Part 21: Everything To Do With Shadow Pokemon (Colosseum)Side Notes 01: Everything To Do With Shadow Pokemon (Colosseum)
Ah, finally, let's talk about a unique mechanic to these games in detail from catching to purifying these adorable murder beasts (even more so!), starting with when the Pokemon is first sent out. Shadow Pokemon act exactly like wild Pokemon, except they're owned by a trainer, so they're randomly generated when they first enter battle, so you'll obtain different Shadow Pokemon between playthroughs. However, it will not be generated again when you encounter it in future, if you weren't able to catch it, so if you know a Shadow Pokemon is pretty good, you can wait until later when you have better catching options. The only thing that changes when you catch a Pokemon is its OT and ID number being changed, so that'll, in turn, change some of its PID.
This creates an interesting event where a Shadow Pokemon can be shiny when you encounter it and then no longer be shiny when you catch it, or vice versa. If it does become shiny when you catch it, it'll stay shiny no matter what, even through purification, so you only have the standard odds of a Pokemon being shiny, you just won't know if it is until you catch it. This glitch was fixed in XD so Shadow Pokemon will never be shiny no matter what. Everything else like ability, nature and IVs are generated and are not affected by the trainer using it, like most trainer Pokemon are. Since you don't find out some of this information until you lower its Heart Gauge, it can be tough getting the right nature or ability for it.
While you have your Shadow Pokemon, there's a fair few things you can't do with it: it won't start pooling experience or EVs until the start of its third gauge, so it can't evolve or learn new moves, it cannot be given Rare Candy, participate in the Phenac or Orre Colosseums, participate in Battle Mode, be given a nickname, be traded or have its moves moved or deleted, so no TMs either. When it is purified, all of this is changed and it'll gain all of its experience, friendship and EVs at once, learning new moves as you go, THEN it will evolve, so anything it could've learned in its evolved form for those levels will not be learned, potentially screwing over some Pokemon. There is no Move Reminder in this game, so you're stuck with the moves you've got.
Next is Hyper Mode and Shadow Rush. There's just the one Shadow move in this game and it's a physical move with 90BP and 100% accuracy that deals recoil equal to 1/16th of the max HP, so a Shadow Pokemon has 16 uses before it will faint and you'll need to retry the capture. Shadow moves have no resistances or immunities, but no type is weak to them and Pokemon are not Shadow type while in this state. When using Shadow Rush, there is a chance the Pokemon will enter Hyper Mode, which means it doesn't attack for a turn, but will give it a big benefit, despite being locked into Shadow Rush. The crit ratio of Shadow Rush increases from the standard 1/16 (6.25%) chance to a 7/8 (87.5%) chance, which is a massive dependable increase, with no change in recoil damage.
Aside from that, no items can be used on it (aside from Scents, which ends Hyper Mode) and choosing a move aside from Shadow Rush makes the Pokemon do a number of things, such a disobeying, attacking a teammate, attacking the opposing trainer, return to its Pokeball, or leave Hyper Mode on its own at the end of the turn. It's easy enough to get out of Hyper Mode, calling it in battle will use up a turn, but is immediate, while using a Scent either in or out of battle will cure it and apply the scents effect. Leaving it in the Day Care will also remove Hyper Mode and you can still heal it by going to healing machines, or being auto-healed inbetween Colosseum battles.
But now that you've caught your Shadow Pokemon, let's get to purifying it. There are a lot of ways to get the Heart Gauge down and some of them are more effective than others, mainly due to how easy it is in game, but are also affected by the Pokemon's Nature. But first, let's detail all the ways you can purify a Shadow Pokemon, starting with the instant Time Flute. There's a lot of Shadow Pokemon in this game and only two Time Flutes are easily obtainable, the third Time Flute has quite an investment behind it, so that's not a lot of choice, since there's around ten Shadow Pokemon that will be a bitch to really purify. Now for the various other ways, here's a few examples of how Nature changes the amount the Heart Gauge decreases:
As you can see, the numbers can vary wildly depending on what you do, each decreasing the gauge by a certain amount until you reach 0. Usually, Shadow Pokemon have less than 10,000 to remove, starting at 3000 then increasing by 1000 as you progress through the game and never going above 7000, though some Pokemon have more than that, such as Sudowoodo with 10,000 and Entei, with 13,000. There are two others with 15,000 and 20,000, so they're probably the best uses for the Time Flute. But of course, it all depends on the nature, which you won't even know until you're 2/5ths of the way done, so it's something that'll steer you towards certain strategies, if you care. Some methods are just easier and cheaper than others. Let's go over them.
The best option is walking your Pokemon, with a reduction occurring every 256 steps, as its pretty easy to do, as there's a lot of walking in this game. Of course this can be gamed with the glitchy cliffs in Agate Village, so if you want the most painless and hands off method, this is the one for you... if you have a bit of time on your hands. Next is sending it out into a battle for the first time, that's usually a good chunk, but it only works once per battle. This is best done in the Colosseums where you'll do four send outs in a short space of time. Then there's calling a Pokemon out of Hyper Mode, which is also a good way to reduce the gauge if you have a turn spare, though high crit Shadow Rush is tempting.
Then there's the Day Care, which can be pricey, but it much more effective than simple walking, since it's also every 256 steps. Once its on the third gauge, it'll get 1 exp for each step you did, though you won't see that until it's purified. Finally, there are the scents that can be bought in Agate Village, with the cheapest scent, the Joy Scent, used as the base value. The Excite Scent has a 2x multiplier, while the Vivid Scent has a 3x multiplier, so buying Vivid Scents is the best gauge reduction for money spent, as its the same price as two Joy Scents. They also increase happiness slightly. Aww. If you have a lot of money, they are the quickest way to reduce the Heart Gauge, especially if the nature boosts it as well. Finally, here's everything that gets unlocked per gauge:
Once the gauge has been depleted, you need to purify it at Relic Forest where it'll get its final move in place of Shadow Rush and gain a Ribbon exclusive to these games and can be traded to a Gen 3 game. That's everything all out in the open and mostly applies to XD as well, though there will be some notable differences. That's for later though.