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'Pokémon Sun and Moon' demo goes live worldwide; Pokédex leaked

A trial version of upcoming Nintendo double release “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” has been rolling out in Japan, Australia, North America and Europe and, as some intrepid fans have discovered, may reveal much more than intended about the two November games.

Set for release from November 18 onwards, “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” arrives during the 20th year of the Pokémon franchise as a whole.

Thanks to the success of mid-year smartphone app “Pokémon Go,” the franchise has enjoyed a huge boost in awareness and accessibility, though “Pokemon Sun & Moon” is set not for mobiles but Nintendo’s long-serving handheld, the clamshell 3DS, and its wedge-shaped younger sibling, the 2DS.

Just as previous editions have been based on real-world locations — Japan and surrounding islands, Paris and northern France, and New York City and state — “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” take place in a fictionalized version of Hawaii, known as Aloha.

And, as with previous entries to the franchise, successive Pokémon games bring with them new entries to a gradually expanding roster of creatures to find and catch.

But that roster, usually a closely guarded secret for players to discover themselves, is now out in the open, after the October 18 “Sun & Moon” demo was successfully subjected to data-mining techniques.

Details include how many Ultra Beasts the final game would contain, as well as previously unknown moves, special abilities, evolution paths, and super-rare shiny Pokémon styles; perhaps even a story spoiler concerning one of the more famous Pokémon animals.

All the same, the “Sun & Moon” demo isn’t just for data mining — it’s also a lead-in to the full game experience.

Those that complete it get a Pokémon, Ash-Greninja, which they can take with them into the main game.

In addition, most downloadable demos for the 3DS and 2DS consoles come with a hard limit for the number of times they can be played.

The “Pokémon Sun” and “Moon” demo is different: not only is it a larger download than most, there’s no launch limit. There’ll be invitations to play again at particular times, allowing Nintendo to keep the attention of any on-the-fence fans well after November 18 has come and gone.

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