• Magnificent Entertainer supercharges his team with some new TMs. Watch here as he wishes that the player character was wearing a trench coat.

[SPOILERS] The story of Sun&Moon

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So are Z-moves explained in-game (as in, the science behind its phenomenon) to the extent that Mega Evolution and Primal Reversion were? If so, is there anything that indicates Z-moves as something that would be restricted to the separate universe that Gen VI-VII are in? Like, does the existence of Z-moves seem to tie in with the results of the Ultimate Weapon at all?
It's not "explained" outright in the sense of being spelled out for us, but it is suggested by Prof. Burnet that Z-Power is derived from the energy that pours out of the Ultra Wormholes. That is also the energy that Totem Pokémon draw on to form their defensive aura, and given that the animation for the Totem aura, the Ultra Beast's aura, and Z-Moves shares a distinct visual continuity (energy swirls around the Pokémon and then flares up, causing their bodies to glow with a pulsating light), I'd say it's probably safe to assume that her hypothesis is correct.

It's not connected to the ultimate weapon at all, and there are very strong implications that the Ultra Wormholes have appeared in other universes, so there's no reason to believe that Z-Moves are "exclusive" to this universe.

Oh and while we're on the topic, (sorry, this isn't a Sun/Moon question) unless I missed something shouldn't Primal Reversion technically be achievable in the RSE universe if the PC thought of slapping on the Red/Blue orbs to Groudon/Kyogre? The backstory of ORAS Hoenn says that Primal Reversion existed since ancient times where the battles between the two titans created Hoenn (which I would think predates AZ's time, unless I'm mistaken).
Sure, if only the legends about Primal Reversion were as well-known in that timeline. I would assume that Zinnia is the key factor here - in the ORAS version of events, she joins Team Magma/Aqua and gives them information about Primal Reversion, intending to use them to draw out Groudon/Kyogre for her own plans. In the RSE version of events, she doesn't join either Team (Maybe because that universe's Aster never died and so that Zinnia never became the Lorekeeper?), and they end up choosing the wrong Orbs. The truth of Primal Reversion remains the secret of the Draconids.

Of course, that still leaves questions. What was RSE-Aster's plan to stop the meteor? Why do that version of Brendan/May never learn about said meteor? Despite the lack of Infinity Energy in that timeline, they seem to have all of the same technology - the Space Center is still sending up rockets, and they still have the warp panels that are said to use Infinity Energy. Now, maybe their versions of those technologies aren't as good, but then, how did Maxie/Archie manage to access the Seafloor Cavern without the Infinity Energy-powered drill needed to break Rayquaza's seal? Why does the Jade Orb exist at all? And, I don't think it's a stretch to think that the first Primal conflict was somehow connected to AZ's use of the weapon - Primal conflict #1 seems to date back to 3000 years ago as well, which would be an unlikely coincidence. My theory is that the weapon's blast was powerful enough to stir the world's natural energy, which awakened Groudon and Kyogre and caused them to start fighting. That's obviously not confirmed, but I think it's plausible, aside from the fact that Groudon and Kyogre would have had to have first fought for a completely different reason in RSE-Hoenn's past.

The reality of all this is, of course, that RSE weren't written with ORAS in mind (they literally could not have been), and so ORAS are only retroactively associating with them in broad strokes. The alternative Hoenn that Zinnia mentions may be generally referring to the Hoenn of RSE, but the technical details do not allow for a very close reading.
 
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Had Primal Groudon and Kyogre existed in the RSE world, Rayquaza would have been unable to stop them. Or are we assuming that Mega Rayquaza is the only Mega Evolution in that world due to its special circumstances?
 
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Had Primal Groudon and Kyogre existed in the RSE world, Rayquaza would have been unable to stop them.
Why do you say that? It stopped them once in ORAS Hoenn without Mega Evolving.
 
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Why do you say that? It stopped them once in ORAS Hoenn without Mega Evolving.
I am pretty sure Rayquaza mega evolved to stop the Primals. Rayquaza stopped the two regular Groudon and Kyogre in Emerald with mega evolution.
 
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I am pretty sure Rayquaza mega evolved to stop the Primals. Rayquaza stopped the two regular Groudon and Kyogre in Emerald with mega evolution.
It Mega Evolved during the second Primal conflict, when the meteor struck Sootopolis. But there was a conflict that took place 1000 years before that, where it isn't said to have Mega Evolved.

Essentially, regular Rayquaza has enough power to subdue the Primals, but only Mega Rayquaza can sap their power away and place them under a seal.
 
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Essentially, regular Rayquaza has enough power to subdue the Primals, but only Mega Rayquaza can sap their power away and place them under a seal.
That still reinforces my point that the original timeline would be problematic with the Primals.
 
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That still reinforces my point that the original timeline would be problematic with the Primals.
Ohmygosh. How did I miss this. I don't know why I didn't notice this before, but the second Primal event, where Rayquaza first Mega Evolved at Sootopolis, couldn't have happened in the RSE timeline, because we know that RSE-Sootopolis formed out of a dormant volcano rather than a meteor impact site. (Goddamn I feel dense.) But despite that, RSE's Groudon and Kyogre are still in their dormant, gray, powerless states.

So you're probably correct in thinking that RSE-Rayquaza never had to deal with the Primals. So perhaps it had enough power to do to regular Groudon/Kyogre, what only Mega Rayquaza could do to their Primal forms (that is, sapping away all of their power). Maybe this happened the first time that they fought, and that would have completely preempted the second conflict. Which in turn would mean that the Draconids never actually formed at all in the RSE timeline, because they only formally became an organization after Rayquaza's first Mega Evolution. Or maybe they did form, but under different circumstances, and were much less prominent in Hoenn's history as a result. Perhaps as just some old ancestral family dating back to the tribes of Meteor Falls. Sky Pillar still exists in RSE, despite being a direct consequence of the Sootopolis meteor event, so yeah, I suppose the Draconids would have had to have existed in some manner or another.

In turn, this would also probably be why RSE's villains don't need an Infinity Energy drill in order to access the Seafloor Cavern - maybe the seal is something that only Mega Rayquaza could create. Or if regular Rayquaza could make one, it'd presumably be weaker. And on top of that, if Groudon/Kyogre never took on their Primal forms, then perhaps the knowledge of that evolution isn't just exclusively kept by the Draconids, but rather completely and totally undiscovered.

Of course, this raises two other questions. Why did Groudon and Kyogre not take on their Primal forms in the RSE timeline? We might assume that it has to do with the weapon - if my theory is correct, and it was the weapon's blast that stirred up the world's natural energy and subsequently gave Groudon and Kyogre something to fuel themselves with, then maybe without that happening, the energy in the RSE world wasn't flowing as freely, and maybe Groudon/Kyogre can't absorb it as easily when it's settled. I suppose it's possible that the energy stirring isn't what caused them to fight; maybe they'd have ended up doing that one way or the other, and the energy just gave them a better tool to use in the ORAS timeline.

The other question is, where are the meteors in the RSE timeline? The first wave probably still happened - Meteor Falls is still known by that name, after all (however, it lacks visible craters, but that could just as easily be a graphical limitation). But the second, larger meteor obviously didn't happen, and as far as we know, the big doom meteor from the Delta Episode never falls in RSE, either (although the existence of Birth Island would indicate that Deoxys still made it to Earth in a non-cataclysmic way). I hate saying that the meteors were fragments of rock that were thrown up into space by the ultimate weapon's blast because that is, frankly, utterly ridiculous, but I can't think of a better reason as to why they'd be absent.

Edit: Heh. I just had the thought that maybe we never hear of Lisia in RSE because without Mega Evolution, she's got little to offer as a Coordinator.
 
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So I had a thought and I'm curious as to how other Pokémon lore enthusiasts feel.

It's really great to see all of these returning characters in Sun & Moon (Red, Blue, Colress, Cynthia, etc.), but does anyone here feel that the timeline split lessens the emotional impact of their appearance to a degree? With the exception of Fallers like Anabel, the vast majority of returning characters we meet in SM are, technically speaking, not the same people we encountered when we played through Gen III to V. The events of those games likely played out in a similar way, albeit with slight alterations (like the Origins interpretation of the FRLG story), but they're still (as far as we know) alternate universe versions of the characters that we've personally interacted with.

For this reason, I can't help but feel that returning characters aren't quite as satisfying as they were prior to Generation VI, as much as I do happen to love the multiverse concept.
 
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So I had a thought and I'm curious as to how other Pokémon lore enthusiasts feel.

It's really great to see all of these returning characters in Sun & Moon (Red, Blue, Colress, Cynthia, etc.), but does anyone here feel that the timeline split lessens the emotional impact of their appearance to a degree? With the exception of Fallers like Anabel, the vast majority of returning characters we meet in SM are, technically speaking, not the same people we encountered when we played through Gen III to V. The events of those games likely played out in a similar way, albeit with slight alterations (like the Origins interpretation of the FRLG story), but they're still (as far as we know) alternate universe versions of the characters that we've personally interacted with.

For this reason, I can't help but feel that returning characters aren't quite as satisfying as they were prior to Generation VI, as much as I do happen to love the multiverse concept.
I think that the characters that have returned have all been comparatively minor enough for it not to matter.

Grimsley's a cardboard cut-out like most Elite Four members
Burnet's a talking head from a side-app
The Karate King in XY has always been a very minor character
Looker was just comic relief until his Megaverse incarnation

Mind you, I liked all of those characters before now (well, "like" is a bit strong for the Karate King, but let's be generous). But I'm not going to say that they were so important that we needed to be following those specific versions of them.

Blue and Colress are more "important" in the sense that they are characters that the stories of their games focused on. But in turn, both of their appearances in SM were small cameos that didn't really change what we already knew about them. They're not being used to extend their arcs; they pretty much are just being used for their familiar-looking faces.
 
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That still reinforces my point that the original timeline would be problematic with the Primals.
Idea: "Natural Energy" doesn't exist in the non-Mega timeline. We know that the wellspring of Natural Energy in Cave of Origin lead to the formation of new Mega Stones. Aqua/Magma was also harnessing that energy from Mt. Chimney to make a mega stone out of the meteorite, and the large meteorite that Mega Rayquaza originally evolved from would have been affected by natural energy.

Xerneas' Geomancy draws energy from the Earth, and based on the description from ORAS, Natural Energy is the Earth's energy as well.

No Natural Energy = No Mega Evolution = No Primals
 
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So I finished Sun this afternoon and wow the final cinematics left me pretty damn emotional. I loved this story.
 
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I don't think that anything major in Alola is affected by the timeline split, for the simple reason that Mega Evolution is so insignificant. I'd say that Kalos and Hoenn are the only regions which were really affected.

Blue and Colress are more "important" in the sense that they are characters that the stories of their games focused on. But in turn, both of their appearances in SM were small cameos that didn't really change what we already knew about them. They're not being used to extend their arcs; they pretty much are just being used for their familiar-looking faces.
Colress does wonder if Z-moves are the hidden potential that he was looking for, as opposed to Mega Evolution. I'd imagine that in the original timeline he would say the exact same thing, but without mentioning Mega Evolution.

Samson Oak says that he gave Blue a Z bracelet, which again, could happen in the original timeline. Red is the odd one out since he has a Key Stone, but he only uses it in the Battle Tree.
 
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Sure, if only the legends about Primal Reversion were as well-known in that timeline. I would assume that Zinnia is the key factor here - in the ORAS version of events, she joins Team Magma/Aqua and gives them information about Primal Reversion, intending to use them to draw out Groudon/Kyogre for her own plans. In the RSE version of events, she doesn't join either Team (Maybe because that universe's Aster never died and so that Zinnia never became the Lorekeeper?), and they end up choosing the wrong Orbs. The truth of Primal Reversion remains the secret of the Draconids.

Of course, that still leaves questions. What was RSE-Aster's plan to stop the meteor? Why do that version of Brendan/May never learn about said meteor? Despite the lack of Infinity Energy in that timeline, they seem to have all of the same technology - the Space Center is still sending up rockets, and they still have the warp panels that are said to use Infinity Energy. Now, maybe their versions of those technologies aren't as good, but then, how did Maxie/Archie manage to access the Seafloor Cavern without the Infinity Energy-powered drill needed to break Rayquaza's seal? Why does the Jade Orb exist at all? And, I don't think it's a stretch to think that the first Primal conflict was somehow connected to AZ's use of the weapon - Primal conflict #1 seems to date back to 3000 years ago as well, which would be an unlikely coincidence. My theory is that the weapon's blast was powerful enough to stir the world's natural energy, which awakened Groudon and Kyogre and caused them to start fighting. That's obviously not confirmed, but I think it's plausible, aside from the fact that Groudon and Kyogre would have had to have first fought for a completely different reason in RSE-Hoenn's past.

The reality of all this is, of course, that RSE weren't written with ORAS in mind (they literally could not have been), and so ORAS are only retroactively associating with them in broad strokes. The alternative Hoenn that Zinnia mentions may be generally referring to the Hoenn of RSE, but the technical details do not allow for a very close reading.
Wait...yeah something I never really understood was that the wrong orb was used to awaken the titans in RSE. How did that even work? Does presenting the orb corresponding to the titan's mortal enemy arouse them into an angry state that awakens them? Was it stated (or implied) in-game that the leaders would be choosing the wrong orbs if they did what their RSE counterparts did?

Unless I'm mistaken (I probably am for some points), I thought the origins of the Draconids was due to witnessing Rayquaza's Mega Evolution? (Or at least why they continued to exist centuries after the last incident prior to the Delta Episode.) In terms of the battle between Groudon and Kyogre, like people said afterwards, their primal energies might have been the only reason why a Mega Evolution was necessary for Rayquaza, whereas if Primal Reversion wasn't involved Rayquaza could have stopped the conflict as easily as seen in Emerald. If I'm correct on this, then who is to say the Draconids even existed to the present timeline (if they existed at any point) in the RSE universe?

To tie in with that, maybe Zinnia never infiltrated Magma/Aqua in RSE because there wasn't a meteor to worry about? (Again, assuming she was even born in that timeline; if the Draconids ceased to exist then her ancestors may not have stayed in contact after several years, leaving her birth as an event that never occurred.) For one thing, remember that Deoxys can be found on Birth Island in Emerald and FRLG. While there wasn't any outright indication that the meteoroid in ORAS was a result of events exclusive to the megaverse, I'm pretty sure that the similar fiasco with the meteoroids from Draconid legends likely would have something to do with angry Deoxys in the meteoroid (maybe if it wasn't provoked, it would have settled itself on Birth Island in a non-destructive way?)

As for the Jade Orb, was it ever explained in-game (in HGSS where it actually appeared) how it came to be of existence? At least in Pokemon Adventures, the Jade Orb was artificially created by the Mossdeep Space Center (I think it was them?) to control Rayquaza as a similar fashion to the Red/Blue Orbs (didn't even work). Nevertheless, it was never present in any Hoenn-based games. Even in the games where it did appear, it was merely a post-game bonus artifact.

Even though RSE Maxie/Archie didn't have access to all the resources their ORAS counterparts did, I'm sure they found other ways. Another way to think about it is, the ones who oppose Magma/Aqua didn't have access to those resources either (fight small fire with small fire)

I see your theory with the Ultimate Weapon's tie-in with Primal Reversions as plausible (I never noticed the coinciding time-points). So if that's the case, then the RSE universe probably just had vanilla Kyogre/Groudon battling and all it took was a vanilla Rayquaza. As for the meteoroids from Draconid legends, maybe they were caused by the greater chaos from the Primal forms that the regular forms wouldn't have caused? (In that case, the Draconids would have never existed in RSE)

I don't think that anything major in Alola is affected by the timeline split, for the simple reason that Mega Evolution is so insignificant. I'd say that Kalos and Hoenn are the only regions which were really affected.
Agree with you on Kalos and Hoenn having major impacts with the existence of the Ultimate Weapon (in the original timeline, I'm pretty sure the majority of events in Kalos never even occurred since most of them were centered around the Ultimate Weapon and its effects). As for Alola, my devil's advocate is that the Ultra Beasts seem to have more incentive of affecting the events of the megaverse (we don't see any cases of anyone from the megaverse being transported to the original universe...), possibly because of the Infinite Energy. If that's the case, a lot of elements and events in Alola would be affected to the same extent as the ones in Kalos in my viewpoint, thus rendering Alola as an insignificant region like Kalos would be in the original timeline.

Okay, another question: do we see Zygarde cores with blue centers in the games? Overall, does Zygarde tie in with Xerneas/Yveltal at all in Sun/Moon?
 
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Okay, another question: do we see Zygarde cores with blue centers in the games? Overall, does Zygarde tie in with Xerneas/Yveltal at all in Sun/Moon?
Nope. Zygarde is basically a glorified fetch quest with little explanation or lore whatsoever. Dexio and Sina surmise that Zygarde appeared in Alola because of an impending crisis, but beyond that there's no attempt whatsoever to give Zygarde any kind of story relevance whatsoever. They themselves even mention that it's strange that this is happening in Alola instead of Kalos. Xerneas and Yveltal don't even show up in Sun and Moon, let alone have any kind of lore connecting it to Zygarde.
 
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Does presenting the orb corresponding to the titan's mortal enemy arouse them into an angry state that awakens them?
It's unclear. ORAS says that the opposite Orb has a calming effect on them (it's why they tell you to fit the Orb into the Magma/Aqua suit before meeting Groudon/Kyogre). But in RSE, presenting them with the opposite Orb very clearly enrages them. So best I can figure is that the opposite Orb has a different effect depending on whether it's shown to them while they're in hibernation or not. That's the only difference I can see - in RSE, they were still in their dormant state when Maxie/Archie brought the wrong Orb. But in ORAS, the Orb was brought to them after they'd already awoken.

Was it stated (or implied) in-game that the leaders would be choosing the wrong orbs if they did what their RSE counterparts did?
The games didn't say much about it, but it's kind of weirdly presented anyway. In both games, Maxie/Archie are under the impression that one of the Orbs will allow them to control Groudon/Kyogre. In neither case does the Orb they choose actually allow them to control their respective titan, but the opposite Orb doesn't seem to allow them to begin the Primal Reversion process like the correct Orb does in ORAS. So I don't really know what's up with that.

Unless I'm mistaken (I probably am for some points), I thought the origins of the Draconids was due to witnessing Rayquaza's Mega Evolution? (Or at least why they continued to exist centuries after the last incident prior to the Delta Episode.) In terms of the battle between Groudon and Kyogre, like people said afterwards, their primal energies might have been the only reason why a Mega Evolution was necessary for Rayquaza, whereas if Primal Reversion wasn't involved Rayquaza could have stopped the conflict as easily as seen in Emerald. If I'm correct on this, then who is to say the Draconids even existed to the present timeline (if they existed at any point) in the RSE universe?
The "Draconids" only existed as a formal organization and institution of Rayquaza-worship after the second Groudon/Kyogre fight at Sootopolis (when Rayquaza first Mega Evolved), but they actually formed out of a Dragon clan that had existed since the previous conflict. 1000 years before Primal conflict #2, they'd lived at Meteor Falls, at witnessed the first appearance of Rayquaza. Zinnia also says that the people who saw the second conflict had "a memory from a thousand years before, about the appearance of the Legendary Pokémon clad in emerald light."

So, the people that comprise the Draconids still would have existed in RSE, and still would have seen the first appearance of Rayquaza. This is necessary, because the Sky Pillar was built by them, and yet it still exists in RSE, despite being a direct consequence of Rayquaza's Mega Evolution in the ORAS timeline. So presumably, they still at some point decided to build the Sky Pillar in Rayquaza's honor, but not for the purposes of protecting the giant Key Stone, and they would have never become "the Draconids" proper.

While there wasn't any outright indication that the meteoroid in ORAS was a result of events exclusive to the megaverse, I'm pretty sure that the similar fiasco with the meteoroids from Draconid legends likely would have something to do with angry Deoxys in the meteoroid (maybe if it wasn't provoked, it would have settled itself on Birth Island in a non-destructive way?)
That's what I'm wondering. Presumably, the first meteor shower still happened in RSE, because that's what Meteor Falls is known for, and it's still called that in RSE. But that shower wasn't particularly destructive; at most, it just forced the proto-Draconids to move out.

The second meteor was a big one, and it smashed into Sootopolis. But in RSE, Sootopolis formed out of a dormant volcano instead; there was no meteor strike as far as we know. Or if there was one, it was insignificant.

The third was the ultra-huge meteor that contained Deoxys, but as you say, it doesn't seem to have threatened RSE-Hoenn in the was that its counterpart imperiled ORAS-Hoenn. It seems to have landed amid the Sevii Islands, leading to Birth Island.

But why were these meteors less-devastating in the RSE timeline? Aside from the weapon, I can't think of any particular reason as to why they wouldn't be just as destructive.

As for the Jade Orb, was it ever explained in-game (in HGSS where it actually appeared) how it came to be of existence?
Strictly speaking, they've never really explained how any of the Orbs came into existence. We know that the Red and Blue Orbs were found in the Cave of Origin by Phoebe's ancestors, but that doesn't tell us how they came into being.

As for the meteoroids from Draconid legends, maybe they were caused by the greater chaos from the Primal forms that the regular forms wouldn't have caused? (In that case, the Draconids would have never existed in RSE)
I don't think it could be to do with Groudon and Kyogre, because there were meteors falling even during their first conflict. It's basically impossible for their quarreling, or the weapon, to be what attracted those meteors, unless those meteors were extremely close to Earth already.

In fairness, we still don't know why Deoxys came to Earth in the Delta Episode. We do know, however, that it willfully changed its meteor's trajectory in order to get here. (And I am assuming that, had ORAS-Deoxys not changed course, it would have been heading toward the Sevii Islands, just like its counterpart.)

Edit: You know, maybe the belief that every variation between these two timelines is rooted in the ultimate weapon is unfounded. After all, the Fairy type doesn't seem to exist in the Non-Mega universe at all, and it pre-dates the weapon in the Mega universe. So the point of divergence must be earlier than the weapon. And in that case, maybe it's not so unlikely that the Deoxys meteors just happen to be different sizes. Something in the probably-very-distant past must have been a variation, which resulted in larger meteors forming in the Mega universe. As an aside, I really wonder how potential Sinnoh remakes may get involved in this stuff. I don't see how they can avoid it given the Sinnoh story's subject material.

Edit #2: Actually, upon double-checking, Zinnia states that in the other timeline, the entire Kalos war may never have happened. So yeah, there's definitely something further back that acted as a divergence point, and the creation of the ultimate weapon was just a side-effect of that.

As for Alola, my devil's advocate is that the Ultra Beasts seem to have more incentive of affecting the events of the megaverse (we don't see any cases of anyone from the megaverse being transported to the original universe...), possibly because of the Infinite Energy. If that's the case, a lot of elements and events in Alola would be affected to the same extent as the ones in Kalos in my viewpoint, thus rendering Alola as an insignificant region like Kalos would be in the original timeline.
Regardless, we know that Ultra Wormholes have opened in the Non-Megaverse, because that's how that universe's Anabel and Looker ended up in the Megaverse. There would still be wormhole energy pouring onto that universe's Earth. It's possible that there could be fewer wormholes opening in that world, but we have no particular reason to think so because Infinity Energy hasn't been suggested to be a factor in why the Ultra Beasts appear. (In fact, they don't actually seem to want to leave Ultra Space at all.)

Okay, another question: do we see Zygarde cores with blue centers in the games? Overall, does Zygarde tie in with Xerneas/Yveltal at all in Sun/Moon?
We only ever "see" one Core; the display image for the Zygarde Core (with the red core) only appears on the first Core you find. When you pick up the remaining Cores, it just displays a text box saying that the creature went into the Zygarde Cube.

You could pretend that the remaining Cores are different colors, although they still look like pink sparkles in the overworld.

Zygarde's connection with Xerneas/Yveltal isn't mentioned at all outside of one of the Pokédex entries saying that Complete Forme can overwhelm them (as if). In fact, if not for that and its Aura Break Ability, Zygarde would pretty much be a standalone Legendary like Heatran.

Sina and Dexio openly wonder why it's in Alola instead of Kalos (which is where the Zygarde Cube was discovered, by Sycamore), and think that it may be there because it senses an upcoming event. We may (as well) assume that this refers to the Aether Foundation's recent Ultra Wormhole openings.
 
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I just finished the games. The story was good but XY and ORAS while not having that good story, had some elements which were very good. They also had a sense of continuity. Zygarde was a wasted potential here, Pokemon Z should have happened instead...
I too think that they were in a hurry to jump onto the next gen because I don't see any reason for Zygarde to be present in these games. It was probably coming and zygarde's forms were revealed in late 2015 so 2016 was meant for its game. Otherwise, they would not have hyped his forms so much. even if they did it for the anime, it was the promotion of the games afterall.
The exclusive legends thing didn't bother me much before but in this game.... The story would be even better had both the legends been present in one game. If Pokemon gives up on this exclusive concept, then there would be a much much better game since it will surround around 2 legends.

SM are rushed IMO and if stars is true, then it can fix those issues.
 
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I loved the story in this game because it focused so much on a single character that I could invest in. It's the first time the PC isn't the focus of the story, despite the key role he/she undoubtedly plays, but I didn't feel any less invested because you're with Lillie every step of the way. The scale of the story is not as grand as the world-saving stories in the other games, yet the increased personal stakes made it a more engaging experience. It felt natural to want to help Lillie and doing so didn't get in the way of the rest of the game as it does in every other game except Black/White.

I don't know if it tops Black/White but it almost certainly beats out any other game in the series.
 
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I just finished the games. The story was good but XY and ORAS while not having that good story, had some elements which were very good. They also had a sense of continuity. Zygarde was a wasted potential here, Pokemon Z should have happened instead...
I too think that they were in a hurry to jump onto the next gen because I don't see any reason for Zygarde to be present in these games. It was probably coming and zygarde's forms were revealed in late 2015 so 2016 was meant for its game. Otherwise, they would not have hyped his forms so much. even if they did it for the anime, it was the promotion of the games afterall.
The exclusive legends thing didn't bother me much before but in this game.... The story would be even better had both the legends been present in one game. If Pokemon gives up on this exclusive concept, then there would be a much much better game since it will surround around 2 legends.

SM are rushed IMO and if stars is true, then it can fix those issues.
Stars won't entirely make up for no Z, it'd pretty much be impossible to include Kalos without sacrificing something they could get away with in a standalone Kalos game. Even if they include everything from XY there's still some things they should've included that inevitably won't make the cut like new areas in Southern Kalos.

Storyline wise, they could throw in Xerneas/Yveltal but I don't think they will. They don't seem to care about resolving anything from XY, just cramming in the new forms for the sake of having them.
 
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Zygarde was a wasted potential here, Pokemon Z should have happened instead...
I too think that they were in a hurry to jump onto the next gen because I don't see any reason for Zygarde to be present in these games.
Zygarde is present in these games in order to add extra content to these games, which is, frankly, a more creative and worthwhile use for it than being the "justification" for overpriced glorified DLC.

Plot-wise, Zygarde just doesn't have much to contribute, but this shouldn't be a surprise. XY weren't even about Xerneas/Yveltal, either. XY's core plot fixtures were the ultimate weapon and Mega Evolution, which already got their third version-esque expansion in ORAS.

Xerneas/Yveltal really only exist because they can't slap a flowery death cannon and a rainbow rock on the box art.

It was probably coming and zygarde's forms were revealed in late 2015 so 2016 was meant for its game.
Likely not, seeing as how SM were foreshadowed in XY, and even bled a plot element into ORAS as well.

Game Freak were never going to give us a dull rewrite of XY for the anniversary in any case.
 
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