|Pokémon series character|
|First appearance||Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew|
|First game||Pokémon Diamond and Pearl|
|Designed by||Ken Sugimori|
|Voiced by (English)||Sean Schemmel (movie)
Bill Rogers (All other appearances)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Daisuke Namikawa (movie, Brawl)
Daisuke Sakaguchi (anime)
Lucario (ルカリオ Rukario ) is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, Lucario first appeared as a central character in the film Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, and later appeared in the video games Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and subsequent sequels, also appearing in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. Lucario is voiced by Daisuke Namikawa in Japanese, and Bill Rogers in English.
Known as the Aura Pokémon, Lucario can track energy called Aura (波導 Hadō ), which is given off by all living creatures. Lucario is also featured as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Since it appeared in the Pokémon series, Lucario has received generally positive reception, and though some question its appearance in Brawl, others say that it makes sense. It has been featured in several forms of merchandise, including figurines, plush toys, and the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
Concept and creation
The design and art direction for Lucario was provided by Ken Sugimori, a friend of the creator of the Pokémon games, Satoshi Tajiri. The species first appeared in the Nintendo DS games, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, released in Japan in 2006. In an interview, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl director Junichi Masuda noted Lucario's name as one of the most difficult to create, due to an effort to make it appealing to both Japanese and American audiences.
Lucario is a bipedal canine Pokémon that is around four feet in height. Lucario's forepaws are black and have one white spike on each arm on the upper-side of its wrists. In addition, there is a third spike on Lucario's chest. Lucario has a large snout and ears. Lucario also has a furry yellow torso, and its thighs are in the shape of what looks like blue shorts. It has the ability to sense the aura in all living things, and the one featured in the film is capable of telepathic human speech, similar to Legendary Pokémon of past films. It can read the thoughts and movements of other beings by sensing the aura that they emit. A trained Lucario is able to sense aura and identify the feelings of creatures up to half a mile away. Because of its ability to sense auras, Lucario can see otherwise invisible foes. Lucario has a pre-evolution, Riolu, which evolves when it reaches a certain point of happiness during the day can also emit auras but not powerful. You can tell the mood of a Riolu or Lucario when standing close to it.
In the video games
Lucario's first video game appearance is in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, where its pre-evolved form, Riolu, can be obtained as an egg from Riley. Riolu evolves into Lucario when it reaches a certain point of happiness. Riolu is obtainable in Pokémon HeartGold, SoulSilver, Black 2, and White 2. Lucario is used by notable trainers Maylene, the third Sinnoh Gym Leader; a tag-team partner known as Riley; Cynthia, Sinnoh's Elite Four Champion; and by Bruno, an Elite Four member of Johto. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Lucario is seen as the greatest rescue leader of all time, and his adventures have become legendary. After reaching a certain amount of points, a Lucario statue will be displayed outside the rescue base. While the player never meets Lucario, Alakazam tells the player that his goal is to become closer to Lucario's greatness. Lucario appears as a boss Pokémon in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, as the guardian of the Blue Gem. Lucario is one of several Pokémon in Pokémon X and Y that will able to use the new Mega Evolution mechanic, becoming Mega Lucario.
Lucario is featured as an unlockable playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. He is unlocked by being encountered in the story mode at The Glacial Peak, or through other special means. Lucario can use moves such as Aura Sphere, Force Palm, ExtremeSpeed, Double Team, and his "Final Smash", Aura Storm. When using his Final Smash, he launches a powerful Aura attack in which the player can change the direction of. Lucario's fighting style revolves around Aura manipulation and the concept of "high risk, high return"; The more damage Lucario has taken, the stronger he and his attacks become. Lucario was confirmed to be a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl due to an unintentional leak. The leak, which took place on Nintendo's official smashbros.com, detailed that certain stickers could only be applied to certain characters. The characters they made reference to were Ness, Jigglypuff and Lucario.
In the anime
Lucario's main role in the anime is his appearance in the eighth Pokémon movie, Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. In the movie, Lucario is a servant to a nobleman named Sir Aaron in a Renaissance-themed city called Cameron Palace. Aaron had trained this Lucario to manipulate Aura. Lucario thinks of Sir Aaron as both his master and close friend, although after Aaron traps him in a magic staff at the film's outset, Lucario begins questioning any Pokémon-human relationship. The Lucario in the movie, voiced by Sean Schemmel, can speak human languages with telepathy. Lucario sacrificed himself in order to save the Tree of Beginning, though the credits showed him with Sir Aaron eating a chocolate bar.
Maylene, the third Sinnoh Gym Leader, has a Lucario and it was seen in four different episodes of the Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension series. It was first seen battling with Maylene in their training. Lucario used Aura Sphere to stop the battle of Electabuzz, Piplup, and Pikachu, and is seen battling Paul's Pokémon in a flashback. Lucario was seen again where it battled in Dawn's gym battle with Maylene, where it defeated Dawn's Piplup. Then, in the next episode, it battled in Ash's gym battle against Maylene. It defeated Ash's Staravia and Chimchar, but was knocked out along with Ash's Buizel, resulting in a tie. Finally, Lucario was seen when it helped Ash and the others defeat Saturn and Team Galactic. A different Lucario appears on Iron Island, owned by a trainer named Riley. Lucario protects Ash from Pokémon on the island that are fighting against each other.
Lucario's most recent appearance was in BW107 and BW108, under the ownership of Cameron. As a Riolu, it was used against Ash's Snivy, Unfezant, and Pikachu, where it evolved while battling Snivy. It was able to defeat all three, giving Cameron the victory. However, in Cameron's battle with Virgil, Lucario was defeated by Virgil's Flareon, eliminating Cameron from the tournament.
In other media
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, like in games, it appears under the ownership of Riley who was on a boat heading to the Battle Frontier. Diamond meets Riley at Iron Island, and Byron asks Riley to help Diamond sharpen his Pokémon battle skills before Diamond goes to Lake Verity. In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure! the main character, Hareta, gains an egg from Riley which hatches into a Riolu; it later evolves into Lucario. Phantom Thief Pokémon 7 is centered around a boy and his Lucario who take back stolen items from thieves.
Promotion and reception
Since it appeared in the Pokémon series, Lucario has received generally positive reception. It has been featured in several forms of merchandise, including figurines, plush toys, and the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Lucario is featured on a collector's tin which contains one Lucario card as well as 4 booster packs from the Diamond and Pearl series.
UGO described Lucario as "a new breed of Pokémon, with a cooler, more dangerous look. It's quick and possesses a damaging set of attacks", yet called it lame due to its status as a Pokémon. IGN called its presence in Super Smash Bros. Brawl "a bit on the head scratching side" in light of more familiar characters in the title such as Pikachu. Although another editor stated that it would make sense for Pokémon to be represented by a Fighting-type Pokémon, since Super Smash Bros Brawl is a fighting game. GamesRadar stated "Anyone paying half attention to Pokémon these days probably knows who Lucario is", and described it as an "all-around bad-ass" and "the Bruce Lee of Pokémon", suggesting its design as similar to the Egyptian God Anubis. Beckett Pokémon Unofficial Collector editor Sean Cooper stated that Lucario had grown popular in recent years due to his starring role in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew and his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. When Zorua and Zoroark were revealed, they were often compared to Riolu and Lucario, with GamesRadar stating "Zorua and Zoroark are in some ways the Riolu and Lucario of this generation". In a poll conducted by IGN, it was voted as the 32nd best Pokémon, where the staff commented "Lucario is really, really cool, and a complete badass", further stating that "It also doesn’t hurt that he looks like some sort of awesome Egyptian god".
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