In the core series games
The Red Chain is first mentioned by Cogita, who says it could be used to stop the space-time rift above Mount Coronet. The player travels to each of Hisui's three lakes and receives a material required to craft the chain from each of the lake guardians: Azelf's Fang, Uxie's Claw, and Mesprit's Plume. Bringing these materials to the Shrouded Ruins will allow the lake guardians to craft the Red Chain for the player. With the chain in hand, the player then climbs to the summit of Mount Coronet.
Depending on whether the player went to search for the materials with Adaman or Irida, either Dialga or Palkia will appear at the Temple of Sinnoh. However, when the player attempts to use the Red Chain to stop it, the artifact is broken to pieces. After the player has caught the Legendary Pokémon, its counterpart appears and forces the player to retreat.
Following a hint received from the Legendary Pokémon the player caught, Professor Laventon uses the fragments of the Red Chain, combined with a sample of the Origin Ore, to craft the Origin Ball, which the player later uses to catch the other Legendary Pokémon at the Temple of Sinnoh.
In the Sinnoh-based games, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn succeed in capturing Mesprit, Uxie, and Azelf, respectively, at their respective lakes and bringing them to the Team Galactic HQ, where gems are extracted from their bodies to create the Red Chain.
Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Brilliant Diamond, and Shining Pearl
Even though the player succeeds in freeing the lake guardians, the Red Chain is still completed. At the Spear Pillar, Cyrus uses the chain to summon and take control of DialgaDBD/PalkiaPSP. However, just when the Legendary Pokémon is about to fulfill Cyrus's wish of a new universe, the lake guardians appear and destroy the Red Chain, preventing the new universe from being created.
Due to the player freeing the lake guardians when only one Red Chain was created, Cyrus is forced to create a second one through artificial means. Using these two chains, he summons both Dialga and Palkia to the Spear Pillar in order to recreate the universe. Even though the lake guardians appear to intervene, they cannot maintain the balance against both of the Legendary Pokémon at once. However, enraged by Cyrus's actions, Giratina then appears and drags Cyrus into the Distortion World, presumably destroying the Red Chains in the process.
Cyrus's PC entries
Cyrus's computer details information on the Red Chain:
- According to myths, the Pokémon created Sinnoh with its power. However, capturing the Pokémon with a Poké Ball prevents it from using its full power... But with the Red Chain, the Pokémon can be shackled, and its power can be used without restraint...
- The Pokémon of the lakes and Mt. Coronet are somehow connected. Capturing the Pokémon of the lakes will free the Pokémon of Mt. Coronet. From the Pokémon of the lakes, crystals can be extracted to create a Red Chain.
Using that Red Chain, the mythical Pokémon can be summoned and shackled to do as we command...
In the anime
The Red Chain was first mentioned in Enter Galactic!, where Saturn said that though Team Galactic had failed to acquire all of the Veilstone City meteorites, the number that they had acquired should be suitable enough for the crafting of the Red Chain. In Double Team Turnover!, Mars reported to Cyrus that the Fuego Ironworks had completed their experiment on the meteorites, moving the project into its final stage.
In Unlocking the Red Chain of Events!, the chain was completed and moved to the Team Galactic HQ. Charon purposefully left a fragment of the chain behind for the International Police to find, causing their database to get wiped out when they tried to scan it.
In The Needs of Three!, after Hunter J succeeded in capturing the lake guardians and delivering them to Team Galactic, Cyrus had a Red Chain fragment placed onto each of them, allowing him to control them, although the three Legendary Pokémon managed to teleport Ash, Brock, and Dawn to their location before being completely subdued.
In The Battle Finale of Legend!, Cyrus used the Red Chains, combined with the powers of the lake guardians and the Adamant and Lustrous Orbs, to summon Dialga and Palkia to the Spear Pillar and force them to start the creation of a new universe. While wrapping themselves around the two Legendary Pokémon, the chains took the shape of the wheel-like structure seen around Arceus's body. However, with the combined efforts of Ash, Brock, Dawn, and Cynthia, the Red Chains controlling both the lake guardians and Dialga and Palkia were destroyed and the birth of the new universe was stopped.
Another Red Chain appeared in The Gates of Warp! and Showdown at the Gates of Warp!, this one created by Alternate World Team Rocket to lock Dialga and Palkia into a battle that caused the Pokémon in the alternate world version of Sinnoh to devolve and eventually revert into Eggs, allowing the villainous team to steal them easily. Eventually, after Alternate World Team Rocket had been defeated, Dialga's power started going out of control. Ash, Dawn, Goh, Chloe, and their alternate world counterparts, unable to break the Red Chain, prayed for Arceus to stop the fight between Dialga and Palkia. Responding to their wish, a shape of Arceus appeared from the Red Chain and made it disappear, ending the fight.
In the anime, instead of being created from crystals extracted from the three lake guardians, the Red Chain was created from the meteorites in Veilstone City, which were infused with power of Arceus, explaining the chain's ability to control Legendary Pokémon.
The Red Chain appeared in The New World, where Cyrus used it to bind and control Dialga and Palkia. The chain was later broken by Giratina's Shadow Ball, freeing Dialga and Palkia from Cyrus's control and allowing them to escape.
In the manga
The Red Chain debuted in Halting Honchkrow, where it was completed at the Team Galactic HQ. In Creeping Away from Cradily, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum succeeded in freeing the lake guardians from Team Galactic's captivity before the second Red Chain could be created, forcing Cyrus to use an artificially duplicated, less powerful copy to replace it.
In Double Trouble with Dialga and Palkia I, Cyrus used the two chains to summon Dialga and Palkia to the Spear Pillar and force them to fight each other in order to wipe out the old world and create a new one in its place. However, in Double Trouble with Dialga and Palkia II, the Gym Leaders of Sinnoh, who were partaking in the battle against Team Galactic, attacked the duplicate chain and were able to break it. Even though the two Legendary Pokémon continued to fight, Cyrus was no longer able to control both of them simultaneously. In Double Trouble with Dialga and Palkia VI, the three Pokédex holders of Sinnoh exploited this weakness and destroyed the other chain as well, stopping Dialga and Palkia's battle.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure!
The Red Chain first appeared in (Violent) Earthquake! Cyrus's Consuming Ambition, where Cyrus succeeded in creating it by using the energy drawn from the three lake guardians. In The Advent of the Legendary Pokémon!!, Cyrus used the chain to awaken and take control of Dialga at the Spear Pillar so that he could return the world to its starting point and create a new universe. However, in the midst of the ensuing battle, the lake guardians, drawn in by Hareta's desire to free Dialga's heart, suddenly appeared and used their Psychic powers to give Dialga strength to destroy the chain, ending Cyrus's plan.
- The Red Chain's appearance as a dummied-out Key Item in Generation IV indicates that, during development, it may have been intended to have the same purpose as other Legendary artifacts in Generations II and III: the Rainbow Wing, Silver Wing, Red Orb, and Blue Orb all have a role in summoning the Legendary pair of game mascots of Johto and Hoenn's games, respectively. Whatever the case, it serves no purpose if it is hacked into the Bag.
- The crafting of the Red Chain in Pokémon Legends: Arceus may be inspired by the story of Gleipnir in Norse mythology. Gleipnir is made of six supposedly impossible things, while none of the Lake guardians appears to have plumes, fangs, or claws.
In other languages
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