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HZ024 : Reunion at the Ancient Castle!
Pokémon Horizons: The Series
HZ026 : Terapagos's Adventure!
Rivals in the Dark of Night!
HZ025   EP1257
Rivals in the Dark Night
First broadcast
Japan October 20, 2023
United States
English themes
Opening Becoming Me
Japanese themes
Opening ドキメキダイアリー
Ending RVR〜ライジングボルテッカーズラップ〜[ドットVer.]
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 佐藤大 Dai Satō
Storyboard 髙木啓明 Hiroaki Takagi
Assistant director 髙木啓明 Hiroaki Takagi
Animation directors 萩原慶汰 Keita Hagiwara
倉員千晶 Chiaki Kurakazu
服部奈津美 Natsumi Hattori
中矢利子 Toshiko Nakaya
大西雅也 Masaya Ōnishi
忍田雄介 Yusuke Oshida
柳原好貴 Yoshitaka Yanagihara
新岡浩美 Hiromi Niioka
海老沢咲希 Saki Ebisawa
Additional credits

Rivals in the Dark of Night! (Japanese: 闇夜の強敵 Rivals in the Dark Night) is the 25th episode of Pokémon Horizons: The Series, and the 1,257th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on October 20, 2023.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.


Continuing from the end of the last episode, Liko, Roy, and Friede find themselves confronted by Amethio, Zirc, and Onia at Diana's castle, while, unbeknownst to them, the Explorers Admins Sidian and Coral are also on their way to the scene, accompanied by Hamber. Terapagos has locked eyes with Amethio in particular and is crying at him aggressively. Just then, Diana and her Arcanine enter the room to hold the Explorers trio off while her Squawkabilly opens a hidden tunnel for her granddaughter and her friends to use to escape. Diana assures them that she'll follow them once she's picked up something first. Liko, Roy, and Friede make their escape while Diana turns her attention back to Amethio and his henchmen. Zirc warns her not to get in the way of the Explorers, and she's surprised to learn the organization's name. Before Amethio can attack her, Diana jumps onto the back of her Arcanine and jumps out of a nearby window. Amethio tells Zirc and Onia to ignore her and focus on finding Terapagos. Liko recalls Hatenna just as Rhydon digs through the tunnel ceiling above her, scaring her and forcing the group to run. From Rhydon's digging, Zirc is able to determine that the escape tunnel leads to one of the castle's towers. As such, Amethio orders his henchmen to circle their targets from below, while he strikes from above.

Climbing the tower, Friede tells Liko and Roy to wait for him halfway through while he goes to the top to call Murdock to pick them up. However, his phone call is interrupted by Amethio appearing on his Corviknight and attacking him with Hurricane. To make his way to a more favorable battleground, Friede jumps off the tower and calls out his Charizard mid-fall, landing on the roof below. Witnessing the stunt, Liko and Roy realize Friede went ahead to use himself as a decoy to keep them safe. Amethio lands on the same rooftop, sending out Ceruledge and recalling Corviknight to make the match one-on-one. Not wanting to trigger Ceruledge's Weak Armor, Friede chooses to keep his distance and attacks with Air Slash and Flamethrower. During the battle, one of Ceruledge's Psycho Cuts strikes the tower, causing rubble to start falling toward Charizard. Friede tells Charizard to use Dragon Claw on the rubble, but Amethio has Ceruledge use Phantom Force, having it dive out of the shadow of one of the pieces of rubble and take the hit from the Dragon Claw before Friede can react, triggering Weak Armor and increasing Ceruledge's Speed. With this advantage, Ceruledge is able to land multiple Night Slashes on Charizard, sending it crashing down to the roof. Meanwhile, Diana packs up some books and an ancient belt before preparing to leave, only to be confronted by Hamber and his Dusknoir.

Despite taking a lot of damage, Charizard is still able to get back up. However, Ceruledge still has the advantage in speed, allowing it to easily dodge Charizard's Flamethrower and hit back with Night Slash. Amethio aims for the finishing blow and tells Ceruledge to start charging for a powered-up Psycho Cut. Just then, though, Friede finally decides to stop holding back and whips out his Tera Orb, Terastallizing his Charizard into a Dark type, rendering Psycho Cut ineffective and allowing Charizard to use a super-effective Tera Blast, finally defeating Ceruledge. Liko and Roy are in awe at what they just witnessed, but the moment is cut short when Zirc suddenly appears on the staircase behind them. Urged by Roy, he and Liko climb down a ladder to escape, but on the ground level, they're confronted by Onia, and Zirc flies up behind them on his Skarmory, surrounding the two children. With no other choice, Liko and Roy start battling the two. Liko's Sprigatito makes short work of Onia's Golduck with super-effective attacks, prompting Zirc to switch targets and have Rhydon attack Sprigatito. However, Rhydon's Megahorn is disrupted by a super effective Stomping Tantrum from Fuecoco. Before the battle can continue, a loud noise is heard, and Zirc notices a couple wild Pokémon being affected by Salt Cure, indicating the presence of Sidian and his Garganacl. With Hamber and Diana, Diana questions why the Explorers would be targeting them, given that they were, in fact, Lucius's friends. Hamber refuses to explain, but nearby commotion provides Diana with the distraction to escape. Before Hamber can do anything else, he's contacted by Gibeon. Inside the castle, Sidian continues to defeat any Pokémon that gets in his way.

On the rooftop, a cold wind blows by, which annoys Amethio as he recognizes as it as a sign of Coral's presence. Unexpectedly, the damaged tower starts falling down on them, forcing Friede and Amethio to take flight to avoid being crushed by it. In the courtyard, Zirc and Onia decide to abandon the confrontation and retreat to avoid getting caught in the crossfire, flying away with their Skarmory moments before Liko and Roy are surrounded by Coral and Sidian. Suddenly, Captain Pikachu dives down from the sky and strikes Coral's Glalie with Thunder Punch, the Rising Volt Tacklers having arrived on the scene with the Brave Olivine. Murdock sends down Orla's Metagross to pick up Liko and Roy while Cap stays behind to confront the two admins. Coral has Glalie use Blizzard, but Cap dodges it, forcing Garganacl to defend itself with Wide Guard. Sidian next commands Garganacl to use Salt Cure, but Cap avoids this attack as well and strikes back with Volt Tackle, which sends Garganacl flying back. Coral starts growing annoyed and, ignoring Sidian's objections, recklessly orders Glalie to use Self-Destruct. The violent explosion rocks the courtyard, but Cap manages to escape from it with Friede and Charizard, while Glalie and Garganacl are defeated. At the same time, Diana emerges from the smoke while riding her Arcanine. The Legendary Pokémon performs a mighty leap and lands straight on Brave Olivine's wing deck, much to everyone's amazement.

As the sun rises over the ruined castle, the latest confrontation between the Rising Volt Tacklers and the Explorers comes to an end, with Sidian scolding Coral over her reckless actions, while Amethio quietly looks towards the sky. Aboard the Brave Olivine, Diana gives Lucius's memoirs to Liko and encourages her granddaughter to seek out the Six Heroes that once traveled with Lucius: the Black Rayquaza, Arboliva, Galarian Moltres, Lapras, Kleavor, and Entei. In the Explorers' base, Hamber tells Gibeon that the cogs are beginning to turn again, moving them towards fulfilling their wish.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts






Dub edits

In other languages

HZ024 : Reunion at the Ancient Castle!
Pokémon Horizons: The Series
HZ026 : Terapagos's Adventure!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.