New Pokemon Snap actually contains a number of twists on how it handles “Legendary” Pokemon. For one, it boasts a number of “boss battles” with Illumina Pokemon — beings Pokemon that glow when exposed to a special kind of flower unique to the Lental Region. You’ve likely already seen one of these Pokemon, Meganium, in the trailers. But there’s far more to New Pokemon Snap’s therapy of legendaries than first fulfills the eye, and while the selection of what Pokemon to feature is rather surprising if you’re familiar with how Pokemon commonly handles fameds, it’s likewise very, very cool.

Warning: What follows below this video is major spoilers for the end of New Pokemon Snap. Scroll past at your own risk.

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Aside from Meganium, there are a number of other Pokemon that too get the Illumina treatment. These include Milotic, Steelix, Volcarona, and Wishiwashi. All of these Illumina encounters take place on special Illumina trends, where the Illumina Pokemon is hurled into the spotlight same to how Mew was the sole focus of Pokemon Snap’s Rainbow Cloud course.

Though other Pokemon can and do appear in these theatres, their figures are incidental to the Illumina Pokemon’s. Your goal is to get the coolest shots possible of the large-hearted, bright man, and it will often require careful timing and cunning puzzle-solving to get them.

Your meetings with these Illumina Pokemon all eventually lead to a special encounter with a famed Illumina Pokemon, and this is where New Pokemon Snap really surprised me. While Pokemon Snap eventually led up to an encounter with the then-rarest Pokemon in existence, Mew, New Pokemon Snap spotlights an unlikely protagonist in Pokemon X’s legendary creature, Xerneas.


Xerneas as a final boss is a bit of a strange select considering the fact that Pokemon X is nearly a decade old now, and we don’t seem to be set up for remakes anytime soon the way we are with Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. There’s a Pokemon GO event sport Xerneas going on right now, differentiating its first appearance in the game alongside its Y counterpart Yveltal, but that’s likely been aged explicitly because of New Pokemon Snap.

Still, the Illumina Xerneas encounter does appreciation in the context of New Pokemon Snap, as you satisfy it in a devastated tabernacle surrounded by a lush wood, and it emerges from a tree similar to its image in Pokemon X. It’s the most challenging Illumina Pokemon to catch on movie, compelling a multi-stage puzzle exactly to get wise to develop to be photographed, but the ravishing rosy shots at the end are well worth it.

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That said, Xerneas isn’t the only legendary Pokemon in New Pokemon Snap. We won’t spoil who else shows up, but once you get a photo of Xerneas and rotation the approvals, more famed ogres from several Pokemon tournaments will appear in stages you’ve once called. Some will be displayed unprompted, while others will be a bit more challenging to coax out. These aren’t major, stage-wide encounters like Xerneas, but they can be quite cool and equip a good clod of post-game content to work through.

We refreshed New Pokemon Snap and ascertained it delectable, with far more content than the original and a surprising variety of different makes on some of our favorite Pokemon. The competition is out now on Nintendo Switch, and if you’re struggling to get the perfect shot of any of the Illumina Pokemon including Xerneas, we have navigates for that. We also have a guide for all the post-game mythicals to help you in your hunt for each elusive ogre.

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Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You got to find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

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