June 9, 2016
'Pokemon Sun' And 'Moon': Alola's Underwater Area Could Greatly Expand The Region

Alola, the Hawaii-themed region that will serve as the setting for Pokemon Sun and Moon, may have much more to it than what is visible on the region map distributed with the June 3 Pokemon Sun and Moonnews dump. To be more specific, evidence that has recently come to light suggests Alola may include a large underwater area that Pokemon fans have not yet seen.

Verlisify, a Youtube content creator who specializes in Pokemon content, was the first to point out the mysterious stairwell leading into the ocean from the top right island in the region's artwork (the island that past analysis has shown to be named OmaOma). The stairwell, which is located on the westernmost tip of OmaOma (near the tip of the lighthouse), is drawn very small, and Verlisify spotted it only scouring an extremely high-definition map of Alola released as part of the Pokemon Sun and Moon downloadable assets.

'Pokemon Sun' And 'Moon' Alola's Underwater Area Could Greatly Expand The Region
[Image via Pokemon]The possibilities of what Pokemon Sun and Moon have in store for us at the bottom of that staircase are virtually endless, but a few relatively likely possibilities come to mind.

1. Alola's Underwater City

Many Pokemon fans are hoping for an underwater city in Pokemon Sun and Moon, and users in Pokemon fan forums all over the net, including those from GameFAQs and Serebii.net Forums, simply assume it will happen. After all, they reason, Alola is clearly the most water-based region ever featured in a Pokemon game title, and it only makes sense that the aquatic world that takes up so much of Alola's map would merge itself with the player's Pokemon adventure. Not only that, but an underwater city has never been included in a Pokemon game before and would make for a memorable location, something which Pokemon is always trying to incorporate into its games.

2. Another Portion of Alola

By this, we mean that the underwater area could be even larger than a city. When the Alola map was revealed, many Pokemon-themed Youtubers, such as ShadyPenguinn, commented that it seemed rather small compared to regions from other Pokemon games. Well, maybe that's because the map only shows a portion of Alola, the other half of which is submerged in the ocean. It would make sense as a place to catch aquatic Pokemon and would add uniqueness to the Pokemon region.

3. An Underwater Volcano

This makes the most sense if Pokemon Sun and Moon are really trying to stay faithful to Hawaiian geography, as the Aloha State has a lot of these aquatic behemoths. A prominent example is the famous submarine volcano Lo'ihi Seamount, which has often been known to cause earthquakes in the surrounding area.

4. Pokemon Sun and Moon's Victory Road

Nearly every article or YouTube video covering Alola's layout has speculated that the Elite Four, a staple of Pokemon titles, will be located in the building on the white and blue manmade island in the region's center. The Elite Four are usually located in a distinct building, they argue, and the manmade island certainly sticks out like a sore thumb. Those speculations, though, have also included questions about where Victory Road, a large training area leading up to the Elite Four that has been present in every Pokemon game, might be if the isolated island is where the player must finish their journey. It would be logical for Pokemon Sun and Moon to put Victory Road between the stairwell leading underwater and the manmade island. The space in between the locations looks to be about the right length for a Victory Road, and, again, it would make for a memorable map location.

Yes, the idea of an underwater city or Victory Road is not exactly feasible by real-world standards, but Pokemon has been known to get extravagant with its locales, always opting for the "cool factor" over verisimilitude. Remember Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire's Sootopolis City, which was only accessible via diving on a water Pokemon and then resurfacing within the city's walls?

What do you think lies at the bottom of the staircase, Pokemon fans?

[Photo via Wikimedia Commons]