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Pokemon Charizard Was Defying Pokemon Trainer in Smash Bros. 4

In a fun twist, Pokemon introduces the idea that Charizard was separate in Super Smash Bros. 4 because he was disobedient (like the anime).

January 19, 2019

Have you ever wondered why Charizard got the standalone treatment in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS? It may not be exactly “canon” but The Pokemon Company has an explanation that fits with the established Pokemon world, and one we will take on as a permanent headcanon until Sakurai comes around to de-confirm it.

News comes straight from Pokemon’s official website, where a blog post details some of the best Pokemon inclusions in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. To begin the blog post, the team first goes over the history of the franchise — including Pikachu’s inclusion in the original N64 fighting game. However, then they go into the inclusion of Pokemon Trainer who has Charizard back on his side once again.


According to the blog post, Charizard was standalone in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS because he simply decided to disobey the trainer, much like he did in the mainline Pokemon anime:

The returning Pokémon Trainer can send out Squirtle and Ivysaur, as well as Charizard, which is back at the Pokémon Trainer’s side after its previous standalone appearance. We’d like to believe that this Charizard merely decided to disobey its Trainer for a little while, much like Ash’s Charizard did in Pokémon the Series.

In case you aren’t a 90’s Kid©, this is a reference to Charizard’s signature disobedience traits in the anime. In Episode 46 (“Attack of the Prehistoric Pokemon”), Ash’s Charmeleon evolves into a Charizard to rescue him from a recently-resurrected Aerodactyl. However, that show of loyalty doesn’t pay off in the short run — in Episode 58 (“Riddle Me This”), Charizard’s flagrant disobedience comes out in full force. In a fight against gym leader Blaine, Charizard literally just lays down and refuses to fight.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t distinct ties to the mainline Pokemon series as well. Anyone worth their badges knows two things:

  • Pokemon with too-high levels will not obey you unless you have the gym badges to control them
  • Traded Pokemon will gain experience at a higher rate than naturally caught creatures

This would explain the series of events for Ash and (plausibly) the Gym Leader. Ash’s Charmander originally belonged to a straight-out abusive trainer named Damian, and Ash acquired him in a “trade” (more like flat out abandonment). Given he was a traded Pokemon, he would naturally “level-up” faster than Ash’s standard Pokemon causing disobedience issues down the line.

But is this all canon for Super Smash Bros. series? It’s hard to say, but it does give you a fun bit of lore to consider.

Of course, this isn’t the only Super Smash Bros. news to come out recently. It was debuted earlier this week that Piranha Plant will be heading to the recently-released Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sometime in February. Hopefully by then some of the funnier glitches will be patched out, including Isabelle’s ability to remove characters’ heads or create laughably oversized crowns.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now exclusively on Nintendo Switch; you can grab the game over on Amazon.

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Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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