WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Pokémon Sun and Moon
Lusamine is easily my favourite villain in the entire Pokémon series. Aside from having a simple but sleek design, she’s deliciously despicable to boot. She’s able to present herself as a calm, intelligent and caring woman when, in actuality, she’s obsessive, arrogant and emotionally abusive to her own children. This makes her a great antagonist that you enjoy battling, just so you can wipe that smug smirk off her face and prove her wrong. But I want to focus on the second battle with her, mostly because of how unique it is for the series.
The player character and Lillie (Lusamine’s daughter) have arrived in Ultra Space – a bleak, almost lifeless, environment that’s just eerie to be in. Lusamine, meanwhile, is having the time of her life, believing she’s found a beautiful paradise, and she proceeds to rant about how Lillie has grown “ugly” and doesn’t deserve her love for constantly disobeying her. Lillie finally has enough and pretty much calls her out for being a terrible mother, but this only makes Lusamine angrier, and she decides to take it out on the player, blaming them for Lillie’s behaviour. But this is when things get wonderfully weird.
Lusamine proceeds to fuse herself with one of the Ultra Beasts, Nihilego, and transforms into this weird hybrid, dubbed by fans as the Mother Beast. Pokémon has had weird, alien-like designs before but this thing is on a different level since it actually involves a human. Even though it’s ultimately a big jellyfish-looking thing, it’s uniqueness makes it terrifying and Lusamine’s blonde hair having turned pitch black, along with the demented and twisted smile she wears as she lunges towards the camera, shows how monstrous she’s allowed herself to become.
Sadly, you don’t get to actually fight her (which would’ve been amazing and made this scene a 10/10) and it plays out like a usual Trainer battle, but it’s still a fun and challenging fight, as all of her Pokémon come with an additional stat boost and most of them now have angry facial expressions, suggesting that her influence has spread to them and made them more aggressive. While it’s not exactly implied, you get the sense that Lusamine is out for blood (at least that’s how I interpret it).
Her defeat would snap her out of it and it’s more or less confirmed that she’s working on redeeming herself afterwards, but I’ll always love when Lusamine was this psychotic, deluded individual who had a motivation that wasn’t just “take over/destroy the world” and who gave us this one-of-a-kind, dramatic battle. Hopefully, future games will try to mix things up a bit like this again.