Pokemon Creates New Pokeball to Circumvent Lore Discrepancies in Legends: Arceus

The Strange Ball will now appear when using pokeballs not available in future games.

Pokemon Home, the Pokemon storage app available on Switch and mobile devices, is getting updated to support Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, giving fans a way to transfer their pocket monsters from their games to their larger collection. But while The Pokemon Company stopped short of putting a date on the app’s 2.0.0 update that will allow this connectivity (it’s coming “soon”), it did reveal that it’s creating a new kind of pokeball as a future-proofing these transfers in the lore of each game.

A post on the Pokemon website lays out the ways you’ll be able to transfer your captured Pokemon to and from Legends: Arceus and the Diamond & Pearl remakes, and if you’re familiar with the service, you won’t find anything surprising here. Home is a storage space for Pokemon from various games, and if a creature is catchable within one entry, you can transfer them over and play with them in another. The 2.0.0 update is also adding individual game Pokedexes, meaning Pokemon captured within each game will be represented by individual game in the service, rather than using the National Pokedex (which includes every Pokemon ever made in a specific numerical order) as a default.

But on top of all this, The Pokemon Company is trying to make some of these transfers work within the lore of its video games, and Pokemon Legends: Arceus throws a wrench into that. The game takes place in the distant past, which means characters in it are using pokeballs that are different from other games that take place in modern times. As such, Pokemon caught and transferred to and from the game aren’t in pokeballs usable in other games. So instead of rendering and animating all those modern pokeballs into Legends: Arceus and the older ones into new games, any Pokemon transferred to or from Legends: Arceus will be held in a new type of device called a “Strange Ball.” This will primarily be seen in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl and future games like Scarlet & Violet, as Sword & Shield won’t be getting the Strange Ball. This means anything sent from Legends: Arceus to the Galar region will appear in a standard pokeball.

The Strange Ball was discovered in Pokemon Legends: Arceus’ code by dataminers shortly after launch, but its purpose was unknown. Until now. As for the ball’s appearance, it’s not particularly “strange” in any notable way, as it looks like pretty much any other pokeball, just with a specific color scheme. But the “strangeness” of it is more meant to refer to the fact that it’s not of the time and place it’s being used. It’s a workaround, but I like the idea that it’s still acknowledging the oddity of sending a Pokemon hundreds of years into the past or future. (Thanks Serebii!)

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As of right now, it’s still unclear when Pokemon Home will get full support of Legends: Arceus and Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, but right now, the series is in a weird spot when it comes to cross-generation trading. Mainly because once the Nintendo 3DS store shuts down next year, the bridge between the Nintendo Switch and past systems will be burned, which is causing some anxiety in the series’ community.