|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, SSB for 3DS/Wii U)
Bill Rogers (all other appearances)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Daisuke Namikawa (movie, Brawl, SSB for 3DS/Wii U)
Daisuke Sakaguchi (anime)
Rikako Aikawa (anime, Cameron's/Kotetsu's)
Kiyotaka Furushima (anime, Korrina's/Corni's)
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, spin-off titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. Lucario is voiced by Daisuke Namikawa, Daisuke Sakaguchi, Rikako Aikawa and Kiyotaka Furushima in Japanese, and Bill Rogers and Sean Schemmel in English.
Known as the Aura Pokémon, Lucario can sense and manipulate Aura (波導? Hadō), a special kind of energy which is emitted by all living creatures. Lucario is also featured as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Since its debut 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.
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 canid-like Pokémon that is a bipedal digitigrade with finger-like digits on its forepaws, while its chest and the exterior of its wrists each feature a single, white spike. It also has a large snout and ears, red irises with vertical slit pupils, thighs shaped like baggy shorts, and four small appendages on the back of its head that are used to sense Aura. The coloration of Lucario's fur is predominantly blue and black, although its torso features buff-colored fur that is slightly shaggier than the rest of its body. Lucario has the ability to sense and manipulate Aura, a form of energy emitted by all living things, and is able to understand human speech. As a result, Lucario can read the thoughts and movements of other beings by sensing the Aura that they emit, to the point that it can even see otherwise invisible foes. When properly trained, it can identify the feelings of others even if they are over half a mile away. Lucario has a pre-evolution called Riolu, a baby Pokémon that is also able to sense Aura. Compared to Lucario, Riolu is a pure Fighting-type Pokémon, rather than a Fighting/Steel-type Pokémon, and it cannot manipulate Aura as capably as Lucario.
As Mega Lucario, its appearance undergoes a few noticeable changes. Its body gains rigid, black streaks on its arms, legs and face, which are brought about by the energy generated by Mega Evolution intermingling with its Aura, the latter of which is significantly heightened and strongly courses through its body. The buff-colored fur on its torso becomes shaggier and envelopes its tail, its thighs become slimmer, and its Aura-sensing appendages grow considerably longer. Lucario also gains additional spikes on its torso and forepaws, while its hind paws gain spikes as well. Lastly, each of its paws are colored crimson, while the tips of its Aura-sensing appendages are also tipped in crimson. While Mega Lucario possesses significantly greater offense and speed, the energy of Mega Evolution also brings about a drastic change to Lucario's mentality, as it will face opponents with a heartless fighting style.
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 sufficiently high level of happiness. Riolu is obtainable in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Black 2 and White 2, X and Y, and Sun and Moon. 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 perceived 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 the few Pokémon in Pokémon X and Y that can use the new Mega Evolution mechanic while holding Lucarionite, its Mega Stone; doing so results in it Mega Evolving into Mega Lucario in the process. Lucario also appears as an NPC in PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure and its sequel, PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond.
Lucario is featured as an unlockable playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. It is unlocked by being encountered in the story mode at The Glacial Peak, or through other special means. Lucario's special moveset consists of Aura Sphere, Force Palm, ExtremeSpeed, and Double Team, each of which it can learn within the Pokémon games. Its "Final Smash", Aura Storm, consists of launching a powerful beam of Aura, which the player can adjust in a slow, fanning motion. Lucario's fighting style revolves around a mixture of martial arts, predominately Shaolin Kung Fu, and Aura manipulation. Aura itself is also a game mechanic unique to Lucario, and follows the concept of "high risk, high return"; the less damage Lucario has received, the weaker its attacks will become, while its attacks become stronger as it continues to receive damage. Lucario was confirmed as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl due to an unintentional leak. The leak, which took place on Nintendo's official Super Smash Bros. website, detailed that certain stickers could only be applied to certain characters, such as Ness, Jigglypuff and Lucario. Lucario returned as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, now being voiced by Sean Schemmel as in Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Additionally, its Aura mechanic now affects the entirety of its moveset and has made Lucario's attacks riskier, yet more rewarding, due to the mechanic's damage multipliers being adjusted. To reflect the release of Pokémon X and Y, Lucario's Mega Evolution, Mega Lucario, replaced Aura Storm as its Final Smash. Lucario also makes an appearance as a playable fighter in Pokkén Tournament.
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 in the afterlife, where they happily eat 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 appeared 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.
Lucario's most recent appearance was in XY030-034 and XY043-044, under the ownership of the third gym leader of the Kalos region, Korrina. In XY031, Korrina and her Lucario attempted to retrieve a Lucarionite, but it was guarded by a Blaziken. Due to its type weakness, Lucario proved to be no match for Blaziken, but under the encouragement of Ash and his friends, it finally attempted to immobilize Blaziken. Before it gave the final blow, the Blaziken was revealed to be owned by Gurkinn, Korinna's father. They retrieved the Lucarionite, allowing it to Mega Evolve.
In episode XY032, Korinna used her Mega Lucario to battle Ash, but due to lack of control over its transformation, it soon ran out of control until it was finally stopped by Gurkinn's Lucario. In XY034, Lucario finally gained full control of its Mega Evolution, and successfully defeated Team Rocket, who were attacking Ash and his friends.
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 on a boy and his Lucario who take back stolen items from thieves.
Promotion and reception
Since it appeared in the Pokémon series, Lucario has had a 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 four booster packs from the Diamond and Pearl series. 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.
UGO described Lucario as "a new breed of Pokémon" citing its "cooler, more dangerous look". They called it an "attractive choice as an underdog fighter" for Super Smash Bros. Brawl due to its quick movement and powerful attacks. 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 described it as an "all-around bad-ass" and "the Bruce Lee of Pokémon". Game Informer stated that Lucario earned its spot in Super Smash Bros. from being one of the most popular Pokémon of the Diamond and Pearl generation.
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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