From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- If you were looking for the "Legendary Pokémon" species, see Arcanine (Pokémon).
- If you were looking for the "Legendary Pokémon" website, see Legendary Pokémon (site).
Legendary Pokémon are a group of extremely rare and powerful Pokémon.
In the Japanese version, there are three distinct terms used to refer to those Pokémon which are collectively called legendary in English. One, 伝説のポケモン (densetsu no Pokémon, lit. Pokémon of legend), refers to those which are featured prominently in legends, such as Groudon and Kyogre. The second, 幻のポケモン (maboroshi no Pokémon, lit. Pokémon of illusions, translated as mirage Pokémon in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl), refers to those so rarely seen that some question their very existence, such as Mew and Lugia; an alternative definition restricts it only to Pokémon not available in normal gameplay. The third is 神話のポケモン (shinwa no Pokémon, lit. Pokémon of myth), which is a term applied to some of the legendary Pokémon of Sinnoh.
Characteristics of legendary Pokémon
In the games, the player typically has only one chance to capture a legendary Pokémon, but the same species have appeared in more than one game. Their genders are usually unknown, with the exception of Latios, Latias, Heatran and Cresselia. With the exception of Phione and Manaphy, they will refuse to be bred by Trainers, and, for similar reasons, they are often banned from competitions. They are statistically some of the most powerful Pokémon in the game. They never evolve, and many are one-third of a legendary trio.
In the anime, legendary Pokémon are generally held in higher regard than they are in the games, nearing a god-like reverence. They appear only to special Trainers (usually the case of Ash Ketchum). Very few people have actually seen legendary Pokémon. Because of their rarity, they are sought after by trainers and collectors, especially by villainous teams like Team Rocket.
It has been predicted (and demonstrated) that the capture of certain legendary Pokémon can lead to great catastrophe, as they often hold a pivotal role in nature. But some speculate that if a trainer were to "play by the rules," the results would not be as chaotic. Noland, for example, befriended and fought official battles with an Articuno and its power never exceeded him. It should be noted, however, that Noland is a very skilled trainer.
As seen with Lugia, some breed in the wild; as seen with Celebi, they are neither immortal nor invincible; and only very few (notably Mewtwo ) are unique.
List of legendary Pokémon
There are 35 Pokémon considered to be legendary Pokémon, and there are several more with certain characteristics of legendary Pokémon.
The legendary Pokémon of Generation I can be broken into two groups: the legendary birds and the Mew-based legendary Pokémon.
There are three legendary birds, also referred to as winged mirages. The legendary birds are each based off a mythical bird.
As shown in the second movie, should the three birds be disturbed and turned against each other, they will fight over territory, and, left unabated, their battles will ultimately cause the end of the world. They represent nature's balance and are tied to Lugia. They are strongly linked to the elements fire, ice, and lightning— forces that when combined are believed to yield both the origin of life and the cause of apocalyptic weather disasters. Some fans believe that this scenario applies only to the three birds found near Shamouti Island in the Orange Archipelago, and that this characteristic does not extend to their species.
In Pokémon Snap, it was shown that the legendary birds could breed, as the player could hatch them from eggs around Pokémon Island by introducing the eggs to their corresponding element.
Mew and Mewtwo
- Mew is the Psychic feline Pokémon of ancient legend. It is not obtainable by normal means in any game; however, a glitch allows the player to battle and capture Mew in Generation I. In Pokémon Emerald, a Nintendo event gave out the Old Sea Map that would take the player to Faraway Island, where Mew could be caught. In My Pokémon Ranch, it is possible to obtain a Mew after depositing 999 Pokémon onto your ranch. It is said to be able to live forever. The DNA of all Pokémon can be traced back to Mew, and thus it represents the origin of life. The bubbly Mew was first seen in the first movie, and later in the special Mewtwo Returns. Another is seen in the eighth movie. A mirage Mew was seen in the Master of Mirage Pokémon.
- Mewtwo is a genetically altered, unique clone of Mew. It can be found in the Cerulean Cave in the Generation I games and their remakes. It was statistically the most powerful Pokémon until Generation II. It is also one of the most intelligent, and can communicate freely with humans using telepathy. It is the main character of the first movie, and the Mewtwo Returns and The Birth of Mewtwo specials. After the events of Mewtwo Returns, it is portrayed as taking the cover of night and living amongst humans in big cities.
Generation II featured the advent of three new groups of legendary Pokémon, consisting of a total of six.
Raikou, Entei, and Suicune.
The legendary beasts have variously been referred to as legendary dogs or cats, but beasts is the accepted neutral title. These speedy, powerful creatures were created by Ho-Oh after the burning of Brass Tower. Because they are unable to restrain their extreme power, they race headlong around the land. They can be found racing around the Johto region in the Generation II games. One can also be found roaming Kanto, after the player gets the National Pokédex, in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, depending on the starter Pokémon the user chooses at the beginning of the game. In Pokémon Colosseum, it is possible to snag all three legendary beasts.
- Raikou is the embodiment of thunder. It appears in Kanto in FireRed and LeafGreen if the player started off with Squirtle. Raikou was twice seen in the Johto region. It was briefly seen in the episode Houndoom's Special Delivery, and also in the The Legend of Thunder! special.
- Entei is the embodiment of volcanoes. According to legend, one is born every time a new volcano appears. It appears in Kanto in FireRed and LeafGreen if the player started off with Bulbasaur. An Entei was seen in the Johto region, in the episode Entei at Your Own Risk. A telepathic Entei was featured in the third movie, but it was only a manifestation of Molly Hale's imagination, created by the Unown. An Entei is formed from a statue in Fiore when Solana and Lunick reach the Jungle Relic. It comes to life when they complete the last challenge by mistake.
- Suicune is the embodiment of the North Wind. It is closely tied with Ho-Oh and the Unown. It is the Pokémon sought by Eusine in Pokémon Crystal, and is released upon the completion of the Burned Tower storyline in the Generation II games. It appears in Kanto in FireRed and LeafGreen if the player started off with Charmander. Ash encountered one at the beginning of the Johto story arc, in Don't Touch That 'Dile, again in For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll, and made a vital appearance in the fourth movie. Ash also encountered a Suicune in Sinnoh, near the Valley Windworks in Drifloon On the Wind!.
Lugia and Ho-Oh
These two additional birds of legend are thought to be closely related, although they are also polar opposites. Ho-Oh is based on the Chinese phoenix, or Fènghuáng
and Lugia on the Japanese sea-kami Ryūjin
- Ho-Oh is the Guardian of the Skies. This Pokémon is represented by the sun, the sky, rainbows, the color gold, and awakening. It is said to glow in seven colors and see into the future. It resides at the top of the Tin Tower in the Generation II games. In Pokémon FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald, Ho-Oh is found atop Navel Rock. Ho-Oh is often seen at the beginning of a new journey, which happened to Ash three times. The spirit of Ho-Oh represents the Johto League. Ho-Oh is the guardian of the legendary beasts, and it is especially close to Suicune.
- Lugia is the Guardian of the Sea. It is represented by the moon, the sea, storms, the color silver, and slumber. Lugia can be found in Whirl Islands in the Generation II games. In Pokémon FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald, Lugia is found beneath Navel Rock. A Shadow Lugia resides in the Orre region in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. Lugia protects the balance of nature, and is the only creature that can pacify the battling legendary birds. One was seen in the second movie. Two more, a parent and a child, were seen near Silver Rock Isle at the beginning of the Whirl Cup arc of the anime. Lugia is the guardian of the legendary birds. In the second movie, Lawrence III mistook Lugia for the Beast of the Sea, which is actually a chaotic underwater current caused when the legendary birds are disturbed.
Although it has no relation to Mew, Celebi was dubbed the "New Mew" because of its similar size, shape, stats, and National Pokédex number. Because of this, it is commonly listed with Mew (and later Jirachi, Phione, and Manaphy) in lists of legendary Pokémon.
The Generation III games feature a total of 10 new legendaries.
The legendary golem-like Regis were featured in the eighth movie as the protectors of the Tree of Beginning, but the true story of their history remains a mystery. They have a strong connection to the fourth Regi and their keeper, Regigigas.
Latios and Latias (sometimes referred to, collectively, as Lati@s) are twin Dragons (one male, one female, respectively) featured in the fifth movie. Both can take the shape of humans. According to legend, they guard the water city of Alto Mare, and are revered as gods. They have a strong connection with the Soul Dew.
- Latias, the female twin, is found in the wild after defeating the Elite Four in Pokémon Sapphire. She changes routes whenever the player does, and is considered as rare as the legendary beasts in Generation II. She can also be obtained in Ruby by using the Eon Ticket obtained from Nintendo Power. In Pokémon Emerald, when the player's mom asks about a TV program after the Elite Four, she appears as in Sapphire if the player chooses Red, and as in Ruby if the player chooses Blue.
- Latios, the male twin, is found in the wild after defeating the Elite Four in Pokémon Ruby. He is considered as rare as the legendary beasts in Generation II due to the similar route-changing activities that he shares with them and Latias. He can also be obtained in Pokémon Sapphire by using the Eon Ticket obtained from Nintendo Power. In Pokémon Emerald, when the player's mom asks about a TV program after the Elite Four, he appears as in Ruby if the player chooses Blue, and as in Sapphire if the player chooses Red.
The weather-related legendary Pokémon represent the balance of nature and play a major role in the storyline of the Hoenn-based Generation III games. It is said that, at the beginning of time, Groudon raised lands and expanded continents as Kyogre expanded the seas. These Pokémon took to sleep after a cataclysmic battle, soothed by Rayquaza.
They are based on the behemoth, leviathan, and ziz of Hebrew legend.
Other legendary Pokémon
- Jirachi is the legendary wish-granting Pokémon who was available from Pokémon Colosseum's bonus disk in North America and available within Pokémon Channel in the UK, Europe and Australia (PAL Encoded Regions). It is likened to Mew and Celebi. Jirachi is the star of the sixth movie.
- /// Deoxys is a Pokémon with strange alien and virus-like characteristics. It changes its form depending on the game version in which it is found. The Aurora Ticket used to obtain Deoxys has been given out in North America at the New York Pokémon Center and 2004's Pokémon Rocks America events. Two different Deoxys were featured in the seventh movie, while a third was featured in Pokémon Ranger - Deoxys Crisis!.
The Generation IV games feature a total of 14 legendary Pokémon, the most of any generation.
Fairy-like creatures that each dwell in a trio of three lakes. Birthed from Arceus, each represents a different aspect of the human mind. They were created to give "spirit" to the world.
All three are considered unique. Uxie is located in the Acuity Cavern, Mesprit will roam Sinnoh after the first encounter in the Verity Cavern, and Azelf is found in the Valor Cavern.
The three Pokémon Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina are the mascots for Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum and have the ability to warp the fabric of reality. Birthed from Arceus to create matter, they battle for all of eternity in a different dimension. Dialga and Palkia were featured in the tenth movie, and Giratina was featured in the eleventh movie. All three are expected to have their final confrontation in the twelfth movie.
- Dialga controls time.
- Palkia controls space and dimensions.
- / Giratina controls antimatter, the antithesis to the material world created by Dialga and Palkia together.
Depending on the game version, Team Galactic will try to gain control of one using the power of the lake trio. Their goal is to use their power to destroy the universe and rebuild it with Cyrus as a god.
Based on the crescent and new moon, these two Pokémon seem to be complementary of one another. Cresselia can cure the permanent nightmares that Darkrai causes people to suffer.
Other legendary Pokémon
- Manaphy is referred to as the "Prince of the Sea." It must be hatched from an egg and has the power to swap the hearts of people and Pokémon, putting them into different bodies. It was featured in the ninth movie.
- Phione is the result of breeding Manaphy (or another Phione) with Ditto, and is the only legendary to be obtained in such a manner. Until recently, its status was heavily debated; however, Pokémon.com revealed that Phione is a legendary.
- Regigigas is the Normal-type Regi that can be found only when the three other Regis are reunited. It is said that they moved the continents into place by pulling them on a rope. A Regigigas was awakened in the eleventh movie. In Pokémon Platinum it is stated that it had shaped itself from an iceberg, rocks, and magma.
- Heatran is a dual-type Fire/Steel Pokémon that can be found in Stark Mountain. It was born from the flames of a volcano when Dialga, Palkia and their relatives first created the universe. The lava and magma pooled together to become the first living Heatran, and later, Stark Mountain, their home. It is also the first legendary Pokémon that can be either male or female. A Heatran will appear in the twelfth movie.
- / Shaymin is the Gratitude Pokémon that curls up in flower-beds and often goes unnoticed. It has the ability to instantly purify an area of all pollutants and transform it into a flowery field. It can transform into another Forme. Shaymin and its Sky Forme were featured in the eleventh movie. Many Shaymin appeared in the film, confirming that the Shaymin species is more common than that of other legendary species. If the player has Oak's Letter, Flower Paradise, where Shaymin is located, can be accessed after their thanks are expressed at the white rock on Route 224.
- Arceus is the creation Pokémon said to have been born from an egg in the nothingness of space. It created matter (time and space) and spirit (knowledge, emotion and will) before falling into eternal slumber. It can be awoken by playing the Azure Flute at the peak of Mt. Coronet. Arceus appears in the twelfth movie.
Other Pokémon of myth
- Arcanine's species classification is Legendary.
- The fierceness and destructive nature of Gyarados is described in the Pokédex as a thing of legend as is the seemingly complementary beauty and calming ability of Milotic.
- When facing Rotom, the music is the same as when facing a legendary Pokémon. It, along with the legendary Giratina and Shaymin, has also received new forms in Platinum.
- Unown are a mysterious species of Pokémon based on the Latin alphabet. Professor Oak referred to them as legendary, probably because they were featured heavily in ancient myths and legends and because they can display large amounts of otherworldly power in swarms. Also, like legendaries, they cannot breed. In the anime, they appear to live in the same dimension as Dialga and Palkia.
- The pseudo-legendary, Dragon-like Pokémon Dragonite, Tyranitar, Salamence are usually placed within the "legendary" section of a regional Pokédex, and are so extraordinarily rare and powerful that they are often mentioned in lists of legendary Pokémon. Metagross and Garchomp are also considered "pseudo-legendary", due to their stats, and Metagross is even placed within the same section of the Hoenn Pokédex as Salamence.
- Like Arcanine, Ninetales is considered a legendary Pokémon due to it being elusive, incredibly long-lived, and possessing the ability to cast powerful curses against anyone that touches its tails. This is specifically mentioned in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.
- Lucario and its master Sir Aaron were forever revered because of their help pacifying an ancient battle, as seen in the eighth movie. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, a Lucario was regarded as a legendary Rescue Team Leader in the distant past, and "Lucario Rank" is the highest attainable team rank in the game. Also, in the opening of the Diamond and Pearl theme song, Lucario appears beside Dialga and Palkia.
- Togepi and its evolutions are incredibly rare and bring joy wherever they go. In A Togepi Mirage! Togepi is referred to as a savior.
- The presence of Absol is a fabled warning of impending disaster.
- Spiritomb was formed by 108 spirits and is bound to a fissure in an Odd Keystone because of misdeeds 500 years ago.
- In the games, there appears to only be one of every legendary Pokémon, but in the anime, there is more than one of most legendaries.
- Battle themes are shared by related legendaries, while many legendary trios have a theme specific to themselves. Specifically:
- Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres feature a theme specific to themselves in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, a remix of the standard wild Pokémon encounter in Kanto, as a reference to the fact that in Generation I, there was only one battle theme for wild Pokémon, legendary or not. When they are encountered in Pokémon Platinum, they use the standard wild legendary battle theme.
- Mewtwo features a theme specific to itself in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, another remix of the standard wild Pokémon encounter in Kanto.
- Mew features a theme specific to itself in Pokémon Emerald, and despite being found in the wild only in a Hoenn-based game, it is yet another remix of the standard wild Pokémon encounter in Kanto.
- In Pokémon Gold and Silver, Raikou, Entei, and Suicune featured the standard wild Pokémon encounter music of Johto, however, in Pokémon Crystal, this was changed to a theme specific to themselves. When they are encountered in FireRed and LeafGreen, they use the standard legendary battle theme shared with the legendary birds.
- Lugia, Ho-Oh, and Celebi have only featured the standard wild Pokémon battle music when they are encountered.
- Regirock, Regice, and Registeel feature a theme specific to themselves in Generation III when they are encountered. It was tuned up and reused when they are encountered in Pokémon Platinum.
- Latias and Latios have only featured the standard wild Pokémon battle music when they are encountered.
- Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza have a theme specific to themselves when encountered in Generation III.
- Deoxys features a battle theme specific to itself when battled on Birth Island, making it the first to share its theme with no other Pokémon.
- Jirachi, Manaphy, and Phione have never appeared in battle as a wild Pokémon aside from cheating.
- Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf feature a theme specific to themselves in Generation IV when they are encountered.
- Dialga and Palkia feature a theme specific to themselves in Generation IV when they are encountered.
- Giratina features a theme specific to itself in Pokémon Platinum when it is encountered.
- Heatran, Regigigas, Darkrai, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres feature a theme specific to themselves in Generation IV when they are encountered. This theme is, strangely, shared with the non-legendary Rotom, and likewise is shared with Giratina in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
- Shaymin and Cresselia use the standard wild Pokémon battle music when they are encountered.
- Arceus, perhaps fittingly, has its own theme shared with no others as well.
- Every generation has had at least one Psychic- and Template:Type2 legendary (though in Generation IV, Shaymin is only able to be part-Flying during the daytime, and Arceus is only Flying-type whilst holding the Sky Plate).
- According to interviews with Junichi Masuda in 2009, legendary Pokémon are the most difficult to design names for because GameFreak strives to make sure that the names of legendary Pokémon are universal across the different translations, so extra work must be put into their names to make sure that they work universally in all languages and don't conflict with anything else. This is consistent with the relatively small amount of legendaries who have had their names changed outside of Japan (a current number of six, the legendary birds and lake trio).