It's all go for Pokemon downloads at the moment - we've had last month's Celebi, this month's Jirachi, and a number of store giveaways, and there's still yet more to come. The reason? The Pokemon series marks it's 20th Anniversary this year, and that's made them go a little crazy with power, putting up oodles of rare, hard-to-find 'mons up for grabs, presumably as a thank you to all the fans that have kept the Pokemon juggernaut ticking over all these years.
Last Halloween, some of you may remember Nintendo did a special giveaway at GAME stores up and down the country, where you could net yourself a code for a free Hoopa. A sinister looking devil-thing with a penchant for hula hooping, he was just the ticket for a Halloween freebie - according to his Pokedex description he's a bit of a kleptomaniac too, gathering up anything that takes his fancy and using his magical portal-creating ability to send them to a top-secret location. What's perhaps most unusual about Hoopa, though, is that he has two different forms, each with different stats, strengths and weaknesses. By using the Prison Bottle item, you can switch your default 'Hoopa Confined' form into a gnarlier looking, six armed who-knows-what, 'Hoopa Unbound', going from a dual Psychic/Ghost type to a dual Psychic/Dark type in the process. Hoopa Unbound has higher attack stats, and a higher speed than Hoopa Confined, but has less type resistances compared to it's regular form. The effects of the Prison Bottle last for three days, at which point he'll revert back to his old self - unless you use the bottle again, of course.
To get your paws on Hoopa, all you have to do is:
- Boot into your copy of an eligible game - Pokemon X, Pokemon Y, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or Pokemon Omega Ruby will all work. If you have multiple Pokemon games, you should definitely exploit the giveaway to get multiple Hoopas too!
- On the main menu, instead of loading your save, scroll down to the 'Mystery Gift' option.
- Then click on 'Receive Gift', followed by 'Yes' to open the communication channel.
- From there, scroll down to the bottom option, 'Get With Code', click through the battery-related warnings, and choose 'Yes' to receive a gift with a code, followed by 'Yes' again to allow it to connect to the internet.
- Once it's connected to the internet, a little while later, you'll be prompted to enter the code - which is, somewhat imaginatively, HOOPA2016. It'll then spend a few minutes verifying the code and searching for the mystery gift. Bear in mind that if you got a Hoopa from the GAME promotion previously, you won't be able to download a second.
- You'll then be asked if you want to receive the gift entitled 'Wow! It's a Hoopa!' - click 'Yes' to start downloading your new Pokemon.
- Once downloaded, simply load up your save, head to your nearest Pokemon Centre and speak to the delivery girl standing to the left of the main counter. You'll need at least one space free in your party though, don't forget!
As we mentioned earlier, in order to access the Hoopa Unbound form of your newest addition, you'll need the aforementioned Prison Bottle item - but, somewhat unusually, you'll have to partake in a somewhat spooky conversation to get your hands on it (although only on Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, we're afraid).
Basically, you need to head to your local Poke Mart with Hoopa in your party, where you'll notice there's an extra Poke Mart employee standing to the side of the counter - speak to him, and listen to his tale of the creepy guys he encounters on a nightshift. Once he's done rambling, he'll give you a Prison Bottle for your time, which will be stored in the Key Items section of your bag for later. Simply use it from in your inventory to switch Hoopa into it's Unbound form for a mere three days.
The Hoopa you get from the promotion will be on level 50, and come with four moves - Psychic, Astonish, Nasty Plot, and Hoopa's signature move, Hyperspace Hole. Such moves cement Hoopa's place as a rather annoying little so-and-so - Psychic is a damage-dealing move that has a chance of knocking down your opponent's Special Defence when it hits, Astonish damages enemies with a chance of making them flinch and forfeit their turn, while Nasty Plot significantly bumps up your Special Attack, thereby increasing the potential damage for moves such as the aforementioned Psychic. Hyperspace Hole meanwhile is a move that only Hoopa can learn, which deals damage and always hits, even if your opponent has used Protect (or another similar move) to block it. And seemingly, in the world of Pokemon, a Magician is synonymous with a pick-pocket, as Hoopa's special ability, Magician, will steal the held item of any Pokemon it hits in battle.
The above Hoopa code is only valid until the end of the month, the 30th April, so you'll need to be pretty prompt if you want to get your paws on the Pokemon. And while you're at it, don't forget to download yourself a Jirachi before the end of this week too! If you miss out though, don't worry, as Nintendo have more Pokemon giveaways planned for the following months - starting with a Darkrai in May. Or Darkmay.