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| The Battle of the Badge
Tokiwa Gym! The Last Badge!
|| September 17, 1998
| United States
|| September 25, 1999
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
It was originally broadcast as トキワジム！最後のバッヂ！
The Battle of the Badge (Japanese: トキワジム！さいごのバッジ！ Tokiwa Gym! The Last Badge!) is the 63rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 17, 1998 and in the United States on September 25, 1999.
Ash, Brock and Misty are walking through Viridian City heading to the Viridian Gym, as they stop outside its doors Ash is al fired up to win his eighth and final badge before he can compete in the Pokémon League, so fired up in fact that Pikachu lights a fire in front of him to mirror his feelings, accidentally setting Ash's toe on fire in the process. After being chastised by Misty, Ash excuses Pikachu's actions. The group is then interrupted by the arrival of Gary along with his cheering squad. Once again Gary boasts that he is further along the path to the Pokémon League, having already earned ten badges compared to Ash's seven. Gary heads into the Gym to challenge the leader followed by his cheering squad. Ash tries to follow Gary but is blocked by the guards who will only permit one trainer in the Gym at a time.
Ash is disappointed and depressed that Gary will still continue to get further and further ahead of him and he crouches down in a corner to wallow in his misery. Togepi pats him on the head in attempt to comfort him. Thinking it is Pikachu Ash is so surprised when he sees it that he launches Togepi into the air. As Togepi flies up it bounces on a flag pole, catapulting it into the mouth of startled Fearow who flies off with Togepi lodged in its throat. The trio set off after the Fearow searching for Togepi.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket is perched high on top of a skyscraper searching for signs of Pikachu. As it flies over them the Fearow manages to dislodge Togepi sending it dropping down on top of James. Jessie tries to grab it but Togepi easily evades her wandering out onto a wooden plank linking the building to the one next to it. Jessie crawls out onto the plank after it but when she reaches the middle the plank breaks beneath her sending her plummeting to the street below. James and Meowth rush down the stairs to catch her but, despite making it down before her, miss the catch and she hits the ground. As Jessie picks herself up Togepi lands on her head, allowing her to grab it before collapsing once more.
The scene cuts to the interior of the Gym where Gary, supported by his fans, challenges the Gym leader who is shrouded in shadow, boasting that he is the best trainer in Pallet Town. The leader accepts his challenge and announces the battle will consist of three Pokémon with no time limit. Gary chooses Nidoking and the leader responds by selecting Golem. The leader commences with a Tackle attack, to which Gary responds in kind ordering a Tackle from his Nidoking, sending Golem flying backward to crash into the wall, defeated. The leader chooses Kingler to use Crabhammer, Gary on consulting his Pokédex chooses Arcanine. Ordering Arcanine to perform Take Down followed by Fire Spin, Kingler is sent reeling amidst cheering from Gary's fans. Arcanine's Fire Blast is sufficient to beat Kingler.
The leader comes forward from the shadows announcing that he is not beaten yet and will use this battle to test his most powerful Pokémon. As he snaps his fingers a door opens to reveal a Pokémon concealed by mechanical armor. Using it's Psychic attacks it sends Arcanine crashing into a wall, Gary's Pokédex shows only static claiming that there is no available data on the new Pokémon. The leader offers to allow Gary to use more than one Pokémon if he is afraid of losing. Despite protestations that he isn't afraid of anything Gary sends both Arcanine and Nidoking forth to do battle. Even as they attack the mysterious Pokémon once again uses its Psychic powers to lift the pair from the ground.
Team Rocket meet their boss, Giovanni, revealing him to be the Leader of the Viridian Gym, on presenting Togepi for his approval. However when he demands to know what it can do the team are at a loss to explain, causing Giovanni to lose his temper accusing them of total incompetence. They are allowed a brief reprieve when the phone on Giovannis desk rings calling him to deal with an accident, leaving Jessie, James and Meowth in charge of the Gym giving them three Poké Balls to use if necessary. During the discussion, Togepi was able to escape through an open door.
Giovanni, walks through a dungeon where the Pokémon he used earlier are kept in cages. Continuing to the last one he pulls a lever releasing the mystery Pokémon explaining that he has an emergency assignment for it.
Meanwhile, the three friends are still searching the city for Togepi, as they meet back at the front of the Gym none of them have seen Togepi anywhere. However they hear Togepi's voice coming from inside the Gym. Pulling open the heavy doors reveals not only Togepi, but Gary and his fans lying unconscious on the ground. As Ash pulls Gary back to consciousness, Gary says that the mysterious Pokémon is not only powerful, it's evil as well, despite Ash's assertion that there can't be an evil Pokémon. Gary's fans are inconsolable, unable to believe that their hero lost a battle. As Gary announces that no one will ever beat the Pokémon, Team Rocket appears and begins to recite their motto, however they are interrupted by Ash, and his friends. To counter Misty's claim that their motto is never any different they state that "today is very different" because they are now in charge of the Gym and the Earth Badge. When the trio demands to know why Team Rocket has a Gym James explains that Team Rocket's plans are far too complex for them to understand before asking Jessie what they are, who Meowth reveals, doesn't know them either. Jessie then angrily sends Meowth flying.
Jessie raises two platforms on either side of the battlefield and invites Ash to take his place as the challenger on the green platform. Despite, his friends warnings that Team Rocket have probably booby trapped the box, Ash ascends as Jessie calls the three Pokémon Giovanni gave her, Machamp, Kingler and Rhyhorn. Ash calls Squirtle. Jessie orders Machamp to use Karate Chop striking Squirtle many times, as the blows land Ash is surrounded by blue light, the box being rigged so that the trainer feels all the pain his Pokémon experience. Ash, seeing that Squirtle has met its match chooses Bulbasaur which Jessie counter by choosing Kingler. Ash orders Bulbasaur to use Vine Whip as Jessie orders Kingler to use Harden as a result Bulbasaur's Vine Whip is rendered ineffective. Pressing the advantage Jessie orders a Bubble attack as Ash once again feels the pain of the attack.
Gary calls to Ash to give in, claiming the Pokémon are too strong, but Ash refuses to give up, trusting his Pokémon. Calling Pidgeotto Ash orders a Quick Attack striking Rhyhorn followed by Double-Edge. Now Jessie is on the receiving end of the pain, James having wired both sides, it not having occurred to him that they might lose. However Meowth planned for that eventuality, revealing a remote control to blow the competition away. Gary then snaps, "Oh, no, you don't" and tackles Meowth, sending the remote flying. Jessie orders all the Pokémon to attack at once including Weezing and Arbok despite it being against the rules. Ash orders Pikachu to attack, using electricity to attack all the opposing Pokémon at once. This show of force sends, Machamp, Rhyhorn and Kingler, running away, and Weezing and Arbok crashing into the equally shocked Jessie. Ash greets his Pokémon celebrating their hard won victory. Gary's fans do a cheer in Ash's honor, and Gary is forced to admit that Ash is a pretty good trainer.
Ash approaches Jessie and demands the Earth Badge as proof of his victory. But she refuses to give it to him. As they argue Meowth sees Togepi playing with the remote control. Even as Meowth calls out Togepi presses the detonation button and Meowth belatedly reveals that he wired Team Rocket's box to explode as well, sending Team Rocket blasting off again, and the Earth Badge tumbling into Ash's hands. They all are forced to flee as the Gym begins to collapse around them.
As the Trio continues their journey, Brock wonders if they will ever see the Pokémon Gary saw, while Ash is only interested in his eight badges his ticket to the Pokémon League. Realizing that they don't know where the Pokémon League is they decide to head for Pallet Town to consult with Professor Oak.
TV episode debuts
Who’s That Pokémon?: Mr. Mime (US and international), Windie (Japan)
- Some scenes of this episode are hints to scenes from the first movie. These include the battle with Giovanni and Gary.
- Gary says that he has ten badges already, even though in the games it is impossible to get more than seven if the player has not defeated the Viridian City gym leader (which Gary hasn't).
- Only three of the ten of Gary's badges are known: Boulder Badge, Cascade Badge, and Rainbow Badge. It is possible that Gary has also obtained the Volcano Badge, but the image isn't clear enough for an accurate identification, and the Gym was heavily damaged before he would have had a chance (in Volcanic Panic).
- This marks the first and only time a Gym Leader refuses to give the badge to Ash despite winning the battle fair and square, granted, Ash did not actually battle the official Gym Leader.
- This also marks the first time that Ash won a badge at the first attempt (unless one counts the Soul Badge battle), and only the third time that he won a Gym badge for actually defeating the Gym Leader in a Pokémon battle.
- The episode title is a pun on the World War II Battle of the Bulge.
- Like in Riddle Me This, Pikachu was able to defeat, or at least, injure Rhydon with a Thunderbolt attack despite the Ground-type's immunity to Electric moves.
- Mewtwo also appears as a painting on Giovanni's wall.
- This is the first time Giovanni's face is clearly seen, as it has always been in the shadows in previous episodes.
- Theoretically Ash should also feel the damage when Pidgeotto uses Double-Edge, as it does recoil damage.
- The book Team Rocket Blasts Off! is based on this episode.
- After Gary's Arcanine defeated Giovanni's Kingler, a different perspective gives it the size of a Growlithe.
- After Ash sent his Squirtle out, the Machamp was at least twice as big as Rhydon even though it is 1 foot smaller. The Kingler is even smaller.
- Both times Gary's Nidoking is shown, its cry is actually a stock sound effect, not that of a Pokémon.
- Later in the episode, Rhyhorn uses the exact same same cry as Nidoking.
- Ash's statement of it being "a whole year" since they last visited was added in the dub. In the original Japanese version, Ash only remarks that it's been a while since they last visited Viridian.
- In the original Japanese version, Giovanni introduces himself to Gary by name. In the dub, he just refers himself as Viridian Gym Leader.
- In the original version, when a Pokémon was knocked out during Gary's and Giovanni's battle, the name of the defeated Pokémon was declared. In the dub, the names of the winner Pokémon were declared instead.
In other languages
- Finnish: Merkin herruus
- French: L'arène Team Rocket
- German: Der Kampf um den Erdorden
- Hebrew: הקרב על התג hakrav al hatag
- Italian: L'ottava Medaglia
- Mandarin: 常磐道館，最後的徽章
- Portuguese (Brazilian): A Batalha da Insígnia
- Russian: Битва за значок
- Iberian Spanish: El combate de la medalla
- Latin American Spanish: ¡La batalla por la medalla!
- Swedish: Slaget om Jordnålen
- Hungarian: Küzdelem a jelvényért