Pokémon Legends Arceus: Why Japan is Getting the Better Mystery Gift

While GameStop will soon offer US Pokémon Legends: Arceus fans a free Hisuian Growlithe and some Feather Balls, Japanese players are getting the better Mystery Gift.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Photo: Nintendo

Even though Pokémon Legends: Arceus isn’t even a month old, Nintendo and Game Freak are already rolling out the Mystery Gifts to keep players hooked. However, the first wave of gifts appears to be gated by country, and it really seems like some players will end up receiving the better overall present.

Recently, Serebii.net revealed that GameStop stores across the United States will run a special Mystery Gift promotion that rewards you with codes for a free Hisuian Growlithe and 20 Feather Balls. This event will run from February 25th to March 13th, so anyone who visits a GameStop and uses the code can also download Legends: Arceus’ launch Mystery Gift. What better way to train your new Growlithe than while wearing clothes styled after it?

While the free Growlithe is probably welcome for anyone who wants to own Hisui’s premier regional variant (and a few free balls), it pales in comparison to Japan’s current Mystery Gift event. From now until February 24th, anyone who visits the Osaka, Mega Tokyo, or Kanazawa Pokémon Centers can receive a code for a free Piplup. Well, technically two, as the code will apparently net them one Piplup for Pokémon Legends: Arceus and one for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. That’s one point in Japan’s corner since the Hisuian Growlithe code only works for Legends: Arceus.

Currently, we don’t know what moves the gifted Hisuian Growlithe will know out of the gate, but the free Piplups will each sport a healthy mix of maneuvers. The Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Piplup will come with Hydro Pump, Pluck, Work Up, and Attract, while the Legends: Arceus Piplup will know Bubble, Roost, Double Edge, and Baby-Doll Eyes. Those lineups combine moves that need to be purchased with the final attack Piplups can learn naturally, which places the little penguins high on the priorities list. However, the Piplups offer even more than that.

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Whenever a Mystery Gift hands out free Pokemon, gamers have come to expect rare creatures. Nintendo Life chronicled all the gifts Pokémon Sword and Shield owners received over the years, which included an army of Pikachu in different hats, a Coalossal, and most important of all, a shiny Zacian and Zamazenta. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl don’t have many Mystery Gifts, but the games started off strong with a Manaphy Egg. It’s hard to not get spoiled with those kinds of gifts, and while Piplup is no Manaphy, they’re closer to each other on the rarity rating board than Manaphy and Hisuian Growlithe.

While Hisuian Growlithe aren’t exactly common in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, you can usually find them in Windbreak Stand and Veilstone Cape, both of which are in the Cobalt Coastlands. Piplup, meanwhile, tend to spawn one or two at a time at the lake in Spring Path, which is also in the Cobalt Coastlands. Growlithe are just more plentiful by comparison and thus not as valuable in a Mystery Gift, and that’s just for one game. In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, if you want a Piplup as soon as possible, you need to select it as your starter Pokémon. Otherwise, you have to beat the Elite Four and Cynthia, obtain the National Pokedex, and then wander through Fountainspring Cave, Riverbank Cave, and Still-Water Cavern areas of the Grand Underground until you find one. You don’t exactly need to do any of that if the game’s Mystery Gift function just hands you a Piplup for free.

Since the Piplup giveaway just started and details are scarce on the Hisuian Growlithe gift, it’s too early to tell if they will jump into other countries. However, when taken at face value, the Japanese Piplup Mystery Gift is clearly superior since it applies to more games and provides a rarer Pokémon with a decent set of moves. Not even the free Feather Balls can make up for that.