| It's Still Rocket Roll to Me!
Fu and Lan! Space Center Battle!
|| October 21, 2004
| United States
|| October 29, 2005
|| Team Ota
|| 松井亜弥 Aya Matsui
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 玉川明洋 Akihiro Tamagawa
| Additional credits
It's Still Rocket Roll to Me! (Japanese: フウとラン！宇宙センターの戦い！ Fu and Lan! Space Center Battle!) is the 99th episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 373rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 21, 2004 and in the United States on October 29, 2005.
Ash and friends finally arrive in Mossdeep City and head straight to the Pokémon Gym—only to find it empty because everyone in town is at the Space Center for the shuttle launch, including the Gym Leader.
At the Space Center, the kids begin snooping around, and Ash stumbles upon a Pokémon battle between two siblings named Tate and Liza, who are there because their father is piloting the shuttle. They are the twin Gym Leaders of Mossdeep, who promise to battle Ash after the shuttle launch. For now, they take Ash and friends on a tour of the center. Corphish wanders off when Ash isn't looking, sneaking on board the shuttle.
Team Rocket breaks into the shuttle and heads for the cockpit, only to encounter Tate and Max! They tie the two boys up, and the shuttle takes off. Before they get very far, the shuttle is grabbed by the Baltoy that live in the Space Center. Corphish frees Max and Tate, and Tate's Solrock takes out Team Rocket with Psychic.
Tate must now land the shuttle, and he and Max manage to get it safely to the ground. May and Liza attack Team Rocket when they emerge from the shuttle, and Pikachu sends them blasting off.
The shuttle is launched with Commander Jin at the controls, and then it's time for a Gym battle!
Having finally arrived in Mossdeep City, they go straight to the Mossdeep Gym so Ash can battle for his Mind Badge. As they are about to enter the Gym, a woman runs out in a hurry. She stops at Ash's request, and he asks her if the Gym Leader is around. She explains that the Gym Leader is at the Mossdeep Space Center to watch a rocket launch, and Max gets excited at the prospect of watching the lift-off himself. However, Ash orders him to forget it before glaring at Max and telling him that they'll be going to the Space Center only to find the Gym Leader. In response, Max pretends to apologize while thinking to himself that once they get there, Ash will want to see the launch as well.
At the Space Center, Jin goes through the pre-launch checklist with mission control. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is quite a distance away in a tree, observing the launch site through their binoculars. As they talk, Meowth gets the idea to steal the shuttle and give it to the Boss to explore space. At the mention of a large promotion, Jessie and James agree to the scheme.
Ash and his friends soon enter the Space Center, wandering into a room filled with various astronaut training machines. Everyone is keen to just look at the contraptions, except for Ash who straps himself into a multi-axis trainer (MAT) device and presses the "on" button. The MAT begins to rotate and spin rapidly, taking Ash and Pikachu by surprise. Finally, Pikachu braces himself against Ash and stretches his tail towards the blue button, just managing to stop the ride. Ash and Pikachu stagger towards the others, who are unimpressed by Ash's recklessness, and collapse on the ground from the dizziness. While trying to recover, Ash spots a series of lights and sounds coming from some low windows nearby. He crawls over and looks, and inside, he spies a battle between Tate and Liza taking place in zero gravity. Liza's Lunatone uses an Ice Beam to take down Tate's Solrock as it charged up a Solar Beam. Liza admits her younger twin still needs to work on his timing, much to his annoyance. Ash and friends suddenly enter the room. Tate and Liza gasp in surprise, and as the visitors are levitated into the air. The twins rush to their aid, releasing themselves from their ankle straps, before explaining that they entered into a weightless room. As the twins introduce themselves, Max and Tate quickly strike up a friendship over their annoyance with their older sisters. May, similarly, identifies with Liza. The twins reveal that they often battle in zero-gravity conditions after accidentally discovering that their Baltoy Confusion attack mimics space conditions. The pair reveal that their father is the Space Center’s Director and lead shuttle pilot, while their mother works in mission control. Tate and Liza offer to show the group around, though Ash admits that he was hoping to find the Gym Leader. Ash is taken aback when the twins reveal that they are in fact the Mossdeep Gym Leaders. As Tate demonstrates how to ride the MAT properly, Max can't resist teasing Ash about this. Liza then informs Ash that in their Gym they do Double Battles using their Lunatone and Solrock. Liza seems surprised when Ash still wants to challenge them.
With the shuttle launch half an hour away, everyone and their Pokémon decides to play around on the space training equipment. Tate and Max leave everyone else to play on the space shuttle simulator. Meanwhile, Ash's Corphish exits into a hallway, and after noticing boxes of food being transported, it excitedly takes off after them. As Jin is preparing to board the space shuttle, Rachel notices something amiss on the surveillance system. The team investigates the storage room surveillance further, but nothing seems out of sorts. Rachel apologizes, thinking it must have been her imagination. It turns out, however, that it wasn't her imagination - Corphish is happily eating its way through the space food.
Later, Liza stops her father, Jin, as is about to board the shuttle again for the last time before launch. Liza introduces her new friends, May, Ash, and Brock to him. She then turns attention to her missing brother, though Jin hasn't seen him. Rachel contacts her husband on the radio to alert him to a security breach, none other than the Rocket trio clad in space suits. Watching the surveillance footage, Rachel demands the intruders identify themselves, so Team Rocket recites their motto. When Ash and the others confront the trio, James sends out Cacnea to do a Pin Missile. Though Ash counters with Pikachu's Thunderbolt. Despite getting zapped, Jessie still manages to send out Seviper to perform a Haze attack, allowing the trio to make their escape and head for the shuttle's cockpit. As Team Rocket makes their way to the cockpit, Jessie grabs a handful of space food packets for their voyage. Inside the cockpit, they find Max and Tate, who had earlier sneaked aboard. Meowth promptly ties the boys up with rope before the trio takes their positions. To put them in the proper mood for take-off, James sends out his Chimecho for a melodic Heal Bell. Meowth pushes the launch button, causing the boosters to start. Everyone else notices this with alarm and, upon turning on the cockpit's monitor, Rachel radios to Jin that Tate and Max are on the shuttle with Team Rocket. It's too late, however, as the shuttle is already taking off. The support rocket and boosters fall away as the rocket makes its way up into the atmosphere. Soon, Team Rocket’s space voyage comes to an abrupt stop thanks to the Baltoy and their Confusion attack. With the distraction, Tate suggests to Max that they make their escape. Trying to figure out how to accomplish this, Max notices Corphish hiding under a bank of controls. Corphish motions for Max to be quiet with its claw, and he nods. Now free thanks to Corphish, Tate has his Solrock use Psychic to levitate Team Rocket. Solrock throws the trio around the cabin for a bit until they all collide and fall to the floor, out cold.
The boys and the Pokémon cheer, and Tate jumps on the radio and assures his parents that they're all right. Liza and the others are happy, but Jin says that the Baltoy won't be able to hold the shuttle much longer and that Tate has to somehow land the shuttle. Much to Liza's concern, Tate takes the pilot's seat and confidently says that he can do it due to his experience in the simulator. Max says he'll help as well and the landing process begins. The Baltoy release their hold on the shuttle and Jin begins relaying instructions to the boys. After a few tense moments of switch-flipping and control-monitoring, in which an impatient Corphish threatens to press a random button before Max whacks its claw away, the shuttle lands safely. Team Rocket, still dazed from Solrock's Psychic attack, stagger out of the shuttle and fall to the ground. Immediately, they suffer the wrath of Liza and May, both of whom are furious at the Rockets for the danger they had put their younger brothers into. After a Fire Spin from May's Combusken, an Ice Beam from Lunatone, and an Iron Tail from Pikachu, Team Rocket is sent blasting off. Afterward, the group and twin Gym Leaders watch from the Space Center’s rooftop as Jin leads the latest shuttle mission into space. Tate and Liza reissue their Gym challenge, to which Ash is confident he’ll win the upcoming battle.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- There were a few technical issues with the anime's portrayal of a shuttle launch:
- First, the solid rocket boosters should not have separated until after they had finished firing. Otherwise, they would have gone up instead of down and wasted a lot of energy. The external tank should not have separated until the shuttle was nearly in orbit, and the engines should not have been firing when the shuttle was about to land.
- However, this was only when Team Rocket tried to steal the shuttle, and it had to be landed soon after, so at least most of these mistakes were likely made on purpose. When the shuttle was later launched for a real mission, technical issues seemed to be correct.
- When Tate is showing Max the shuttle simulator, his hair bun is colored white.
- When Tate's Solrock's Sandstorm fails to work on Lunatone, Liza says "Those Ground attacks just don't work against my Lunatone", obviously referring to Lunatone's Ability Levitate. However, Sandstorm is a Rock-type move, not Ground-type.
- It is correct, however, that Sandstorm would not hurt a Lunatone, due to it also being Rock-type.
Tate's miscolored hair bun
- In the English dub, Jessie calls the boxes of food "liquid lunch meat". In the original Japanese version, Jessie calls it space food.
- When Max and Tate are being told how to land the shuttle, there is dialogue in the English dub. In the original Japanese version, everyone is silent the whole time with music in the background.
- Question: Trainers, which one of these Pokémon does not evolve?
- Choices: Lileep, Tangela, Houndour
- Answer: Ok, Trainers! If you chose Tangela, you were right!
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