AG016 : The Winner by a Nosepass
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG018 : On a Wingull and a Prayer!
Stairway to Devon
AG017   EP291
Devon Corporation! Shadow of Aqua-dan!!
First broadcast
Japan March 20, 2003
United States January 17, 2004
English themes
Opening I Wanna Be a Hero
Japanese themes
Opening アドバンス・アドベンチャー
Ending そこに空があるから
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 十川誠志 Masashi Sogo
Storyboard 片貝慎 Shin Katakai
Assistant director 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Animation director 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
Additional credits

Stairway to Devon (Japanese: デボンコーポレーション!アクア団の影!! Devon Corporation! Shadow of Aqua-dan!!) is the 17th episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 291st episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on March 20, 2003, and in the United States on January 17, 2004.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.


Now that he's received a badge from the Rustboro City Gym, Ash is ready to leave Rustboro and head off to Dewford Island for his next gym battle. May has other ideas. She is thrilled to finally be in a big city and wants to do some shopping. Brock agrees, so they decide to stay. Meanwhile, Max is in a state of panic. He accidentally spilled his drink into May's PokéNav and it looks broken. He gets a tip from a strange old man to take the PokéNav to the Devon Corporation building. The man says that since they manufacture the device, they might be able to fix it. Desperate to avoid May's wrath, Max decides to go for it. Once inside, he learns that the strange old man is actually the president of Devon Corp! Max is really excited by all of the interesting projects the company is working on—but it soon becomes clear that there's in an intruder in the building who is after some of those experiments. Ash and crew arrive just in time to help Officer Jenny catch the intruder, but it's actually Team Rocket who end up saving the day!


Ash admires his Stone Badge before asking Max where the next Gym is. Max checks the PokéNav and announces that the next Gym is on Dewford Island. Brock and May are flicking through the local guide books in amazement at all the shop, when Ash tries to get them to set out for Dewford Island. Brock replies, without looking up, that they have two hours before the next ferry, so they should look around the city until then. Max agrees and is about to check something on the PokéNav, but spills his drink on it. When it doesn't work he panics and runs off.

Max wanders through Rustboro, thinking of a way to tell May that the PokéNav is broken. He soon comes across a group of kids surrounding an inventor showing off one of his latest inventions, a wrestler-shaped can opener. However, the demonstration doesn't go so well as the device eventually opens the can and the contents spray into his face. The rest of the kids walk off in disappointment, though Max stays behind. The inventor asks Max what he is doing, and when Max informs him about the faulty PokéNav, he directs Max to the Devon Corporation. Suddenly a limo pulls up nearby, and Kennedy jumps out and chases after the inventor, who has run off. Back at the Pokémon Center, Ash shows off his Badge to Professor Oak and informs him that Pikachu has learned Iron Tail. The Professor congratulates them both before hanging up. At that point Brock arrives, saying that he is done with his shopping. May is lying on a bench nearby, with Brock guessing that she has shopped until she dropped. However, when they decide that they will miss the boat because Max isn't back yet, May races off to do more shopping before anyone can stop her.

Max approaches the Devon building, wondering at how big it is, and then runs up the steps towards it. Then, Team Rocket walk up to the steps and discuss their plan to steal everything and give it to the Boss. Inside the building, the receptionist tells Max that they don't handle repairs. At that point, Officer Jenny approaches the receptionist, before the inventor and Kennedy arrive. Max eavesdrops on their conversation from behind a pillar. Jenny tells them that there has been a plan to infiltrate the building, and they should double check security until they find out more. The inventor looks around sneakily, before racing off to the pillar where Max is hiding, and surprising him from behind. He covers Max's mouth and orders him to follow.

As the pair walk through a corridor, the inventor asks to see the PokéNav. He quickly grabs it from Max's hands and after a quick examination he determines that Max spilled his drink onto it, which surprises Max. He leads Max to a laboratory. Inside he tells the researchers to not let Kennedy know they are here, and then asks them to repair the PokéNav. One of them addresses him as "Mr. President", and the revelation shocks Max. He leads Max through another corridor, explaining that he likes to get out of his office and wander around the city to get inspiration for new devices. He gives Max a tour of the building, showing him some new devices. Max excitedly asks if he can use some of them, but is told that they don't work yet. Finally he is shown their Fossil restoration device, which still doesn't work. Max, nonetheless, is still excited by the prospect of ancient Pokémon being revitalized. In yet another corridor, Max tells the President that he wants to be a Gym Leader one day, but their conversation is interrupted by Kennedy, who tells him that he should be back in his office, as he has some appointments. The President suggests that Kennedy should go to the Pokémon Center and get the rest of the group.

Outside, Team Rocket surveys the security, and decide that they will need a disguise, so they put on lab coats. Meanwhile, one of the scientists takes several vials of the Creation Fluid. The President immediately notices the unfamiliar employee and decides to follow him, explaining to Max that he makes a point of knowing all of his workers. In reception, Kennedy leads the group to the President's office, and Team Rocket are stopped by Officer Jenny, who wants to see their ID cards. Back in the corridors, the scientist looks around sneakily, before going through a door. Max and the President decide to follow. Meanwhile, Kennedy is explaining to the group that maybe Max reminded the President of his son, Steven. When they enter the research lab where Max was moments ago, the scientists inform Kennedy that two important parts of the Fossil restoration machine are missing.

While following the thief up some metal stairs outside, Max slips and hurts himself, alerting the thief to their presence, making him run away. The President is increasingly suspicious and quickly contacts Kennedy with the latest on the suspected intruder. The group follows Kennedy through a shortcut so that they can corner the thief on the roof. In reception, Jessie and James are trying to explain why they don't have ID cards, saying that Meowth ate them. An announcement is made over the P.A. system, saying that there has been a theft, and the suspect is wearing a white lab coat and sunglasses. Upon hearing this, Team Rocket remove their disguises and are chased by Officer Jenny.

The thief runs out onto the roof, but he is confronted by Kennedy, Ash, May and Brock. Max and the President soon reach the roof and block off the connecting stairwell. Mr. Stone demands the Creation Fluid be returned. However, the intruder isn't prepared to give them up and he calls out his Crawdaunt, which Ash scans on his Pokédex. Pikachu attacks with Quick Attack, but Crawdaunt retaliates with Crabhammer. Team Rocket burst onto the rooftop, surprised to see everyone so they perform their motto. Officer Jenny has finally caught up to the troublesome trio. The thief has his Crawdaunt repel everyone with a Bubble Beam, before returning it. He reaches into a waiting box and grabs a rocket propelled glider stowed inside. However, before he can get away, Team Rocket decide that they want whatever it is he stole, and jump, grabbing onto him and making him lose control slightly. Meowth fishes around in his pockets, finding the stolen vials just before the rocket starts to fail. Meowth tosses the vials as he goes to shield his eyes in anticipation of the hard landing, though Max catches them. Before Team Rocket lets go, Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, sending them blasting off. However the intruder still manages to soar off into the distance. Max shows everyone that he saved the capsules. Jenny declares that since the intruder was using a Crawdaunt, the thief was most likely from Team Aqua. The group are confused, but Officer Jenny explains that the Hoenn region is troubled by two villainous organizations, Team Aqua and Team Magma.

A police search of the city that night reveals only a lab coat and a crashed glider. Meanwhile, Mr. Stone has invited the group for dinner at a restaurant to say thank you. The President tells them that his son, Steven, is on Dewford Island. May asks Max for the PokéNav, as she wants to look something up on it, and Max initially panics. The President taps his knee with the device secretly, and Max takes it from him, which Pikachu, who is sitting under the table, notices. Max is thrilled to see the PokéNav is running again, admitting that it isn't broken at all as he shows May its data on Dewford Island. May is initially at odds with Max's comment, but grabs the PokéNav from him still unaware. Max whispers a thank you to the President, who replies that is was nothing at all.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.



Pokémon debuts


Who's That Pokémon?



Who's That Pokémon?: Slugma



  • Several times throughout the episode, Max states that the PokéNav belongs to May, but it is in fact his.

Dub edits

In other languages

AG016 : The Winner by a Nosepass
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG018 : On a Wingull and a Prayer!
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.