Continuing to deliver on their promise to introduce more features into Pokemon GO, Niantic have apparently been sneaking in some work on new legendary Pokemon. This datamining discovery comes just a couple of weeks after Generation 3 Pokes were added to the game.
The discovery in question was made by ZeChrales, a well-known dataminer in the community. According to the newly discovered data, the models for legendary Pokemon Ho-Oh and Celebi are now available on Niantic’s servers. A shiny variation of Ho-Oh has also been found.
The 3D models were found by tricking the Pokemon GO game client into believing that players already had Ho-Oh and Celebi in their Pokedex, allowing the 3D models to be rendered. ZeChrales explains that these legendaries should not have male/female icons and that the icons in the below screenshots are a result of “some residual bug of blind code edition on my side.” It should be noted that the 2D sprites for Ho-Oh (both shiny and normal) and Celebi are not yet available.
Earlier this year, ZeChrales found sprites for shiny variations of Lugia, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. These have yet to be made available either but it’s possible that Niantic is just laying the groundwork before releasing all of these legendary shinies in the game.
So it would seem that these discoveries are legitimate. At this point, it’s unclear exactly how or when Niantic might make these shiny legendary Pokemon available. Niantic put Gen 3 Pokemon into the game (including shiny Sableye and other Gen 3 shinies) using the Halloween event. Likewise, legendary Pokemon were first made available alongside the much-hyped (but ultimately disastrous) Pokemon GO Fest in Chicago.