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[Spoilers] Pokemon Sun and Moon ROMs Leak Onto the Internet (And Reveal Basically Everything)

The full versions of Pokemon Sun & Moon leak just over a week before release

Nintendo seems to have a leaking issue lately -- and the problem only seems to be increasing with the latest leak of Pokemon Sun and Moon. It seems like only a few days ago we had the entire Pokedex leaked as a result of data mining the demo, and not long before that a Chinese leaker released early concepts of the final evolutions for the starter trio. But now, only a month after the Paper Mario leak, Pokemon Moon has officially had its full version leaked online just over a week before release.

The leak happened just yesterday after a 4chan anonymous user somehow acquired an early copy of the game. Since then, the ROM has been passed around the internet and into the hands of various data miners, leading to a whole slew of leaked information ranging from plot points, to evolution lines, and the base stats of each Pokemon. Even the soundtrack has been released at this point.

Why Pokemon Moon in particular? Well according to Reddit user FocusForASecond, the ROM that was released was solely for Pokemon Moon, while the Pokemon Sun leak was nothing more than a troll attempt and more than likely just a preload from the eShop.

In that same thread, reddit user _hownowbrowncow_ also added that the ROM is currently unusable for the average user. They explained as follows:

Right now the ROM is completely unusable to the average user. By my feeble grasp of 3DS "hacking" (for use of unofficial programs - not actual hax), in order for it to work you have to have Custom Firmware (CFW) (ie. Linux rather than Windows =>> CFW rather than the standard 3DS operating system) on an older, out-of-date 3DS, and then some sort of emulator program to run a second, virtual console that'll run the current leaked ROM hack. Current file converter programs to convert the file from the 3DS emulator type to the PC Emulator file type are not working on the leaked ROM as of yet, though may be an available option in the near future.

For those who don't quite understand, the TL;DR is that chances are no one will be able to run the game on their own 3DS without serious modding and hacked firmware knowledge, so don't bother. Unless your 3DS already has a firmware older than 11.0 then there's no point.

If you really want to spoil the game for yourself, one of the go-to dataminers is YouTube user Kaphotic,s who has already released multiple videos surrounding both the Pokemon Sun and Moon Demo datamine. So far in the last 12 hours he has released multiple videos ranging from Alolan forms and new legendaries, to even the stats and moves of the starter Pokemon (video below).

While avoiding spoilers is an issue in of itself, one can only wonder how these leaks might affect sales of Pokemon Sun and Moon. ROMs have always been a point of ethical debate among gamers as some see it as a means of preserving older games, while others believe that ROM releases of newer games only serve to harm the companies. This case surely supports the latter, as a leak this early means plenty of homebrewed 3DS owners will now be playing the game for free.

It's an unfortunate side effect of the online age, especially with all the ease of piracy nowadays. Hopefully those who have obtained illegal ROM copies of the game will still support it with a purchase. As for the rest of us non-modders, if you're not a fan of spoilers it might be a good time to retreat into an anti-Pokemon news bunker until the dust settles on release day.

What do you think about the leaks? Do you think this will affect the sales of the upcoming Pokemon titles? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Published Nov. 8th 2016

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