Which one to choose? Revisit first-partner Pokémon from past adventures with our feature news


02/09/2016

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Any Pokémon Trainer worth their salt will tell you that one of the hardest decisions they’ve ever had to make is choosing a first-partner Pokémon – and who can blame them? It’s the first time you’ll be introduced to your very own Pokémon!

When Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon arrive on Nintendo 3DS family systems on November 23rd, Trainers will once again be forced to make a difficult choice. Will it be Rowlet, Litten or Popplio? If you’re still struggling to make your mind up, join us as we take a look back through the Pokémon series to see the first-partner Pokémon that had players “umm”ing and “ahh”ing over which one to take.

What are first-partner Pokémon?

At the start of each adventure, you’ll always get to choose a first-partner Pokémon from a choice of three who will accompany you on your travels. The selection of Pokémon on offer will usually include a Grass-type, Fire-type and Water-type.

Some Trainers agonise over the fine details such as a Pokémon’s type, abilities and potential to best suit them, whereas others will instinctively know which Pokémon will make the perfect partner on their journey.

The first-partner Pokémon of Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version

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Bulbasaur – Grass-/Poison type – 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.

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Charmander – Fire-type – The flame that burns at the tip of its tail is an indication of its emotions. The flame wavers when Charmander is enjoying itself. If the Pokémon becomes enraged, the flame burns fiercely.

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Squirtle – Water-type – Squirtle's shell is not merely used for protection. The shell's rounded shape and the grooves on its surface help minimise resistance in water, enabling this Pokémon to swim at high speeds.

These Pokémon appeared as first-partner Pokémon again in Pokémon FireRed, Pokémon LeafGreen and Pokémon GO.

The first-partner Pokémon of Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition

Unlike other games in the Pokémon series, Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition features only one first-partner Pokémon: Pikachu. Unique to this game, Pikachu follows players around throughout their journey.

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Pikachu – Electric-type – This Pokémon has electricity-storing pouches on its cheeks. These appear to become electrically charged during the night while Pikachu sleeps. It occasionally discharges electricity when it is dozy after waking up.

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Chikorita – Grass-type – In battle, Chikorita waves its leaf around to keep the foe at bay. However, a sweet fragrance also wafts from the leaf, becalming the battling Pokémon and creating a cosy, friendly atmosphere all around.

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Cyndaquil – Fire-type – Cyndaquil protects itself by flaring up the flames on its back. The flames are vigorous if the Pokémon is angry. However, if it is tired, the flames splutter fitfully with incomplete combustion.

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Totodile – Water-type – Despite the smallness of its body, Totodile's jaws are very powerful. While the Pokémon may think it is just playfully nipping, its bite has enough power to cause serious injury.

These Pokémon appeared as first-partner Pokémon again in Pokémon HeartGold and Pokémon SoulSilver.

The first-partner Pokémon of Pokémon Ruby Version, Pokémon Sapphire Version and Pokémon Emerald Version

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Treecko – Grass-type – Treecko has small hooks on the bottom of its feet that enable it to scale vertical walls. This Pokémon attacks by slamming foes with its thick tail.

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Torchic – Fire-type – Torchic sticks with its Trainer, following behind with unsteady steps. This Pokémon breathes fire of over 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, including fireballs that leave the foe scorched black.

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Mudkip – Water-type – The fin on Mudkip's head acts as highly sensitive radar. Using this fin to sense movements of water and air, this Pokémon can determine what is taking place around it without using its eyes.

These Pokémon appeared as first-partner Pokémon again in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire.

The first-partner Pokémon of Pokémon Diamond Version, Pokémon Pearl Version and Pokémon Platinum Version

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Turtwig – Grass-type – Photosynthesis occurs across its body under the sun. The shell on its back is actually hardened soil.

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Chimchar – Fire-type – Its fiery rear end is fueled by gas made in its belly. Even rain can't extinguish the fire.

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Piplup – Water-type – It doesn't like to be taken care of. It's difficult to bond with since it won't listen to its Trainer.

The first-partner Pokémon of Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version

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Snivy – Grass-type – Being exposed to sunlight makes its movements swifter. It uses vines more adeptly than its hands.

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Tepig – Fire-type – It can deftly dodge its foe's attacks while shooting fireballs from its nose. It roasts berries before it eats them.

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Oshawott – Water-type – The scalchop on its stomach isn't just used for battle—it can be used to break open hard berries as well.

These Pokémon appeared as first-partner Pokémon again in Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2.

The first-partner Pokémon of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y

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Chespin – Grass-type – The quills on its head are usually soft. When it flexes them, the points become so hard and sharp that they can pierce rock.

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Fennekin – Fire-type – Eating a twig fills it with energy, and its roomy ears give vent to air hotter than 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Froakie – Water-type – It secretes flexible bubbles from its chest and back. The bubbles reduce the damage it would otherwise take when attacked.

The first-partner Pokémon of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon

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Rowlet – Grass-/Flying type – Rowlet can attack without making a sound! It flies silently through the skies, drawing near to its opponent without being noticed, and then lashing out with powerful kicks. It can also attack from a distance using the razor-sharp leaves that form part of its feathers.

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Litten – Fire-type – Litten’s fur is rich in oils and is immensely flammable. It constantly grooms itself by licking its coat, collecting loose fur into balls. It then ignites these hairballs to create fireball attacks. When the time comes for Litten to molt, it burns off all of its fur in one glorious blaze.

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Popplio – Water-type – Popplio's swimming speed is known to exceed 25 mph. It's better at moving in the water than on land. Still, when it's on land, it takes advantage of the elasticity of its balloons to perform acrobatic stunts and jumps.

With the release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon fast approaching on November 23rd, we hope you’ve already made up your mind on which first-partner Pokémon will be joining you in the Alola Region. I mean…it’s obviously going to be Litten, right? Oh, but what about Rowlet? It’s a Grass- AND Flying-type after all! Or maybe Popplio? Uh-oh…

Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon will launch in Europe on 23 November, exclusively on Nintendo 3DS family systems. For more information, please visit Pokemon.co.uk/SunMoon.