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Pokémon series character
First game Pokémon Red and Blue
Designed by Ken Sugimori
Voiced by (English) Eric Stuart
Voiced by (Japanese) Shin-ichiro Miki (Ash/Satoshi's)
Yūji Ueda (Zippo, Ritchie/Hiroshi's)

Charmeleon, known in Japan as Lizardo (リザード Rizādo?), is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, Charmeleon first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and subsequent sequels, later appearing in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. He is based on a Komodo Dragon.

Charmeleon is the evolved form of Charmander, and the pre-evolved form of Charizard.

Design and characteristics[edit]

Charmeleon was one of several different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue.[1][2] Originally called "Lizardo" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children.[3] It was eventually changed to "Charmeleon", which takes from a combination of the words "char", relating to fire, and "chameleon".[4]

Charmeleon, known as the Flame Pokémon, are bipedal lizard Pokémon, that have yellow bellies and soles, three clawed feet and hands, and bear a flame at the end of their tails. They are darker-skinned than Charmander (now red instead of orange), now possess a bumpy horn on their heads, and take on a more intimidating appearance. Indeed, Charmeleon are excessively savage and short-tempered by nature,[5] and they are powerful fighters due to their temperament. The flame on its tail may burn a bluish white when the Pokémon is excited,[6] and the air temperature often raises to very high levels when the tail flame is waved around.[7]


In the video games[edit]

In the video game series, Charmeleon evolves from Charmander and eventually into Charizard. It first appears in Pokémon Red and Blue, and their remakes Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. It appeared in several sequels, including Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon Diamond, and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. It appears in several other video games, including Pokémon Pinball, the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, Pokémon Ranger, Pokémon Snap, and Pokémon Puzzle League.

In other media[edit]

In the animated series, Ash Ketchum's Charmander evolved into a Charmeleon after stopping a stampede of Exeggutor. Afterwards, its personality is temporarily changed and ignored Ash's commands, as well as using Flamethrower on him many times. It soon evolved into a Charizard during a fight with an Aerodactyl in order to keep up with the winged foe (not so much to save the Pokémon's captive, Ash). The evolution did not improve Charizard's personality in any way, and Ash struggled for some time to get the Pokémon to listen to him once more. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Blue receives a Charmander from his grandfather Professor Oak. It evolves into a Charmeleon, and when Blue is possessed by a Gastly in the Lavender Tower, so is Charmeleon. Blue's Charmeleon is eventually released from its possession only to be faced down by an Arbok, owned by Koga. Charmeleon tricked Koga by using a zombie Psyduck to deflect Arbok's acid attack before literally slicing the Arbok in half with his tail. Blue later appears with an evolved Charizard and gains access to Saffron City by helping to disable a barrier created by a Mr. Mime.[8]


Since appearing in the Pokémon series, Charmeleon has received generally positive reception. It has been featured in several forms of merchandise, including figures, plush toys, and the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Charmeleon, along with Pikachu, was featured as one of two Pokémon-themed costumes released in 1999.[9]

IGN readers voted Charmeleon the 33rd best Pokémon.[10] IGN's Lucas M. Thomas noted that it was one of the first evolutions many Pokémon players first saw.[10] Grey School of Wizardry faculty member Ash DeKirk compared Charmeleon, along with Charmander and Charizard as "fire-breathing dragons".[11] Author Loredana Lipperini described Charmeleon as an "awkward teenager, full of potential but also of uncertainty."[12] The SCP Journal commented that the Charmander line, which includes Charmeleon, represent the three stages of a dragon's life.[13] Author Joseph Jay Tobin used the line as an example of a line whose names are "rich in cute puns and in a pseudo-Linnean attention to family and genus".[14] GamesRadar editor Brett Elston compared Charmeleon to Ivysaur in how they both lack the cutesy appeal of their previous forms, but are not as intimidating as their next forms. He also comments that Charmeleon, in spite of being named after the lizard chameleon, "sticks to one lifestyle - burning rage."[15] In a poll by Official Nintendo Magazine, Charmeleon was voted as one of the best Fire-type Pokémon. They stated "Charmeleon may have lost Charmander's cheery smile but it gained so much in evolution".[16] The Daily Cardinal called Charmeleon the "ugliest dragon of the bunch".[17]


  1. ^ Staff. "2. 一新されたポケモンの世界". (in Japanese). Nintendo. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  2. ^ Stuart Bishop (2003-05-30). "Game Freak on Pokémon!". CVG. Archived from the original on 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  3. ^ Chua-Euan, Howard (November 22, 1999). "PokéMania". TIME. Archived from the original on 2008-09-13. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  4. ^ "Games, reviews, previews, nieuws, tips, video's en trailers - IGN Benelux". Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  5. ^ Pokédex: It has a barbaric nature. In battle, it whips its fiery tail around and slashes away with sharp claws. Game Freak (2000-10-15). Pokémon Silver. Game Boy. Nintendo. 
  6. ^ Pokédex: Tough fights could excite this Pokémon. When excited, it may blow out bluish-white flames. Game Freak (1999-10-19). Pokémon Yellow. Game Boy. Nintendo. 
  7. ^ Pokédex: When it swings its burning tail, it elevates the temperature to unbearably high levels. Game Freak (1998-09-30). Pokémon Red and Blue. Game Boy. Nintendo. 
  8. ^ Kusaka, Hidenori; Mato (August 5, 2001). "Chapter 28". Peace of Mime. Pokémon Adventures. Volume 3: Saffron City Siege. VIZ Media LLC. pp. 5–19. ISBN 1-56931-560-4. 
  9. ^ Brown, Molly (1999-10-29). "Halloween Emporium the Where for Scares". Anchorage Daily News. 
  10. ^ a b M. Thomas, Lucas. "Charmeleon - #33 Top Pokémon". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  11. ^ DeKirk, Ash; Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon (2006). Dragonlore: From the Archives of the Grey School of Wizardry. Career Press. p. 125. ISBN 1564148688. 
  12. ^ Generazione Pokémon: i bambini e l'invasione planetaria dei nuovi ... - Loredana Lipperini - Google Boeken. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  13. ^ SCP Journal - Google Boeken. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  14. ^ Pikachu S Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Pokémon - Google Boeken. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  15. ^ Brett Elston. "The complete Pokemon RBY pokedex, part 1, Pokemon Diamond / Pearl DS Features". GamesRadar. p. 5. 
  16. ^ Thomas East (29 Sep 2010). "Nintendo Feature: Best Fire Pokémon". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  17. ^ "The Daily Cardinal - University of Wisconsin-Madison". Daily-cardinal. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 

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