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Pokémon series character
Pokémon Moltres art.png
National Pokédex
Zapdos - Moltres (#146) - Dratini
First gamePokémon Red and Blue
Designed byKen Sugimori
Voiced byRikako Aikawa

Moltres (ファイヤー, Faiyā, /ˈmltrs/) is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori who has repeatedly stated in multiple interviews he based the design from the Phoenix, Moltres first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and later in subsequent sequels. Moltres is one of the three winged mirages, along with Articuno and Zapdos. Their names were changed in the English localization to give them more "clever and descriptive names." Moltres, for example, comes from a combination of the words "molten," relating to lava, and "tres," the Spanish word for three.

Known as the Flame Pokémon, Moltres is a large bird, noted for its ability to control fire. It makes multiple appearances in the anime and manga, notably in the film Pokémon The Movie 2000. Moltres also appears in Pokémon spin-offs, as well as in the Super Smash Bros. series since Melee.

Design and characteristics[edit]

The mythological creature Phoenix, which Moltres resembles

Moltres was one of 151 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 Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue.[1][2] Originally called "Fire" in Japanese, it became Moltres when 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] Moltres' English name comes from a combination of "molten", relating to lava, and tres, the Spanish word for three.

Moltres is known as the Flame Pokémon, is a legendary Pokémon,[4] one of the legendary birds, along with Articuno and Zapdos. It is a large bird that is literally ablaze with fire, resembling something related to a phoenix. Moltres has a flame-colored plumage, and its dazzling wings and elaborate head crest appear to be covered with flames. It has a straight, pointed brown break, which is the same color as its feet. It can freely create and manipulate fire, and when it flaps its wings, it creates a brilliant flash of flames.[5] If its body is injured for any reason, it will head towards a volcano and dip its body in the molten magma to heal its wounds.[6] When Moltres thinks it is in the least bit possible danger, it will summon a flash of fire and seemingly disappear, flying out of sight very fast. Moltres appear to live in hot regions, particularly active volcanoes. It appears to migrate to the south during the springtime,[7] making many[quantify] believe that its appearance will bring about an early spring.[8]


In the video games[edit]

The first video game appearance of Moltres was in Pokémon Red and Blue versions. It is a highly rare Pokémon; similar to its counterparts Articuno and Zapdos, Moltres appears only once in one game in a fixed location, Victory Road, and is difficult to defeat or capture. If it is defeated, it disappears. It later appeared in several sequels, including the Red and Blue remake Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokémon Platinum and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. In these newer games, it now reappears if the player re-defeats the Elite Four.

Outside of the main series, Moltres has appeared in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs and in the Super Smash Bros. series since Melee, in which it uses Fly when summoned from a Pokeball item. In the mobile app Pokémon Go, Team Valor is represented by Moltres as a mascot, because Valor is the color red like Moltres[9]

In Pokémon Sword and Shield's expansion pack, The Crown Tundra, Moltres receives a Galarian Form. This form changes it's typing from Fire and Flying to Dark and Flying.

In other media[edit]

The first official appearance of Moltres in the anime was in "All Fired Up!" that marks the official opening of the Pokémon League, where it lights the torch which is equivalent to the real-life Olympic Torch at the Olympic Games. It also plays a role in Pokémon The Movie 2000: The Power of One, where it was one of the three birds that the villainous collector captured to allow him access to Lugia's power, but the upset of the balance that occurred as a result nearly caused a worldwide weather catastrophe as Moltres was driven to wage war with its two rivals. In a later episode of Pokémon Chronicles, Ritchie encountered a trainer named Silver who wanted to capture Moltres, battling him with his Salamence. Silver is interrupted by Team Rocket members Butch and Cassidy who attempt to kidnap Moltres. Ritchie and Silver team up to defeat them and rescue Moltres, although the firebird was badly weakened by the attack. Silver let Moltres go because he wanted to catch him in a fair fight when it was at full strength.

Promotion and reception[edit]

Since appearing in Pokémon Red and Blue, Moltres has received mixed reception. Moltres has been featured in several pieces of merchandise, including cards in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, figurines, plush toys, and others. A special Moltres card was given away to those who saw the film Pokémon The Movie 2000.[10]

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer editor Paula Nechak compared the legendary bird trio as well as Lugia to the creatures found in Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird.[11] Allgame editor Jason White compared Moltres to the mythological bird, Phoenix.[12] GameAxis Unwired praised Moltres along with Articuno and Zapdos for making Pokémon Red and Blue "cool."[13] The Daily Texan criticized Moltres' appearance in the film Pokémon 2000, stating that it lacked the "human personality that make the other Pokemon so endearing".[14] Reeling Reviews editor Robin described the battle conducted between Moltres, Articuno, and Zapdos as being similar to battles from the film Godzilla on Monster Island.[15] Access Atlanta editor Bob Longino criticized the birds' sounds, commenting that the squawking was "way too much for adult ears."[16] In a poll by Official Nintendo Magazine, Moltres was voted as one of the best Fire-type Pokémon. They described it as "Pokémon's own phoenix from the flames", stating that "this legendary bird creates a brilliant flash of flames when it flaps its wings."[17]


  1. ^ Staff. "2. 一新されたポケモンの世界". (in Japanese). Nintendo. p. 2. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  2. ^ Stuart Bishop (May 30, 2003). "Game Freak on Pokémon!". CVG. Archived from the original on February 8, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
  3. ^ Chua-Euan, Howard (November 22, 1999). "PokéMania". TIME. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
  4. ^ HAL Laboratory. Super Smash Bros. Melee. Moltres trophy: As tradition has it, the onset of spring heralds the return of this legendary Pokémon from its southern home.
  5. ^ Pokédex: It is said to be the legendary bird Pokémon of fire. Every flap of its wings creates a dazzling flare of flames.Game Freak (September 9, 2004). Pokémon LeafGreen (Game Boy Advance). Nintendo.
  6. ^ Pokédex: Moltres is a legendary bird Pokémon that can control fire. If injured, it is said to dip its body in the molten magma of a volcano to burn and heal itself. Game Freak (May 1, 2005). Pokémon Emerald (Game Boy Advance). Nintendo.
  7. ^ Pokédex: Legendary bird Pokémon. It is said to migrate from the south along with the spring. Game Freak (July 29, 2001). Pokémon Crystal (Game Boy Color). Nintendo.
  8. ^ Pokédex: One of the legendary bird Pokémon. It is said that spring will soon arrive if Moltres shows itself. Game Freak (April 22, 2007). Pokémon Diamond (Nintendo DS). Nintendo.
  9. ^ Allegra Frank (July 11, 2016). "Which Pokémon Go team should you join?". Polygon. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  10. ^ Staff (July 5, 2000). "Introducing Pokemon's Articuno". Chicago Sun-Times.
  11. ^ "More is less in ho-hum, moralistic 'Pokémon 2000'". July 21, 2000. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  12. ^ Network, All Media. "AllGame - Game Over".
  13. ^ GameAxis Unwired - Google Books. December 2004. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  14. ^ Ashley, Robert C. (July 25, 2000). "Film Review: 'Pokemon 2000' can't even Pika-please Poke-maniacs". The Daily Texan.
  15. ^ Chris Zell. "Show #234 of Reeling: The Movie Review Show with Robin & Laura Clifford". Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  16. ^ "Atlanta Movie Theaters/ Movies in Atlanta". accessAtlanta. Archived from the original on February 17, 2006. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  17. ^ Thomas East (September 29, 2010). "Nintendo Feature: Best Fire Pokémon". Official Nintendo Magazine. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2011.

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