Road to Sun & Moon — Two Hours in Alola: What We’ve Learned

32 days until Sun & Moon release!

Some of our older readers maybe remember our Journey to X & Y and Road to Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire countdowns back in 2013 and 2014. Now, we’re back with Road to Sun & Moon!

Recently, Nintendo invited several people to their San Francisco offices to preview and play the first entries in the 7th Generation of Pokémon – and although Nintendo put an embargo on a lot of what these lucky few got to see and experience, some details about the games have surfaced. For your ease and enjoyment we’ve compiled a list of the biggest new details from multiple people that got the opportunity to play through the first two hours of Pokémon Sun & Moon. The sources of all this info have been linked to the bottom if you’d like to see the articles and videos in full.


  • Several players confirmed that they saw new Pokémon and Alolan Forms, but aren’t allowed to go into detail
  • About “10-15” unique Pokémon (both new and old) were encountered in the two hours by trainer battles and in the wild
  • Original Formes of Alolan Forme Pokémon were not encountered (i.e. Players only encountered Alolan Rattata, not Kanto Rattata)


  • The D-Pad is no longer used for moving in the overworld – movement is no longer gridlocked and only the analog stick is used
  • Default speed for movement in the overworld is now running, not walking
  • The sneaking up on Pokémon mechanic from ORAS has been removed entirely
  • Not as much noticeable framerate slow downs in general as there were in the previous generation (i.e. in battles with animations turned on)
  • 3D has been removed completely from the game other than important cutscenes and the PokéFinder
  • The 3D apparently does slow the frame rate down in cutscenes, but not as bad as it did in Gen VI
  • However the stereoscopic 3D in the PokéFinder slows down the framerate to a very irritating and extremely noticeable degree`


  • Sun & Moon is fairly fast paced and throws you into the adventure right away. Players note how you’re able to catch and battle Pokémon and Trainers well before a formal tutorial
  • In the two hours of gameplay, very few people got to the first trial, much less completed it
  • Reward money is plentiful in the Alola Region
  • You are able to change your hairstyle in the first major city
  • The local Alolan Pokédex is split into four sections – one for each island – similar to the Kalos Pokédex
  • The player has a WiiU in their house – not an NX 🙁
  • Confirmation that you do get medals for completing trials
  • Several trials must be completed before challenging the Kahuna of the island
  • When a Pokémon evolves you see its entire evolutionary family on screen
  • Poké Pelago and Poké Ride were not available in the first two hours of the game
  • Tackle has reportedly been lowered down to 40 basepower (as opposed to Gen VI’s 50 BP)


  • The early events of Sun & Moon take place over several days
  • The protagonist moved to the Alola Region from Kanto and arrived via plane
  • The protagonist’ father is mentioned, however you do not meet him in the first two hours
  • Early in the game  the protagonist falls off a bridge and is saved by Tapu Koko
  • Prof. Kukui previously battled the Indigo Gym Leaders while researching Pokémon moves in Kanto
  • Before choosing your starter Pokémon Lillie gives you a mysterious stone which is revealed to be a Z-Crystal later on
  • However, they did not get to use Z-Moves or Mega Evolution in the first two hours
  • After deafting Hau a second time, Hala gives you the Z-Ring
  • There is a Tauros that blocks the road to prevent you from continuing on to a certain area at one point
  • You meet the first Trial Captain, Ilima, at the Trainers’ School
  • The EXP. Share is given to you at the Trainers’ School and still gives experience to your entire team
  • The Gumshoos trail is the first in the game

Sources: GameXplain, IGN, Gamespot, Nintendo InsiderXGN, VG247Metro UK

Are any of these new details making you rage, or possibly even more exciting for the release of Sun & Moon? With the demo coming out in a mere two days we’re finally all going to be taking our first (albeit limited) steps in the Alola Region. And with that comes the possibility of leaks…stay tuned!