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Why was this message displayed?

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Once, I was battling a wild Ponyta in Platinum, and one of my Pokemon fainted (I think it was a Gligar). When I was given the option to flee instead of sending out another Pokemon, I tapped "Flee", and it displayed " The wild Ponyta fled." instead of "Got away safely." Is this supposed to happen?

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There is no logical explanation for this occurrence. You are probably combining two memories. In Gen 4 Platinum The Great Marsh had nonlegendary Pokemon that could flee without any relevant ability/move/item/other in any way associated with the flee calculation and method. Ponyta cannot be found in The Great Marsh.

Just to put any suspicions to rest, the ability Run Away does not allow wild Pokemon to flee, nor does it influence your Gligar's flee chance or message.

On top of this, Ponyta does not learn any moves that allow it to flee from battle.

All of this taken into account, the encounter with Ponyta described is impossible during regular gameplay in Pokemon Platinum.

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Interesting...
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I have had the same occurence in Platinum myself with a Lopunny/Buneary (I cannot remember which) in Eterna Forest. With all due respect, this is NOT an impossible sitiation. Nor am I combining any separate memories.

The encounter I went through was very strange. The wild Pokemon appeared, battle started as normal. I believe my Pokemon was more powerful by about 10 levels. Though Im sure it was just incredibly bad luck, none of my Pokemon's attacks were hitting for a few turns in a row, and the wild Pokemon was getting critical hits at least every other turn. My Pokemon quickly fainted. I believe I went through another Pokemon this way. Finally after sending out a third, I decided it wasn't worth the effort and selected "RUN". Instead of displaying the normal "Got away safely!" text, the text box showed "Wild (Buneary/Lopunny) fled!" and the battle ended.

I am more than certain the events DID happen that way. Honestly, as powerful as the Pokemon seemed to be, I began to wonder if it was possibly a hint that wild Pokemon could have had Pokerus? But that was just a theory I had in an attempt to explain what happened.

This is a very real event that has happened before, and I am still womdering what could have triggered something like that, be it glitch or otherwise.

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In that case, it could have just been that when you successfully run from a Pokemon right after your Pokemon faints, the message has a chance of displaying instead of, "Got away safely!"