Welcome to my Pokémon Sun & Moon Analysis and Speculation article.
This time around, we are going to cover a lot of topics and try to connect the dots linking generation 6 and 7 of the Pokémon games.
First, we will take a look at the concept art shown during the Pokémon Sun & Moon announcement and other previous clues to explain why the new games’ main region will likely be based on Hawaii.
Second, we will explain X & Y’s connection to the Tree of Life of Norse mythology and how it relates to its legendary Pokémon.
Third, we will cover the relation between the alchemic Azoth Ritual and the Pokémon that might be inspired by it, including Magearna and Complete Forme Zygarde.
Fourth, we will take a look at Hawaiian mythology and how Rainbows connect Hawaii, Norse mythology and Alchemic beliefs together, explaining the codename of the games.
Fifth, we will take a peek at the past and future and uncover how Pokémon Sun and Moon relates to other entries in the series.
Finally, we will investigate how Mega Evolution could “evolve” for Pokémon’s 7th generation.
Keep in mind this is all speculation and not confirmed in any way, but it makes sense to me and definitely has something to do with the current and upcoming games.
Relax, take a sit, and get ready to read! Here we go!
Part 1 – Pokémon Sun & Moon’s Hawaiian Region
For this first part, we are going to take a detailed look at all the concept art shown during the Pokémon Sun & Moon announcement and some other details, while attempting to prove the new upcoming region will be likely based on Hawaii.
For starters, let’s look at the cocept art for the new Pokémon Centers.
In the images above, you can clearly see that the new Pokémon Centers will sport a round design with sliding doors and windows. They also seem to have a glassy floor and a dome on the ceilling, to let sunlight pass trough, in the interior.
Like the Pokémon Centers in X & Y, they have a central reception counter, which features a newly designed blue healing machine. In the bottom right corner of pic two, you can also see what seems to be a blue instruction manual of some kind, probably associated with the machine.
The right corner of the Pokémon Center likely will contain the PokéMart once again, while the left corner seems to feature a new information counter of some sort. It could also be a corner café, with a relatively modern design inspired by Hawaiian bars or Tiki bars, since it features mainly warm brownish colors, common in those places. Alternatively, it could be a Souvenir Shop, or simply a place for tourists (and trainers) to gather some local information.
The second image also features what looks like the back part of the Pokémon Center, around the middle right. This could be used as a sort of locker room where players can change their clothes, if trainer customization ends up being back for these new games.
Strangely, a PC seems to be absent from the concepts, so maybe Game Freak will implement a new system for these games, like a portable PC that is always with the player and allows constant access to the box system or something similar.
Moving on to the next set of images.
Trucks, lots of trucks! This section of the announcement showed us concept art of various trucks and a boat to be used in the game.
The yellow truck on the left, happens to be a firetruck with a Blastoise on its back, which is a very cool nod at the pokémon’s water cannons. Hawaii is one of the few countries in the world where all the firetruck equipment is colored yellow. You can find a video here, that even shows a smaller truck around 5:50 that is pretty similar to the one shown in the concept art. And wherever a firetruck goes, it is usually followed by an ambulance, so it makes sense for them to create a Pokémon Center version of those.
The pickup trucks at the top of the image, also have clear connections to Hawaii. Not only does the license plate have a rainbow drawn on it which, as you can see here, is typical of Hawaii, but the trucks’ model is reminiscent of the Chevrolet Colorado and Silverado, two models that are rather popular with Hawaii’s pickup rental companies and come in all of those colors, including red. Pickup trucks are also popular in the Big Island (how locals call the island of Hawaii), where locals and tourists often travel in the back of the trucks, since it’s a legal practice over there, which is likely referenced in the concept art by the Machamp, Furfrou and Wobbuffet riding in the back of one of the trucks.
The boat you can see in the bottom left, is probably based on the various sailboats, catamarans and yachts you can find in Hawaii, that not only make trips between the islands, but are also used in various activities, like sport fishing, whale watching, snorkeling and scuba diving.
On to the next set of images.
Through the images above, Game Freak has shared a look at some of the buildings to be featured in the games.
In the top left of the first image, we can see what looks like the exterior and interior of a motel or inn. From the exterior, we can see it has a good number of rooms and a Slaking on top, representing a place to “Slack Off”. We can also see another pickup truck parked at the entrance. On the inside, we can see a regular room, with a bed and shower. This place seems to take inspiration from smaller inns you can find in Hawaii too, like this one.
In the bottom left of the first image, we can see what looks like another house, which contains a fish tank, a popular house decoration in Hawaii. There’s even specialized companies that create various types of custom fish tanks for your house and provide you with fish for them, like this one.
In the bottom middle of the first image you can also see what is clearly a tropical forest area.
In the second image, we can see a huge building, which is likely some sort of hotel since we can see a trolley suitcase near the two characters depicted. From the building’s architecture and the close by palm trees, it seems to be based on Hawaiian places like the ‘Iolani Palace and Moana Hotel. Now you are likely asking youself why are there so many Horseas in there, right? Well, for starters, seahorses are a symbol of eternal friendship in Hawaii, which would make sense in a place where you receive customers. Moreover, Hawaii has a tribal pendant based on seahorse tails called a faimalai. Furthermore, not only does Hawaii have one of the biggest seahorse farms in the world in Ocean Rider, it’s also home to seahorse and marine life conservation programs like the Seahorse Hawaii Foundation. That said, I think it would be logical to expect Game Freak to use Horsea as a regular symbol in some areas of this region. All the other water type Pokémon shown in the buildings’ walls are also based on animals that are common in tropical areas like Hawaii. These include, from left to right: Spheal, Staryu, Chinchou, Magikarp, Horsea and Krabby. I wouldn’t be surprised if this place doubles as a water type gym in addition to something else either.
Lastly, lets take a look at the last set of images, featuring a new Pokémon.
Towards the end of the presentation, Game Freak shows us a new bird pokémon. If you pay attention, this bird has zygodactyl feet, which is characteristic of bird species in the parrot, woodpecker, cuckoo and owl families. The enlongated beak, small tuft in the head, and its coloration with black, grey, white and red colors, allows us to easily identify it as a woodpecker inspired pokémon.
Even though Hawaii has no endemic or introduced woodpecker species, that doesn’t mean this pokémon doesn’t make sense and that the region must be based elsewhere. In fact, if you think about it, Kalos’ Route 5, Versant Road, is home to Pancham because of its bamboo forests, even though pandas don’t live in France. This means Game Freak is willing to use pokémon in a region as long as their in-game habitat makes sense.
That said, I think we will probably see this pokémon in a wooded habitat, most likely a tropical rainforest, since it is one of the places where woodpeckers reach their greatest diversity.
Now that we are done with the concept art shown during the announcement, I would like to talk a bit about other clues that indicate this region might be based on Hawaii.
You might not have noticed it, but a very specific Vivillion was shown during the announcement. It was the Ocean pattern Vivillion, which is exclusive to a few remote areas, one of them being Hawaii.
Next, I would like to mention the Strange Souvenir that is given to you by a backpacker in Pokémon X & Y.
“The Kalos region is nice and all, but you should really check out my region! Our Champion is really something else, I tell you…Ah, never mind. You’ll find out in due time. Where is it, you ask? Well, I can tell you it’s not Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, or even Unova!”
So now we know that his region is a place that is geographically far away from Kalos and a previously unseen region. We also know the souvenir (called Mysterious Ornament in Japanese) is a readily available item that depicts a Pokémon that is a protector of that region.
How do we know it is readily available? Well, if it weren’t, why would it sell for 5 pokédollars only and be carried by a random backpacker? In my opinion, this Strange Souvenir is based on the tiki souvenirs sold in Hawaii and other countries in Polynesia. More specifically, it seems to be based on Ku, one of the four main Hawaiian deities that we will touch upon later in this article.
I would also like to remember you that there’s a lady in X & Y that mentions the existence of a waterfall that runs upside down in some place in the Pokémon world where she has been to.
The only place we have seen before that this could be a reference to is the Distortion World, where a body of water runs upside down. But taking into account only three persons ever entered the Distortion World in Platinum, I doubt a random lady would have been there.
This once again brings us to Hawaii, one of the few places in the real world where there is a famous upside down waterfall visible from Oahu’s Pali expressway, Waipuhia Falls. This happens due to powerful winds creating the illusion that the falls are flowing in reverse, but only during certain periods of the year when the right conditions have been met.
Also, remember when we reached the conclusion that the new bird pokémon is a woodpecker, which drive in tropical rainforests? Well, Waipuhia Falls just so happens to be located in one of those rainforest areas…
The next evidence, and perhaps an unexpected reason to some, is the fact that the Pokémon World Championships have been hosted in Hawaii a total of three times. This happened in 2007, 2010 and 2012.
The artwork used at those championships might give us an idea of what kind of Pokémon Game Freak thinks are ok in a setting like that. You might also want to note the references to flowers, rainbows and tiki masks. Rainbows will be important later…
Finally, I would like to direct your attention to the words (or should I say word?) of the Pokémon Company International’s Director of Consumer Marketing J.C. Smith. When asked for a cryptic word related to the series’ future, he answered with “Flowers”. This can have a double meaning in my opinion. Meaning number one is that both Lysandre, AZ, his machine and Eternal Flower Floette could still be tied to future games, since they are basically flower related/inspired. The other meaning could be a clue to the setting of the next main series Pokémon games, a place where flowers are common and important to the local culture. One of such places is Hawaii. Heck, they even have a state flower in the Pua Aloalo or Maʻo hau hele, the yellow Hawaiian hibiscus. Together with other Hawaiian flowers, the archipelago has pretty much got a “rainbow of flowers” over there. And there’s the common rainbow flower lei too.
I think all of that should get across why I believe the new region will be set in Hawaii.
Let’s move on to the next part.
Part 2 – X & Y’s Legendary Pokémon and the Norse Tree of Life
For this second part, we are going to take a look at Norse mythology and the Tree of Life Yggdrasil, which served as inspiration for Pokémon X & Y’s Lengedary Pokémon.
Please take a look at the diagram below, depicting the Norse Tree of Life.
Xerneas is arguably based on Eikþyrnir, a stag that lives in Valhalla and eats the foliage of Læraðr, which can be another interpretation of Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life. The association with the trees can be the reason why Xerneas takes the form of a tree itself. Eikþyrnir is said to have glowing horns that drip with dew, which also would explain Xerneas’ glowing horns. Theories indicate that Eikþyrnir would later become or be separated into four stags known as Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþrór. Just like Eikþyrnir, these stags are said to eat the foliage of Yggdrasil, and among other possible interpretations they likely represent the four elements in this case. Xerneas’ horns seem to represent each of these stags that originated from Eikþyrnir.
Yveltal seems to be based on Veðrfölnir’s unnamed eagle companion. The great eagle is blind, which probably explains why Veðrfölnir sits in the middle of its eyes. Together, they fiercely hunt any living being that reaches the top of the World Tree. Yveltal could also draw some inspiration from Hræsvelgr, the Corpse Swallower, a mythical giant who takes the form of an eagle in Norse mythology, and causes the wind to blow whenever he beats his wings in flight. In my opinion, there’s a good chance that the unnamed eagle and Hræsvelgr are actually one and the same. This eagle has a rivalry with Níðhöggr, often made worse by Ratatöskr, the squirrel that climbs up and down the tree, delivering messages between the two of them.
The last member of the trio is Zygarde, which possesses many forms, all seemingly inspired by Loki‘s children.
Zygarde’s 50% Forme looks like a serpent and likely draws inspiration from both Jörmungandr, the Midgard/World Serpent, and Níðhöggr, the dragon who lives at the bottom of Yggdrasil. Jörmungandr is one of the three children of Loki, and was tossed into the great ocean encircling Midgard by Odin. The serpent grew so large that he was able to surround the earth and grasp his own tail. It is said that when Jörmungandr lets go of his tail, the world will end. Níðhöggr is the dragon serpent residing at the bottom of the World Tree and gnawing at its roots. This dragon serpent was also known for eating the corpses of the Nifelheim when found guilty of murder, adultery and oath-breaking. The patterns on Zygarde 50% Forme’s body could be a reference to Ribose and Deoxyribose, components associated with RNA and DNA, further linking Zygarde to Xerneas and Yveltal’s theme of life and death, and chromosomes.
Zygarde 10% Forme is probably based on another of Loki’s children, the monstrous wolf Fenrir. Fenrir was said to bring the gods great trouble and harm, and foretold to kill Odin during the events of Ragnarök. Because of this, the gods prepared three leg cuffs to bind him, but only the last one, Gleipnir, a ribbon-like binding created by dwarfs, could hold him in place. The green scarf-like object around Zygarde 10% Forme’s neck and his single green leg could be inspired by Gleipnir, which is said to hold until Ragnarök. Zygarde 10% Forme’s razor sharp teeth may be an allusion to Fenrir biting off the right hand of Týr, who courageously placed it between Fenrir’s jaws at his request, a false pledge of good faith meant to trick the beast. This Forme could also draw inspiration from Garmr, Hel’s dog and the watchdog that guards her gate.
Zygarde’s Complete Forme is possibly based on Hel, Loki’s daughter and the ruler of Helheim, the Norse realm of the dead. Most incarnations depict her as a half alive and half dead being, which may have inspired Zygarde’s theme of the balance between life and death, represented by Xerneas and Yveltal respectively. The top section of Zygarde Complete Forme’s body resembles a crown with jewels embedded on it, which can be a reference to Hel’s title of Queen Hel in Bartholomeus saga postola. The colors of the crystals on Complete Forme’s chest seem to match the colors of the logos for Pokémon X (dark blue), Pokémon Moon (light blue), Pokémon Sun (orange red) and Pokémon Y (dark red), plus white in the center, which might represent Zygarde’s link to all of them. The red and blue markings on either side of Zygarde Complete Forme might represent Xerneas and Yveltal, as this Forme exceeds both of their powers.
Zygarde Cell and Zygarde Core are apparently based on cells, even though they look similar to planaria flatworms. The hexagons on their bodies could represent a cell’s membranes. From what we have seen in the anime, Zygarde Cores can have differently colored cores, since Squishy (Z1) has a red core and Z2 has a blue core, and both can change to other forms by calling upon close by Zygarde Cells. Keep in mind that neither of them has transformed behind the 50% Forme stage on its own so far and that the significance of the different colored cores is still unknown.
While we are on the topic of the Norse Tree of Life, there are another two things you should take notice of.
At the top of the Tree diagram featured above, you can see Sól and Máni, the personifications of the Sun and Moon, and the children of Mundilfari. The children were so fair that Mundilfari chose to name them after the Sun and Moon, something the gods found arrogant. Due to this, they sent the brother and sister to the heavens. Máni “guides the path of the moon and controls its waxing and waning”, while Sól “pulls the charriot of the sun” and holds Svalinn, the shield preventing the mountains and seas from burning up. Sól and Máni are followed by the sons of Fenrir, the wolves Sköll and Hati, who will devour each one of them when the Ragnarök comes around. Due to this, I speculate that the cover lengedaries of Sun and Moon, might be partially inspired by Sól and Máni, and might be connected to Zygarde too, specially if we consider its 10% Forme might not only take inspiration from Fenrir, but its sons too.
The final important factor to consider is the Rainbow Bridge, Bifröst. Bifröst is the bridge connecting Midgard, the world of man, with Asgard, the realm of the gods. The gods cross it daily to hold their councils and pass judgements at Urðarbrunnr under the shade of the tree. Great warriors who die in battle are said to be able to cross Bifröst and join the gods in the halls of Valhalla, as they wait for the final battle at Ragnarök. Therefore, the Rainbow Bridge represents the connection between earthly life and the ascention to heaven or the afterlife. Keep this rainbow in mind for later in the article.
Now that we are done with the Norse Tree of Life, we can move on to the next part.
Part 3 – Zygarde’s Complete Forme, Magearna’s Soul Heart, and the Azoth Ritual’s Seven Operations of Alchemy
In this part of the article, I’m going to try and explain the connections that Magearna and Complete Forme Zygarde have with the Azoth Ritual and other Hermetic teachings.
Hermeticism is a religious, philosophical, and esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. The Hermetic tradition, which is moslty based on Hermes Trismegistus’ Emerald Tablet and the texts of the Corpus Hermeticum, dates back to ancient Egypt and has been the foundation of spiritual alchemy for centuries.
Spiritual alchemy is based on the operations of the divine One Mind and its unfoldment and perfection in matter as revealed in the Emerald Tablet. In this tradition, the One Mind is sometimes called the “AZoth,” which is the singular divine presence that is the beginning and end – the Alpha and Omega (or A to Z) – of the whole universe. It is also known as the Grand Panacea, the Universal Solvent, or the Mercury of the Wise.
Now I’m going to ask you to take a look at the following painting by Basil Valentine, titled “Azoth of the Philosophers”, and to read the information contained in the screenshots below, which were taken from this page explaining the Azoth Ritual and the seven operations of alchemy. After reading this, you will probably understand what I’m going to say, specially if you paid attention to the things I underlined.
Using the information we just obtained about the Azoth Ritual, we can conclude that:
– Yveltal represents death and afterlife, the Y Vertical Axis of reality, the union between the spirit Above and the matter Below. The eagle is also an animal symbol for the Crown Chakra. Likely associated with the element of Air.
– Xerneas represents earthly life and the meaning of life, the X Horizontal Axis of reality, the balance between Anima (Soul) and Spiritus (Spirit). The antelope is also an animal symbol for the Heart Chakra. Likely associated with the element of Earth.
– The cover legendary of Pokémon Sun will probably be based on the Salamander wallowing in flames and represent Anima (Soul), the Sun, the King, the Masculine, the Extroverted, the Soul Bird, the Conscious side of the Mind (thoughts and planning), and Mercury. Likely associated with the element of Fire.
– The cover legendary of Pokémon Moon will probably be based on the standing Bird and represent Spiritus (Spirit), the Moon, the Queen, the Feminine, the Introverted, the Spirit Bird, the Unconscious side of the Mind (feelings and emotions), and Sulfur. Likely associated with the element of Water.
– Zygarde represents the Corpus, the unpurified Salt or Prima Materia, the Green Snake of Calcination, which upon completion of the Azoth Ritual, becomes the purified Salt or Ultima Materia, the serpent and lion united, the Philosopher’s Stone, Complete Forme Zygarde. Complete Forme Zygarde represents the Sacred Marriage between Anima (Soul) and Spiritus (Spirit) that happens at the crossing/center of the Vertical and Horizontal Axes of reality, thus surpassing the power of Yveltal and Xerneas (and probably the new cover legendaries too). The hexagonal crystals on its chest represent the five stars surrounding the Cubic Stone, the five elements that are used in the ritual: Earth (dark blue, Xerneas), Water (light blue, Moon legendary), Quintessence (white, Zygarde), Fire (light red, Sun legendary), and Air (dark red, Yveltal). It’s unknown at this point, but this suggests that five Zygarde Core might exist and be needed to create Complete Forme Zygarde. The hexagon marks on its body are probably a reference to the Cubic Stone of Corpus too, since it looks like an hexagon if we discount the central point that makes it a cube. The white mark on the middle of Complete Forme Zygarde’s head represents the Ascended Essence, the pineal gland, the Crown Chakra through which the Second Body is manifested and the unity with all existence is achieved. In the end, this means that Zygarde and the Sun & Moon legendaries are effectively part of another trio representing Spiritus, Anima and Corpus (Spirit, Soul and Body), the Three Essentials, the Sulfur, Mercury and Salt of the Alchemists; While the Yggdrasil trio formed by Yveltal, Xerneas and Zygarde represent the X Vertical Axis, the Y Vertical Axis and the Z Zero Point Field, the fixed center of origin and convergence.
– Magearna represents the philosophy of VITRIOL, the seven operations of alchemy, the rainbow wheel (gear, if you will) of transformation, the ritual itself in many ways. It is the Yellow Lion (the Vitriol liquids) that devours and struggles with the Green Snake (the Corpus, Zygarde). It’s the Secret Fire in the alchemist’s soul, the Will of the alchemist to transform, so to speak. It is the physical transformation of the Azoth Ritual to Zygarde’s spiritual transformation. In other words, Magearna embodies the man made physical manifestation of the Azoth Ritual created by the Will of the alchemist that Zygarde will have to overcome to transform its body (Corpus) and manifest the spiritual transformation into Complete Forme Zygarde (or something similar, this is just my interpretation). Magearna’s Soul Heart, which you can see during the latest movie trailer, is a heart shaped representation of Conjunction at the level of the Heart Chakra (take notice how there are small diamond shaped pointers on each of the four sides of the heart). It is the operation at the beginning and the end, that unifies Soul (Soul) and Spirit (Heart) at the center of the Vertical and Horizontal axes of reality, bringing about Coagulation. Coagulation might either refer to a reborn form of Magearna or the Complete Forme of Zygarde, which of them it will be I’m not so sure, but the latter sounds more likely. The connection between Soul Heart and the Conjunction operation might also explain why Magearna looks like a pokéball when folded on itself, since a pokéball is that which connects the trainer and the pokémon, it is essentially the bond that ties humans and pokémon together. Also, take into account that the Mystery Science talked about in the characters profiles through which Magearna was created is basically alchemy, which in turn is derived from the Ancient Mystery Schools.
– AZ is a personification of the AZoth, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega, the “alchemist” who creates and fires the ultimate weapon, setting events (and the ritual) in motion. That said, I expect him to be the end too, the one who will eventually stop the pursuit of the ultimate weapon, or at least have a crucial role in doing so. Magearna and Zygarde might have a role to play in this end, but I’m not sure what exactly.
As you can see, Hermeticism, the concepts surrouding Azoth and the many interpretations of the Tree of Life are the basis to understanding the lore of the 6th and 7th generations of Pokémon and the franchise in general. Yes, there are connections between this and other games, but we will cover those in a later part.
Right now, let’s move on to the next part and back to Hawaii.
Part 4 – Hawaiian Mythology and the Rainbow Connection
Do you recall when I said to remember about the Hawaiian god Ku? Well, this part is going to explain how the Hawaiian Myths of Ku and Hina might be connected to previously discussed topics, and how the concept of Rainbows ties all these concepts together.
Ku and Hina are two of the most relevant national deities to which Hawaiian people pray in search of help and protection in the most various areas of their lives. This is the reason why I think the Strange Souvenir is a depiction of a pokémon somewhat based on Ku, because the souvenir states the pokémon is “venerated as a protector”.
Moreover, Ku and Hina are husband and wife, and share a duality similar to the one between Soul and Spirit. Ku is the male father figure, means “rising upright”, and is associated with the rising sun, the morning, and the east. Hina is the female mother figure, means “leaning down”, and is associated with the setting sun, the afternoon, and the west. Together they represent the generations of mankind, those already born (past generations) and those who are to come (future generations). This constant duality present in all Hawaiian mythology and deities, but particularly significant when it comes to Ku and Hina, is one of the reasons why I think the new region is based on Hawaii.
The fact that Kane, Ku and Lono are seen as the creators of the world and mankind and are opposed by Kanaloa who disobeys Kane, is also highly reminescent of the relationship between Arceus, Dialga, Palkia and Giratina, since these gods are the four major deities of Hawaii.
Hina is also very connected to the Moon in her various forms, and many legends and myths surround her link to this celestial object, which probably makes you think of Cresselia. In fact, Selene, the Moon goddess which Cresselia is named after, is her Greek equivalent. It also helps that there is a waterfall in Hawaii named Waiānuenue (meaning “rainbow seen in water”) or the Rainbow Falls, which are said to be the mythological home of Hina.
Speaking of rainbows, rainbows appear more in Hawaii than anywhere else in the world, because Hawaii is surrounded by water. This multicolored arc in the sky is very important to Hawaii, so much so that their word for rainbow – ānuenue – is also the name of the goddess of rainbows, Goddess Ānuenue. The description of this photo by Sharon Mau has a good summary of the importance of ānuenue. The Rainbow Goddess is the sister of Kane and Kanaloa, and acts as a messenger of the gods, interacting with Ku and Hina in their stead. That said, to Hawaii, rainbows are what connects the Gods to Humans, what stands Above to what lies Below.
Japanese culture has a similar view of rainbows as the bridge between Heaven and Earth. In retrospective, the tale of the creation of Japan which many have mentioned could be an inspiration for Sun & Moon, involving Izanagi and Izanami and their descent to Earth through a rainbow bridge, has similar tones and sort of parallels the Hawaiian creation myth (with both being archipelagos too).
What is important to realize here, is that the Pokémon Sun & Moon games were codenamed as Niji (Japanese for rainbow) because the concept of Rainbow is what connects all these ideas together in a similar manner. Be it Norse, Hermetic, Hawaiian or Japanese beliefs, the Rainbow always represents the link between the Heavens and the Earth, the Gods and the Humans. It is the definitive symbol of transformation, the path all of us need to cross to ascend and become our higher selves, to “pass on” and then “reincarnate anew” as the Ultima Materia, the Astral Body walking the Earth while connected to the One Thing.
Now that we understand the meaning of rainbows, we can move on to the next part, where we will cover links to other games.
Part 5 – Connections to other games
In this part of the article we will take a look at the possible connections or parallels between Sun & Moon and other games.
Let’s start by taking a look at Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, which are clearly connected to these themes in some ways and have a high chance of getting a remake during generation 7.Arceus is based on the alchemic concept of Archeus, the One Thing, the spirit or force which the Paracelsians believed dwelt in, and presided over, all living things. In other words, Arceus is Pokémon’s version of the living AZoth that created the Sinnoh region, maybe the Pokémon universe, with the help of Dialga, Palkia and Giratina, hence the nickname “the Original One”. Giratina would later disobey or revolt against Arceus, being ultimately banished into the Distortion World, where the rules of the universe are apparently bended or do not apply.
In retrospect, it is now obvious that Cyrus and Cynthia represent the duality between the masculine Anima and the feminine Spiritus. Their names also refer to the Sun and Moon respectively, in most localized versions. Cyrus hates and wants to destroy the world and build a new one devoid of feelings and emotion, which he can thoughtfully rule over. In contrast, Cynthia is a balanced and caring person who loves the world and wants to make it better by learning more about it. Cyrus’ plan to achieve Azoth fails, because he only has Anima in himself, and has abandoned Spiritus, both of which are necessary to connect with the Original One. The player beats both Cyrus and Cynthia (and was supposed to find Arceus) because he/she has achieved the balance between both energies by the end of the game. The other members of Team Galactic also fit neatly within the Azoth theme due to having names based on planets which are part of the Ladder of the Planets mentioned in the operations of alchemy.
Finally, we have an important but potentially overlooked detail connecting X & Y to Diamond, Pearl and Platinum. Drasna, one of the members of the Kalos Elite Four, is the grandaughter of a couple living in Sinnoh, more specifically, in Celestic Town. In case you don’t remember, Celestic Town is a tiny town near the center of Sinnoh that preserves the history and myths of the region, where Cynthia’s family also lives. Drasna’s grandparents taught her about the myths surrounding Dialga and Palkia, which inspired her to train Dragon-type pokémon. Possibly, Celestic Town was once home to an ancient tribe similar to the Draconids of the Hoenn region, something which could be further explored when a remake of the games eventually happens.
From my point of view, Lysandre and Diantha replicate the formula first set by Cyrus and Cynthia, but flip it on its head. Lysandre thinks the world is beautiful, and that people should feel compassion for each other and work for the greater good. Meanwhile, Diantha is a balanced, thoughtful and understanding person, a characteristic perceived through the way she tries to comprehend characters she performs as while working as an actress. Lysandre ultimately lets Spiritus consume him, turning him into a misanthrope who seeks to create a world clean of the ego corrupted Anima which according to him permeates the minds of people, bringing tragedy and disaster upon the world, making it ugly. He fails to realize there are still people like the protagonist and his friends who actually care about each other, the world and other human beings and pokémon. Therefore, his attempt to reach Azoth also fails due to the imbalance in his heart and mind.
In a way, generation 5 also touches upon the duality of Anima and Spiritus via the Yin and Yang of Truth and Ideals. It makes the player question himself if it is more important to follow the Truth of Anima, the wisdom of thoughts and logic, or to follow the Ideals of Spiritus, the power of feelings and emotions. The absence of both in the body is also covered by Kyurem, the empty husk of the original dragon, which waits for a hero to fill in the missing parts of its body with “truth and ideals”. In the end, a conclusion is reached that a balance of both might be better, so that people and pokémon can live in harmony together while respecting what makes them different.
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire also extend this idea that balance is the key, even when it comes to nature itself. The Delta Episode also takes another small jab at the conflict of Truth vs Ideals via Zinnia’s actions and words.
Next I would like to discuss the parallels between generations 1 and 2, and generations 6 and 7.
When you think about it, generation 6 is a nostalgia driven reboot of generation 1. X & Y reference many of the things we fondly remember about Red & Blue, while making them seem fresh: Santalune Forest has the same layout as Viridian Forest; Santalune City is near a forest and Victory Road, just like Viridian; Professor Sycamore gives you Kanto starters near the beginning of the game; a Snorlax is blocking Route 7 and you need to use a Poké Flute to wake it up; Lysandre Labs uses spin and warp tiles for navigation, which is reminescent of Silph Co. and the Rocket Hideout; it is unknown what happened to Lysandre at the end of the game, just like with Giovanni in the originals; Mewtwo can only be found in the Unknown Dungeon after becoming a champion, just like in the original games; among other things.
This makes you realize that Sun & Moon will be to X & Y, what Gold & Silver were to Red & Blue. Sun & Moon will most likely be sequels to X & Y that happen around 3 years later. They might even let you revisit Kalos after the first adventure as a way to clear up all the unsolved mysteries and plotlines. There’s the possibility that Team Flare is looking for Lysandre now. Or that you will get Johto starters which now have Mega Evolutions. Or that Callem and Serena are probably hidding away in some cave while looking for rare pokémon. There’s also the Sundial in Anistar, and a Moondial in an unnamend city and region that could be connected somehow. The potential these games have to mirror Gold & Silver, at least in ideas and structure, is uncanny. Moreover, Gold & Silver feature the ascended Spirit and Soul Birds (Ho-oh and Lugia) of the Azoth Ritual, and often mention the bond between trainer and pokémon that is brought about by the union of their Heart (Spiritus) and Soul (Anima).
In other words, generation 7 will likely extend the plot of generation 6 directly, and improve on its mechanics, much like generation 2 did in relation to generation 1.
Let’s now discuss the final topic in the next part.
Part 6 – Generation 7 and the Mega Evolution of Heart and Soul
In this part I want to address the topic of Mega Evolution and how it might change considerably in generation 7.
Upon seeing the Japanese logos for Pokémon Sun & Moon, many Pokémon fans immediately thought we would be getting some sort of fusion mechanic introduced in the next generation.
Due to the small crystals present in each logo, people assumed Game Freak was referencing the Burst Heart crystals from the Pokémon RéBURST manga, which would mean that trainer and pokémon funsions would be possible.
Well, I think that trainers and pokémon will indeed fuse, but not physically. Instead, it will be a spiritual fusion, at the level of the mind and heart. Let me explain…
The blue crystal on the Pokémon Sun logo likely represents Mercury, the chemical form of Anima (Soul) in solid form. Meanwhile, the yellow crystal on the Pokémon Moon logo likely represents Sulfur, the chemical form of Spiritus (Spirit) in solid form. This means that the games will indeed have a connection to the duality between Anima and Spiritus, and if we go by the previous couple games’ logos, this duality will be connected to a form of Mega Evolution. I say this because X & Y had the DNA string, symbolizing “regular” Mega Evolution, and Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire had the Red and Blue Orbs, symbolizing Primal Reversion.
Regular Mega Evolution works by activating a pair of Mega and Key Stones which convert the bond between trainer and pokémon into energy which is applied to the pokémon making it “evolve” (ascend) into a higher form of itself. The Stones are basically Ultima Materia in physical form that further transform a Pokémon’s body by connecting it to the Azoth.
My theory is that Pokémon Sun & Moon will introduce a spiritual version of this process which doesn’t require a Mega and Key Stones, but will simply work based on the Conjunction of the trainer and pokémon. The trainer can be seen as the Anima (Soul) of the pair, since he’s the mind strategizing and instructing the pokémon during battle, while the pokémon can be seen as the Spiritus (Spirit) of the pair, since he’s the heart answering the trainer’s call and expressing the art of battling. When the trainer and pokémon reach the ultimate degree of Conjunction, or shall we say synchronicity, the Anima (trainer) and Spiritus (pokémon) will “evolve” (ascend) together, producing an energy equivalent to that of the Mega and Key Stones out of their bond, which is then applied to the pokémon, making it “Mega Evolve” but via a spiritual way which uses the eight hidden operation of the Azoth Ritual. Due to this, the pokémon’s body will take on physical characteristics of its trainer (the trainer’s Soul or personality), while the trainer’s body will take on the fatigue of the pokémon (the pokémon’s Spirit or life force). The trainer and pokémon also move and respond in the same ways almost instantly, due to the connection between their Soul and Heart. Sound familiar? Well, that’s because that’s what Ash’s Greninja is…
Shortly after evolving into Greninja, through its strong bond with Ash, he can call upon a transformation similar to Mega Evolution, where it takes on an appearance resembling its Trainer while being covered in a water veil. Its full capabilities are unknown, but it appears to give a significant boost in speed and power. This form comes with a side effect where whenever Greninja takes damage, the pain is shared with Ash in the same location where Greninja was hurt. Ash is also shown to be able to see from Greninja’s point of view and will occasionally mimic Greninja’s movements. Ash describes it as feeling like he “became” Greninja.
The key part here is that Ash feels like he “became” Greninja.
In case you didn’t notice, there is a scientist in Couriway Town that says and I quote “A device that lets you become a Pokemon… Would anyone want to do that?”.
What I’m trying to say is that if we take into account Game Freak’s tradition of hinting at future mechanics in previous games, this might actually happen in Sun & Moon. Some small device will be used as an in-game explanation for this form of “Mega Evolution”, which lets you “become” a pokémon.
This would probably have to be weaker than regular Mega Evolution, unless there is a reason the pokémon still doesn’t have access to an hold item. It could also be tied to trainer customization if they take the anime route of the pokémon borrowing characteristics from the trainer’s looks.
And that’s about it, I believe this means a new form of Mega Evolution will be introduced in some way in Sun & Moon.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
From everything we covered in this article I think we can conclude that Game Freak and the Pokémon Company weren’t lying when they said Pokémon Sun & Moon would bring everything together.
Through the concepts of the Azoth Ritual and Rainbow, Game Freak has managed to create an all encompassing theme that will most likely increasingly permeate the Pokémon multiverse going forward.
I’m really excited about all the possibilities that Pokémon Sun & Moon hold, and the ways the eventual remakes of Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum could tie into all of this. I’m also really curious about what Gardenia thinks of Pumpkaboo’s and Phantump’s existence!
In the end, I hope I was able to explain and transmit to you all the concepts I had in mind.
Thank you very much for reading my work, I hope you liked it!?
I would also like to hear your thoughts about everything related to this. Leave me a comment if anything comes to mind!
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Special thanks to Bulbapedia, Pocket Monsters, azothalchemy, Ancient Code, Sacred Texts, A Seeker’s Thoughts, and all the other sources I linked to during this article. They were all a tremendous help in understanding all of this.
[EDIT UPDATE – March 13]
I would like to add that Astronomy is very important in Hawaii and there’s a big observatory at the top of Mauna Kea, one of the main summits in Hawaii.
The base of Mauna Kea is also visited for birdwatching, another important thing that might explain why they showed us a bird.