Talking a Good Game! (Japanese: タワータイクーン、リラ登場！！Enter the Tower Tycoon, Lila!!) is the 169th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 443rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on March 23, 2006 and in the United States on November 25, 2006.
As Ash eagerly heads for the Battle Tower and his sixth challenge, he accidentally stirs up a horde of Beedrill who chase him down! Fortunately, he's saved by a stranger who calms down the Beedrill and an upset Gyarados nearby. Just then, Team Rocket makes another Pikachu snatch attempt, but they're stopped by Pikachu and the stranger's Alakazam. Ash's friends catch up to him and everyone is invited back to their new friend's house to dry off.
Their new friend is named Anabel, but Ash doesn't stick around long—he has a Battle Tower to get to! Once he gets to the Battle Tower, he discovers that Anabel is in fact the Salon Maiden of the Battle Tower! Ash sends out Corphish against Anabel's Alakazam, but Anabel's uncanny ability to mentally communicate with Pokémon means Ash doesn't even known what commands she's going to give. It doesn't take long for Alazakam to knock out Corphish, so Ash brings out his Tauros, which he had sent over just for this battle. But brute strength won't win the day—Alakazam knocks it out too!
Now it's up to Pikachu, but it's confused by Alakazam's Psybeam. To keep Pikachu from hurting itself, Ash throws himself in front of its Volt Tackle, which snaps Pikachu out of its confusion. Pikachu goes on to defeat Alakazam, but Anabel has another heavy hitter lined up: Metagross! Though Pikachu does its best, Metagross has powerful attacks and its Hyper Beam finally knocks Pikachu out. With his Battle Tower challenge ending in defeat, what is Ash going to do now?
Running alongside Pikachu, Ash heads towards the Battle Tower for his sixth Symbol. Pikachu comes to a stop as a Beedrill starts to attack him and Ash. As the Beedrill closes in on our hero, Anabel appears to stop Beedrill from attacking them. She explains that the Beedrill is simply protecting its offspring. Ash introduces himself to Anabel, but suddenly a Gyarados bursts out of the nearby body of water. Gyarados begins to attack, but Anabel goes to calm it. She removes a twig lodged in its side, successfully quelling the Atrocious Pokémon. Gyarados cries in pleasure and heads off in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, as Team Rocket are spying on Ash, James and Meowth both notice how Anabel cares for Pokémon, but Jessie is quick to remind the team of their true objective: to capture Pikachu.
Anabel and Ash sit on the shore, and Pikachu introduces himself to Anabel. A net explodes from the distance, hoisting Anabel and Pikachu into the air. Making an unusually early introduction, Team Rocket begin their motto. With Team Rocket as confident as ever, it appears their plan may actually prove successful. Before they can get away, Ash releases Corphish to use Bubble Beam to break the net, releasing Anabel and Pikachu. He then dives into the water and swims toward Pikachu. Team Rocket land their balloon and move in for a ground attack. Jessie releases her Seviper to attack with Poison Tail, striking Ash on his back.
May, Max, and Brock appear and run to the scene. James releases Cacnea to fight as well, but it briefly ignores the battle and hugs him. Anabel takes advantage of this and releases her Alakazam. Cacnea fires Pin Missile at Ash and Anabel, but Alakazam diverts the attack's course with Psychic, making the Pin Missiles land all around Team Rocket. Alakazam then lifts Ash and Anabel out of the water and onto land with its psychic power. Team Rocket moves to attack, but Alakazam uses Psybeam, which hits both Cacnea and Seviper and makes them attack each other in confusion. Ash finishes Team Rocket off with Pikachu's Thunderbolt, blasting them away. Anabel thanks him for his assistance in the battle.
At Anabel's house, the friends freshen up from the battle. Anabel, May, Max, and Brock finally give their proper introductions to one another. Now sitting at a table, our heroes enjoy refreshments prepared by Anabel. She notices Ash's strong bond with his Pokémon when he shielded Pikachu from Seviper's Poison Tail. Ash is quick to interrupt her and suddenly runs off, saying that he is in search of the Frontier Brain of the Battle Tower, and his friends follow his rash exit. Everyone is gone before Anabel can tell them that she is actually the Frontier Brain.
Ash arrives at the Battle Tower and says to the assistant that he wishes to challenge the Frontier Brain. As Ash is guided onto the battlefield, the assistant introduces the Salon Maiden, Anabel, much to the surprise of Ash and company. The referee states that the three-on-three battle is officially underway. Anabel calls upon her Alakazam, while Ash releases Corphish.
Corphish begins the battle with a Crabhammer but is enveloped by Alakazam's psychic power and thrust backward. While it is suspended in the air, Corphish fights back with Bubble Beam, but Alakazam negates the move with Psybeam. Both Anabel and Alakazam are in sync as she has the ability to telepathically command attacks to Alakazam without having to speak. As a thick plume of smoke covers the battlefield, Alakazam lunges toward Corphish and strikes with a Focus Punch.
Corphish is thrown backward by the powerful attack. Ash realizes that he will have to battle Anabel without knowing her strategy. Corphish goes for a Crabhammer attack, but it is easily avoided and countered with another Focus Punch. Alakazam takes advantage of the battle by ascending into the air and striking with a final Psybeam that renders Corphish unable to battle.
Ash returns Corphish and releases Tauros from its Poké Ball. Tauros begins the attack, stampeding toward Alakazam's position. Alakazam is quick to interrupt the attack by lifting Tauros into the air with its psychic power and then dropping it back down. Tauros gets back up and charges again. Alakazam charges as well, dodges to the side, and then sends Tauros skyward with Focus Punch. Alakazam finishes the airborne Pokémon off with Psybeam. Ash selects Pikachu to be his last chance in the battle. Pikachu lands the first blow in this match-up with Thunderbolt.
Max, May, and Brock greet Scott as he sits down to watch the battle, and he begins to examine and explain Anabel's battle strategy. As Alakazam takes ongoing damage from Thunderbolt, Anabel telepathically tells it to use Recover. Ash knows that he must pile on the damage before Alakazam fully regains health. He has Pikachu move in and use Iron Tail, which Alakazam matches with Focus Punch. Right after the clash, Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but is countered yet again by Alakazam's Psybeam, which hits its mark and causes confusion. Pikachu tries to use Volt Tackle, only to begin charging right at a wall. Ash dives into Pikachu's path, cushioning his best friend's impact with the wall. Pikachu appears to have come out of its confusion as Anabel and the audience commend Ash's deed. Ash calls for a Thunderbolt attack, which Alakazam counters yet again with Psybeam. Both Pokémon maximize the power of their attacks, and Pikachu's Thunderbolt manages to overcome Psybeam in the end, resulting in an explosion that knocks out Alakazam. Anabel congratulates Ash on his first victory and then calls upon her Metagross.
As Pikachu moves in with another Thunderbolt attack, Metagross uses Psychic to redirect the attack back at Pikachu, who crashes to the ground. Pikachu gets back up and launches forward with a Quick Attack that makes contact with Metagross. Unfazed, Metagross strikes Pikachu with Meteor Mash, a powerful blow that shocks Ash's friends. Pikachu manages to get back up and start using Volt Tackle, but Metagross uses Hyper Beam before he can even get to speed. The beam lands a direct hit, and Pikachu is defeated in a flash of white light. The referee declares Pikachu unable to battle and awards the victory to Salon Maiden Anabel. Ash appears astonished by his loss as the narrator wonders whether this is the end of Ash's journey.