Even if shiny hunting in Pokémon games isn’t your cup of tea, it’s always exciting to randomly happen upon one of these uber-rare, alternately colored pocket monsters. Fortunately, Pokémon Legends: Arceus makes achieving this feat easy by reviving an old series tradition and giving players one guaranteed shiny by way of a straightforward mission.
Early into Pokémon Legends: Arceus, you’ll unlock the ability to take on requests from the inhabitants of Jubilife Village, the small settlement that serves as your home base throughout the story. One such request comes from an NPC named Yota. Within the first few hours of the game, Yota will task you with hunting down a “peculiar” Ponyta in the game’s first area, the Obsidian Fieldlands, specifically a northern portion of the region fittingly known as the Horseshoe Plains.
If it wasn’t obvious already, you soon find out that what makes this Ponyta unusual is its coloring. Yes, it’s a shiny, sporting a bright, blue mane of flames instead of the species’ usual red. Upon finding the Ponyta, it’s simply a matter of sneaking up, catching it by whatever means you prefer, and returning to Yota. He lets you keep the Ponyta and even gives you five Razz Berries—which you can feed to wild Pokémon to make them easier to catch—for your trouble.
This isn’t the first time the Pokémon series has given players a free shiny. Pokémon Gold and Silver’s red Gyarados is probably the most notable since part of the games’ story focuses on capturing the raging monster, but Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 also rewarded folks with a shiny Gible, Dratini, and Haxorus for completing special post-game challenges. That said, Pokémon Legends: Arceus differs from previous installments in that its shiny Ponyta comes very early into the game and requires almost no effort to obtain.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ guaranteed shiny is also perfect for seeing the changes made to Rapidash. When shinies were first introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver, the Ponyta evolution sported vibrant, violet flames that were inexplicably changed to gray in subsequent releases. But with Arceus, Rapidash’s original shiny coloring returns, marking the first time its purple mane has been seen in-game since Gold and Silver follow-up Pokémon Crystal released in 2000. I’m probably the only person who cares about this!
That’s all to say that you should definitely keep your eye out for this Pokémon Legends: Arceus mission. The free Ponyta might not feel like much of an accomplishment when compared to a rarity won through legitimate shiny hunting, but the generous reward will put you that much closer to completing a full shiny Pokédex should that happen to be one of your goals. Like the old saying goes, don’t look a gift Ponyta in the mouth.