AKA: Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander, etc.
As seen in: Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow (Game Boy)
Also in: Pokémon Black/White (Nintendo DS)
Distinguishing feature: Gotta catch 'em all!
Strengths: Can shoot elemental blasts.
Weaknesses: It’s complicated (check a compatibility chart).

Profile by Scott Lowe? | January 29, 2011

It's a sad state of affairs in the region of Kanto. Due to increased development and deforestation, wild squirtle, charmander and bulbasaur have gone extinct. Squirtle were usually found near lakes and streams in abundance, but increased boat traffic had drastically reduced their numbers to almost nothing. What few were left were killed off during an accidental discharge from the eastern Kanto power plant into the nearby river. Charmander used to thrive on the Cinnibar Islands volcano, but with the development of the town there they were exterminated as a pest for killing the local tauros for food. The bulbasaur's natural habitat used to lie west of Celadon City, but it was overrun by the steamroller of progress when the bike path was put in. Renowned pokčmon researcher Professor Oak in Pallet Town was the last known owner of each of the species.

The Professor isn't known for his smart decisions, though. Rather than keep the specimens for breeding and repopulation of the species, he decided it was best to entrust the monsters to his grandson and two other local kids. It's the local Pokčmon Professor's duty to donate a monster to aspiring trainers, and historically in Kanto these have always been squirtle, charmander or bulbasaur. Oak didn't think anything of it when he gave away his final set, but panicked soon after realizing his loss.

Eventually trusting that the children will "do the right thing" and breed more of the near-extinct species, he went about looking for a replacement for future up-and-coming trainers. That replacement was found in pikachu, the electric mouse pokčmon. Usually thought of as nothing more than a household pest, the Professor figured that the rodents could be quickly gathered up for distribution. Well, that and they breed like lightning (so to speak), making them the perfect substitute in theory. How is a ten-year-old going to know the difference anyway? Sadly, the pikachu were well underpowered when compared to their precursors, falling quickly to anything stronger than a pidgey without hours of training.

The future looks bleak for squirtle, charmander and bulbasaur. Unless those few remaining monsters already in the hands of trainers are properly handled the species could disappear completely. Let's all hope for the best, lest the Pokčmon League lose its first and most iconic stars forever.

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