we note in our review.