i will be breaking down this map island by island and determine its relation between the real world and the Pokemon world. i will be exploring concepts and ideas about the region and new gameplay/story features. feel free to reply with your thoughts!
so this is the Alola region. when you look at it from this viewpoint it doesn’t look like much. let’s first look at the island based on Oahu, which is the island you seem to begin the game at.
this is the only island where we see two viewpoints of. there are several landmarks indicating that this is Oahu. first is the Diamond Head volcanic crater.
diamond head was the result of a volcanic eruption about 300,000 years ago. it was named by the British because of the crystals in the rock that were mistaken for diamonds. it is now a state monument.
i expect we will be able to explore the inside of the crater.
next, there is Hanauma Bay.
Hanauma Bay is a popular snorkeling location on the island, perhaps hinting that for the first time in a main series game, the player can go underwater without the help of a pokemon? this concept was implemented into Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia and Guardian Signs.
in Pokemon ORAS, we saw trainers underwater that did not require the use of an HM to dive underwater.
these swimmers, including the player character, are all wearing masks. there are similar items in the anime:
we could perhaps acquire this item during the game and complete missions underwater, like searching for the evil team’s base underwater or exploring coral reefs and caverns.
anyway, the next landmark is Sacred Falls.
this landmark used to be a part of a state park, before a rockslide killed eight people and injured several more. it is closed permanently.
i believe that if HMs are still included in this game (which i moderately oppose) this will be a place where you can waterfall up the water, perhaps into a cavern where a legendary pokemon is hiding.
now we begin looking at individual towns.
the opening of the
this town consists of three small houses and one large house. there is also a battle stage thing by the large house. i assume that the larger house belongs to the man in the yellow and blue who presents you the starter Pokemon:
this guy seems like the chief of the village, since he is handing you your pokemon and he is seemingly the eldest of all of the citizens.
there seems to be an entrance to a forest, if you look closely.
there are tikis by the entrance, which can also be seen in footage of the player running up steps.
this seems symbolic somehow, and i think that the tikis represent thresholds of entering the real world as a young trainer. maybe the entrance to the forest is some sort of initiation you have to complete before leaving the town.
the professor’s lab is not in the player’s hometown. in a japanese trailer, the camera pans to this house, and then Professor Kukui talking inside the house:
this house is seen on a beach if you zoom in on the map:
the lab seems like it will be a long distance from the player’s home, hence the professor travelling to the hometown himself.
gameplay footage shows that the scale of the earth will be much larger than it has been in previous games:
we see the falls in the distance of the above screenshot.
i will continue my analysis of this island in pt 2. thank you!