Earlier this year, a user on Smogon, one of the largest Pokémon forums on the internet, made a post with a huge amount of “leaked information” about the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon. The leaked information reportedly came from the Chinese localization team of Sun and Moon (the two games are the first Pokémon titles to receive an official Chinese release). We at Gamnesia investigated this information back then, but since the supposed leak came from an untrustworthy source, we decided against reporting on it at the time.
A few weeks after the leak was first uploaded, however, The Pokémon Company revealed a new Pokémon named Salandit. This Pokémon had actually been mentioned by name in the Chinese leak, so the fact that it turned out to be real suggested that some of the information in the leak could be legitimate as well.
Last week, the leak was validated even more, after the second evolutions of the three starter Pokémon in Sun and Moon were revealed in a new trailer. These new Pokémon match up very well with a leaked piece of concept art of the final evolution of all three Pokémon; while we still haven’t seen what the final evolutions look like, it does seem like the second evolutions are headed in the direction we see on the concept art. This could be proven by the fact that Torracat, the second evolution of the Fire-type Litten, is wearing a wrestling belt around his neck in every promotional image he appears in. That same belt can be seen on the final evolution of this Pokémon, on the image with the supposed leaked concept art.The second evolutions of the Water-type and Grass-type starters also look remarkably like the Pokémon on the leaked image.
The Chinese leak from months ago corroborates all of this as well, as it predicts that Litten’s final evolution will looks like a human wrestler. In fact, every one of the predictions about the starter Pokémon in that Chinese leak can be seen on the image with the leaked concept art. Once people started speculating that the concept art might have been real, with the new information about the final evolutions of the starter Pokémon, it logically followed that the information on the Chinese leak could have been legitimate as well.
Over time, the person who originally published the leak started to upload more and more information, so we simply decided to release an article with a short summary of what came out in the leak. Of course, none of this information has been confirmed by Game Freak or Nintendo and, like with all rumors, it should not be taken seriously until official confirmation is given.
The most important part of the whole leak is the claim that Pokémon Sun and Moon will not use Gyms and Gym Leaders. In every main-series Pokémon game so far, players were forced to battle against the leaders of eight different gyms before they were allowed to access the Pokémon League at the end of their campaign. The leaked information insists that Sun and Moon will break from this tradition. Instead of Gyms and Gym Leaders, Sun and Moon will use “Islands” and “Island Leaders.” The familiar structure of defeating the Gym Leaders in consecutive order would also be abandoned, as the story of Sun and Moon would focus instead on “building a league” of gym leaders.
While this isn’t exactly proof of that claim, it is true that we have yet to see any screenshots or promotional images featuring a Pokémon Gym in Sun and Moon.
Although the lack of gym leaders is the most widely-publicized news in the report, the bulk of the Chinese leak deals with the names and designs of several the different Generation VII Pokémon. As mentioned before, the leaked information claims that Litten, the Fire-type starter Pokémon from Sun and Moon, will evolve into a creature that looks like a human wrestler. It also claims that Rowlet and Popplio—the Grass-type and Water-type starter Pokémon respectively—evolve into Pokémon that resemble a human archer and a siren. This too, is corroborated by the aforementioned “leaked concept art.”
The Chinese leak also describes several Pokémon that will supposedly be a part of Generation VII. These include Pokémon based on mushrooms, dolphins, sea cucumbers, snowmen, and monkeys. As many have pointed out, the fact that the leak simply describes these Pokémon, but does not provide the name for any of them, raises questions about its legitimacy.
The rest of the leak has been summarized here by NeoGAF user Watch Da Birdie:
* Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio evolve into an archer, a wrestler, and a siren respectively—this matches this interesting “concept art” that has been circulating for awhile now but has yet to be confirmed or discredited.
* In addition to Salandit, there’s New Pokemon based on a mushroom, a dolphin, a sea cucumber, a snowman, and some sort of “rugby monkey”—a monkey with a ball, apparently? If legit I imagine one or two of these Pokemon will be officially revealed soon, perhaps in CoroCoro, and if so that will speak to the legitimacy of this leak.
* Rockruff will evolve into a werewolf. The official site mentions Rockruff howling at night prior to evolution in its flavor text and if this list was originally seen before then, not sure though when it first appeared, that’s a plus for it.
* Marshadow, a name we saw trademarked alongside the Box Legendaries a few months ago, apparently has a “very unique Typing”. I’ve been speculating that Marshadow could be similar to Victini as a Mythical Pokemon revealed prior to the release of Sun and Moon, and I wonder if the upcoming Volcanion film could reveal him if my theory is correct at the end like what happened with Victini at the end of the final Diamond and Pearl film.
* There are apparently these special areas on the map that are hidden at first known as “districts” (?) where powerful Pokemon known as Overlords reside. Are these Legendaries? Or are they simply unusually powerful normal Pokemon with Hidden Abilities perhaps?
* No Gym Leaders. We’ve yet to see any real sign of Gyms this time around, and I was wondering about that honestly. Instead it seems the plot of the game involves forming a League and each Island is protected by an Island Leader. I assume the first one is Hala and Tapu Koko, who we’ve seen in previews, who serve as the Island Leaders of Melemele Island. It seems an actual Elite Four will eventually appear, perhaps in the post-game.
* The diamonds seen in the logo, and in the bracelets the playable characters wear, are collectible and seem to unlock functions somewhat simillar to Mega Evolution but not quite—perhaps this is related to the “Super Move” Pikachu is shown using in a shot posted to the official site. One of these stones apparently will be used to access Ash-Greninja.
* You can ride almost any Pokemon, though what “almost any” includes isn’t quite clear. A recent shot posted to the official site shows the player riding a Stoutland, so if this list was posted before that it’s another plus in its authenticity.
What do you guys think? Do you believe any of these rumors? Does the fact that this leak was right about Salandit imply anything about the validity of the rest of the information? What about the idea that gym leaders will be absent from Sun and Moon; was that just a wild claim? Let us know in the comments below!