The newest trailer for Pokemon Sun and Moon hides a familiar face, causing fans to speculate over the Oak family’s significance in Nintendo’s upcoming handheld title.
The more gamers learn about Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, the more it feels as though Nintendo is consciously deciding to embrace the fan nostalgia that has grown increasingly pronounced over the franchise’s twenty year lifespan. Trailers for the game have revealed that, despite its new Hawaii-like aesthetic, Pokemon Sun and Moon are very much designed to give long-time fans features or moments they have wanted for the better part of a decade. Having Snorlax finally stand up in the same year that the Pokemon franchise is celebrating its twentieth anniversary is no coincidence.
Perhaps no other single reveal regarding Pokemon Sun and Moon has been as telling about its embrace of the past than the one made yesterday, wherein keen-eyed fans of the series spotted a familiar face from many gamers’ childhoods. The Pokemon-altering islands of Alola may have a huge number of innovations and surprises in store for aspiring Pokemon trainers later this year, but they also feature a member of the Oak family, famous for producing the original game’s absent-minded Professor and Ash Ketchum’s eternal rival, Gary.
The member of the Oak family pictured above doesn’t have an official name yet outside of the famous surname, but he does have a designation – he’s the cousin of Professor Oak, according to official Japanese sources, hence the clear family resemblance. What role he’ll play remains a mystery at this time, although if he’s anything like the Professor, the Alolan Oak will be pestering gamers about the names of his grandchildren once fans finally get their hands on the Pokemon Sun and Moon demo rumored to be launching soon.
Given that the newest Oak has not been immediately identified as a Professor, there’s a lot of potential regarding his role in the society of Pokemon Sun and Moon. Another recent trailer unveiled the existence of both the Aether Foundation and the Ultra Beasts, with the former being described as a scientific research organization passionate about understanding Pokemon better. That’s the kind of pursuit that has enticed both Professor Oak and Gary away from being trainers themselves, and if it runs in the family, gamers should expect to see Oak’s cousin getting involved in some capacity.
Regardless of what Oak’s cousin is doing in Alola, however, his inclusion is another nod from Nintendo toward the older fans of the Pokemon series who are still supporting its newest iterations today. While the games are still converting plenty of new Pokemon fanatics with each release, it’s nice to see Nintendo recognize and respect the contributions of the franchise’s oldest supporters with callbacks to the classics.
Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon will arrive on November 18, 2016 for Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS exclusively.