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Summary: Your handy trainer's guide on how to look after your Pokémon. This guide contains knowledge on the care, temperament and needs of the Pokémon you're looking after, and what to expect when keeping them.

Grass Pokémon are often considered the easiest starters for many young trainers beginning their Pokémon journey. They are docile, easy to raise and usually maintain gentle temperaments, even throughout their complete evolutions.

Name: Bulbasaur
Seed Pokémon
#01 (Kanto)
Bulbasaur – Ivysaur (level 16) – Venusaur (level 32)
2 ft 4 in (0.7 m)
15.2 pounds (6.9 kg)
Deciduous forests/tropical jungles/mangroves.

Description: Many scientists and Pokémon professors have difficulty deciding what species category Bulbasaur and its evolutions belong to, as they exhibit traits of both plants and animals (specifically reptiles). They have hearts, brains and tissue matter much like an animal, yet their internal digestive system are unique and almost 'plant-like', while their blood consists of a much higher water content than found in true animals. To further the mystery, instead of possessing red blood cells like typical animals, their 'blood' actually consists of tightly-packed chloroplasts instead. Their bulbs and flowers obtain the energy Bulbasaur and its evolutions require through photosynthesis, using light and carbon dioxide to synthesize food and energy.

Bulbasaur resembles a reptilian creature, possessing physical features of both toads and 'primitive' dinosaurs. Its most notable feature, however, is the large bulb upon its back, which grows from a seed planted on its back when it is born. The mother Pokémon is usually the one who plants this seed onto her offspring's back, although the father can produce a similar seed needed should the mother not be around during this time (or happens to be a different Pokémon such as Ditto) It is essential that the young Bulbasaur in question gets a Venusaur's seed (or Ivysaur in lesser known cases), for Bulbasaur will not be able to feed unless it does. The young Bulbasaur can survive for several days without a bulb however, as it retains the last of its yolk within its unusual stomach. If for some reason that the mother or father Pokémon cannot or will not produce the seed needed, there is time for the trainer to be able to procure one from a willing Ivysaur/Venusaur that is not the Pokémon's parent. Possessing a seed that isn't from its own parent does not seem to detract from its strength or growth potential, although if it does breed, it will pass on the genes from the Ivysaur/Venusaur whom gave it the seed instead, rather than the genes from the Bulbasaur's 'true' parents that created the Pokémon itself. It is for this very reason that few parental Pokémon willingly refuse to give the baby Bulbasaur a seed. The bulb is noted to be similar to the mushrooms of Paras and Parasect, which are also planted at birth. However, Bulbasaur and its bulb share a symbiotic relationship, rather than a parasitic one as shared by Paras and Parasect.

Behaviour: Bulbasaur and its evolutions are well noted to be amongst the most gentle and docile of Kanto's starter Pokémon. They are not naturally aggressive, and typically enjoy being cared for by loving trainers. This trait persists even into its final evolution stage, and many Venusaur are happy to give their trainers rides on their backs (supported by their considerable flowers, of course). They are gentle and know their own strength, so trainers have little to fear should their Pokémon need to handle them somehow. Their vines, which are strong enough to shatter stone, are gentle enough to pick up their trainers and carry them around. Although not exactly playful Pokémon, Bulbasaur and its evolutions often have a sense of humour, and will occasionally play tricks on their trainers. Such tricks often involve usage of their vines, one popular trick in particular being to tap their trainer on one shoulder (causing them to turn their heads in that direction), and stealing something while they're not looking. They return the stolen item soon after, with innocent smiles that could charm even the hardest of hearts.

Diet: Bulbasaur, Ivysaur and Venusaur do not eat much, instead gaining most of their nutrients from the sunlight that they absorb into their bulbs/flowers, and the soil in the forests which they occasionally consume to gain essential minerals, bacterium and vitamins. Their easy dietary care is yet another reason why they are so popular amongst beginning trainers, as the beginning trainer often doesn't have as much money to spend on specific diets that the more serious trainers tend to have. They require minimal amounts of food, and often never need be fed at all if they are allowed to spend some time roaming free in forests to forage for their own meals. Supervision will be required however, as wild Pokémon such as Spearow may fiercely attack your own Pokémon or even you if they feel that you're intruding upon their territory. Bulbasaur are weak against Flying-types, so extra care must be taken to ensure their safety against aerial predators or attackers.

Despite not requiring food in the same way most other Pokémon do, Bulbasaur, Ivysaur and Venusaur will usually eat berries offered to them by trusted trainers, and many delight in the occasional poffin or Pokéblock. Their sense of taste is not highly acute (as indicated by the consumption of soil), and the stronger flavours and textures of poffins or pokéblocks can be much appreciated. They will also occasionally dine on tender, young vegetables, and offering your hungry Bulbasaur/Ivysaur/Venusaur a warm (not hot) broth of hearty green vegetables (spinach is often a huge favourite) is a sure-fire way of gaining your Pokémon's love and affection.

With Children: Bulbasaur are very good Pokémon with children, and as such are widely considered to be the best starter Pokémon within the Kanto region. They are usually gentle and easily taken care of, and are quite hardy creatures across many regions. However, beginning trainers starting from colder regions are not usually offered Bulbasaur, and must be captured in the wild as Bulbasaur do not enjoy cold weather and will likely become sick if kept within such an area. It is not just the cold that makes the Pokémon unwell, but also the weather associated with cold weather, such as wind, rain, hail and snow, all of which prevent the Seed Pokémon from being able to absorb sunlight properly. Younger children must be taught to be gentle with Bulbasaur (as well as its later evolutions), as they can be delicate creatures. While gentle, Bulbasaur do not enjoy rough play or loud noises, and may accidentally spray stun spore if upset. While they can spray poisonous spores, it is not lethal to humans, and even a young child will only feel unwell for several hours. The same cannot be said for Ivysaur or Venusaur however, as their poison is much more potent and can lead to fatalities. To date, there have been very few recorded cases of death caused by Ivy/Venusaur. The only intentional death was that of a Pokémon poacher, who was trampled by an irate female Venusaur after the poacher was caught attempting to steal her eggs. Other deaths included were those of people accidentally inhaling or ingesting the toxic spores found in the flowers of Venusaur, and as such were deaths of freak accidents rather than malice intended by the Pokémon itself.

TRAINER'S NOTE: Being both Grass-type and Poison-type Pokémon, Bulbasaur have an affinity with plants, both innocuous as well as more dangerous such as stinging nettles and deadly nightshade. Bulbasaur and its evolutions are intelligent enough to know which plants are dangerous to your health, and which plants are safe to consume. If allowed to roam free along with you on your journey, they can be very helpful in helping you to find food, as well as deciding what is safe for you to eat and what isn't. As such, if you are trying to pick what seem to be delicious red berries, and your Pokémon is swatting your hands away from them with its Vine Whip, it is best to heed their warning. They know what is good for you, and what isn't. Continued pursuit of dangerous berries may result in your annoyed Pokémon firing its Stun/Sleep Spore at you before dragging your semi-conscious body away from the offending berry bush. While some people may see this as comical or cute, Bulbasaur and its evolutions are highly protective of their trainers and do not take their protective duties lightly at all.

Upon Evolution – Ivysaur and Venusaur

Ivysaur evolves at level 16, and often evolves after several weeks with a caring trainer and plenty of sunshine and exercise. Upon evolution, their care remains such the same as ever. Being considerably larger and heavier than before, they cannot be carried around like Bulbasaur can, except by strong adult trainers. They also lose the ability to stand on their hind legs at this stage, leading to loss of greater mobility (i.e.: lengthy running, jumping and leaping), but gaining much strength and endurance as a result of evolution. Their toxic spores are much more potent than their previous evolutions, and careless handling can potentially lead to the death of the very young, the sickly or the elderly. However, most Ivysaur are as gentle as their previous evolutions, and people have little to fear of one unless you are threatening its trainer. Should you decide to threaten the trainer of an Ivysaur, its gentle disposition will vanish instantly and the Pokémon will quickly become rather dangerous. Most people usually do not stick around long enough to find out just what an angry Ivysaur would do exactly.

Venusaur evolve at level 32, usually within the first year after they are first obtained as Bulbasaur. Venusaur are extremely large and heavy, and cannot be picked up. However, another strong Pokémon, such as Machoke, can aid in helping to lift or move a Venusaur should the need somehow rise. Venusaur much larger than their previous evolutions, yet retain much of the gentle attitude of its starter form. Being the final evolution of its line, Venusaur are extremely powerful Pokémon and can learn 'ultimate' moves such as Frenzy Plant and Giga Impact. Their poisonous spores are very potent, and are often used in Antidote research medicine, in a similar fashion as to how people use snake venom to cure poisonous bites. It is at this stage that Venusaur no longer require food, instead gaining almost all they need from sunshine, water or soil. They will still appreciate a good poffin or Pokéblock however, and like Bulbasaur and Ivysaur, will delight in a tasty vegetable broth. Venusaur are considerably easier to keep than Blastoise and Charizard, and are often kept by their trainer until the very end of their lives. Due to how loving these Pokémon can be of their trainers, they often never wish to return to the wild, and if forcibly released, may never stop following the one who raised them for so long. However, if its beloved trainer suddenly dies, Venusaur's flower will wilt and its petals will fall off, leading to the Pokémon's death shortly afterwards. Nobody knows exactly why this happens, but it seems that without their trainer anymore, they simply die of a broken heart. Oddly enough, this does not occur in the wild, although the Pokémon will mourn the deaths of its loved ones for days on end, they move on eventually. Perhaps the bond between trainer and Pokémon is stronger than we first imagined...

Difficulty Rating: 2/10. Bulbasaur and its evolutions are highly recommended for the beginning Pokémon trainer, especially for children who are still learning how to take care of their very first Pokémon. Few Pokémon are easier to care for than this one, and are amongst the best choices for young trainers who are still unsure as to what training is all about.