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Legendaries in fics!

You often read of warnings about giving your protagonist fancy legendary Pokemon just for the sake of making them look cool rather than to contribute meaningfully to the story's plot, etc. But what are your thoughts with legendaries in fics? How do you, or would you, protray them? Catchable, or untoucheable? Multiple or only one of each?
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D

I seem to write a lot about legendaries because they interest me the most, and also because they're the most developed, canonically speaking. I tend to nerf their powers in some way, whether via some kind of weakness that counteracts their awesomeness or a "power must be earned" scenario where they develop their gifts instead of simply having them.

Honestly, legendaries are awesome. They can make a fic, but they can also break it. Legendaries need to make sense in the context of the story, and not just be there for the ooh sparkly explosions (or as an "awesome" stamp on your OT's forehead). They need to be essential, interesting, and well written. Take the time to develop them. Look at their dex entries, the manga, and the anime for ideas, and make up the rest on your own. That way you have a character instead of a substitute for a crate of C4.

/intended to keep lurking and not give into the temptation to try being active here again until after important school/work stuff was settled

/saw topic about legendaries in fics

...why hello there!

bobandbill Wrote:You often read of warnings about giving your protagonist fancy legendary Pokemon just for the sake of making them look cool rather than to contribute meaningfully to the story's plot, etc.

Actual plotbunny I actually have in my Big List O' Plotbunnies right now: step one, give a kid Mewtwo for a starter. Step two, laugh maniacally at the pandemonium that ensues when it turns out that the story is completely serious. It'd involve something like Mewtwo wanting to better understand humans and why pokémon trust them, then deciding the best way to do that is to bamf itself in front of some terrified ten-year-old, declare itself his/her starter and demand that they make with the journeying and bonding and learning experiences immediately. Premise still needs a lot work, and there's still the issue of balancing battles even if there is a legit reason for a newbie trainer to have Mewtwo—roflstomping a gym would take all of three milliseconds, etc.—but if I didn't have other fanfic ideas that I needed to focus on first, you can bet I'd be devoting more time toward making this sucker work.

Best plotbunny ever aside, though, I adore legendaries. Always have. Mythology and deities in general have always interested me, and any opportunity to combine that love with the pokemans is a golden one. I've even been trying to work out my own headcanon version of the Pokémon world's "cosmogony", if you will. I love speculating on how the legends came to be, seeing different regions' and cultures' perspectives on them... and that's to say nothing of all the fanfic potential they bring outside of just establishing headcanon. They do have to be handled carefully, and lesser mortals probably shouldn't attempt anything the likes of my Mewtwo bunny up there (XD), but when done right, and when done with each author's little spin on what they are and the way they work, they're a beautiful thing to behold. Can't even count the number of fic ideas and idea iterations I've come up with that involve legends in some semi-prominent capacity. Granted most of those were stupid because I was a stupid writer when I came up with them, but sitting back and imagining different things to do with such a broad and fascinating concept is just too much to resist. :D

...not to mention my weird fetish penchant for wanting to write about legendaries being bamfed into (or turning themselves into) humans for an assortment of silly or awesome reasons. Like that one still-needs-to-be-revised journeyfic NaNo where the protagonist running around and collecting badges is Giratina and its "rival" is Mew. idek you guys, idek.

As for the question about how many of each legendary there are, it depends. My primary headcanon is that there's only one each of the big cosmic JesusBuddhaVishnu legendaries (Arceus, creation trio, lake trio, weather trio), one each of the tao trio, one Mewtwo and maybe one each of a few others, and the rest (most minor trios, the two big birds, lati@s, etc.) either have breeding populations or more than one of them was created. But some ideas of mine have called for having only one of the more minor legendaries, others have called for multiples of the major legendaries (though those ideas usually end up being meta or cracky, tbh), and still others have toyed with the idea that there are multiples of the minor legendaries but also one individual member of that species that is "divine" and special and whatnot. It's kind of hard to pick just one interpretation—there's so much potential there!

I also think it'd be interesting to see more fics where the legendaries actually aren't deified, or perhaps they are deified but in reality are no more than big, glorified pidgeot and the hero's in for a nasty surprise when he finally finds Arceus and begs its help in restoring his people's crops. :D More direct expansions of the ideas in canon are always lovely, but I adore any fic that takes the time to not only explore legendaries, but turn the usual "gods" or "all-powerful" things on their heads. Also helps a lot if their personalities go beyond just the typical enigmatic all-seer, righteous angel or evil god threatening to devour the earth archetypes. I like my pantheons like the Greek gods—more dysfunctional than most human families/groups, and the more pettiness, backstabbing, sneaking around, power-playing and general whining, the better.

...seriously, though, I don't know if I'll ever get around to writing that Mewtwo fic but it needs to be a thing. Anyone else is totally welcome to be inspired by that bunny if they like! :D
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Quote:/intended to keep lurking and not give into the temptation to try being active here again until after important school/work stuff was settled
But that's the boring option. =p

But that Mewtwo fic does sound pretty interesting, heh.

I've dealt with legendaries in my parody fic of Colosseum (ie game canon of people being able to own legendaries and also make them into Shadow Pokemon to boot) in similar fashion; they're basically darn rare Pokemon that are very strong and will mess you up if you're not careful. And lucky. I've some other fic ideas involving them as well although I guess one of those is potentially more silly, heh.
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D

Haha, I agree the Mewtwo thing would be pretty cool, though it might be very difficult to do properly. Making sure it's the Mewtwo that essentially has the reins of the pair and all of that (a Mewtwo with a human child as his starter?) and that it doesn't end up as one of those fics where all the battles are boringsauce because the main character completely owns everything. Though maybe that could be a crisis of a sort because the trainer himself does nothing at all and the Mewtwo just rips through a bunch of Squirtles and Rattatas and Pidgeys... But anyway.

Whether legendaries are catchable or not is generally a plot point of sorts in my stories, because I like exploring how Poké Balls and stuff work and I believe I've included at least one legendary in each of my fanfics. In the first one, it was Manaphy being a plot device: he got pissed off at a kid trying to catch him and made said kid trade bodies with his starter. In the second one that I haven't finished posting anywhere and will have to re-start posting here now, there are several legendaries involved for various reasons and I can't quite tell you why because it's a bit of a spoiler. But them being catchable or not is a big a deal. Generally, no, they're not normally catchable, but why that is and how you actually catch them is also sort of a spoiler, so...

In my headcanon, all legendaries are sentient and capable of communicating with humans via telepathy or otherwise able to speak. Currently I've taken fancy to a theory where they're not actually gods but rather guardians of their specific domains as appointed by actual gods of some sort. There's multiples of some of them, like most notably Latiases and Latioses and apparently Lugias, but many of them are the sole individual of their species. However, I like to think that they have some kind of backup system in case someone important, like, say Palkia, or Rayquaza, gets incapacitated (caught, killed, what have you). In my theory, this would be that they all lay an egg that hatches the moment they die, giving birth to a new guardian so that the world isn't completely screwed up because of one bad guy. Of course, catching them is borderline impossible unless they decide it benefits them for some reason, in which case they won't even put up a fight and will go with you nicely. I imagine they can get free pretty much whenever they want after that, because demigods and all that, but I don't know.

Granted, they could always just be very strong Pokémon. I just like to think they're very shiny and special, and I like making them into characters that actually speak.
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