Back when the first large information dump occurred for Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, one Pokemon in particular stood out, at least to some: Tapu Koko. The dual Electric/Fairy Pokemon is more than just a general addition to the 750+ roster, but is referred to as a Guardian Diety by Japanese official sources. For the sake of keeping terms consistent, I will refer to Tapu Koko as a Legendary.
A trailer following this reveal showed Hala dedicating his first battle with the trainer and Hau as an offering to the Island Diety of Tapu Koko. E3 later confirmed that each island had a guardian diety, where a festival/Pokemon battle is held in its honor. We can infer that each of the four “Tapu” legends will have some sort of associated festival, where the trainer engages in a battle with Hau, and that Island’s Kahuna will dedicate said ceremony. This can be concluded from Hala’s actions on Melemele Island in the trailer:
With that being said, what could we be seeing from the remainder of the Tapu legends, in terms of their typing, mythology, and most importantly, their appearance? Fan theories have been spotted all over the Internet, and I will be covering just a few of the more plausible theories to start.
Two main possibilities are plausible in terms of typing. We already know that Electric/Fairy is the first Tapu Legendary’s type, though it is likely that it will retain the Fairy type. Its design highly indicates that the primary type will change, while Fairy is the one to remain constant, as is with most Legendary duos/trios. Some have speculated that since this the 20th Anniversary of Pokemon, there will be a lot alluding to the first four games: Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow. Since Tapu Koko has already covered Electric through the color yellow, some believe that the remainder of the Legends will be Fire/Fairy, Water/Fairy, and Grass/Fairy, to correspond with the first games’ types.
After the different forms of Oricorio were revealed, however, people had different ideas. Each style of Oricorio has Flying as its secondary type, with Fire, Electric, Psychic, and Ghost as their primaries. Since Electric was a type shared by both Pop-Pom Style Oricorio and Tapu Koko, some believed that the remainder of the Tapus would be Fire/Fairy, Psychic/Fairy, and Ghost/Flying. There were also two images of a sign and the new “badge” case with Red, Yellow, Pink, and Purple colors, signifying each of Oricorio’s primary types.
Even further, however, is the name of Alola’s northeastern island, Akala, meaning pink in Hawaiian. Alongside Melemele, which means yellow in Hawaiian, two of the four rumored types covered in the “Oricorio Theory” have already been named, but will purple and red follow through? If they do, we can expect the other two islands to be named Poni and ‘Ula’Ula Island, respectively.
Mythological Standing and Appearance
As mentioned in my Future of Pokemon: No More Gyms article, Hawaii is renowned for its intricate mythology, some of which has been integrated within Alola’s Island Challenge as well as these Tapu legendaries. According to Hawaiian myths, Hawaii has 4 main “Gods:” Kane, Ku, Lono, and Kanaloa. Ku is the deity of war, and represents human sacrifice in his rituals. Tapu Koko roughly translates to “holy blood” in the Hawaiian language, coinciding with the God Ku’s motives.
Its counterpart would be Lono, who is the God of Peace. During its festival, people gave back to the deity by ending wars and not engaging in unnecessary work during the celebratory period.
Kane and Kanaloa were closely linked to one another, with the former being the giver of life, and the latter being the God of the underworld. Each God had a backstory that could tie into the origins of the Tapu legendaries… or it could be a completely opposite string of Hawaiian culture altogether.
Assuming the Tapus represent the colors red, blue, green, and yellow, we could look to different evidence. It is said that Kane created the first man, so perhaps it could wield the Fire-type. In Greek Mythology, Hephaestus was granted the gift of fire that he eventually gave to make man stronger, which could serve to be an indirect connection in this case. Lono represents fertility, agriculture, and peace, giving it the potential Grass-type. Kanaloa was also said to have been represented by an octopus, giving it the Water-type, and taking care of all four potential typings.
Other Legends and their Influence
Sun and Moon will not only feature the four Tapu legendaries, but Solgaleo, Lunala, Marshadow, Zygarde (and its forms), and Magearna, who will all likely play a part in the story. While the Tapus are more on the mythological side, and Solgaleo/Lunala play into the plot, how will everything else be explored throughout Alola?
Many have speculated that Marshadow will be a part of the Solgaleo/Lunala-based plot (see [SPECULATION] What is Marshadow? for some details), but there are additional legends that are purely speculative in terms of how they make up Alola’s experience. Some believe that a Zygarde sidequest will involve the mysterious Lillie in some way, while Magearna may have something to do with Project: AZOTH, which has been foreshadowed in the past two titles and the anime. Here’s hoping that their influence on the plot is not as minimal as Diancie, Hoopa, and Volcanion’s, but only time will tell.
Potential legendaries that could be making a comeback include Ho-oh and Lugia, which were theorized about since Sun and Moon’s first release. From people claiming to see their silhouette in the Alola map’s clouds, to their potential ties to Alolan culture, it is very possible that they could be making a story-based return to Sun and Moon. Besides, the games were referred to as “Project Rainbow” in their pre-release form, and what is
Ho-oh known for… very self-explanatory.
The speculation is plenty, and I will have articles going up soon about how each of these theory-filled aspects may play out. Some more plausible than others, but at the end of the day, anything to get the mind flowing will help ease the two month wait for these next titles. Check back next Monday for another entry in the Speculation series, as the topics continue to divulge deeper into mythology, fan theories, hints, and very discreet forms of foreshadowing.