Over the years, Pokemon Go has added a lot of different 'mons into the game. That's essentially the point – the game has drip-fed new Pokemon over the past six years, running through each generation as it experiments with different pacing for its rollouts. It has also had certain special reveals, tying Legendaries to Raids and Mythicals to Special Research, but also using events, festivals, or other one offs to introduce specific 'mons. However, it has occasionally been stumped by what to do, and it feels like Kecleon has been forgotten.
Kecleon is a Gen 3 Pokemon, a generation that (Kecleon aside) has been fully in the game since Jirachi’s arrival in summer 2019. Pokemon Go is currently up to Gen 7 and has a handful of Gen 8 (the most recent generation) 'mons already in our Dexes. This winter, Gen 9 will arrive with Scarlet & Violet, and it seems much more likely that we'll finish Gens 7, 8, and 9 before we do Gen 3 at this rate.
Kecleon is a unique Pokemon. It's more interesting to think about than it is to actually use, because it can turn itself invisible at will. In the Hoenn games, Kecleon can be found in Fortree City where, much like Snorlax in Gen 1, its discovery is part of an in-game event. Most players remember this fondly, but few actually use Kecleon in their teams, which is why it's so odd that Pokemon Go has kept it under wraps for so long. We know Niantic is waiting to introduce the 'mon in an irregular way, and that it won't be a normal overworld encounter, but we're at the point where it's no longer worth it.
Kecleon has put Niantic in an impossible position. Nobody will really care when it arrives, meaning there's no way to drum up much hype for it. There's also nothing that can justify a five-gen delay on its arrival, but just releasing it into the wild as normal after such a long wait feels silly and pointless. It feels like there is no way for Niantic to win, and so we have to wait with a gaping hole in our Gen 3 collection until a solution is found.
The worst part is this could have been very interesting. The best addition the game ever made was Ditto, because it came along at the perfect time for people to be swept away by it. When the game first launched and the fanbase realised that Ditto was missing, new versions of 'the Mew under the truck' sprung up, with fans trading theories and myths on how to encounter it. The buttons on the menu turned different colours, and that, combined with Ditto's 132 Dex number, was enough for fans to speculate that there might be a code connected to the colours and the order they should be pushed in, finding that magic 132. The truth was that Ditto simply had not been released yet, but the truth hardly mattered back then.
When Ditto was released, it lived up to these stories we had told ourselves. Much like the real Ditto, different fodder would secretly be it in disguise, and there was no way to tell which one was secretly a pink blob until you caught it. Even then, stories continued about which Pokemon Ditto could actually be. Like the friend of a friend of a friend who once found a thumb in their McNuggets, someone swore they caught a Ditto from a Goldeen and we had no choice but to believe it. So far, no one cares enough to make up a folktale that Kecleon is present, it’s just invisible and no one’s caught one yet.
Making an invisible Pokemon is harder than a transforming Pokemon, but the difference doesn't seem so grand that it takes three years to come up with a solution. Especially when, no matter what you do, people will just say 'huh, neat' and then move on with their lives. The people have waited long enough. We demand Kecleon now.
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