The latest Pokémon Sun and Moon trailer is called “Explore the Alola Region”, but truth be told most of the focus was on the legendary Pokémon and non-playable characters. Nevertheless, we still get a nice zoomed-out view of its many different islands.

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To help figure out what we’ll be seeing on our adventure through this new region, we’ve decided to tackle these islands one-by-one to identify the minor details and speculate.


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The top left island is the one we saw in the last gameplay trailer, and as a result we already know that it’s the player’s new home. Fittingly it’s the simplest of the islands, with a dormant volcano, grasslands, and a road that winds up to the platform where players pick their starter Pokemon.

More noteworthy is the small man-made structure off the shore, which looks like a scientific research station. It’s possible that this is the artificial island referenced on the official Sun and Moon website, but its purpose is anyone’s guess.


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The next island we’ll look at takes up the north eastern corner of the map, and unlike the previous island it features a very active volcano, with plumes of smoke rising from numerous points. As a result of this magma flow we also have a series of layered hot spring pools on the left, likely formed out of travertine.

Other points of interest are a fancy-looking garden in the middle of a small town, a connected island with a lighthouse and forest, and what looks like a bizarre golf course situated on the volcano’s side.


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The third island seems to have the least going on, at least on the surface. Most of it is taken up by a craggy desert environment, which is no doubt filled with ground-types, but we can also see a very large tree hidden behind it all, meaning it isn’t entirely without vegetation.

The island also looks to be dotted with ruins, with the most impressive-looking being the altar leading up to the sharpest rock. Meanwhile, the eastern side of the island is covered in volcanic rock, presumably basalt, and seems to feature a geyser.

It looks like players will only be able to explore one one populated area here too; the small wharf near the south side. There’s also a small, unremarkable island off the shore.


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Finally we have the biggest island, which has a lot of cool little details. Structures to the north side have a distinct Japanese flavor to them, from the small organized village surrounded by fortress walls to the traditional Japanese tower and garden on the right. The south side of the island features a rather barren-looking area, with dead grass and a large house/mansion. Needless to say, it won’t be a surprise to find ghost Pokémon lingering here.

Then of course there’s the most noticeable area – the mountain summit, covered in ice. Seeing as Alola is based on tropical Hawaiian islands it was probably hard for Game Freak to figure out where to put ice Pokémon, but they may have made it work. Looking at the trail leading up to the icy tip it’s hard not to be reminded of Victory Road, especially when there seems to be a Pokémon Center at the entrance, but that’s purely speculation at this point.


So that’s the basics of the four main islands covered! There are plenty of questions still unanswered though – Where are the gyms? Will routes be making a return, or is exploration more free-form? Can players surf the seas freely, Wind Waker-style, or will they have to rely on ferry transportation?

Perhaps the biggest question is found in the gameplay footage itself, with Professor Kukui’s map having some suspicious areas covered by thick clouds:

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We’ll just have to wait and see if this means anything or if it’s just to make the map look more expansive.

Either way, Alola is shaping up to be a very interesting region! Be sure to let us know if you’ve spotted anything yourself, and stay tuned for more Pokémon coverage as it comes in.


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Written by Tom Brown

Whether it’s an exciting new entry in a series long established or a weird experiment meant only for the dedicated, Tom is eager to report on it. Rest assured, if Nintendo ever announces Elite Beat Agents 2, he’ll be there.

Tom Brown