Ok ok I'm not that stupid in fact Pokemon Silver was the first video game I ever owned and Pokemon Blue was the first video game I ever saw. I even watched the tv show up until about the Orange Islands stuff. But now we're all ramping up for a new version on the 3DS with a new Mew-Two, a new type, a fire type starter who might not be a fighting type, and who knows what else. Well that got me thinking, the creatures themselves have always been what makes these games great but the story is what makes them playable, and a lot of stories are pushed by their villains but Pokemon has always had, shall we say interesting villains. So I thought it would be fun if we looked at some of those villains, the leaders, the followers and the goals.
It seems best to start with the villains who still, I assume, dominate the TV show and who manged to terrorize the world in two separate generation, not including remakes. Yes the infamous Team Rocket lead by the brilliant and borderline sociopathic Giovanni, the self proclaimed strongest Trainer. The man manged to single handily create the most powerful Pokemon in the world, become the final Kanto Gym leader, and run the largest Criminal organization in Kanto. Most of Kanto knew Giovanni as the Ground type gym leader in Viridian City, but any one who played Red, Blue, Yellow, Fire Red, or Leaf Green, also knows he also lead an unsuccessful bid through team rocket to take over Silph Co, the company who created the artificial Pokemon Porygon, and who manufactures most Pokeballs. After his defeat at the hands of an 11 year old Giovanni goes into hiding but maintains his position as the Viridian Gym leader, assuming the player will never beat the other gyms?
When the main character finally caught up to him and defeated Giovanni he officially disbands Team Rocket and disappeared leaving his giant organization with no leader. Ultimately Giovanni's plan was not exactly clear or even threatening, and with him gone his organization spent a long time just trying to find him. In Gold and Silver Team Rockets entire goal changed to just trying to find Giovanni. They even took over the entire Goldenrod Radio station to broadcast a single message of "Giovanni we need you!"
Team Rockets true job, under Giovanni or not, was to get the strongest pokemon in the world, and use them for profit, be it via theft or capture, or better yet theft. Team Rocket also started the trend towards relying on a specific class of pokemon. Specifically Team Rocket used many Poison pokemon, namely Ekans, Arbok, Koffing, Weezing, Zubat, and Golbat. On occasion they would also use Grimer, Muk, and pokemon in the Sandshrew, Cubone, Rattata, Machop, and Drowzee families.
With Ruby and Sapphire two new Criminal Teams were introduced, Magma was the enemy in Ruby and Aqua was the enemy in Sapphire. While these teams had a bit more of a real, if completely ridiculous, plan. Both were looking to extend a certain part of the world, Aqua wanted to expand the oceans and Magma wanted to extend the land mass. To meet these goals they both sought to awaken and control different legendary pokemon. For the sake of my sanity I'm going to focus on Magma first then look at Aqua.
Team Magma was lead by Maxie, who wants to give humans and pokemon more land to live on and spread to to really benefit the whole Hoenn Region. To achieve that goal all of team Magma is seeking the legendary Ground Pokemon Groudon who was said to have created all the land in Hoenn. Maxie tried to use the Blue orb to control Groudon, but the red orb is what was needed. When Groudon is awakened and began to dry out the entire region Maxie realized the error of his ways and helps the player character prevent the destruction of the region.
Prior to his defeat Maxie lead Team Magma all over Hoenn, stealing Rocket fuel, mystical orbs, and meteorites, for no immediately apparent reason. His team and Team Aqua still use the Zu and Golbats of Team Rocket and have replaced the Rattatas with the much more adorable Poochyena and the Raticates with the much more terrifying Mightyena. Though their team exclusively uses Numels and Camerupts as their typing, fire and ground, matches their team goals very well. And in this reporters opinion they also have the best uniform, red and black coloring with horned hoods and loose pants.
By contrast Team Aqua is lead by Archie, a slightly more thuggish but equally as driven man. Archie wants to increase that oceans of Hoenn to give oceanic pokemon more place and because the ocean is the cradle of all life. To reach that goal he, like Maxie, is seeking a legendary Pokemon said to have created the oceans of Hoenn, Kyogre. He stole the Red orb, duplicating Maxies mistake and awakening Kyogre and causing the angry pokemon to begin flooding the region. Also like Maxie Archie realized his mistake and tried to help the player chracter, thouygh in Emerald both Leaders accidentally unleash the weather pokemon and both teams work together to help the player capture Rayquaza to control the raging beasts.
In his attempts to capture Kyogre Archie's Team stole a submarine, tried to freeze a volcano. Unlike many of the other teams Aqua actually isn't seen as a threat by most of Hoenn, in fact Archie was a news man, but because of that they're also not concerned a very powerful force with fewer members and those members being more individualistic than most grunts in other teams. Like other teams they primarily use Pioson and Dark type pokemon but they also use a new Hoenn species, namely Carvanha and Sharpedo, and in Emerald they also use Wailmers, which they are attempting to train and block the plaayers abilty to leave until the team is defeated at one point in the game.
Between these Three Team Magma and Aqua probably came the closest to achieving their kind of stupid goals but next time we'll look at two other teams who seem to have been a little bit more effective, and who then fell a lot farther.