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Team Rocket Grunts in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
Team Rocket grunts are members of Team Rocket. They act as fodder, enforcers, workmen, crooks, and backup for various leaders in the criminal organization.
In the games
Being the underlings of Team Rocket, the grunts have appeared in all of the games this villainous team has appeared in; namely, in Generation I and Generation II, as well as their remakes, FireRed and LeafGreen and HeartGold and SoulSilver, respectively.
In these games, a Team Rocket Grunt is considered a class of Pokémon Trainer. How they are referred to has varied a bit throughout the generations. A grunt is called Rocket (Japanese, ロケットだんいん Team Rocket Member) in Generation I, Rocket Grunt (Japanese, ロケットだんいんのしたっぱ Team Rocket Underling Member) in Generation II, and finally Team Rocket Grunt (Japanese, ロケットだんのしたっぱ Team Rocket Underling) in Generations III and IV. Additionally, unlike other Trainer classes, Team Rocket Grunts are never given individual names, a tradition continued with the other three villainous teams, whose members are also referred to as simply grunts. However, there are four grunts that appear to be related to each other, the Rocket Brothers, in Silph Co.
Male Rocket grunts are depicted as men wearing black uniforms with a big red R on them, as well as gray gloves and boots (white in Generations I and II). They also wear a black cap, which in the first three Generations completely hides their short hair, though it is shown as pink in Generation IV. In Generation I, they each hold a whip, though, in a similar change to the Cooltrainers, it is omitted in all further depictions. They also seem to be adults in Generation I, though they seem a bit younger, perhaps even teens, in further games.
In Generation II, female Rocket grunts started to appear. In their introductory games, these female grunts are depicted as red haired women in white Team Rocket uniforms without caps, with their design being very similar to Cassidy and their outfit similar to Jessie's. In Generations III and IV, their design is drastically changed, and they are shown more similar to their male counterparts, wearing a black uniform with a red R, a black cap, and gray gloves and boots, though they wear black shorts or a skirt instead of pants. They are shown to have short, orange-pinkish hair in the games, though their artwork from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen shows their hair as green.
- Main article: Team Rocket#In the games
Team Rocket Grunts in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
In Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, the grunts are found throughout Kanto creating general disruption. They first appear in Mt. Moon, going after Fossils. One grunt is found at the end of the Nugget Bridge recruiting for Team Rocket, and another had stolen a TM from an elderly couple in Cerulean City. In Celadon City, the grunts operate a base under the Game Corner trafficking Pokémon all over the world, and they are also responsible for the murder of the mother Marowak in Pokémon Tower as part of a plan to steal Cubone and sell their skulls. They also appear when they take over the Silph Co. headquarters. After the player defeats them there, Giovanni disappears, later reappearing at his own Gym, and the grunts are not seen after this in the original games. However, in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, two grunts remain in an old man's house next to the restaurant in Celadon City; they will never leave, nor will they battle the player. Additionally, in Pokémon Yellow, both Jessie and James are from the Rocket Trainer class, and appear next to the regular grunts in Mt. Moon, the Game Corner and Silph Co.
In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, grunts are also found on several of the Sevii Islands, even after Giovanni's defeat. On Island One, the player faces two in front of a cave which leads to the Ruby for the Net Center. On Island Four, the player helps Lorelei, who nearly defeated a grunt with her Lapras's Ice Beam while interrogating Team Rocket at Icefall Cave. On Island Six, there is a grunt in front of Altering Cave. On Island Five, the player finds a group of male and female grunts operating from a warehouse obtaining a large number of Pokémon, most of them rare, and trying to make a working prototype of the high-frequency sound wave machine which would influence evolution; after the player defeats the grunts and the two administrators, they will pull out, but not before telling the player that they will find Giovanni and restore Team Rocket. They have not been seen in the islands since.
In the Generation II games and their remakes, three years after the events ofthe original games, Team Rocket, under the administration of the executives, create havok throught Johto gaining profit and trying to communicate with their old leader, Giovanni. The grunts are first seen operating in Slowpoke Well, led by Proton, cutting off Slowpokes' tails to sell. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, a grunt is seen bothering a Kimono Girl at the Ecruteak City Dance Theater. At Mahogany Town, the player finds a base underneath a shop in which the Rockets have been using a fully-working high-frequency sound wave machine that influences Pokémon evolution. They also help their executives take over the Radio Tower in Goldenrod City, as well as guard the Radio Director who is hidden in the Goldenrod Tunnel. After defeating Archer, most grunts are gone for good. However, a lone grunt appears in Cerulean City later on, unaware of the disbanding of Team Rocket, who has stolen a part of the Power Plant in Kanto.
Team Rocket Grunts use Pokémon from a variety of types, but often employ Template:Type2 Pokémon more than others. Also, the large majority of their Pokémon are from the first generation, though a couple they use in the Sevii Islands and Johto are from the second one.
In the anime
In the anime, the grunts have had few appearances. They first appear in Battle Aboard the St. Anne, under the command of Jessie, James, and Meowth trapping Trainers and trying to steal their Pokémon. But before Team Rocket could steal the Pokémon from all the Trainers onboard, they were stopped by Ash and his friends.
There are also many Rocket Grunts that appear in one scene from Mewtwo Strikes Back. They are using Mewtwo's psychic abilities to capture a large herd of Tauros.
In Johto, operating from an under sea base, grunts are under the command of Dr. Namba, Butch, and Cassidy, attempting to harness a Lugia and its child, but Ash, his friends and Ritchie stopped them.
Later, they operate around the Lake of Rage under the command of Professor Sebastian and Tyson to help in Project R; the project's goal is to force Pokémon to evolve artificially, thus giving the group powerful Pokémon to use. But they were stopped yet again by Ash and his friends, with the help from Lance of the Pokémon G-Men.
They also appear in copious amounts during Mewtwo Returns, led by Giovanni and Domino, to capture Mewtwo and build a new base for Team Rocket on Mount Quena. However, they are all transported away from the mountain at the end of the movie.
They have also been seen helping Butch and Cassidy with their stadium scam in The Ole' Berate and Switch. There, they were disguised as several tournament officials.
Team Rocket grunts have been known to use the following Pokémon:
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
- The debut of Team Rocket grunts was in the first round of this chapter, Glimpse of the Glow, where they try to find Mew in Pallet Town forest to finish development Mewtwo.
- In Raging Rhydon they search a Moon Stone in Mt. Moon, however this mission also fails.
- In Tauros the Tyrant, the grunts go after Green, hoping they can get back a disk containing information on Mew.
- In The Jynx Jinx, the grunts try to capture Mew, but Red and Green interfere.
- In You Know... Articuno!, the grunts are sent to catch Articuno.
- In Holy Moltres, an army of grunts is sent to take out Blaine, who left Team Rocket due to the creation of Mewtwo. After Red helps Blaine escape, the grunts use Moltres that they captured on the Indigo Plateau; Red defeats it with an Aerodactyl that he brought back to life.
- In Peace of Mime, Saffron City is taken over by the grunts.
- In The Winged Legends, the grunts try to get out of Saffron City because of the fight between Red and Green and Koga. The Gym Leaders not aligned with Team Rocket block all the exits, keeping the grunts in.
- In And Mewtwo Too!?, the Cinnabar Island base is destroyed by Mewtwo, taking out the grunts and scientists that work there.
Gold, Silver & Crystal chapter
The grunts as well as the Team Rocket Elite Trio were reorganized under Masked Man.
- In One Angry Ursaring, the grunts are sent to cut the tails of Slowpoke living in the Slowpoke Well, but Silver stops them.
- In VS. Ampharos, the grunts and the two sub-leaders, Chermaine and Keane, are sent to destroy the Tin Tower, and are successful. However, they then lose a battle with Gold and Silver.
- In The Mightiest Ho-Oh, Keane gives a speech telling the grunts that it is time for the public to officially learn about the return of Team Rocket.
- In Stop Snoring, Slowking, the Elite Trio and the grunts ride a train to the Indigo Plateau.
- In Lugia & Ho-Oh (Part 1), grunts intrude upon the Gym Leaders' exhibition match.
- In The Last Battle II, grunts are put under mind control by Masked Man. Although the Elite Trio were saved from the mind control by Lt. Surge, they are told by him to help free the other grunts from the Masked Man's mind control.
- In The Last Battle VII, grunts are sent to retrieve the Rainbow Wing and the Silver Wing.
- In The Last Battle IX, the grunts on the train to the Indigo Plateau are knocked out as Red and Green travel to fight Masked Man. Chuck tells the pair that the grunts will be taken care of.