Pokemon Legends The player character is transported back in time to the Hisui region by Arceus, who bestows upon them a device called the Arc Phone and the task of “seeking out all Pokémon”. Upon waking up, the player meets Professor Laventon, a Pokémon Professor working for the Galaxy Expedition Team, who tells the player that they fell out of the mysterious space-time rift in the sky above Mount Coronet. After helping Laventon catch his three runaway starter Pokémon, they are escorted to Jubilife Village, where they meet Akari/Rei, the professor’s assistant and a member of the Galaxy Team Survey Corps.
Pokemon Legends Since the player has no home, the Survey Corps Captain Cyllene accepts Professor Laventon’s request to let them join the organization, offering them a place to stay and food in exchange for working for them if they pass a trial set up for them. To help them pass the trial, Laventon gives the player one of the starter Pokémon they caught earlier. After passing the trial of catching a Bidoof, a Starly, and a Shinx, the player is formally accepted into the Survey Corps and given the mission of completing the Pokédex.
While exploring Hisui, the player learns that mysterious lightning striking down from the same space-time rift they fell out of is causing the five noble Pokémon around the region to go on wild frenzies and attack people. The player is given the mission to visit and calm each of these noble Pokémon. Each noble Pokémon is overseen by a warden belonging to one of Hisui’s two clans: the Diamond Clan led by Adaman, and the Pearl Clan led by Irida. These clans both worship a deity known as “almighty Sinnoh”, but they disagree with each other about whether it rules over time or space.
During their travels, the player also has several encounters with the merchant Volo from the Ginkgo Guild, who enjoys studying the history of Hisui, and the bandit trio known as the Miss Fortune sisters. They also obtain a Celestica Flute and befriend five Pokémon (each overseen by a warden like the nobles) who allow the player to ride them at will afterwards. Whenever the player defeats a noble Pokémon or befriends a rideable Pokémon, they are gifted with a Plate.
After the player has managed to quell the last of the five noble Pokémon, the space-time rift in the sky suddenly expands and the sky above Hisui turns red. Suspecting that the player, who fell out of the same rift, is somehow responsible for this, Galaxy Team Commander Kamado kicks them out of the Galaxy Team and banishes them from Jubilife Village. The player seeks help from the clans, but they both refuse to help in order to maintain neutrality with the Galaxy Team. Volo, however, agrees to help the player and takes them to a secret settlement, the Ancient Retreat, where the mysterious woman Cogita resides; from her, they learn that an artifact known as the Red Chain could help bind the world back together and make the rift disappear.
To find the necessary materials to create the chain, the player gets assistance from either Adaman or Irida and visits each of Hisui’s three lakes, receiving a necessary material from each of the lake guardians after passing their trials. Once all the materials have been gathered, the lake guardians combine them together to form the Red Chain. With the Red Chain in their possession, the player returns to Jubilife Village, only to learn that Kamado has led the Galaxy Team Security Corps to the Temple of Sinnoh atop Mount Coronet to deal with a Pokémon sighted at the space-time rift. After being reinstated in the Galaxy Team by Cyllene, the player climbs to the summit and defeats Kamado in battle, finally making him see reason and apologize for doubting them.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is an action role-playing game that preserves the core gameplay of past entries in the main line series. The player is able to roam freely across the game map, divided into five large areas of individual biomes. Each time the player enters such areas, they spawn in a camp, and can fast travel to other camps in the same area. Outside of traversing the landscape on foot, the player can unlock rideable Pokémon which can travel faster, swim across bodies of water, climb cliffs, or fly. In each area, Pokémon wander the landscape, being found in certain habitats and will interact with both the player and their environments.
Some will actively avoid the player while others act aggressively, and some exhibit other specific behaviors. A number of “Alpha” Pokémon – larger, more powerful versions of the Pokémon – can also be found in the areas. The multiple areas and the hub system instead of a fully open world gameplay resulted in reviewers comparing Legends: Arceus with the Monster Hunter series. Reviewers also drew comparisons between Pokémon Legends: Arceus and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, noting apparent similarities in both gameplay and art style.
Unlike in previous titles, the player character themselves can be attacked and harmed by wild Pokémon. If enough damage is taken, he or she will fall unconscious and reappear at the base camp. Players can capture wild Pokémon in the overworld without engaging in battle, though some must still be battled before being caught. Battles can be initiated by releasing captured Pokémon near a wild Pokémon. While the turn-based battle system of the prior titles are retained in the game, an additional feature is added which allows players to trade attack damage for more turns and vice versa.
Outside standard battles, the game also introduces special boss battles where the player character has to dodge and attack powerful Pokémon, regular turn-based battles being included during the fights as opportunities to stun the bosses.