Pokemon Mythology Explained: From Arceus To Mew, & Every Legendary In Between

In the beginning, Arceus created Mew and an ever-increasing number of Legendary Pokemon.

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The Legendary and Mythical Pokemon throughout the franchise are tied to stories about their incredible powers and their role in the formation of each region, but this rarely translates into anything other than being scary in a cutscene and being extra powerful in battle. With all of the information from Gen 1-9 in mind, what exactly is the mythology and history of the Pokemon world based on the myths the player finds throughout the mainline games?

It bears mentioning straight off the bat that there is no apparent planned mythology in the Pokemon franchise. Like The Legend of Zelda, the new Pokemon games gradually add to what already exists, rather than some grand plan laid out from the beginning. This means that future games could easily retcon everything and establish a new Pokemon world order, depending on the whims of The Pokemon Company and its plans for new Legendary Pokemon and Mythical Pokemon.

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In The Beginning, Arceus Created The Pokemon World

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Pokemon Diamond & Pearl weren’t the first games in the series, but they established how the world was created. According to the myths of the Sinnoh region, the Pokemon universe was created by Arceus, who hatched from an egg in the center of the nothingness that existed before reality. Arceus created the foundations of the universe when it breathed life into Dialga (Time), Palkia (Space), and Giratina (Antimatter). Heatran is also said to have existed during this time.

During this era of creation, many Pokemon from around the world were formed. The exact time and place these Pokemon existed is unclear, but they predate established history. These Pokemon include:

  • Mew, Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos in Kanto.
  • Ho-Oh and Lugia in Johto.
  • Jirachi, Regice, Registeel, Regirock, Latios, Latias, Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza in Hoenn
  • Uxie, Mesprit, Azelf, Manaphy, Phione, Darkrai, Heatran, Regigigas, Cresselia, and Shaymin from Sinnoh.
  • Victini, Keldeo, Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion, Tornadus, Thundurus, Landorus, Reshiram, Zekrom, Meloetta, and Kyurem in Unova.
  • Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde, Diancie, Hoopa, and Volcanion in Kalos.
  • Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, Tapu Fini, Cosmog, Cosmoem, Marshadow, Meltan, Melmetal, and Zeraora in Alola.
  • Calyrex, Kubfu, Urshifu, Galarian Articuno, Galarian Moltres, Galarian Zapdos, Glastrier, Regieleki, Regidrago, Spectrier, Zarude, Zacian, and Zamazenta in Galar.
  • Enamorus in the Hisui region (before it became Sinnoh.)
  • Koraidan in Paldea, as it’s the ancient relative of Cyclizar.

More Legendary Pokemon are announced for the Pokemon Scarlet & Violet expansions, but information about them is limited at the time of writing, so they won’t be included here.

Mew is said to contain the DNA of all Pokemon, and it likely predates everything before the world’s creation, though it’s unclear if this includes the likes of Arceus. Whatever the case, Mew has survived into the modern era, where its DNA was used to create one of the most powerful Pokemon.

The Creators Of The Pokemon World

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Arceus created the foundations of reality, but the actions of certain Legendary Pokemon forged the Pokemon world and its regions. It’s said that Groudon and Kyogre created the land and the sea, and Regigigas moved the continents, creating the landmasses that people would eventually live on. Rayquaza also existed during this time, preventing the conflict between Groudon and Kyorgre from getting out of control.

The Mystery Of The Legendary Beasts

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One set of Legendary Pokemon that still has many mysteries surrounding its creation is the Legendary Beasts in Pokemon Gold & Silver. According to the in-game legends, Ho-Oh revived three Pokemon that perished in the Brass Tower fire, but it’s unclear if they were Entei, Raikou, and Suicine at this time. The situation is further muddied by Walking Wake, a Paradox Pokemon from Gen 9 that suggests the Legendary Beasts have a common ancestor.

The Era Of Conflict In The Pokemon World

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After the Pokemon world was established, there was a notable period of conflict and instability. At one point, the Swords of Justice (Cobalion, Keldeo, Terrakion, and Virizion) fought humanity to protect Pokemon whose habitats were intruded upon. The Guardian Deities (Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, and Tapu Fini) battled each other before teaming up to take on Solgaleo and Lunala, but they were defeated.

When Eternatus crash-landed on the world, it’s said that Zacien and Zamazenta worked together to defeat the alien Pokemon, forcing it into a slumber that would last until the modern era. There is also evidence of humans worshiping Pokemon, as with Melmetal, which was revered as a deity thanks to its ability to control metal, as was Rayquaza, which was seen as a protector of humanity. Calyrex is also said to have been the ruler of the Galar region, riding into battle on the top of one of its steeds (Glastrier or Spectrier.)

Magearna: The First Artificial Mythical Pokemon

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While several artificial Pokemon exist in the current era, one of the first examples is Magearna, a Mythical Pokemon created 500 years before the start of the series. According to the Pokedex, Magearna was made using the Soul-Heart, giving it consciousness. Magearna was then presented to a princess as a gift, though the fate of the girl and her kingdom are unknown.

The Artificial & Alien Legendary Pokemon Of The Modern Era

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In contemporary times, there are Pokemon that have been created through the use of advanced technology. The most notable is Mewtwo, created from a fragment of Mew’s DNA. Mewtwo was so powerful that it exceeded all of the other Pokemon in Gen 1 and was seen as the ultimate challenge for any trainer who lacked a Master Ball.

Team Plasma would take a stab at creating an artificial Pokemon, as they took the DNA of an ancient and powerful Pokemon and combined it with modern technology to create Genesect. This Mythical Pokemon has the strength of a prehistoric Pokemon, merged with a powerful cannon on its back, allowing it to match even the mighty Mewtwo in the movies.

After Team Plasma was finished with Genesect, they created the DNA Splicer, allowing Kyurem to fuse with Reshiram or Zekron, turning it into Kyurem White or Kyurem Black. This transformation turned out to be temporary, but it did lead to the creation of new Legendary Pokemon.

Team Plasma wasn’t the only group creating Pokemon, as the Aether Foundation created Type-Null, a Pokemon created using DNA from Pokemon of all types, giving it an appearance similar to Areceus. Type-Null is forced to wear a Limiter Mask to control its incredible power, which is discarded when it evolves into Silvally, allowing it to use its full range of abilities.

Not all Pokemon come from Earth, as an incredibly powerful alien Pokemon appeared during the Gen 3 era. A monstrous Mythical Pokemon named Deoxys landed in the Hoenn region, demonstrating the ability to shapeshift into different forms on the fly. The origins of this mysterious creature are still unknown.

There was another alien Pokemon in the past, as Eternatus arrived in the Galar region 20,000 years before the events of Pokemon Sword & Shield. The origins of Eternatus are also unknown, but it’s said to be the cause of the Dynamax phenomenon.

While the Ultra Beasts are not considered Legendary Pokemon, Necrozma could be the link between the two, being a powerful Legendary with strong visual connections to the Ultra Beasts. Solgaleo and Lunala and their pre-evolutions are also thought to come from the same dimension as the Ultra Beasts.

The Legendary Pokemon Of The Future

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Not all of the Pokemon come from the prehistory of the setting. According to the Pokedex, Celebi is actually from the future, and its ability to time travel allowed it to venture into the past, first appearing during the Pokemon Gold & Silver era. Celebi has a link to Ilex Forest, where trainers can encounter and catch it under the right circumstances.

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The other future Mythical Pokemon is Miraidon from the Paldea region. This is an evolution of Cyclizar that appeared in the past, where it acted as a steed for a trainer during this era. Celebi and Miraidon’s presence suggests an even more technologically advanced future awaits the Pokemon universe.