[UPDATED] Pokémon Sun and Moon Special Demo: First Impressions

The Pokémon Sun and Moon Special Demo releases worldwide today. Check here for what is in the demo! There’s even a special Alolan Form to find if you’re lucky…

UPDATE: The Demo is now live in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, all of Europe as well as North America!

Today is the biggest day ahead of the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon – it’s the day to play the Special Demo! The Special Demo is available through the eShop and released around the world during the 18th of October, one month before the game is released in most of the world (sorry, Europe). Here we’ll give our first impressions of the Demo, and all the information you need to know! Meanwhile, we’ll update this article as the Demo is released and information comes in.

Firstly, for basic info and what you’ll need to download, check out the article below. The gist is that you’ll need 3,100 blocks of space on your SD card, and you play the demo with a special Ash-Greninja, which you can transfer to the full Sun and Moon games.

Get ready for the Sun/Moon Special Demo Version


The Special Demo is now available for download in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, all of Europe, and all of North America.

A YouTube video by Nintendo has given us the rest of the times.

For the United States, the demo will be available at the following times:

7:00am Pacific
8:00am Mountain
9:00am Central
10:00am Eastern


As the demo is now live in select countries, news is starting to filter through. The following information is partly courtesy of

  • The demo lets you use a Pikachu (at level 40) with a Z-Power available. This allows players to check out Z-Moves for themselves.
Usual sort of moveset for a Pikachu around that level.
  • The city the Demo starts in is called Hao’uli City.
  • You go for a trial in a cave called Ten Carat Hill. The trial is to take photos of two Jangmo-o and two Hakamo-o, one of which is a Totem Pokémon. You fight the Totem Hakamo-o.
  • Water Shuriken is now a Special Attack (no longer physical). It still has priority.
'Always goes first'.
‘This move always goes first’.
  • The Battle Bond Ability boosts the power of Water Shuriken.
  • Z Move Power varies depending on the base move. Pikachu’s Z-Power of Gigavolt Havoc with Thunderbolt, for instance, has 175 Base Power. Now that’s overkill.
  • After beating Plumeria, you can reboot the demo for new experiences! The Pikachu is also returned to Kukui.
  • After the demo is complete the first time, a special preview loads, showcasing various new scenes and several new characters! Potentially all are Trial Captains.
  • The mysterious new characters who appear to be captains.
  • When restarting, Kukui gives your riding gear and the ability to call Tauros.
  • You can ride it on a nearby route and get Poké Balls to capture things with in a challenge.
  • A champion is hinted at. She’s said to be travelling the world and a golfer.
  • Pikipek, Yungoos and Rockruff are found on the route Mahalo Trail with Tauros.
  • You can’t obtain EXP or the Pokédex in the Demo during the capture challenge with Tauros. Therefore only Greninja can receive EXP in the opening segment of the game.
  • When catching a Pokémon you are given the option to ‘release it to nature’ or swap it out with one from your party (who will be released instead).
  • Super Potions appear to heal 60 HP now.
  • Catching at least three Pokémon in the Pokémon Capture Challenge wins you a Nugget to send to full game.
  • The Pokémon you catch get released at the end of the challenge. Therefore you can not level them up in the demo to see any evolutions.
  • NPCS take you to different areas with mini quests. Such as one where you help your mother unpack, or where an NPC takes you to a place to bond with your Pokémon better. In the latter, you break rocks with Tauros and get 3 stardusts at the end for it.
  • The Demo seems to have events locked by days, encouraging daily playthroughs. One mentions boarding a ferry in 24 days.
  • Peck now has 60 Base Power.
  • There is a Police Station on the island with a interesting statue of Granbull.
Could this Blue Granbull be an Alolan form, or just a symbol for the police?
It is blue which is unusual, but we don’t currently believe it is an Alolan Form.

Alolan Forms

An Alolan Dugtrio can be spotted with the Poké Finder:


Head to the beach outside the cave, and an NPC may be there. If you talk to here she’ll prompt you to look at Alolan Dugtrio.

Item rewards!

You can get items as rewards to send to Pokémon Sun and Moon beating parts of the demo. This is achievable after beating the first ‘segment’ of the game. Talk to Professor Kukui when you have the full games in the Pokémon Centre to send them over (along with the Ash-Greninja).

  • Nugget – for catching at least three Pokémon in the Pokémon Catching Challenge on Ten Carat Hill. You are given sixteen Poké Balls and one Great Ball to achieve this.
  • Star Piece – for beating four Trainers on Ten Carat Hill. Talk to the female Trainer at the start of the area, beat all three Trainers, and then return to battle her. Warning – she has a Level 42 Pikachu!
  • Three Stardust – for clearing Mahalo Trail of rocks. Head right of the Pokémon Centre until you reach the SlowPoke roadblock and talk to the woman on the left side. She will teleport you to Mahalo Trail. Ride your Tauros up and clear all the blocks. At the top a ‘mysterious old man’ will reward you with three Stardust.
  • Ten Pretty Wings – for playing a day after starting the demo. Talk to the man outside the Pokémon Centre, and you’ll be rewarded.

Replay the demo!

If you play the demo on specific days following its release, you may be able to participate in additional events. They could include bonus item rewards to send to the main Sun and Moon games – at least one promises to ‘give you something good’.

Play the demo on these dates if you started on the 18th October, or alternatively X days since you start the Demo:

  • 19th October (1 day): Man outside Pokémon Centre. If you come see me tomorrow, I’ll give you something good. Not today, not the day after tomorrow. It’s gotta be tomorrow – got it? 
    Reward: 10 Pretty Wings.
  • 23rd October (5 days): Woman bottom left of town. I’m meeting up with a guy who helped me out when I sprained my ankle the other day. I’m meeting him in – how many days was it? Oh yeah, 5!
  • 30th October (12 days): Man in bottom left of Town Hall. Guess how many days until my sweet li’l Pikachu’s birthday? Just 12! I wonder if someone will help me celebrate.
  • 5th November (18 days): Policeman outside Ferry Terminal. According to my informants, there’s a shady deal going down right here in a matter of days – 18, to be exact. I wonder if I’ll be able to handle it by myself…
  • 11th November (24 days): Woman inside the Ferry Terminal.  I have to sail away on a ship in 24 days. I’m afraid of boats, though, so I’m a bit nervous. I hope you’ll come see me off on my journey.


All in all, the demo is a promising start. The battle system is clean and informative. Furthermore, the graphics are easily a step up from the sixth generation games with the removal of the grid map system. And Team Skull’s characters are good fun with their antics and movements. They’re not bad – they’re just hard.

The demo gives a nice representation of each major feature as well, from the new overworld and movement system, to Ash-Greninja’s gimmick, to the Snap-like Pokémon Finder feature, to Z-Moves. It also rewards you with Items for playing more of the demo, and encourages people to replay it on several days. This will surely keep Sun and Moon present in the mind of players as the release draws near.

Music is personally a mixed bag. I rather like the peaceful town theme here, and the riding theme is neat too. Some of the battle themes lack the oomph the fifth and sixth generation games had though. Perhaps they will grow on me however. The Pokémon Finder option does seem slightly limited thus far which is a disappointment – but it could be the case of comparing it with Snap and the lack of online and sharing functions we know it has in the full version.

For more, check out our extensive preview:

Pokémon Sun and Moon Demo Preview

Edited by Z25.