SOME CERTAINTY AND A FAIR BIT OF SPECULATION
So, another trailer hit the net and we have some new Pokémon to talk about. However, that’s not the only thing we’ll be doing. We’ve not really talked about fan theories or anything of the sort yet, as those are generally disproven, but a few were either detailed enough to be interesting or still haven’t been entirely debunked.
As such, we’ll look at the new Pokémon first and then talk about some theories and rumours.
Let’s start off with the one that got himself a solo trailer, the Fire/Dragon-type Turtonator. It’s got a fairly fun design and it’s the first of its typing to be found in the wild, but what really makes it important is its signature move Shell Trap.
Shell Trap appears to function much like Protect, but with a major difference. When it blocks the damage from an attack, it triggers an explosion that damages the opponent. The typing of this move is, at time of writing, unclear.
This move could make Turtonator supremely annoying to fight, but we’ll have to wait and see if its stats make it more than a one trick pony(ta). It has the Shell armour ability.
Next up are the Ghost/Ground-types revealed in the last CoroCoro leak, which we’ve talked about in a previous post, but they now have English names and absolutely terrifying Pokedex entries. Seems Gamefreak is sticking with the tradition of making some Pokémon just absolute horrors from the deep.
Anyway, the little guy is Sandyghast, which will later evolve into Palossand. Both have the Water Compaction ability, which raises their defence whenever they are hit with a Water-type move. Not a bad ability, but most Water-type moves are special rather than physical, so not great either.
Bewear’s pre-evolution was also revealed in CoroCoro, but like the haunted sandcastles it now has an English name. Meet Stufful, a Normal/Fighting-type. It has either Klutz or the new Fluffy ability, like its evolution, and looks a lot cuter than the disaster that is Bewear. We do have to question why it appears to have a tag coming out of its ass, though.
The last newcomer is Crabrawler, which is surprisingly not a Water-type, but a Fighting-type. It has either the ability Hyper Cutter or Iron Fist and, with its boxing glove-like pincers and permanently black eye, it looks pretty goofy.
We suspect Crabrawler to evolve and become a Water/Fighting-type. Hopefully one that looks a little less like it got the shit kicked out of it before the battle even started.
With that out of the way, let’s talk theories. Since the introduction of Alola forms, the number of actual theories has dropped sharply as the number of people ‘announcing leaked forms’ (read: talking out of their asses) without any evidence or credible sources shot up. As such, we’re going to assume all of these forms are fake until official announcements prove otherwise and we won’t be discussing them here.
The Final Evolutions of the Starter Pokémon
Of course the biggest rumour is the possible reveal of the final evolutions of our starter Pokémon. Despite all the new ‘mons that have been introduced so far, we’ve not caught even a glimpse of what our starters might become, so this rumour gained a following fast. This was at least in part because people reported that the image below, with what is supposedly concept art for the final evolutions of the starter Pokémon, had been taken down from a number of websites.
We cannot confirm if this is true, but it has been around on a multitude of sites for a while, so take that with a grain of salt.
The leak also gained some credibility by predicting a Fire/Poison-type, though it didn’t mention Salandit by name. Furthermore it states that Rockruff might evolve into a werewolf-like Pokémon, but most of the fans already guessed something like this long before the leak came out, due to Rockruff’s official description.
The leak did incorrectly state that Alola had no gyms and the trainer would be the one to organize this. With the introduction of the island trials, we know that there are indeed no gyms, but we’re not expected to create them either.
All of that being said, let’s look at the actual image itself.
The leak states that the final evolutions will be, as pictured above, based on an archer, a wrestler and a siren. First things first, we HATE these designs.
Rowlet’s final evolution is the only one we sort of like, as it’s a pretty cool concept with the arrow fired from an upraised wing.
Popplio’s final evolution basically doesn’t bear any resemblance to its original form and looks weirdly sexualized.
And finally Litten’s final evolution. It looks like Tony the Tiger hit the steroids and lit himself on fire. Screw this thing. If you don’t hate the design, just keep in mind that this would be yet another Fire/Fighting-type for the final evolution of the fire starter. That should be enough reason to hate it.
We are of course biased because we hate the designs and sincerely hope they’re well-made fakes, but we honestly doubt this is real. Why? Well, part of it is the inspiration. Let’s look at the starters and supposed final evolutions.
It’s pretty clear to anyone with eyes and half a brain that Popplio is supposed to be a trained circus seal, hence the posing and the clown’s nose. This is why many people speculate that Litten is supposed to be some sort of trained big cat and will likely evolve into a panther or tiger-like Pokémon. Rowlet is a little harder to place with the circus theme, but many people believe it’s supposed to be the circus conductor, because of its little bowtie.
So why would their final evolutions be based on completely different things? Even if the inspirations mentioned above are false, none of the starters have anything in either their design or official descriptions that make them out to be anything even remotely close to their supposed evolutions.
As such, we are confident in stating that this rumour is more than likely false.
The Ash/Rainbow Greninja Theory
This rumour is a particularly annoying one and we wish it would just go the hell away. For those not aware, the concept of Ash Greninja (Or Rainbow Greninja, as it will supposedly be called) is an anime-exclusive form for Greninja where he takes on something of a resemblance to his trainer and the two share sensations.
It is, without a doubt, the worst idea that has appeared in any variation of Pokémon since the franchise was created. It’s incredibly dumb, makes no sense at all in the Pokémon universe and somehow makes an already pretty awful anime worse.
Which is why we don’t understand why people want it in the games. What, exactly, would be the point? Greninja is already a pretty decent Pokémon that doesn’t need a different form, but if you want to give him one, why not just give him and the other starters of his generation mega evolutions?
The mechanics are in place for that and it’s an established concept in the Pokémon universe. The shared sensations are the only real drawback to this form of ‘evolution’, so how would that translate to a game mechanic?
We sincerely hope this turns out to be nothing but speculation and honestly don’t believe that Gamefreak plans to include it in any way.
The (Many) Rockruff Theories
This last one is the one we are the most interested in as there are still so many possible options. When it was announced in CoroCoro magazine, it was hinted that Rockruff shared some connection with the 7th generation’s starter Pokémon. Typically with things like this the connection doesn’t stay hidden for long, but so far nobody has come up with a theory with conclusive proof.
Of course, the very first one we should mention is that this could very well be accidentally overhyped and incredibly disappointing. This secret connection was hinted at long before the Z-moves were revealed, and CoroCoro has a bad habit of overhyping things, so it could well be tied into that. Maybe the starters and Rockruff will be the first to have access to Z-moves or something.
We’ve had so little information on this and people have gone so nuts in researching the possible connections, that it might be best to prep for disappointment by this point.
Some have speculated that the connection may be that Rockruff is the Eeve of the generation, with three possible evolutions that are possibly dependant on learning the move Howl. As this doesn’t tie in to a connection with the starters, others have added that Rockruff might evolve into one of the three forms based on the starter you chose.
For example, if you chose the Fire-type Litten, Rockruff might become or gain the Grass type upon evolving to counter Litten’s weakness to water. Supposedly, this evolution would depend on you having your starter in the party once Rockruff reaches a certain level. Of course we do have to consider that, if it is meant to balance out your starter’s weakness, Rockruff is already a Rock-type and therefore weak to Water and Grass and strong against Fire. Unless it loses the Rock typing entirely, this doesn’t really create a good balance.
While we kind of like the idea of Rockruff having a split evolution, we doubt it’ll involve the starter Pokémon as this theory believes.
A far less likely theory states that Rockruff and the starter Pokémon might have Synchro Evolution forms. For those not familiar with the concept, Synchro Evolution is the anime-exclusive ‘evolution’ that is responsible for Ash Greninja. As we just spent a good portion of this calling it the worst idea ever to blight Pokémon, you’ve probably realised that we hope this is not the case.
The theory seems to harken back to a time before we learned about Z-moves and the associated Z-stones, so we’re not too worried about this one being true.
Some theories believe the secret Rockruff and the starters share might be far less important and simply a reference to some sort of minigame they can all participate in that hasn’t been shown in the trailers yet. While this could be true, we doubt they’d bother bringing it up at all if this is the case. IT could also just be some importance Rockruff holds in the plot.
One of the weirder theories is actually fairly convincing if you’ve played previous games. There has been a trend in Pokémon of researchers telling you about projects they are working on that haven’t met with success yet. For example, a researcher talked about entering Pokémon dreams long before the concept of the Pokémon dream world was introduced in Pokémon Black and White.
Another one of these projects that hadn’t met with success yet involved being able to talk to Pokémon, leading people to speculate that maybe we can talk to Rockruff and the starters in Sun and Moon. What lends some credence to this theory is the introduction of the Rotom Pokédex.
Remember, there is actually a Pokémon in your Pokédex now and it’s been shown to talk to you. Maybe we won’t be discussing the morality of man or the ethical subjects in Lolita with Rowlet, but there’s a chance the Pokédex could function as something of a translation device. It would like be no more than a gimmick, but still
Of course, it does raise the question why only Rockruff and the starter Pokémon would be available to talk to, when this should really work for all Pokémon. As such we’re sad to say this one is probably not going to be the case, but it would be kinda cool if it was.
Similarly, some people have speculated that Rockruff and the starters are simply Pokémon we can interact with more. This is mainly based on the fact that we see the trainer pick up their chosen starter, though this could well be a cutscene and nothing more.
Naturally this led to people hoping we’d have Pokémon to follow us around out of their Pokéballs, even if it was only possible for the starters and Rockruff. Like the talking, this doesn’t seem very likely, but we can hope. Some more interaction with your Pokémon would be nice.
The final and probably, at time of writing, hottest theory is a bit of a variation on the one stating that Rockruff will have split evolutions. There are two versions. The first states that Rockruff’s will have different forms, rather than evolutions, depending on which island it is.
The second theory sticks with Rockruff having several possible evolutions, but both state that the starter Pokémon will have split evolutions as well. People have argued both 2 final evolutions for each starter and 4 final evolutions to match the 4 islands. To us, 4 final evolutions for each starter seems like a lot of work for Gamefreak, so we’re more inclined to believe 2 rather than 4.
Provided there is an actual difference in stat distribution and typing, this seems like a pretty cool idea. It would give these starters something to make them unique and it fits with the theme of the games, as that heavily involves the impact Alola’s climate has had on typing and evolution.
It would also give people a bit more room to build their team. When you pick a starter, you’re pretty much stuck with whatever type their final evolution is, unless you’re one of those heartless bastards who actually puts their starter in the PC. If your starter could evolve into different things, with different typing, it gives you a bit more wiggle room.
We really, really hope this will turn out to be the case but, as with all of these theories, it is little more than speculation at time of writing.
Thankfully, the last CoroCoro leak did mention that the next issue would revolve around Rockruff’s ‘secret evolution’, so maybe we’ll get our answers sooner rather than later.
What do you think the secret connection between Liten and the starters might be? For that mater, what do you think of the new Pokémon? Do you have any theories of your own? Let us know in the comments below!