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Articuno, as depicted in an ancient legend, is the titan of ice. Lawrence III was trying to capture the three Legendary birds to bring out Lugia. Articuno was the only bird he didn't capture, but after Moltres and Zapdos burst out of captivity with the help of Ash and his friends, the three Legendary birds started a huge fight.
When Lugia came up from the sea, Articuno worked with the other birds to defeat Lugia. Later, Lugia rose again and none of the birds seemed to notice at first.
After that, Articuno kept fighting with the other birds but it returned to its island after Ash and Lugia silenced their fighting.
Zapdos, as depicted in an ancient legend, is the titan of lightning. Lawrence III was trying to capture the three Legendary birds in order to lure out Lugia. After Moltres was captured, Zapdos claimed its island as its own territory (which implies that the weather disruptions, while started by Lawrence III, were mainly caused by the territorial disputes between the Legendary birds). This was explained through the conversation that Pikachu and Zapdos have via electricity, which was then translated through Meowth. Lawrence captured Zapdos along with Ash, Misty, Tracey, Melody, Jessie, James, and Meowth. Zapdos was freed by Moltres and the two birds burst out of the palace.
In their rage, the three Legendary birds began to battle. When Lugia rose up from the sea, Zapdos worked with the other birds to return Lugia back into the sea. Later, Lugia rose again out of the water without any of the birds noticing.
Lugia, with the help of Ash, silenced the battle between the birds and Zapdos returned to its island.
Moltres, as depicted in an ancient legend, is the titan of fire. Lawrence III revealed that he was trying to capture the three Legendary birds to bring out Lugia. Lawrence set out to get Moltres first. He bombed its island with ice bombs until Moltres got furious and flew away from its island to attack Lawrence. However, he captured Moltres and brought it aboard his flying ship.
Zapdos later claimed Moltres' territory as its own since Moltres was gone. This new territory ownership was short-lived, as Lawrence captured Zapdos along with Ash, Misty, Tracey, Melody, Jessie, James, and Meowth. Ash tried to free Moltres and succeeded eventually. Moltres then freed Zapdos and the two birds burst out of the palace.
Moltres, along with Zapdos, started a fight between themselves as well as Articuno, the other Legendary bird. When Lugia came up from the sea, Moltres worked with the other birds to put Lugia back where it came from. Later, Lugia rose again and none of the birds seemed to notice at first.
After that, Moltres kept fighting with the other birds but it returned to its island after Ash and Lugia silenced their fighting.
A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.
In the TCG
The Legendary birds are featured in the TCG. The following is a list of cards featuring the Legendary birds.
Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format. Cards listed with a silver background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.
The Legendary birds only appear in Get Lugia!. Professor Oak assigns a mission to Red, Green, and Blue to go to the islands in order to summon Lugia but first, they have to go through Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. The three Trainers take a boat ride with Red going on a separate boat as Blue and Green went on another.
As they arrived on the island, it was starting to become freezing. Articuno appeared from behind Red. It easily froze Clefairy and Clefairy used a blender to thaw himself but sliced him into millions of pieces. The sight of Clefairy caused Articuno to fall down and left out the first orb. On the other side of the island, it was full of volcanoes and Moltres was summoned from one of them. Moltres's firepower was very strong. However, Clefairy rode on Moltres and sucked away its strength which made Clefairy completely stuffed. With Articuno and Moltres beaten, the sky became dark and a loud clap of lightning came down which almost hit Red. The last member of the Legendary birds, Zapdos, showed itself. Zapdos attacked the group and Pikachu protected them with his own electricity. Clefairy connected Zapdos to a power generator box and knocked out Zapdos, obtaining the last orb to summon Lugia.