Pokemon Sun and Moon starters’ middle evolutions revealed

The Zam team is divided on the cuteness factor of Pokemon Sun and Moon‘s three starter Pokemon — Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio — but it’s undeniable that the three’s recently-revealed middle evolutions are super adorable.

Grass-type Rowlet evolves into Dartrix, just as owl-y but not as orb-y. Fire-type Litten evolves into a bigger, buffer version of itself, Torracat (“tora” meaning “tiger” in Japanese). And water-type Popplio transforms into Brionne, basically the same animal except way more femme.

In the video above, we get a glimpse of Dartrix, Torracat, and Brionne in action, in battle as well as in Pokemon Sun and Moon‘s grooming and feeding minigames. After all, what good is a pet unless you can pet it?

Some sites have shared these alleged leaks of the starters’ final evolutions as well. If accurate, Popplio ends up being the prettiest of them all and I must eat my hat. But again, these are NOT confirmed.

Is it me or does Tiger Millionaire look a little different this season.

The latest video also gives us a taste of Pokemon‘s new “Plaza” feature, where other players’ avatars appear as festival vendors, and Poke Pelago, a sort of ‘resort’ for your unused Pokemon who would otherwise be collecting dust off in storage somewhere. The Poke Pelago is a variety of small islands (hence the name) on which your reserve Pokemon can relax, hunt for items for you, or level up. The coolest part of this feature is that apparently, you can attract new wild Pokemon to willingly join your collection, if they see how well you’re treating your other Pokes. So if you’re an animal hoarder, the game will basically keep enabling you as long as you keep your critters happy!

Lastly, the ‘Mega Evolution’ battle forms which debuted in Pokemon X and Y make their return here, with the help of the same Z-Ring device that enables Z-Moves. The Mega Evolutions visible in the video all seem to be Pokemon previously revealed in other games, however.

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon arrive on Nintendo 3DS on November 18th.  A demo will be available for download this month starting on October 18th, featuring a hyper-evolved Greninja you can import into the main game.