December 23, 2019

PCNY Chronology Research (Sequencing)

Sequencing data, what on earth is that? Well you see, certain PCNY Pokémon “go together”. Not in the sense of a single evolutionary line or breeding compatibility, but in that they were distributed from a single machine (B, C or D) during a particular, retraceable timeframe.

Our present understanding is that event Pokémon were commonly handed out as week-long campaigns. On either Friday nights or Saturday mornings, PCNY staff would reset the proprietary distribution hardware (that’s a special GameCube with cart writer, hooked up to a Gameboy Advance, housed in a kiosk) and load up the distribution scheduled for the next 7 days. Theoretically, this should make for a very neat timeline, with a brand-new campaign almost every week, much like the GSC days. Everyday practice during Gen 3, however, was a bit different.

All signs point to a chaotic chronology comprised of routine reruns of previously programmed content and even possible dry spells. We suspect that some campaigns went long, running again (and perhaps again) as PCNY staff would adjust the GameCube hardware’s internal clock to permit redistribution. Certain campaigns may have been shelved for months only to be put back on to fill gaps in the distribution schedule or allow visitors to obtain events they missed. We can’t rule out the possibility that different campaigns ran concurrently on multiple machines – so long as most of them worked. Machine A is thought to never have functioned, and machines B and C may have broken sometime by late 2003 and mid-2004 respectively, leaving only machine D to run that year’s Summer campaigns.

Sequencing helps us find which instances of campaign Pokémon go together, as well as the time intervals between them. A PCNY machine could pump out a Pokémon every 15-20 seconds. Everytime it did, the next Pokemon’s Trainer ID (TID) would increment by one. This in turn provides clues to the popularity of a campaign at any given time. With enough data points (that is, enough surviving Pokémon from various sources), we can gain a better understanding of Gen III PCNY’s confused distribution chronology. In absence of other sources of information, this is our best bet.

There’s another helpful dimension to sequencing: Pokémon authenticity. I’ve commented elsewhere how publication of the PCNY algorithm, the possible release of modified distribution software, or even the simple monetisation of existing equipment makes possible the full reproduction of PCNY Pokémon exactly as distributed all these years ago. However, armed with an exhaustive dictionary of historical PCNY sequences, we are able to identify even replicas that otherwise pass all checks. This is critical to the ultimate goal of maintaining an accurate historical record.

Now for the data itself. Each bloc below (separated by a linebreak) makes for a distinct sequence. Above each bloc is listed a reference seed, which you can think of as a sequence its unique identifier. Where significant timegaps exist between two surviving PCNY of a single sequence, these are given. As you can see, we don’t have very many examples of a sequence spanning multiple days, which could mean any number of things. It could mean the distribution hardware was manually reset more frequently than our information suggests – perhaps as a matter of routine maintenance, or to resolve software errors. It could also mean that the chief donators of our small sample size – GoldUrsaring and DanTrain – liked to visit the Center on specific days only due to real-life commitments. Saturday shortly after a reset or a Sunday seem like good candidates. We also have a number of sequences of one, ie. Pokémon that don’t chain with anything else, which would be inherently suspect hadn’t they come from reliable sources before the PCNY algorithm was cracked.


Evolution Stone Promotion
August 30 to September 4, 2003

Machine B & C
Odds: 50-25-25%
Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYb 3 Gloom
PCNYb 4 Gloom
PCNYb 9 Gloom
PCNYb 18 Staryu

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYb 216 Staryu
PCNYb 217 Gloom

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 24 Staryu
PCNYc 25 Staryu
PCNYc 45 Pikachu
PCNYc 52 Pikachu
PCNYc 53 Gloom

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 62 Gloom
PCNYc 63 Gloom
PCNYc 64 Pikachu
PCNYc 123 Gloom
PCNYc 128 Gloom
PCNYc 138 Gloom
PCNYc 216 Pikachu
PCNYc 217 Gloom
PCNYc 218 Pikachu
PCNYc 224 Staryu
PCNYc 225 Gloom
PCNYc 238 PIkachu
PCNYc 274 Pikachu
PCNYc 276 Gloom
PCNYc 297 Pikachu
PCNYc 310 Gloom
PCNYc 323 Staryu

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 652 Pikachu

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 1068

Dragon Week
September 29 to October 3, 2003

Machine C & D
Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 2 Seadra (Leer)
PCNYc 4 Salamence (Thrash)
PCNYc 11 Seadra (Ice Beam) [+3min]
PCNYc 12 Flygon (Flamethrower)
PCNYc 13 Seadra (Leer)
PCNYc 21 Seadra (Ice Beam)
PCNYc 22 Flygon (Flamethrower)
PCNYc 24 Altaria (Ice Beam)
PCNYc 25 Salamence (Thrash)
PCNYc 26 Salamance (?)

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 23 Salamence (Thrash)
PCNYc 25 Salamence (Thrash)
PCNYc 141 Altaria (Flamethrower) [+2.5hrs]
PCNYc 142 Altaria (Ice Beam)
PCNYc 144 Flygon (Flamethrower)

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 61 Salamence (Thrash)
PCNYc 62 Seadra (Ice Beam)
PCNYc 67 Altaria (Ice Beam)

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 108 Salamence (?)
PCNYc 110 Seadra (Ice Beam)
PCNYc 114 Salamence (Thrash)
PCNYc 115 Seadra (Ice Beam)
PCNYc 116 Salamence (Thrash)

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 148 Altaria (Flamethrower)
PCNYc 149 Flygon (Flamethrower)
PCNYc 791 Seadra (Leer) [+5.2hrs]
PCNYc 798 Salamence (?)

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 67 Seadra (Leer)
PCNYd 68 Flygon (Flamethrower)
PCNYd 69 Seadra (Ice Beam)
PCNYd 71 Altaria (Flamethrower)
PCNYd 72 Salamence (Thrash)
PCNYd 77 Flygon (Flamethrower)
PCNYd 79 Salamence (Thrash)

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 89 Altaria Flamethrower)
PCNYd 91 Seadra (Leer)
PCNYd 94 Altaria (Flamethrower)

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 210 Seadra (Leer)
PCNYd 211 Flygon (Flamethrower)
PCNYd 366 Altaria (Flamethrower) [+1h 48min]
PCNYd 368 Flygon (Flamethrower)
PCNYd 369 Altaria (Flamethrower)

Ghost Week
October 18 to 24, 2003

Machine B & C
Odds: 25-25-25-25%
Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYb 266 Cacturne
PCNYb 267 Cacturne
PCNYb 269 Shuppet

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYb 913 Cacturne

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYb 1035 Shuppet
PCNYb 1034 Duskull
PCNYb 1037 Shuppet
PCNYb 1039 Shuppet
PCNYb 1113 Duskull [+25hrs]
PCNYb 1114 Shedinja
PCNYb 1115 Cacturne
PCNYb 1116 Duskull
PCNYb 1118 Shedinja
PCNYb 1148 Shuppet

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 79 Duskull
PCNYc 80 Shedinja
PCNYc 81 Cacturne
PCNYc 89 Shedinja
PCNYc 90 Cacturne
PCNYc 91 Cacturne
PCNYc 92 Shedinja
PCNYc 93 Duskull
PCNYc 95 Duskull
PCNYc 96 Shedinja

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 462 Cacturne

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 745 Shedinja

Monster Mosh
October 25 to 31, 2003

Machine B & C
Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYb 105 Lv 50 Exploud
PCNYb 106 Lv 100 Crawdaunt
PCNYb 109 Lv 50 Crawdaunt
PCNYb 377 Lv 100 Wailord

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 85 Lv 100 Crawdaunt
PCNYc 87 Lv 50 Wailord
PCNYc 95 Lv 100 Aggron [+5min]
PCNYc 96 Lv 50 Aggron
PCNYc 98 Lv 100 Aggron
PCNYc 101 Lv 50 Aggron
PCNYc 104 Lv 50 Wailord
PCNYc 107 Lv 50 Crawdaunt
PCNYc 108 Lv 50 Exploud
PCNYc 112 Lv 50 Crawdaunt
PCNYc 114 Lv 100 Crawdaunt
PCNYc 115 Lv 100 Exploud
PCNYc 116 Lv 100 Exploud
PCNYc 118 Lv 50 Aggron
PCNYc 236 Lv 50 Wailord [+1hr]
PCNYc 237 Lv 100 Aggron
PCNYc 238 Lv 50 Crawdaunt
PCNYc 734 Lv 50 Aggron [+4hrs]

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 95 Lv 50 Aggron
PCNYc 107 Lv 50 Wailord
PCNYc 397 Lv 50 Wailord
PCNYc 398 Lv 100 Exploud
PCNYc 588 Lv 100 Wailord
PCNYc 598 Lv 100 Exploud

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 521 Lv 50 Aggron
PCNYc 600 Lv 100 Crawdaunt [+3hrs]
PCNYc 601 Lv 50 Aggron
PCNYc 602 Lv 50 Crawdaunt
PCNYc 603 Lv 50 Aggron
PCNYc 605 Lv 50 Exploud
PCNYc 609 Lv 50 Crawdaunt
PCNYc 610 Lv 50 Wailord
PCNYc 611 Lv 50 Wailord

Spring Fling
April 19 to 25, 2004

Machine C & D
Odds: 60-30-10% (?)
Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 135 Gardevoir
PCNYc 136 Gardevoir

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 16 Tropius
PCNYd 17 Gardevoir
PCNYd 18 Salamence
PCNYd 111 Salamence [+3.5hrs]

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 29 Gardevoir
PCNYd 39 Tropius
PCNYd 102 Salamence [+3.7hrs]

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 80 Gardevoir
PCNYd 84 Tropius
PCNYd 100 Gardevoir
PCNYd 101 Tropius
PCNYd 103 Gardevoir
PCNYd 105 Tropius
PCNYd 106 Gardevoir
PCNYd 108 Tropius
PCNYd 109 Gardevoir
PCNYd 111 Tropius
PCNYd 112 Gardevoir
PCNYd 113 Tropius
PCNYd 114 Gardevoir
PCNYd 115 Tropius
PCNYd 116 Gardevoir
PCNYd 117 Gardevoir
PCNYd 123 Gardevoir
PCNYd 125 Gardevoir
PCNYd 132 Gardevoir
PCNYd 133 Gardevoir
PCNYd 158 Gardevoir
PCNYd 159 Gardevoir
PCNYd 162 Gardevoir
PCNYd 163 Gardevoir
PCNYd 164 Tropius
PCNYd 165 Gardevoir
PCNYd 166 Gardevoir
PCNYd 167 Tropius
PCNYd 169 Tropius
PCNYd 171 Tropius
PCNYd 172 Gardevoir
PCNYd 173 Gardevoir
PCNYd 174 Gardevoir
PCNYd 175 Tropius
PCNYd 176 Gardevoir
PCNYd 177 Gardevoir
PCNYd 178 Tropius
PCNYd 180 Tropius
PCNYd 181 Gardevoir
PCNYd 186 Tropius
PCNYd 187 Tropius
PCNYd 188 Gardevoir
PCNYd 189 Gardevoir
PCNYd 190 Tropius

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 6 Salamence (Scary Face)
PCNYd 10 Salamence (Scary Face)

Sheep & Wolf
May 15 to 22, 2004

Machine C &
Odds: 50-50%
Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYc 65 Mareep

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 7 Mareep

Pokémon Box Promotion
July 10-16, 2004

Machine C & D

Saturday-Sunday, July 10-11
Reference Seed: ​XXX
PCNYc 41 Seviper
PCNYc 43 Absol —
PCNYc 281 Flygon (Screech) [+2.5hrs]
PCNYc 282 Seviper
PCNYc 458 Absol Spite [+2.3hrs]
PCNYc 459 Seviper
PCNYc 460 Absol Spite
PCNYc 461 Absol Wish
PCNYc 656 Flygon (Screech) [+20hrs]
PCNYc 657 Seviper
PCNYc 658 Seviper

Tuesday, July 13 (?)
Reference Seed: ​XXX
PCNYc 161 Flygon (Screech)
PCNYc 167 Absol Spite
PCNYc 169 Seviper

Saturday-Sunday, July 10-11
Reference Seed: ​XXX
PCNYd 199 Seviper [+?]
PCNYd 200 Absol Wish
PCNYd 201 Seviper
PCNYd 202 Absol Spite
PCNYd 271 Seviper
PCNYd 272 Absol Wish
PCNYd 274 Absol Wish
PCNYd 275 Seviper
PCNYd 287 Absol Wish
PCNYd 288 Absol Spite
PCNYd 291 Absol Spite
PCNYd 292 Seviper
PCNYd 294 Absol Spite
PCNYd 295 Absol Spite
PCNYd 463 Flygon (Screech) [next day]
PCNYd 464 Absol Wish
PCNYd 467 Absol Spite

Monday, July 12
Reference Seed: ​XXX
PCNYd 2 Seviper
PCNYd 3 Absol Spite

Tuesday, July 13 (?)
PCNYd 26 Absol Wish
PCNYd 30 Absol Spite

Baby & Trade Pokémon (Summer 1)
July 31 to August 6, 2004

Machine D
Odds: 25-25-25-25%
Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 12 Gorebyss
PCNYd 14 Wynaut

Summer 2
August 7 to 13, 2004

Machine D
Odds: 25-25-25-25%
Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 21 Zangoose
PCNYd 60 Zangoose
PCNYd 62 Zangoose

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 434 Kingdra
PCNYd 438 Milotic
PCNYd 449 Zangoose
PCNYd 670 Zangoose [+2.6hrs]
PCNYd 673 Seviper
PCNYd 674 Kingdra
PCNYd 676 Milotic

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 165 Zangoose
PCNYd 200 Seviper
PCNYd 207 Milotic

Fossil & Friends (Summer 3)
August 14 to 20, 2004

Machine D
Odds: 25-25-25-25%
Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 73 Cradily

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 177 Armaldo

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 285 Armaldo

Trade & Nature Power (Summer 4)
August 21 to 27, 2004

Machine D
Odds: 25-25-25-25%
Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 30 Shiftry
PCNYd 31 Ludicolo

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 65 Machamp
PCNYd 101 Machamp
PCNYd 114 Machamp
PCNYd 133 Machamp
PCNYd 145 Machamp
PCNYd 156 Machamp
PCNYd 198 Machamp
PCNYd 208 Machamp

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 251 Machamp

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYd 277 Machamp
PCNYd 278 Golem

Dragons Remastered (?)
Unknown Distribution Window

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYb 1 Seadra (lv32) (Leer)
PCNYb 36 Flygon (Screech) [+2hrs]
PCNYb 48 Salamence (Scary Face) [+38min]

Reference Seed: XXX
PCNYb 52 Altaria (Refresh)

All credit to Sabresite for developing sequencing tools.