|Pokémon series character|
|First appearance||Pokémon: The Movie 2000|
|First game||Pokémon Gold and Silver (1999)|
|Designed by||Ken Sugimori|
|Voiced by (English)||Eric Rath|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Kōichi Yamadera|
Lugia (ルギア Rugia?) is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, Lugia first appeared as a central character in the film Pokémon: The Movie 2000, and later serves as the version mascot of the video game Pokémon Silver and its remake, Pokémon SoulSilver, appearing on the box art of both, and appearing in-game. It later appears in the Pokémon anime, various merchandise, spin-off titles and printed adaptations of the franchise, such as Pokémon Adventures. In animated appearances, Lugia is voiced in Japanese by Koichi Yamadera and in English localizations by Eric Rath.
Within the world of the Pokémon franchise, Lugia are strongly associated with the sea and the element of water in general, in contrast to Ho-Oh, the version mascot of Pokémon Gold and Pokémon HeartGold, which is associated with the element of fire. As a Psychic-type and Flying-type Pokémon, Lugia possesses multiple psychic abilities, such as telepathy, and can fly, but also possesses abilities related to water. Lugia has received positive reception from critics.
Design and characteristics
Considered a "legendary bird" within the setting of the games, Lugia is characterized as the "Diving Pokémon" in the Pokédex and the latter states that Lugia is known as "The Guardian of the Sea". It has been more often compared to a dragon, bird, wyvern or sea monster, 1UP.com calling it a "sleek, draconic creature". The Hartford Courant described Lugia as resembling a "flying white lizard", adding that its wings more closely resembled "huge cartoon paws". They are primarily pale silver-white, but have blue undersides with slightly varying tones. They have a somewhat beak-like, ridged mouth, although they have teeth on their lower jaw. Their head has a point to the back, and their eyes have pointed blue spikes on them. Lugia have long slender necks and their bodies are smooth and covered with streamlined feathers, with the exception of dark blue or black spike-like protrusions which run down the length of their back, and two smaller ones on the ends of their tails. They have large wings that resemble hands, similar to a personified bird wing. Lugia possess the ability to calm storms and are said to appear when storms start. They are also said to be able to spawn a storm lasting as long as 40 days by flapping their wings. A light flutter of a Lugia's wings is capable of causing winds powerful enough to blow apart regular houses. Lugia are highly intelligent, and isolates itself at the bottom of the sea, where it tends to slumber in solitude at the bottom of a deep oceanic trench, in order to avoid accidentally causing damage with the devastating power it packs.
In video games
In Pokémon Gold and Silver and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, a Lugia plays the role of a powerful legendary Pokémon that lives at a far-off location and has to be caught or defeated by the player. It can be found in the depths of a sea cave located at the Whirl Islands, a group of isolated islands surrounded by whirlpools. In these games, the player must obtain an item called "Silver Wing", in order to catch that Lugia.
A Lugia is one of the main characters of Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. The storyline of the game depicts an evil Lugia, known as "Shadow Lugia", terrorizing the locals and wreaking havoc. The player has to catch and purify it for it to return to its original, normal state. A Lugia is also featured in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, where, when released from a Poké Ball, will fly up and unleash a powerful attack called "Aeroblast".
In other media
In Pokémon: The Movie 2000, a Lugia, voiced by Eric Rath, arises from the sea when the three legendary birds Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres are roused by a Pokémon collector who tries to catch the trio. Lugia then battles the raging birds and, with the help of Ash Ketchum and Team Rocket, manages to calm them and restore peace to nature. In the anime, a young Lugia named Silver makes an appearance when the protagonist, Ash, travels to the Whirl Islands where he meets a friend of his, named Ritchie, to help stop a Team Rocket scientist from separating Silver from its parent, another Lugia.
In Pokémon Adventures, the Elite Four tried to exterminate humans using a Lugia in the Yellow chapter. The Masked Man apparently caught a Lugia twice to get an item called "Silver Wing", but both times Lugia went back to the wild, along with Ho-Oh.
Promotion and reception
The Telegram & Gazette stated that attempts to merchandise the character were poorly received, namely due to lack of familiarity on the part of consumers with the character. September 2000 saw Lugia-themed Chrysler PT Cruisers touring the United States and visiting IGN offices to promote the games Pokémon Gold and Silver, Hey You, Pikachu!, and Pokémon Puzzle League.
Lugia has had positive reception. 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish praised the design heavily, calling it a "sleek, draconic creature" similar to Final Fantasy VIII rendition of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, and attributing the preference consumers had for Pokémon Silver over Pokémon Gold reflected in sales to its role as the game's mascot. Authors Tracey West and Katherine Noll called Lugia the sixth best Legendary Pokémon and the fourth best Pokémon overall. They also called it a "gentle giant". IGN also ranked Lugia as the 4th best Pokémon, where the staff commented that" it's gone on to become one of the franchise's most iconic legendary creatures . In contrast, the Daily Texan criticized Lugia as lacking the "human personality that make the other Pokémon so endearing", further adding that while it had an animalistic grace, the effect was ruined in the animated film by its voice.
- Parish, Jeremy (2010-03-01). "Retro Photo: A Pokemon Mystery Solved at Last". 1UP.com. UGO Networks. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- Dekirk, Ash (2006). Dragonlore: From the Archives of the Grey School of Wizardry. p. 126. ISBN 1-56414-868-8.
- Morris, Wesley (2000-07-21). "Hokey 'Poké' deck Self-awareness doesn't redeem film's crass commercialism". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Johnson, Malcolm (21 July 2000). Life. "Ecological Pokemon on Parade". The Hartford Courant. p. D5.
- Game Freak (2001-07-29). Pokémon Crystal. Game Boy Color. Nintendo. "It has an incredible ability to calm raging storms. It is said that Lugia appears when storms start."
- Game Freak (2007-04-22). Pokémon Diamond. Nintendo DS. Nintendo. "It slumbers at the bottom of a deep trench. If it flaps its wings, it is said to cause a 40-day storm."
- Game Freak (2003-03-17). Pokémon Ruby. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo. "Lugia's wings pack devastating power - a light fluttering of its wings can blow apart regular houses. As a result, this Pokémon chooses to live out of sight deep under the sea."
- Game Freak (2000-10-15). Pokémon Gold. Game Boy Color. Nintendo. "It is said that it quietly spends its time deep at the bottom of the sea because its powers are too strong."
- Kunihiko Yuyama (Director). "A Promise is a Promise". Pokémon: Master Quest. Season 5. Cartoon Network.
- Staff (25 October 2000). "Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun - Traditional Costumes are Back". Telegram & Gazette.
- IGN Staff (21 September 2000). "Lugia Visits IGNpocket". IGN. Retrieved 26 September 2010.[dead link]
- West, Tracey; Noll, Katherine (2007). Pokémon Top 10 Handbook. pp. 36, 77. ISBN 9780545001618. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
- Lugia - #4 Top Pokémon - IGN
- Ashley, Robert C. (2000-07-25). "Film Review: 'Pokemon 2000' can't even Pika-please Poke-maniacs". The Daily Texan.