Squirtle (ゼニガメ, Zenigame) is a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in a sense; it is one of three Pokémon that are played through Pokémon Trainer, the other two being Ivysaur and Charizard. Squirtle is the only character who Pokémon Trainer uses who is not an evolved form (Charizard and Ivysaur are evolved forms of Charmeleon and Bulbasaur, respectively). Squirtle is also the only playable Pokémon character in Brawl that doesn't have a pre-evolved form at all, as Jigglypuff evolves from Igglybuff, Lucario evolves from Riolu, and Pikachu evolves from Pichu. Squirtle originated from the original Pokémon game for Game Boy as one of the initial Pokémon the player can start out with at the beginning of the adventure.
Squirtle is the most lightweight of the three Pokémon at Pokémon Trainer's disposal. Its light weight allows Squirtle to have fast air speed and fast attacks, which makes up for its somewhat slow dash speed. However, its light weight makes it easier to KO, as it is tied for the second lightest character in the game with Mr. Game and Watch. Squirtle's small size (the smallest in the game along with Olimar) makes it difficult to hit, but it also causes most attacks to have poor reach, causing it to have very poor matchups against superior ranged characters or with disjointed attacks like Donkey Kong or Marth. Possibly Squirtle's greatest strength is its excellent air game. Its aerials are quick and decently powerful, inflicting good amounts of damage; it also has one of the fastest air speeds and a quick and high jump. Squirtle is one of few fighters that can wall cling and crawl (the 2nd lowest crawl in the game, which can duck under many attacks such as Blaster and Wizard's Foot). Its unique dash pivot also allows it to shellshift, giving much more versatility to its otherwise mediocre ground game.
Squirtle's neutral special is Water Gun, which can be used to hamper horizontal recoveries and doubles as a decent attack which can be used to impede an enemy's approach. Its side special, Withdraw, increases Squirtle's ground speed and offers protection against most attacks, other than grabs. However, speed and direction of Withdraw can be changed if hit with a strong attack, possibly causing Squirtle to slide off the edge, KOing itself if it goes off too far. Waterfall, Squirtle's up special, has a large, disjointed hitbox, making it hard to interrupt. It can also rack up damage throughout the attack and scores multiple hits, which makes it a very useful attack. Like all of Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon, Squirtle can use its down special change places with the next Pokémon at the Trainer's disposal (in Squirtle's case, Ivysaur). However, this can be punishable and is mandatory, due to the "Stamina" mechanic (outside of the Adventure Mode) and respawning as the next one in the cycle.
Squirtle's up smash has a large area and can KO at 80-100%. Its down-aerial does multiple hits and has high horizontal knockback on the last hit, but it also has short range, little damage, and massive ending lag. Its forward smash has armor during the frames Squirtle is in its shell. However, like its down smash, it does little damage, has massive ending lag, and covers a short distance. Squirtle has decent throws (including the second strongest down throw in the game in terms of knockback, after Lucas's), but Squirtle itself is vulnerable to grab release combos by several characters, dash regrabs by many characters, and even infinite by Zero Suit Samus, due to its very poor air release animation.
Note: The Pokémon Trainer says "Good job, Squirtle!" in all three victory poses.
In competitive play
Role in The Subspace Emissary
Main article: Pokémon Trainer
When introduced, Pokémon Trainer's only Pokémon is Squirtle, and thus, it is his main Pokémon for much of the story until Ivysaur and Charizard are later found in the ruins. Despite this, Squirtle only appears in the very first cutscene Pokémon Trainer is introduced in. Stamina doesn't apply in Adventure Mode as it does in normal play.
All three of Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon share the same trophy base.
If the player wishes to power up Squirtle specifically, [Tail] and [Water] will supply the greatest power boosts. The remaining relevant attacks are spread between [Body]/[Spin], [Leg] and [Head].
If the player wishes to balance between the three, the major attacks Squirtle shares with Charizard are [Tail] and [Body] attacks, and shares [Leg] and [Spin] attacks with Ivysaur.
In Event Matches
Note: Squirtle is only featured in one event that does not include the Pokémon Trainer.
A Tiny Turtle Pokémon. In times of danger, it pulls its arms and legs inside its shell to protect itself from enemy attacks. When it conceals its neck, it also shoots a powerful stream of water from its mouth. Its shell not only protects its body, it also reduces water friction when it's in the water. When it levels up, it evolves into Wartortle.
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