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Thread: Do Legendaries Really Have a Purpose Besides Publicity?

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    Default Do Legendaries Really Have a Purpose Besides Publicity?

    I am asking because I see something resembling a dissonance. Legendary Pokemon, as we all know, cover boxart (all main game boxart since G1, in fact), they're central to the plots of movies, and they bring customers into stores for giveaways. Yet in terms of what they offer in gameplay, what is it? Those Legendaries you can get before a game's Elite Four will make that sort of battle a good deal easier, when the "story mode" of these games is already pretty easy if you know what you're doing. Then you've got the Legendaries you catch "post-game", when many battle events left lock Pokemon levels, and ban Legendaries as a result. Likewise, multiplayer tournaments do.

    So for whom or what are these Pokemon?

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    Well, they are powerful, and most of the guys you see in Uber (and a fair few in OU) are Legendary Pokemon. They look cool. They're usually tied to their region's mythology, and consequently the game's story, and some of them provide interesting puzzles that you have to solve before you capture them. Since Gen. IV, they've also started promoting trading (ie. Rayquaza couldn't be found unless you had Groudon & Kyogre in HGSS, Landorus couldn't be found unless you had Tornadus and Thundurus in B/W, and in ORAS, Giratina, Kyurem and Landorus all require the other members of their trio to be in your party in order to find them).

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    They're the reward you get for putting all that effort into catching and reaching them, or for completing parts in the storyline
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    A super rare dex-filler that requires some efforts.
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    I'd say the three main purposes they have are to make completing the Pokedex more of an achievement (although even sans legends that's no mean feat these days), to flesh out lore/history and make the Pokemon world seem more rounded. And thirdly, as you say, its a more commercial thing. A set of "extra cool" Pokemon that they can base movies/events around and churn out a load of merch for.
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    For me, a lot of legends are just exceptionally cool, rare, and powerful Pokemon. Some are fun to use for me while others are status symbols. I can tell you that some of the most fun I've ever had was playing through HeartGold from essentially the beginning of the game with a Jirachi I traded from a Pearl event. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the way event legends have started working in recent generations, especially since I don't love any event legend since RSE. But it's still an exciting bit of news when one comes around, so it's kind of whatever.

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    While they are definitely used as publicity, they do serve a purpose. One of the reasons why I adore Sinnoh so much is because of their mythology, and that's tied pretty heavily to the regions legendaries. They look cool (which does help with publicity), and they're also significantly more powerful, which is why most of them are banned in competition.

    Definitely is used in publicity, though. "Super Cool Pokemon™ that a movie can be made about!???!?!?!? awesome let's do it" -- pokemon company, probably

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    Legendaries inherently have a higher BST than most normal Pokemon (even the trash legendaries like Articuno and Regigigas). This does not directly equate to them being more viable (the Pokemon I just mentioned are proof of that) but it does certainly help. On top of that, they add more depth to the storyline when you have these extremely powerful beings that must be stopped. Essentially, legendaries are basically deities, even the ones that aren't worshipped as such.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    Essentially, legendaries are basically deities, even the ones that aren't worshipped as such.
    There are notable "because science" legendaries such as Mewtwo, Deoxys and Genesect. There are also some that mix concepts such as Dialga being a Sinnoh myth while being a based on a scientific principle.

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    Basically what Divine Retribution said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
    A super rare dex-filler that requires some efforts.
    That's a nonsense statement because Legendaries are constantly pushed for competitive and in-game usage. Even as a snappy joke, it is simply wrong.
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    They also exist because they're cool.
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    On one hand they are a bit gimmicky to me. But on the other I do get a real sense of excitement trying to catch a super rare Pokemon that won't be easy to add to your Pokedex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auraninja View Post
    There are notable "because science" legendaries such as Mewtwo, Deoxys and Genesect. There are also some that mix concepts such as Dialga being a Sinnoh myth while being a based on a scientific principle.
    I guess deity isn't exactly the word I'm looking for, and not all Pokemon who are categorized as legendary fit this bill. Deoxys isn't a scientific creation however, at least not by humans. It's a sentient macrovirus, essentially. I don't really see what makes the other two "legendary" at all. There is no mythology or legend around them, they're simply extremely powerful human creations. What makes them any different than, say, Gyarados, a Pokemon that's said to have enough power to raze a city? And if we define legendaries purely by how much power they hold, what exactly is the cutoff between regular Pokemon and a legendary Pokemon? Exactly how powerful does a Pokemon need to be to become legendary?

    I'm not really sure why they chose to label these Pokemon as legendary, they don't seem to have very much in common with the other legendaries other than raw power, and raw power alone seems like a poor way to define a legendary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    I guess deity isn't exactly the word I'm looking for, and not all Pokemon who are categorized as legendary fit this bill. Deoxys isn't a scientific creation however, at least not by humans. It's a sentient macrovirus, essentially. I don't really see what makes the other two "legendary" at all. There is no mythology or legend around them, they're simply extremely powerful human creations. What makes them any different than, say, Gyarados, a Pokemon that's said to have enough power to raze a city? And if we define legendaries purely by how much power they hold, what exactly is the cutoff between regular Pokemon and a legendary Pokemon? Exactly how powerful does a Pokemon need to be to become legendary?

    I'm not really sure why they chose to label these Pokemon as legendary, they don't seem to have very much in common with the other legendaries other than raw power, and raw power alone seems like a poor way to define a legendary.
    It's really arbitrary sometimes. Mons like Deoxys and Manaphy don't really have mystical powers, while others like Celebi and Jirachi do. Some Legendaries are just really powerful/rare Mons, while others honestly sound like something out of a myth.
    Quote Originally Posted by mtndrew24
    spoiler ansem isnt ansem but is actually pretending to be ansem as riku inside ansem pretending to be ansem

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karxrida View Post
    It's really arbitrary sometimes. Mons like Deoxys and Manaphy don't really have mystical powers, while others like Celebi and Jirachi do. Some Legendaries are just really powerful/rare Mons, while others honestly sound like something out of a myth.
    600 bst...

    jk lol but I think the scientific creations are legendary because most people won't believe that someone can create a pokemon in the first place. Deoxys due to the fact that he comes from another planet and there's only one on Earth, even though it's stated that there is a whole planet of them apparently. Which also makes me question... how many meteorites are hit by laser beams?! and they ALL end up mutating!? The phenomenon of Deoxys is just messed up. I swear he was supposed to be one of those alien races from every show that want to wipe out the earth, but if one of them is beaten by someone on the earth then they ALL leave it alone. I think a mix with the way it is made and the power it holds grants deoxys it's abilities.
    Isn't manaphy a guardian of a sea temple or something? I think they're just ultra rare.

    Either way, I guess not every legendary pokemon is going to be AS legendary/mythical as the next, so their will definitely be different levels of legendary pretty much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samayouru View Post
    On one hand they are a bit gimmicky to me. But on the other I do get a real sense of excitement trying to catch a super rare Pokemon that won't be easy to add to your Pokedex.
    Same, honestly. And, let's be honest, when a little kid picks up their first ever pokemon game, they're not going to be thinking competitively or Ah Yes The Pokedex-y, they're going to be thinking !!!!!! oh my gosh this is so cool!!!!!

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    I still feel most legendaries shouldn't be catchable.

    It honestly makes no sense for us to be able to confine god-like beings, or even God himself. Legendaries being obtainable is what I feel renders them purposeless. Even more so, I think if they were unobtainable and simply hard as **** to beat, they would be much more memorable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrinceOfFacade View Post
    I still feel most legendaries shouldn't be catchable.

    It honestly makes no sense for us to be able to confine god-like beings, or even God himself. Legendaries being obtainable is what I feel renders them purposeless. Even more so, I think if they were unobtainable and simply hard as **** to beat, they would be much more memorable.
    I think more palatable than catching Legendaries would be their deciding to join you if you've done the right things; like tied to saving the region, defeating the villain that was trying to hurt them, etc. It also would let them be more of characters; talking to you, doing things that affect the region, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrinceOfFacade View Post
    I still feel most legendaries shouldn't be catchable.

    It honestly makes no sense for us to be able to confine god-like beings, or even God himself. Legendaries being obtainable is what I feel renders them purposeless. Even more so, I think if they were unobtainable and simply hard as **** to beat, they would be much more memorable.
    This might make sense from a lore standpoint, but not so from a gameplay standpoint. For one thing, Sketchie is correct when s/he says that legendaries have a lot of "wow, that's cool!" value, especially with younger children. It would turn a lot of the younger players off if you couldn't catch these awesome, powerful Pokemon and use them to crush the E4 or whatever. From a competitive standpoint, I think it's an absolutely terrible idea to make any Pokemon completely unobtainable for players. Why on earth would you restrict the metagame like this?

    I do think it would be interesting if they were far more powerful when you actually battle them as part of the story. The PMD games do something similar to this where bosses you battle during the storyline have a massive increase in health and stats over regular wild Pokemon, which is lost once you recruit them. I think legendaries in the wild should get a significant bonus to their stats while you battle them, which would of course be reset when you catch them for balance purposes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution
    From a competitive standpoint, I think it's an absolutely terrible idea to make any Pokemon completely unobtainable for players. Why on earth would you restrict the metagame like this?
    The amount of casual players who complain about legendaries being overpowered/unfair, yet have never tried using them among non legendaries. Irritates me to no end.

    I find most legendaries to be like optional boss monsters in game as you have to go out of your way to 'defeat' them and most are only accessable after the main story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    From a competitive standpoint, I think it's an absolutely terrible idea to make any Pokemon completely unobtainable for players. Why on earth would you restrict the metagame like this?
    Considering the whiny ban-fest that is the Pokémon competitive scene, most legendaries tend to be frowned upon anyhow. But that's not even the point.

    Not even in Pokémon games is having these legendaries rational, especially the duos, which are known for being capable of literally destroying the planet. What sense does it make to have these pokemon in the hands of one person? Hell, half the time we as the protagonist are trying to keep others from doing it. Why would we turn around and do it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    I guess deity isn't exactly the word I'm looking for, and not all Pokemon who are categorized as legendary fit this bill. Deoxys isn't a scientific creation however, at least not by humans. It's a sentient macrovirus, essentially.
    Independent from scientists, Deoxys came from a science fiction phenomenon, so I will still put him in the "because science" category.

    Some people have speculated that the reason Deoxys changes formes is because viruses change structure to adapt to treatments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrinceOfFacade View Post
    Considering the whiny ban-fest that is the Pokémon competitive scene, most legendaries tend to be frowned upon anyhow. But that's not even the point.
    Every fanbase of a particular game whines about something or other, part and parcel really. Pokemon tend to be banned as their either overpowered or overcentralizing, just because their a legendary is merely a coincidence.

    Not even in Pokémon games is having these legendaries rational, especially the duos, which are known for being capable of literally destroying the planet. What sense does it make to have these pokemon in the hands of one person? Hell, half the time we as the protagonist are trying to keep others from doing it. Why would we turn around and do it?
    I see it as the Pokemon has seen you have been able to stop the bad guys from acheiving their goal and said Pokemon sees you as being worthy of possesing their power and knows you won't misuse it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrinceOfFacade View Post
    Considering the whiny ban-fest that is the Pokémon competitive scene, most legendaries tend to be frowned upon anyhow.
    A list of legendaries in OU or below...


    Mew
    Jirachi
    Manaphy
    Victini
    Celebi
    Azelf
    Mesprit
    Uxie
    Zapdos
    Articuno
    Moltres
    Heatran
    Regigigas
    Kyurem-Black
    Kyurem-Standard
    Landorus
    Landorus-Therian
    Tornadus
    Tornadus-Therian
    Thundurus
    Thundurus-Therian
    Suicune
    Entei
    Raikou
    Regirock
    Regice
    Registeel
    Shaymin
    Cresselia
    Latios
    Latias
    Terrakion
    Cobalion
    Virizion
    Zygarde
    Diancie
    Hoopa-Standard
    Meloetta


    Did I miss anything?


    Also um. Personal incredulity isn't exactly a great argument against being able to catch legendary Pokemon.
    Last edited by Divine Retribution; 30th April 2016 at 1:05 AM.
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    Keldeo?

    Does Phione count? Lol

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