New Pokémon Snap doesn’t have any traditional boss battles like you’d find in most games, or even most Pokémon games for that matter. This Pokémon safari is not about battling, or even catching, your favorite pocket monsters — unless you count capturing them on film, that is. Even so, there are still boss equivalents to find and photograph on each of the game’s six islands. Technically, there’s no way to lose when you encounter them, but getting the best picture is by no means easy.
Boss Pokémon, or Illumina Pokémon as they’re called in the game, appear only at Illumina Spots. These are the final locations in each of the six islands, and making sure you have Illumina Orbs at the ready is key to triggering all those unique poses that Professor Mirror will go wild for. If you need some advice on how to get these top-quality shots, check out our tips for all the bosses in New Pokémon Snap.
Florio Boss – Meganium
The Illumina Pokémon at the end of the Florio Illumina Spot, a large field of blue and purple flowers, is Meganium. You can get one-, two-, and three-star photos normally, or by using Fluffruit, but a four-star picture requires the Illumina Orb. To get the best shot, toss one of the orbs at the crystabloom to lure Meganium over to smell it, then hit the Pokémon itself with an orb to make it glow. Meganium will strike a unique pose you want to capture here for that top-quality shot.
Maricopia Boss – Wishiwashi
To even reach the Illumina Spot on this island requires a few steps. First, you’ll have to unlock the Lental Seafloor route by reaching the research levels of Blushing Beach and Maricopa Reef to level two. Next, as always, you need to get your hands on the Illumina Orbs for this island, plus unlock the alternate path on the Seafloor level. Wishiwashi is a bit unique among the Illumina Pokémon since you can encounter it as a single Pokémon or as part of a school. Pictures of just one Wishiwashi won’t cut it, so use your Illumina Orbs to have them form a school, or hit the Illumina Flowers to trigger any Wishiwashi nearby all at once. If you hit the school with enough orbs, they will eventually start spinning around and cause an underwater tornado. Snap a pic of this to earn a four-star rating.
Belusylva Boss – Milotic
Another unique one, this Illumina Pokémon doesn’t technically have an Illumina Spot in Founja Jungle as you’d expect, but rather is in the Elsewhere Forest course at Research Level two. Once you get there, you have to draw Milotic out of the water by nailing it with a well-aimed Fluffruit. Hit it with two Illumina Orbs to get it glowing and ready for its close-up. To get the four-star shot, you will need to keep on tossing Fluffruit to keep it above water, and more orbs to keep the Illumina effect going until it starts to sing and call out some Magikarp. Keep tossing orbs until it launches up out of the water high up, so be ready to pan upward, and capture the moment.
Voluca Boss – Volcarona
This is another Illumina Pokémon that will take some work before you can encounter it. Your first step is to reach Research Level 2 on the Fireflow Volcano stage, and then go through the alternate route that opens up. While on this new path, get a picture of the Ancient Ruins to unlock the Fireflow Volcano Illumina Spot. Once there, Volcarona actually needs to be fought a bit before you can get any pics. It will appear with a fire shield raised that you need to pepper with Fluffruit until it drops, at which point you can start hitting it with your Illumina Orbs.
Getting a four-star shot is a real challenge and can only be done once this stage is at Research Level 2. Once it is, start by tossing Fluffruit at the Volcarona that shows up to your left to make it open an alternate path. Ride along into another chamber with two more Volcarona you need to hit with Fluffruit to get rid of their shields, plus tag them with Illumina Orbs before they get away. Once both are glowing, throw an orb at a crystabloom in the area to make the two start to dance with one another. Watch until one does a move that surrounds it in fire for the most points.
Durice Boss – Steelix
Steelix is a frustrating Pokémon to get on camera, and there’s not much you can do about that. Once you unlock the Illumina Spot in Outway Cave by getting to Research Level 2 and taking the alternate route, you need to lure out Steelix by throwing Fluffruit into holes in the ground and hoping that the one you hit is the one it is actually in. Getting a four-star shot, however, is even more obscure.
Start out by getting to the second large cave called the big chasm and use an Illumina Orb on the crystabloom right at the entrance to spawn a Crobat. Watch it fly to the right side and use your Fluffruit to draw out the Steelix below the Crobat. It will fly up and bite a stalactite, which is the moment you’re looking for. Be ready, because this happens very quickly.
Aurus Boss – Xerneas
Our final Illumina Pokémon is none other than Xerneas at the final Illumina Spot in the Ruins of Remembrance. There’s no trick to finding it, but as always, a four-star shot is never simple. The first time you spot Xerneas, you will want to hit him with one of your blue Illumina Orbs, and then a second when it moves over the water in the next area. Next, wake up the pair of Houndoom with some Fluffruit and lead them up to Xerneas with more fruit. Once they’re close, hit Xerneas with yet another orb and scan him. This will cause the Houndooms to pay attention to him and begin howling. Xerneas will rear back in a spectacle of lights — the perfect shot. Capture it and you’ll have gotten your final four-star shot of all the Illumina Pokémon.