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- If you were looking for the "Legendary Pokémon" species, see Arcanine (Pokémon).
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- Legend redirects here. For Badge given by Iris or Drayden, see Badge → Legend Badge.
An artist's interpretation of Entei
, a legendary Pokémon, in the anime.
Legendary Pokémon are a group of incredibly rare and often very powerful Pokémon.
While in English, all are typically grouped under the banner of "legendary", there are three distinct terms in Japanese that are used to refer to them. One, 伝説のポケモン densetsu no Pokémon, literally "legendary Pokémon", refers to Pokémon such as Kyogre and Groudon, who are featured prominently in the legends of the Pokémon world. A second, 幻のポケモン maboroshi no Pokémon, literally "illusory Pokémon", refers to Pokémon seen so rarely, such as Mew, that some question their very existence. This term was translated in the Generation IV games as "mirage Pokémon", in reference to the various myths of Sinnoh, and many consider it to refer to Pokémon that are restricted to Nintendo events, not available during the course of normal gameplay. The third and newest term is 神話のポケモン shinwa no Pokémon, literally "mythical Pokémon", which refers to the Pokémon which are spoken of as the creators of the Sinnoh region.
Characteristics of legendary Pokémon
Aside from the high stats shared by most legendary Pokémon, many of them are only available once to the player in a given save file, and to obtain another legitimately, one must trade with another game. The gender of most legendary Pokémon is unknown (though there are seven notable exceptions in Latios, Latias, Heatran, Cresselia, Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus), and all but Manaphy are unable to breed in captivity, even with Ditto (and Manaphy only produces the unevolvable Phione when it breeds with Ditto).
No legendary Pokémon is known to evolve, though many are part of a legendary trio or legendary duo. Much like starter Pokémon appear at the beginning of each regional Pokédex and their generation's portion of the National Pokédex, legendary Pokémon typically appear at the very end of them. There is one exception: Victini. Victini's Unova Pokédex number is #000, coming before the region's starter Pokémon in the Pokédex.
In the anime
Legendary Pokémon typically make their anime debut in a movie, rather than first appearing in a normal episode. Many are held in very high regard in all forms of canon, though their status varies between the games and anime. For example, their godlike status is expressed in both the anime and the games, though in the anime they are shown to be able to breed, whereas in the games they cannot, and in the anime most of them supposedly cannot be caught in Poké Balls, while in the games, they can. In the anime they are often only seen by special Trainers, usually the anime's main protagonist, Ash Ketchum, and other people who have a special connection to them. Villainous teams and others with bad intentions often seek them out, due both to their rarity and their superior power.
It has been shown that the capture of certain legendary Pokémon may lead to great catastrophe, due to their often pivotal role in nature. Despite this, however, Trainers using legendary Pokémon via Poké Balls or even as a non-owned Pokémon is not unheard of. An example of the latter use is the fact that Noland befriended and fought official battles with an Articuno. Likewise, Brandon in the anime owned the three Regis in Poké Balls and trained them and there were no chaotic events that followed. Tobias is another Trainer who has been shown to have legendary Pokémon in Poké Balls, seeing to own a Darkrai and a Latios. Another Trainer in the Lily of the Valley Conference owned a Heatran. Finally, a Nurse Joy who visited the Pewter Gym under assignment of the PIA kept a Latias in a Poké Ball.
There are some cases where legendary Pokémon are implied to breed in the wild, as seen with Lugia, though this is not the case in the games. Some are not immortal nor invincible, as seen by the death of Celebi. The near death of Arceus is also a debatable factor in the immortality of legends. Only some, in fact, are often considered unique, some of these being Mewtwo (due to the circumstances of its creation), Arceus, Dialga, Palkia, Reshiram, and Zekrom, due to their roles in the creation of the Pokémon world and their respective regions. Genesect is also presumed to be a unique species, due to the modifications made to it by Team Plasma.
List of legendary Pokémon
Of the 807 Pokémon species, 47 are considered to be legendary (7.24%), while several more have certain characteristics of legendary Pokémon. Each generation has introduced at least one legendary trio and one legendary duo, with the notable exception of Generation V which introduced the first legendary quartet and no legendary duo.
The legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation I can be broken into two groups: the legendary birds and the Mew duo.
- Main article: Legendary birds
The three legendary birds, also known as the Winged Mirages, are the resident legendary trio of the Kanto region. Each of them is based on a mythical bird, and each is associated with a season (though none of the three is associated with autumn).
In the games, all three are available in the Kanto region in all of its appearances except for Generation II. Articuno takes up residence in the Seafoam Islands in the south, Zapdos in the Power Plant (next to it in Generation IV) in the east, and Moltres in a variety of places, Victory Road, Mt. Ember, or Mt. Silver, depending on the generation. In Generation IV, they are also found roaming Sinnoh, but only in Pokémon Platinum.
In the anime, the legendary birds appear together in The Power of One, where they rule over the islands surrounding Shamouti Island. If they are disturbed and begin to fight, only Lugia can stop them, though it will fail without additional help from the Chosen One. Separately, Articuno appears in Freeze Frame, Numero Uno Articuno, and The Symbol Life, while Zapdos appears in As Clear As Crystal, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, and Doc Brock!, and Moltres appears in All Fired Up! and The Search for the Legend.
The Mew duo, so named because of their similar genetic structure and Mewtwo's origin as an enhanced clone of Mew, are a pair of catlike Pokémon which are believed by many to be among the most rare and powerful Pokémon that exist.
In the games, Mew is only mentioned in years-old journals found in the Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island. It was the first event-exclusive Pokémon, being otherwise available only by glitching the game or cheating. One is available in the wild on Faraway Island, an event area in Pokémon Emerald, the only time it is legitimately able to be caught from the wild.
Mew appears in the anime in both the first movie and the eighth movie. In the first, it appears to fight against Mewtwo, while in the second, its status as the Pokémon from which life began is explored.
In the games, Mewtwo is revealed to have been cloned from Mew in the journals in the Pokémon Mansion. Unlike most Pokémon, however, Mew gave live birth to Mewtwo, rather than laying an Egg and Mewtwo hatching from it. Mewtwo was too powerful, however, and it escapes from the Pokémon Mansion, destroying it in the process. Mewtwo then makes its home in Cerulean Cave, where all kinds of powerful Pokémon live.
In the anime, Mewtwo was featured prominently, appearing in several episodes of the original series, the first movie, and the first special episode. Mewtwo's origin is slightly different as well, with Team Rocket boss Giovanni funding a group of scientists to create an enhanced clone of Mew for his own use. Though Mewtwo is initially a very angry Pokémon, viewing all humans as evil due to the acts of the scientists and Giovanni, eventually, when Ash Ketchum sacrifices himself to stop the fighting between Mew and Mewtwo, Mewtwo's heart softens, and he learns that some humans do care about their, and all, Pokémon. Meeting up with Ash again, Mewtwo is further shown that, although it is a genetically-enhanced clone of Mew, it and the other clones are no different than normal Pokémon, and because it erased Ash and his friends' memory at the end of their first meeting, realizes that Ash himself truly does care for others, even if he doesn't know them.
Mewtwo is known in the anime to travel around the world, traversing rooftops at night, and living its life free. It occasionally appears in anime openings, sometimes with Mew, and sometimes alone.
More legendary Pokémon were introduced in Generation II, adding six more for a running total of 11. The legendary Pokémon introduced in this generation down can be separated into three groups.
- Main article: Legendary beasts
Like the legendary birds of the previous generation, a second trio of similar types was introduced in the neighboring Johto region. These legendary beasts, so named because their features are based on many different creatures, both real and mythical, as well as mythological deities, were trapped in the Brass Tower when it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, resulting in their death. The trio was revived by the power of Ho-Oh and now roam across the land because of their great power. It is unknown whether the three were already a Suicune, Raikou, and Entei when they died, or whether they were simply three non-legendary Pokémon, and Ho-Oh reincarnated them as the first legendary beasts. In the case of the latter, it is possible that these three would be the original three beasts, who created multiple descendants. For example, a new Entei is said to be born whenever a new volcano is formed.
In the games, more than one of each exists, with only the trio that roams Johto after being discovered in Brass Tower's basement during Generation II and Generation IV being that of the legend. Each was captured and changed into a Shadow Pokémon by Cipher in Pokémon Colosseum, while one of the three, depending on the player's starter Pokémon choice, roams Kanto in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Entei for Bulbasaur, Raikou for Squirtle, and Suicune for Charmander.
In the anime, the legendary beasts did not appear together until the thirteenth movie, despite being introduced in Generation II. It appears that an initial plan for the three Johto-era movies was to have each feature one of the legendary beasts in a central role, with Entei taking a central role in Spell of the Unown and Suicune taking the stage in Celebi: Voice of the Forest. This did not pan out, however, possibly due to the canning of Johto's Celebi plotline, and Raikou was relegated to a role in The Legend of Thunder, featuring anime characters based on Ethan and Kris, rather than the fifth movie, which focused on legendary Pokémon from the then-upcoming Generation III instead.
Each of the beasts made an episodic appearance, as well, with Entei appearing in Entei at Your Own Risk, Raikou briefly appearing in Houndoom's Special Delivery, and Suicune having the most prominence (as in the games) through its appearance in Don't Touch That 'dile, For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll!, and Drifloon On the Wind!.
The first version mascots that were also legendary Pokémon, Lugia and Ho-Oh are a pair of legendary birds which formerly resided in Ecruteak City atop tall towers, leading to their designation. However, when the Brass Tower, the home of Lugia, was struck by lightning, burned to the ground, and they both flew away, Lugia resolved to make its new home in the Whirl Islands and Ho-Oh to search the world for a pure-hearted Trainer. The two are thought to be as closely related as they are polar opposites, being based on the eastern legends of the Fènghuáng and Ryūjin.
In the games, Lugia does not play a central role in the Generation II storyline, instead being mentioned only as having lived in Ecruteak City before the Brass Tower burned. It is found in the Whirl Islands in the Generation II games and their remakes if the player holds a Silver Wing. It reaches prominence in the storyline of Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, where one is corrupted by Cipher to become the ultimate Shadow Pokémon, unable to be purified. It is also available on Navel Rock in Generation III, as an event-exclusive legendary Pokémon.
In the anime, Lugia is featured in a central role in The Power of One, where it is revealed that Ash is the Chosen One who must help it to quell the fighting of the legendary birds. Another pair of them appeared when Ash and his friends traveled to the Whirl Islands in Johto. Likewise, in Pokémon Heroes, Latios was stated have a father. This implies that at least some legendary Pokémon can breed in the anime, unlike in the games.
Ho-Oh has a much greater focus during Generation II, being named as the creator of the legendary beasts. It can be found, if the player has a Rainbow Wing, atop the Bell Tower in the Generation II games and their remakes. It makes an appearance in Pokémon Colosseum, as well, as a reward for purifying all Shadow Pokémon, and on Navel Rock like Lugia.
In the anime, Ho-Oh is notably the first legendary Pokémon that appeared (outside of the opening animation, at least), flying over a rainbow at the start of Ash Ketchum's journey at the end of Pokémon - I Choose You!. Ash has subsequently seen it several times over the course of his journey, but has never come face-to-face with it.
Although it has no relation to Mew that has been revealed, Celebi was dubbed the "New Mew" when it was introduced in Generation II because of their similar size and stats, as well as the status of being the last in the National Pokédex as of its generation and being unobtainable through normal gameplay. Unlike Mew, however, it was not believed to be the ancestor of all Pokémon, but merely the guardian of forests, traveling through time to make sure of their purity.
In the games, Celebi is available only by event, either directly (via trading or Mystery Gift), or, in Pokémon Crystal, through an event involving the GS Ball. This made it the first event Pokémon that was able to be captured from the wild in the games after using an event-only item, something which would continue forward even to the current generation. Celebi also makes an appearance in Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, but it is unobtainable.
In the anime, Celebi takes a central role in Celebi: Voice of the Forest and The Green Guardian. In the movie, one accidentally brings Sam to the future when attempting to escape from a poacher, and is later captured in a Team Rocket member's Dark Balls to be used to destroy the forest and rule the world. In the episode, another is attempting to heal after putting out a forest fire, and needs the help of Pokémon Ranger Solana, as well as the anime's protagonists, to do so. A Celebi also played an important role in Zoroark: Master of Illusions, where Grings Kodai wanted to use the "ripple of time" created by Celebi's time travels to allow himself to get visions of the future.
Many more legendary Pokémon were added to the roster in Generation III, with the ten new legendary Pokémon bringing the total to 21. At this point in the series, legendary Pokémon began to have a greater role in the storyline of the games, with the plot of the villainous teams introduced in this generation and the next involving the reawakening of ancient legendary Pokémon for the team's own use.
- Main article: Legendary golems
This third trio of legendary Pokémon, based on the golems of Hebrew legend, is featured minimally in Hoenn legend. They are based on the three ancient ages of humanity, the ice age, the stone age, and the iron age. Truly, this legendary trio, as well as its master, Regigigas, feature the most complicated method of in-game availability, with puzzles made of braille in the Hoenn region being the keys to unlocking their mystery.
As complex as the method in which they are obtained is the legend of the golems, which is told in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald and finally completed in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. Long ago, an ancient Pokémon was said to have moved the continents into their present positions by pulling them with ropes. After it was finished, it created in its image three Pokémon: Regirock, from clay, Regice, from ice, and Registeel, from magma. Ancient people, seeing that the Pokémon was so powerful, sealed it away in the Snowpoint Temple, while those it had created were separated from it and taken to the Hoenn region, sealed in three chambers, and left in the hopes that one day, someone would unlock the chambers and be able to tame the three so as to tame Regigigas. They are available in the Desert Ruins, Island Cave, and Ancient Tomb in Hoenn; as well as the Rock Peak Ruins, Iceberg Ruins, Iron Ruins in Sinnoh with an event Regigigas; and the Underground Ruins in Unova.
In the anime, the three legendary golems starred together guarding the Tree of Beginning in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, as well as members of Brandon's team in the Battle Frontier saga.
- Main article: Eon duo
Another of Hoenn's minor legendary Pokémon, Latias and Latios do not feature a distinct legend behind them. Nonetheless, they are incredibly rare, with only one of the two available normally a player, and the other available through an event.
Latios and Latias take on counterpart availability in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald as well as Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, with Latios being a roaming Pokémon in Ruby and SoulSilver, and Latias doing the same in Sapphire and HeartGold. In Emerald, after the player has defeated the Elite Four, their mother will ask if the Pokémon mentioned on TV was red or blue, and depending on that, one of the two will be roaming Hoenn. The other member of the duo will be found on Southern Island, accessible by Eon Ticket, in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, and in Pewter City, through the Enigma Stone event, in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
In the anime, Latios and Latias were the stars of Pokémon Heroes, where the two guarded the legendary city of Alto Mare. With a strong connection to the Soul Dew, the two were responsible for protecting it from Annie and Oakley, who wished to steal it. In the main series, Tobias used a Latios against Ash, as his second Pokémon in the first semi-final battle of the Lily of the Valley Conference. A Nurse Joy had a Latias when visiting the Pewter Gym.
- Main article: Weather trio
The trio of super-ancient Pokémon, known for their weather-related Abilities as the weather trio, serve as the version mascots of Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, being the first legendary trio to be version mascots, and represent the three major components of the Earth: the hydrosphere, the lithosphere, and the atmosphere. Said to have shaped the land and sea, Groudon and Kyogre are among the most powerful legendary Pokémon, while Rayquaza prevents the two from quarreling.
During the course of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Team Magma or Team Aqua, depending on version, seek out Groudon or Kyogre, with the intention of awakening them to make more homes for Pokémon of the land or sea. Eventually, the plan goes wrong, and the player is forced to defeat or capture the legendary Pokémon to stop a global disaster. In Pokémon Emerald, instead, both teams are on the loose, intending to awaken their respective legendary Pokémon, and only with interference by the player and Rayquaza does the fight end up resolved.
In the anime, Groudon and Kyogre appeared in the two-part episode consisting of Gaining Groudon and The Scuffle of Legends. In these episodes, Team Magma and Team Aqua finally succeed in awakening the two, as in the games, though their conflict is resolved very quickly, much to the annoyance of viewers. Rayquaza appeared in Destiny Deoxys, where it fought against the pair of Deoxys.
One of the two event legendary Pokémon of Generation III, Jirachi is known to grant wishes written on the tags on its head each time it awakens: once every millennium.
In the games, Jirachi has never had a concrete location tied to it, and it cannot be captured from the wild legitimately. However, several direct transfers have been present in the history of the franchise, most notably in the form of a bonus disc released as a preview of Pokémon Colosseum which fixes the Berry glitch present in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
Jirachi starred in Jirachi: Wish Maker, where it befriended Max as the group attempted to keep it away from Butler, a former Team Magma operative.
in its four Formes: Attack, Normal, Defense, Speed
A virus from space which mutated when shot by a laser, Deoxys was the first legendary Pokémon known to change form, taking different forms on in each of the Generation III games - Normal Forme in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Attack Forme in Pokémon FireRed, Defense Forme in Pokémon LeafGreen, and Speed Forme in Pokémon Emerald, and being able to change them at will starting from Generation IV games with special meteorites found in Veilstone City, Route 3 and Nacrene City.
In the games, Deoxys is only available on Birth Island when the AuroraTicket is downloaded to FireRed, LeafGreen, or Emerald, though as with all event legendary Pokémon, it has also been available through direct download via Mystery Gift.
Deoxys featured heavily in the seventh Pokémon movie, Destiny Deoxys, where its Attack and Defense Formes were first revealed. One of the two Deoxys featured befriends a boy named Tory Lund, who fears Pokémon otherwise and does not realize what Deoxys is, while the other seeks out the first, concerned for its safety. Another Deoxys featured in Pokémon Ranger - Deoxys Crisis!, where Deoxys's Speed Forme debuted in the anime.
Thirteen more legendary Pokémon were added in Generation IV, the most of any generation so far, bringing the total to a whopping 34. Many of the legendary Pokémon of this generation have little connection to the plot of the games, instead being minor, post-League sidequests for the player to go on. Six of the 13 introduced, even, are not in Sinnoh's regional Pokédex, appearing only in the National Dex, a first for any Pokémon.
Prior to Generation IV, 680 had been the limit on a legendary Pokémon's base stat total: this limit was set by Mewtwo in Generation I and was only matched - never surpassed - in Generation II and Generation III. As of Generation IV, however, the most powerful of all Pokémon in terms of base stats is no longer Mewtwo or any of its equals, but Arceus, the supposed creator of the Pokémon universe.
- Main article: Lake guardians
The lake guardians, Sinnoh's native legendary trio, represent the spirit of all consciousness, with Uxie embodying knowledge, Mesprit embodying emotion, and Azelf embodying willpower. According to legend, having been created by the Original One, the trio have the power to tame the powerful dragons it also created.
In the games, Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf are found in the caverns of Lake Acuity, Lake Verity, and Lake Valor, though Mesprit will roam Sinnoh after the player has encountered it, rather than battle immediately as the other two will. The trio are captured by Team Galactic's Commanders, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, and subjected to the experiments of Charon to draw out the Red Chain from the gems in their bodies. Cyrus summons Dialga and Palkia, and alone, the lake guardians' power is not enough to stop them. Giratina interferes and draws Cyrus into the Distortion World, where the lake guardians assist the player in navigation toward Giratina's lair.
In the anime, the lake guardians appeared, first in spirit form, in Following a Maiden's Voyage!, Pruning a Passel of Pals, and Uncrushing Defeat!, to Dawn, Ash, and Brock. They were captured by J, who had been hired by Team Galactic, in The Needs of the Three!, and were freed by Ash, Dawn, and Brock to stop the power of Dialga and Palkia in The Battle Finale of Legend!.
- Main article: Creation trio
The legendary creators of the Pokémon universe, the creation trio consisting of Dialga of time, Palkia of space, and Giratina of antimatter, are, like the weather trio before them, the mascots of Sinnoh's trio of games, Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
In the games, Dialga and Palkia are sought by Cyrus to destroy and then remake the universe without spirit, a feature he hates about humanity. In Diamond and Pearl, DialgaD or PalkiaP can be caught at Spear Pillar, while Giratina may be obtained after the Pokémon League has been conquered. In Platinum, however, Giratina interferes with Cyrus's planned destruction of the universe, and may be captured in its home, the Distortion World, while Dialga and Palkia cannot be found until the Elite Four have been defeated.
In the anime, Dialga and Palkia appeared together, fighting, in The Rise of Darkrai, while Dialga and Giratina appeared in Giratina and the Sky Warrior. The three appeared together, finally, in Arceus and the Jewel of Life. Dialga and Palkia were also summoned at the Spear Pillar and chained by Cyrus in The Battle Finale of Legend!, but were freed when he escaped into another universe and the Red Chain was shattered by Ash, Dawn, Brock, and their Pokémon.
Two sidequest legendary Pokémon and event legendary Pokémon, Cresselia and Darkrai represent two phases of the moon with opposite connotations: Darkrai represents the new moon, the cause of the darkest nights and bringer of nightmares, while Cresselia represents the full moon, a sign of hope and good dreams.
In the games, Cresselia can be found on Fullmoon Island as part of a post-League quest to rid Sailor Eldrich's son of a nightmare. She will flee immediately, roaming Sinnoh and leaving behind a Lunar Wing, which will heal the boy. In Pokémon Black2 and White 2, Cresselia can be found on Marvelous Bridge after obtaining the Lunar Wing in the Strange House. Darkrai is found on Newmoon Island, accessible only with a Member Card, and can only be obtained through an event.
The lunar duo made their debuts separately, with a Darkrai appearing in The Rise of Darkrai, attempting to stop Dialga and Palkia's fight from destroying its home, Alamos Town, and protecting Alice, its friend. Cresselia first appeared in Sleepless in Pre-Battle!, where she fought briefly against a Darkrai.
The sea guardian Pokémon are a legendary duo that, somewhat like Mewtwo and Mew, is comprised of a parent and child. Manaphy, a legendary Pokémon that makes its home in warmer seas south of the known regions, bears Phione when bred in captivity in the known regions.
In the games, Manaphy can only be found through an event: either it may be transferred in its Egg from one of the Ranger games after activating an event in those games, or can be directly received via various Mystery Gift events. Like Jirachi, it cannot be legitimately found in the wild. Phione, of course, must be bred from a Manaphy and a Ditto.
In the anime, Manaphy debuted in Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, where, like in the games, it first appeared as an Egg, and befriended May, who it regarded as its mother. It was the only Pokémon able to find the mysterious Temple of the Sea, Samiya, and was regarded as the Prince of the Sea. For this, it was sought by the Phantom, a pirate who wished to take the jewels of the Sea Crown deep in Samiya. Phione debuted under different circumstances, being found in Chocovine Town in Hold the Phione!, where they were revered as bringers of good luck.
Phione's status as a legendary Pokémon is often disputed, due to the fact that it can breed and multiple individuals can be obtained. Pokémon.com's mailbag was once asked if Phione was legendary, to which the answer was initially no, but was quickly changed to yes; the whole mailbag section has since been taken down with the restructure of Pokémon.com. In the official game guide to Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, which is made by The Pokémon Company International, it is stated that Phione is not legendary. In Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, it is not referred to by the game as "rare" or "legendary", which is the case for all other legendary Pokémon in the game. In Pokémon Black and White, it is banned from the Battle Subway, a rule which typically applies only to legendary Pokémon. Further complicating matters, it was included in the 2012 Pokémon Power Bracket competition, a playoff of sorts for legendary Pokémon.
Heatran is the embodiment of the planet's boiling core, appearing in Stark Mountain in Sinnoh and Reversal Mountain in Unova, where it was said to have been born at the same time as Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina created Sinnoh at the Spear Pillar and created the Battle Zone. Heatran is the only legendary Pokémon with a variable gender.
Heatran first appeared in the anime in Arceus and the Jewel of Life, under the control of Marcus, and later appeared in Pokémon Ranger: Heatran Rescue! as part of a Pokémon Ranger rescue mission.
Regigigas is the master of the legendary golems, having created them in ancient times and was said to have moved the continents in place, pulling them by rope.
In the games, Regigigas is found at the Snowpoint Temple and Twist MountainB2W2, though it will not awaken unless all three of the legendary golems are in the player's party.
Regigigas appeared in the anime in Giratina and the Sky Warrior, where it attempted to stop a glacier from destroying Ten'i Village. Another appeared in Pillars of Friendship!, where it was hunted by J and defended by Brandon.
A legendary Pokémon that has the ability to purify areas instantly and bring plant life in abundance, Shaymin is referred to as the Mew of Generation IV. Unlike previous event legendary Pokémon with its straight-100 base stats, however, Shaymin has the ability to change forms, between Land Forme and Sky Forme.
In the games, like Darkrai, Shaymin is catchable in the wild after an event item has been obtained: this time Oak's Letter, which requests the player's help on Route 224. After giving thanks to someone or something, Shaymin will appear, and will be available to be caught at the end of the Seabreak Path that appears, in the Flower Paradise.
Shaymin has a central role in Giratina and the Sky Warrior, when it, as well as its Sky Forme, were officially revealed. It also has a minor role in Keeping In Top Forme! involving Marley.
The final Pokémon of Generation IV and the most powerful in terms of base stat totals, Arceus is, according to legend, the creator of the Pokémon universe. Born of an Egg in the chaos at the beginning, Arceus's powers were awakened immediately, and from itself it made time and space, matter and antimatter, and set Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina to guard them. It created spirit as well, setting Uxie in charge of knowledge, Mesprit in charge of emotion, and Azelf in charge of willpower, before falling into an eternal slumber.
Arceus can be awoken from its sleep using an Azure Flute at the Spear Pillar, which will open a staircase to its home, the Hall of Origin. There it can be captured, though no legitimate way of obtaining the Azure Flute has yet been released.
In the anime, Arceus starred in Arceus and the Jewel of Life, where it set out to destroy Michina Town and its people for their betrayal in ancient times. After changing history with the help of Dialga, Ash and his friends revealed to Arceus the true nature of human beings, and it left Michina Town in peace.
Thirteen additional legendary Pokémon were added in Generation V, tying with Generation IV to be the largest addition to the ranks, totaling 47 legendary Pokémon. Reshiram and Zekrom played a large role in the storyline of Black and White, with the respective mascot Pokémon being a necessary and unavoidable capture to progress to the endgame. The rest of the Pokémon mattered little to the narrative progression.
Victini is found at the beginning of Unova's Pokédex, being #000. Much like Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Manaphy and Shaymin before it, each of its base stats are 100. It is the first Generation V event Pokémon revealed and allowed to be obtained. Victini is considered the embodiment of victory. It is said that a Trainer with a Victini will win anything no matter what.
In Pokémon Black and White, if the player possesses the Liberty Ticket, the player can take a boat to Liberty Garden, where Team Plasma is attempting to obtain Victini for the energy it radiates. It is later revealed that Victini was sealed in the basement of the lighthouse by a wealthy person in order to protect it from people with bad intentions.
Victini is a star of White—Victini and Zekrom and Black—Victini and Reshiram.
Swords of Justice
- Main article: Swords of Justice
Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion are a trio of Pokémon based on the titular characters of the 1844 French novel The Three Musketeers, and partially on hooved mammals such as deer, antelopes, oxen, goats, and horses. According to legend, they protect Pokémon from having their habitats destroyed by humans and have been known to have attacked human castles during the Middle Ages. Like the Three Musketeers, they are considered a trio but have a fourth, younger member in the form of Keldeo who the other three rescued and raised after its home was destroyed by fire. All four of them can use their horns like swords, and learn their signature move, Sacred Sword, at level 42 (43 for Keldeo, most likely to refer to it becoming part of the group later).
- Main article: Kami trio
Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus are a trio of Pokémon based on Japanese deities: Fūjin, god of wind, Raijin, god of thunder and lightning, and Inari, a fertility god. Together the three represent the heavens and the nourishing effect the sky has upon the earth. According to a folktale retold by children at the Abundant Shrine, Landorus punished Tornadus and Thundurus for destroying the land with gales and thunderstorms.
- Main article: Tao trio
Zekrom and Reshiram represent balance through the aspects of Yin and Yang, respectively. Originally, they were a single dragon that helped found the Unova region's nation, but fighting between the two brothers who founded the nation split them into two halves. Despite this, the two Pokémon do not willingly fight each other.
Reshiram and Zekrom are the stars of Pokémon The Movie: White—Victini and Zekrom and Pokémon The Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram along with Victini.
Kyurem is related to Zekrom and Reshiram and represents wuji, which is the absence of Yin and Yang. Using the DNA Splicers, Kyurem can be fused with Reshiram or Zekrom into White Kyurem or Black Kyurem, respectively; with the same item, the fusion can be undone.
Kyurem is the star of Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice along with Keldeo.
Meloetta represents music and dance. Legend says that it once sang and danced joyfully. However, when sorrow darkened the world, it lost the melody and its red shoes. Using Relic Song changes its form.
Meloetta made its anime debut in An Epic Defense Force!.
Genesect is an ancient insect Pokémon who was feared as the strongest of hunters more than 300 million years ago. Team Plasma revived it from a Fossil and altered it with cybernetic upgrades in an attempt to create the strongest Pokémon in existence. It uses special Drives to make variations to its signature move, Techno Blast.
- Though Unown is not considered to be a legendary Pokémon, in Spell of the Unown, Unown are shown in Molly Hale's Book of Legendary Pokémon, their power appears to match that of legendary Pokémon and they are explicitly referred to as legendary Pokémon.
- Generation I is the only generation (excluding Generation V) where all of its legends have appeared in a movie. Mewtwo appeared in Mewtwo Strikes Back. Mew appeared in both Mewtwo Strikes Back and in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, while the birds appeared in The Power of One.
- Ho-Oh is the only Generation II legendary who hasn't appeared in a movie, only appearing in anime appearances, opening sequences, and in a cameo in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, only to be Mew in disguise.
- Groudon is the only Generation III legendary who hasn't appeared in a movie, only appearing in the opening sequences of The Rise of Darkrai, Arceus and the Jewel of Life and Zoroark: Master of Illusions. There was a fake Groudon in Jirachi: Wish Maker. However, the real Groudon has appeared with its counterpart, Kyogre, in Gaining Groudon and The Scuffle of Legends.
- Generation IV is the generation with the greatest amount of legends that have not appeared in a movie: the lake guardians and Cresselia. This group is notable for not even appearing via cameos in the movies, except for Cresselia, who appeared in the opening of Giratina and the Sky Warrior. All four have their own debut episodes in the anime, however.
- In most games, there appears to only be one of each legendary Pokémon; however, in the anime, there is more than one of most legendary Pokémon. This may just mean that the creators of the game intended the player to only ever happen to meet one of them canonically, and in fact there are others elsewhere which the player does not encounter.
- Each generation has introduced at least one Psychic-type legendary Pokémon and one Flying-type legendary Pokémon, though the only Flying-type legendary Pokémon in Generation IV, Shaymin, is only Flying-type in its Sky Forme, which was not introduced until Pokémon Platinum.
- According to interviews with Junichi Masuda in 2009, legendary Pokémon are the most difficult to design names for because Game Freak 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 number of legendary Pokémon who have had their names changed significantly outside of Japan (currently nine: the legendary birds, the lake guardians, and the Kami trio).
- As of Generation V, aside from Arceus's use of Plates, there has never been a Poison-type legendary Pokémon.
- Only Deoxys, Giratina, Arceus, Lugia, Ho-Oh, and fused Kyurem have a battle theme that is shared with no other. Mew has its own battle theme; however, it is a remixed version of the normal Kanto wild battle theme.
- Each member of the legendary beasts and the Tao trio has its own remix of each trio's designated battle theme:
- In HeartGold and SoulSilver, Suicune's theme uses bells, Entei's theme uses an electric guitar, and Raikou's theme is synthesized.
- Reshiram's theme employs a burning fire effect, Zekrom's theme employs a crackling thunder effect, and normal Kyurem's theme features an extra slapped bass part playing in the background.
- The legendary birds of Kanto are the most available wild legendary Pokémon, able to be caught in nine main series games each (Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen, Platinum, HeartGold and SoulSilver). The least available wild legendary Pokémon are Celebi and Mew, which only appear in the wild in one game apiece; each encounter requires an event item to activate it. Shaymin and Darkrai may also count, as the event items for the two, though existent in the games' coding, were not released to players of Diamond and Pearl, with the Mystery Gift events only available for players of Platinum.