Welcome to PokéDEX! The newest weekly series where we discover new facts about our favorite creatures: the Pokémons. We will check out between 3 or 5 of them every week. Ready to start a new adventure? As always… Gotta discover ’em all!
Bulbasaur is a grass-type Pokémon introduced in the first generation of videogames, which could be chosen as a starter in the Blue, Green and Red Versions of the game.
Bulbasaur is based on a frog and the bulb on its back resembles a lily or an onion. Its name is a combination of the words “bulb” and “σαῦρος saur” (Ancient Greek for the word “lizard“) while its Japanese name (フシギダネ – Fushigidane) is a combination of 不思議 – “fushigi” (mysterious) and 種 “dane” (seed).
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- Due to the censorship that prevents Pokémon with offensive nicknames being traded on the GTS, a Bulbasaur with an English name couldn’t be traded without a nickname in Black and White Versions;
- Do you really think every starter is the first Pokémon designed, followed by its evolution line? Well, this is not actually true in Bulbasaur’s case! According to Ken Sujimori and Atsuko Nishida, the latter designed Bulbasaur working backwards from Venusaur, meaning that Bulbasaur was the last of its evolutionary family to have been designed and was also directly based on Venusaur;
- The original color of Bulbasaur’s body was light green, but it changed to aquamarine starting from Ruby and Sapphire Versions. Light green is now used to indicate the shiny form, recalling the old Bulbasaur seen until the second generation.
Charmander is a fire-type Pokémon introduced in the first generation. It can be chosen as a starter such as Bulbasaur in the Blue, Green and Red Versions of the game.
Charmander was designed as a lizard, possibly referencing the mythical salamander which was a fire spirit capable of surviving in extreme heat or flames and it is sometimes creatively rendered or interpreted in the shape of a lizard. Its name come from the combinations of the verb “to char” and the word “salamander“, while its Japanese name (ヒトカゲ – Hitokage) is derived from 火 “hi” (fire) and 蜥蜴 “tokage” (lizard).
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- If you look closely, the back of Charmander’s sprite in the first generation consists in a line of spikes which underline the spinal column, as you can see also in Pokémon Adventures manga, in which they are very long and easy to notice. Anyway, this feature was deleted in the following generations;
- Charmander’s hands have an inconsistent number of fingers in its designs, which has changed many times over the years. The original sprites designed by Atsuko Nishida for Pokémon Red and Green featured three fingers, while the artwork Ken Sugimori drew based on those sprites had four fingers;
- Charmander’s design was based on Charizard in such a way that it was surprising to see it evolving into the latter Pokémon. Its draconic evolution line may be a reference to lizard species that are likened to dragons.
Squirtle is a water-type Pokémon introduced in the first generation. It’s one of the three starters you can choose at the beginning of the game between Bulbasaur and Charmander in the Blue, Green and Red Versions of the game.
Squirtle’s design is based on a baby turtle. Its name is formed by the verb “to squirt” (to spray) and the word “turtle” and its Japanese name (ゼニガメ – Zenigame) is a combination of 銭 Zeni (money) and 亀 kame (tortoise/turtle).
- Everyone thinks that Squirtle takes its name from a turtle and this can also be confirmed by its water type, but its name could be associated with a squirrel too due to the form of its tail;
- Squirtle’s tail is a reference to the Japanese legends of the minogame (蓑亀), a turtle which lived for 10,000 years and grew a tail made of seaweed;
- In the anime, Squirtle was Ash’s first choice, but then he had to take Pikachu because all the other starters were already chosen by other Pokémon Trainers.
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Pikachu is an electric-type Pokémon introduced in the first generation and it’s the only starter you can have from Professor Oak in Pokémon Yellow Version. It’s also the starter Pokèmon in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!.
It’s the most known Pokémon of the entire Pokemon Saga; in fact, due to its popularity, it becomes the official game mascot as well.
Its design it’s based on a mouse but its cheek pouches were also inspired by squirrels. Its name is a combination of two onomatopoeias: ピカピカ – pikapika (the sound for sparkles) and チューチュー chūchū (the sound of a mouse squeaking).
|High Friendship Required||Thunder Stone Required|
- A group of Japanese researchers has discovered a new type of protein which transports electric pulses from eyes to the brain and they named it “Pikachurin” in honor of the electric type little mouse;
- The designer Atsuko Nishida revealed that the original design of Pikachu was inspired by a Daifuku, a typical Japanese dish, with ears. In fact, the black tips on its ears is a detail of the previous design;
- Pikachu had a second evolution stage: Gorochu. It was later removed as the game resulted more balanced without this Pokémon.
Eevee is one of the most interesting normal-type Pokémon that we could ever know. In fact, it is a peculiar one because of its various evolutions: it can evolve in 8 different ways and each evolution has its own type.
Its English and Japanese names (Eevee and イーブイ – Eievui) are the pronunciations of the first two letters in the word evolution: E and V.
|Water Stone Required||Thunder Stone Required||Fire Stone Required||High Friendship |
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fairy type move and two levels of affection
- Even if it’s not based on a real animal, the designer and pixel artist Motofumi Fujiwara revealed that Eevee was inspired to a creature he encountered in the forest during his childhood and he remembered it as a fluffy-cat or a dog-like creature;
- In early English promotional material for the first games of the Pokémon series, Eevee was called “Eon” which is the suffix of all of its evolution forms;
- The ability to evolve in so many different forms takes inspiration from Tanuki, a mystical Japanese creature that is able to change its aspect.
And for today it’s all folks! We began with the starters as it’s our first article. See you next time and remember: Gotta Discover ’em all!