Pokémon Scarlet and Violet received two new tera raids yesterday, which brought Paradox versions of Suicune and Virizion to both games. However, some players have managed to join these raids without updating their games with the latest patch, and it’s broken the entire battle in a way that not only locks them out of catching these legendary Pokémon, but has instead given them a cursed, unreleasable, unhatchable egg, or a Bad Egg, as it’s known colloquially in the community.
Bad Eggs are placeholders in the code that appear when the game doesn’t contain data for a Pokémon. Before yesterday’s patch, Walking Wake and Iron Leaves were not coded into Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, but because the in-game tera raid menu draws from a pool of battles other players are matchmaking for, it’s possible to join before actually downloading any of the data associated with the raids. If you do this, the Paradox Pokémon is replaced with an egg. You can still catch this egg, but it will never hatch, it can’t be released, and it just sits in your box taking up space. The biggest problem of it all? If you catch the Bad Egg, it counts as your single catch for the event, and you won’t be able to catch Walking Wake or Iron Leaves even after you download the patch. Unlike most event raids, these Pokémon can’t breed, so a friend can’t make another if you catch the egg.
The Pokémon Company and Game Freak have acknowledged the problem and say they’re working on a solution. But for now, a handful of players are stuck with an unborn Paradox Pokémon in an egg, lingering over their party and box space like a terrifying omen of an ancient or futuristic monster yet to be unleashed onto the world. Bad Eggs have become common enough in the Pokémon series to have a name for the phenomenon in the series’ nomenclature, but the concept still sounds like something you’d hear about in a cursed copypasta from an early 2000s gaming forum: “If you don’t download the latest update, instead of fighting Iron Leaves, you’ll get an egg of its unborn spawn that’s trapped within the confines of its shell. You can’t get rid of it, and you’ll never be able to actually catch the Pokémon you want.”
Walking Wake and Iron Leaves were originally teased in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s main game, so a lot of players have been anticipating their releases for a few months. Hopefully Game Freak is able to rectify the situation both for future players and for those who have already been affected. At the very least, the game now requires you to download the latest patch to access the raids.