Generation #1 · Generation #1 (1-10) · Stories

The Hitokage Detective Agency (A Charmander Story)

Story by Jack Bumby

The Hitokage Detective Agency (Charmander Story #1)
It was our first job – literally the very first, we’d barely even set up shop. Image credit: Thyfany Ron

The water splashed up at my torso.

“That’s just swell.”

“Char! Char!” Charmander scolded, from his position on my shoulder.

“It didn’t go anywhere near your tail flame, Charmander. Stop your whining.” I continued through the tunnel. It was getting deeper. We were just passing beneath the factory labs at this point. I made a quiet prayer to myself that it was only water splashing me and not chemical waste or runoff from some unpleasant experiment. The labyrinthian system beneath the factory had turned out to be a lot easier to navigate than I’d expected, thanks in no small part to my Charmander and his impeccable sense of direction. His tail flame also lit up the tunnels better than any torch could. He was a regular swiss-army Pokémon.

“Charmander, up ahead.” I pointed forward at the upcoming crossroads. Charmander raised his claw to his chin and scratched. The flame on his tail pulsed and wavered.

“Char! Char!” He pointed right.

“Thanks pal.” I turned right, deeper into that warren of confusion.

*

It was our first job – literally the very first, we’d barely even set up shop. We’d not even paid the first month of rent on the office. I was still moving my desk in when an old guy knocked on the glass of our door. Our first client.

“Are you the Hitokage Detective Agency?” his nasally voice whispered into the office.

Actually, forget about old. This guy was prehistoric. I remember almost jumping out of my skin when I saw his shrivelled face peering in, the huge spectacles magnifying his cloudy ancient eyes, his bald and liver-spotted head serrated by the shadow of the office blinds. My first thought was that it was a Pokémon I’d never seen before. I’d heard they were cloning ancient Pokémon in a lab somewhere, but no, this was just a man. I put on my business face, invited him in, and heard him out.

Like anyone else who still lived in that hellhole, he worked in a factory. In fact, he owned a handful of factories, he explained. And his top factory was in trouble, someone kept blocking the inflow pipe and it looked like corporate espionage. He wanted us to catch the criminals in the act. It wasn’t the romantic first case I’d imagined but he was paying in cash. The money was good. And besides, in Gringey city, romance was a foreign word.

“Sir, we’ll take the case.” I said once he’d explained his situation. He stuck out a cold and leathery hand – the texture and colour was the same as the hide of a Sandshrew – and I shook it with a wince. Once he’d left and Charmander had woken from his nap, we headed out into the haze and smokestacks of Gringey City.

*

“Char! Char!” He pointed forward. I could see it too. The tunnel was getting wider. It was getting shallower too. Which was good, because moments earlier it had almost reached my chest. I’d nearly had to carry Charmander above my head, which wouldn’t have gone down well. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the light of his tail flame reflect off of something on the wall. I moved closer. The brick here was dark and furry-looking, as it had been since we entered the tunnel. But in this section of the tunnel, the wall glistened with a shimmering film, like someone had sneezed all over it.

“What do you reckon Charmander?”

“Char…”

“Yeah, I’m not stupid. I wasn’t exactly going to stick my hand in it.” I saw his tail flame flicker. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to snap. This place is freaking me out.”

“Char!” I felt his hand grip my shirt.

“You too, huh?”

“Char! Char!”

His attention was no longer on the wall. I saw that he was pointing off further down the tunnel. Something was down there.

“Ok, calm down pal.” We began moving down the tunnel. I could feel him rumbling on my shoulder, getting ready to attack. His tail began to light up the remainder of the tunnel. A dead-end. The wall at the far end was covered in the same slime.

“Char!”

“I thought you were leading us to the inflow pipe?”

“CHAR!”

“Don’t shout at me, you’re the one who led us down a dead-end.”

But all of a sudden it made sense. Charmander wasn’t shouting at me. He was shouting at the wall. The wall that was slick with a sticky substance. The wall that had begun to twist and writhe. Spots of moonlight shot through the wall as cracks began to appear. It seemed to be alive. Looking up, I realised that the ceiling of the tunnel was bending and snaking too, in the same eldritch way as the wall. Something fell from the top of the tunnel with a wet slap. It landed in the water at our feet, a large pile of purple goo. Charmander was urging me to move, but I couldn’t look away. Two eyes appeared out of the goo. Then a toothless, gaping maw.

“GRIIIIIME!” it croaked. Something inside of me snapped, the spell of fear that had been cast over me broke. I began to back away.

“Ok Charmander, not too quick. Let’s just-“ My sentence was cut short as a pile of the gunk hit me on the back, propelling Charmander from my shoulder. Another hit my other shoulder, sending me sprawling.

“Char! Char!” He stood on his tiptoes, holding his flame high above the dirty water.

“Hold on Charmander. Just keep your tail out of the water.” Another mound of sludge hit my belly as I tried to scramble to my feet, knocking the wind out of me. I went to scream, and a heap landed on my face. I felt it begin to seep down my throat. Some began clogging my nose. I couldn’t breathe. The smell of sulphur and mould was unbearable.

“GRIIIIIME!”

I felt more land on my arms and legs as they pushed me under the water. There were dull vibrations as more of the things landed around me. I began to black out.

“CHAAAAAAAAAAR!” There was a blast of heat overhead, above the water. I felt the muddy weights move off me in a flash, retreating from the flames. I could hear muted squeals. Desperate for air, I threw my head above the water as soon as the fire disappeared and took in a deep gasp. My mouth still tasted foul. Behind me, Charmander stood still holding his tail above the water. Smoke curled around his snout.

“Flamethrower, huh?” I croaked.

“Char!”

“Well done buddy, I think you just saved me from a whole heap of trouble.” I stood up and spat out the last of the grime. The Pokémon seemed to have fled, revealing the inflow pipe at the end of the tunnel, where the pulsating wall had been just moments earlier. I reached down and picked up Charmander, putting him on my shoulder.

“Char?”

“I don’t have a clue. But they were disgusting. At least they seem to have gone now. They must have been clogging up the inflow pipe.”

“Char! Char!”

“Yeah, I guess it was a success. Though when they make the movie adaptation of our life stories, they can leave out this case.” We began walking back out of the tunnel. Charmander’s tail was flickering and glowing.

“Char!”

“Of course you’d be the star of the film.”

“Char?”

“I don’t think you’d want him to play you.”

“Char!”

“Good point. C’mon, let’s go get paid.”

Generation #1 · Generation #1 (1-10) · Stories

The Horror – Part 3 (A Venusaur Story)

Story by Jack Bumby.

This is part 3 of this story. If you haven’t read parts, one or two, check them out first!

Venusaur Gravestone
The anger in its eyes was replaced by weariness. It was tired of the fight. Image credit: Laurie MacQueen

“SAUUUUUUUUUUR!”

The sound burst from the foliage, sending a flock of Pidgeys shooting above the canopy. It was coming from beyond the vast muddy tract to the side of the shanty village.

“Get somewhere safe, if you know what’s good for you,” I shouted to the men and women, in their black hoods. I noticed that a small red ‘R’ had been sewn into a few of them. Rebranding was right.

“Good luck,” the grunt I was talking to spat.

“Just stay down. You lot have done enough.” I gestured over my shoulder. “Growlithe, with me.” She jumped down from the boat and stood by my side. In that moment I thanked the stars I wouldn’t have to make my way over the crest of that dark hillock by myself. I walked forward, the Venusaur roared once more, urging me into a run. Growlithe stayed by my heels, keeping speed with my swift, heavy footsteps.

*

We were up the hill in seconds and, upon reaching the top, I realised the scale of the operation. In a semi-circle that reached about a mile in diameter, every tree had been decimated so not even a stump remained. In the middle of this, a huge ribbon of land had been cut out and filled with metal and concrete. Judging from what the guy at the dock had said, this was just the entrance too. No doubt there was an entire network of tunnels and pipes below me. For a moment, I thought I could feel the thrum of the machinery coursing through the ancient ground. Or perhaps it was the scarred, violated ground itself, screaming out. Before I could ponder this, that booming cry let out once more.

“SAUUUUUUUUUUR!”

About a quarter of the way around the vast semicircle, the trees shook. It reminded me of the supportive groups of Dugtrio we’d seen on our descent into this wretched place. Though I knew that the thing coming out of the trees was something permeated with uncompromising anger, not the kind, cooperative spirits of the burrowing Pokémon we’d seen the day before.

“SAUUUUUUUUUUR!”

And could I blame it for being angry? This was its home, had no doubt been its home for decades, and it was being devastated. Not only that, but it had been forced to stand by and watch as other Pokémon were subjected to the cruellest kinds of servitude. Of course it would intervene, how could ‘Team Rocket’ have expected anything less?

“SAUUUUUUUUUUR!”

I’d spent so long battling and training Pokémon, focusing on my next big win and the next big pay out, that it had long slipped my mind that Pokémon were living creatures with their own spirits and ways of life.

“SAUUUUUUUUUUR!” This final cry was the closest yet. And as that fact occurred to me, and my hat was blown from my head, the Venusaur burst through the treeline. The Venusaur I’d trekked into hell to capture, the Pokémon I was being paid to subdue. Only now I realised that either the forgettable man in his minimalist office had been mistaken or, more likely, he had lied. This was no ordinary Venusaur. I’d done my research, and I’d seen more than my share of Venusaur in my time – battled a few too. They usually stood at around six foot, this one was over eight. It was also the oldest Pokémon I’d ever seen. It almost looked like it was part of the forest, moss and leaves clung to its hide, small flowers bloomed to accompany the gigantic tree on its back. It stood now, just out of the canopy, observing the latest damage. I gestured for Growlithe to remain where she was. She obliged, but looked at me as if to say I hope you know what you’re doing. I took a gulp, crouched down a little lower, steeled myself, and approached it.

*

It let out another blistering roar as I approached, but this one seemed more for show. It didn’t seem to see me as a threat. Though, I realised when I was in spitting distance, things might be a heck of a lot different if I was in a Team Rocket get-up. Moving my hand upwards, the Venusaur bent down to receive it. I stroked its muzzle. It rumbled contently.

“I’m not like the others. I was sent here to capture you,” I began. In its eyes I saw brief panic, or anger, but I continued as quickly as I could. “But I won’t be doing that. I’ve seen what they’ve done to your home, and I can’t bring it back. I’m sorry, but we’re fighting forces beyond our comprehension.” It looked dismayed at this, and turned to go back into the forest. I called after it, “But I know where you can exist peacefully. A place where you can live your last few years in quiet serenity.”

“Sauuuuur?” Its voice was gentler now. It turned back around. The anger in its eyes was replaced by weariness. It was tired of the fight. I knew that a warrior like that could never back down from a battle. But this particular battle was close to killing it.

“And,” I smiled at it, “There’s no reason we can’t tear this place down on our way out.”

*

Venusaur made short work of the construction site. Once I’d identified the weak spots and pointed them out, its vines made the laboratory into a pit of nothing more than rubble. It wouldn’t stop the construction, but it would slow it down. Though, if we were lucky, the cost implications would be too great for Team Rocket and the whole operation might be written off.

“Let’s go,” I said, to Growlithe and Venusaur, “There’s a boat waiting and an army between us and it.”

I soon found that my warning was premature. Once down the hill, Venusaur obliterated any resistance. In a flurry of vines it dispatched all the grunts, sending them flying into the water downriver. One lucky grunt managed to throw a Pokémon before being thrown screaming into the murky eddy. It was a Houndoom, and it may have even been a Mega Houndoom. I never got chance to find out. Growlithe and I looked on, stunned, as Venusaur sent out a scorching Solar Beam which sent the dark Pokémon fleeing into the underbrush.

*

The battle was nothing compared to getting that great, lumbering creature onto the S.S. Cactus. The Captain mimed a dramatic fainting motion when I began leading the mossy giant on board. But we managed it, with the help of the First Mate and about a dozen, freed Machamp, Machoke, and Machop. Once accomplished, Growlithe rubbed against my leg.

“You didn’t do so bad yourself girl,” I said, before retiring to our cabin.

*

The sun had come up. The sound of the Vermilion City port drifted closer.

“What happened then?” Jaime asked. I was surprised she’d stayed awake.

“Well I never heard from Team Rocket again. Though soon after returning home, I found that I was no longer welcome to participate in the Pokémon League, which was surely their doing. But I discovered on that journey back up the river, as the sounds of Pokémon conversing and playing drifted into my cabin, that battling was no longer the life for me. I’d find my purpose doing something to benefit all Pokémon, something worthwhile. Even now, decades later, I don’t know if I’ve found it yet. But Growlithe (now Arcanine) and I have had one heck of a time searching.”

The group sat around me smiled. I looked at Arcanine as she dozed. She’d heard all this before.

“As for that Venusaur, she lived out her final years in complete peacful harmony, surrounded by younger Pokémon who would often sit around in a circle and listen to her stories. I never told anyone where I’d taken her, but I still visit now and then to pay my respects to the Pokémon that changed my life.”

Generation #1 (1-10) · Stories

The Horror – Part 1 (Venusaur Story)

Story by Jack Bumby. Part 1 of 3.

The Horror
We began our journey into that enigmatic place of mystery and malice. Image Credit: @fdjrt

The PA system buzzed and a tired voice crackled out. “Sorry folks, looks like we’re here all night. The water’s too choppy to cross, but we’ll have you in Vermilion City by daybreak tomorrow.”

The others groaned. Arcanine let out a low whine and covered his head with his paw. I leant back into her fur and lowered the brim of my hat over my eyes. The giant living pillow beneath my head rumbled.

*

I’m not sure how long I slept before their discussion woke me. I opened my eyes and surveyed the cabin. Flames bounced from the low ceiling, down the walls, and lit up the sleeping Pokémon around the space. In the centre, the other trainers were huddled around a small fire – talking about their glory days. It took a few moments for me to gather my senses, but I realised they were talking about the biggest Pokémon they’d ever encountered, or perhaps the most dangerous. In my experience, the two went hand-in-hand. Jamie’s laughter had awoken me. It was a sudden, distressing sound, like a Haunter with a sore throat. I closed my eyes, hoping to catch up with the last few tendrils of the dream I was having before they vanished forever.

“Hey Robert!” It was Jamie. I briefly wondered about keeping my eyes closed, pretending I was still sound asleep and hadn’t heard her. But there wasn’t much chance of me falling back asleep anyway. I sat up and stretched my arms with a dull pop.

“Yes, Jamie?” Irritation had seeped into my voice. I tried to hide it. “Are you guys alright?”

“We were wondering,” she broke eye contact, shifting her gaze to the straw-ridden floor, “What’s the most dangerous Pokémon you’ve ever seen? Face-to-face I mean.”

The others looked around at me. Their voracious eyes flickered orange in the fire-light.

“Guys, you don’t want to hear an old man’s stories.”

“Of course we do!” Jamie burst in.

“It’s not very nice. I don’t like to talk about it.” Arcanine shifted under me, nudging me with her head. “But, if you guys want to hear it.”

Jamie looked back at the others, as if to say I told you he would. Whatever anyone says, deep down everyone enjoys telling stories.

“Ok, shift a bit closer. And put that fire out. The sun’s coming up soon and we’ll be on the move again.”

I began.

*

When I was a young man, I made a bit of a name for myself as a trainer. Nothing fancy, but enough to attract the attention of a few particular organisations. They liked my efficiency, and the fact that I’d never lost a battle didn’t hurt things either. I’d also managed to catch a troublesome Onix, one people said could never be caught – let alone trained. (But that, as they say, is another story for another day). There was one up-and-coming organisation in particular that took an interest after that moment. You’ve probably heard of them as Team Rocket, but back then they were called something different. I can’t recall.

I took the meeting with the head honcho. You have to remember, I was popular back then, and that meant I made a lot of Pokédollars. But being that popular, I spent most of it as I made it. Usually on things I’d regret. So I took the meeting. What harm was there? He was offering me some sort of opportunity, said it would raise my profile even more and it’d be easy money. And, as I said, my pockets were tapped. I was more than willing to ride that potential gravy train.

The meeting was odd. I was lead, or escorted, to the penthouse office of the biggest building I’d seen in my life. In that office was one table, and a chair on either side. The man across from me during that meeting made next to no impression in my mind. It’s as if he could have been any number of people.

“We want you to catch a Pokémon, a Venusaur,” he said. His voice was perhaps the least memorable thing about this already forgettable man. Looking back, I think he wanted me to forget every detail about him.

“Of course.” I was happy to do it, this was firmly in my wheelhouse. But I knew the old idiom, if something’s too good to be true, blah, blah. “What’s the catch?” I asked.

“No catch. Having this Venusaur out of the equation is in this business’ best interest. It’s been causing quite a lot of environmental havoc. Not to mention quite a bit of pandemonium with the local populace.”

It was an altruistic view, but it mattered little to me. I only needed to know one thing, “What’s the pay?”

He went into more detail after that. Apparently, a Venusaur was running rampant in a rural area just outside the Kanto region. It was a desolate, depressing place. Only reachable by boat. It was this more than the money that hooked me. As a boy I’d always been fascinated by the dark places on the map, the undiscovered areas of the world. Of course, by the time I’d grown up, the majority had been discovered and someone had built a Pokémart and a gym. After we’d agreed on pay, the only question I wanted answering was when I could get started.

*

The boat they gave me should have been my first clue that things weren’t exactly on the level. It was named the S.S. Cactus, and it looked like a wreck that had been left as a bizarre floating mausoleum. The captain didn’t instil much confidence in me either. An ancient Mr Mime, he looked older than even the ship. The moth-eaten peaked cap atop his head appeared older than the two combined. He showed me to my quarters. It was a small cabin at the rear of the ship, barely large enough for myself and Growlithe. But we’d spent a few tough nights in Viridian Forest, and compared to that with its incessant buzzing of Beedrils and the constant hooting of Noctowls, the cramped accommodation was practically the S.S. Anne.

I soon found out that, apart from the Captain and the Machamp acting as First Mate, we were the only ones on that vast ship. But, through a tricky exchange, the Captain assured us that it wasn’t a long journey. I asked the First Mate and the Captain just before we set off if either of them had heard talk of the Venusaur at the end of the river. The Captain pretended not to have heard, and First Mate Machamp all of a sudden made himself very busy moving my luggage aboard.

Soon after that, we began our journey into that enigmatic place of mystery and malice.

Go to Part 2!

Makes and Fun Spots

Make Some Bulbasaur Biscuits!

My Bulbasaur loves to bake and he asked me to share one of his favourite recipes with you . We hope you enjoy making some Bulbasaur Biscuits!

What do I need?

170g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cap of vanilla essence
400g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of salt
300g chocolate
Chocolate decorations

Mixing bowl and spoon
Weighing scales
Rolling pin
Bulbasaur cookie cutter (I used the Cuticuter ones, but you can also get similar ones on Etsy)
Baking tray
Clingfilm
Baking paper
Microwave and microwave-safe bowl for melting chocolate
Spoon or knife (pallet knife or butter knife are good)

Step #1

Cut the butter into small cubes and place in a mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar. This might be more difficult if the butter has been in the fridge!

Step #2

Add the eggs, flour, salt and vanilla essence into the butter mixture. You could sieve the flour for fewer flowery lumps. Mix well – you might want to use your hands.

You might need to add some more flour if your dough is too firm. Once a dough is formed, split in half and mould each half into flat ovals – splitting in two batches makes it easier to cook later. Wrap in clingfilm and put them in the fridge for at least one hour.

Step #3


Line a baking tray with baking paper and set the oven to 170°C (338°F).

Roll out one of your dough ovals on a floured surface to around 1/2cm-1cm thick, depending on how thick you want your biscuits to be! If you’re using the same cookie cutter as me, use the bottom part (the ‘outline cutter’ seen in the picture above) to cut a piece of dough near the edge. Leave this cut-out inside the ‘outline cutter’ and take the other part of the cutter (the part with Bulbasaur’s details on) and press lightly into the dough. It should fit exactly into the ‘outline cutter’. Be careful not to push too hard, I found it was best to push so the back of the ‘detail-cutter’ was level with the ‘outline cutter’.

Step #4

Place your Bulbasaur on the baking tray, spacing them out evenly. Put your biscuits in the oven for 8-12 minutes.

Step #5

When cooked, place on a wire rack (or an upturned baking tray lined with baking paper will do!) to cool.

Step #6

Make up your second batch, following the same steps above. Remember to wash up after they’re all done!

Step #7

To decorate, snap your chocolate to pieces in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave in small bursts of no more than 10 seconds. In between each, take a metal spoon or knife (a butter or pallet knife are good) to stir the chocolate each time. Careful, as the bowl can get quite hot!

Once melted, carefully dip the back of each Bulbasaur biscuit in the chocolate. You might want to use your pallet knife to wipe off the excess, or spread the chocolate more evenly. Have a tissue handy to wipe chocolate from your fingers so you don’t get too much on the front! You can use all sorts of sprinkles! We went for milk chocolate (left), dark chocolate (middle), just chocolate (right) and we left some plain.

Put the biscuits in the fridge to set.

Step #8

Enjoy!

Makes and Fun Spots

Who’s that Canned-mon?

What a surprise I had today when I go to grab a can of Sprite with my lunch and just before I take it to the till, what do I notice on the shelf? A Bulbasaur-variant Ocean Bomb!

What is Ocean Bomb?

Ocean Bomb is a Taiwanese sparkling water manufacturer that claims to source its water from depths of 750m under the seas of Asia.

They decorate their cans with adorable characters! Some of these I don’t actually know. There is a cute car, a little chick surrounded by a pink rabbit called Piske & Usagi… any ideas? However, they do happen to have a whole Pokémon range! The variants include Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu, Snorlax Jigglypuff and Master Ball. I also hear a Psyduck one is floating about, but it might be a Taiwan-only one for now.

The Bulbasaur version is apple flavoured and tastes a little like Appletiser. If you want to try it and live in the UK, I found it (and the Snorlax one) at Asian-fusion restaurant East Street in Manchester! However, I bet its in other places… let me know if you see them, I’d love to try the other flavours! Gotta taste ’em all!

If you’re not near Manchester, they do sell them on Amazon and the company’s website.

Generation #1 (1-10)

Bulbasaur (#1)

Bulbasaur
Fruit can be given periodically as a treat. Image credit: Takamizawa Usui.

Bulbasaur are typically sensible beings and are known for their caretaking abilities. Mine finds great pleasure in maintaining his (very orderly) garden and looking after my baby niece, Clara. Many a time, I’ve seen him gently rock her cradle and sing the Bulba-by and it brings joy to my heart each time. I think it might be part of their communal nature. If you ever go to Kanto and are lucky enough to happen upon an evolution ceremony, you will know what I mean.

Where to find one

The only chance you’ll get to catch a Bulbasaur in the wild is at their gatherings, which occur once a year. However, I really wouldn’t advise this. A Bulbasaur-Ivysaur-Venosaur community is very wary and secretive. In fact, they can be so elusive that it is extremely difficult for trainers to find the meeting place. Not only are they held in the depths of very hard-to-reach forests, but their groups contain a good mixture of low- and high-level individuals. Those energetic Ivysaur might just decide you could be their next best plaything. And then there’s the all-mighty protectors of the forest, Venusaur, who will no doubt try and chase you off if you cause a stir.

If you do find a gathering, be courteous. I’ve always found if you respect nature, it won’t bother you. That seems to be the case here. I’ve been lucky enough to catch the ceremony once or twice and it is such a spectacle. If you are an experienced trainer and intend on catching a Bulbasaur at one of these events, it is best to wait until after proceedings have died down. Slowly approach a group near the edge of the clearing and clearly state your intentions. If one is willing to take you on, let the battle commence! If not, either ask another group or try again next year. Some things are worth waiting for.

For all but the most experienced trainers, the best way to get a Bulbasaur companion is to talk to a breeder. When you first meet the brood, make sure to look for one of the individuals that is playing with its litter-mates, sunbathing, or energetically undertaking a private hobby. A young Bulbasaur should never be isolated or standing in a corner. If you see this behaviour, please tell the breeder. It may mean they have to alter their training.

Preparing the home

A Bulbasaur’s social life is a complex one. At heart, one caught from the wild is extremely social and caring but they can also be quite aloof and stand-offish. That’s because they live alone or in small family groups for most of the year, in the wild. The gatherings I spoke about are very special occasions.

Don’t be fooled, though. Just because your Bulbasaur is aloof doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. Bulbasaur communities know each individual extremely well. They learn to recognise each other by their unique facial and body markings, as well as their scent, powders, and impressions they make in the grass. So, don’t get too unnerved if your new Bulbasaur stares at you a lot or inspects where you’ve just been sitting on the sofa. He’s just trying to work you out.

Gardening
Encourage your Bulbasaur to take up a hobby, like gardening. Image credit: Marta Maszkiewicz.

Speaking of their powders, or spores, be prepared for the house to be covered with them! A Bulbasaur uses its powders as a way of scent marking – the way a cat might mark a couch by scratching or a dog by peeing on a hydrant. That means that in the early days, you won’t be able to go a day without finding it everywhere like white feathery snow. Don’t worry, it’s not poisonous at this stage. However, be sure to train your friend to stop marking the house if you’re planning on teaching him moves like Poison Powder or Sleep Powder.

When introducing a new Bulbasaur to your home, you want to make sure he has his own private space where he cannot be disturbed. This will preferably be in a sunny spot in the garden or by a south-facing window. Buy him a few potted plants and encourage him to care for them, and make sure he has access to rainwater at least once a week. If you live in an arid area, you might want to buy a water butt and save some up for him. Tap water isn’t the worst thing in the world, but they can get a little sickly if they get no rainwater at all.

Raising for battle

Bulbasaur is a grass-poison Pokémon and its fighting moves largely revolve around its vines and powders.

If you want to focus on powder-based moves such as Poison Powder, Sleep Powder, Worry Seed and Seed Bomb, you’ll want to encourage him to scent-mark. To save your house, try picking out a designated training area and place something with his scent on at each corner. You can buy specially generic pre-scented flags from your local Pokémart if that’s easier. Next, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the types of powder. You can actually use his diet to influence the types produced. Feed him Deadly Nightshade, Castor Bean, or Water Hemlock (these are deadly to humans, so treat with utmost care) to encourage his poison spores, or Lavender and Jasmine to strengthen his sleep spores.

The physical moves like Take Down, Vine Whip, Razor Leaf, and Double Edge will be easier to train. Bulbasaur are quite intelligent and eager-to-please so this should be fairly easy to do with a couple sandbag training dolls, targets and treats.

Keeping Bulbasaur happy and healthy

Whether you’re training for battle or just raising as a pet, it is very important for Bulbasaur to sunbathe. I can’t stress this enough. Being a plant-based creature, one of Bulbasaur’s energy sources is the sun (photosynthesis). Make sure your Bulbasaur gets at least half an hour a day of peak-time sunlight in summer and triple that in winter. If you live in a cloudy, rainy place like I do you could buy an incandescent light but this is in no way a full substitute. Bulbasaur that cannot get enough sunlight must be given nutritional supplements. You can get advice from your local Pokémart’s nutritionist.

As well as light, your Bulbasaur must also eat. He lives on a herbivorous diet of grass, legumes, and leafy greens. Fruit can be given periodically as a treat. Other plant-based things can be ok, too. For example, my Bulbasaur got a peculiar obsession with peanuts for a while. Just make sure that any extra food like this is given in moderation and watch their weight. No one wants a chubby bubby!

As I’ve mentioned, Bulbasaur are usually intelligent and benefit from hobbies. This varies from individual to individual, but activities I’ve seen include gardening, painting, baking, target practice (for particularly avid battlers), and even training other Pokémon! Their vines are quite dexterous and they can be very inventive. If your Bulbasaur is struggling to find something naturally, feel free to suggest some activities he may not have thought about. However, always let him choose and don’t try and force him into it.

Overall

Bulbasaur is said to be great for new trainers due to their devoted, caring nature and their will to please. I generally agree with this sentiment. However, as you have seen, there is a lot more to this bubbly soul and they have some pretty particular needs. Saying that, you’ll find no other Pokémon more willing to work together to overcome any hurdle.


Sleeping Bulbasaur
Sleeping Bulbasaur. Image credit: Olivia Bigelow.
  • Watch out for the first Bulbasaur story on 29th April!
  • For a Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Venusaur Sonnet, click here (partner website).
Introduction

Introduction

Pokémon are one of the greatest joys in life. They’re our friends, our colleagues and our family. They live beside us so harmoniously nowadays that sometimes it is hard to remember that these are wild creatures at heart. This guide aims to advise you on how to care for your Pokémon, including keeping them healthy, happy and fit. Providing the right level of care is no small feat, as each species has a multitude of different personalities, wants and needs. This is in no way a comprehensive guide – for that you’ll need to take time in getting to know your own Pokémon the hard way – but this will hopefully be a good stepping stone to building that relationship.

In this guide, you will find a combination of care advice and stories. There will be one advice sheet for each Pokémon, including where to find it, how to prepare your home for its arrival, how to keep it fighting fit, and how to make sure it is happy and healthy. In between these, you will find the stories. Some of the these will be my experiences, while some will be tales from the friends I have made over the years, including Pokémon lovers in all sorts of roles. Here, we will share with you the scary times, the epic battles, the sad times and those precious moments we hold dear.

We try and find a perfect match between trainer and Pokémon. Image credit: Marta Maszkiewicz

About me and my Pokémon breeding centre

My journey with Pokémon started many years ago. I, too, started out with wild dreams of fighting my way to the top of the leagues to become the Pokémon Master. Let me tell you, I came close! However, I stumbled onto what I now see as a greater and more difficult task: a Pokémon Breeder. We aim to find a deep understanding of every Pokémon that passes through our centre, from their personality and psychology to their physical and mental needs.

We also try and perfectly match trainer and Pokémon, aiming for healthy, prosperous relationships. Some people that come to our centres are trainers looking for a new battle partner, parents looking for a companion for their children or businessmen seeking working Pokémon. The best breeders are those that are credited by the International Breeder’s Association (IBA). Please be careful to find a registered breeder, as there are too many unlicensed thieves out there who sell mistreated and sick Pokémon that often have behavioural issues. Bandit groups like Team Rocket are also known to be involved, claiming to have ‘trained out’ unwanted traits. No true breeder will make any such claims.

I do hope you enjoy my stories and find them useful on your journey to be the very best.