We hear the tragic tale of a Blissey sent to fight overseas for nearly four years.

Long time readers of the site are probably aware that our writer P.K. Sanjun has fully immersed himself in Pokémon GO. In fact, on our Japanese-language site he runs a regular column discussing all the news and latest techniques to catching and battling Pokémon through smartphones.

▼ P.K. Is willing to put all dignity on the line for Pokémon glory.

One day, P.K. was approached by another trainer with a miraculous accomplishment. For those unfamiliar with the game, one gameplay aspect is to claim gyms by defeating all occupying Pokémon and making it your own. Because of the many people playing, you might expect to hold a gym for a few hours, or maybe a whole day if you’re lucky.

However, this trainer has had his gym for a whopping 1,422 days, which breaks down to three years and 325 days since he originally placed his Blissey. To put that in another perspective, Pokémon GO was released in Japan on 22 July, 2016 which was 1,804 days before this writing, which means that this trainer has been holding the same gym for about 79 percent of the time the game has been running.

▼ Screenshot of the trainer’s record gym holding status. The name of the gym is withheld.

The previous record is believed to be held by a trainer who goes by the Reddit handle of BootsMade4Walking who lasted 1,332 days and seven hours before having their gym tragically taken by someone faking their GPS coordinates.

Such underhandedness might be harder to do in the case of this trainer, whom P.K. spoke with to learn more about how the record was accomplished.

— Defending a gym for 1,422 days is amazing!

“It’s nice to talk to you! My name is Uchida and I’m a specially appointed professor for the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo.”

— Wow, a University of Tokyo prof…or “specially appointed professor”?! I’m not sure what that is but you must be smart!

“I’m still only level 46, but I’m proud to call myself the ‘University of Tokyo’s strongest Pokémon GO player.’”

— Indeed. I think the University of Tokyo cred gives you an honorary level 72 in the game. So where is your record-earning Blissey?

In August of 2017, there was an international conference on solar cells in Xianyang, China, just outside Xi’an, Shanghai.”

— Oh, but you can’t play Pokémon GO in China, right?

“That’s right. I didn’t usually have free access to the Internet there, but for some reason I was able to access my Google account that morning.”

— I see.

During a lunch break I wandered out into a suburb with my iPhone set to roaming. After catching a few Pokémon I found a gym and left a Blissey there.”

— Okay. So, that’s why it hasn’t been disturbed.

“Yeah. Technically you can’t play Pokémon GO in China, but the roads were mapped out and there was a Pokémon in the gym when I arrived.”

— I heard about that. It’s pretty much just an empty map out there.

“Yes, there was a map, but I remember that the roads on the map and actual roads were off by dozens of meters in both directions. I had to make my way to the gym just by gauging my distance from it.”

▼ How a Pokémon GO screen might look in China

— I see. Well, it’s really amazing. It’s a miracle Blissey, but it must be really lonely out there all by itself.

“Yeah, China’s Internet is to tightly regulated that you can’t start up Pokémon GO normally. But I’m dreaming of the day that my Blissey will finally be set free.”

If the previous record is any indication, this trainer’s dream may soon come true. His gym has the added security of being in the GPS distorted map of China, but with the limited information he gave, surely some spoofers out there are going to take up the challenge.

But even if they do finally dislodge this Blissey, this trainer’s record will still be hard to beat. The bigger challenge will be helping the happiness Pokémon readjust to life in Japan after so long. When it left there wasn’t even online trainer battles or Raw Pepsi.

Screenshots: Pokémon GO (iOS)
Photo © SoraNews24
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