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Restoring my friend's lost 900 hour Shield game

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My friend recently bought a new Switch, but shortly after he transferred his 900 hour Pokémon Shield game to it, it died, stuck on an orange screen. He couldn't even get it to load at all, so he sent it off to Nintendo Japan for repairs.

I'm sure you know what happened next: it came back in perfect working order, but with all the save data gone.

He lost his 900 hour game.

I feel really sorry for him, and it has kinda plunged him into a depression. He's a huge Pokémon fan, and despite this experience he's still into it — which makes the loss all the harder to bear.

In any case, I used to do minor hacking on the 3DS games to get mystery gifts. So the first thing I thought of was that I may be able to at least partially rebuild his game, or at least his collection. But I have zero experience of this sort of major editing (even on the 3DS).

I'm willing to hack one of my old Switches, but I think I will need help to get this done. I'm especially nervous because he plays in rank matches a lot, and I don't want to get him banned because of a silly mistake I made.

So, I'm posting here to ask you for advice. If you could point me at the right articles to get me started, I will come back later when I get stuck.

Also, I'd like to get an idea of how possible this all is. From researching, I'm getting the idea that the safest thing to do would be for him to play through a new game manually, and avoid editing his save file directly. I have a full living dex of my own (which he helped me finish last year), so I can easily provide him with eggs for most things he might need, again avoiding unnecessary risk.

The big things that he lost were shinies, including shiny Zygarde and Necrozma. Is it possible to regenerate these? I can work out the exact date of catch from my own (non-shiny) Zygarde, as we were playing together. I also of course know his old player name and ID. Would it be safe to remake this, bearing in mind that he will use it in online play?

Sorry for the long post. I'll be grateful for any advice you can give me.

Edited by Branwys
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Few hints:

- An hacked console in SysNand CFW won't get you banned, unless you do stupid illegal stuff (online cheating in competitive games or xci/nsp installation aka piracy).
- If you're willing to hack your Switch, you don't need an EmuNand for the purpose of Pokémon save editing.
- You can safely backup & restore edited saves in sysnand without being banned with homebrews like JKSV.
- Legal genned mons won't ban you. At worst, an illegal mon that does not pass the official legality checks would give error upon its selection in any of the online feature, not a ban so far.

So far, the only bans were given to users who hosted rom hack features online (like hacked raids) and to ebay/online sellers who gave out ton of mons through account sharing in Pokémon Home.

Do note that, for mons that needs to pass through Pokémon Home, they have to be genned in their legal game of origin to be legal.
For example, a BDSP origin Arceus genned in SwSh would miss the BDSP game specific data in Pokémon Home and the relative Home Tracker.

Even if nothing bad happened so far, I advise against cloning mons that have been deposited into Pokémon Home since GF/Nintendo could easily detect clones through the Home Tracker, if they want to. You can clear out the Home Tracker to be safe, but that would wipe the game-specific data (only present in the HOME data format), making illegal the mons originated from a different game than the current one.

The advice I can give is to hack a Switch (guide here), backup your save file (guide here), gen the mons/living dex with PKHeX (and eventually PKHeX Plugins) in each relative game of origin, restore the save file, transfer the mons in Pokémon Home so the data is safe even if you break your console.

Alternatively, you can gen Pokémon files and request them to be traded to you through a SysBot. Sysbots are usually hosted in Discord servers/communities you can find online.

Still, using genned stuff for online competitive is against our rules, so you won't receive support in that.

6 hours ago, Branwys said:

The big things that he lost were shinies, including shiny Zygarde and Necrozma. Is it possible to regenerate these?

I suggest to gen event mons in their legitimate game of origin, then transfer them through Home in Gen 8. If this does not fits your possibilities, you can gen them in SwSh directly, but they wouldn't be 100% legal since they'd miss the Home Tracker, and again, that can be identifiable if GF/Nintendo wants to.

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