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The episode starts off with Richie and Sparky on a cruise ship. Serving double-duty as narrator, Richie begins the episode by introducing himself and Sparky, and saying that they’re on a journey so he can become a Pokemon master. Suddenly, four Gyarados surface in front of the ship, forcing it to stop! A crew member orders the passengers to go inside for safety and tells Richie that the only thing to do now is wait for them to move on. Then, from seemingly out of nowhere, a shadowy figure with a Chikorita on his shoulder calls out a Salamence! Richie checks it in his Pokedex. The Salamence’s trainer, determined to let nothing stand in his way, orders a Hyper Beam that sends the Gyarados fleeing in fear. He then turns to the dumbfounded crew member and tells him to quit standing around and tell the captain to get going, so the officer runs off. Finally, the trainer recalls his Salamence, as Richie compliments him. The man says that the opponent he’s after isn’t as weak as those Gyarados—he wants to battle the legendary Moltres! Richie recites what sounds like Moltres’ Pokedex entry from memory, and asks if the man is serious. He ignores the question and introduces himself as Silver. Richie introduces himself, but despite his request, Silver continues to call him “kid”.
A man and woman approach the pair and greet Silver, introducing themselves as Maruta and Kureta respectively, explaining that they’re Pokemon researches at the Sekiei Science Academy. (But we all know they’re really Butch and Cassidy in disguise.) Richie asks if they’ve found Moltres, but they say they haven’t. Richie tells of Silver’s intention to battle it, but when Kureta/Cassidy dismisses it as a dream, Silver insists that he will defeat and capture Moltres. Silver then leaves with the pair to return to their cabin, saying goodbye to “the kid”.
Later, the ship docked at an island with a volcano. The same crew member from before tells Richie it’s Tomoshibi Mountain. He says that geologists say it’s due for an eruption, so tourists shouldn’t go too close. Richie then notices Silver, Maruta/Butch, and Kureta/Cassidy on the beach, walking towards the mountain, just as the ship is about to leave. Richie wants to see Moltres, so he rushes to get off the ship. He jumps off and lands in a roll on shore, then hurries to catch up with Silver and the others. He eventually does, panting severely, and says he wants to see Moltres too. The researchers say that finding Moltres will be difficult, and Maruta explains that their research has unearthed a cycle to Moltres’ travels, and from that they concluded that it will soon show up on this mountain. They further explain that they must keep this knowledge a secret to prevent Pokemon trainers from all over from flocking to the area to try and catch Moltres. The researchers’ goal is not to capture Moltres, but to obtain its flame for study. Moltres won’t just sit around and let that happen, so they’ll take advantage of Silver’s battle with it to get some of its flame. Richie begs them again to let him come, but they refuse, citing concerns about his safety. Richie continues to argue his case, but they dismiss him and leave. Still, Richie is determined to see Moltres.
Later that evening, Silver, Maruta, and Kureta find a spot to set up camp. On the path a distance behind them, Richie overhears Maruta and Kureta in a radio conversation…with Professor Nanba! They check in with him and say that their plan is going perfectly, and Nanba reminds them that this is a golden opportunity to capture Moltres. Richie is confused, but then betrays his presence by stepping on a twig accidentally. Butch and Cassidy investigate but find no one. They don’t see Richie dangling from a ledge just below them. They return to their conversation with Nanba and sign off, but Silver approaches and asks what’s going on. Maruta/Butch and Kureta/Cassidy nervously say they were just out for a nighttime walk. Silver cautions against it, due to the dangerous terrain. They nervously thank him for the advice and slip by him. Silver then calmly walks to the edge of the trail and asks Richie how long he plans to hang there. Richie responds that he’d love to get up, but can’t, and just then, he loses his grip and falls. Silver has his Chikorita catch Richie with Vine Whip and bring him back up. Richie wastes no time in starting to tell Silver about what he had overheard, but Silver says it doesn’t matter, he’ll just be satisfied with the chance to battle Moltres. Silver takes Richie back to camp and tells the others that he’ll be joining them. They invite Richie and Silver to sit by the fire, since they’re going to sleep now. Inside their tent, they worry whether Richie overheard their conversation with Professor “Nanji”, and their radio comically comes to life with Nanba’s voice, correcting them on his name.
Outside at the campfire, Richie thanks Silver for saving him earlier. Silver says that Richie’s recklessness reminds him of his younger self. Richie says it seems like whenever he tries something, he ends up causing trouble for people around him, and that reminds him of his friend Ash. Silver repeats the name in a surprised tone, and Richie says that Ash, like himself, is traveling to become a Pokemon Master. Silver says that causing trouble isn’t so bad, causing trouble for adults is how kids grow up. Silver goes on to reveal that he saw Moltres once before, when he was about Richie’s age. Richie is astonished, and Silver reminisces about how awesome it was, and how entranced he was by it. From then on, seeing Moltres again was his goal, but it seemed like his chances of doing so grew smaller the more he wanted to see it. But now his dream is finally coming true.
The next morning, the group has finally reached the summit. They feel some tremors, and Silver observes that the geologists were probably right about the upcoming eruption. Dark clouds gather overhead as the group waits, and suddenly, Moltres appears between the clouds! Richie checks it in the Pokedex, and Silver sends out Salamence. Silver promptly orders a Hyper Beam, which Moltres manages to dodge. It counters with Flamethrower, but the attack fizzles out before it even reaches Salamence. Moltres appears to be very weak (as in lack of energy, not strength), and M/K reveal that their research also showed that the time in the cycle when Moltres is weakest is when it arrives here. They encourage Silver to battle, saying he can easily win now. Silver refuses, since he doesn’t believe it’s fair to fight Moltres in its current condition, and Richie agrees. M/K give up and decide to take over. They send out Tentacruel and Cloyster, and order Water Guns. Kureta then breaks out a large gun and fires an electric net from it. The net lands on Moltres, shocking it and weakening it further. Silver tells them not to use such dirty tricks, that it should only be caught properly after a fair battle. He tells Salamence to use Dragon Claw on the net, and it does, releasing Moltres. Kureta tells Silver not to interfere, and Maruta orders Water Guns again, only to have the attacks blocked by a Dragonbreath from Salamence. Moltres notices the help and seems to appreciate it. Kureta fires two more electric nets—one for Salamence, and one for Silver and Richie. Struggling against the net while being shocked, Silver demands to know who they are. Butch and Cassidy finally remove their disguises while saying their motto. Still being shocked, Richie explains briefly to Silver who they are. Butch has Tentacruel and Cloyster attack Moltres with Water Guns once again, and the net weakens it still further. Seeing Moltres in so much distress, Silver calls for a Razor Leaf from Chikorita, which breaks open the net. He then calls for Salamence to use all its strength to break free, and it’s finally able to slash the net open. B&C are scared now, and Richie has Sparky blast them off with Thunderbolt.
Richie and Silver turn around just in time to see Moltres finally faint, and fall towards the lava! Silver has Salamence dive down after it, but it barely misses, and Moltres goes under! Richie wonders if Moltres will die, but Silver says it’s immortal. After a tense few moments, a powerful glow emerges from the lava, and a revived Moltres resurfaces. It shoots a strong Flamethrower straight up, and Richie notices how much more powerful it looks. He then realizes that Moltres comes there to restore its power in the magma. Silver confirms that this is the true Moltres. Silver calls a challenge to Moltres, and it roars in acceptance. Salamence starts off with Hyper Beam, and Moltres counters with Flamethrower. The attacks collide and explode at a stalemate. Salamence uses Double Team to surround Moltres, then hits it with Dragonbreath. Moltres creates a giant sphere of fire that forms into a larger version of itself, then fades. Silver comments that the battle is more fun this way than before. Suddenly, another tremor hits—the eruption has started! Silver still wants to continue, but suddenly a large boulder from the eruption falls towards them! They’re frozen in place, but suddenly Moltres breaks up the boulder with its Flamethrower! Silver then decides to postpone the match, and calls for Salamence to pick them up.
In the sky above the island, Moltres calls a farewell to the group, and flies off. Richie asks if this is all ok with Silver, who responds that he’ll find it again someday. Later, back at the dock, Richie asks Silver if he’s going to stay. Silver says he is, and that he and Salamence will also gain strength from the mountain that revived Moltres. Richie asks if they’ll meet again. Silver asks if he’s trying to become a Pokemon master. Richie says yes, and Silver says that when he does, they should battle to see who’s the strongest. Richie agrees. Silver says he won’t hold back, but Richie says he won’t either. Silver laughs and compliments the “kid’s” spirit, but corrects himself and actually calls Richie by name. Richie says that until next time, it’s ok to call him “kid.” The two part ways, and Richie’s Pokemon master journey continues.
Special Thanks to Geodude for writing This for us
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