Legendary Pokémon

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An artist's interpretation of Entei, a legendary Pokémon

Legendary Pokémon are a group of extremely rare and powerful Pokémon. In the Japanese version, there are two 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. legendary Pokémon), refers to those which are featured prominently in legends, such as Groudon and Kyogre. The other, 幻のポケモン (maboroshi no Pokémon, lit. illusory Pokémon), refers to those so rarely seen that some question their very existence, such as Mew and Lugia.

In the games, the player typically has only one chance to capture a legendary Pokémon. They are genderless, with the exception of Latios and Latias. They cannot breed, 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.

In the anime, legendary Pokémon are held in generally higher regard than they are in the games. They appear only to special trainers (usually the case of Ash Ketchum), and their capture can lead to the destruction of the world. As seen with Lugia, some can breed; as seen with Celebi, they are neither immortal nor invincible; and as seen with many Pokémon, some are not unique.

Very few people have actually seen legendary Pokémon. Because of their rarity, they are sought after by trainers and collectors, especially Team Rocket.

List of legendary Pokémon

There are 21 Pokémon considered to be legendary Pokémon, and there are several more with certain characteristics of Legendary Pokémon.

Generation I

The legendary Pokémon of Generation I can be broken into two groups: the Legendary Birds and the Mew-based legendary Pokémon.

Legendary Birds

An ancient slab of the Legendary Birds and an Arcanine seen in Pokémon Emergency. Ash identified the blue one as Ho-Oh, possibly by mistake.

There are three Legendary Birds, sometimes called Avians. As shown in the second movie, should the three birds come in contact with one another, 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. One of each was seen in the Orange Islands.

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 Emerald Version, a Nintendo event gave out the Old Sea Map that would take the player to Faraway Island, where Mew could be caught. 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. Another is seen in the eighth movie.
  • Mewtwo is a genetically altered 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. It is portrayed as taking the cover of night and living amongst humans in big cities.

Generation II

Generation II featured the advent of three new groups of legendary Pokémon.

Legendary Beasts

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 Dex, in Pokémon FireRed and in Pokémon LeafGreen, depending on the Starter Pokémon the user chooses at the beginning of the game.

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 Halcyon.

  • Ho-Oh is the Guardian of the Skies. This Pokémon is represented by rainbows and the color gold. It is said to glow in seven colors and see into the future. Ho-Oh lived atop Tin Tower in ancient times. But when Brass Tower was burned down as a result of a war, it created Raikou, Entei, and Suicune, and all four disappeared, along with Lugia. 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. To reach Naval Rock, one must have a Template:I. Ho-Oh is often seen at the beginning of a new journey, which happened to Ash twice. The spirit of Ho-Oh represents the Johto League.
  • Lugia is the Guardian of the Sea. It is represented by the color silver. Lugia lived atop Brass Tower in ancient times. 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 Dark Lugia resides in the Orre region in Pokémon XD. 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 mother and a child, were seen near Silver Rock Isle at the beginning of the Whirl Cup arc of the anime.


Although it has no relation to Mew, Celebi was dubbed the "New Mew" because of its similar size, shape, stats, and National Dex number. Because of this, it is commonly listed with Mew (and also Jirachi) in lists of legendary Pokémon.

Generation III

The Generation III games feature the most new Legendaries of any generation, a total of 10.

The Regis

The legendary Golem-like beasts were featured in the eighth movie as the protectors of the Tree of World's Beginning, but the true story of their history remains a mystery.

Latias and Latios

Latios and Latias (sometimes referred to, collectively, as [email protected]) are twin Dragons (one male, one female) 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 Template:I.

  • Latias is found in the wild after defeating the Elite Four in Pokémon Sapphire. It changes routes whenever you do, and is considered as rare as the Legendary Beasts in Generation II. It can also be obtained in Pokémon Ruby by using the Template:I obtained from Nintendo Power. In Pokémon Emerald, when his/her mom asks about a TV program after the Elite Four, it appears as in Sapphire if the player chooses Red, and as in Ruby if the player chooses Blue.
  • Latios is found in the wild after defeating the Elite Four in Pokémon Ruby. It is considered as rare as the Legendary Beasts in Generation II. It can also be obtained in Pokémon Sapphire by using the Eon Ticket obtained from Nintendo Power. In Pokémon Emerald, when his/her mom asks about a TV program after the Elite Four, it appears as in Ruby if the player chooses Blue, and as in Sapphire if the player chooses Red.

Weather-related legendary Pokémon

File:GenIII Battle.jpg
A depiction of the cataclysmic battle between Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza

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 Template:I 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.

Pokémon with legendary characteristics

  • Arcanine's species classification is Legendary.
  • Unown are a mysterious species of Pokémon based on the English alphabet. Professor Oak referred to them as Legendary, probably because they were featured heavily in ancient myths and legends.
  • Lucario and its master Aaron were forever revered because of their help pacifying an ancient battle, as seen in the eighth movie.
  • Ancient Pokémon, such as Aerodactyl, Kabuto and Omanyte are extinct and therefore are among myth. Although it is not extinct, Relicanth is sometimes considered an ancient Pokémon.

Myths and legends involving legendary Pokémon

  • Tin Tower and Brass Tower (Beasts, Ho-Oh, Lugia)
  • Alto Mare (Latios, Latias)
  • Ruins of Alph (Unown)
  • Oldoran (Lucario and Aaron)
  • Ancient Mew TCG Card


Long ago, a Gengar and Alakazam, both of gigantic proportions, fought and destroyed the ancient civilization of Pokémopolis, where humans built temples to honor Pokemon. The giant Pokémon, which might have gone on to destroy the world, were put to sleep by the voice of a giant singing Jigglypuff. In the episode The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis, Ash and friends discovered an ancient temple and a number of relics that people had once worshipped, and inadvertently awoke the dueling Pokémon.

Shamouti Island

An ancient prophesy circulates around the Orange Islands that says:

Disturb not the Titans of Fire, Ice, or Lightning
Lest these Titans wreak destruction
Upon the world in which they clash
Though the water's Great Guardian may arise to quell the fighting
Alone its song shall fail
Lest the world turn to Ash
O Chosen One
Into thine hands bring together all three
The treasures combined bring the Beast of The Sea

For clarification, in the Japanese version, the word (God) is used to describe the birds, not Titans.

A festival is held on Shamouti Island to honor the Chosen One, who turned out to be Ash Ketchum in the second movie.

Legend of the Regis

In addition to the Unown, braille has also been used to tell legends. In Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, the player can use the braille to uncover Regirock, Regice, and Registeel.

The legend, found on various rocks in the Sealed Chamber, reads: