Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres

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Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres appear in the Pokémon franchise. Articuno /ˌɑːrtɪˈkn/, known as Freezer (フリーザー, Furīzā) in Japan, is a dual ice and flying type character in the franchise; Zapdos /ˈzæpds/, known in Japan as Thunder (サンダー, Sandā) is one of the rarest Pokémon; and Moltres (ファイヤー, Faiyā, /ˈmltrs/), is based on the mythological Phoenix.

Articuno[edit]

Articuno
Pokémon series character
Pokémon Articuno art.png
National Pokédex
SnorlaxArticuno (#144) – Zapdos
First gamePokémon Red and Blue
Designed byKen Sugimori
Voiced byYumi Tōma (TV episodes)
Rikako Aikawa (Pokémon: The Movie 2000)

Along with Zapdos and Moltres, Articuno is one of the three winged mirage 'Legendary Pokémon.' It is a large bird with the ability to control cold. Articuno was one of many designs conceived by Game Freak and finalized by Ken Sugimori in Pokémon Red and Blue.

The names of the three mirage Legendary Pokémon were changed in the English localization to give them more "clever and descriptive names". Articuno, for example, comes from a combination of the words "Arctic", and "uno", the Spanish word for one. Articuno first appeared in Red and Blue, and has since appeared in all main titles in the series since, notably in the Red and Blue remakes Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokémon Platinum, and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. It makes multiple appearances in Pokémon spin-offs, manga, and anime, notably in the film Pokémon The Movie 2000.

Since appearing in Red and Blue, Articuno has received generally positive reception. Articuno has been featured in several pieces of merchandise, including cards in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Articuno has been compared to other creatures from fiction, including the creatures found in Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird and the monsters in Godzilla on Monster Island.

Design and characteristics[edit]

Articuno was one of 151 different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue.[1][2] Originally called "Freezer" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children.[3] Articuno's English name comes from a combination of "Arctic", and uno, the Spanish and Italian word for one.[4]

Articuno, known as the Freeze Pokémon, is a legendary Pokémon,[5] one of the legendary birds, along with Zapdos and Moltres. It is a large bird with brown eyes, blue plumage, a bluish-white-feathered chest, a three feathered crest adorning its head and a gray beak with matching legs. With its long, sparkling tail trailing behind, its flying form is magnificent.[6] It can create and manipulate ice freely by freezing the moisture in the air.[7] Its translucent wings are imbued with the essence of frigidity, and the flapping of its wings chills the air,[8] causing the conversion of water particles in the air into snow or ice, causing snow to fall when it flies overhead.[9] In legend, Articuno resides within the confines of icy mountains, because those who have seen it were often doomed explorers scaling such mountains, and therefore it is believed Articuno makes it a point to appear before them and save them.[10]

Appearances[edit]

In the video games[edit]

Articuno first appears in the Game Boy video games Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Yellow. It is a highly rare Pokémon; similar to its counterparts Zapdos and Moltres, Articuno appears only once in one game in a fixed location, the Seafoam Islands, and is difficult to defeat or capture. If it is defeated, it disappears and will never be seen again. It also appeared in later core series games, including the Red and Blue remake Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, and Pokémon X and Y. In X and Y, Articuno will respawn if the player re-defeats the Elite Four.

Outside of the main series, Articuno has appeared in Pokémon Snap (where it gives Pikachu a ride in the Cave level), the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, and Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Articuno can be released from a PokéBall, and will use a Blizzard attack that freezes any opponent that is caught in it for a few seconds. In the Pokémon spinoff Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team, Articuno appears in the Frosty Forest level where it will attack the player. It can be recruited later in the game. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Articuno appears as a trophy and can be summoned from a Poké Ball item, as well as appearing as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. Articuno also appears as a Spirit alongside Moltres and Zapdos in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

In the mobile app Pokémon Go, Team Mystic is represented by Articuno as a mascot.[11] Following the first Pokémon GO Fest in July 2017, Articuno was released into the game and available via the raids feature.[12]

In Pokémon Sword and Shield's expansion pack, The Crown Tundra, Articuno receives a Galarian Form. This form changes it's typing from Ice and Flying to Psychic and Flying.

In other media[edit]

Articuno is featured in Pokémon: The Movie 2000 together with the other two Legendary birds, Zapdos and Moltres. In the beginning of the Battle Frontier challenge in the anime, Noland, the battle factory frontier brain had befriended one. After reuniting with their photographer friend Todd, Ash and his friends hear a rumor that Articuno lives on a certain mountain. After several encounters with Team Rocket, Ash and Todd are saved by Articuno from a snowstorm, and Todd manages to snap a picture of it. According to Team Rocket's imagination in the episode called "Numero Uno", Articuno would come to cool down their boss Giovanni because his area seems to be hot.

Articuno appears in the Magical Pokémon Journey manga, in The Legendary Articuno!, atop a mountain used by a ski resort. This Articuno is rumored to spirit away the lives of lost travelers, but in reality, it is a friendly Pokémon that runs a Snowcone shop. In Pokémon Adventures, Articuno was acquired by Team Rocket, and was used by Koga to try to finish Red and Blue and succeeded in freezing them. After Koga being defeated, it is called upon by Sabrina's Kadabra and merged with Zapdos and Moltres to form Zapmolcuno, a combination that proved almost unstoppable until Saur saved its trainers with a web created using Vine Whip and evolved to Venusaur to deliver the final blow with Charizard and Blasty. It at last regains its freedom after the defeat and splits from its fellow birds. Much later, it reappears under Green's possession with its fellow birds and is lent to Red in the battle against Will and Karen, who nearly overwhelmed the three with Ho-Oh and Lugia.

Promotion and reception[edit]

Since appearing in Pokémon Red and Blue, Articuno has received generally positive reception. Articuno has been featured in several pieces of merchandise, including cards in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, figurines, plush toys, and others.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer editor Paula Nechak compared the legendary bird trio as well as Lugia to the creatures found in Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird.[13] GameAxis Unwired praised Articuno along with Zapdos and Moltres for making Pokémon Red and Blue "cool".[14] The Daily Texan criticized Articuno's appearance in the film Pokémon 2000, stating that it lacked the "human personality that make the other Pokemon so endearing".[15] Reeling Reviews editor Robin described the battle conducted between Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres as being similar to battles from the film Godzilla on Monster Island.[16]

Access Atlanta editor Bob Longino criticized the birds' sounds, commenting that the squawking was "way too much for adult ears".[17] IGN praised the whole legendary bird trio, commenting that even though Zapdos is the strongest of the trio, Articuno is still important.[4] IGN described Articuno as one of both Ice and Flying types, commenting that it was an "unappreciated powerhouse".[18] IGN editor "Pokémon of the Day Chick" praised Articuno as being "particularly beautiful".[19] In a poll conducted by IGN, it was voted as the 13th best Pokémon, where the staff commented that after "solving a perplexing puzzle of rock-pushing and surfing across strong currents", "adding Articuno to your Pokedex was like earning a badge of honor for completing it."[20]

Zapdos[edit]

Zapdos
Pokémon series character
Pokémon Zapdos art.png
National Pokédex
Articuno - Zapdos (#145) - Moltres
First gamePokémon Red and Blue green in Japan
Voiced byKatsuyuki Konishi

Zapdos is one of the legendary bird trio along with Articuno and Moltres. It was created by Satoshi Tajiri. Its English name is a combination of "zap" and "dos", the Spanish word for two. Its first appearance was in Pokémon Red and Blue, where it acts as one of the rarest Pokémon, appearing only once in the entire game. It has made several appearances since, including in the video game Super Smash Bros. Melee, and it was prominently featured in the theatrical anime film Pokémon The Movie 2000 as a central character to the plot.

Design and characteristics[edit]

Zapdos was one of 151 different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue.[21][22] Originally called "Thunder" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children.[3] Zapdos' English name comes from a combination of Zap, relating to electricity, and dos, the Spanish word for two.[23]

Zapdos, known as the Electric Pokémon, is a legendary Pokémon,[24] one of the legendary birds, along with Articuno and Moltres. It may be based on the thunderbird. Zapdos has the form of a large bird with black and yellow plumage, with its spiky feathers make it look as if it were made of lightning. Its tail feathers stick out in several directions, furthering this illusion. A large crest of feathers decorates its head, and distinctive black rings encircle its eyes.

Zapdos is always seen in conjunction with thunderstorms, because it gathers energy from the electricity in the atmosphere, and is said to live in such clouds.[25] It also causes massive crackling and snapping sounds when it flies;[26] these are contributed to the lightning bolts it is said to shed when airborne.[27]

Appearances[edit]

In the video games[edit]

Zapdos is found in a Power Plant off the coast of the Rock Tunnel near Cerulean City in Pokémon Red and Blue. It is a highly rare Pokémon; similar to its counterparts Articuno and Moltres, Zapdos appears only once in the game in a fixed location, the Power Plant, and is difficult to defeat or capture. If it is defeated, it disappears and trainers have no way of running into it again. It also appeared in later core series games, including the Red and Blue remake Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, and Pokémon X and Y.

Outside of the main series, Zapdos has appeared in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

In the mobile app Pokémon Go, Team Instinct is represented by Zapdos as a mascot.[28] Zapdos was originally only available during the game's raid feature, and was first released in August 2017.[29]

In Pokémon Sword and Shield's expansion pack, The Crown Tundra, Zapdos receives a Galarian Form. This form changes it's typing from Electric and Flying to Fighting and Flying.

In other media[edit]

Zapdos plays small roles in the anime and manga. It is featured in Pokémon The Movie 2000 along with the other two Legendary birds, Articuno and Moltres. It appears that Zapdos communicates through electricity as it shocks Pikachu to communicate. Zapdos also appeared in the credits for Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea in which it was captured by Jackie.

In Pokémon Adventures, Lt. Surge appears with Zapdos in his team during the events of Volume 3, using it as a neverending power source for his Electric-types, until Red uses Saur's Razor Leaf to cut the supply cords. After having been merged with Articuno and Moltres, the three Pallet Town trainers are able to defeat the combined monster. Green later captures Zapdos and uses it against Will and Karen. During this battle, it is lent to Blue.

Promotion and reception[edit]

Since appearing in Pokémon Red and Blue, Zapdos has generally received positive reception. Nintendo Power conducted a contest where readers could win a Pokémon-themed costume, which included a costume of Zapdos.[30] According to Janine Mellini of the Daily Record Zapdos was a popular costume choice amongst Pokémon characters for Halloween in 2000.[31] Zapdos has been featured in several pieces of merchandise, including cards in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, figurines, plush toys, and others. A special Zapdos card was given away to those who saw the film Pokémon The Movie 2000.[32]

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer editor Paula Nechak compared the legendary bird trio as well as Lugia to the creatures found in Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird.[33] Author Loredana Lipperini stated that while Zapdos was not very strong, it was her favourite Pokémon.[34] GameAxis Unwired praised Zapdos along with Articuno and Moltres for making Pokémon Red and Blue "cool."[35] The Daily Texan criticized Zapdos' appearance in the film Pokémon 2000, stating that it lacked the "human personality that make the other Pokemon so endearing".[36] Reeling Reviews editor Robin described the battle conducted between Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres as being similar to battles from the film Godzilla on Monster Island.[37] Access Atlanta editor Bob Longino criticized the birds' sounds, commenting that the squawking was "way too much for adult ears."[38]

Moltres[edit]

Moltres
Pokémon series character
Pokémon Moltres art.png
National Pokédex
Zapdos - Moltres (#146) - Dratini
First gamePokémon Red and Blue
Voiced byRikako Aikawa

Moltres,"Fire" in original Japanese language versions}} is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Also created by Sugimori, who has repeatedly stated in multiple interviews he based the design from the Phoenix, Moltres first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and later in subsequent sequels. Moltres is one of the three winged mirages, along with Articuno and Zapdos. Their names were changed in the English localization to give them more "clever and descriptive names." Moltres, for example, comes from a combination of the words "molten," relating to lava, and "tres," the Spanish word for three.

Known as the Flame Pokémon, Moltres is a large bird, noted for its ability to control fire. It makes multiple appearances in the anime and manga, notably in the film Pokémon The Movie 2000. Moltres also appears in Pokémon spin-offs, as well as in the Super Smash Bros. series since Melee.

Design and characteristics[edit]

The mythological creature Phoenix, which Moltres resembles

Moltres was one of 151 different designs conceived by Game Freak's character-development team and finalized by Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue.[39][40] Originally called "Fire" in Japanese, it became Moltres when Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children.[3] Moltres' English name comes from a combination of "molten", relating to lava, and tres, the Spanish word for three.

Moltres is known as the Flame Pokémon, is a legendary Pokémon,[41] one of the legendary birds, along with Articuno and Zapdos. It is a large bird that is literally ablaze with fire, resembling something related to a phoenix. Moltres has a flame-colored plumage, and its dazzling wings and elaborate head crest appear to be covered with flames. It has a straight, pointed brown break, which is the same color as its feet. It can freely create and manipulate fire, and when it flaps its wings, it creates a brilliant flash of flames.[42] If its body is injured for any reason, it will head towards a volcano and dip its body in the molten magma to heal its wounds.[43] When Moltres thinks it is in the least bit possible danger, it will summon a flash of fire and seemingly disappear, flying out of sight very fast. Moltres appear to live in hot regions, particularly active volcanoes. It appears to migrate to the south during the springtime,[44] making many[quantify] believe that its appearance will bring about an early spring.[45]

Appearances[edit]

In the video games[edit]

The first video game appearance of Moltres was in Pokémon Red and Blue versions. It is a highly rare Pokémon; similar to its counterparts Articuno and Zapdos, Moltres appears only once in one game in a fixed location, Victory Road, and is difficult to defeat or capture. If it is defeated, it disappears. It also appeared in later core series games, including the Red and Blue remake Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, and Pokémon X and Y. In X and Y, it reappears if the player re-defeats the Elite Four.

Outside of the main series, Moltres has appeared in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs and in the Super Smash Bros. series since Melee, in which it uses Fly when summoned from a Pokeball item.

In the mobile app Pokémon Go, Team Valor is represented by Moltres as a mascot.[46]

In Pokémon Sword and Shield's expansion pack, The Crown Tundra, Moltres receives a Galarian Form. This form changes it's typing from Fire and Flying to Dark and Flying.

In other media[edit]

The first official appearance of Moltres in the anime was in "All Fired Up!" that marks the official opening of the Pokémon League, where it lights the torch which is equivalent to the real-life Olympic Torch at the Olympic Games. It also plays a role in Pokémon The Movie 2000: The Power of One, where it was one of the three birds that the villainous collector captured to allow him access to Lugia's power, but the upset of the balance that occurred as a result nearly caused a worldwide weather catastrophe as Moltres was driven to wage war with its two rivals. In a later episode of Pokémon Chronicles, Ritchie encountered a trainer named Silver who wanted to capture Moltres, battling him with his Salamence. Silver is interrupted by Team Rocket members Butch and Cassidy who attempt to kidnap Moltres. Ritchie and Silver team up to defeat them and rescue Moltres, although the firebird was badly weakened by the attack. Silver let Moltres go because he wanted to catch him in a fair fight when it was at full strength.

Promotion and reception[edit]

Since appearing in Pokémon Red and Blue, Moltres has received mixed reception. Moltres has been featured in several pieces of merchandise, including cards in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, figurines, plush toys, and others. A special Moltres card was given away to those who saw the film Pokémon The Movie 2000.[47]

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer editor Paula Nechak compared the legendary bird trio as well as Lugia to the creatures found in Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird.[48] Allgame editor Jason White compared Moltres to the mythological bird, Phoenix.[49] GameAxis Unwired praised Moltres along with Articuno and Zapdos for making Pokémon Red and Blue "cool."[50] The Daily Texan criticized Moltres' appearance in the film Pokémon 2000, stating that it lacked the "human personality that make the other Pokemon so endearing".[51] Reeling Reviews editor Robin described the battle conducted between Moltres, Articuno, and Zapdos as being similar to battles from the film Godzilla on Monster Island.[52] Access Atlanta editor Bob Longino criticized the birds' sounds, commenting that the squawking was "way too much for adult ears."[53] In a poll by Official Nintendo Magazine, Moltres was voted as one of the best Fire-type Pokémon. They described it as "Pokémon's own phoenix from the flames", stating that "this legendary bird creates a brilliant flash of flames when it flaps its wings."[54]

References[edit]

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  7. ^ Pokédex: A legendary bird Pokémon. It can create blizzards by freezing moisture in the air. Game Freak (April 22, 2007). Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (Nintendo DS). Nintendo.
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  24. ^ HAL Laboratory. Super Smash Bros. Melee. Zapdos trophy: It's said that you can hear this legendary Pokémon coming, as its wings make a very distinctive popping sound as it flies.
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  26. ^ Pokédex: One of the legendary bird Pokémon. While it is flying, it makes crackling and snapping sounds. Game Freak (September 9, 2004). Pokémon FireRed (Game Boy Advance). Nintendo.
  27. ^ Pokédex: A legendary bird Pokémon that is said to appear from the heavens while dropping enormous lightning bolts. Game Freak (September 9, 2004). Pokémon LeafGreen (Game Boy Advance). Nintendo.
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  41. ^ HAL Laboratory. Super Smash Bros. Melee. Moltres trophy: As tradition has it, the onset of spring heralds the return of this legendary Pokémon from its southern home.
  42. ^ Pokédex: It is said to be the legendary bird Pokémon of fire. Every flap of its wings creates a dazzling flare of flames.Game Freak (September 9, 2004). Pokémon LeafGreen (Game Boy Advance). Nintendo.
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  44. ^ Pokédex: Legendary bird Pokémon. It is said to migrate from the south along with the spring. Game Freak (July 29, 2001). Pokémon Crystal (Game Boy Color). Nintendo.
  45. ^ Pokédex: One of the legendary bird Pokémon. It is said that spring will soon arrive if Moltres shows itself. Game Freak (April 22, 2007). Pokémon Diamond (Nintendo DS). Nintendo.
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External links[edit]