The Pokémon Company International announced Tuesday that it would be celebrating a “Legendary year of Pokémon” in 2018 with a slew of promotional events across the franchise that allow fans to get specific Legendary beasts each month. That means Legendary bonuses popping up not only in games like Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, but also Pokémon GO, other Pokémon mobile games, the trading card game, and the Pokémon TV app.
Historically, each new generation of main Pokémon games focuses on a new pairing of Legendary Pokémon that factor into the game’s story and the overarching lore of the world. In Sun and Moon, for instance, players eventually interacted with and captured Solgaleo or Lunala, respectively.
Across all games, Legendary Pokémon are some of the most powerful and elusive beasts, with most being incredibly difficult to defeat in battle, let along catch. Each has almost always been limited to the game they’re featured in — until now.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, along with Sun and Moon, are the principal place where fans can get their Legendary fill: Each month, players will be able to acquire one of two Legendaries from other generations. In February, players can get either Dialga, a Steel- and Dragon-type Legendary Pokémon or Palkia, the Water- and Dragon-type Legendary Pokémon. They originate from the Sinnoh region, which was the setting for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
Players that have Ultra Sun or Sun will be able to get Dialga and those on the lunar side of things will get access to Palkia. We know as much from some photos released in November.
The trailer for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon also released in November even offered up an in-universe explanation for how all this was possible: Ultra Wormholes.
Despite that, it looks like all of these will be available for free via a Mystery Gift in the main menu of the 3DS games, which makes this a bit of a missed opportunity for cool monthly missions in-game — yet it’s still a good reason to continue playing the games consistently over the next year.
Nice move, Pokémon Company.
Details for the Pokémon GO side of things are scarce as of right now, but they’ll be celebrating just as much in the coming months. The official word is: “Pokémon GO players can also expect to see special promotions featuring Legendary Pokémon in 2018 as part of this legendary year celebration, with details being released soon.” That probably translates to new Raid battles each month that will likely feature the same monthly rotation of Legendaries from the main games.
The Pokémon Shuffle mobile game is also getting special Legendary-focused stages, the official Trading Card Game is also getting a slew of currently undisclosed tie-ins, and even the Pokémon TV app will cycle in different Legendary-focused animated films on a monthly basis.
Keep your eyes and ears open in the coming weeks for more details about how each platform will be celebrating Legendary Pokémon.
In the meantime, check out the official trailer which offers up a look at what Legendaries will be featured each month: