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| Long Live the Nidoking!
Long Live the Nidoking! (Japanese: VS ニドキング VS Nidoking) is the 21st round of the Pokémon Adventures manga.
Red excitedly enters the Fuchsia Safari Zone, where he encounters his two guides, Pidgebots 1 and 2. Under Safari Zone rules, he leaves his Pokémon for safekeeping and hops on board a raft which will take him through the Safari Zone via a selection of waterways. Red is excited to see the variety of Pokémon living in the Safari Zone, and eventually the raft soon comes across two Nidoking in the middle of a raging battle over a Nidoqueen. The violence has Red worrying about the danger, and from the Safari Zone's control room the warden is pleased with how the guest, Red, is receiving a thrill. The personnel chime in, saying that the Pidgebot security system is foolproof and will ensure the customer's safety in any scenario.
As he watches on, Red decides that one of the Nidoking would be a great addition to his Pokédex, and as the Pidgebots look the other way, Red produces a Poké Ball he managed to sneak in with him. Unfortunately, the Poké Ball misses the Nidoking and instead, accidentally captures the Nidoqueen they were arguing over. This enrages the Nidoking, and before Red can get out of the way they smash the raft to pieces.
Sometime later, Red wakes to find a furious Pidgebot 1 berating him for breaking the rules, and informing him that they'll have no choice but to walk to the exit, since the Nidoking will probably be looking for him. In an attempt to keep him safe, it gives him a Safari Ball, which is the only Ball capable of capturing a Safari Zone Pokémon (besides the Nidoqueen that Red just caught, which Pidgebot 1 puts down to pure luck). Seconds later, the Nidoking appears and charges at him Red attempts to capture it with the Safari Ball, but the enraged Nidoking simply bats it away, tearing at Red with claw attacks and corrosive acid from its claws. Red flings a rock at Nidoking to weaken it, but instead only angers it further and forces Red to escape deeper into the Zone with the Pidgebot 1. Elsewhere, the Safari Zone staff have failed to locate Red, only succeeding in recovering the broken Pidgebot 2, while Red's Pokémon look on worriedly.
Still running from the Nidoking, Red is struck by a spurt of acid on his leg, and Pidgebot 1 bravely dives in to defend him, getting badly damaged in the process. In return, Red lures Nidoking away from Pidgebot 1, throwing a sharp rock at Nidoking, poking its eye out, and allowing him flee into the Zone with Pidgebot 1. As night falls, Pidgebot 1 warns Red that Nidoking has now marked him as an enemy, to which Red expresses concern for the Pidgebot. Embarrassed, Pidgebot 1 reminds him that it's just a robot, programmed to make sure that he reaches the exit safely, and he should be thinking more about his own safety than that of a robotic guide. Noting that the Safari Zone would only get more dangerous as they continue, Pidgebot 1 suggests they form a strategy as opposed to blindly forcing their way, but Red is quickly captured by a Victreebel.
|| Spoilers end here.
- The Safari Zone's logo is a subtle nod towards the movie Jurassic Park, down to the silhouette of the Nidoking in the background. They also share certain plot elements.
- The English title of this round is based on the saying "Long live the king!"
In other languages