Some things in life are obvious. You can not have Kool-Aid without sugar, peanut butter without jelly, and you can not start a Pokemon game without choosing Charmander! My favorite fiery friend is a starter Pokemon a player can choose at the beginning of Pokemon Red and Blue. And yes, you are going to notice I have a bit of a bias towards my favorite salamander. While most people were on the Pikachu train, Charmander remained my favorite.
One of my favorite characteristics of Charmander is that he wore is emotions on his tail. The flame that burns at the tip is an indication of its mood. The flame wavers when Charmander is enjoying itself. If the he becomes enraged, the flame burns fiercely. I always think back to the television series when Ash first acquires him. Found abounded in the rain by his trainer, Damian, who believed Charmander was weak, Ash rushes to the closest Pokemon Center to save his life. That moment was key. After some back and forth on Charmander’s part about his loyalty, he eventually realized Ash had his best interests at heart and they became inseparable.
Things slightly change when Charmander evolves. Charmeleon is much more aggressive than Charmander. Facing strong opponents brings out the best in him. I saw his evolved form as a real life teenager, very hot headed and only wanting to do things when he wanted to. This made for a lot of laughs during the television series. And though he was not as strong as he thought, he was very powerful and down right ruthless, his most powerful asset being his new claws. I will admit while playing the games, I did not want Charmander to evolve. Not because I did not like Charmeleon, but because I missed the innocence that was his unevolved form.
Now, the evolution I did want was Charmeleon’s evolution to Charizard. Much like Charmeleon in the TV series, Charizard was very disobedient. He was well wanted to do what he wants when he wanted and even went as far as sleeping instead of fighting. But much like his first form Charmander, Charizard became a very loyal Pokemon due to Ash’s continuous self-sacrificing efforts to save Charizard from certain death, much like when Ash saved Charmander early in the show. Charizard’s determination to become stronger was also the reason he decided to leave Ash’s side, though, as we seen on occasion, he returns to help Ash when needed. Now in a bizarre twist, Charizard could not fly in Pokemon Red for reasons unknown to me. He has wings, and we seen him fly countless amount of times in the animated series, but Game Freak decided not to let him fly until Pokemon Yellow.
All in all, Charmander is the most well rounded Pokemon. Loyalty, strength, and willingness to sacrifice himself sets him apart from other Pokemon. So the next time you decided to dust off that old Gameboy Color, fire up that emulator, or even choose Fire Red or Leaf Green, remember to make the right choice. The best choice. The only choice. Choose the GREATEST OF ALL TIME, Charmander!
You can contact and follow the writer @FameEnt2k and be sure to follow @TiCGameNtwork to stay up to date on all things gaming.