The critter in question is Dedenne, who first appeared in the core Pokémon games in 2013’s Pokémon X and Y. Known as the “Antenna Pokémon”, a dual Electric and Fairy-type creature, with no known evolutions.
Dedenne’s arrival and the Festival of Lights were announced in a blog post from developer Niantic. Both kick off on November 5, from 10am (local to players’ locations) and run until November 14 at 8pm. Dedenne’s imminent appearance in the game had been suspected by fans for a while, as it features prominently on the current loading screen art.
Players will be able to catch Dedenne in the wild, through one-star gym raids, or as a rare encounter for completing Field Research. Other Electric-type Pokémon, including Chinchou, Electrike, Magnemite, Tynamo, and (of course) Pikachu, will also appear more often during the Festival of Lights, which will also see in-game fireworks taking place.
The in-game festival will also see several player bonuses during the event. Friendship levels with Buddy Pokémon will increase twice as fast (which will help evolve certain Pokémon that rely on the mechanic, such as turning Eevee into Sylveon), gifts from friends “will provide increased rewards”, and the cap on how many gifts can be opened will be boosted to 45 per day.
Niantic says the event is meant to coincide with Diwali here in the real world, so players in India will get a bonus event on November 7. Between 4-7pm local, Dedenne and Blitzle will appear more frequently in the wild, and players will earn double the candy for catching Pokémon.
A second part of the event, dubbed “With Light Comes Shadow…”, will kick off on November 9, although Niantic is tighter-lipped on what this will entail beyond saying “Team GO Rocket members will be appearing significantly more frequently at PokéStops and in balloons”.
More interesting for long-time players is news that the Festival of Lights event will also progress the ongoing Season of Mischief storyline. The 16-part chain of Research Tasks that began in September 2021 has focused on Professor Willow’s investigations into the mythical Pokémon Hoopa. While players were able to catch the incredibly rare Pokémon after a few weeks, many believe the end of the storyline will unlock its “Hoopa Unbound” form.
In other Pokémon news, a series of Japanese adverts have shown how characters and scenes from the original 2006 releases of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl look in the upgraded remakes Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.