In the games
In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, 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 and 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 DialgaD/PalkiaP. 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...
The Red Chain has not been obtainable in any game.
In the anime
In the main series
In Unlocking the Red Chain of Events!, Team Galactic was revealed to be creating the Red Chain at the abandoned Fuego Ironworks. By the end of the episode, 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 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.
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.
In Pokémon Generations
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
In the Pokémon Adventures 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.
In the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! manga
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 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.
In other languages