While it is not known to evolve to or from any other Pokémon, Giratina 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 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. Giratina remains in Altered Forme when outside of its home dimension.
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 red a 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 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 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 of effect of distorting it to the risk of being destroyed. 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 of the Pokémon world. Giratina has also been reported to appear in ancient cemeteries. Giratina was said to be banished for its supposedly violent behavior, though in the anime, it is shown to possess a gentle side as well. Giratina is said to have observed the real world silently while in its own home dimension. The anime reveals Giratina can also open portals though anything that reflects. Giratina's role is to keep both worlds in balance. 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.
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' 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
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.
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 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".
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 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.
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 reference the three primary states of matter; solid, liquid, and gas.
Giratina may be a combination of girasol (a type of red opal), guillotine, or girare (Italian for to wander/turn around); and platina 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