Leave Charizard In The Past!

Pokemon character Charizard has been a fan favorite for over 25 years. But while it does still remain popular, its lack of uniqueness makes it unworthy of all the fan service GameFreak is giving it.

Ryan Ngai

One of the most iconic faces of the Pokémon franchise, Charizard, has long been a fan favorite. It’s the most popular in its generation, going on to feature in multiple other franchises like the Super Smash Bros series. Despite all the hullabaloo surrounding Charizard, however, it simply does not deserve the preferential treatment it has received from GameFreak.

GameFreak, the company behind the release of the Pokémon games, has captivated players for years with its ingenuity and creativity. Players, both recreational and professional, had come to appreciate the creativity of the setting, characters, and Pokémon in every new release—until a certain point. It is generally agreed that the release of the fifth generation marked a downwards trend in creativity and effort, and the beginning of an increased amount of unnecessary fan service. 

Charizard was introduced in 1996, in Pokemon Red and Blue. Despite average base stats, a rather plain design, and a lack of anything distinguishable, Charizard became a fan favorite among the Pokémon community. Eventually taking notice, GameFreak, the company responsible for developing the Pokémon games, hopped onto the Charizard bandwagon in 2013, the year of the release of the games X and Y. This installation in the series introduced the Mega Evolution, a special mechanic granted to a select few monsters.

Of the very few that received a Mega form, only two monsters received two Mega forms. One of these, Mewtwo, is a Legendary Pokémon widely considered to be the final boss of the game it first appears in. The other is Charizard, a monster with no special classification whatsoever. Charizard’s two counterparts, Venusaur and Blastoise, only received one Mega form each. This atrocious favoritism peaked in 2019 with the release of the Sword and Shield games. These games introduced the Gigantamax forms, which are similar to the Mega forms of X and Y. To no one’s surprise, Charizard received one such form (Blastoise and Venusaur originally didn’t). To add insult to injury, the Champion of the game–considered to be the strongest trainer in the region–has a Charizard (a 25 year old Pokemon) as his ace Pokémon, as opposed to a newly introduced Pokémon.

How far is GameFreak going to take this? Fan service is acceptable to a certain extent, but centering a game after a character introduced 25 years ago is taking it too far! Companies today seem to be capitalizing on nostalgia, with a dearth of original movies in Hollywood being one such example.

Be more confident in your new creations, GameFreak. Leave Charizard in the past!