To All The Pokemon I’ve Caught Before (And Can’t Be Transferred To Home)

My latest passive gaming mission is completing the Pokedex. I’m not as daunted by the prospect of hunting 800+ Pokemon as some of my colleagues, but I also don’t feel like making it my main goal at the moment. I fit my search in around other games – a Dynamax raid in between AC: Valhalla missions here, a quick Pokemon Go transfer in between Battlefront matches there. As I revisit my collection in Pokemon Home – one that spans generations and platforms – I can’t help but feel a wave of warm nostalgia. Yet, there’s also a cold sting of loss. I can’t help but remember the Pokemon that are trapped in old games.

This one goes out to you, Cosplay Pikachu and Spiky-Eared Pichu. Pokemon Home’s cloud storage is open to almost all generations and variations of critters one can imagine. The beloved originals can easily come in from Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee. The newest additions are able to swap in and out from Sword & Shield. Everything in between can come from a 3DS transfer or Pokemon Go. Yet you two are unable to leave your respective titles and continue our relationship into Gen VIII.

I remember when we first met, Cosplay Pikachu. I didn’t think it would go anywhere – I mean you can’t even evolve! But you were always there for me, always being what I needed you to be. You surprised me in your Pikachu Belle dress–just like you surprised those pesky Ground-types by using Icicle Crash. You were bold in your Rock Star Outfit and smart in your Ph.D. glasses. I couldn’t keep asking you to change, though. You’re one-of-a-kind, and incompatible with any games but Alpha Ruby & Omega Sapphire. Growing apart was inevitable.

Then there’s the bad boy, or I guess bad girl, known as Spiky-Eared Pichu. We never actually met in person, I only heard about you from friends. That’s because you’re a rebel, an event Pokemon that can’t just be caught in the wild. You also have a habit of time-traveling with Celebi, rendering you unable to evolve. Your unique nature and unique sprite make it so you can’t leave your native games, Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver. This means we’ll never get a chance to meet, but I wonder what could have been…

The Pokemon journey is full of greetings and goodbyes. Ash and Butterfree taught us that years ago. It’s different when it happens to you, though, and it’s your own Poke-partners who are going away for good. So farewell, Cosplay Pikachu and Spiky-Eared Pichu, and I wish you the best. I’m going to transfer all the other Pokemon out of your games now, leaving your cartridges to collect dust with the Wii U.

Next: Outer Wilds And The Best Games That Use Time Loops

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Sergio is the Lead News Editor for TheGamer. But usually he asks people to call him “Serg” because he wants to sound cool like the guy from System of a Down. He began as a convention reporter for FLiP Magazine and Albany Radio’s The Shaw Report to get free badges to Comic-Con. Eventually he realized he liked talking to game developers and discovering weird new indie games. Now he brings that love of weird games to TheGamer, where he tries to talk about them in clickable ways so you grow to love them too. When he’s not stressing over how to do that, he’s a DM, Cleric of Bahamut, cosplay boyfriend, and occasional actor.

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