Entry 03 – Squirtle, Wartortle, Blastoise
Squirtle – Zenigame (“Baby Turtle”)
Ability: Torrent (Rain Dish)
Wartortle – Kamail (“Kame” is turtle in Japanese. “Mail” may mean the armor.)
Ability: Torrent (Rain Dish)
Blastoise – Kamex (Because the “X” is just extremely awesome.)
Ability: Torrent (Rain Dish)
There are naturally more male Tortles than females. It’s just the way their species works, as females can give birth to many Tortles and these Pokémon excel in survival above all else. To avoid overpopulation, there simply isn’t the need for so many females. The species’ rarity can be attributed to the fact that few are birthed and so few exist in the wild in addition to the fact that they are practically hermits and have much less interaction with other species of Pokémon than almost any other species.
The Tortles start tiny, with Squirtle being a bite-size morsel for many a predator such as Croconaw or Gyarados. To add insult to the injury, their shells are born soft and pliable and Squirtles, like many other reptilian Pokémon, don’t benefit from parental protection. Fresh from the shell and into the lakes they’re born beside, the first thing the baby turtle must do is make a beeline for the water because their one protection is their instinctual ability to swim very, very quickly.
Few babies perish, though, as Squirtles are excellent at hiding, their dull brown shells blending in with river pebbles easily – the color appears even before the shell fully hardens. This also serves as an excellent hide-and-trap mechanism, as unsuspecting prey (at this age, about the only Pokémon that can serve as prey are tiny fish and crustacean) will be squirted by high pressured water as they swim by, unaware. The shell is usually lodged in between larger rocks or boulders to keep the Squirtles from accidentally propelling themselves uncontrollably away from their food (which is especially hard since the shells themselves are rounded and grooved for minimal water resistance).
As a Pokémon that survives by hiding at a young age, Squirtles can be rather cowardly in comparison to other Pokémon like the aggressive Charmander or the peaceful but stubborn Bulbasaur. They will fight just as desperately as any other Pokémon in a life-death situation, though. In addition, as the Tortles grow older, they grow more assertive and self-assured.
In general, the Tortles are very, very patient – content to wait for the perfect opportunity to strike and not so upset if it doesn’t come by for a very long time. After all, Tortles live to be very, very old, so time is not of the essence for them. If food doesn’t come by, no need to fret. They can munch on algae as well. They can stay in one place for long, long periods of time, just idling away until algae grows on the shell itself. In fact, this might be on purpose, as they now have a semi-portable food source.
Wartortles, especially, are known for their long age as a Wartortle’s aging is much more visible than a Blastoise; they also tend to live longer. Because Wartortle (and Blastoise) shells don’t regenerate, a Wartortle’s age can be judged how beaten up it is – the amount of algae growing off it, the number of scratches scoring the back, etc. A Wartortle’s tail also grows deeper in color as they age at a transition so slow that artists are known to have studied the spectrum as it changed from white to blue. Because a Wartortle (and technically, a Blastoise) only dies when their shells give out, they can live to be very, very old. Human legend states 10,000 years, although it is very hard to prove or disprove this account. (Tail color studies have capped the number at 300, but when a Wartortle’s tail is as blue as night, how are you supposed to know if it’s 300 or 10,000?)
(A common misconception is that the rare green-shelled Tortles are ancient, as they really aren’t that old or discolored from algae but are naturally born with the coloring. They blend into the mossy rocks just as well, although the pale skin makes them stand out when they’re out of the shell.)
The Tortles also grow more confident in asserting their strength as they grow older. Squirtles master the art of jet propulsion at a very young age, with their small spiral tail as a rudimentary rudder. However, their passive nature may cause them to use foam and bubbles to attack rather than high-pressured water streams in fear of hurting the opponent too much (when it’s not a matter of food).
Wartortles, on the other hand, have even stronger propulsion and their ears and tails act as rudders even when the Wartortle is retracted into its shell. And of course, Blastoises have their powerful cannons, strong enough to even punch holes through steel (an ability that earned Blastoise its place in human construction sites. They make excellent wrecking forces).
In fact, while Wartortle is in many ways a more powerful Squirtle, Blastoise is another beast altogether. The Blastoise is so strong that, by this age, there really is no need to crouch and hide anymore. They are masters of the lake, capable of overpowering their opponent one on one … yet strangely, Blastoise are not territorial. Perhaps it comes with their great patience, as they are able to tolerate each other’s company and can wait out the arrival of food. After all, with great age comes great accuracy and happy hunting. In addition, Blastoise, due to their sedentary nature, don’t move much (and even when they do, they’d much rather use propulsion rather than their stumpy legs), so they eat relatively little in the first place.
There aren’t that many lakes around, though, so some Blastoise venture into the great wilderness, far, far away from any lake or river. This strangely adventurous aspect of the Blastoise is one of the main reasons Wartortles live far longer than their evolved counterparts as many a Blastoise find it hard to sustain themselves once they actually do start moving (the other main reason is that Blastoise’s powerful jet propulsion wrecks their own shell even more than any opponent’s attack ever could as they crash around).
Some of the very few able to survive off the water itself sustain themselves through Rain Dance can even travel through the desert, wreaking havoc among all the Fire, Ground, and Rock Pokémon calling it home and bringing boon to all the plant-life and humans living there. Steel and Rock Pokémon are a favorite, too, as the added weight helps center the Blastoise and to resist recoil.
Because of their rarity, a soft shell Squirtle is considered an amazing delicacy. Wartortles may be worshipped as wise and mystical for their famous longevity and amazing survivability. Their tail fur is also considered a prized good, soft and waterproof – the bluer the better. It’s especially popular amongst the older population.
Many a desert civilization is centered around a wandering Blastoise, where the nomadic humans either travel with the turtle or the Blastoise settles down and allows itself to be treated like a king (in which case the danger is not in the scarcity of food but the sheer overabundance of it). After all, a single Rain Dance can raise crops for years and years. They are literally the village’s god of Harvest.
In more ordinary circumstances, Squirtles and Wartortles are loved as pets. Their patient nature makes them great for pets and first partners. On the whole, the Tortles are beloved as firefighters, each evolution specializing in a different role. Every town strives to have at least one as both a specialized firefighter and an emergency water source. Some places have a Blastoise that can function as a city’s defense system, if in a bind.
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