Raikou, Entei and Suicune origins start with the Ecruteak City’s Burned Tower, which burned roughly 150 years prior to the events of Pokemon Gold and Silver. The tower burned down in a mysterious fire, ignited by a bolt of lightning and put out by a sudden downpour after. In it, three nameless Pokemon were caught with no escape and burned together with the tower.
After the tower has burned, a huge rainbow came down from the sky, swirling around the tower – the legendary Ho-Oh has appeared. Ho-Oh used it’s immense power to restore the three Pokemon that vanished during the fire.
Afraid of what they just witnessed, citizens of Ecruteak City started attacking the beasts. The Legendary Beasts chose not to retaliate, but to flee in exile.
Why are they roaming?
In the traditional Pokemon games, Raikou, Entei and Suicune were the first introduced “roaming Pokemon” – Pokemon that could appear anywhere in the world, seemingly running around the region. Additionally, the Pokemon would run away on first turn unless you stopped them with a trapping ability. This behavior became so infamous that it was praised and cursed on many occasions by various groups of players.
In Pokemon GO, there is no such “one-turn-runaway” scenario, but the Legendary Beasts are roaming. In order to pay homage to the core game series, Niantic has decided to create three zones which will host a different Legendary Beast each month, from August 31st to the end of November.
Beasts, Cats or Dogs?
There’s always been a lot of debate among Pokemon fans on the visual inspiration for the trio, with some arguing that they’re modeled after dogs and some arguing they are modeled after cats.
According to an article titled Japanese Folklore in Pokémon, the proper term for the Legendary Trio is beasts, as they’re modeled after different mythological creatures from the Japanese folklore:
- Raikou is based on the raijuu, a thunder demon that can take the form of a tiger, monkey or a blue wolf wrapped in lightning. Raikou appears to be based on the tiger form, with added saber-esque teeth.
- Entei more closely resembles a lion. It is based on a shishi guardian liondog and is shown to be very protective in the anime adaptions.
- Suicune is believed to be based on the kirin, a legendary beast which is a mix of a dragon, deer, big cats and unicorns.