How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

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    ポケモン Tsutarja's Avatar
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    Post How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    I've read stories where legendary Pokémon were treated merely like legends, with them being extremely rare and barely showing up but I've also read stories where legendary Pokémon were more prominent going as far to be controlled by other characters and appear in flesh quite often.

    How do you handle these type of Pokémon?

    They're powerful creatures of unique capabilities, hence the fact they're referred to as legends. Do you treat these Pokémon simply as myths and legends or do you actually have them show up when the plot calls for it. In addition, which approach on legendary Pokémon do you prefer?

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    Xytegenia's finest redyakuza's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    I remember an episode of the pokemon 'stories' spin-off show (forget the name) where a veteran trainer who had a lil' chikorita on his shoulder, travelled in search of Moltres because he wanted to battle it with his well trained Salamence. He didn't try to capture it, just prove to himself that he could withstand and hopefully best the power of a legendary.

    That to me is a good way of handling legendaries. By their very definition they are unique. They shouldn't have owners (didn't a trainer/master have a Latias/Latios? It felt like a novelty, impressive but without importance) and for me, that's why in B&W I felt it a bit cheap that N 'owned' one of the legendary dragons and was destined to do so. By all means form a bond/friendship with a legendary (May-Manaphy, Max-Jirachi etc) but to imply ownership belittles the 'trainer and his pokemon adventure' ethos, the lv1 to lv100 journey.

    I think that would be my approach: train myself to be able to stand toe to toe with a legendary.

    As an aside I always thought it would be cool to see a trainer or Gym leader with a Shiny pokemon so as to infer a particular uniqueness or a sense of luck aura about that person. "Wow! That guy has a shiny ____! He must be a hard to beat trainer!" Whereas if they had a Mewtwo or a Deoxys in his pocket you'd think, "why can't I have a legendary to win all my battles for me?"

    rant over. good topic Tsutarja!


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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    In my opinion, legendary Pokémon should be difficult to find, but when one does appear, it should serve as a major plot point. It's not like seeing a wild Pidgey on an everyday basis for an average trainer.

    As for individuals owning one, that's a tricky one. Instead of asking the question "Why should he/she own a legendary?", we should ask "Why do they own a legendary?" Facts are that nearly every legendary Pokémon are extremely powerful by their own rights, so catching one is an impressive feat. Having a person own a legendary just because he does makes little sense and is very Mary Sueish.

    So in the end, my conclusion would be that it's best legendary Pokémon aren't under ownership of a trainer, but exceptions are possible. Besides, what's gonna happen if Dialga got caught for example?
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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    In my work, Legendaries are guardians, not to be caught. If they do appear, they are guiding my heroes on a quest, or have important info for them
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    Depending on the headcanon I'm using for a particular fic, the legendaries might be anything from fictional stories to actual gods to the incarnations of their element to obscenely powerful immortal pokemon to regular pokemon who just happen to be ridiculously rare.
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    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    Quote Originally Posted by redyakuza View Post
    "Wow! That guy has a shiny ____! He must be a hard to beat trainer!"
    I have a shiny seaking and a shiny caterpie. This says nothing about my quality as a trainer!

    Regardless, I normally don't treat legendaries as unique. Rare and powerful certainly, but not unique. The game's limitations are fairly arbitrary, and the animé displays examples of duplicate legendaries, if you want a canonical citation on the matter. In fact, given the tendency of Battle Frontier brains to own legendaries, it would seem very few are genuinely unique. Obviously I'd have Mewtwo as unique if I chose to have him show up, given that he is an individual character whose very nature is defined as singular, but not necessarily the legendary birds, etc. In terms of power, that again varies. The 'godly' legends such as dialga or palkia would seem trivialised if they were portrayed as anything less than godlike. Not necessarily invincible, but extremely potent nonetheless. The Kanto birds or the Johto beasts, not so much. I would be perfectly comfortable with giving a highly experienced trainer a single minor legendary, and having that legendary be no more than ordinarily strong.

    In any case, I avoid using legends unless there's very good reason for it. If the subject of the plot is the continuation of Team Rocket's genetic experiments, having Mewtwo get involved in a logical fashion would be entirely appropriate. It would not, however, be sensible to have a mew show up at the beginning of a journey fic for no reason other than to make the protagonist seem special. Furthermore, the more often they appear, the more tacky legendaries are likely to become, so, I'd strongly advise against gratuitous legendaries. It's possible to pull such a thing off, but one must be a very competent author to do so!

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    J'ai Envie De Toi AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    Given that I'm planning a fic that deals fairly closely with legendaries, this is an important topic that I've given a lot of thought. In my canon, very little is known about legendaries. They aren't necessarily unique (at least, not all of them are), but they're so rare as to seem unique. Few people have seen any, and they are all very powerful. I break from game canon in that they have almost complete control over whatever they represent. For example, Zapdos doesn't just have a really powerful Thunder, it can actually summon and control thunderstorms. They're also all free-spirits. A very powerful trainer would exhaust most of his or her team in catching one, and then would only be able to do it with a Master Ball. The legendary would not obey its trainer and would probably kill them and escape as soon as it was released from its ball.

    In my opinion, that's the best way to deal with them as it makes the most sense. Legendary Pokemon do exist in myths and legends, but will also appear when they are vital to the story. It's important not to underplay them, otherwise they become just some more powerful Pokemon.

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    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    This is a major interest of mine. Personally, I feel like legendaries are used too much in fanfiction. I feel like they are the centre of too many stories. I think it is important to remember that most people don't meet legendaries. Generally I'm more interested in a story that is of a somewhat normal person (within reason) as it is. I don't like stories that are about the fate of the entire planet, or where the protagonist is somehow 'special'. (This has been mentioned before, I think.)

    However, I imagine that a lot of people want to find legendaries. Given that a lot of people want to find legendaries, and may put a large amount of effort in to doing so, but most people don't ever meet legendaries, what I like to do when involving a legendary in a plot is have the protagonist miss meeting the legendary in some way or another. But then, I like the story of an ordinary guy. In Rival's Story...
    Legendaries are extremely difficult to hunt down, so it shouldn't be surprising that they elude trainers who hunt them, even when their victory seems at its most certain.

    Similarly, my plans for Silph's Escape, which I discontinued were:


    I guess the way I handle legendaries is that I have them as real, but I find it natural that lots of people should be looking for them, but few (if any) being successful. As most of my protagonists are "normal" people, they usually aren't successful. The exception to this is in my mini-series, Are We Heroes? where:


    I guess my stance is that ordinary people shouldn't catch, or most of the time encounter legendaries, and I prefer stories about "ordinary" people who don't have a destiny and aren't positioned at the centre of the universe.

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    Xytegenia's finest redyakuza's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    Quote Originally Posted by unrepentantAuthor View Post
    I have a shiny seaking and a shiny caterpie. This says nothing about my quality as a trainer!
    It's a theme not shown in the anime or the manga (to my knowledge). It could be a device to tell an amazing story. How did you catch the shiny? What happened for you to meet it? Learning of a trainer's encounter with a special pokemon be it shiny or legendary would be an amazing tale.

    Sorry for going off-topic. Still a great thread :)


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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    For me, not all legendaries are equal. Besides the obvious fact that there are Trio Masters, which are, by definition, stronger than their subordinates, you wouldn't dream of comparing Moltres to Reshiram in terms of firepower (pun intended). Moltres would be much stronger than the average Trainer, yes, though a few might be able to put up a good fight or even drive it off; only elite trainers entertain dreams of actually catching it. Reshiram, on the other hand, will almost definitely wreck your shit, unless you are the Hero destined to catch it.

    Of course, there are circumstances in which a Trainer could prove himself to stronger Legendaries to get their help: should one possess the Adamant Orb and discover Dialga, and be in a time of need, Dialga MAY listen to you.
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    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    Quote Originally Posted by redyakuza View Post
    It's a theme not shown in the anime or the manga (to my knowledge). It could be a device to tell an amazing story. How did you catch the shiny? What happened for you to meet it? Learning of a trainer's encounter with a special pokemon be it shiny or legendary would be an amazing tale.
    It's a theme in the anime. Ash's noctowl, yes?
    The thing is, there is nothing special about shinies. They simply have odd colouration, no more. One encounters and catches them exactly the same as any other pokémon.

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    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    Quote Originally Posted by redyakuza View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by unrepentantAuthor View Post
    I have a shiny seaking and a shiny caterpie. This says nothing about my quality as a trainer!
    It's a theme not shown in the anime or the manga (to my knowledge). It could be a device to tell an amazing story. How did you catch the shiny? What happened for you to meet it? Learning of a trainer's encounter with a special pokemon be it shiny or legendary would be an amazing tale.

    Sorry for going off-topic. Still a great thread :)
    Quote Originally Posted by unrepentantAuthor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by redyakuza View Post
    It's a theme not shown in the anime or the manga (to my knowledge). It could be a device to tell an amazing story. How did you catch the shiny? What happened for you to meet it? Learning of a trainer's encounter with a special pokemon be it shiny or legendary would be an amazing tale.
    It's a theme in the anime. Ash's noctowl, yes?
    The thing is, there is nothing special about shinies. They simply have odd colouration, no more. One encounters and catches them exactly the same as any other pokémon.
    Apologising for being off-topic does not stop it being off-topic, or against the rules.

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    ^^ Safe-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    You know it's funny you bring this topic up, in the story I plan on writing soon, Legendary Pokemon have a major roll, some of them are only mentioned and some of them are utilized according to there rolls; some supporting and some antagonists.

    But in my experience unless you're writing a mega fiction were the whole world is involved, then there really isn't a reason to incorporate Legendary Pokemon.

    Though I would like to mention that legends should be treated as such, as in controlling them shouldn't go as far as them becoming pets.

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    ★ Prince of Ampora ★ Takoto's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    I haven't written in a while, but back when I did, I generally treated Legendaries as being only one in the world, usually very powerful, and rarely ever appearing in-front of humans and sometimes other Pokémon.

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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do/would you handle legendary Pokémon?

    Legendaries are massively powerful. Some more than others, though. While the three lesser regis aren't extremely powerful, they're about the level of the average dragon type (I treat dragons as semi-legendary; they're long-lived, massively powerful beings that can outmatch any other non-legendary pokemon at their best). Likewise, the beast trio of Johto isn't the most powerful, nor is the eon duo of Hoenn.

    Lugia and Ho-oh? Well, you don't want to mess with them, even on a good day, nor do you want to mess things up with the birds of Kanto (though they're somewhere inbetween the regis and the sacred bird duo). Kyogre and Groudon are excessively powerful, being able to shape continents (and Regigigas can move them. Don't mess with him), with Rayquaza being just a step above them. Dialga, Palkia and Giratina even more so (they are, after all, gods), being pretty much untouchable by human hands (or pokemon hands). And if Arceus appears, you'll just have to pray he doesn't destroy the world with his Judgment then and there. Reshiram and Zekrom are more alike backseat players, representing the two base forces of the universe, but they can pretty much tear that same universe apart.

    Mew is powerful among normal pokemon, but is unique for its versatility, not its power (granted, it has extreme power compared to most normal pokemon), the same goes for celebi (though time travel does make it hax), jirachi (well, it can grant wishes) and manaphy. Mewtwo however, has decent power at least surpassing the legendary birds; maybe even close to the sacred bird duo.

    Deoxys is unique for being from outer space, and indeed its power level is quite capable, but surpassable for a highly skilled and experienced trainer. I imagine the lunar duo to be somewhere around deoxys' power level as well, and the same goes for heatran.

    Basically a tier would be something like this (with each power level increase being exponential-ish):

    - Tao Trio
    - Arceus
    - Creation Trio
    - Weather Trio
    - Kami Trio/Sacred bird duo/Regigigas
    - Mewtwo/Genesect/Volcarona
    - Stronger, semi-legendary dragons/Legendary bird trio
    - Mew
    - Strongest trainers/Beast trio/Musketeer trio/Regi trio/Lake trio
    - Strong trainers/Deoxys/Heatran/Darkrai/Cresselia/Celebi/Jirachi/Victini/
    - Fairly strong trainers/Meloetta/Shaymin/Manaphy/Phione

    So while a bunch of the lesser legendaries are beatable (and thus capturable by normal means) by the strongest trainers, there are many who simply stomp on those trainers - and then there's those who stomp on those legendaries. And even they get stomped on by higher legends, and so on. Fully-evolved (wild) dragons and semi-legendaries are extremely powerful; even by legendary standards they are fairly average. And yes, I consider Volcarona a legendary

    There are also several normal pokemon I consider to be in the lower tier of the legendary scale (i.e. wild specimen features power levels befitting lower-end legends and higher-end trainers), or semi-legendary (i.e. mid-tier) - these include the following:
    - Arcanine (it also has several stories detail its legendary status)
    - Ninetales (I imagine it to be much the same as arcanine)
    - Aerodactyl (semi-legendary dragon level)
    - Tyranitar (semi-legendary-ish, but lower tier than dragons)
    - Slaking (on the off chance that one overcomes its truancy - plausible, but improbable)
    - Shedinja (due to plot-wise reasons in one story, otherwise not)
    - Aggron (same status as tyranitar)
    - Wailord (because frankly, size matters)
    - Gyarados (pretty much semi-legendary dragon)
    - Flygon, Haxorus, Kingdra (same status as semi-legendary dragons)
    - Absol (harbinger of disaster... legendary much)
    - Metagross (tyranitar/aggron power level)
    - Lucario (aura gives profound power)
    - Zoroark (illusion gives profound power)

    As a final word; except the legendaries with god status or similar (tao trio, arceus, creation trio, weather trio, kami trio, sacred bird duo, lake trio, volcarona, mew) and mewtwo, I imagine most of them to not be unique, only extremely rare.
    Last edited by TheLlama; 12th June 2012 at 05:10 PM.
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