What is Illumina in New Pokemon Snap? Lental region phenomenon explained

new pokemon snap illuminaThe Pokemon Company / Bandai Namco Studios

In New Pokemon Snap, players will team up with Professor Mirror – a scientist dedicated to researching the Lental region – to photograph and find out more about the Illumina phenomenon. But what exactly is it?

Fans were given their first look at Illumina at the end of the release date trailer back in January. After showing off gorgeous locations and revealing more Pokemon that are in the Nintendo Switch game, the protagonist was confronted by a massive version of Gen II starter Meganium, who emitted a bright glow.

Naturally, this conjured up burning questions for players: Why is it glowing? Is Sword & Shield’s Dynamax feature in the Lental region? Are other ‘mon affected? Here’s everything we know about it.

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New Pokemon Snap: What is the Illumina phenomenon?

Researching the Illumina phenomenon alongside Professor Mirror at the Laboratory of Ecology and Natural Sciences is one of the game’s main objectives. The scientist tasks you with exploring the region to find out more with your trusty camera.

The mysterious trend causes Pokemon and vegetation to glow, and also makes monsters perform rare actions they wouldn’t usually do. This is used to your advantage as it boosts your photo score.

Scorbunny with Illumina Orb effect new Pokemon SnapThe Pokemon Company / Bandai Namco
Illumina Orbs make Pokemon have a glowing effect.

The phenomenon doesn’t just happen on the fly: players can throw Illumina Orbs, created by Professor Mirror, at monsters in order to force it. So there’s no waiting around.

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As mentioned above, it is also tied to photo scoring; the rarer the pose, the higher the points. The brightening effect also helps budding photographers to take better shots in low-light settings too.

new pokemon snap illumina orbThe Pokemon Company / Bandai Namco (via Polygon)
It makes Pokemon larger too.

For everything we know about the game including features, all Pokemon, and more, check out our hub here.

Nintendo is also teaming up with Fujifilm so fans can print their New Snap photos in real life with the Instax Mini Link printer. More details here.