Event Pokémon are a unique type of Pokémon that are distributed through various promotional means in the real world. They have been a part of the core series since Pocket Monsters Red and Green Versions (released internationally as Pokémon Red and Blue Versions). Event Pokémon have a predetermined level, moveset, and other stats in general, as well as a distinct OT and ID. A majority of the Event Pokémon are Legendary Pokémon, and several Event Pokémon know certain moves that they cannot learn and use otherwise. Many Event Pokémon are available for only a limited amount of time, especially if they were made to coincide with a certain event, such as the release of a new Pokémon game or film.
The games have certain Pokémon that are only obtainable through special events, although their exclusivity is not necessarily consistent for all main series titles, especially between generations.
In Generation I, Mew was the only Event Pokémon, and could not be obtained normally outside of events. It returns in the Generation II titles Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions and Pokémon Crystal Version as an Event Pokémon, although Celebi is the main one that was introduced for those games.
Since the Generation III titles Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions, Event Pokémon have become increasingly more common for each generation, especially as newer methods of distribution are introduced. In the first three generations, Event Pokémon were most often obtained through direct trade via a Game Link Cable. Some shipments of certain Nintendo GameCube games, such as Pokémon Colosseum, came with a bonus disc, and an Event Pokémon is included within its content. Starting with these games, the player character can obtain an Event Pokémon using the Mystery Gift, and it also introduces Gift Ribbons, and several Event Pokémon come with one.
There are distribution cartridges created specifically for retailers to distribute a specific Event Pokémon. As such, these were never sold directly to consumers. These cartridges correspond to either the Generation III, IV, or V titles, especially the latter two because they, like the games, make use of the Nintendo DS's wireless capabilities.
With the Generation IV titles Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions being the first to support direct wireless capabilities, Event Pokémon have since been transferred via local wireless or through Wi-Fi, sometimes only at a specific location such as Toys R Us or GameStop. Since these games, many Event Pokémon are contained within a Cherish Ball, a type of Poké Ball used exclusively for this purpose.
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