The Charcadet Family

Another that was revealed fairly early in the hype, this is a pure fire type Pokemon is supposed to be a piece of living charcoal, not to be confused with the other piece of living charcoal just a generation back. Whereas Rolycoly was pure rock with some fire-related powers, however, Charcadet is pure fire, again most likely only because a fire/rock type combination is too vulnerable to several other types in the game.

Charcadet has a simple, tiny humanoid body and a large, round head, with burning cartoon eyes in a dark recess below a chunky coal "visor," like on a classic knight or spartan helmet, complete with a feathery plume of flame on top of its cranium.

This Pokemon has two possible evolutions, each created by an item unique to either Scarlet or Violet. In Scarlet, you can use the Auspicious Armor to evolve Charcadet into the fire/psychic Armarouge, and it's a pretty straightforward evolution in terms of design; a taller, more mature looking Charcadet with a bigger plume on its head. Its torso is now encased in gold-colored craggy looking armor, and a pair of large, bulky, rounded pauldrons protect its upper arms and shoulders, actually hovering in place rather than attached to its body. Armarouge's core gimmick is that it can slide these pauldrons down to its hands and join them together to form a bulbous "cannon," using psychic power to charge up and fire a burning blast of energy. The signature "Armor Cannon" move does a lot of fire type damage to the target, but lowers Armarouge's defense stats in the process.

In Violet, you instead get the Malicious Armor, said to be imbued with the resentment of its fallen wearer, which evolves Charcadet into the Fire/Ghost type Ceruledge. It's an entirely black, blue and grey counterpart to Armarouge, and swaps out the pauldrons for ghostly sword arms. It learns the first fire-type health-draining move, Bitter Blade, and I do like the contrast that Armarouge's signature attack sacrifices something while the darker and meaner Ceruledge takes something away. Obviously this is also the cooler looking of the two and has the more interesting type combination, but we already have a fire/ghost starter Pokemon in this region.

These two fiery knights are alright, I guess, if you wanted more Pokemon that look like Megaman bosses, and I'm no one to judge since Barbaracle is such a favorite of mine. It's just that, from concept to execution, this line doesn't quite scream "Pokemon" to me, not because they'd visually fit into a different kind of game - that's never bothered me at all! - but it feels like their overall "thrust" or "angle" is a little too derivative. They don't even do anything with the fact that they're supposed to be charcoal! At the very least they ought to have predominantly black and rocky looking armor beyond just their face visor, and maybe something in their lore like, I don't know, that they replenish their armor by eating wood? Since they're like medeival warriors, maybe they could have been counterparts to some ferocious grass type they naturally prey upon, or maybe their lore could hold that they build little castles out in the woods from burnt trees that they defend, or something more to them that says "these are Pokemon from Pokemon," I don't know, am I making sense here?

All Scarlet/Violet sprite animations ripped by adamsb0303!