Legendary Pokémon

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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).

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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 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.

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 mistakenly identified the blue one as Ho-Oh.

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

File:Mewtwo mew.jpg
Mewtwo and Mew
  • 151 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.
  • 150 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

Generation II featured the advent of three new groups of legendary Pokémon, consisting of a total of six.

Legendary beasts

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.

Lugia and Ho-Oh

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.
  • 250 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.
  • 249 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.


Celebi on its shrine in Ilex Forest.

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.

Generation III

The Generation III games feature a total of 10 new legendaries.

Legendary golems

File:3 regis.jpg
Booster art of Regice, Registeel, and Regirock from EX Hidden Legends.

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.

Eon Pokémon

Latias and Latios

Latios and Latias (sometimes referred to, collectively, as [email protected]) 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.

  • 380 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.
  • 381 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.

Super-ancient 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

  • 385 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.
  • 386/386A/386D/386S 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!.

Generation IV

The Generation IV games feature a total of 14 legendary Pokémon, the most of any generation.

Mirage Pokémon

Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf together

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.

Legendary dragons

Dialga, Palkia and Giratina artwork from Pokémon Platinum

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.

  • 483 Dialga controls time.
  • 484 Palkia controls space and dimensions.
  • 487O/487 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.

Lunar Pokémon

File:Darkrai-Newmoon Island.png
Darkrai in Newmoon Island

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

  • 490 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.
  • 489 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.
  • 486 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.
  • 485 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 running down Seabreak Path
  • 492/492S 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.
  • 493 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

  • 059 Arcanine's species classification is Legendary.
  • 130 350 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.
  • 479 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.
  • 201 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.
  • 149 248 373 376 445 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.
  • 038 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.
  • 448 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.
  • 175 176 468 Togepi and its evolutions are incredibly rare and bring joy wherever they go. In A Togepi Mirage! Togepi is referred to as a savior.
  • 359 The presence of Absol is a fabled warning of impending disaster.
  • 442 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:
  • 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).

Related articles

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