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EP071 : To Master the Onixpected!
Original series
EP073 : Bad to the Bone
The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis
Fierce Battle! Ancient Pokémon
First broadcast
Japan November 26, 1998
United States October 14, 1999
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending タイプ・ワイルド
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 福本潔 Kiyoshi Fukumoto
Assistant director 福本潔 Kiyoshi Fukumoto
Animation director 福本勝 Masaru Fukumoto
No additional credits are available at this time.

The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis (Japanese: げきとつ!ちょうこだいポケモン Fierce Battle! Ancient Pokémon) is the 72nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on November 26, 1998 and in the United States on October 14, 1999.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201


Ash is finally training for the Pokémon League, and is battling Brock. Ash's Pikachu is battling Brock's Vulpix. Pikachu is about to use Thunderbolt, and Vulpix is about to use Firespin, when Jigglypuff appears inbetween them. At Ash and Brock's command, Pikachu and Vulpix fire their attacks in a different direction, destroying a rock wall. As Ash and his friends walk closer, they see that they have uncovered the entrance to a temple, as well as a gigantic bell. They find an ancient artifact in the rubble, and an archaeologist named Eve takes it.

Eve and the other archaeologists are digging up artifacts related to the ancient city of Pokémopolis, and a professor finds a spoon similar to the first artifact. Pokémopolis was destroyed in a storm a long time ago, and an ancient tablet reads that two great powers of destruction will fight and destroy the world, and no human knows the secret to stop them.

That night, Team Rocket attempts to steal the rare and valuable artifacts from the temple. Jessie has her Arbok enter the temple and bring back the most valuable thing it can find. It brings back a dark object that appears to be three dark orbs together. It absorbs Arbok, and chases after Team Rocket. It makes footprints in the ground as it chases them, as though it is invisible. It absorbs them as well, offscreen.

Next day, the professor finds the dark device, and is absorbed by it. It then absorbs all the archaeologists except Eve, and turns into a giant Gengar with strange markings on it. Gengar heads to the nearest town to destroy it. As the nearest town is Pallet Town, Ash tries to stop it. Ash, Misty, and Brock chase after it while Eve heads back to the van, where the artifacts are floating around. He sends Pidgeotto after it, but the Gust Attack doesn't do much, and Pidgeotto is absorbed by Gengar. Brock sends Onix after it and has Onix use Bind, wrapping around Gengar's leg, but Gengar absorbs it too.

Gengar chases Ash, Misty, and Brock back to the van, where Eve is possessed by the two strange artifacts (the one that looks like a spoon and the other one with the same design), and the spoon sticks in the other one like a key, and the spell on Eve and the other artifacts is broken. The two artifacts then transform into a giant Alakazam, also with strange markings on it. Gengar and Alakazam battle. Alakazam shoots energy waves that, when they hit the ground or a wall, transform into strangely-shaped stones. What those are is unknown. Gengar and Alakazam enter a beam struggle, and where the beams collide, they shoot into the sky, threatening to destroy the entire planet.

Ash has his Pikachu use Thunderbolt on them when they step into the water, but although they are affected, no significant damage is caused to them. Then, Jigglypuff appears and sings its song. Everyone inside the giant Gengar falls asleep, but Gengar and Alakazam do not, as Jigglypuff is too small to put them to sleep. Gengar knocks Alakazam backward, and it crashes into Jigglypuff, sending it flying into the distance, Team Rocket style.

However, Jigglypuff's song makes the giant bell glow, and it transforms into a giant Jigglypuff. Bigglypuff's song is loud and powerful enough to put the giant Gengar and Alakazam to sleep, as well as Ash, Misty, Brock, Eve, Pikachu, and Togepi. Just like the regular Jigglypuff, Bigglypuff gets angry when it sees that Gengar and Alakazam fell asleep, and pulls off the head of the bell, revealing it to be a paintbrush, and scribbles on Gengar and Alakazam's faces.

When Ash and the others wake up, the dark clouds have vanished, as have the three giant Pokémon. The artifacts and all the giant Gengar's victims have all reappeared. Ash walks up to Team Rocket, and they decide not to battle Ash this time, and run off.

So the mystery of Pokémopolis has been solved, but the biggest mystery has yet to be solved - will Ash ever get to training for the Pokémon League?

Major events


Pokémon debuts




Who’s That Pokémon?: Jigglypuff (US and international), Foodin (Japan)



  • In the beginning of this episode Ash commands Pikachu to use "Electric attack" on Brock's Vulpix. Electric is a type, not a move (unlike Psychic, which is both type and move).
  • The title card for this episode misspells Pokémopolis as Pokemopolis without the accent over the e.
  • This is the first time someone (namely the giant Gengar and Alakazam) doesn't fall asleep to Jigglypuff's song, though Jigglypuff was too small to affect them.
  • This is the last episode before Mewtwo Strikes Back.

Dub edits

In other languages

  • Finnish: Pokémonpoliksen arvoitus
  • French: Le mystère enfoui de Pokémonpolis
  • German: Die rätselhafte Tempelruine
  • Italian: Un mistero dopo l'altro
  • Latin American Spanish: ¡El misterio de Pokémopolis!
  • Iberian Spanish: El antiguo rompecabezas de Pokémopolis
  • Brazilian Portuguese: O Antigo Quebra-Cabeça de Pokemópolis
EP071 : To Master the Onixpected!
Original series
EP073 : Bad to the Bone
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.