It’s agile, witty, and a bit mischievous. Chimchar, the Chimp Pokemon, is the Sinnoh region’s fire-type starter. Because it is so quick, it is able to land attacks quickly, though lacks a bit when it comes to its health and defense (as well as special defense) stats. Its design is most-likely based off from a young chimpanzee, though the facial markings on its evolutions and the slightly colored rear could possibly be based off from a young baboon.
Chimchar starts off as being small and quick. Its pokedex entries state that because it is so agile, it is able to climb nimbly up sheer rock faces to live atop the craggy mountains. Because its flame will not be put out by even the rain, it extinguishes its own tail flame before going to sleep to prevent fires. Chimchar’s name most-likely derives from the words ‘chimpanzee’ (‘chimp’ for short) and ‘charcoal’ or simply ‘char’ as it means “to burn”.
At level 14, Chimchar evolves into Monferno and gains a secondary type, Fighting. This is the lowest level a starter Pokemon is able to evolve at. The only other starter Pokemon that shares this trait with Chimchar is Cyndaquil. Ironically, they’re both fire-type starters and their evolutions; Monferno and Quilava are tied for the longest first evolution of a starter Pokemon, as they have to gain 22 more levels before they are able to evolve into their final evolution. Monferno is known as the Playful Pokemon. Its pokedex entries state that when in combat, Monferno uses ceilings and walls to launch aerial attacks and will control the size of its flame to keep its foe at an ideal distance. Monferno is suspected of being based off from and mandrill, a creature that shares similar physical traits with a baboon. Its name is most-likely a mixture of the words ‘monkey’ and ‘inferno’.
Once it reaches level 36 Monferno finally evolves into its final form, Infernape. Infernape is the fastest of all fire-type Pokemon and also has the highest base stats of any non-legendary fighting-type Pokemon. It’s been stated by the creators that Infernape is based off from Sun Wukong, the main character of the Chinese tale, Journey to the West. Infernape is most-likely the literal depiction of Monkey Kung Fu, a type of martial arts – which would reference Infernape being part fighting-type). Its pokedex entries would also hint at it using Muay Thai, a type of martial arts that uses all limbs of the body to fight. Like Monferno, Infernape’s name contains the word ‘inferno’, as well ‘ape’.
The Chimchar line is based off from different forms of primates that are very quick and agile. Though they lack in health, defense, and special defense stats, their speed makes up for it – as they are able to avoid attacks.