Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will bring back at least one Pokemon move phased out by The Pokemon Company. Yesterday, the Pokemon Company released a new trailer for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, the upcoming remakes of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. The new games are "faithful remakes" of the original Gen IV games, but with several updated and expanded features. However, the game will also feature at least one "lost move" that was phased out of current Pokemon games. The most recent trailer revealed that Pokemon can learn the move "Return," a move that's dependent on a Pokemon's friendship with their trainer.
"Return" and its counterpart "Frustration" were phased out of the Pokemon games due to their use of the "Friendship" stat. The Friendship stat and mechanic was originally introduced in Pokemon Yellow for the player's Pikachu but was eventually expanded to include all Pokemon. Some Pokemon can only evolve if they have a high friendship, while some NPCs will only teach Pokemon certain moves if the Pokemon has a high enough Friendship stat. In Pokemon Sword and Shield, the Friendship mechanic was merged with the similarly-named Affection mechanic, which originally provided players with some in-battle bonuses if they took care of their Pokemon in the Pokemon-Amie or Pokemon Refresh features. However, when Friendship and Affection were merged, Game Freak decided to remove the "Return" and "Frustration" moves from the game. Ironically, this occurred just after Pokemon Go began using "Return" and "Frustration" in relation to its Shadow Pokemon. The loss of the moves were particularly hard on competitive Pokemon players, as "Return" was one of the stronger moves used by Normal-type Pokemon.
The use of "Return" likely means the return of a more traditional Friendship mechanic, one that doesn't rely on feeding Pokemon curry or playing with them in camp to boost their stats to maximum. Since Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are remakes, that's not exactly a surprise, but it should provide players with some more nostalgia as they play the game. Unfortunately, competitive Pokemon players won't be able to use "Return" in upcoming official Pokemon video game competitions, as Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl won't have Ranked Battles.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be released on November 19, 2021.