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So, what DOES make a Pokemon Legendary?

So, if you go to the following website, there is a quiz from Pokemon Company International. If you take it, you find that Pheromosa, an Ultra Beast, is NOT a Legendary.

https://www.pokemonlegendary.com/en-us/legendary-pokemon/

So now that we have definitive proof that Ultra Beasts aren't Legendary Pokemon, what is it that makes a Pokemon Legendary.

I want everyone to also note that Type: Null, Silvally and the ENTIRE Cosmog Family are listed as Legendary as well.

So, from all of this, what is it that makes a Pokemon Legendary? Let's speculate, shall we?
 

Sceptile Leaf Blade

Nighttime Guardian
Arcanine is also not listed there even though the pokédex clearly says it's legendary.

Anyway, my guess is that legendary pokémon are limited per save file. You can catch unlimited amounts of Pheromosa in Ultra Moon, but you can only collect one Type: Null or Cosmog per save file.
 
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Kirby Dragons

Well-Known Member
It seems that any Pokemon in the same line as a Legendary is indeed Legendary.
Arcanine is also not listed there even though the pokédex clearly says it's legendary.
It was originally gonna be a Legendary, but the idea was scrapped. The Pokedex entries only suggest that it's "legendary in China" or it has "legendary beauty", which would make it different from actual Legendaries.
 

Mr. Reloaded

All encompassing
Rarity.

If Type:Null and Silvally are being categorized as one, that's probably it.
 

PrinceOfFacade

Ghost-Type Master
Rarity.

If Type:Null and Silvally are being categorized as one, that's probably it.
In that case, Spiritomb should be considered a legendary, especially considering how difficult it is to obtain one.


My guess is any pokemon that bares a 'divine' status. Going all the way back to Gold & Silver, legendaries have always been referenced as deities or something of the like. All the pokemon listed on the official website except Type: Null and Silvally have this in common (seriously, what are they doing on this list?). The only pokemon not on this list that officially bares that status is Arceus, who is literally God.

That's all I got, so...
 

Mega Altaria

☆~Shiny hunter▢~
Rarity.

If Type:Null and Silvally are being categorized as one, that's probably it.
Well for the rarity part I usually see it as a one and only or very few in numbers thing like there's only two or three of them but otherwise I don't see a 1% encounter like Chansey to be considered Legendary.
 

Weavy

They call me the one who loves cats.
So, if you go to the following website, there is a quiz from Pokemon Company International. If you take it, you find that Pheromosa, an Ultra Beast, is NOT a Legendary.

https://www.pokemonlegendary.com/en-us/legendary-pokemon/

So now that we have definitive proof that Ultra Beasts aren't Legendary Pokemon, what is it that makes a Pokemon Legendary.

I want everyone to also note that Type: Null, Silvally and the ENTIRE Cosmog Family are listed as Legendary as well.

So, from all of this, what is it that makes a Pokemon Legendary? Let's speculate, shall we?
I knew people will start using this as "proof" that Ultra Beasts aren't legendary. By this logic, Pokémon like Mew and Celebi aren't legendary either since they aren't present on these page as well.

Tell me this. If Ultra Beasts aren't supposed to be legendary, why are they coded as legendary? They're coded as sub legends, same as things like the birds, beasts, golems and such. Surely this has to means something. In addition, in the Gen 7 games, they have the green background on their Pokédex pages just like the Tapu, and those are considered legends. They wouldn't have been coded this way if they weren't meant to be special, right?

Here's how I see it. You've got the main legends. And Mythical and Ultra Beast are a sub class of legend. They're similar, yet not the same. Mostly, these special Pokémon tend to be stronger than most Pokémon (By stats only, actual performance is a different matter). There also very rare and often have some sort of lore (For the most part). To be fair though, it's very vague and hard to describe properly.
 
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RedJirachi

Veteran member
Guidelines
* One per save file
* Most likely unable to breed
* Having stats in the final form that are 570 or more
* One stage, with Cosmog as a notable exception
 

Blitz Lucario

Well-Known Member
From a lore perspective certain Pokemon that are rarely seen by humans. Or Pokemon that have displayed such power they're associated with certain elements, forces of nature, or a historical event.

A real world example I've heard is that legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood have gone from history into legend. Because their's no clear evidence to say either of these individuals actually existed. All we have are old stories that were passed down from generation to generation, written and changed throughout the years to become a fable that we still tell nowadays. So in terms of Pokemon the legend of Ho-oh appearing at the Burned Tower could have gone from history to legend.
 

Bguy7

The Dragon Lord
At this point, the official inclusion of Type: Null/Silvally as Legendary Pokémon implies that the only real criteria there is for Legendary Pokémon is the word of Game Freak/The Pokémon Company. It used to be pretty cut and dry, but these days Game Freak seems to love shaking up the status quo, and because of that, for better or for worse, we have Pokémon like Silvally that break nearly every traditional "rule" about what makes a Legendary, and yet are still explicitly named as such. Yes, it's arbitrary, but it's the truth of the situation.

I knew people will start using this as "proof" that Ultra Beasts aren't legendary. By this logic, Pokémon like Mew and Celebi aren't legendary either since they aren't present on these page as well.
As much I want to agree with you that Mew and Celebi should be considered Legendary Pokémon, ever since Gen V, The Pokémon Company has been treating event exclusive Pokémon as being completely separate from Legendary Pokémon, hence the term Mythical you've probably seen people use.

Tell me this. If Ultra Beasts aren't supposed to be legendary, why are they coded as legendary? They're coded as sub legends, same as things like the birds, beasts, golems and such. Surely this has to means something.
Well, first off, it's just coding. Code in a game is never meant to be public. We weren't supposed to know this code exists, therefore it wasn't meant to have any in-universe consequences. The likely explanation is that Game freak wanted to give Ultra Beasts there own classification in the coding as special Pokémon, but realized that whatever this Ultra Beast class was needed for is exactly the same as what the "sub-Legendary" class was needed for, so they combined the two together for simplicity's sake. Things like that happen a lot in programming.

In addition, in the Gen 7 games, they have the green background on their Pokédex pages just like the Tapu, and those are considered legends. They wouldn't have been coded this way if they weren't meant to be special, right?
The green background very easily, and at this point, probably does, mean a special Pokémon, not a Legendary Pokémon. Legendary Pokémon are special, so they get the green, but Ultra Beasts are also special, even though they're not Legendary, so they get it too.

I used to think that Ultra Beasts could possibly be Legendary Pokémon, but then Ultra Sun and Moon happened, and pretty much confirmed that there's no way Ultra Beasts are Legendary. It did so in two ways. You can literally catch as many of each of the original Ultra Beasts as you want, which is something they would never let us do with Legendaries, and then there's Poipole. There's no way that thing, even once it evolves, could possibly be considered Legendary. Just look at it's Pokédex description. It's basically called the Starter Pokémon of Ultra Space. Ultra Beasts are just a special, but non-Legendary, sub-category of Pokémon.
 

RedJirachi

Veteran member
So the real answer is "because Gamefreak says so"?
 

Bguy7

The Dragon Lord

Weavy

They call me the one who loves cats.
At this point, the official inclusion of Type: Null/Silvally as Legendary Pokémon implies that the only real criteria there is for Legendary Pokémon is the word of Game Freak/The Pokémon Company. It used to be pretty cut and dry, but these days Game Freak seems to love shaking up the status quo, and because of that, for better or for worse, we have Pokémon like Silvally that break nearly every traditional "rule" about what makes a Legendary, and yet are still explicitly named as such. Yes, it's arbitrary, but it's the truth of the situation.



As much I want to agree with you that Mew and Celebi should be considered Legendary Pokémon, ever since Gen V, The Pokémon Company has been treating event exclusive Pokémon as being completely separate from Legendary Pokémon, hence the term Mythical you've probably seen people use.



Well, first off, it's just coding. Code in a game is never meant to be public. We weren't supposed to know this code exists, therefore it wasn't meant to have any in-universe consequences. The likely explanation is that Game freak wanted to give Ultra Beasts there own classification in the coding as special Pokémon, but realized that whatever this Ultra Beast class was needed for is exactly the same as what the "sub-Legendary" class was needed for, so they combined the two together for simplicity's sake. Things like that happen a lot in programming.



The green background very easily, and at this point, probably does, mean a special Pokémon, not a Legendary Pokémon. Legendary Pokémon are special, so they get the green, but Ultra Beasts are also special, even though they're not Legendary, so they get it too.

I used to think that Ultra Beasts could possibly be Legendary Pokémon, but then Ultra Sun and Moon happened, and pretty much confirmed that there's no way Ultra Beasts are Legendary. It did so in two ways. You can literally catch as many of each of the original Ultra Beasts as you want, which is something they would never let us do with Legendaries, and then there's Poipole. There's no way that thing, even once it evolves, could possibly be considered Legendary. Just look at it's Pokédex description. It's basically called the Starter Pokémon of Ultra Space. Ultra Beasts are just a special, but non-Legendary, sub-category of Pokémon.
When I said about the Mew and Celebi thing, that was my point. They consider them a separate category these days, so called "Mythical" Pokémon. So people who use that page to say UBs aren't legendary, but then say Pokémon like Mew and Celebi are aren't doing themselves any favours because they're not there, so technically they're not legendary. Also, evolution is not an excuse, Type:Null and Cosmog are able to evolve and they're still legendary, so why is Poipole an exception?

Yes, it's true that coding isn't meant to be public. But that will never stop people; to bring up something else, we're technically not supposed to know Mythical Pokémon exist until they're officially revealed, yet we always know about them months (Or sometimes years) in advance due to dataminers finding things in the code and revealing them before the official time.

Also, I can't really believe the "one per save file" argument. It is technically possible to get two Solgaleo or Lunala in the games, yet they're still considered legendary. And not every UB is unlimited, you're still restricted with some of them, heck, Poipole is one per save file, but apparently that doesn't count since "UBs aren't legendary, so that doesn't matter".

Actually, now that I think about it, I don't even see the need for all these separate categories in the first place. There are very little differences between Legendaries, Mythicals and Ultra Beasts that they might as well be one thing. The only difference between legendary and mythical is the latter can't be obtained in regular gameplay. That's it. And the only real difference between legendary and ultra beast is that the latter are slightly easier to obtain by allowing several to be caught (For the most part)(And the mention of Ultra Beast and sub legendary code being the same only proves this point further). They're all much stronger and rarer than standard Pokémon (Again, for the most part). What's the point in all these categories when they're practically identical with very little differences?

At the end of the day, everything from the lore to the mechanics is very inconsistent to the point it's hard to pinpoint exactly what the truth is. Like I said before, I think of all these categories as special Pokémon; Legendary is the main one, and Mythical (Unobtainable in regular gameplay) and Ultra Beast (Slightly easier to obtain) are sub classes. This is what I think; others may interpret it differently.
 
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Bguy7

The Dragon Lord
When I said about the Mew and Celebi thing, that was my point. They consider them a separate category these days, so called "Mythical" Pokémon. So people who use that page to say UBs aren't legendary, but then say Pokémon like Mew and Celebi are aren't doing themselves any favours because they're not there, so technically they're not legendary.
I hate the distinction myself, but The Pokémon Company seems very adamant in declaring that Mythical Pokémon are not Legendary, they are a class of their own. And in this case they are explicitly stating that Ultra Beasts are the same. As part of the Year of Legendary Pokémon promotion, you can take a quiz on Legendary Pokémon, and it will ask you which of the following is not a Legendary Pokémon, with Ultra Beasts being the correct answers to this question. This is them explicitly stating that Ultra Beasts are not Legendary Pokémon. If they were part of a subgroup, then they they would still count as Legendary Pokémon for the sake of that question.

Also, evolution is not an excuse, Type:Null and Cosmog are able to evolve and they're still legendary, so why is Poipole an exception?
It's not just the evolution part. It's the fact that it is treated as a completely normal Pokémon, a Starter Pokémon at that. If you want something more concrete, just look at its stats, even when fully evolved, it's much lower than Legendary Pokémon stats are.

Yes, it's true that coding isn't meant to be public. But that will never stop people; to bring up something else, we're technically not supposed to know Mythical Pokémon exist until they're officially revealed, yet we always know about them months (Or sometimes years) in advance due to dataminers finding things in the code and revealing them before the official time.
It doesn't matter if people see it or not, that's besides the point. To use your own datamined Mythical comparison, when it coems time for a new Mythical to be revealed, they treat it is if they're revealing a completely new, never before seen Pokémon, because that what it is, at least officially.

Also, I can't really believe the "one per save file" argument. It is technically possible to get two Solgaleo or Lunala in the games, yet they're still considered legendary. And not every UB is unlimited, you're still restricted with some of them, heck, Poipole is one per save file, but apparently that doesn't count since "UBs aren't legendary, so that doesn't matter".
I specifically stated that the Ultra Beasts from Sun and Moon where unlimited, excluding Poipole and the other two. And while you can get two Solgaleo/Lunala, its obvious that that was an exception due to the bizarre nature of Cosmog/Cosmoem. They wanted they story to revolve around them evolving and progressing, and having you catch their final forms, but Game Freak couldn't go and make Cosmog an unobtainable Pokémon, so they were forced to give it to you, and thus a second Solgaleo/Lunala. Regardless of that, two of a Legendary is a far cry from infinite of one. A case could have been made back in Sun and Moon, where you could only capture a limited number of each, but an infinite number is just taking things to a ludicrous level.

Actually, now that I think about it, I don't even see the need for all these separate categories in the first place. There are very little differences between Legendaries, Mythicals and Ultra Beasts that they might as well be one thing. The only difference between legendary and mythical is the latter can't be obtained in regular gameplay. That's it. And the only real difference between legendary and ultra beast is that the latter are slightly easier to obtain by allowing several to be caught (For the most part)(And the mention of Ultra Beast and sub legendary code being the same only proves this point further). They're all much stronger and rarer than standard Pokémon (Again, for the most part). What's the point in all these categories when they're practically identical with very little differences?
And those similarities is why they're able to combine the Ultra Beast and "sub-Legendary" categories in the code. It doesn't make them the same thing though. But their really only similar from a pratical standpoint. From a lore standpoint, they are entirely different, which is probably the reason why The Pokémon Company doesn't consider them Legendary.

At the end of the day, everything from the lore to the mechanics is very inconsistent to the point it's hard to pinpoint exactly what the truth is. Like I said before, I think of all these categories as special Pokémon; Legendary is the main one, and Mythical (Unobtainable in regular gameplay) and Ultra Beast (Slightly easier to obtain) are sub classes. This is what I think; others may interpret it differently.
You're of course welcome to think what you want, just try to realize that what you think is directly contradicting what has been directly stated by the Pokémon Company.
 

Weavy

They call me the one who loves cats.
You're of course welcome to think what you want, just try to realize that what you think is directly contradicting what has been directly stated by the Pokémon Company.
So basically you're saying it's a waste of time to believe the game mechanics and code and anyone who does so is wrong because that's not how it works? The Pokémon company is so inconsistent that sometimes I find them questionable in my opinion.

I mean, look at Phione. Is it a Mythical Pokémon or not? It's hard to get a proper answer because TPC are constantly changing their stance, meaning most people have no idea what to believe. The code for Phione has it as a Mythical Pokémon, so I think it's still fair to refer to it as such.

Honestly, if people choose to follow game mechanics and code, then I don't think they are wrong for doing so. Serebii's own page for legendaries follows game mechanics and code, so is this page wrong because it follows the mechanics?

If people choose to side with The Pokémon Company, that's fine. If people choose to side with the game mechanics and code, that's also fine. I think they're both valid in my opinion (Which is why I think the way I do).
 

Mr. Reloaded

All encompassing
Well for the rarity part I usually see it as a one and only or very few in numbers thing like there's only two or three of them but otherwise I don't see a 1% encounter like Chansey to be considered Legendary.
In that case, Spiritomb should be considered a legendary, especially considering how difficult it is to obtain one.


My guess is any pokemon that bares a 'divine' status. Going all the way back to Gold & Silver, legendaries have always been referenced as deities or something of the like. All the pokemon listed on the official website except Type: Null and Silvally have this in common (seriously, what are they doing on this list?). The only pokemon not on this list that officially bares that status is Arceus, who is literally God.

That's all I got, so...
By rare I meant in lore.
 

Bguy7

The Dragon Lord
So basically you're saying it's a waste of time to believe the game mechanics and code and anyone who does so is wrong because that's not how it works? The Pokémon company is so inconsistent that sometimes I find them questionable in my opinion.
No, what I'm saying is that what the Pokémon Company and Game Freak directly and officially state should be considered first when debating the merit of certain things in the canon. Code is a fine source of evidence if there is nothing else on the topic available, but due to the fact that it was never designed to be seen by the public, it can't be the final determining factor, especially when contradicted by official sources.

I mean, look at Phione. Is it a Mythical Pokémon or not? It's hard to get a proper answer because TPC are constantly changing their stance, meaning most people have no idea what to believe. The code for Phione has it as a Mythical Pokémon, so I think it's still fair to refer to it as such.

Honestly, if people choose to follow game mechanics and code, then I don't think they are wrong for doing so. Serebii's own page for legendaries follows game mechanics and code, so is this page wrong because it follows the mechanics?
I personally don't know what it is, but whatever the most recent thing the Pokémon company or Game Freak said should be taken as the canon for Phione's status. If some day in the future they change their minds again, they have the full right to do so, as they have creative control. It may bot be the most pleasing thing, but it's just the way it is.

If people choose to side with The Pokémon Company, that's fine. If people choose to side with the game mechanics and code, that's also fine. I think they're both valid in my opinion (Which is why I think the way I do).
So you can see no issue with calling the very people in charge of creating and marketing the game wrong about the content of their own game?
 
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Manchee

extra toasty
As far as Ultra Beasts go, I've always thought that the statement behind them was that they're technically from other dimensions or something, wherein those dimensions see the Ultra Beasts as normal Pokémon (much like we would see a Wurmple, but stronger maybe like a Tropius). For the dimension that we play the games in, the Pokémon are "sub-Legendary"/etc. because we cannot normally find these Pokémon here.

Regardless of how anything is coded or how many of one you can get in a game or how often they can breed, hasn't it always just gone by the lore behind them? They're creatures with a buttload of power and can often do a lot of damage if angered or not kept in check. Which I guess doesn't fit with the likes of Celebi or Manaphy and those kind of Pokémon, but they've still got properties to them that make them (for lack of a better term) special, right? Whatever the correct classification for anything, I go by the lore around them. It isn't always cut-and-dry, but it's fun to not know every detail all the time.
 
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