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The setting for the competition
The Indigo Plateau Conference (Japanese: セキエイ大会 Sekiei Conference) is the Indigo League general championship competition. It exists in the anime and The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga only. It does not appear in the games. The competition in which Ash Ketchum participated in occurred from the episode All Fired Up! until Friends to the End of the original series.
The conference is held once a year at Indigo Plateau.
During the competition, the Pokémon League Village on Indigo Plateau becomes a mecca for all things Pokémon. Trainers receive free food and lodging in the village. While most League activity occurs in the Pokémon League Pavilion and on the battlefields, parades, movie theaters, and other such activities within the village keep the spectators happy when there is no battling. Additionally, there are some important ceremonial events unique to the conference.
The Pokémon League opening ceremony calls upon the spirit and flame of Moltres to ignite the fire that burns atop Indigo Stadium throughout the competition. Moltres's virtues symbolize Pokémon League competitions. The flame changes many hands, through competitors that are approved to be torch bearers. Without the flame, the competition could not begin. All competing Pokémon Trainers gather in Indigo Stadium and the central torch is finally lit. League president Charles Goodshow addresses the Trainers, and then the games begin.
During the closing ceremony, all Trainers that competed at the conference march into Indigo Stadium one last time, and the Top 3 winning competitors are honored. Chairman Goodshow awards each Trainer with a Pokémon League Badge that signifies participation in the competition. Afterwards, the stadium lights dim for a fireworks show. Moltres's flame is extinguished until the next year's competition, and all battlers and spectators return home.
Only certified Pokémon Trainers who have acquired at least eight Indigo League Gym Badges may enter the competition. Ideally, there are around 256 competitors, with each sudden death Pokémon battle eventually eliminating all but one. Each losing Trainer is placed accordingly. The winner of the conference then gets a chance to battle Kanto's Elite Four.
The competition lasts for eight rounds. Four preliminary rounds span for four days, followed by two days of rest, and then the final rounds begin.
Rounds and their respective positions for each Trainer:
- Preliminary: Top 256, Top 128, Top 64, Top 32.
- Final: Top 16, Top 8, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st.
In the preliminary rounds, 256 Trainers must compete on four different battlefields: Rock, Grass, Water and Ice. All matches are of three Pokémon each. The battlefield is decided by a game of chance, and the competitors are chosen randomly by computer. Only Trainers who win on all four battlefields will progress to the final rounds.
Final round battles take place in Indigo Stadium. Like in the preliminary rounds, the Top 16 round has Trainers using three Pokémon each. From the Top 8 onward, however, all battles are Full Battles. Only 16 Trainers make it to the final rounds. Competitors are chosen by fishing for Magikarp labelled with a letter and number that match that of another competitor.
Rules and regulations
The Indigo League is very strict on what defines a battle and what defines a match. A battle is one Pokémon against another one, and a match is made up of the individual Pokémon battles. Thus, the number of battles within a match is defined by how many Pokémon are used. The following conditions cause the Pokémon to lose the battle:
The Indigo Plateau Conference Top 3
Trainers here participated in the conference either before or after the conference Ash entered.
In the manga
The stadium in The Electric Tale of Pikachu
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, the Indigo Plateau Conference took place in Welcome to the Big Leagues and The Indigo Finals. Although the manga is based on the anime, it had many differences compared to the anime:
- Professor Oak acted as one of the announcers instead of being in the audience.
- Brock and Misty also participated the tournament, but both of them lost their first round matches.
- Gary was defeated by Ritchie instead of Melissa.
- The fifth round battle between Ash and Ritchie began with two double-knockouts, followed by Ash's Charizard facing Ritchie's own Charizard, Charley. Ash's Charizard, in its disobedience, ended up severly injuring Charley, prompting Ash to recall it and surrender the match.
- Ritchie's battle following the fifth round wasn't shown, making it unclear how far he got in the tournament.
- This conference marks Ash's lowest placing in a Pokémon League Conference so far, only at Top 16.
- This is the only Pokémon League Conference to date where:
- Ash doesn't have at least one Full Battle.
- The winner's name was never revealed.
- Ash's loss happened outside of the conclusion episode.