While it is not known to evolve into or from any other Pokémon, Giratina transforms from its standard form, called its Altered Forme, into a second form, called its Origin Forme, while holding a Griseous Core or while in its home, the Distortion World.
Giratina is a large gray draconic Pokémon with three gold half-rings on each side of its long neck. Its head has a gold crown-like object surrounding it with two large horns pointing sideways. A thick black stripe runs vertically along its front with five red horizontal stripes. In its Altered Forme, it has two large black ghostly wings with three red tips on each that can resemble claws. These wings can change shape as if made of a liquid or gas. Its six legs are thick and have golden claws. Two golden half-circles similar to those on its neck are on each side of each leg, resembling shackles. It has a tail with two band-like markings. Giratina remains in its Altered Forme when outside of its home dimension. It generally moves by levitating itself in the air, as opposed to walking on its six legs.
Giratina is a highly aggressive and territorial Pokémon that is protective of its home. Legends claim that Giratina lives in a world on the reverse side of the Pokémon world, and has also been reported to appear in ancient cemeteries. As seen in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Giratina has the power to tear a hole in reality, creating a space-time distortion along with driving both Dialga and Palkia berserk. The rift is also capable of driving Noble Pokémon into berserk Lord/Lady States. Giratina is said to be equal in strength to Dialga and Palkia. Giratina was banished by Arceus for its violent behavior, though in the anime, it is shown to possess a gentler disposition when in the presence of humans. Giratina at one point carried a large grudge against its creator Arceus and was willing to stand against it with the help of a human named Volo, but after being beaten by a human from another time and fleeing, it would start to change its ways and protect the universe from threats such as Cyrus. Due to its typically violent nature, the history of Giratina was covered up due to ancient people fearing it. Giratina is said to have observed the real world silently while in its home dimension. The anime reveals Giratina can also open portals through any reflective surface. Giratina's role is to keep both worlds in balance. Giratina also had many different titles to it; banished Pokémon, Arceus's shadow, the Pokémon of Shadows, and being on the other side of our world.
Giratina is the only known Pokémon capable of learning the move Shadow Force by leveling up, which gives it the ability to temporarily turn invisible.
Giratina can change between its Altered Forme and Origin Forme.
In its Origin Forme, it takes on a serpentine look. Its legs are reduced to golden-tipped spikes, and four additional golden spikes appear near the edge of its tail. While in Origin Forme, the six gold half-rings can grip objects. The back points of each half-ring have a black ghostly tendril with a red spike at its tip. The horns on its head are now facing the back. The sides of the golden "crown" cover its mouth and separate vertically like an insect's mandible when it opens its mouth. The black vertical stripe is broken into pieces and runs down its body. Giratina can only be in its Origin Forme when in its home, the Distortion World, or when holding either a Griseous Orb or Griseous Core. Giratina can also maintain its Origin Forme in the real world without items should it get a sufficient amount of power, enough to potentially be equal to Arceus. Giratina is at its full power when in the Origin Forme, and is always levitated in this state.
The Origin Forme of Giratina is said to be Giratina's true form, capable of traveling through and controlling dimensions besides those of time and space. When in its Origin Forme, it can pass through dimensions at will, however, it will turn back to its Altered Forme due to the gravity change from the Distortion World. Giratina has the power to turn itself into a shadow and to merge the Distortion World with the Pokémon world, as seen during the events of Spear Pillar. However, this has the dangerous side effect of distorting it to the risk of being destroyed.
Giratina debuted in Giratina and the Sky Warrior, where it sought revenge against Dialga for the damage it caused to its home, the Reverse World, during its battle with Palkia in The Rise of Darkrai. Zero later attempted to copy Giratina's powers so he could conquer the Reverse World. Throughout the movie, Giratina would take on its Origin Forme whenever it is in the Reverse World, and its Altered Forme whenever it is in the real world.
In Arceus and the Jewel of Life, Giratina was shown for the first time with both the other members of its trio. It resumed its attack on Dialga, but was finally calmed down through the intervention of Ash and Sheena. It later joined forces with Dialga and Palkia to fight Arceus.
In The New World, Giratina interfered with Cyrus's plan to destroy the world and recreate it. It first emerged from the Distortion World to free Dialga and Palkia from the Red Chain. Then, it took Cyrus with it back to its homeworld. It was last seen in its Origin Forme, observing Cyrus as he regained consciousness, realized he was in the Distortion World, and accepted it as the new world he sought.
A Giratina briefly appeared in its Origin Forme as a silhouette in GOTCHA!.
Altered Forme Giratina appears as a Poké Ball summon. It uses Dragon Breath to cause a whirlwind. It also causes damage on contact.
Altered Forme Giratina also appears as a trophy in both versions of the game.
NA: This Ghost/Dragon-type Pokémon is a resident of the Distortion World. When it is given a Griseous Orb, it'll change into its Origin Forme. Its Dragon Breath attack can catch fighters in a powerful, damaging tornado. If you're on the receiving end, be careful it doesn't carry you right off the stage
Giratina in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
PAL: Also called the Renegade Pokémon, Giratina lives in a dimension known as the Distortion World. It has two forms, and will only be seen in its Origin Forme in our world if it's holding a Griseous Orb. Its Dragon Breath attack creates a powerful tornado that not only damages you, but can carry you off the stage!
Giratina returns as a Poké Ball summon, retaining its behavior from the previous game. Giratina cannot be summoned on Balloon Fight, Brinstar, Corneria, Dream Land GB, Golden Plains, Green Hill Zone, Jungle Japes, Living Room, Mute City SNES, Reset Bomb Forest, Suzaku Castle, Tomodachi Life, Tortimer Island, WarioWare Inc., or Yoshi's Island. It also appears as two Spirits, one in its Altered Forme, which can be enhanced into its Origin Forme.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus: Giratina is the secondary antagonist of the game. It is one of Arceus's creations, being banned to the Distortion World due to its violent nature, it partnered up with Volo to try and beat Arceus for revenge for what it did to it.
This Pokémon was unavailable prior to Generation IV.
In interviews Junichi Masuda and Takeshi Kawachimaru had with G4, they said that Giratina and the Distortion World were created to be personifications of antimatter. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, Cynthia also states this. Its Ghost-type may have been chosen to represent this, being the type of metaphysical and "otherworldly" substances and beings. Additionally, it parallels its counterparts' types; Dialga is part Steel-type, and Palkia is part Water-type - all three may reference the three primary states of matter; solid, liquid, and gas.
Giratina may also be based on the biblical figure of the fallen angel, celestial beings that rebelled against God and were excommunicated to Hell. This is analogous to Giratina, due to being a Pokémon created by Arceus (Pokémon World's God) and excommunicated to another dimension due to its belligerent nature. Nonetheless, it might have drawn inspiration by Samael, who is the ruler of the 5th Heaven and has grim and destructive duties whilst being a member of a heavenly host; both traits allude to Giratina being the ruler of another dimension (Reverse World) and its threatening visage. Furthermore, both of Giratina's forms resemble the Beasts of Revelation, with its Altered Form standing for the "Earth Beast", and its Origin Form standing for the "Sea Beast".
Additionally, Giratina may be based on Seta, a giant centipede, from the Japanese fairy-tale, "My Lord Bag of Rice", which was said to prey on dragon hatchlings and be as large as a mountain.
In its Altered Forme, Giratina resembles a European dragon, albeit with six legs instead of the usual four. Its wings may be based on a bat's, and its body has an insect-like, six-legged feature, but its posture is similar to a sauropod.
Its Origin Forme resembles a serpent or Chinese dragon; some contemporary depictions of the latter in fantasy works and video games are depicted with six or more legs like Giratina. It has a body similar to the Seraphim, an archangel commonly known for its six wings, and in some depictions, a serpentine body (due to saraph meaning snake or serpent in Islamic languages). Additionally, "Seraphim" alternatively translates to "[the] burning one", which could have been one of the inspirations for Giratina's destructive nature. The exact design of its six wings may be based on a scorpion's stinger or spider legs. This Forme also shares physical traits with the Amphiptere, a European dragon-like creature with wings but no legs.
Giratina may be derived from platina (Spanish for platinum). It may also involve guilty, guillotine, ギラリ girari (onomatopoeia for glaring), girare (Italian for to turn around or to wander), and possibly girasol (a type of opal).
In other languages
From platina and possibly guilty, guillotine, ギラリ girari, girare, and girasol