In Pokémon Origins, Red sees a image with the three legendary birds and Arcanine.

enter image description here

Why was Arcanine there? I mean, he's 'The Legendary Pokemon' but not a legendary Pokémon. In this question/answer, there is a comment by Rayz Rusher on the answer that Arcanine was originally a legendary Pokémon:

"...Nintendo first gave Zapdos, Articuno and Arcanine as the legendary trio. But they removed Arcanine as it would have been awkward. Two birds and a dog, huh!..."

This still does not add up because Pokémon Origins was created a while after they removed Arcanine. Any thoughts?

  • 4
    it could just be an easter egg, a little reminder that arcanine was once a legendary Oct 9, 2016 at 18:27
  • Maybe, it doesn't seem probably though
    – Jack
    Oct 9, 2016 at 18:45
  • 1
    The accepted answer doesn't seem to address the question of why Arcanine is on the panel at all.
    – Valorum
    Oct 9, 2016 at 22:09
  • 2
    I feel like we need to ask a new question about why Arcanine was on there at all. "Because it's an homage to the pilot episode" is a perfectly fine answer but without actually addressing the issue.
    – Valorum
    Oct 9, 2016 at 22:29
  • 1
    @Valorum I've tried to open a new question to actually get to the bottom of this, but it's being flagged as a dupe of this question. So we'll apparently never get an answer because of weird semantic games :(
    – DavidS
    Jul 3, 2019 at 13:26

4 Answers 4


In a much earlier episode of the Pokémon anime, Ash goes to the same Pokémon center in Viridian City and sees the same picture. This must be just a callback to that, which was much closer to when Arcanine was still considered a legendary Pokémon by Gamefreak and Nintendo.

Chicken menu in 2nd episode Image from 2nd episode of Pokemon Anime - Bulbapedia article.

  • Anime was made before 2'nd generation was finalized, but it still used inside secrets as sneak peaks (Ho-Oh was shown in first episode). Legendary chicken menu was shown in second episode, still year before Gold/Silver was released. So legendary Arcanine theory have some backing.
    – PTwr
    Oct 9, 2016 at 21:52
  • Wait, but Moltres replaced Arcanine so why were they both there?
    – Jack
    Oct 9, 2016 at 22:23
  • Maybe they decided to have Moltres be part of the Legendary Trio instead of Arcanine but at that point Arcanine was still considered an extra Legendary, like Mewtwo. Oct 10, 2016 at 12:15
  • 3
    Wait, wait. The anime came out sometime between gen 1 and 2, but in gen 1 it's pretty clear Arcanine isn't a Legendary (the games don't treat him like the birds, or Mew/two). Where are people getting the Arcanine thing from (besides the weird pokedex mention)?
    – DavidS
    Jul 2, 2019 at 13:54
  • @PTwr What is "legendary chicken menu"? The link is broken
    – Stef
    Mar 18 at 16:11

I had read a theory which described Arcanine as being a legendary for a type of Pokémon that was scrapped all together, being “Beast” type. It was supposed to include second gen Pokémon like Houndoom and such, but they got pushed to Gen 2 and made "Dark". If this is true, my take and theory on it all is that Arcanine was supposed to be a legendary for the beast type which was eliminated, and I feel it would explain why Moltress is still present, as well as why the backgrounds for the two legendaries being different (they would represent different types). Because they scrapped that type of Pokémon, Arcanine was a legendary Pokémon of a type that no longer existed. Subsequently his type would’ve been changed from “Beast” to “Fire” and the legendary Fire type Pokémon was already Moltress. A "Beast" type Pokémon would explain also how Arcanine, a fire type, is more physical-stat oriented than special-stat.

  • 5
    Can you provide a source for this theory, or whether it holds any weight from official statements?
    – Edlothiad
    Aug 6, 2018 at 8:36
  • I’ll have to do some digging, this is all based off of memory and I don’t recall it being an official source. I just remember reading about it and it being the theory that made the most sense to me which is why it stuck. But I’ll take a look and see.
    – Kspliff
    Aug 9, 2018 at 17:14
  • So I did a bit of digging, as brief as an attempt it was. I found one mention of the theory I was talking about on quora, but again nothing official. Here is the link. quora.com/… I found other links on reddit but nothing mentioning the above theory. Can’t find an official source. A problem im finding is people tend to deviate from the focus of the conversation. It’s not an argument of whether it is/isn’t legendary (it’s not, it is missing the characteristics that make it so) but an argument of if it was once intended to be
    – Kspliff
    Aug 9, 2018 at 17:50
  • Short digs are the best digs! That seems fair enough. I don’t doubt your statements, and your answer is certainly interesting. You’re welcome to quote (and cite) the quora article in your answer if you think it supports it (usually providing evidence that it’s prominent is a good way of garnering support. With regards to the specific question, showing it was once considered legendary is an excellent basis off which to base an answer, as you have done above. Furthermore, going into detail about why it isn’t considered a legendary would also supplement your answer quite nicely.
    – Edlothiad
    Aug 9, 2018 at 19:30

Arcanine was always meant to be a legendary Pokémon. It would replace Moltres when designing the game. But Game Freak decided it was too weird to have two birds and one dog. However, many easter eggs or errors were left. Such as in the second pokemon anime episode where Arcanine can be seen with the legendary birds. Then There's one in the Pokémon Trading Card Game: I found in one of my old Arcanine cards: It says Legendary Pokémon as an easter egg. And also the one from the episode on origins is an easter egg.

  • Can you provide some specific evidence why they changed it
    – Valorum
    Aug 11, 2018 at 16:36
  • Welcome to the site! Do you have any sources or quotes to support your answer?
    – Rogue Jedi
    Aug 11, 2018 at 17:39

(Not including real life things like Nintendo and changes etc.)

Maybe there WAS a beast type, but Pokémon trainers didn’t like the extra type with only one Pokémon (at the time) so they decided just to merge Arcanine into the fire type, but since there was already a fire type legendary Pokémon they just decided to wipe it from the legendary list, making it no longer legendary.

But before all that happened they made the “plaque” or whatever you want to call it. Than people over time forgot that Arcanine was legendary THOUGH it was still mysteriously called “the legendary Pokémon”.

Also something I’ve heard is that each bird represents a different season but not autumn so maybe Arcanine would represent autumn.

  • Any source for the season thing that you could edit in?
    – Jenayah
    Jul 2, 2019 at 4:56
  • Well I found this on bulbapedia/Wikipedia so it’s not the best source of information but, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true or not true.
    – April
    Jul 2, 2019 at 6:28

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