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As our heroes stare in amazement at the Violet City gym, Jessie and James, in a rather pathetic disguise, make their appearance pretending to be conducting a survey on behalf of the Pokémon Bureau. Although Ash, Misty and Brock have never heard of it, they let Jessie examine Pikachu to see if he meets the official Violet City gym standards. James concludes that he is a Class B Pikachu, commenting that he is “buggy, bleary eyed and blubberish”. Jessie and James confiscate Pikachu and run off around the corner. Flying off in their hot-air balloon, Team Rocket performs their motto and makes their escape. Pikachu is stuck in an insulated jelly jar, where his thunderbolt has no effect. Ash tries to use Heracross, but Meowth drops a jar of Grade A sap and Heracross returns to begin feasting. A trainer then appears flying a hand glider, and instructs his Hoot Hoot to go and get Pikachu. Jessie, upset at having her Pikachu stolen, instructs Arbok to use poison sting. Having successfully punctured the glider’s fabric, it begins to plummet towards the ground. The trainer then selects Pidgeot and jumps on his back. Jessie tries Arbok’s poison sting attack again, but Pidgeot uses spin to avoid it. Pidgeot then flies by the balloon and tears it apart, sending Team Rocket blasting off into the sky.
The trainer, after landed Pidgeot, hands Ash’s Pikachu over. After some reminiscing about his Pidgeot, the trainer tells Ash that he uses the hang glider to better understand flying Pokémon, as he wants to be the world’s greatest flying Pokémon trainer. After having become friends, the trainer introduces himself as Falkner, the Violet City gym leader. Shocked at this revelation, Ash warns Falkner that he is here to battle! While in a lift, making their way upwards towards the battleground, Falkner and Ash agree, that although they are now friends, they will battle hard. Upon reaching the top of the building, the battle for the Zephyr Badge begins.
Falkner begins by choosing Hoot Hoot. In response, Ash selects Chikorita, a rather surprising selection considering that grass Pokémon are weak against flying Pokémon. Allowing Ash to make the first move, he tells Chikorita to use vine whip. Hoot Hoot dodges the attack by flying away. Chikorita tries her vine whip again, but Hoot Hoot climbs to dodge the attack and then dives into a tackle attack. Hoot Hoot connects and continues with a peck attack. Chikorita then uses razor leaf but Hoot Hoot climbs and dives with a full speed tackle attack. Chikorita sidesteps and uses vine whip. Hoot Hoot again dodges the attack and finishes Chikorita off with a tackle attack. Having lost the first battle, Ash tells Pikachu he’s next. Hoot Hoot starts off with a tackle attack but Pikachu dodges it easily with its agility. Falkner tells Hoot Hoot to climb but Pikachu is still able to hit it with a thunderbolt. Having fallen to the ground, Ash tells Pikachu to finish it off with a quick attack. Falkner then selects a Dodrio, surprising both Brock and Misty. Ash then comments on how Dodrio can’t fly, but Falkner surprises Ash by hinting at the fact that his can. Ash makes the first move by telling Pikachu to use his agility. Dodrio however, matches Pikachu move for move. Pikachu uses thunderbolt but Dodrio dodges the attack by flying (which is just jumping, except that it is really high). Dodrio then attacks with fury and drill peck attacks respectively, injuring Pikachu. Dodrio attempts to finish Pikachu off with its tri attack but Pikachu jumps and finishes it off instead with a thunderbolt. Falkner pulls out no surprises with his next Pokémon, and selects Pidgeot. Pikachu, although exhausted is keen to battle on. Ash tells him to use thunder but the attack dissipates half way through. Pidgeot then finishes Pikachu off with whirlwind.
Now, having reached the final battle, Ash selects Charizard. Ash and Falkner both tell their Pokémon to fly. Charizard attempts to use his flamethrower but Pidgeot uses agility to dodge the attacks. Ash tells Charizard to use flamethrower again, but this time Pidgeot uses whirlwind to hit Charizard with his own attack. Having fallen to the ground, Falkner tells Pidgeot use wing attack. In an attempt to get out of the way of the approaching maneuver, Ash tells Charizard to fly but his wing was hurt by the fall. Unable to fly, Pidgeot connects with two successive attacks. Things aren’t looking good for Ash and things only get worse when Falkner advises him to forfeit. But Ash and Charizard, being the fighters they are, refuse to give up. Falkner decides to teach Ash a lesson, and tells Pidgeot to strike with another quick attack. Ash tells Charizard that he knows he is capable of flying, as he wouldn’t ask otherwise. Charizard, spurred on by Ash’s overwhelming confidence, flies and avoids Pidgeot’s attack. Charizard, now flying behind Pidgeot, looks as though he is in a very good position. But Pidgeot uses agility to appear behind Charizard and then uses a quick attack. Charizard flies up behind Pidgeot again, but the same thing happens. Ash, having come up with an idea, tells Charizard to fly up behind Pidgeot again. Predictably, Pidgeot uses quick attack but this time Ash is ready for it. He tells Charizard to turn around and use fire spin. Having trapped Pidgeot, Charizard finishes it off with a seismic toss.
Ash and Charizard, having been declared the winners, are extremely happy. Falkner acknowledges Ash’s brilliant strategy of using Pidgeot’s quick attack to his advantage and gives him his well-earned Zephyr badge. Now inspired to train even harder, Falkner wishes Ash good luck.
133: Fighting Flyer with Fire
133: Showdown at Violet Gym
Ash Beats Falkner in the Violet Gym and earns a Zephyr Badge