Shadow Lugia Lore and Origins

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Hello Trainers, With the recent update to the Team GO Rocket Lineups, Giovanni has returned and this time he’s got himself a Shadow Lugia! Unfortunately, it’s not the Shadow Lugia that many of us wanted…

So let’s talk about the origins of Shadow Lugia, why people were so excited about it, and why we’re not getting it. If you want to read all about the lore of Shadow Pokémon in General, then I suggest reading this excellent article, as I am going to focus on Lugia by itself.

Shadow Lugia an Introduction

Shadow Lugia was first introduced Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. During the prologue, Lugia attacks the cruise ship S.S. Libra as it carries Pokémon to the Orre Region. Shadow Lugia grabs the ship and pulls it out of the ocean, then drops the ship in the middle of the desert.

It is revealed that Shadow Lugia was supposed to bring the S.S. Libra to the headquarters of the criminal organization Cipher, however, instability in the corruption process lead to it breaking free of their control briefly.

During the course of the game, Shadow Lugia is referenced several times but not actually seen until the late stages of the game. The player can capture Shadow Lugia right before facing Greevil, the leader of Cipher. We get to capture Shadow Lugia after we defeat Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket.

Will the real Shadow Lugia please stand up

Look at that thing. Shadow Lugia is the only Pokémon that looks different than its regular non-shadow form. The eyes have the trademark red of a shadow Pokémon, but its body is much darker, almost black. The patch on its stomach and the fins on its back are much closer to Lugia’s regular colouring, but even they are darker. The diamond shape that extends out behind the eyes on a regular Lugia looks much more jagged and sharper.

Shadow Lugia is majestic and one of the most iconic Pokémon to ever exist. Hands down.

Purifying Shadow Lugia

In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, it is mentioned several times that Shadow Lugia cannot be purified. However, that’s discovered to be not true. If the player has all of the chambers in the Purification Chamber working at maximum efficiency, and Shadow Lugia was in one of the nine available spots it would be purified.

So why did we get… this version

Thank you WigglytuffsRage for the screenshot.

Well, there’s a couple of ways that we can look at this.

  1. This was easier. Niantic wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of creating this version of Shadow Lugia. They can just use the current version, slap some purple haze behind it and call it a day. I’m not sure how much work this would have actually been, maybe I’m oversimplifying this a little bit but a simple recolour of the current model shouldn’t have been that hard, right? This seems to be the consensus on social media anyway.
  2. It’s entirely possible that Niantic doesn’t have the rights to use the design. Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness was a sequel to Pokémon Colosseum and was developed by a company called Genius Sonority, not Game Freak. While Genius Sonority is jointly owned by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo, licensing of intellectual property can be tricky, so this may or may not be the case.
  3. They are saving the real, epic Shadow Lugia for a much larger event and not just part of the Season of Mischief special research. Fingers crossed this is it. I know I wouldn’t say no to a season-long Team Go Rocket special research with epic shadow Lugia as a reward at the end.

Parting Thoughts

I think Niantic really dropped the ball here. Ever since Shadow Pokemon was first datamined in version 0.147.1 fans have been clamoring at the thought of being able to get their hands on a Shadow Lugia, only to be epically disappointed when it was revealed that we were getting generic boring Shadow Lugia.

The Shadow Lugia that was in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness is far and away the better version and something that we’ve been waiting since 2019 to get our hands on. Disappointment doesn’t even begin to cover the feeling for a lot of trainers. We can only hope that Niantic either hears our frustration, or they have something big planned and we get what we want eventually.

Until that happens, if it ever does, we just have to live with what we get. Which, if you’re curious, one of our PVP experts JRES says is… well, you’ll have to read his article to find out.

What are your thoughts on Shadow Lugia? Are you dissapointed? Are you indifferent? Let us know in the comments! Remember to be respectful and constructive with your comments! Stay safe out there trainers.

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