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The lake guardians, sometimes referred to as the lake trio or spirit trio, is a term used to describe the legendary trio residing in the three lakes of Sinnoh: Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf. They are meant to represent knowledge, emotion, and willpower, respectively. They are based on the Imperial Regalia of Japan: the Yata no Kagami (wisdom), Yasakani no Magatama (benevolence), and Kusanagi (valor). Parts of their names come from fantasy creatures: pixies, sprites and elves, respectively. The other parts of their names come from pronouns: you (Uxie), me (Mesprit), and us (Azelf).
Unlike previous trios, all three of the lake trio are of a single type, the Psychic-type, though like the others, they share an Ability: Levitate. According to legend, when Arceus created the universe it created Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf, and therefore is believed to be their master. According to one of Azelf's Pokédex entries, all three of them were born from the same Egg.
Base stat comparison
In the games
Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
The lake guardians each live in the cavern at the center of one of Sinnoh's three commonly known lakes: Uxie resides in Acuity Cavern of Lake Acuity, Mesprit resides in Verity Cavern of Lake Verity, and Azelf resides Valor Cavern of Lake Valor. A secret fourth lake exists, but instead houses Turnback Cave, which contains a portal to the Distortion World and is thus often visited by Giratina.
In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, Team Galactic attempts to capture all three of the lake guardians. Saturn goes to Lake Valor, where Team Galactic drains the lake by blowing it up with a Galactic Bomb. This is the lake the player must go to first. Despite losing to the player, Team Galactic still successfully captures Azelf. Over at Lake Verity, Mars is leading the operation and easily holding off Professor Rowan and Lucas/Dawn. While the player again manages to defeat Mars, Team Galactic still successfully capture Mesprit. Finally, at Lake Acuity, by the time the player arrives, Jupiter has just defeated Barry and successfully captured Uxie.
When the player later storms Team Galactic HQ, it is discovered that Cyrus used the lake guardians to create the Red Chain so that he could control Dialga and/or Palkia. In Platinum, Cyrus then duplicates this Red Chain with his technology to create a second one, as he intends to control both Dialga and Palkia.
In Diamond and Pearl, the lake guardians come to the Spear Pillar when Cyrus summons DialgaD or PalkiaP and destroy the Red Chain he is using to control it, as their combined power is equal to that of one of the members of the creation trio. This prevents Cyrus from creating his new world without spirit. After doing so, they return to their lakes.
In Platinum, the lake guardians come to the Spear Pillar to attempt to balance out the power of Dialga and Palkia; however, the three lake guardians combined can only balance out one of the two, so they are overpowered. As a result, Giratina is angered by the dis-balance and is forced to merge the Distortion World with the real world at the Spear Pillar to prevent them from being destroyed. Cyrus, followed by the lake guardians, enter the Distortion World. Inside the Distortion World, the lake guardians assist the player with the Strength puzzle, then return to their lakes.
The three lake guardians are obtainable after the defeat of Team Galactic at Mt. Coronet. They each return to their lakes, and Uxie and Azelf can be caught in the caverns of their lakes; however, when encountering Mesprit in its cave, it flies off and roams the region.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
After beating the Champion, the player can encounter Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf at the Cave of Being, causing them to fly off to various places in Unova, where the player may then battle them. Uxie heads to Nacrene City and is encountered outside of the Nacrene Museum. Mesprit heads to the top of Celestial Tower. Azelf heads to Route 23 and is found in part of the Strength puzzle. All three are found at level 65.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon
The three are also found in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time, Explorers of Darkness, and Explorers of Sky. They are found in three different lakes and are in charge of protecting three Time Gears.
In the anime
- Main article: Lake guardians (anime)
All three first appeared in forms similar to souls, floating above their respective lakes, to the Diamond & Pearl series's main characters. Mesprit appeared to Dawn during the start of her journey in Following a Maiden's Voyage!, Azelf appeared to Ash during the duration of the Wallace Cup in Pruning a Passel of Pals! and Uxie appeared to Brock while he was looking for a Berry in Uncrushing Defeat!. Due to these encounters, all three established a connection to the human they each met.
They appeared in their physical forms for the first time in The Needs of the Three!, wherein, after being hired by Team Galactic, J was able to capture all three of them. Team Galactic was then able to control them using red gems. With their power, Cyrus was able to summon Dialga and Palkia during the next episode.
When the gems were broken by Pikachu, Piplup and Croagunk, the three were set free from Team Galactic's control. They then helped Ash and his friends stop the effects of summoning Dialga and Palkia.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
Similar to the anime, the lake guardians all have a connection the three Sinnoh Pokédex holders Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
The first of the three to appear was Mesprit, in the form of a soul hovering above Lake Verity in a flashback of Diamond's childhood. In the present, after being dropped on the small island by a Staraptor, Pearl sees the reflection of Azelf in the small pond inside of the island cave. Platinum, as a child, had once been to Lake Acuity and saw Uxie, although she had no recollection of such an event in the present.
Later, after finding out that Team Galactic intends to capture the lake guardians for their evil purposes, the Sinnoh Pokédex holders all set out to the three lakes to try to stop them. Diamond was sent to Lake Verity where he faced Mars, Pearl was sent to Lake Valor where he faced Saturn, and Platinum went to Lake Acuity where she faced Jupiter. Though they fought hard, Lake Valor was eventually blown up by the Galactic Bomb and the three Pokémon residing inside of the caves were captured.
Next, it is revealed that Cyrus intends to create a Red Chain that can capture Time and Space and create a new world. Later, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum infiltrate the Team Galactic HQ in order to free the lake guardians; while they do this, Cyrus creates a Red Chain from their gems. They manage to reach the room where the lake guardians are being held, but are prevented from freeing them by the Advanced level Grunt. Eventually, they manage to distract the Advanced level Grunt's Pokémon long enough to free Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf. Now freed, the lake guardians make their escape into the air.
- The two circles in each of the Pokémon's caves are the relative positions of the other two, when compared to a map of Sinnoh.
- The lake guardians are the only trio whose members are all exactly the same type.
- The lake guardians are the first set of legendary Pokémon since the legendary birds to have their names changed for non-Japanese language versions of the game; Mesprit and Azelf in English versions, and Uxie in various European-language versions.
- The lake trio contains the three subtractive colors of yellow (Uxie), magenta (Mesprit) and cyan (Azelf).
- In addition, they share the same main colors with Cresselia.
- The trio's encounter music is a different version of their cavern music.
- They are the only legendary trio that are incapable of learning any HMs.
- Each of the lake guardians has connected to one of the three main characters of the Diamond & Pearl series anime along with the Pokédex holders of the Diamond & Pearl chapter of Pokémon Adventures.
- Mesprit appeared to Dawn, highlighting her ability to understand what Pokémon feel, in Following a Maiden's Voyage.
- Mesprit connected to Diamond in Pokémon Adventures because of his strong emotional control, as shown in Problematic Probopass & Mad Magnezone II where even though he was shown to be angry, he never once raised his voice.
- Azelf appeared to Ash, highlighting his courageous actions without fear of his own harm, in Pruning a Passel of Pals.
- Azelf connected to Pearl in Pokémon Adventures because of his strong unbending will, as shown in A Conk on Cranidos's Cranium where he is seen helping Platinum in her Gym battle against Roark despite the strain it put on him.
- Uxie appeared to Brock, highlighting his superior knowledge of Pokémon to his companions, in Uncrushing Defeat!.
- Uxie connected to Platinum in Pokémon Adventures because of her great wisdom, as shown in Stagestruck Starly where it is revealed that her family, the House of Berlitz, is a family of scholars.
- The genders of the three main characters are parallel to the trio's genders in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness.
- The lake guardians are sometimes referred to in Japan as the "UMA trio" or "UMA combination", with "UMA" standing for "unidentified mysterious animal". Coincidentally, "UMA" are the initials of their English names in National Pokédex order.
- They are the only 580 base stat legendary trio to not have a base friendship of 35. They in fact have the highest base friendship of any Pokémon in the game, at 140, tied with Lopunny and the evolutionary families of Blissey and Clefable.
- All members of the lake guardians learn sacrificing moves at level 76. Uxie to lower both offensive stats of the opponent, Mesprit to heal a party member, and Azelf to highly damage the opponent.
- The lake guardians are the only non-mascot legendary trio which does not receive a 150% power bonus in a Battrio combo, instead receiving 160%.
- The lake guardians are tied for the lightest legendary Pokémon, and, tied with Rotom, are second for the lightest of all Pokémon (after Gastly and Haunter).
- They are also tied for the lightest Pokémon with a footprint.
- The lake guardians are the only pre-Generation V legendary Pokémon that haven't appeared in a movie. The only other Pokémon to possibly share this distinction is Phione, whose legendary Pokémon status is disputed.
- In Black 2 and White 2, each member of the lake guardians appears in a place that represents what they stand for after leaving Cave of Being. Uxie appears in front of the Nacrene City museum, a place where people go to seek knowledge. Mesprit appears at the Celestial Tower a place were people express their feelings and mourn. Azelf appears on Route 23, the path that leads to Victory Road and where a Trainer's courage will be tested.