The Myth of Detective Pikachu

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Pikachu is by far the MOST iconic Pokémon of all time.  After all, it is the mascot of the Pokémon franchise and it has been Ash Ketchum’s traveling partner and “Undisputed Ace” for over 25 years. That is a LOT of time spent together with one single Pokémon.

Since Pokémon GO’s launch, we have seen countless events featuring Pikachu, wearing a different themed costume each time. Over 40 different costumed Pikachu exist to collect in Pokémon GO. Some of these come annually at Christmas, Spring, Halloween and more, while others have never come back. And one of those costumes to never come back is the exclusive Detective Hat one.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

A movie by the name of Pokémon Detective Pikachu was launched into theatres on May 10, 2019. But, this movie was different. The Pokémon company wanted to adapt Detective Pikachu because they were interested in making a movie NOT focused around Ash, and just create a whole new plot that would be different to the Pokémon movies that came before. 

The protagonist of this move is Tim Goodman, the son of Detective Harry Goodman who mysteriously went missing. Tim and Harry’s former partner and sleuth, Detective Pikachu, have to work together to unravel this mystery, and find out what took Harry and help save the city. It’s a pretty cool movie! I’ve seen it, and if you haven’t – you definitely should! The best part is that it’s not animated like the TV show and other movies, and has live action. It’s cool but also a bit weird to see Pokémon look so real; I guess I’m used to seeing them animated, haha. And guess who’s the voice actor for Pika? Yep, it’s everyone’s favorite – Ryan Reynolds!

(That Ludicolo looks so hairy lol)

The In-Game Event

Okay, enough talk about the movie! 

Now, let’s get back to Pokémon GO. To celebrate the launch of this movie, Niantic decided to announce a “Detective Pikachu and Pokémon GO Cross Promotion Event“. Think of it as a promotion. 

These were some main highlights from the event in 2019. 

  • Increased encounters with Pokémon seen in the movie (Snubbul, Aipom, Psyduck and more)
  • Free Detective Hat Pikachu avatar items available in the In-game shop
  • Shiny Aipom Release
  • 2x XP for catching Pokémon
  • Movie themed Pokémon in raids and in field research

The last one is extremely important…and unusual. Normally, when Pokémon GO adds costume Pikas, most of them they can be shiny as well. But I have no clue why Niantic shiny locked Detective Pika. Yes, you heard me right. Detective Pikachu couldn’t be shiny. Since Niantic locked Detective Pika in photobombs, it would’ve been insanely hard to get a shiny, as it is a full odds(1 in 500). But why not make it spawn in the wild like normal? They just had to release it through AR photobombs! 

The Shiny Trick!

I don’t know who came up with this idea, but whoever it was – THEY NEED A ROUND OF APLAUSE FOR THEIR BIG BRAIN! clap, clap, clap

Some genius trainers came up with a clever idea on how they could possibly get their hands on one of the rarest shinies in the game – Shiny Detective Hat Pika. 

The Detective Pikachu Promotion event that we talked about earlier, was 10 days long and ended on Friday, May 17th at 1:00 PM PDT. So what they would do – is take a snapshot of their Pokémon a couple minutes before the event ended and wait until it did and then click on the Detective Pika on the map. At 1:00 PM PDT, Pikachu won’t be shiny locked anymore like it was before and there would be a chance for them to get a shiny Detective Pika. The chances would be really low (0.2%), and they would have to cross their fingers and toes and pray to god that they get it! But chances are they won’t. 

However, some trainers did get lucky! There is proof of this shiny on the internet, but they are few and far between. Only a couple trainers in the world have what we like to call it – the HOLY GRAIL of all Pokémon – Shiny Detective Hat Pikachu.

Will it ever come back?

Sadly, we don’t know. 

But there is a game called “Detective Pikachu Returns” coming to Nintendo Switch in October so we could see some tie in event in GO, and hopefully the proper global release of Shiny Detective Hat Pikachu. This would undoubtedly make this shiny much less rarer but the 2019 ones will still remain the rarest Pokémon in Pokémon GO. 


Do you have a normal or maybe even a shiny Detective Pikachu, or do you know someone with one? Let me know in the comments down below.

And until next time, trainers!

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An enthusiastic Pokémon GO player and writer.

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