Pokémon, which is short for Pocket Monsters, is a Japanese media franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori back in 1995. It is a fantasy franchise set in a world where humans live together with creatures called Pokémon, who take on different shapes and sizes. It started off as a series of video games for the Game Boy console but soon expanded to other media. The individual Pokémon species are various, diverse, and very specific, and in this article, we are going to talk about one of them, Cubone, telling you whether little Cubone is a standalone Pokémon or something else.
Cubone is a Ground-type Pokémon from Generation I that evolves into Marowak. In terms of its backstory, Cubone is one of the best-written Pokémon in the series. Regardless of the silly theories online, Cubone is neither a Charmander nor a baby Kangashkan, it is a standalone Pokémon species that was introduced in Generation I, and it can only be viewed as such.
The rest of this article is going to focus on Cubone and address the online theories that Cubone is actually another Pokémon in disguise. Namely, we are going to introduce Cubone, as well as Charmander and Kangashkan, and finally bring an end to the silly ideas that Cubone is anything else than a standalone Pokémon species.
Who is Cubone?
Cubone is a Ground-type Pokémon introduced in the first generation. Cubone is based on a small bipedal dinosaur. He is wearing the skull of his late mother. Since it never takes it off, no one has seen the face of this Pokémon, which has given birth to numerous conspiracy theories surrounding Cubone and its origins.
Cubone is choked with grief because he will never see his mother again. The moon sometimes reminds him of her, and he begins to cry inconsolably. The streaks that he has on the skull he is wearing are due to the tears he sheds. If he is sad or lonely, he shakes the skull making a very mournful sound. He can cry even in his sleep; however, every tear he sheds makes him stronger.
By covering his face with his mother’s skull, his expression is veiled. The only emotion that gives him away is his constant crying. Mandibuzz that hear his cry swoop in to attack, as they are his natural predators. He has learned to barely defend himself using the bone he carries with him. It is said that Cubone only evolves once he has gotten over the loss of his parent.
Cubone evolves further into Marowak, a Ground-type Pokémon introduced in the first generation. It is one of the two possible evolutions of Cubone and the usual form of the Alolan Marowak. After evolving from Cubone, his skull and the skull of his mother have fused together, forming a new shell that is much more comfortable and resistant than the previous one.
This Pokémon has overcome the pain of losing its mother, so it is stronger than Cubone. He has also become more aggressive, and with his mood already hardened and strengthened, it is very difficult for him to change. He has become an expert in wielding bones as weapons, which he collects from a Marowak graveyard hidden in some corner of the world; without these bones, he would be a very weak Pokémon.
He deftly throws the bones at his enemies like a boomerang, especially against the Mandibuzz, who likes to knock them down for being his natural enemies so he can avenge his mother’s death. He also uses the bones to communicate with other members of his species. For this, he makes them sound in a rhythmic fashion; nearly 50 different sound patterns have been recorded. Marowak inhabits mountains and deserts, far from human activity.
As you can see, Cubon has one of the best backstories of all the individual Pokémon, and its whole evolution line is actually a reflection of this backstory, which makes him quite special. It doesn’t make sense for people to disregard such a great backstory and claim that Cubone is another Pokémon beneath the skull mask because it berates the effort put into crafting the story. In most cases, people think that it is either a Charmander or a Kangashkan beneath the mask, but we are now going to reject both of these theories.
Why is Cubone not a Charmander
Charmander is a Fire-type Pokémon introduced in Generation I of the series. It is one of the three initial starter Pokémon in the Kanto region, meaning that each new trainer can choose, along with Squirtle and Bulbasaur, Charmander as their first Pokémon in the Pokémon Red, Pokémon Green, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen video games. Charmander is a small bipedal lizard. Its fiery features are highlighted by its orange skin color and its tail, the tip of which is engulfed in flames.
Charmander and its evolutions, Charmeleon and Charizard, have a small flame on the tip of their tails from birth. The intensity with which it burns is an indicator of the health and emotional state of this Pokémon: if the flame burns very strongly, it indicates that it is completely healthy, and if it burns very slightly, it means that it is weak. The Pokémon could die if the flame on its tail goes out. They live in groups, guarding their tail flames against each other. They prefer quiet, rocky places. You can hear the crackling of its flame.
Dry and warm places are better for them, which is why they are often found in caves or near volcanoes and mountains. In the rain, it is easy to recognize them by the steam that emanates from their tail, which will continue to burn even if it gets a little wet. When they are babies, they are not yet familiar with fire, and they can burn themselves.
Now that we have introduced Charmander to you, we think that it is quite clear why Cubone cannot be a Charmander, even if you entertain the theory for one moment (which is silly in itself, because the two wouldn’t actually be classified as two separate species). First of all, Charmander is a Fire-type Pokémon, whereas Cubone is a Ground-type Pokémon. These two types are complete opposites, as Ground-type moves are effective against Fire-type moves, so it would make absolutely no sense that a Charmander would change its type and become a Ground-type Pokémon; this simply doesn’t make sense.
Secondly, an average Charmander is taller than an average Cubone, so that doesn’t fit either. The colors are also quite different, seeing how a Charmander is orange and Cubone is brown. The anatomy of their hands is also quite different, and Cubone have shorter tails with no flames, whereas Charmander have flames on their long tails. Sure, we cannot deny that both are reptiles, but so is Totodile, and you don’t see people comparing him to Charmander.
Thirdly, Charmander is the first stage of Charizard and Cubone wears his mother’s mask on his head. Cubone’s mask doesn’t really look like the face of a Charizard. It is much wider, and it has a different shape, as well as different horns. This is why we can definitely rule out the possibility that Cubone is a Charmander.
Why is Cubone not a Kangashkan
Kangaskhan is a Normal-type Pokémon introduced in the first generation. Kangaskhan is based on a kangaroo with its young in its pouch. This bipedal Pokémon has a large bag in its belly to care for its young. It is an affable Pokémon with great maternal instincts. It attacks anyone who gets close to its hatchling. Kangaskhan’s life cycle is unknown, as neither has allowed anyone to touch its young until it is an adult. The baby does not usually leave its mother’s safe pouch before it becomes three years old.
However, if there is no danger, the baby will sometimes come out of the bag to play while the mother watches closely. When the calf leaves the bag for good, the mother cries vehemently. Due to the maternal character of this Pokémon, when a Kangaskhan finds a lost hatchling of another Pokémon or an egg, it will not hesitate to try to take care of it until it is born or becomes strong and can subsist on its own; there have been cases where it has adopted human babies who have lost their parents.
Kangaskhan has a habit of sleeping standing up so as not to crush the calf in its pouch. Despite its appearance, the Kangaskhan is a peaceful herbivore that grazes in hidden meadows. Although if he thinks that his calf may be in danger, he can get very upset and destroy everything around him in order to protect it. To protect his little one, he will never give up the fight, no matter how dangerous or how injured he is. To do so, he shows off his agile punches by firing a burst of them at the enemy.
Cubone being Kangashkan makes a bit more sense but is still complete nonsense from every logical standpoint. First of all, Cubone is a Ground-type Pokémon, whereas Kangashkan is a Normal-type Pokémon, so such a transformation wouldn’t really make any sense, not really. In terms of their anatomy, Kangashkan is vastly different than a Cubone, both the baby Kangashkan and the mother, which is why this doesn’t make sense either.
The fact that Kangashkan are always female would somewhat fit into the story of Cubone’s past, but the skull on Cubone’s head is different from a Kangashkan’s head, and there is a fact that Cubone’s mother is a Marowak, and not a Kangashkan. This is why, ultimately, Cubone is not a Kangashkan, and we hope what we have now put these theories to rest; Cubone is a standalone Pokémon, and there is absolutely no sense in any theory claiming otherwise.