A new Pokemon Go event starts later today, with a "Spring Bloom" of Grass-type Pokemon planned for over the weekend. Since we're getting a weekend of increased spawns of a certain type of Pokemon, many players are speculating whether Pokemon Go will use the mini-event as an opportunity to introduce more Shiny Pokemon.
Shiny Pokemon are alternately colored, super-rare versions of normal Pokemon that were first introduced to Pokemon Go during the Water Festival back in March. So far, we've only gotten Shiny Magikarp and Shiny Gyarados in Pokemon Go, but there's evidence that a couple more Shiny Pokemon could appear as soon as this afternoon.
Let's take a look at a couple of the clues and whether there's any basis to believe we'll get Shiny Pokemon tomorrow:
Perhaps the biggest "flag" was the promo image posted with the announcement on Pokemon Go's blog. The image shows a sleeping Bulbasaur, albeit with a distinctly lighter colored skin than a normal Bulbasaur. In the mainline Pokemon games, a Shiny Bulbasaur's skin is decidedly green as opposed to the greenish-blue hue of a normal Bulbasaur. It's a subtle difference, but noticeable when compared side to side.
Some websites immediately sprang on the idea that this was a Shiny Bulbasaur, but we weren't quite convinced. So we used our Photoshop to do some extra analysis.
We compared a Shiny Bulbasaur from Pokemon X & Y to the Bulbasaur seen in the promo image above. We were looking to see how close the colors were together, especially in terms of how much blue was in each hue. After all, brightness and contrast can change pretty easily in computer generated animation, but the amount of blue/yellow should remain the same in all cases:
Here's the hue from a Shiny Bulbasaur:
And here's the hue from the Bulbasaur above:
Those two colors are pretty close, but they're not identical. You can see that the Shiny Bulbasaur is a bit greener and lighter than than the Bulbasaur in the image above.
After a bit of fooling around with Photoshop's brightness function, were were able to get the promo Bulbasaur's color scheme to largely match up with how it usually looks in Pokemon Go, although it still looks a bit greener than normal. It's likely that it's just a coincidence, there's still too much uncertainty to definitively say it's not a Shiny Bulbasaur either.
While most of the Internet was busy analyzing a picture of Bulbasaur for the afternoon, one website offered up an intriguing alternate theory. Slashgear claimed that Niantic Labs had included a photoshop file of Eevee in its press kit for the event with no explanation. According to Slashgear, there was an option to change the hue of Eevee in the photoshop file, which allowed them to change Eevee to a silvery color not unlike its Shiny variant.
Unlike Bulbasaur, whose Shiny variant is hard to distinguish from its normal skin tone, there's a noticeable difference between a normal Eevee and a Shiny silver Eevee. However, the image Slashgear used as "proof" looked like nothing more than a black and white image of Eevee.
Having a Shiny Eevee in Pokemon Go would be interesting, as it would lead to Shiny versions of all five Eeveelutions currently in the game, but it also might be a bit frustrating. Players wouldn't be able to control what Eevee evolved into, which might keep some fans from evolving it.
Randomization and Shiny Pokemon
There's one other fact to consider when speculating whether more Shiny Pokemon are about to emerge in Pokemon Go: the spawn randomization that occurred earlier this month. Niantic switched the spawn mechanic so that players wouldn't know what moveset and IV level a Pokemon had until they encountered it. Previously, a wild Pokemon had the same moves and IVs for every player, making it much easier to track. Pokemon encounter had a Pokemon with a random moveset and IV levels.
While it's largely believed that Niantic implemented the change to hinder third party trackers, people pointed out that the mechanic was also identical to how the game decided whether or not a Magikarp was Shiny. As such, it's theoretically possible that Niantic could flip a switch and allow all Pokemon to have a Shiny variant at any time.
So, Shinies or Not?
So are we getting more Shiny Pokemon this weekend? If we had to take a guess...we'd have to say yes. We know that Shiny Pokemon are in Pokemon Go's code, this mini-event came out of the blue, and we think that there's SOMETHING more to this event than what they've let on.
We'll have to find out later tonight whether or not are hunch is correct.