Pokémon Go's Celebi is the game's second Mythical Pokémon, and is being made available in a different way to any other creature we've seen so far.
However, there's another key difference - the quest has debuted first for those attending this year's Go Fest in Chicago.
How Celebi debuted in Pokémon Go
Where standard Field Research offers objectives that can be collected by players at any time, Special Research is a story-driven questline with specific steps.
Celebi will arrive as part of the game's second Special Research quest, with the Mythical creature given to players as a reward.
However, so far, only those attending this year's Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago were available to take part. Datamining (via The Silph Road subreddit) revealed a Special Research quest for attendees, with details including:
- A total of five steps to complete
- Challenges to hatch an Egg, earn Buddy Candy and visit PokéStops
- Catching Unown, Plusle and Minun
- Story text hinting at Celebi's time travelling abilities
Once attendees registered for the event (players have to spin a PokéStop and scan a barcade to register their account as attending) they could get starting.
Another hint Celebi was going to be at Go Fest is through a sponsored tweet from Mystic7, showing a silhouette of the Pokemon in an event invite:
The datamines turned out to be true, with Celebi able to be caught after a day's play:
Celebi expected release date: When will Celebi be released for everyone else in Pokémon Go?
With the announcement of birthday event Pikachu, Niantic confirmed Celebi will be coming to the game as part of a Special Research quest for everyone, not just those attending Go Fest 2018.
It said Celebi "will be available globally in the near future". After the event ended, not much was added, with a similarly vague "soon" provided. Either way, it confirms Celebi is indeed coming to players worldwide shortly.
We have to assume Celebi will be available as a timed exclusive catch for attendees at Go Fest as a reward for attending, but the length of exclusivity is uncertain.
If it's the same as last year's Go Fest reveal - Legendary Pokémon - it might take less than a day for everyone around the world to get their hands-on the Research Quest.
However, there are two differences this time. One, Legendary Pokémon were likely pushed worldwide sooner than planned because of the network issues that surrounded the game. Assuming things go smoother this year, then there might not be a need to issue the reward globally as an apology.
Second, the datamine suggests this Special Research questline is designed specifically for Go Fest attendees. It's shorter - five steps compared to eight - and specifically asks players to catch Pokémon that will spawn in much higher quantities during the event, such as Plusle and Minun, and the very rare Unown.
So how long could it take Celebi to be released worldwide? It's completely unknown right now, but one possibility is the mysterious 'Ultra Bonus Unlock' that is rewarded if player successfully complete challenges across all three Summer Tour 2018 events. If that's when Celebi will be released, perhaps we'll see a global release by the end of the summer.
When it does release, expect a similar set-up to Mew's'A Mythical Discovery', with more stages (Mew had eight) and multiple challenges to complete per stage.
Again, expect specific steps to be fixed for every player, and there is seemingly no restrictions on how fast you can complete it.
Three new features have recently arrived - Friends in Pokémon Go, Gifts and Trading, as well as new July Field Research, Legendary Pokémon Regice, Alolan Pokémon Forms and 7km Eggs. We also have regional exclusives, Stardust and Buddy distances pages to help you complete your Gen 3 Pokémon collection. You can also read up on Pokémon Go Articuno Day and Birthday event Pikachu, as well as the next Community Day and when it's happening. Want to look even further into the future? Our Pokémon Go Gen 4 Pokémon list and Celebi explains which new creatures are coming to the game one day.
Celebi stats and what else you need to know about Celebi in Pokémon Go
Celebi is Pokémon Go's second Mythical Pokémon, and the last Pokédex entry in Gen 2. While Legendary Pokémon are powerful beasts that are caught in game through specific steps, Mythical Pokémon can only be added to the game by acquiring it from real-world giveaways, and later in the series, online events.
Celebi is both Psychic and Grass Type, leaving it open to attack from Fire, Bug, Dark and Ghost attacks. Between that and fairly underwhelming stats, Celebi continues the trend that Mythical creatures aren't great competitive Pokémon in Pokémon Go.
However, its rarity alone makes it well worth the time and effort in completing the Special Research questline. After all, there is no way to trade it.
There are more to come, too. Like Legendary Pokémon, each generation adds one or two of these creatures - such as Gen 3's Jirachi and Deoxys - and it's assumed these creatures will be added to the game as part of their own Special Research quests at some point in the future.