|Pokémon series character|
|First game||Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire|
|Designed by||Ken Sugimori|
|Voiced by||Katsuyuki Konishi|
Rayquaza (レックウザ Rekkūza, //) is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise, appearing in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and subsequent sequels, later appearing in various merchandise, spinoff titles, and animated, printed, and film adaptations of the franchise. It is a legendary Pokémon. Rayquaza is the version mascot of Pokémon Emerald. It is also the master of the Weather Trio, which contains Kyogre, Groudon, and itself. It is known for being the strongest Pokémon in the franchise, being able to Mega Evolve and hold an item at the same time. Mega Rayquaza is tied with Mewtwo’s Mega Evolutions for the highest base stat total of all Pokémon, but has the advantage of being able to hold any item (except Z-Crystals) while being Mega Evolved, as it doesn’t require a Mega Stone in order to evolve.
Rayquaza has special connection to the process of Mega Evolution; In Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, it is revealed to canonically be the first Pokemon to have undergone Mega Evolution, and Mega Rayquaza is the only such form to not require a held Mega Stone before its transformation.
Concept and characteristics
As with all characters introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Rayquaza was designed by Ken Sugimori with the help of his development team. The name "Rayquaza" comes from a combination of the words ray and quasar. Rayquaza resembles a large wyvern. The design seems to be influenced by Mesoamerican art, especially that of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the massive feathered green sky serpent who is the god of death and resurrection.
Rayquaza has an elongated, green serpentine body with yellow oval patterns. Red-tipped fins extend from its body and additional appendages lengthen from its serpentine head. Rayquaza has sharp, conical teeth, some of which appear to be covered by gum tissue similar to a Komodo dragon's. It lacks back legs, but has two arms with three white claws. Its tail is tipped with two small red-edged fins.
Upon Mega Evolution, Mega Rayquaza's body lengthens further, and is marked with black bands. Its horns become more prominently V-shaped and its head longer, with the delta symbol visible on its forehead. Glowing gold and orange tendrils stream from its two horn tips and both sides of its head, with the latter two tendrils ending in small, fin-like green structures. Mega Rayquaza's lower jaw juts out in spiked protrusions far past its eyes, whose gold pupils and red irises sit at the head of black marks streaking to its neck. Flame-like projections burn from its jaw. Golden orbs replace the rings lining its body, and yellow ribbon-like extensions connect to the base of its tail.
Rayquaza eats water particles from the sky where it lives, and only descends when it wants to rest or if its fellow weather Pokémon, Kyogre and Groudon engage in combat. From the ground, Rayquaza appears as a meteor in the sky. As it descends rarely, no one knows about its special powers and no one knows where it came from.
In video games
Rayquaza first appeared in the Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire games(The Pokémon games that take place in the Hoenn region), where it could be located on the top of the Sky Pillar. The player has only one chance to battle and capture Rayquaza; the Pokémon will disappear upon fainting. Rayquaza also serves as the main mascot Legendary Pokémon of Pokémon Emerald, and appears on the cover of the game. In Pokémon Emerald, Rayquaza aids the player in stopping Team Magma and Team Aqua from harnessing the power of Kyogre and Groudon to rule the world. The game also focuses on attempts by these two factions to control Rayquaza, and thus the sky. In Pokémon HeartGold and Pokémon SoulSilver. the player is able to find Rayquaza at the Embedded Tower after catching Groudon and Kyogre and showing them to the Pokémon researcher Professor Oak. (Note that Groudon is exclusive to Pokémon SoulSilver and Kyogre is exclusive to Pokémon HeartGold. Both Pokemon must be caught in the Embedded Tower, a location in the two games, so trading with a copy of the other game is required). In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, it can be encountered by having both Groudon and Kyogre in the player's party.
The Delta Episode of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire introduces Rayquaza's Mega Evolution. The episode's lore reveals that Mega Evolution occurred for the first time after Rayquaza descended from the sky to quell fighting between Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre; Rayquaza transformed in response to the wishes for protection from the people of the Hoenn region, doing so near to a glowing meteorite filled with "natural energy". Due to the power within the meteorites it has consumed, it only has to have its new signature move, Dragon Ascent, learned to Mega Evolve instead of needing to hold a Mega Stone. After Rayquaza consumes the player's Meteorite and is caught, the player's fervent wish reaches it, and it can once again transform into Mega Rayquaza. The player rides it into outer space in this form, where it destroys a massive inbound meteorite in order to save the planet. Mega Rayquaza has the tied-for highest combined Attack and Special Attack stats of any Pokemon, as well as a signature ability in Delta Stream, which suppresses all weather conditions (unless the ability of Primal Groudon or of Primal Kyogre activates afterward) through strong winds that protect Flying-type Pokemon from the type's weaknesses.
Rayquaza appears in many spin-off games. In Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, Rayquaza is the focus of the third and final Bonus Field. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team, Rayquaza acts as the final boss, living on the Sky Tower. After it is defeated, Rayquaza helps save the world from a meteor. After the credits roll, the player can re-battle Rayquaza to recruit it. In Pokémon Ranger, Rayquaza can be captured in a bonus mission after the credits. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, Rayquaza is the guardian of the Sky Melodica. In PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure, Rayquaza is the host of a mini-game called "Balloon Panic". In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Rayquaza shoots down Fox McCloud's Arwing and then attacks both Fox and Diddy Kong; it serves as a boss, trophy, and sticker within the game. A shiny Rayquaza is found in Pokémon Conquest in the possession of Oda Nobunaga.
In other media
Rayquaza first appears in the film Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys, where it battles Deoxys, believing it is invading the Earth. Eventually, Ash Ketchum must save Rayquaza; after Rayquaza is saved, it decides that Deoxys is not a threat, and returns to the atmosphere. It has also appeared briefly in two episodes of the Pokémon anime and also got a major role in Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages. Rayquaza is featured on 33 cards of the Pokémon Trading Card Game in many rare iterations, such as Rayquaza & Deoxys Legend, Mega Rayquaza EX, Shining and GX.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, five years prior to the plot, Ruby accidentally released Rayquaza from a lab. Ruby's dad Norman was tasked with tracking it down. After many years of tracking, he was able to, with Wally's help, awaken and take command of Rayquaza, using it to calm Groudon and Kyogre in conjunction with Ruby's Red and Blue Orbs. When Norman fell under the strain of controlling Rayquaza without a proper medium, it escaped once again, and has not been seen since.
Rayquaza was featured in a line of Subway restaurant promotional toys, where it decorated the handle of a flying disc called the "Rayquaza Disc". Rayquaza and Mega Rayquaza have also been featured in several plush toys. Nintendo released a version of the Game Boy Advance SP inspired by Rayquaza, with a green color and pictures of the Pokémon on the cover, in order to promote the release of Pokémon Emerald.
Prior to the release of Ruby and Sapphire, some criticized the design of Rayquaza as nothing more than that of a rehashed Digimon. Rayquaza, along with fellow legendary Pokémon Dialga, have been cited as examples of a falling quality in Pokémon design, with one reporter remarking "Rayquaza may seem robotic" but that it still "maintain[s] the concept or idea that Pokémon created". Grey School of Wizardry faculty member Ash DeKirk describes Rayquaza as a giant serpent dragon with Meso-American traits.
In 2005, the year Pokémon Emerald came out with Rayquaza as the mascot, search engine Yahoo! reported Rayquaza as one of the top Pokémon-related web searches. It was ranked 11th in Complex's The "25 Most Kickass Dragons in Video Games" list, with writer Obi Anyawu praising its role as peacemaker, which is unusual for a dragon character, a villian in many fairytales. Raymond Padilla of GamesRadar, however, was critical of its portrayal in Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys, calling it a frightening character whose actions near the end of the film border on the ridiculous. Padilla had earlier criticized other aspects of the character, including its name, which he claimed was more reminiscent of a member of the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan than of a Pokémon.
Mega Rayquaza's power and appearance were well-received, with reviewers claiming "it’s safe to assume that badass is on its resume" upon its introduction. Its extreme strength in competitive play, though, eventually drew concern that it was "kind of overpowered." It became the first Pokemon to be banned from the community-selected "Uber tier", and has been banned in many official Pokemon competitions as well as in "The Battle Spot" in many Pokemon video games.
- "Gamnesia". September 11, 2014.
- Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (Video). 27 November 2014.
Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Delta Episode Part 3 - Sky Pillar and Hoenn Lore! (Gameplay Commentary)
- "Pokemon Ruby Version Info". GameFAQs. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- Dekirk, Ash; Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (2006). Dragonlore: From the Archives of the Grey School of Wizardry. Career Press. ISBN 1-56414-868-8. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- Game Freak (2003-03-17). Pokémon Ruby. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo.
This Pokémon appears to feed on water and particles in the atmosphere.
- *Game Freak (2005-05-01). Pokémon Emerald. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo.
It is said it would descend to the ground if Kyogre and Groudon were to fight.
- Game Freak (2004-09-07). Pokémon FireRed. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo.
Its flying form looks like a meteor.
- According to the HGSS: It flies in the ozone layer, way up high in the sky. Until recently, no one had ever seen it.
- Abbott, Kate (2005). Asha Johnson (ed.). Pokémon: Emerald Version Game Guide. Prima Official Game Guide. Roseville, California: Prima Games. pp. 91, 213. ISBN 0-7615-5107-7. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
- "Pokémon Smeraldo". GameStar (in Italian). IDG Entertainment Media GmbH. 2006. Retrieved 2009-10-13.[permanent dead link]
- Staff (2004-07-12). "Pokémon Emerald to Hit Japan". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- Editorial staff (2005-10-04). "Pokémon Esmeralda Llegará a GBA el Próximo 21 de Octubre". La Flecha (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- Young, Billy; Nathan Lee (2004-07-20). "Official Pokémon Emerald Site is Unveiled". RPGamer. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- Hernandez, Patricia. "A Legendary Pokémon That's Become Kind Of Overpowered". Kotaku. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
- "Boss Strategies". Smash Bros. DOJO!!. Nintendo. 2008-03-17. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- "Super Smash Bros. Brawl Trophy List". Smash Bros. DOJO!!. Nintendo. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- "Super Smash Bros. Brawl Sticker List". Smash Bros. DOJO!!. Nintendo. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- "Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND | HS—Undaunted | TCG Card Database | Pokemon.com". www.pokemon.com. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
- "M Rayquaza-EX | XY—Roaring Skies | TCG Card Database | Pokemon.com". www.pokemon.com. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
- "Shining Rayquaza | Shining Legends | TCG Card Database | Pokemon.com". www.pokemon.com. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
- "Rayquaza-GX | Celestial Storm | TCG Card Database | Pokemon.com". www.pokemon.com. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
- "Subway Restaurants, Pokémon USA and 4Kids Entertainment team up for Pokémon Promotion". Anime News Network. 2005-04-04. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- Woo, Jason (March 2005). "Hard-Hitters". GameAxis Unwired. Singapore Press Holdings (19). ISSN 0219-872X. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- Niizumi, Hirohiko (20 July 2004). "Pokémon Emerald GBA SP Coming to Japan". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- Harris, Craig (2004-07-20). "New Pokémon GBA SP: In honor of the upcoming Pokémon Emerald, Japan will see a new limited edition system". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- "Anime Postage Stamps". Anime News Network. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- "Pokemon of the Day: Rayquaza (#384)". IGN. News Corporation. 2003-06-20. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- Millan, Carlos (2009-10-01). "Evolution of News: Media Develops Vocal Cords". Lakeland Mirror. Sheboygan County, Wisconsin: Lakeland College. Archived from the original on October 4, 2009. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
- "Pokémon Far From Passe". Yahoo!. 2005-06-11. Archived from the original on 2005-06-14. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- Anyawu, Obi (February 3, 2012). "The 25 Most Kickass Dragons in Video Games". Complex. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- Padilla, Raymond (2007-11-15). "Pokemusings: Three Pokémon Movies that Suck". GamesRadar. Future Publishing. p. 3. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- Padilla, Raymond (2003-03-17). "Review: Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire". GameSpy. IGN. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- "The Legendary Rayquaza Receives a Mega Evolution - Hardcore Gamer". Hardcore Gamer. 2014-10-02. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
- "Mega Rayquaza is So Obscenely Powerful it Almost Broke Competitive Pokemon". Dorkly. 1 December 2014.
- "Ubers is now a tier; a new Metagame called Anything Goes is added; M-Ray is banned from Ubers". Smogon. 29 November 2014.
- "Video Game Rules, Formats, & Penalty Guidelines" (PDF). The Official Pokemon Website. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- "2017 Pokémon VGC Rules, Format, and Penalty Guidelines" (PDF). The Official Pokemon Website. Retrieved 11 September 2018.