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So let's talk about mythical distribution


Active Member
Aug 3, 2017
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...and why I think PLA's Manaphy is the best implementation of a mythical, and hope we see more like it.

So when I was a kid, mythical distributions sucked. I loved Mew, but it was impossible to get-- you either had to win a Nintendo Power contest and then trust the mail system to not lose your cartridge, or you had to hope a special event would be held at a mall in your city.

I think most people agree that gen 3/4/Victini were the golden age for mythicals: You just had to go to a Gamestop during a certain period to unlock an entire story-based mission wherein you could catch the mythical. As someone who loves Pokemon lore and prefers catching my own Pokemon with me as the OT, this seemed perfect. Looking back on it, I do think something was missing though.

And then of course after Victini they started just handing us mythicals in Pokemon Centers with no lore or anything and everyone kind of hates that.

I do quite like the idea of de-mythicalizing older mythicals, and the ways they've gone about that, such as locking them behind a sizeable post-game story mission (Deoxys) or behind Pokedex completion (Arceus), both work for me. I also like the Switch games' thing of giving you gifts for having other games' save data (never mind that I can't take advantage of it as I've only just gotten a Switch for PLA, it's still a neat idea).

But what was so special about Mew? I think it had something that other mythicals are missing, and that's that it was a monster the player heard a lot about but had no way of seeing or catching. The journals in the burned Pokemon Mansion give the whole event a kind of creepy atmosphere and make you expect to see Mew, but it never happens. Mewtwo's name is staring right at you, making you wonder what happened to Mew. There was no way to avoid knowing about Mew, but no way to get it, which led to all sorts of word-of-mouth rumors.

After all, word-of-mouth is how video game secrets used to spread. Whether someone telling you the trick in Galaga to get the dual fighter, or cheat codes in Rogue Squadron or Banjo-Kazooie's sandcastle, there was a kind of magic to it. And of course the internet and datamining becoming ubiquitous made all of this too easy, which is why you don't see cheat codes these days. But seeing people confused about the Manaphy/Phione request online and having to ask others about it kind of recaptured that magic for me for a bit.

Obviously the idea behind Manaphy/Phione in PLA is to match how Manaphy in gen 4 was obtained by buying another game (Ranger). This time the game in question is BDSP. But what's crucial I think is that unlike Ranger, and unlike the previous-games-save-data method, you don't need to own a copy of BDSP. PLA gives you a mission to catch Manaphy (much like gen 1 telling you Mew exists), but the way you catch it is by word-of-mouth. Conceivably someone could have the right Pokemon in their party in the right place by accident and not even know what they did right but start telling people, which would really harken back to the days of retro video game secrets. But whether that happens or someone just screenshots the Sea's Legend for their Twitter followers, it's a pretty neat way of hiding a Pokemon that's supposed to be hard to get, without actually locking it behind an arbitrary distribution period.

I hope in the future they try other versions of this idea (and hopefully next time it's for a Pokemon design I actually like :LOL:).

Cute Charm

Game Footage Not Final
May 19, 2003
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By Gen 11, I can see the mythicals from the previous 10 generations being easy to obtain. Meaning even the forgotten ones like Vulcanion will finally have their time to shine. But sadly, I don't think every single one will get a story driven in-game event to back them like Legends!Manaphy or ORAS!Deoxys unless they're lucky.

Also, as someone with SWSH and BDSP save data, I was kind of underwhelmed by how Darkrai was handled. It was pretty much just "Go to this place, and Darkrai will just be chilling there.". And frankly, after the hotel key event in Gen 4, it was boring. Where's the nightmares? Where's the sense of urgency? There was none, just smoky goth ghost in the middle of the road.. Shaymin was handled better with the dead flower patch in Floaro Gardens coming back to life. But poor Darkrai was just there.

There Is No Arceus

Active Member
Nov 26, 2021
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eh, at least they handled darkrai better than how mew and jirachi were handled in BDSP. they were just given to you like they're nothing.
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