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Bulbasaur was designed by Atsuko Nishida, one of the character designers for Pocket Monsters Red and Blue, who based its design on Venusaur, the fully evolved form of Bulbasaur. The species first appeared as one of three starter Pokémon the player could choose from at the beginning of the initial Game Boy games, Pokémon Red and Blue, released in Japan in 1996. Its Japanese name, Fushigidane (fu-SHI-gi-DON-e), is a combination of the Japanese words for mystery or miracle (fushigi) and seed (tane). In translating the game for English speaking audiences, Nintendo gave the Pokémon "cleverly descriptive names" related to their appearance or features as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children; thus Bulbasaur, a portmanteau relating to both its dinosaurian appearance and the large garlic-shaped bulb on its back. The idea to feature Bulbasaur and the other Red and Blue starters in a significant role in Pokémon X and Y came about a year and a half into the development of the games. The Mega Evolutions for the three Pokémon's final forms were created, and the designers decided that they should give players an opportunity to receive one of these Pokémon from Professor Sycamore, the games professor, to see their Mega Evolved form.

Appearances

Bulbasaur made its video game debut on February 27, 1996, in the Japanese-language games Pocket Monsters Red and Green. Along with Charmander and Squirtle, Bulbasaur is a starter Pokémon the player can choose from at the beginning of the games. Bulbasaur's dual typing of Grass and Poison type is in contrast to Charmander's Fire type and Squirtle's Water type. Bulbasaur is the only starter in Red, Blue, and Green that has a dual typing. Bulbasaur and the other starters from Red and Blue are replaced by Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow, the only starter available in it. Instead, they are obtained throughout the game from several trainers. In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, remakes of Red and Blue, Bulbasaur is selectable as a starter Pokémon once again, along with Charmander and Squirtle. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, after obtaining all sixteen badges and defeating Red, the player can choose to obtain either Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle. In Pokémon X and Y, players can also choose between Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle near the start of the game shortly after having chosen the games' new starter Pokémon.

The Nintendo 64 spin-off Pokémon Stadium, and other spin-offs such as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, give the player a choice of a Bulbasaur (among fifteen other Pokémon), and in Pokémon Snap, Bulbasaur are one of the Pokémon that the player can photograph. It also appears in Pokémon Puzzle League as one of Ash's Pokémon. Bulbasaur also appears in Hey You, Pikachu! as a supporting character who lives in the Ochre Woods and makes the five recipes with Pikachu's help. In Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, Bulbasaur appears as one of the obtainable trophies. Bulbasaur appears in PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure as the host of a mini-game called "Daring Dash".

In 2016, Bulbasaur was one of the four starter Pokémon in Pokémon Go.

Appearance

Despite their English names, Ken Sugimori confirmed that the design of Bulbasaur and its evolutions are based on onions and frogs, albeit identified more with a smaller Dicynodont. In the Pokémon franchise, Bulbasaur are small, squat amphibian and plant Pokémon that move on all four legs, and have light blue-green bodies with darker blue-green spots. As a Bulbasaur undergoes evolution into Ivysaur and then later into Venusaur, the bulb on its back blossoms into a large flower. The seed on a Bulbasaur's back is planted at birth and then sprouts and grows larger as the Bulbasaur grows. The bulb absorbs sunlight which allows it to grow, and for this reason, Bulbasaur enjoy soaking up the sun's rays.  

PokeDex Entries

Red & Blue: A strange seed was planted on its back at birth. The plant sprouts and grows with this POKéMON.

Yellow:It can go for days without eating a single morsel. In the bulb on its back, it stores energy.

Gold:The seed on its back is filled with nutrients. The seed grows steadily larger as its body grows.

Silver:it carries a seed on its back right from birth. As it grows older, the seed also grows larger.

Crystal: While it is young, it uses the nutrients that are stored in the seeds on its back in order to grow.

Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald: BULBASAUR can be seen napping in bright sunlight. There is a seed on its back. By soaking up the sun’s rays, the seed grows progressively larger.

FireRed:There is a plant seed on its back right from the day this POKéMON is born. The seed slowly grows larger.

LeafGreen:A strange seed was planted on its back at birth. The plant sprouts and grows with this POKéMON.

Diamond, Pearl & Platinum:For some time after its birth, it grows by gaining nourishment from the seed on its back.

HeartGold The seed on its back is filled with nutrients. The seed grows steadily larger as its body grows.

SoulSilver: It carries a seed on its back right from birth. As it grows older, the seed also grows larger.

Black & White & Black 2 & White 2: For some time after its birth, it grows by gaining nourishment from the seed on its back.

X: A strange seed was planted on its back at birth. The plant sprouts and grows with this Pokémon.

Y:For some time after its birth, it grows by gaining nourishment from the seed on its back.

Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire: Bulbasaur can be seen napping in bright sunlight. There is a seed on its back. By soaking up the sun’s rays, the seed grows progressively larger.

Lets go Pikachu & Lets go Eevee: it can go for days without eating a single morsel. In the bulb on its back, it stores energy.

Sword: There is a plant seed on its back right from the day this Pokémon is born. The seed slowly grows larger.

Shield: While it is young, it uses the nutrients that are stored in the seed on its back in order to grow.


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