PokéMondays: Why I don’t like the GTS

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There’s a feature that was built into Pokémon games back during the Diamond/Pearl/Platinum days when Nintendo WiFi was a thing called Global Trade System, or GTS for short. On the surface it was awesome. No longer was trading Pokémon constrained to being physically near someone to exchange ‘mon. It was a bigger boon when the later games came out and new players started playing: you could fill up your pokédex from the comfort of your living room/bathroom/kitchen/backyard/under the sheets with a flashlight past your bedtime. And you can trade between generations too. You deposit a Pokémon into the GTS system, list a Pokémon you want, and hope for the best.

My first games were X/Y and the GTS was a great way to get stuff from older games because I didn’t have any intention back then to play them. I could fill out my national dex pretty easily but two things happened that made me swear off GTS.

Image lifted from Pokémon.com

The first was a ridiculous trade that happened. When I first started trading it was for older Pokémon that weren’t in X/Y, nothing too fancy, nothing hard to get like shinies. It was pretty neat going into GTS and seeing a lot of the box legendaries from the old games in there. On a whim, I put up a zigzagoon and asked for a Zekrom in exchange. The next day I got it! I was really excited at first but once the excitement died down I really questioned the logic: who in their right mind would trade the legendary from White/White 2 for a zigzagoon of all things? There was another easy trade that happened, I can’t remember what it was but it was along the same lines of unevenness. I theorized that these Pokémon must have been hacked together. Once I started looking into it more and more, the more I realized that what I got was a fake. There’s no provenance when it comes to these things so getting a fake in a lopsided trade seems way more plausible than someone playing through White, catching the mascot, and just giving it away for such a common ‘mon.

Image lifted from Pokémon.com

The second was that Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were released. This was kind of a big deal because that made it possible to complete the national dex with just X/Y and OR/AS with a little help from Pokémon Bank. All the box legendaries were included in OR/AS so I could skip having to replay the old games and the GTS entirely to get everything. Nintendo was also releasing most if not all of the mythical Pokémon too as download events.

So that was my goal at the time: complete the National Dex with just those four games. Something happened though and I kind of lost interest. Splatoon 2 happened maybe. I don’t know, but I’m back to finishing that goal. I’d rather earn every single Pokémon on my own than rely on a system that allows for fraudulent Pokémon. I’m at 1,598 soft resets (and counting) for a shiny Type: Null and wouldn’t have it any other way.

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