I couldn’t find a place for this type of content on my website, so I thought I would dust off my wordpress
Im super passionate about Legacy moves in Pokemongo making sure they are recorded accurately
By introducing Elite TMs its a great opportunity to dig in and clarify some of the mistakes mentioned online in the past – lets talk about the Legacy moves that were never possible in PokemonGO.
Legacy Moves: – Moves that are no longer possible to acquire via items or under any circumstances in PokemonGo
Elite TM Release!
With the recent release of Elite TMs (ETMs) on 24-Apr-2020, the Legacy move list has shrunk immensely. By using the new ultra-rare Elite TMs, Players can now gain access to around ~150 previously un-acquirable special event moves in PokemonGo.
2022 edit It looks like “Legacy Moves” is the preferred term for Elite TM moves – despite them not being truly “Legacy” – So I will attempt to word things in a way that highlights “true” legacy moves (sometimes called “illegal” moves) which is all we really care about for the context of this article!
Due to an seemingly unspoken obligation between Niantic, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company to keep moves faithfull to the main series games – we still have a small list of Illegal moves – that are not recorded on the Elite TM list
These pokemon with rare moves are presumably never coming back to the game for newer players who didnt grab them back in the day, if you have one of these rare Pokémon, cherish it forever
There are no search queries specifically to isolate illegal moves in game
They do show up with the “@Special” query – but alongside your (less rare) Elite TM Pokemon.
Feel free to check out my (actual) legacy move list of illegal moves that you should 100% keep and collect – https://p337.info/pokemongo/pages/legacy-moves
Now that the true legacy move list sits at around ~18 Pokemon/Move combinations – I’m more inclined to call out all the errors still present on other popular legacy move lists, or circulating in the community.
GAME_MASTER files and proof
In the call-outs below I am going to refer to a file called the GAME_MASTER file which is basically a client side list that sits on everyones phones that stores all of all possible move-sets in PokemonGo (alongside other things) and is one of the key files that allows us to gain insight into which Pokemon know what moves.
If you have a library of old GAME_MASTER files, you get a traceable history into what moves were available and when, while its technically possible to forge a GAME_MASTER file, why would you bother?
As stated at the end of the post, if you know someone with one of these Pokémon/move combinations, take a video recording – post it online – everyone would love to see it – but unless a new glitch comes up (its Niantic after all) There is 100% confidence these moves don’t exist.
The Incorrect Legacy moves
Below is a list of Legacy moves that have NEVER existed in PokemonGo, but you might see commonly (and incorrectly) listed on other websites.
Zapdos with Discharge
This moveset can be seen in the GAME_MASTER file
up until 14-Feb-2017. however on 18-Feb-2017 we see Zapdos have its fast move replaced with CHARGE_BEAM_FAST. Zapdos wasnt officially added into PokemonGo until 6 months later in August of 2017
Moltres with Ember
Moltres with Ember can be seen in the GAME_MASTER file up until 14 Feb 2017. Just like Zapdos, on 18 Feb 2017 – Moltres had its fast move replaced with FIRE_SPIN_FAST. Moltres also wasnt added until August 2017 (6 months later)
GAME_MASTER files for Zapdos and Moltress were not heavily documented back in 2017 – and there are no posts from that time discussing it heavily – so at the end of the post I have included screenshots of old GAME_MASTERs as proof for the dates listed.
Delibird with Ice Shard / Quick Attack
This ones a fun one!
Delibird was released 21 Dec 2017 and during its debut it actually DID have these moves listed in the GAME_MASTER file, However; Niantic trialed a new server side change that forced all Delibird to have the fast move “Present” (the same thing happened with Pikachu) for the entirety of its debut festive season – and thus it was never possible to get either Ice Shard or Quick Attack on a Delibird in 2017 due to the server restriction forcing Present (and a cool 250 stardust). After Delibird left for the Holidays the GAME_MASTER was re-aligned, making it seem like a potential Legacy move was created.
Loudred with Crunch
A seemingly in-consequential move that occurred alongside a bunch of other moves – not sure why this one is so prevalent on lists!
Maybe it was overshadowed by Kyogre losing Dragon tail on the same update
Crunch Loudred was removed from GAME_MASTER on 12 Jan 2018
Loudred was officially released 11 days later on 23 Jan 2018
The below listed moves are reported less often – but for completeness sake I will include them for anyone that might be interested.
Kyogre with Dragon Tail
This one was followed closely by the community for a week, as this potential moveset would have been key to defeating Rayquaza in the following month. So naturally people were disappointed when it was removed – and thus it was common knowledge that this move-set was not a possible one.
Dragon Tail Kyogre was removed from GAME_MASTER on : 4-Jan-2018
Kyogre was released 8 days later on : 12-Jan-2018
Milotic with Water Gun
A downgraded move from what it Milotic actually released with
again the move was datamined before its release.
Water Gun Milotic was removed from GAME_MASTER on : 9-Dec-2017
Milotic was released 12 days later on : 21-Dec-2017
Latias with Dragon Claw
Everyone was pretty in-tune with how pre-release move balances at this point, also Latias was outshone in popularity by Latios, this one didnt gain much traction despite how close the change was to Latias release.
also happened over the span of a few hours
Removed from GAME_MASTER: 2-Apr-2018 @ 18:00 UTC |
Latias Released 3 hours later: 2-Apr-2018 @ 21:00 UTC
If you have (or know anyone who has) any of these Pokemon – definitively reach out to me on reddit = /u/p337_info – or post it yourself!
Nearly a new set of Legacies!
Humorously Niantic nearly created a brand new set of Legacy Moves with the release of Elite TMs by presumably copying incorrect lists of legacy moves found online
These mistakes were quickly corrected before the Elite TM feature went live.
These are some of the moves Niantic nearly incorrectly included in the Elite TM List
(and very quickly reverted before release of the feature)
Again – If you’re keen to check out my always updated Legacy move list,
feel free to do so – but I will go through the caliber of which moves nearly got added:
Close re-introductions of actual legacy moves
The Pokemon listed above that would have been re-introductions of actual legacy moves (as seen in the image above) : Diglett with Mud Shot, Chansey with Psybeam and Lileep with Bullet Seed. None are really that game breaking balance wise, their only significance is lore related, as they’ve never been possible in any other Pokemon Game.
Close introductions of NEW legacy moves
Also in the pre-release ETM list (in the screenshot above – had it gone live) Niantic nearly added new legacy moves such as : Moltres with Ember, Zapdos with Discharge, Delibird with Ice Shard / Quick Attack – but as we know, this was reverted in time for these moves to (yet again) never have existed
It seems bizzare that Niantic presumably used other websites data to populate their ETM feature data… especially by using websites with the wrong information 🙁
Proof for the Legendary Birds
GAME_MASTER files were not heavily documented when Zapdos and Moltres had their moves changed, however I have tracked down some old GAME_MASTER files that record their move changes months before their release. See this zip file for decoded files
If you trust my sources – here are some screenshot comparisons of Zapdos and Moltres, you can see a distinct change in decoder patterns between the file dates – I cant remember if I did that – or the decoder I was using was date sensitive.