From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The Ilex Forest shrine (Japanese: ウバメのもりのほこら Ubame Forest hokora) is a small structure located in the center of Ilex Forest, its namesake, which can be found west of Azalea Town in the Johto region. Many people say that the shrine is a symbol of good luck and wards off evil spirits. Some others say the shrine is linked to the Mythical Pokémon Celebi, which is believed to live inside it as the guardian of the forest.
In the games
Summoning Celebi at the Ilex Forest shrine with the GS Ball in Pokémon Crystal
The shrine is present in Pokémon Gold and Silver, but it is purely aesthetic.
In the original Japanese release of Pokémon Crystal, a Celebi can be caught at the shrine. The Mobile System GB held special events in 2001, which allowed players to obtain the GS Ball from a Pokémon Center Nurse in the Pokémon Communication Center in Goldenrod City. The GS Ball may then be taken to Kurt in Azalea Town for him to investigate. After a day passes, taking the GS Ball to the Ilex Forest shrine summons a level 30 Celebi. The player then has the opportunity to capture the Psychic/Grass Pokémon.
In the original Western releases of Pokémon Crystal, there is no way of obtaining the GS Ball, as no event equivalent to the one present in the Japanese version was ever offered to players of the Western versions of the game. Without the GS Ball, the Celebi event cannot be triggered. However, it is possible to obtain the item by hacking or exploiting glitches within the game. Some game-enhancing devices, however, such as the GameShark, can be used to generate the GS Ball right in the player's Bag in all versions of the game.
In the Virtual Console release of Pokémon Crystal, the GS Ball can be obtained without an event, allowing players to trigger the Celebi event at the shrine regardless of language.
The shrine appears in the remakes of Gold and Silver, in the same location as in Generation II, in the Ilex Forest. Spiky-eared Pichu will appear at the Ilex Forest shrine and will join the player's party if the player approaches it with the Pikachu-colored Pichu. A Pikachu or Raichu evolved from this Pichu will also activate the event.
If the shrine is approached with a promotional event Celebi as the partner Pokémon, Celebi will take the player and their friend back in time - first to see Giovanni leave his son Silver after being defeated in Kanto, and then further ahead in time to battle and defeat Giovanni to prevent him from reuniting with Team Rocket during their takeover of the Goldenrod Radio Tower.
In the anime
In the anime, the shrine briefly appeared in A Farfetch'd Tale, and another shrine appeared in Celebi: The Voice of the Forest, being strikingly similar to the Ilex Forest shrine. In Celebi and Joy!, Marion Town was shown to have a forest shrine dedicated to Celebi, which also bore a strong resemblance to the one shown in Ilex Forest.
In A Farfetch'd Tale, Team Rocket got lost and hungry in the Ilex Forest. Meowth smelled food nearby and they found the small Ilex Forest shrine where two dumplings were left there as offerings. Jessie snatched one, Meowth the other, leaving James empty-handed. They then spotted a rare Farfetch'd and quickly left to pursue it. Ash and his friends arrived at the shrine with Sylvester, who said it was a shrine to the spirit that watches over the forest. In order to find the lost Farfetch'd, they all ran in different directions, and agreed to meet back at the shrine in an hour.
Although the shrine seen in Celebi: The Voice of the Forest wasn't the same Ilex Forest shrine, it does contain the same qualities. It is found in the deepest part of the forest, and many people say that the shrine is linked to the Mythical Pokémon, Celebi, who supposedly lives inside the forest shrine, as the forest guardian. The shrine was first seen when Sam ran into it before Celebi transported him into the future, and it reappeared as Sam arrived into the future.
In Celebi and Joy!, Ritchie and Sparky saved a young Nurse Joy hanging from a cliff with some help from her Rapidash. Joy explained that she saw some flowers that she wanted to pick for Celebi when she fell. She then explained the legends that say that a Celebi lives in this forest, and she believed it was true. To prove it, she showed them a shrine that was put up in the forest a long time ago. Later that night, during a thunderstorm, Nick's father was informed that Joy ran into the forest. As Ritchie and Nick headed out to look for Joy, they found her unconscious near the shrine. As a fire raged near them, a Celebi appeared and protected them from the danger.
In Time After Time!, Goh discovered the shrine while searching around Ilex Forest for Pokémon to catch. In-between the shrine's doors, he discovered a letter left for him by his childhood friend Horace, explaining why he hadn't been able to meet him years earlier on the day they had promised to meet each other in order to look for the shrine. Horace then appeared, and as the childhood friends reunited, two Celebi, including a Shiny one, were briefly seen observing them before flying away.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
The shrine first appeared in You Ain't Nothin' but a Houndour, where Gold hid behind it to take cover from a Farfetch'd that was attacking him. In The Ariados up There, the shrine began to glow, causing the Masked Man to abandon his chase for Gold in order to reach the glow, but it disappeared before he could reach it.
The shrine reappeared during the climax of the chapter, where Pryce successfully used the GS Ball he had just finished crafting to catch Celebi as it emerged from the shrine, allowing him to travel back in time through the crack of time inside the shrine. Gold pursued Pryce into the time stream and succeeded in destroying the GS Ball with Pibu, setting Celebi free. Pryce was then left floating in the crack of time while Gold escaped.
The shrine reappeared in a flashback in All About Arceus VII, where Pryce told how Celebi had freed him from the crack of time to stop a disaster he had foreseen while floating in the time stream. Giovanni, who had also arrived at the shrine to seek Celebi's help in curing his long-time illness, attacked Pryce on sight, but Lance arrived just in time to prevent the situation from escalating.
|| Spoilers end here.
In other languages