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| A Crowning Achievement
Yadoking! King's Symbol!
|| August 8, 2002
| United States
|| August 23, 2003
|| Team Ota
|| 武上純希 Junki Takegami
|| 倉井さとし Satoshi Kurai
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
A Crowning Achievement (Japanese: ヤドキング！おうじゃのしるし！ Yadoking! King's Symbol!) is the 260th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on August 8, 2002 and in the United States on August 23, 2003.
Brock leads Ash and Misty toward a beautiful lake he has read about in his guidebook, but when they arrive at its supposed location, they find nothing but a dried-up stream, surrounded by a number of thirsty Slowpoke. Ash and friends spot a Sumo Crown, but are stopped from approaching it by a young girl and her Slowpoke. The girl explains that she and her Slowpoke are researching legends surrounding the Slowpoke and a supposed Slowking. Long ago, in a time of drought, a chosen Slowpoke had used the Sumo Crown to evolve into a Slowking and then led the other Slowpoke off to paradise. It is her hope that began in this time of drought, a chosen Slowpoke will arise and lead its fellow Slowpoke to safety before it is too late. Numerous Slowpoke attempt to approach the crown, but all are bitten by Shellder and transform into Slowbro before they are able to reach it. The chosen Slowpoke must get by all the Shellder and reach the Sumo Crown before being bitten in order to evolve into a Slowking. Just when it seems all hope is lost, this girl's own Slowpoke darts off toward the Sumo Crown.
Ash, Brock and Misty are still continuing towards Mt. Silver. Larvitar is still riding in Ash's backpack, and awakens only to be greeted by Misty. Still fearful, it Hardens, leading Ash to criticize Misty's statements and baby Larvitar again. Misty complains that Larvitar doesn't like anyone besides Ash, and Brock claims that he can endear himself to the Pokémon, as he will be the world's best Breeder. He pulls faces and tries to make it laugh, but only succeeds in terrifying it to the point of it bursting into tears. Ash coaxes it into stopping and going back to sleep, and Misty criticizes Brock's skills. With its screeching stopped, Brock hears a waterfall and they decide to find the lake and have lunch. Watching nearby, James and Meowth plan to steal Pikachu, only to discover that Jessie has eaten all of their lunch.
Ash and Pikachu run ahead, but end up tumbling down a steep hill. They have arrived at the lake's supposed location, they find nothing but a dried-up stream, surrounded by a number of thirsty Slowpoke. Misty notes that the lake had clearly been higher and Ash notices that the Slowpoke don't look healthy. Ash and friends spot a King's Rock, but are stopped from approaching it by a young girl whose name is Alice, her father, Professor Telesu, and her Slowpoke, Arthur. Brock promptly falls in love with Alice, but Misty drags him away. Alice explains that she and her dad are researching legends surrounding a supposed Slowking who could help save the colony of Slowpoke. The lake dried up because an earthquake opened a fissure that drained most of the water, and insufficient water flows in from the river to fill it again.
Professor Telesu leads them to a cliff with runes carved into it. The cliff face and the King's Rock both only appeared once the water receded. Telesu explains that a special Slowpoke is destined to save the colony, by reaching the King's Rock to evolve into a Slowking. Misty notes that the legend is very similar to the events happening now, and Telesu explains that only one panel eludes him. Ash notes that it looks like a rainbow with a comb on it.
Team Rocket promptly arrives to steal the King's Rock, and Arbok and Weezing are sent out to retrieve the King's Rock. At Alice's plea, Ash sends Pikachu to intercept them. Arbok uses Poison Sting but Pikachu evades. As Pikachu uses Quick Attack, Arbok easily dodges and knocks Pikachu aside. Just as Arbok is about to finish Pikachu off with Bite, Larvitar bursts into tears at the sight, crippling Arbok, Pikachu, Weezing and everyone around them, with the exception of Arthur, who simply wanders over and pats Larvitar on the back, stopping its tears. Team Rocket then makes a break for the King's Rock. However, Brock sends out Forretress, who trips the trio up with Rapid Spin. Pikachu then hits them with Thunderbolt and sends them blasting off.
Telesu thanks the group for driving away Team Rocket, but observes that the lake will be dry by summer. Alice says that the Slowpoke are too slow and too many to migrate to another lake successfully, and Telesu replies that the only hope is for the Slowking legend to come true. When Misty asks if any of the Slowpoke around the lake have attempted to become a Slowking, and Alice points out that one is attempting to. The group watches as the adventurous Slowpoke ambles across, but a wild Shellder leaps out of the water and it evolves into a Slowbro instead. Telesu explains that this has become a very common event. Misty and Brock note that the Slowpoke are too slow to reach the King's Rock in time. Telesu also points out that once they become a Slowbro, they cannot become a Slowking. Alice becomes very upset that the Slowpoke colony is in danger, and as Arthur watches his oldest friend cry, he decides to attempt it himself. Alice and the others call him back, but he ignores them, surprising Telesu, who says that Arthur has never disobeyed Alice. Brock realizes what Arthur is attempting to do, but Ash exclaims that Slowpoke will never make it at the speed it's taking.
The Shellder muster and begin to launch themselves at Arthur, but Arthur shows surprising agility for a Slowpoke and manages to deflect them. He slips and falls into the water, but uses his tail as a propeller to motor himself through the water and away from the Shellder. As Arthur climbs the steep rock with the King's Rock situated on top of it, a trio of Shellder leaps out of the water. As the group exclaims in horror, Larvitar bursts into tears, crippling the group and nearby Slowpoke and Slowbro, but most importantly, it forces the Shellder to retreat whilst Arthur is unaffected. He reaches the King's Rock and places it on his head, and just as Larvitar stops screeching, a Shellder bursts out and clamps onto the King's Rock, causing Arthur to evolve, becoming a Slowking. Alice asks if he did this for the good of the Slowpoke, and Arthur nods.
Team Rocket realizes that they've missed out on the King's Rock, but plans to steal Slowking instead. They fire a net, which Arthur reflects with Confusion, trapping the trio inside their balloon basket. Meowth deploys a smokescreen, but foolishly blinds Team Rocket as well as hiding them. Arthur then redirects the balloon with another Confusion, sending them crashing into a cliff face. Shellder leap out from the water and bite onto the group, and Ash and Pikachu arrive to send the trio blasting off.
Back by the lake, Brock notes that Arthur is a natural leader of the colony, and Arthur turns to the waterfall, splitting the water with a powerful psychic power. Telesu realizes that the obscure panel was the split waterfall and the caves behind it. Arthur then leads the colony into the cave, with Alice and the others following behind. They arrive at a large lake and underground forest, which the Slowpoke and Slowbro move into happily.
Outside the falls, Alice tells Arthur that the Slowpoke now depend on him as their leader, and decides to release him. She hugs Arthur goodbye, and he retreats through the waterfall. As he waves farewell, the waterfall looses its restraints and merges back to a normal waterfall. Telesu comforts his daughter by pointing out that her own Slowpoke turned to be the chosen one, and Ash's friends point out how lucky she is to have a king as her loving friend. Alice and Telesu bid farewell and fond thanks to the trio, and Brock is dragged away by Misty as he promises to find his own paradise with Alice one day. Alice and her father continue to overlook the paradise, and the trio continues on their journey to Mt. Silver.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
Who's That Pokémon?: Kadabra (US and international), Slowpoke (Japan)
- This is the last episode to use hand-colored cel animation. However, Pokémon movies still used hand-colored cel animation until Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, which was the last Pokémon movie to use traditional hand-painted cels.
- This episode heavily references the legend of The Sword in the Stone, in which many knights tried to draw a magical sword from an anvil, but only one, Arthur, succeeded and became King. Additionally, the Slowpoke that becomes Slowking is named Arthur.
- Brock is shown willingly "opening" his eyes for the first time.
- Slowking dividing the waters and leading the Slowpoke and Slowbro to a paradise is based on the story of Moses and the crossing of the Red Sea.
- Music from Pikachu's Vacation and The Power of One can be heard in this episode.
Larvitar's missing black markings
- Team Rocket blasts off twice, but at the second time, a strip-repeat was evident; in the first blast off Jessie's Arbok and James's Weezing were outside of their Poké Balls, while the second time, despite neither being out, both are there.
- When the group enters the Slowpoke's Paradise, the marks under Larvitar's eyes are gone.
- When the group spots the King's Rock, Ash and Misty seem puzzled as to what it is, but Misty's Poliwhirl evolved into Politoed from Ash's King's Rock in Outrageous Fortunes.
- After her Slowpoke evolves Alice is missing her left eyebrow.
- Ash states that he thought Slowpoke could only evolve into Slowbro, despite first encountering a Slowking in The Power of One.
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