Making a Living Dex: Part 10 - Pokémon Legends Arceus

With a fascinating break away from some established norms, Pokémon Legends Arceus brings in old mythicals and new forms for the Living Dex project.

Making a Living Dex: Part 10 - Pokémon Legends Arceus

My Thoughts

I feel this game was kinda mid. Though I absolutely love that it was an experiment and space to move away from the norm to prototype for Scarlet and Violet. More experimental games! Pokémon needs that freshness brought in.

I loved:

  • Things you see in ROM hacks were here! Like the Linking Cord as an item to evolve trade only Pokémon. Or being healed before/after some big battles.
  • A break from the gym-league progression system.
  • The theme. Old timey Japan and how Pokémon were still wild creatures rather than as almost friends.
  • The idea of experimenting with the battle system with Strong and Agile style.
  • The idea that the player could dodge.
  • That the player could glide.
  • The massive amount of Pokémon just available in the over world. All sorts of evolved types, high levels, etc it was a smorgasbord and I loved it. Especially for the dex.
  • Having recorded side quests. Some games have side quests, but they aren't noted anywhere.
  • The final fight was rad.

I didn't love:

  • The limited graphics.
  • How completing the Pokédex dragged on.
  • I hated the implementation of the battle system. The RPG like turn order is only an estimate so carefully crafting tactics that depend on it might fall through.
  • The change in power due to levelling. Now weak Pokémon can take on much higher levelled Pokémon and it's a thing to wrap your head around.
  • The balm mechanic. A clunky, awful experience that was reused in awkward ways.
  • And with the balm mechanic, the dodging and movement felt so stiff and ugly.

Unfortunately when the game initially came out it was during a period I was busy and exhausted with work but still pushed myself to play which I think really brought down my experience with it. I would get frustrated that you had to invest in the new Effort Value replacement and use Grit, had to change your expectations on how levels and power balancing worked, and all the Pokémon that would aggro you and frustratingly give chase. A bad first impression that was my fault but I couldn't shake it.

It took a long time to get through the game because of that, but ultimately when I came around to the changes... it flowed easier.

When the game "ended" and the credits roll, you get to celebrate at the local festival. However it's a single still image (that the Switch blocks you from screenshotting!) that implies that it was fun. Then at the end you get asked "how was the festival?" I WISH I COULD TELL YOU, BUT I DIDNT REALLY GET TO SEE IT.

But on a more positive side, grabbed myself a shiny Shinx at 16:40 12/03/2022.

Shiny Alpha Shinx.

I felt it was fantastic that you don't need or have a twinned game. Tossing aside the two game experience is something I feel the games need. Then adding things like the Linking Cord so you don't even need another person. It finally felt like a whole Pokémon experience in a single package.

On the note of completing the dex, it wasn't bad at all because of the vast array of Pokémon just there. It's like if the world was some bizarre zoo where everywhere you looked had some exotic animal. And while the catching mechanic was so/so and you had to wait for Space-time Distortions for some of the more rare Pokémon, it was nothing compared to the struggles to catch rare Pokémon in other games - looking at you Alola.

...Except Spiritomb which has the player collect 107 wisps throughout the entire world. Hated that, it was even just tedious to follow a guide for it.

Ended up getting all the mythicals in BDSP again in Arceus. Mew, Manaphy, Darkrai, Shaymin, and Arceus. Really looking forward to Arceus here because this is the one I wanted to use for the Living Dex project. I'll tell you what, getting Arceus was ugly and I hated it. More of the balm mechanic, but pretty hard. Ended up understanding you can just restart at full health from checkpoint which made it wayyy easier.

The Screenshots

The closest the game has to a diploma and a trainer card.

I Love This Art

While it isn't my screenshot, I just adore Gen 2 style Pokémon graphics, so this by @sindorman... 😍


For the Pokémon World Championship 2022, Victini was distributed for the first time in roughly half a decade.

Checklist Before Generation 9

To sum up progress for the Living Dex from BDSP and Arceus, the new mythicals are:

  • Mew
  • Jirachi
  • Phione
  • Manaphy
  • Darkrai
  • Shaymin
  • Arceus
  • Victini
  • Zarude (sneakily in here via the movie event)

So what am I missing?

Missing Pokémon from the Living Dex.
Pokémon Generation Last available Last available from
Meloetta 5 2018 2018 World Championships in Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Genesect 5 2021 Korean Adventure Genesect
Diancie 6 2016 Pokémon All-Stars Battle Diancie
Hoopa 6 2018 Full Force Hoopa
Volcanion 6 2021 Korean Adventure Volcanion
Marshadow 7 2021 Korean Adventure Marshadow
Zeraora 7 2020 One million victories Shiny Zeraora

Lots have been out of rotation for a long time. I did miss a couple that were available to my region in 2020 and quite a few have been available very recently but not where I am. 😭

But as a positive, I start Generation 9 only missing 7 Pokémon. Not bad!

Excited for November 18 2022!

Which has been hinted at before the announcement:

And I also made an impulse Pokémon card purchase..  and I want more...

Oh no no no no...
  1. Making a Living Dex: Part 1 - A Lifelong Dream
  2. Making a Living Dex: Part 2 - It Begins With Generation Six
  3. Making a Living Dex: Part 3 - Preservation and Generation Five
  4. Making a Living Dex: Part 4 - Generation Seven, ”Alola!”
  5. Making a Living Dex: Part 5 - Generation Eight, Sword and Shield
  6. Making a Living Dex: Part 6 - Odds and Ends
  7. Making a Living Dex: Part 7 - Wrapping up the First 898
  8. Making a Living Dex: Part 8 - Odds and Ends Round 2
  9. Making a Living Dex: Part 9 - Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl
  10. Making a Living Dex: Part 10 - Pokémon Legends Arceus
  11. Making a Living Dex: Appendix A - The Whole Living Dex Roster
  12. Making a Living Dex: Appendix B - Achievement Screenshots
  13. Making a Living Dex: Appendix C - Miscellaneous Numbers