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I am replaying Platinum and want a Rotom Heat for my team. Since I don't have the key or any way to hack it in, I was trying to use my brother's copy of Heart Gold to change its form in Silph Co. However, when I traded it back, it reverted to its normal form and forgot Overheat. Do I need the key in order to even obtain the other forms or does Rotom revert to its normal form while being traded?


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When you trade Rotom, it reverts to its original forme. You require an event-only Key Item to change it's forme in Platinum. I am sorry :(

Source (Scroll down to the part about Rotom)

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to add to that, if you read the book in the rotom transform area in silph co it explains clearly that rotom will 'crawl out' of the engine of the device and revert to its original form, this is most probably because pokemon diamond and pearl do not have the data of rotoms different forms, (it also does not have girantinas original form, but that's another matter) that is simply made to prevent game glitches and corrupt pokemon and game save files so its good that its there.
It says all that in my source
not the part where the book in the game explains that he will revert (and unlearn moves) in the union room.
Oh sorry that was another site.