'Pokémon Sun and Moon' demo secrets: Ditching HMs is a bigger deal than you think


Pokémon Sun and Moon is set to bring some huge changes to the series. A few secrets, hints and a bit of hidden code in the demo reveal one of the biggest ways the new game could set itself apart.

Pokémon Sun and Moon: What are HMs and why do we hate them?

Sun and Moon could be getting rid of one of Pokémon's most annoying traditions: hidden machines. HMs are special moves you can teach your Pokémon that have uses beyond regular battles. For example, Surf lets you travel across the water and Cut lets you chop down trees in your way.

But the problem with HMs is that they take up one of your Pokémon's four precious fighting move slots and they're very difficult to delete. It also means you're often stuck carrying around a weaker Pokémon just because it knows a specific HM. Thankfully, the new game is set to change all that in a big way.

The Pokémon Sun and Moon demo doesn't say it explicitly, but data mined from the software by YouTuber Kaphotics reveals that HMs are gone. 

Pokémon Sun and Moon: Riding Pokémon is the new HMs.

The demo also includes some big hints at how the change will play out.

Once you've finished the main Pokémon Sun and Moon demo, you can jump right back in and uncover a few extra secrets. Talk to Professor Kukui again and he'll give you a special Ride Pager item that lets you ride around on a Tauros, making it possible to smash through rocks and uncover new areas on the map. Here's a video showing the awesome new feature in action.

A short teaser that plays at the end of the demo also reveals the main character riding a water Pokémon as it breaks through similar barriers at sea. It looks like you'll be able to ride a variety of monsters, potentially replacing other HMs like Fly or Rock Climb.

So not only does Pokémon Sun and Moon get rid of those annoying HMs, but it also replaces them with something pretty incredible. Kukui hints that riding a Tauros makes your world "a whole lot bigger," suggesting you'll be able to travel faster and explore new areas.

To be fair, You could also ride Pokémon in previous games, but it was limited to specific parts of the story. By removing HMs and letting you call on pocket monsters to get around, Sun and Moon really is opening up a whole new way to play the game.