EvolutionEevee is a unique Pokémon in that it has the ability to evolve into eight different Pokémon depending on its environment. In order to evolve Eevee into Espeon, two conditions must be met while leveling up. The first condition is that it has to be daytime. In the Pokémon world, daytime varies between generations. In generation IV (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum/HGSS), daytime is 10:00 AM until 7:59 PM. In generation V (Black/White/BW2), daytime varies between 9:00 AM and 6:59 PM depending on the season (being shorter during the winter and spring and longer during the fall and summer). Lastly, daytime in generation VI (XY, ORAS) is between the hours of 11:00 AM and 5:59 PM. Generally speaking, though, if it is light outside in your game (not dusk, though, which has an orange tint), it is likely a time when Eevee is able to evolve into Espeon.
The second condition requires that Eevee has to have a happiness value of at least 220. Happiness can be increased in a variety of ways, including:
✩ Giving it a massage/hair cutMassages (hair cut in HGSS) are located in Pallet Town (FRLG), Goldenrod City (HGSS), Veilstone City (DPPt), Castelia City (BW), Cyllage City (XY) or Mauville City (ORAS). There are also various places where you can check your Eevee's happiness in the different games by talking to certain characters: Daisy in Pallet Town (FRLG), a girl in Goldenrod (HGSS), a girl in Verdanturf Town (ORAS), a woman in Icirrus City (BW), Bianca via the Xtransceiver (BW2) and a girl in Laverre City (XY). In DPPt, there is also a Pokétch app that will show you the happiness levels by using the stylus to click on them.
✩ Having it in your party
✩ Growing a level
✩ Giving it a Soothe Bell to hold
✩ Giving it vitamins
✩ Giving it certain berries
✩ Giving it certain Join Avenue items (BW2 only)
✩ Giving it juices from the Juice Shoppe (XY only)
Happiness can also decrease. If your Eevee faints in battle or you feed it bitter food, it will start to dislike you and take longer to evolve. This may be problematic depending on the level of your Eevee—Espeon learns the move Psybeam around level 20 (varies by game) and does not learn another psychic-type move by leveling up for a while. Just something to keep in mind!
The Sun PokémonEspeon is listed in the Pokédex as the Sun Pokémon, so it is not surprising daylight is one of the requirements for evolution. I decided to look into what sort of things the sun symbolizes because I'm a big fan of symbolism in literature, anime and games. I was surprised to find the sun can represent things that arguably connect back to Espeon as a cat and psychic-type Pokémon! One of the common themes I found when researching the sun was how it is often seen as an eye and therefore associated with vision, seeing and light. One source even stated the sun is sometimes considered a god that sees and hears everything. Similarly, the sun archetype also represents consciousness and the mind, including things such as wisdom, spiritual vision, thinking and enlightenment. What's the connection with Espeon, you're wondering? First, the symbol for psychic-types in the series is a purple eye, which is likely representative of the third eye chakra. Psychic Pokémon, including Espeon, can look into the future, predict the future, read emotions and thoughts, etc. Espeon is able to predict its opponents moves and avoid danger by seeing the future and reading air currents and therefore certainly has types of spiritual vision. Like other psychic-types, Espeon also has telekinesis—the ability to move things with its powerful mind. The sun symbolizing vision and the mind certainly makes a lot of sense for Espeon as a psychic-type Pokémon!
Actual symbolism aside, the sun has some weaker connections to cats in my opinion. First, Leo is a lion constellation that is ruled by the sun. Some of the strong personality traits said of those who are Leos include being vain, dignified and loyal—arguably traits displayed by both cats and Espeon. While Pokémon have different personalities, Espeon is frequently shown exhibiting cat-like behaviors like grooming, having poise and even being somewhat aloof. Various Pokédex entries also say that Espeon is extremely loyal to trainers it considers worthy and wants to protect. Second, cats stereotypically love the sun. You will frequently find cats sitting by a window or laying in a sunbeam if they are given the opportunity to do so. Therefore, it makes some sense to make the Sun Pokémon a cat! Did Nintendo think about a possible connection between the sun, Leo and Espeon? Probably not. But it's interesting to think about!
1. Archetypal Symbols
2. A Dictionary of Literary Symbols by Michael Ferber