Blastoise (/ˈblæstɔɪs/), known in Japan as Kamex (カメックス, Kamekkusu), is a Water–type Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, it 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. It is the final evolution of Squirtle and the evolved form of Wartortle. Its name is a portmanteau of the words "Blast" (referring to its water-cannons) and "Tortoise." Blastoise, along with the other starter Pokémon, was also in the first Pokémon movie.
Blastoise 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. Originally called "Kamex" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" in relation to their appearances or features when translating the game for western audiences as means to make the characters more relatable to Americans.
Known as the Shellfish Pokémon, Blastoise is the final stage in Squirtle evolution. It takes on an appearance radically different from its previous forms; the most obvious change is the addition of two retractable cannons on its shell. It is also a girthier and more imposing figure, as the shape of its head is completely reformed and its limbs are stout and segmented, bearing visible claws, and its once sought-after tail is short and somewhat stubby. The afore-mentioned cannon spouts are remarkable adaptations, allowing a Blastoise to shoot water with great power and accuracy. The jets of water it spouts from the rocket cannons on its shell can punch through thick steel, while their bullets of water can precisely nail tin cans from a distance of over 160 feet. The spouts also allow for high-speed tackles. Despite being large and heavy, Blastoise can still move well on either two legs or all fours. Blastoise can be found living on island beaches near the ocean, but their preferred habitat seems to be freshwater ponds and lakes. It is widely accepted that Blastoise fares better in battle when trained by those viewed in more of a fatherly light.
Blastoise first appeared in Pokémon Red and Blue as a Pokémon obtained by evolving the Pokémon Squirtle through leveling up. Squirtle is obtained at the beginning of the game where players may choose from it, Bulbasaur, or Charmander. It is the mascot for the Blue version. It also appears in the remakes Pokémon Yellow and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. Since then, Blastoise has appeared in each main Pokémon title. Outside of the main series, Blastoise is seen in Pokémon Pinball, Pokémon Trozei!, the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles, the Pokémon Ranger titles, Pokémon Rumble, and PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure. Blastoise also appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee as both a Pokémon that can be summoned from the Poké Ball item to use against opponents and a collectible trophy. Blastoise is one of several Pokémon in Pokémon X and Y that will able to use the new Mega Evolution mechanic, becoming Mega Blastoise. It was given a Mega Evolution about one and a half years into the development of Pokémon X and Y. Squirtle (along with Bulbasaur and Charmander) was added to the game in a significant role in order to allow players to experience Blastoise's Mega Evolution. It was also due to the starters' "iconic" nature.
A handful of trainers in the anime series have owned Blastoise, notably Gary Oak who raised one from a Squirtle, his starter. While the initial appearance of Blastoise was in a first-season episode about an island filled with giant robot Pokémon, the first real Blastoise made its debut in Beach Blank-Out Blastoise, an episode where a Jigglypuff had become lodged in one of the Blastoise's cannons, causing the latter to sleep indefinitely. Blastoise also received some screen time in the first Pokémon movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back, as a Pokémon nicknamed Shellshocker, owned by one of the major supporting characters, Neesha. Blastoise are also owned by Cissy, a member of the Orange Crew; and Brock’s mother Lola.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Green stole a Squirtle from Prof. Oak's Lab. This Squirtle ultimately becomes a Blastoise, nicknamed Blasty, with a tricky personality like its owner, and becomes the major powerhouse on Green's team. it also provided a quick route of aerial transport by withdrawing its limbs into its shell, and blasting water out from its cannons to propel itself forward. Green lent Blasty to Red to assist his journey on Mt. Silver. Blasty inherited the ultimate water attack, Hydro Cannon, directly from Ultima, without requiring the Jump Path, Catch Path, and Battle Path to master the skills.
IGN's Pokémon Chick called it "quite popular". GamesRadar editor Brett Elston commented that Blastoise is “hecka cool” and “well worth the effort.” GamesRadar editor Brett Elston compared Blastoise to Charizard, stating that while Charizard plays the "safe route" in being a dragon, Blastoise takes a "unique form" by "being a giant turtle with water cannons coming out of its shell". UGO Networks called Blastoise "badass." GamePro wrote that "a lot of players chose Blastoise for its two hydro cannons". In a poll conducted by IGN, it was voted as the third best Pokémon, where the staff remembered being torn between Blastoise and Charizard but stated, "a blue turtle with giant cannons sticking out of its back was certainly amazing". They further commented that "in the Red/Blue days, Blastoise comes across more like a fat hippopotamus than a massively popular, kick ass Pokémon". Kotaku's Patricia Hernandez included its Mega Evolution in her list of the worst Mega Evolutions. Official Nintendo Magazine readers named it the fourth best Water-type Pokémon. ONM writer Thomas East included it in his list of some of the coolest Pokémon. He called it the "Water-type equivalent of Charizard". Game Revolution's Alex Osborn named it his 10th greatest Pokémon of all time. The character has become so popular that one couple in Illinois has even nicknamed its "infant Blastoise", due to his affinity for carrying formula bottles on his back.