The town already feels so different. We see more people conversing around the streets before the Kahuna approaches us. Hala explains that this region is made of four islands (I wonder if there are any mystery islands that’ll show up throughout the game...). He explains that the festival in Iki Town is meant to honor the four island deities in Alola for their protection. After his explanation, I guess we get another chance to explore this city.
Inside the homes, the dialogue hasn’t really changed. But talking to the people outside seems to be a chance to learn more about the guardian deities. Our unofficial rival, Hau, is here, too, with his little partner Rowlet casually waiting in the distance.
We finally can get SOME answers to the festival with the arrival of Lillie and Kukui. It seems that this festival FOCUSES on Pokémon battles in honor of the island deity. We don’t have much time to think about it, so might as well get right to honoring the deity that saved us from that waterfall demise.
We get right to the cut scene, with Hala giving a blessing and prayer for the battle challenge’s participants in honor of Tapu Koko. It seems that we shall be battling Hau again after being introduced to the crowd as the one who has interacted with the deity. Shout out to our mom for actually showing up to the event! (More like, she gives a shout out to our partner to take care of us.)
Time to battle Hau! He’s got a Pichu on his team; it seems that he’s going for the cutest team possible, which is a fair method. I made a rookie mistake and forgot about the whole Pichu having static as its ability thing. I think my team should be okay, though! A good challenge, but a win for me, and, with how happy Hau is with the battle, definitely a feel good moment this early in the game.
The battle went so well that Tapu Koko shouted his approval from the distance. Kahuna Hala gives us back that mysterious stone we left with him. He seems to have turned it into a Z-ring bracelet, which reminds me of the stone we had in the previous games to mega evolve our partners. This is what we’ll be using to bring those insanely cool looking moves out of our partners. The only things we need now are strong bonds with Pokemon and Z-Crystals. The Shining stone was a possible blessing or mission from the deity.
We find out that the Island Challenge consists of the four islands. One must travel to each of the islands to try to become the island challenge champion, aka the strongest trainer in Alola.
Before we can really do the challenge, Lillie talks with us about the deity shortly before we go home. Mom seems surprised to see us, but she’s just happy after seeing our successful battle. She gives us approval to do the Island challenge before we go to bed.
The next day, it’s time to venture to the Professor’s Lab. The accuracy points add up because, before we leave, mom stops us to give us a little more pocket money before we venture too far out. After pleasantries are exchanged, it’s off to the labs we go!
Kukui works surrounded by Pokémon, unlike other professors we’ve seen in the past. Before we see his lab, Lillie gets us up to speed with more info. Nebby is actually called Cosmog -- as expected, a rare Pokémon. Bad guys are probably after it because of the power it used to save Lillie like we saw in the beginning of the game. She wants to trust our ability to keep it a secret, and I don’t see why we wouldn’t. We keep moving and crash right into the line of sight to another Youngster. There was an alternate route via the ledges, but where’s the fun in that?
Based on this Youngster, it’ll be safe to say this is where I can really raise my Pokémon to be stronger. This will be another area to raise my Pokémon and catch more. This area is significantly more of a challenge for me because we’re closer to water types, and, with Litten being a fire type, my strongest one is at a disadvantage. But, after another battle with a Lass, we’re finally ready to check out this lab!
...Apparently something happens in this lab enough that there’s random planks of wood holding parts of the house together. His big thing is researching Pokémon moves, which makes sense with Alola being the place for Z moves and all. We find out that Lillie isn’t actually a research assistant -- more or less she is helping out since he lets her stay with him.
The lab isn’t like anything I’ve ever expected. But before we can look around, we find out that this region’s Pokedex is home to a Rotom. The Pokedex is something else entirely, with this Rotom able to communicate with us about Pokémon (the blinking thing is getting me the most). Rotomdex is here to help us navigate this new region apparently.
Hau comes into the lab, too, for whatever reason. But now we can learn about the Island Challenge a bit more. As we know, there are four islands in Alola. Each island has their own Kahuna. We will need to complete seven trials to be deemed worthy to challenge any of the Kahunas. We get a cool-looking island challenge amulet for our adventure. We can easily start our challenge and check out the trainer’s school, but I’ll leave off here where I’m exploring the lab!
What do you guys think? Will these challenges be like mini gym battles? Is this gonna be a lot harder than we anticipated? Let me know!
Time played: 4 hours 29 minutes | Pokémon captured: 8