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| The Last Battle XII
The Last Battle XII
The Last Battle XII (Japanese: 最終決戦XII The Last Battle XII) is the 178th round of the`Gold, Silver & Crystal chapter in the Pokémon Adventures manga.
Having revealed Pryce as the Masked Man, Gold demands Pryce's surrender by holding him at cue-point. However, Pryce spots Pika and Chuchu running by and captures them with his ice body, ordering Gold to fall back by holding the two Pikachu ransom. Back at Indigo Plateau, the remaining Gym Leaders are shocked at the revelation of Pryce's villainy. Morty, picking up Pryce's abandoned staff, opens it up to reveal a high-tech device that comprises a transceiver and monitor which displays Tin Tower. Morty realises that when everyone witnessed the Masked Man earlier while all the Gym Leaders were present, it was actually a remote-controlled dummy manipulated by the staff which Pryce could also monitor through the staff's viewing screen. Whitney adds to the explanation by pointing out Pryce's habit of tapping his staff on the ground; the series of tapping was actually a code that transmitted vocal orders to the dummy, allowing Pryce to control his Pokémon from afar.
Gold is forced to drop his billiard cue at Pryce's threat, allowing the latter to attack him while he completes the GS Ball. Gold is unable to fight back due to protecting Pika and Chuchu's egg, allowing Pryce to escape into time with the GS Ball. Gold is reunited with Wilton and the Daycare Couple, having escaped from the Team Rocket grunts, who hand him a letter from Professor Oak. Gold is disappointed to find not battle advice, but a letter introducing the other Pokédex holders and their own special skills:
- Red, who possesses keen battle instinct, is known as the Fighter.
- Blue, who is skilled in training Pokémon to their best, is known as the Trainer.
- Yellow, who holds in her the unique heritage of Viridian Forest and her keen connection with Pokémon, is known as the Healer.
- Crystal, who had been trained in catching Pokémon since young, is known as the Catcher.
- Green and Silver, having been specially trained by Pryce, possess keen insight in trigger Pokémon evolution and trade: two effectively similar traits. They hold the titles of Evolver and Trader.
An increasingly frustrated Gold wonders if the professor is asking him to fall back, on the basis that he himself has no particular strength that makes him worthy. However, the Egg in his hands begins to hatch, having been held by him for protection. Wilton realises that Gold missed out on a final portion of Oak's message, which acknowledges the abilities of all the Trainers that were given a Pokédex, including Gold - known as the Hatcher. A Pichu hatches from the Egg`and jumps onto Gold's head, and releases its electricity to propel itself and Gold into the time aurora Pryce left behind, allowing Gold to chase after Pryce into time.
At Indigo Plateau, Eusine, Misty, Blaine and Lt. Surge are left exhausted after the fight with the Masked Man; Suicune in particular is injured but is determined to chase after Pryce. Misty declares herself unable to follow; to Eusine's disappointment Suicune chooses Crystal as his new partner, and reveals the earring he had picked up from Crystal in their first meeting. Misty, recalling the other Pokémon she had given to Red and Yellow, encourages Crystal to follow Suicune; Blaine and Lt. Surge likewise give Entei and Raikou to Crystal so they can all chase after Pryce. Elsewhere in the stadium, the Johto Gym Leaders are taken by surprise as Pryce's ice torso begins to reform itself and attack, but before it can attack Whitney, DJ Mary's Smeargle melts it with fire. Mary explains that Smeargle had used Sketch while watching Entei's attacks; Morty observes that Sketch not only copied the attack, but also Entei's unique characteristic of being able to melt Pryce's ice.
Amongst the ruined parts of the stadium, the director of Goldenrod Radio rescues Bill and Daisy Oak from wreckage, before discovering the undamaged fax machine in the room and a huge amount of letters sent in by concerned listeners. The man realises that transmission was never cut during Pryce's attack, and is moved to tears by the Trainers' willingness to help from all over the Johto and Kanto regions. However, no one is able to send in their Pokémon due to the Transfer system breakdown. At the same time, Bill recalls his own frustration in attempting to fix the system; nothing was wrong with the hardware or readings when he investigated, so there shouldn't have been a problem at all. Suddenly, he has an epiphany and rushes out of the room.