An infrared scan of Raikou taken at an undisclosed location merely seconds before it shot out of view.
Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Raikou is a large quadrupedal Pokémon with primarily feline characteristics. It is lean and muscular, standing approximately six feet tall. Its fur is short and yellow, patterned with black designs, and its underbelly and muzzle are white. Its forehead is covered with a black mask, and a light blue mustache-like plate adorns the lower half of its face — between these features, its bright red eyes are clearly visible, and two long sabre-like teeth jut down below the mustache plate. A lavender mane that resembles a billowing thundercloud covers the length of its back, and its tail is teal and jagged like a lightning bolt with a scourge-like star at its tip.
It is widely believed that only one Raikou exists. Its gender is unknown, or indeed if gender is even applicable to it.
Lore and History
The most well-known legend concerning Raikou is that of the destruction of Brass Tower (see Ho-oh
: Lore and History). After the tower burned down, Ho-oh took pity on three Pokémon that perished in the collapse and resurrected them as the Legendary Beasts of Johto. One of them became Raikou, an embodiment of the lightning that set the tower alight, tasked to carry its rumble and roar to the corners of the earth; the others became its brethren Entei
. Though Ho-oh's ability to resurrect a dead Pokémon is in question, skeptics admit that no evidence, legend, or sighting accounts of Raikou date further back than 500 years when the tower's collapse was recorded by Ecruteak scribes.
A second legend claims that Raikou's stormcloud mane renders it capable of flight. While its ability to outright fly is unlikely, the casual observer could be forgiven for assuming thus. Like the other two Legendary Beasts of Johto, it is capable of great leaps through the air. Raikou has been observed to leap the height of city buildings and skim the bottom of low-hanging storm clouds to feed.
Rumor has it that Raikou is also capable of telepathic communication. Though never directly observed in this particular Pokémon, it is plausible; extremely high intelligence tends to be status quo among Legendaries, and League Rangers have observed Raikou to possess rudimentary psychic abilities such as Extrasensory. Additionally, its fellow Legendary Beast Entei is known to communicate in this manner.
Raikou is known for its impressive speed, stamina, and its tendency to roam. Extended encounters are virtually unheard of. Those who sight Raikou describe a sharp drop in barometric pressure and a static charge in the air. Raikou typically flees when seen, though it will occasionally make its exit by leaping hundreds of feet into the air and touching the bottom of low storm clouds, generating an impressive flash of plasma that can be seen and heard for miles.
The barometric change that follows Raikou is quite noticeable to meteorological equipment; this makes Raikou much easier to track than any other Legendary at large, and even a civilian with a good eye can sometimes identify Raikou's trail on ordinary televised weather reports. The relative ease of tracking Raikou has resulted in a good deal more observational data concerning Raikou than most Legendaries, but has also led to its being quite harried. Amateur chasers have hounded it ever since modern weather monitoring equipment has been able to trace it. This trend spiraled out of control until it entered legislation — while those who chase most other Legendaries are tolerated so long as the chaser behaves responsibly, pursuit of Raikou by any means is now punishable by a heavy fine and jail time.
Illicit organizations continue to harrass Raikou. Three years ago, Team Rocket
launched an extended campaign to capture the Legendary; Raikou was critically injured and dragged to the Cherrygrove Pokémon Center for treatment. In more recent days, Raikou was sighted in Orre during the Cipher/Snagem incident, and though the local government has kept it closely under wraps, it is believed that Raikou was temporarily captured by the criminal organization.
In light of this, it's no wonder that Raikou is even more skittish around humans than the other Legendary Beasts of Johto. Raikou typically flees the moment it is seen, and though it was once known to assist travelers like the other Beasts, it has ceased to do so since the explosion of chasing incidents. League Rangers have kept tabs on Raikou, and have reportedly made its legally-protected status clear to it and provided amnesty on occasion. The Rangers continue to confront Raikou at carefully staggered intervals, with the aim of restoring relations with it.
Diet (if any)
Raikou has never been observed eating anything in the conventional manner, but Ranger reports confirm that it feeds by absorbing electrical energy in the air. Its habit of leaping into the air to skim storm clouds is the most iconic way that Raikou accomplishes this, though if none are around it may venture to rural substations and leech charge from there.
Raikou is an extremely powerful Electric-type Pokémon. Raikou is known to generate thunderclouds that can drop enormous lightning bolts from above, or simply fire them from its own body — either source can reduce entire stretches of earth to smoking glass. During the Team Rocket incident, a civilian observed Raikou using these thunderclouds from approximately one mile away to "snipe" its pursuers' machinery.
In addition to its sheer electrical power, Raikou displays a startling array of supplementary offensive techniques. Raikou may generate rainstorms to facilitate electrical conduction, assault a target's mind with Extrasensory, or lash out with a Dark-powered Crunch. Rangers have also observed Raikou to use moves such as Shadow Ball and Iron Tail, following a suspiciously-timed theft of related TMs from their outpost. Though it prefers to stay at range, Raikou's overwhelming speed and physical prowess make it a deadly force at close range as well.
Raikou, like all Legendaries, is exceedingly powerful, on the approximate level of the A-teams of some of the most powerful Gym Leaders in Johto. It will generally flee on sight without incident, and thus should not be feared if sighted — by the time a trainer realizes it's there, it likely no longer will be. However, pursuit or forcing it to fight using Mean Look or other means is not only inadvisable and utterly foolish, but illegal due to the extent of its harrassment.
Raikou's origins and motives are as yet unconfirmed — it is widely assumed through the origin legend that Raikou and the other Legendary Beasts still answer to Ho-oh as servants. Ho-oh and its current trainer refuse to comment on this, however.
Also, its name is pronounced rye-koh
, not rye-coo
. And now you know.
Written by Pykrete