Li (Japanese: コウセイKōsei) is a Pokémon Trainer that first appeared in Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions. He is the Elder of Sprout TowerSages. He is an elderly man appearing to be of Chinese or Japanese descent. His attire consists of a large purple robe covering most of his body, with a yellow robe over his right shoulder with a Poké Ball pattern. His attire is typical of Buddhist monks in Japan. He is the only character in the games to have the Trainer classElder (Japanese: ちょうろうElder).
The title of Elder existed in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal but wasn't a Trainer class until Generation IV. Instead, it was just an honorific title that Sages used when referring to Li. Before the introduction of the class, Li simply belonged to the Sage class.
"So good of you to come here! Sprout Tower is a place of training. People and Pokémon test their bonds to build a bright future together. I am the final test. Allow me to check the ties between your Pokémon and you!"
After being defeated
"You and your Pokémon should have no problem using this move. Take this Flash HM. Flash illuminates even the darkest of all places. But to use it out of battle, you need the Badge from Violet's Gym."
"You showed us what you've got and it's indeed good... Take this Technical Machine. However, you should care more about your Pokémon. The way you treat your Pokémon can be too harsh... Remember, Pokémon are not tools of war..."
"So good of you to come here! Sprout Tower is a place of training. People and Pokémon test their bonds to build a bright future together. I am the final test. Allow me to check the ties between you and your Pokémon!"
After being defeated
"Hmm...The way you battle is quite elegant. You should be able to stand up to Falkner. And you should be able to make good use of this... It is a Technical Machine called Flash. Take it with you!"
"When a Pokémon learns Flash, you can illuminate caves no matter how dark they may be. You can try it on Bellsprout for example..."
In Pokémon Gold and Silver, his original full title in battle of Sage Li may have been a pun on the word sagely.
Despite officially being of the Trainer class "Elder" in HeartGold and SoulSilver, his title outside of battle in Gold and Silver was "Elder," so in both generation of games, his title and name as Elder Li may have been a pun on the word elderly.
Although he cannot be battled, another Elder, found in the Dragon's Den has the same overworld sprite as Li.
Possibly from 光 kō (light), Flash's source of power.
From light. May also be a pun of "sagely" or "elderly".