The time has come again for a new pocket monster-catching game to capture our hearts and minds. Having just released last week, Pokémon Sun and Moon is putting its own spin on the classic franchise. As with past games, there's a wealth of hidden gems and references to be found, so call your Ohana, open a can of Spam, and take a journey with us through the Easter Eggs of the Hawaii-themed Pokémon Sun/Moon.
The Ghost of Pokémon Past
- Science is amazing, and so is the inclusion of the NPC in the first town that will tell you so. If you go back through the annals of Pokémon history, you're more likely than not to find a guy in the opening town who wants to extol the virtues of science and technology.
- The Pokedex entry for Pikachu mentions that the electric-types popularity began to pick up around 20 years ago, which coincides with the actual anniversary of the first Pokémon game.
- Lara, the trainer at the Water Trial, isn't shy about how amazing her Red Gyrados is. However, it's not all that impressive, because anyone whose played Pokémon Gold/Silver caught this exact Gyrados from the middle of a lake; it was the first Shiny Pokémon in the series.
- The Pokémon games love giving out freebies to customers, and Sun/Moon is no different. Early on the game, you'll receive the Lense Case from another character. She mentions that she got it as being a store's 99,999th customer.
- The creators of Pokémon have mentioned in the past that their series is heavily influenced by the classic coming-of-age film Stand By Me. As with in Red/Blue, if you check the television, the description text will mention that a movie is on where four boys are walking along railroad tracks; this is a direct reference to the film.
- Speaking of the starting room, the protagonist's room has a Wii-U tablet on the floor, as well as a stuffed Pikachu doll.
- An early trailer revealed that Red and Blue, the protagonist and antagonist from the titular Generation 1 games, are found in Sun/Moon. Though the references don't stop there, as Red is wearing a shirt with a pixelated 96, referencing the year Pokémon Red/Blue released.
Gotta (Ash) Ketchum All!
- The footprints of beloved anime dolt Ash Ketchum are found all throughout Sun/Moon, and that also includes one of his most unique Pokémon. The demo for Sun/Moon opens with the player getting a letter from Ash which includes a Pokeball with his Greninja. This is his Greninja from the anime series, capable of transforming into Ash-Greninja through a unique poke-ability. The trader ID confirms that this water-type belongs to Ash, giving players further confirmation that the anime and game worlds are related, if not the same.
A Brave, New Pokémon World
- Be careful to not make a mess while cleaning your Pokémon. In the case of Alola Grimer, doing the cleaning mini-game after a fight with the gooey creature will turn the hand of your stylus all sticky.
- Nature always finds a way, especially in the fossil-filled world of Pokémon. If you're on Route 8, a male NPC makes a veiled reference to the Jurassic Park film series, saying "There's this dude near here who says that he wants to make a whole theme park full of nothing but Pokémon restored from Fossils!" This makes even more sense, given the original movie was filmed in Hawaii.
- The inclusion of two new ice-types in the form of Alola Vulpix and Sandshrew aren't a slip-up on the game's part, for it actually snows in Hawaii. The island's highest peak, Mauna Kea receives snow, even in the middle of July. These new frosty variations on old Pokemon favorites are found in Alola's mountainous, snowy regions.
Will is a freelance writer and reporter in Austin, Texas that has appeared in Unwinnable Magazine, VideoGameWriters, and Venture Beat. He is also the gaming critic for the Toledo Blade, a daily newspaper in Toledo, Ohio. His wife and two cats keep him sane above all else.