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It's Time To Talk About That Poke Ball Reveal In Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Fans have long wondered what kinds of conditions Pokemon experience inside their Poke Balls, but "Pokemon Legends: Arceus" has retconned most previous conceptions of how Poke Balls work for a different sort of theory. According to the lore of "Pokemon Legends: Arceus," Pokemon simply shrink down to go inside their tiny containers.

"Pokemon Legends: Arceus" has succeeded in turning many "Pokemon" theories on their head. Even though the game was spoiled for some players before its release, gamers are still shocked by how the "Pokemon Legends" has changed the series forever. From changing the way evolution works to introducing new strong and agile style battle mechanics, "Pokemon Legends: Arceus" has reshaped "Pokemon" lore while adding new elements to the series that will likely stick around for the long haul. That being said, no one suspected that Poke Balls would be getting an overhaul.

Previously, many fans assumed that Poke Balls possessed the technology to shrink Pokemon. Based on older "Pokemon" titles, which allowed players to upload their Pokemon to a PC storage system. The Game Theorists discussed how Pokemon storage might work, considering how Pokemon must be compressed into DNA, data, or some kind of energy in order to be kept in a digital file. Additionally, Redditors have deeply considered what it's like inside a Poke Ball. Essentially, there are three theories about what the inside of a Poke Ball might be like, and how the technology works to store Pokemon and house them between the wild and the PC.

What were the old Poke Ball theories?

Previously, gamers developed a few different theories about what life inside a Poke Ball might be like. The data theory suggested that Pokemons' physical forms are translated into data, which can then be exchanged between players and stored on a PC. The ideal environment theory supposes that Pokemon experience their favorite habitat inside Poke Balls, with a steady supply of food and enrichment – kind of like they have their own room to enjoy, personalized for them. The physical size theory most closely resembles the lore established by "Pokemon Legends: Arceus," but with one important change; Poke Balls use technology to shrink Pokemon, and Pokemon did not shrink by their own power.

"Pokemon Legends: Arceus" flipped that theory upside down at the very beginning of the game, confusing longtime fans with a single line of dialogue. When Professor Laventon first gifts the player character with Poke Balls, he comments, "You'll recall, of course, that Pokemon possess the odd power to shrink themselves down. With the Poke Balls, we can make use of that power to catch them!"

For many players, this revelation felt surprising, especially considering the PC storage system in previous games. Sure, the reveal that Pokemon all possess the innate ability to shrink shocked some players. "Why does the move Minimize exist if literally all of them can do it?" one fan asked in a Reddit thread discussing the issue. Eventually, the fandom seemed split about the issue, with some gamers suggesting that "Pokemon Legends: Arceus" actually tidied up a messy piece of lore in a way that made perfect sense.

How does Pokemon Legends: Arceus change the theories?

Some fans pointed out that the concept of shrinking actually comes from the long-running "Pokemon" anime, not the game series. In the "Pokemon" anime, Poke Balls and Pokemon shrink, for better portability and aesthetic reasons (so Poke Balls can be worn on a belt, for instance). 

Others argued that Pokemon having a shrink ability actually makes a lot of sense, and patches up some fuzzy bits of "Pokemon" lore. For example, why can gigantic Pokemon hide in tall grass, even though the grass should be much shorter than them? If Pokemon can reduce their size to fit inside a Poke Ball, it only makes sense that they might use the ability at other times, too. One fan even speculated that it's possible Pokemon can't shrink at all, but instead grow, meaning they are naturally tiny. A different fan simply said that the new theory would explain why no one has captured a human in a Poke Ball just yet.

Perhaps the most well measured theory is that "Pokemon Legends: Arceus" takes place in the past, so it makes sense that early Pokemon trainers wouldn't have advanced technology like PCs. One fan wrote, "The new [Poke Balls] convert the Pokémon to data while these old ones force the Pokémon to shrink down. No data yet as they use pastures to store Pokémon rather than PCs." Without the invention of computers, it makes sense that Pokemon trainers would have to use nature rather than science to harness the power of their pocket monster friends.