Pokemon’s Legendary Problem

Pokemon’s Legendary Problem

News is that next month, select GameStops across the US will distribute shiny rare Pokemon: Dialga, Palkia and Giratina according to Siliconera. The idea, in a way, is both cool and indicative of an absurd problem Pokemon has when it comes to legendaries.

Let me put this into context: every generation, a new set of legendaries are introduced to the Pokemon games. Legendaries are supposed to be group of “incredibly rare” Pokemon, often super-powered. Only legendaries don’t really feel so rare, do they?

The first couple of games introduced the legendaries most people are familiar with: the birds (Zapdos, Articuno, Moltres) and the Mew duo (Mew and Mewtwo). From there the games have gone on to have even more legendaries, each a part of a set representing different things, ideas or mythologies in the world. We’ve got legendaries for the weather, the moon and just about everything in-between — meaning that Pokemon’s legendary problem is not exactly new.

Dialga, Palkia and Giratina in particular are a part of a “creation trio,” as they represent time, space and antimatter. You’d think it doesn’t get much more powerful than that, but no, there’s also the Pokemon that’s the creator of the universe, Arceus. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day we’ll get a Pokemon that’s more powerful than Arceus too, although it’s hard to imagine what kind of Pokemon that could be. Naturally, the upcoming games will also have its own set of legendaries. Of course they will. And in a way, you can’t blame Game Freak. Some Pokemon have got to be special, right?

But each new special Pokemon introduced makes the last one seem less unique. Nowadays you can just have a box or two in your in-game PC lying around that’s strictly legendaries, and that’s crazy. At the same time, it would be boring for them to just stop introducing legendaries as the number of normal Pokemon grows. It’s kind of a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation.

To be honest, I’ve stopped caring about legendaries in Pokemon games. I’ve stopped trying to keep track. Giving out shiny legendaries only reinforces to me how far Game Freak has to go to make legendaries seem exciting now….only the gesture seems absurd, like too much. Getting a shiny legendary should be way more impossible than turning on a handheld in a Gamestop.

For now, I will sit back and wait to see what Game Freak does with X & Y’s legendaries. I keep thinking they won’t be able to keep going and adding more, but so far I haven’t been right.

GameStop And EB Games Giving Away Shiny Legendary Pokémon [Siliconera]


  • I know what you mean. I’d really like it if they only introduced 2 new ledgendaries each generation (one for each game) so that it’s harder to get them (to have a lot you’d need to own earlier games, go to events buy remakes). I know you sorta need to do that now but not nearly as much.

    Any events coming up for Australia?

  • So…Instead of telling us the actual news (exactly where to get it, what dates, what countries it’s available in, what games it works on) you just feel like ranting. Nice job.

    For those interested, from what I’ve found so far, looks like it’s US/Canada Gamestop and EB only with each pokemon on a seperate 3 weeks starting mid-august. Should be available on all the Gen V games (B/W/B2/W2). Haven’t found anything about Aus so I assume it’s not going to be run here, would be nice if Kotaku bothered to post all the details for a change though.

    EDIT: Seems Game UK is getting it too, just not Australia.

      • Usually when an article on a gaming news site starts with “News is..” I expect some sort of news, not a rant about news that I need to go to another news site for.

        Unless news and opinions have become mutually exclusive without me knowing I don’t see why we couldn’t get an article outlining all the details, followed by the writers opinions on it. I guess that might take some effort though.

        • There is news. It’s that “next month, select GameStops across the US will distribute shiny rare Pokemon: Dialga, Palkia and Giratina”. This is enough to put the rest of the post into context. You don’t need to know exact dates to get the point of this piece. Starting something with “News is…” doesn’t make it a news article. Also, as Patricia is a writer for the US site so the Australian details aren’t relevant.

          I’m aware that Kotaku AU have added Australian-specific info to news articles in the past (eg. price of the Xbox One) to make it relevant to an Australian audience, but as this is NOT a news article, there’s no need to give details for Australian dates.

          Finally, news and opinions should be mutually exclusive. If a writer wants to report some news, they should keep it unbiased. On the other hand, if writing an opinion piece, a quick reference to the news is helpful but detailed news isn’t necessary as it detracts from the point of the article.

  • I really hope they don’t feel like they have to one-up the last lot of legendaries. You really don’t have to, guys, we’re totally fine with more quaint legendaries. Just give us interesting ideas, similar to how Mewtwo was a legendary cloned from another legendary, and we’ll eat that shit right up.

    If they really must give us something on par with Arceus, I’d like to see something like a legendary that acts the god of the mind or something, some psychic entity that’s responsible for consciousness? While Arceus is the creator of the universe, whatever this Pokemon would be would be the creator of life in the universe? Or consciousness? The fact that human beings and, I assume, Pokemon are the “universe experiencing itself”, perhaps this Pokemon could be responsible for that? For us, in an epistemological sense? Seems kind of equal to Arceus, if not just a really fantastic psychic legendary.

    • On a similar line of thought, the trio of psychic legendaries in Diamond/Pearl were the Legendary Pokemon who bestowed knowledge, emotion, and willpower to people.

  • Yeah I desperately wish for a game of pokemon that cant be hacked and cant have pokes from previous games because Hacked pokes and the over abundance of legendaries kills off good competition or skill :c

    • Despite that there’s plenty of checks that stop hacked pokemon from playing online or in competitions (At the Nationals at PAX they had a requirement that you give them our cart, they’d pop it in a little machine, and it’d tell you if there were anything hacked or not (and if there was, they couldn’t use it to compete.)

      The main reason people hack pokemon is because of the ridiculous IV/EV component of the game, where you’d have to grind against a specific pokemon to level a stat a tiny bit more.

      • as long as you don’t give pokemon moves or abilities they can’t get normally then the hacking detection is pretty easy to get around, plus people still abuse RNG. besides, hacked pokemon aren’t that much better than non hacked ones, if it’s forcing level 50 then the maximum difference (ignoring EVs) is 15 stat points (IVs)

      • It’s not the grind that’s the problem, it’s getting a good IVs that takes the hardest work. When I was training pokemon I would spend hours and hours getting eggs, hatching them and then checking the IVs. If you’re serious about getting a good one, it could take hundreds and hundreds of hatched pokemon before you find one with a combination of IVs you’ll settle with, plus the nature you want. Once you get to the point where you need to chase pokemon for EVs, you’re at the easy stage.

  • Is it me or has everyone here skipped a generation and completely ignored Black and White’s legendaries.

  • Back in my day, catching a legendary used to mean something!

    Reminds me the time I threw a single Pokeball in the first round of battle and caught Mewtwo, straight away!

    (And if that sounds like old-man embellishment, it isn’t, because that actually happened to me. I should have bought a lottery ticket or something instead)

  • This was the problem with the Pokémon ‘treadmill’ – the legendaries became just another sidequest on a to-do list. Nothing special about them at all.
    Hopefully I’ve had enough time away from the series and they shake the campaign formula up a bit with X/Y to avoid the fatigue that set in for me after the first 4 generations.

  • Does anyone else remember back in the old days when you had to go to some store irl to get Mew? That was an exciting day, not gonna lie.

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