If you’re debating which Pokemon game to pick up later this year, developers Game Freak just highlighted one of the biggest differences between the games: They don’t take place at the same exact time.
As the trailer above shows, Sun and Moon are set 12 hours apart from one another — which means that events will play out in different ways, depending on what game you’re playing. Sun will obviously be during the daytime, while Moon takes place during the nighttime, judging by this footage.
Here’s a closer look at the day/night cycles:
And some more specifics on how the time differences will work:
The two worlds of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon are 12 hours apart and are tied to the actual time in real life. Pokemon Sun operates on the same time as your Nintendo 3DS system, but time in the world of Pokemon Moon is shifted by 12 hours. Some Totem Pokemon which appear in the trials throughout the game will also be different in each version. Players will encounter different Pokemon on the same route depending on whether it is day or night, which means players will have different experiences according to their chosen version of the game.
Also new: Photography! It reminds me a little of Pokemon Snap, though it’s unclear if these pictures can only be taken at very specific locations (which is way less exciting).
The social element also looks interesting, though it appears as if you’ll only be able to respond with prefabricated messages.
The trailer also introduces the idea of “Ultra” Pokemon, such as this one:
…though it’s unclear on what exactly “Ultra” means. I do know that word isn’t “Mega”, though, so I’m not holding my breath on the return of that type of monster. Sorry, folks.
Here’s the press release, teasing a bit more about Ultras:
All over Alola, rumours speak of creatures that possess mighty powers and pose a threat to humans and Pokemon. They’re called Ultra Beasts, and there are said to be multiple Ultra Beasts in existence. It seems that the Aether Foundation is conducting research on these Ultra Beasts, referring to each of them by a code name. UB-01 is an Ultra Beast that has a body composed of a glass-like substance. It constantly changes shape, and its movements resemble that of a young girl. Whilst evidence of something like a survival instinct can be observed in UB-01, no one knows whether it has a will of its own or any emotions at all.
Finally… why are Pokemon’s live-action trailers so freakin’ good?