Massively on the Go: Pokemon Go goes retro with its Red and Green Event in 2021

    
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Pokemon Go’s not done with announcing big events this fall, not by a long shot. In addition to the current seasonal events and Community Day + Movie promo events, Niantic just announced how it’s celebrating the game’s fifth anniversary: with the Pokemon Go Tour: Kanto ticketed event for Saturday, February 20th, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time.

People who don’t purchase the $11.99 event ticket (plus tax/local currency differences) will have access to a special research line; more Kanto pokemon spawns; exclusive-move legendary raids for Psystrike Mewtwo, Thundershock Zapdos, Hurrican Articuno, and Sky Attack Moltres; and 40km distant trades (~25 miles), down from the last event’s 50km. And people who do buy a ticket get much more – after they decide whether they are going with the Red Version or Green Version.

Buying a ticket gives all players access to all 150 Kanto pokemon, either via wild catches, evolution, raids, incense, or research tasks and the chance for them to be shiny even if their shiny form wasn’t previously released. This should include regionals (we’ve asked Niantic to clarify, but it hasn’t done so yet). Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu, Pidgey, Eevee, and Dratini in particular will have increased chances to be shiny.

Now, for the version differences:

 

Red Version exclusive Pokémon: Ekans, Oddish, Mankey, Growlithe, Scyther, and Electabuzz will be attracted to Incense. Increased chance for shiny Ekans, Nidoran ♀, Oddish, Diglett, Mankey, Growlithe, Ponyta, Shellder, Drowzee, Krabby, Hitmonlee, Lickitung, Scyther, Electabuzz, and Kabuto.

Green Version exclusive Pokémon: Sandshrew, Vulpix, Meowth, Bellsprout, Magmar, and Pinsir will be attracted to Incense. Increased chance shiny for Sandshrew, Nidoran ♂, Vulpix, Meowth, Psyduck, Bellsprout, Geodude, Exeggcute, Hitmonchan, Koffing, Tangela, Horsea, Magmar, Pinsir, and Omanyte.

 

You also get an in-game challenge tracking your attempt to get all 150 Kanto pokemon. Oh, and once you’re done with the regular event research, you get a second one that leads to shiny Mew. Niantic has described this quest as a being “meant to be completed over a long period of time, in which you’ll embark on a long and challenging journey.” This makes me wonder whether this may be the first of the regional events Niantic told us Professor Willow would be hosting during the Go Beyond press conference.

Speaking of previous news, what about the lack of Kanto Starters getting their Community Day Charged moves? Those are coming back for the event via catching or evolution. This seems like a ticket exclusive, but we’ve asked Niantic’s PR to confirm this. However, ticket holders will gain additional candy for catching Kanto pokemon, and early purchases will unlock January 16th and February 7th’s Community Day Special Research stories for free. Purchases need to be before January 13th at 11:59 p.m. if you want both, and February 3rd 11:59pm if you want only February’s event for free. Make sure you log in for the events so you can actually receive and do them!

Niantic says that if you need more time to collect the 150 Kanto pokemon, you’ll “have until February 27th, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PST (GMT −8) to catch certain Pokémon” and that you can use that extra time to trade, evolve, raid, and encounter them “after completing research tasks to finish your collection and claim the rewards.” It’s a little confusing, especially considering raids and distance trading, so we’ve asked Niantic for clarification and will update this if we hear anything back.

Even if you’re a fellow Pokemon: Blue Version vet as I am, it’s hard not to get excited about new shinies, a second (and shiny) Mew, the return of powerful mascot pokemon, and increased raid distance. I’ve mentioned how the Go Beyond update’s been a wild ride so far, and this is only continuing that trend.

Massively OP’s Andrew Ross is an admitted Pokemon geek and expert ARG-watcher. Nobody knows Niantic and Nintendo like he does! His Massively on the Go column covers Pokemon Go as well as other mobile MMOs and augmented reality titles!
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