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a look back on gen 7 speculation and pre-release discussion

ripplefieldz

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so, the new pokeani ep has got me thinking about the good ol' hype era of sun/moon speculation again, particularly the theories on ultra beasts. i find this interesting in hindsight, as the lillie is nihilego theory makes.. more sense looking at the info we had at the time than you'd expect. obviously most of the other connections weren't nearly as solid (an example pictured to the right in a personal favorite image of mine), but it does pose an interesting question when you look at some of what we have here. i remember the thing that first really made me curious about this was an old theory video i found, the almost comically aged theory of "not only is lillie UB-01, but UB-01 is also god" which, sidenote but even by the logic presented in that video UB-01 would be something akin to an angel, not a god.

to start off with my thoughts on the lillie is nihilego theory, yes it of course turned out to absolutely not be the case (and i am actually kind of glad for that, maybe it's just me but lillie kinda comes off as autistic-coded to me so having her be a possibly-not-even-sentient alien thing would be um. not good), but if you look back at what we knew back then? it does kinda make sense. infact, there is an entire aspect to nihilego that was seemingly scrapped and i have no idea what the significance was. on the now-defunct (but still viewable on the wayback machine) sun/moon website, there are little blurbs about some of the ultra beasts. nihilego's states that its body is composed of a glass-like substance, standard enough, and then notes that "it's constantly changing shapes, never settling on one." i'll touch more on the old website in a bit, so just keep that in mind for now. i believe we did have the infamous bit of nihilego supposedly having been seen acting like a young girl at this point, which took literally like 5 and a half years to be acknowledged beyond a dex entry. this one might be just me but the way lillie was described also feels a bit weird in hindsight, specifically describing her as mysterious as opposed to simply having a mysterious past or something like that. subtle wording choices and change a lot, i suppose.

so, back to the website. buzzwole and pheromosa also have scrapped aspects, buzzwole's implying it used its.. whatever its mouth thing is called to attack, and pheromosa's definitely leaning more into the "beauty" aspect of it, true to the codename, and possibly true to the phero- part of the name aswell. admittedly, i'm kinda glad that pheromosa thing was scrapped for the most part (and before you bring up meowth, i'm like 99% sure he was just Like That). speaking of codenames actually, another interesting tidbit about nihilego- aside from it's codename, UB-01 symbiote, there is no mention of it being a parasite whatsoever. the mascot legendaries also have an odd little thing about them, with the website making special note of their radiant sun and full moon forms. however, in the final games, these are only seen when they use their signature moves. odd, isn't it?

in general, i really do think the sun/moon we thought we were getting before aether and ultra beasts got revealed feels.. super fucking different from the one we got. i don't mean this in a bad way, but it feels weird. solgaleo and lunala's relative un-noteworthyness in the plot and lore (going by usum it very much seems like the two are Just regular old ultra beasts, and in sun/moon it almost feels like nihilego and cosmog are the big notable pokemon, even if cosmog does evolve into solgaleo and lunala), the sudden shift into alien conspiracies, in general the sheer contrast of the island challenge and the actual plot, it feels odd. i'm sure they were planning this direction from the start or atleast from very early on, but still, i look back on those early days and i feel an almost melancholy of some sort. definitely some kind of feeling, for sure. i dunno, sun/moon was a big part of my life and i hope you guys here are as eager to talk about it as i am.
 

Beer&Nyquil

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it does feel like theres a lot more that couldve been explored than was borne out in the games
 

colours

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i don't watch the pokemon anime, so i'm unsure if this was answered there but...i think a decent part (from my understanding?) of the ultra beast discourse is not just the mystery surrounding them, but also what it means for future regions. are there going to be more UBs introduced? are UBs strictly an alola thing? is there going to be something similar in the future where there are going to be unique legendaries that have their own classifications, so to speak? Game Freak sure went the mile and a half on culturally making alola a unique region with their introduction but part of me feels conflicted because i want more, but simultaneously i do understand if they're kept an alola exclusive because of their relevance there.

not to turn this thread into a complete ultra beast discussion thread, but their introduction raises/d a lot of questions that had an... unsatisfactory (to me, at least) conclusion with the introduction of gen 8 (and possibly, gen 9).
 

Beer&Nyquil

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yeah. seems like theyre gonna be alola exclusive which feels like a massive fucking waste of potential imo
 

Nicolas721

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I will forever remember that day fondly. The many SM trailers we had up until that point were "Rainbows! Flowers! Dances! Colors!" and then, BOOM, Aether Foundation, Gladion, Type Null and UB 01 ??? (that was literally its name) dropped. No other game has had something like that on their prerelease period so I really hope to see something similar in SV.

The site's wording was designed to be misleading, but I wouldn't call it pointless, because Lillie and Nihilego do share a connection in the final product and their likeliness is a representation of Lillie's pampered background. Lillie being Nihilego disguised would have been cool indeed, but it's hard to say whether it would be an objectively better outcome as we don't know how things would have gone to compare.

I'm ok with UBs remaining exclusive to Gen 7. It was a nice way to follow up the "multiverse" plot from Gen 6 and its main theme was about how to understand these types of creatures and how they could affect out world. I'm sure we'll get more creatures from the multiverse eventually (we just got Origin Dialga and Palkia), but for now I appreciate them as a fun reminder of an era.
 
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