Who's your favourite Legendary Pokemon? No wait, don't tell me. It's either a) the box Legendary from the first game you played, b) from Gen 1 or 2, or c) both. Legendary Pokemon have been a core part of Pokemon's formula, and a driving force in the endgame, since the very first instalment. But do we even need them anymore? Scarlet & Violet seems to think we don't, and it's probably on to something.
Legendary Pokemon have, for a long time, been very dull. They're just vaguely some weird energy/cosmic thing, and they are caught between a Geodude and a hard place. They constantly seem to feel pressure to raise the stakes, and with a literal god already on the roster, there's no real room to grow. Meanwhile, opting for a smaller scale Legendary with a less eccentric design runs into trouble competing with the likes of Zapdos, Suicune, and Lugia. Not to mention at that point, do you even need to be a Legendary, if you're trying to just be a regular Pokemon?
We saw both of these problems with Sword & Shield. The box dogs were instantly (and unfavourably) compared to the Johto dogs, and while having a ruffle like a shield made thematic sense, it looked a little silly. The sword in the mouth looked cooler, but didn't really make any sense from a logistics point of view. Then there was the Eternatus, the bigger Legendary, which was just a weird red skeleton and quickly earned the nickname 'Space Chicken' from disgruntled fans. This is not a problem exclusive to Sword & Shield, but it feels as though it might be getting worse. While there are still some good ones now and then, Legendaries have been on a downward trend. Alola brought us Ultra Beasts in a failed attempt to refresh the formula, while Legends: Arceus remixed existing Legendaries in another major misfire.
In Scarlet & Violet however, Pokemon might have cracked it. The two box Legendaries will not be the motivation for your endgame adventures, but will instead be by your side right from the start as your means of transport around the region. Koraidon and Miraidon are living motorbikes, which is why they look so stupid. Miraidon at least makes a little bit of sense, being a futuristic cyber creature, but the prehistoric Koraidon doesn't really suit the motorbike aesthetic. Still, even though some of the usual overdesigned Digimon aspects are still present, using the Legendaries as transportation – and therefore making them crucial to the game's exploration while refreshing their purpose – makes them worthwhile again. And at the same time, it proves we have no need for them at all.
The living bikes are just a little weird, and if the game wanted us to have motorbikes, why not give us a motorbike? Is anyone really buying these games for which motorbike is on the box? When the Legendaries were first revealed, the main point of discussion was Lechonk the pig. Now that we know how they feature in the game – and for the first time in history have them from the start – all we can talk about is Fidough, the bread dog. No one likes Legendaries. No one wants Legendaries. Sorry Legendary Pokemon, we're bored of you. On your bike.
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