SHOULD GAMES ALLOW LEGENDARIES TO BE CAUGHT

#1
Legendaries play a significant role in most Pokémon games. For example, the main legendaries Ho-oh and Lugia in Pokémon Heart gold and Soul silver are depicted as Pokémon which have a great impact on the history of the Jhoto region. Pokémon Emerald also portrays its main legendries like in Heart gold and Soul silver but the games also makes us witness the power of these legendaries, the ability to manipulate nature itself. Likewise Dialga and Palkia in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl have the ability to control time and space respectively.

Since legendary Pokémon posses godlike powers and are respected as well as worshipped by the people of its region, I was wondering if games should allow the protagonist to catch them.


In my opinion I feel that legendary Pokémon should be made uncatchable, especially the main legendary Pokémon. The reason behind my argument is that the player will have full control of whatever the legendary Pokémon is in control of. For example if the player catches Dialga, he or she will gain full control of time. If someone catches Arceus he technically becomes God. I find this highly unrealistic. (Imagine a 10 year old becoming God of the pokemon world!)

I feel that instead of catching legendary Pokémon the player may interact with it by having a special bond where the main legendary Pokémon is summoned by the player upon his or her call during critical times.(the game may record the details of the pokedex entry of the pokemon at this time) I feel that this may be a very effective way as there is mutual understanding between the player and the legendary Pokémon where the legendary Pokémon accepts the protagonist. I find it more realistic rather than catching it and gaining full control over its power. In my case, the legendary Pokémon does not necessarily have to obey which is how things should be because they are legendary Pokémon.

I recently finished playing Pokémon Umber by Dawn Bronze and in that game both legendary Pokémon Suicune and Entei cannot be caught by the player which made a lot of sense because in that game both Suicune and Entei are the Guardians of an island and catching them would not have made much sense.
Furthermore, the summoning the Legendary Pokémon could be seen in Pokemon Rosegold by Atomic Reactor where Red (the protagonist) battles against an elder who summons Ho-oh for that particular battle.
This is a rather weird thing I had in mind so I wanted to know your opinions on being able to catch the Legendary Pokémon. Would you like them to be caught or let them be wild throughout the game?
 

Aki

Starry eyed
Member
#2
I like your idea of being able to call on the legendary powers. Insurgence did some things with Mew/Celebi/Shaymin that I think is more interesting than just having a legendary battle partner.

Typically I don't like uncatchable Pokemon because I feel like that's one of the cores of the series. Any monster you can face, you can catch. That goes for powerful legendary bosses, and whatever pokemon are on the teams of rivals, gym leaders, and elites. The main games haven't really restricted capture, I think the only real exception is the ghost in Lavender Tower...which in battle is a regular Marowak.

Games like Umber and Rose Gold that aren't traditional structure I can easilly accept not having the traditional rules though. They're shorter and aren't focusing on the "Gotta Catch em All!" aspect of the Pokedex.
 

Jephed

Trainer
Member
Posts
98
#3
Interesting topic. This topic had been as old as I can remember, but really came forward during gen three and four. I personally agree that Legendaries are very powerful creatures that shouldn't be caught by any trainer that wishes to do so, although I have to say... It depends on the trainer and on the Legendary itself.

I do think you should be able to earn its repect after or during a certain event, for which it might join you during battles or whatever, but not being able to actually catch it.
I.e. Look at what Sun and Moon did with Hala and Tapu Koko. I think that's a good scenario to show legendaries are willing to aide you on your journey, but not actually being property of the trainer.

Excluding:
I've been thinking about this as well, but I would immediately exclude Legendaries such as, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Groudon, Kyogre, Rayquaza, Arceus.... etc. etc. Just because they are literally gods... In short: Box legendaries, arceus and other Legendaries who's powers are literally capable of mass destruction.

Including:
Pokémon that I would see fit to include in such a scenario are some of the following

- Celebi (It's not too powerful, there are many Celebi, as confirmed in the movie, and even though it can time travel, it doesn't seem that overpowered in comparison to many others)

- Manaphy (It's the prince of the sea, yada yada yada....., but aside from that it's role isn't godlike and it isn't powerful enough to blow up the planet)

- One of a legendary trio (Legendary trio's are usually pretty strong. However, I personally feel like having only one of them such as: Suicune, Regice, Mesprit, Cobalion, etc. wouldn't be that bad, as long as you don't befriend it too early in the story. I think for a limited amount of time, one of these Pokémon aiding you wouldn't be that bad of an idea personally)


To sum it all up. As long as the Pokémon isn't too powerful, and by that I mean "Destroy the world powerful" then I think it can work to befriend a legendary instead of capturing it.
 

Maruno

Pokémon Essentials dev
Essentials Developer
Posts
234
#4
To me, Pokémon is all about the "catching 'em all". Making a species not catchable is just not on.

I'll add some context to that statement: I'm not a fan of certain Pokémon (i.e. legendaries) being given massively inflated cosmic powers by the game's story or spin-off materials (e.g. the anime). I'm not interested in the "all legends are literally true" easy mode approach to storytelling. I prefer to see legendary Pokémon as just powerful/rare Pokémon, typically which people just made up stories about to exaggerate their abilities (compare with Shedinja's tale about looking into its hole). This is all for the sake of 100% completion, which I feel is what fangames should allow (even if you only get one chance at some species, although decent fangames will give you multiple chances by, for example, beating the Elite Four to reset them).

I'll also add another caveat to my position: certain Pokémon can indeed be uncatchable. That's "Pokémon", not "species". There are times when you may not want a particular battle to allow captures (e.g. battling ghosts before you get the Silph Scope, the ghost Marowak, or facing off against a legendary in the plot climax because lobbing a Master Ball at it would just be anticlimactic). However, there should be one or more times when members of those species ARE able to be captured (e.g. ghosts after getting the Silph Scope, you can evolve a Cubone, or finding the legendary in some cave afterwards).

I must say, though, being FORCED to capture a Pokémon is probably worse than not being able to. I understand the last few official games have required you to capture the main legendary Pokémon during the climax, and that sounds terrible. Legendary Pokémon are typically incredibly difficult to capture, and here the game is just GIVING you a free one. It may also force you to get rid of one of your own Pokémon just so you can use the legendary. That removes player agency, and is worse writing because it can't cope with the possibility of you doing something different. No thanks. Don't go changing the rules of the game just because you have your precious little story to tell which requires the player to do what you want them to do.

I'm not comfortable with the proposal of "soul bonded" Pokémon you summon in for battle. For one, how can you train them if they're not in your possession? For two, you'd need a very good excuse for letting the Pokémon be summonable wherever you happen to be. No, I'm not keen on it. These Pokémon wouldn't be yours. The game would be telling you all about the soul bond between you DIRECTLY INSTEAD OF letting you experience it by having it in your party. Doing something like this would not be "clever" in my mind, it'd be snowflakey. Maybe even pretentious.

That's just my thoughts on the matter.
 
#5
Catching Pokemon doesn't give you full control over them. If a Pokemon doesn't respect its trainer, it can flat-out ignore them. And plus, most legendaries are said to be challenging the player to test their worth. The situation isn't "this child has put me in a ball and now has complete authority over me", it's "hey, this kid seems strong, maybe I'll hang out with them for a bit." (Most legendaries have lifespans much longer than humans-they're not gonna be with them forever)
 

DogzNDogz113

Arbiter of Doggos
Member
Posts
27
#6
To me, Pokémon is all about the "catching 'em all". Making a species not catchable is just not on.

I'll add some context to that statement: I'm not a fan of certain Pokémon (i.e. legendaries) being given massively inflated cosmic powers by the game's story or spin-off materials (e.g. the anime). I'm not interested in the "all legends are literally true" easy mode approach to storytelling. I prefer to see legendary Pokémon as just powerful/rare Pokémon, typically which people just made up stories about to exaggerate their abilities (compare with Shedinja's tale about looking into its hole). This is all for the sake of 100% completion, which I feel is what fangames should allow (even if you only get one chance at some species, although decent fangames will give you multiple chances by, for example, beating the Elite Four to reset them).

I'll also add another caveat to my position: certain Pokémon can indeed be uncatchable. That's "Pokémon", not "species". There are times when you may not want a particular battle to allow captures (e.g. battling ghosts before you get the Silph Scope, the ghost Marowak, or facing off against a legendary in the plot climax because lobbing a Master Ball at it would just be anticlimactic). However, there should be one or more times when members of those species ARE able to be captured (e.g. ghosts after getting the Silph Scope, you can evolve a Cubone, or finding the legendary in some cave afterwards).

I must say, though, being FORCED to capture a Pokémon is probably worse than not being able to. I understand the last few official games have required you to capture the main legendary Pokémon during the climax, and that sounds terrible. Legendary Pokémon are typically incredibly difficult to capture, and here the game is just GIVING you a free one. It may also force you to get rid of one of your own Pokémon just so you can use the legendary. That removes player agency, and is worse writing because it can't cope with the possibility of you doing something different. No thanks. Don't go changing the rules of the game just because you have your precious little story to tell which requires the player to do what you want them to do.

I'm not comfortable with the proposal of "soul bonded" Pokémon you summon in for battle. For one, how can you train them if they're not in your possession? For two, you'd need a very good excuse for letting the Pokémon be summonable wherever you happen to be. No, I'm not keen on it. These Pokémon wouldn't be yours. The game would be telling you all about the soul bond between you DIRECTLY INSTEAD OF letting you experience it by having it in your party. Doing something like this would not be "clever" in my mind, it'd be snowflakey. Maybe even pretentious.

That's just my thoughts on the matter.
I totally agree with you, Maruno.
There was a certain element of a "natural" and more.. err... "scientific" approach to older Pokemon species,
then things became increasingly RPG-cliche'd and those "legendary" species started to become ... well, way more "metaphysical".
The old "catch 'em cause they are very rare and natural beings that we must study" approach started to fade away.
Now, we've reached a point where they approach deity-like levels of power. And then you capture them with a ball xD.

So, I too, like to see them as "legendaries" in the sense that ancient people did indeed fear them, (as they did with natural phenomena)
and they attributed various "powers" to them...
 
#7
Thank you very much for your replies It really means a lot. Reading your replies gave me a good insight of this topic.

Even though legendary Pokemon are defined as very powerful creatures, the fact that they couldn’t be caught may disappoint players. The “Catch em all” aspect of Pokemon games is an important factor of Pokemon and not allowing some of them to be caught may be disappointing.

However at the other end of the spectrum, there are also players (like myself) who do not mind letting some Pokemon wild making them uncatchable throughout the game. It is also true that “As long as the Pokemon isn’t too powerful, it can work to befriend a legendary instead of capturing it." Pokemon such as Celebi and Manaphy are good examples of legendaries who are not God-like strong but can assist the player throughout the game.

In conclusion it seems that allowing legendary Pokemon to be caught could be argued in both ways and the idea of catching them is subjective. Once again thank you and if anyone wants to share their thoughts, please feel free to reply.
 
Last edited:

FloofyPanthar

Doing it myself and it still isn't done right
Member
Posts
51
#8
I say no. I mean, the legendary cats and birds are fine to catch. But once you get to the more deitistic legendaries like Groudon and Xernius, things start to get weird.
 

DerxwnaKapsyla

Overseer of the Abyss
Member
Posts
55
#9
I've always had an idea that Legendary Pokemon, if we take them at face value with some of them being creator gods and ancient deities, can't be contained permanently. This is an extension of the idea expressed in canon; Wild Pokemon choose their Trainers, this is the purpose behind the Wild Grass. They approach the trainer and engage them in battle, and allow themselves to be caught. If we expand upon this idea, it makes sense that Legendary Pokemon would function the same way. You reached their domain, or they showed themselves to you- to those they deemed worthy (See, Suicune in Crystal). However, in cases where only one of that Pokemon exists (ie, Pokemon that aren't Lesser Legendaries, like the Legendary Birds, Manaphy, etc), I always theorized that the Legendary Pokemon lend themselves to you, as their true place is in nature. They see you as a suitable companion, but eventually they must return to their proper place in the world.
 
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