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Question pertains to Gen III only please. If it extends into IV+ just mention.

Been having trouble finding a more proper explanation as to how egg moves work.. and by work, I mean how they're established in the first place.

Are they merely a separate move list that Pokemon have similar to their level-up counterpart where it focuses on the breeding mechanics in order to be obtained?
Or are egg moves some loosely defined moveset that really could change if a Pokemon were to simply have a move it shouldn't in its move pool?

My hunch/assumption is that egg moves are merely some sort of separate hard-coded move list similar to how the level-up moves are arranged for Pokemon. I'm trying to refrain from requesting a ROM's point-of-view, but if that's the case I am all ears. The breeding sections explained in most sites do not explain the little detail I'm trying to clear up in my mind. I guess I am secretly hoping I won't be confined to the usual TM/tutor/egg list you see online.

A secondary/probably the same question to bring up is what DEFINES an egg move? Is it an obtainable non-TM AND non-level up move? If so, then why does Hoppip have reflect as an Egg move and not as a TM-learnable move? Would that then make the definition of an egg move to be ANY move that is available to the Pokemon that isn't found in its level/TM list? As Bulbapedia says:

Egg Moves often (but not always) cannot be learned through other ways.

Even if that were the case- what determines the egg moves to be there in the first place?

Is it hard-coded or not?

I'm pretty sure that egg moves are simply a hard-coded list of moves for each Pokemon. I have never seen any evidence suggesting it isn't.

As for the second question, I have seen egg moves that are also...
level up moves (Generation 4 Spiritomb shadow sneak)
TM moves that the Pokemon can learn (Generation 4 Torchic rock slide)
TM moves, but the Pokemon can't learn that TM (Generation 4 Heracross false swipe)
tutor moves (Generation 3 Geodude rock slide)

(so yeah egg move lists are kind of dumb) Egg moves sometimes overlap with TM moves and sometimes don't, so I think this is more evidence that they're just hard-coded lists.

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