Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon might be amazing games, but they're not exactly difficult. That's why one player created a ROM hack that amps the difficulty up to brutal levels.
Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon might have spurned many classic features in the Pokemon series, but there's no denying the fact that they have continued the long-running trend of Pokemon's main story mode catering to casual fans. While Pokemon Sun and Moon sales were never going to be negatively impacted by that development decision, all the innovations present in the newest entries into the Pokemon franchise had some gamers holding out hope for a more difficult trek throughout Alola than one would expect.
Still, Pokemon Sun and Moon are some of the finest games the series has ever seen, and there aren't many obvious shortcomings that need addressing even for competitive players. For the select few trainers who have been craving a Pokemon experience more akin to the Dark Souls franchise, however, GBA Temp user Kobazco has developed a hack that makes the main story campaign a brutal, unforgiving experience. Kobazco has called the more difficult versions Pokemon Rising Sun and Pokemon Waning Moon, and some of the modifications are downright cruel.
For starters, all Trial Captains and Kahunas now have full teams of Pokemon, making their fights much more difficult, while the level curve of Pokemon as they appear has been raised significantly. That means trainers are more likely to find themselves waking up back at the nearest Pokemon Center after encountering many of Alola's most powerful Pokemon. Kobazco speculates that players will need teams of Pokemon that are at least around level 80 by the end of the Elite 4.
Beyond this, however, Alolan trainers have also been modified to have Pokemon that aren't usually seen in the Alola region. That will force players to switch up their tactics and be sharp when attempting to exploit weaknesses, as it can be easy to forget typing at the best of times - but Alola has a number of Pokemon who have switched typing thanks to their Alola regional variants, meaning players might find themselves thrown off more than usual.
All told, Kobazco's hack should provide the kind of horrific, frustrating experience that Pokemon has consistently - and rightly - shied away from in the main Pokemon series. It sounds like a brutal slog through some of the Pokemon series' most frustrating mechanics, but that's probably part of the appeal to the type of trainer who wanted this, and others can stay away and keep the frights to reading rumors about Mimikyu's origin instead.
Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon are available now on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS.