The game begins when Arceus, the titular legendary Pokemon, sends the player back in time to the Hisui region and challenges them to complete the region's first Pokedex. The player does this by encountering Pokemon in the wild - while they can still be battled, for the first time in the series, players can use techniques such as stealth, camouflage, and distraction to sneak up on wild Pokemon and catch them without initiating an encounter. This is especially useful when hunting Shiny Pokemon, which appear far more rarely than their normal-colored counterparts and frequently disappear when startled, although they do make a distinct sound when spawning on the map.
On Reddit, a user going by u/Mountain-Chicken9788 shared the story of his unusual encounter with one particular Shiny Pokemon. According to a video shared by the user, they were attempting to catch a Pikachu when, seemingly out of nowhere, a Shiny Zubat - an eyeless, bat-shaped Pokemon first introduced in the original Pokemon games - attacked them from behind. The player, who described the encounter as "a jump-scare," was extremely startled, to the point where their first attempt to throw a Pokeball missed the Zubat entirely. However, they confirmed in the comments of the Reddit post that they did eventually manage to catch the Shiny Zubat, although they had to battle it first and utilize several Ultra Balls in order to do so.
Commenters on Reddit were generally amused by u/Mountain-Chicken9788's experience, joking that the Shiny Pokemon was hunting the player rather than the other way around. Others insisted that the Zubat was friendly and in fact wanted to be caught, and was merely attempting to catch u/Mountain-Chicken9788's attention. Still others lamented their inability to find a Shiny Zubat, as the flying Pokemon only appears during nighttime and is notoriously difficult to catch due to its high speed and erratic movement patterns. Although Shiny Pokemon were made easier to catch in Legends: Arceus compared to previous titles, their appearance is still quite random and fickle.
Most Pokemon appearing in Hisui have a small chance of spawning as a Shiny variant of their normal coloration. Some, like Zubat, appear randomly on the map, with their spawn chance increased if a player has completed the Pokedex entry for their species. Others, such as Spiritomb, can only be encountered after completing specific in-game quests and tasks, making them even more difficult and frustrating to catch.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus is currently available for the Nintendo Switch.