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Old October 9th, 2012 (11:28 PM). Edited October 9th, 2012 by Blue Emerald.
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Blue Emerald
One of life's great mysteries
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Nature: Naive
I always thought it was simply because the Poke Ball could only recognize creatures that were conscious and capable of thought and movement, probably as a failsafe so some Trainer doesn't try to waste a Poke Ball on something that's already dead. So, if they knock it out, the Trainer has to leave it alone, because there's no way their Poke Balls will work on it at that time.

But then, you might ask, what about when your Pokemon faints in battle? How does the Poke Ball recognize it then, if it's got this failsafe mechanism inside it? Well, keep in mind that every Pokemon is tied to the Poke Ball they were caught in, which means their exact cellular structure is somehow kept safely in memory somewhere in the ball, which is how they're able to be reliably sent out and called back without fail. So, once a Poke Ball has successfully captured a conscious Pokemon and saved it to memory, the Poke Ball is able to recognize that exact Pokemon when it's nearby, so you can call it back with no problem, no matter what condition it's in!

Go ahead, ask me anything about Poke Balls; I'll have a good answer for it. =P
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