Just look in ~ this tyke; how have the right to you not love him? He’s every manner the round and warm and also roly-poly and also everything that makes for a wonderful little friend. The lovely cream and off-black fur mix gives him a nice intuitive contrast and really makes those fiery “quills” ~ above his earlier pop to the eye. He’s perfectly precious, and yes I’m biased, but that doesn’t make it much less true.

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Cyndaquil is referred to as the “fire mouse”, but he doesn’t smell specifically mousey come me, and the obvious “quill” hook points the viewer much more at a porcupine 보다 anything. The lengthy nose argues something an ext of a possum or a shrew, really, and his coloration even gives off a hints of badger. The finest blend of all of these would certainly be an echidna, however given that most starter Pokémon space based on animals recognizable exterior of Sonic the Hedgehog, I favor to think that he’s miscellaneous of one amalgamation of various tiny mammals and rodents, mish-mashed with each other to kind his own tiny charming critter.

I never understand quite exactly how to feel about Pokémon v permanently-squinted eyes. Top top one hand, it’s a little of a nasty caricature, also if it doesn’t really use to the monster in ~ hand and I sincerely doubt the the same connotation is typical in Japan where these were designed. Top top the other, it’s nice gosh-dang adorable, with the resulting critter looking choose he’s simply happy come be right here or perpetually all set for a nap.

Cyndaquil’s finest feature, though? once he’s calmed down, those flames top top his earlier die out, revealing the set of four “burners” the they vent from. He’s a little walking stove; how neat is that?!

#156 – Quilava

Quilava has actually something that a Charmeleon Syndrome going; his fiery mohawk and angry-eyes peg him in that “rebellious teen” stage. Unequal Charmeleon, however, Quilava didn’t get all angly and boney top top evolution. Instead, he just gained a bit baggier and also lankier, still definitely something you could hug and lounge around with. No that he’d let girlfriend of course – just look at that cool pose. He’s got too much mindset for relaxing.

His basis seems to have actually moved on to stoat or weasel offered his much longer body shape, v the quills tho there but not as dominant now that the biology has enough of a body to perform something much better than curly up. Ns love that this family kind of runs a gamut of tiny mammals in your inspirations; porcupine is a consistent mix-in, but otherwise they kind of bounce around while keeping the totality line feeling consistent. It’s a quite balance.

#157 – Typhlosion

…and Typhlosion continues much in the very same way. Similar fur pattern, yet a more powerful build, a mane of fire-quills, and something of a “tattered cloak” look with his stop fur. You’ve gained some wolverine, honey badger, even a little bit of be affected by each other in there, plus the fangs and also pointed-back ears space some pretty global “fierce animal” markers. One more one that captures the idea the a powerful animal without explicitly spelling out “I to be a bear” or what have you.

Admittedly, Typhlosion may play things a bit too created for a fire-type, since he deserve to look a tiny plain next to the various other fully-evolved starter Pokémon. That’s perfectly fine by me, though; his very direct appearance renders him a bit much more naturally imposing, which certainly has its own appeal come it. On peak of that, offering him a body form with a clearer through-line makes him feel nimble enough to evade or outrun you. It makes for a nice switch from every various other fully-evolved starter Pokémon we’ve watched so far – every among the others in the an initial two generations can come across as chunky action figures, a stocky body v some limbs and accessories stuck on. Typhlosion, on the other hand, is pleasingly organic-feeling.

Typhlosion is among those Pokémon that excels at moving fast and hitting hard, and also that’s about it. Luckily, his stats room still spread fairly evenly (the exact same as Charizard’s, weird enough), so while he’s not going to blow anyone out of the water, the doesn’t really have crippling weakness or anything, that said, his movepool isn’t terribly interesting – many of his an excellent options room all fire-type moves – however he does get accessibility to Eruption, which has actually the very same power as a Hyper Beam when he’s at complete health – and also without needing a revolve to recharge. He’s mostly obtained the one trick, yet it’s a pretty great trick.

Oddly enough, Quilava seems to be something the the desired evolution v the authors of the anime – 2 headline characters have been in custody the a Cyndaquil, i beg your pardon after staying around in that is base type for eras (because Cyndaquil is adorable and also more-marketable) developed into Quilava… and also then never ever again. In fact, Typhlosion has had actually as countless appearances in the movies and also specials (exactly two) together in the main collection itself, i beg your pardon is definitely not the typical cadence for a monster introduced so beforehand in the series.

Cyndaquil’s flames – which, as mentioned, flare up and also die down depending on its mood – feel favor a really emotive monster design. Wherein a few first-generation monsters had “action features” favor retreating into shells, and we have actually seen a few burning tails, Cyndaquil’s flame-quills take it up together a substantial proportion the its body the they feel very deliberate as a feature to make an otherwise terminally-hunched-over biology able to much more vividly refer itself.

With the brand being much more heavily established by the time the 2nd generation to be rolling around, I get the feeling that this was something of a test for the games getting an ext dynamic through their biology designs. Those quills are fine as static pixel art – the means that most human being would an initial encounter Cyndaquil – but they really paid off in the anime and, eventually, when the Pokémon’s sprites to be animated starting in Pokémon Crystal. Those depictions of the going native “little round of fur” come “flared up” do him feeling like possibly the most expressive that the second-generation starter Pokémon.

Where Cyndaquil and Quilava have actually pretty noticeable defensive and also offensive attributes right on your backs, the lore around Typhlosion has always been a tiny odder. He only has a bit of neck-scruff by compare – much more an intimidation feature than an action one. Instead, he just radiates sufficient heat when provoked to ward various other monsters turn off entirely. Then, if the doesn’t work, he rubs his abrasive and fire-retardant fur together to create localized explosions. Implausible as anything rather in this series, yet it certain fits the “flaming deterrent” theme, and also in a much more menacing way that’s terribly ideal for a final-stage monster.

Interestingly, the line’s German names monitor the exact same pattern as their English ones: Feurigel (Cyndaquil) lends its critical syllable to the an initial of Igelevar (Quilava), however Tornupto (Typhlosion) drops lock both entirely. It’s not like they’re a literal meaning translation, one of two people – igel is “hedgehog” rather than a shared feature of the two. Simply a happy coincidence.

I will say the it’s a little weird because that Typhlosion to be named in most major languages ~ a typhoon, which is an inherently wet weather event. Climate again, “typh-” has about a dozen other plausible alternate meanings, indigenous typhon (a Greek divine being married come Echidna, namesake the an pet Cyndaquil draws from) to Eulipotyphla, an bespeak of mammals that look no unlike the Cyndaquil family. Realistically, though, it’s almost certainly there because “typhoon-explosion” is just such a boyishly-cool pair the words come mash up right into a monster name.

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The Cyndaquil line to be my very first starter in my very first game, and I still organize that he’s a cute sucker v an interesting foundation that steers well clear of the “over-designed” camp. Probably not a monster who needs to display up in every game – he’s much more of a Reserve child – yet I’ll be darned if i don’t always hope he turns up.

Personal rating: ★★★★★

Any and all appreciation for Cyndaquil, Quilava, and Typhlosion is welcome in the comments!