While it is not known to evolve to or from any other Pokémon, it has a second forme activated by giving Giratina a Griseous Orb to hold, or while it is in its home, the Distortion World. Its original forme, Altered Forme, will then become Origin Forme.
Giratina's Origin Forme was officially revealed in early February 2008.
Giratina is a large gray draconic Pokémon with gold half rings circling the back of its 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 red horizontal stripes. In its Altered Forme, it has two large black ghostly wings with red tips that can resemble claws. These wings can change shape as if it's a liquid or gas. Its six legs are thick and clawed.
In its Origin Forme, it takes on a serpentine look, with six black ghostly streamers on its back with red spikes at the tips. Its legs are reduced to spikes, and four additional golden spikes appear near the edge of its tail. While in Origin Forme, the three gold half-rings can grip objects. The horns on its head are now facing the back, and the black vertical stripe is broken into pieces and runs all the way down its body. Giratina can only be in its Origin Forme when in its home, the Distortion World, or when holding a Griseous Orb.
Giratina is able to travel through and control dimensions besides those of time and space. When in its Origin Forme, it is able to pass through dimensions at will, however, it will turn back to its Altered Forme due to the gravity change from the Distortion World. Giratina is a highly aggressive and territorial Pokémon that is protective of its home. Legends claim that Giratina appears in cemeteries and that it supposedly lives in a world on the reverse side. It was said to be banished for violence. Giratina is the only known Pokémon that can learn Shadow Force.
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.
Giratina reappeared in Arceus and the Jewel of Life, where it 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.
Giratina appeared in both of its formes in The New World, where it interfered with Cyrus' 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 home world. 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.
Altered Forme Giratina appears as a Poké Ball summon. It uses Dragon Breath to cause a whirlwind. It also causes damage on contact.
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
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 may 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 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".
Giratina may also 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's 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 has a body similar to a serpent, while the six protrusions on its body 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.
In interviews Junichi Masuda and Takeshi Kawachimaru did 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.
Giratina may be a combination of girasol (a type of red opal), guillotine, or girare (Italian for to wander around); and プラチナ purachina (Japanese for platinum).
In other languages
From a combination of girasol, girare, or guillotine, and プラチナ purachina