In Generations I and III, the Cinnabar Gym is a high-tech affair featuring a series of sealed doors. Trivia questions about various Pokémon must be answered to unlock the doors. However, when the player fails to answer a trivia question correctly, a battle with either a Burglar or Super Nerd starts, which serves as an alternative to answering the questions. The questions are:
"Pokémon Quiz! Get it right and the door opens to the next room! Get it wrong and face a trainerRBY/TrainerFRLG! If you want to conserve your Pokémon for the Gym Leader... Then get it right! Here we go!
Even if the player answers the question right, they still have the option to challenge the Trainer.
In Generation VII, the Gym is set up like a quiz show studio, with the player having to answer five questions in order to face the Gym Leader. Answering a question correctly will earn the player a Blaine doll, while answering a question wrong will force the player into a Trainer battle against a Super Nerd or a Burglar. Defeating the opposing Trainer will also earn the player a Blaine doll. After the player has collected five Blaine dolls, the battle against Blaine will begin immediately. The questions are:
Challenger <player>, tell me... who are you about to battle?!
Blaine The Cinnabar Island Gym Leader A Fire-type Pokémon pro A hotheaded quiz master A moustached old man An old guy in sunglasses
In Generations II and IV, Blaine's original Gym on Cinnabar Island was destroyed by a volcanic eruption. This forced him to relocate to the Seafoam Islands. In Generation II, the Gym consists only of a single small cave, with Blaine being the only Trainer to battle there. In Generation IV, the cave increases in size, the area now has Trainers, and the floor designs is that of a small flame. The only way to get to Blaine is to talk to and battle other Trainers so that they can move to a new position, opening a new path.
In the anime, the Cinnabar Gym is located in a chamber inside the Cinnabar Volcano, which is accessed from a secret entrance located next to a hot spring at Blaine's "Big Riddle Inn" and has a battlefield suspended over the lava.
In Riddle Me This, Ash was trying to locate the Gym so he could challenge the Cinnabar Gym Leader to a battle. He was informed by a man who liked telling riddles that the Gym was abandoned when Cinnabar Island became a tourist trap. However, the man eventually told Ash that the Gym Leader, Blaine, had built another Gym in a secret location, and later gave him a hint of its location through a riddle. After accidentally discovering the Gym's secret entrance at the riddler's inn, Ash and his friends entered the Gym and found the riddle-telling man himself, who revealed himself to have been Blaine in disguise all along. Ash and Blaine then battled, but Ash suffered multiple misfortunes, with his Squirtle losing to Blaine's Ninetales, Charizard refusing to battle Rhydon, and Pikachu being severely burned and almost falling to the lava while fighting Blaine's Magmar. As such, Ash eventually forfeited the match.
In Volcanic Panic, Team Rocket sneaked into the Gym to steal Magmar, but their actions at the heart of the volcano threatened to make it erupt and destroy Cinnabar Island. Ash and his friends assisted Blaine in stopping the eruption, and, as a sign of gratitude, Blaine agreed to have a rematch with Ash. Since the Gym had been destroyed during the incident, the battle instead took place at the summit of the volcano. To Ash's surprise, his usually disobedient Charizard offered to battle Blaine's Magmar. Eventually, Charizard was able to defeat Magmar with Seismic Toss, earning Ash the Volcano Badge.
The Cinnabar Gym briefly reappeared in a flashback in Bad To The Bone, where Otoshi and his Marowak were shown defeating Blaine's Magmar in a Gym battle.
Pokémon used in Gym
Ninetales was Blaine's first Pokémon used in his battle with Ash. Despite its beautiful looks, Ninetales proved to be an incredibly powerful Pokémon, knocking out Ash's Squirtle with a single attack. Ninetales was recalled when Ash sent out his Charizard.
After Ash chose Charizard in his battle, Blaine countered it by choosing Rhydon. Charizard refused to fight the Ground-type Pokémon, so Rhydon went up against Pikachu in its place. Blaine doubted the Electric-type could defeat Rhydon, but Ash encouraged Pikachu to use Rhydon's horn as a conductor of electricity that eventually caused its defeat. This battle sparked a now well-known Internet meme in the Pokémon fandom, as Rhydon is usually immune to Electric-type attacks.
Magmar is Blaine's final Pokémon and his powerhouse. In the first battle, Magmar easily defeated Ash's Pikachu. After the battlefield was wrecked due to Team Rocket's influence, Magmar and Ash's Charizard ended up gaining a respect for each other and wanted to test their strengths against one another. This was done in Ash's rematch with Blaine on top of Cinnabar's volcano. However, despite Magmar's powerful attacks including Fire Blast, Charizard managed to come out on top.
The Gym reappeared in this chapter, where Blaine was seen conducting his search for the missing Red. When Yellow arrived on Cinnabar Island in Putting It on the Line...Against Arcanine, he was led to the Gym by a disguised Blaine. They soon received emergency messages from various cities in Kanto, telling them that the Elite Four had launched their attack on the region. Both Blaine and Yellow soon departed for the Elite Four's base of actions on Cerise Island to start a counterattack.
The Gym appeared again in Double Down Deoxys, where Blaine was visited by CamperEvan and Super NerdMiles while he was going through an old photo album, with one of the pictures featuring him together with Mr. Fuji in a jungle. Blaine told the two Trainers that he had started feeling pain in his right arm the day before, the same arm which once contained Mewtwo's cells. Blaine said that the sensation meant that Mewtwo was upset, and deduced that it must be because Mew was on its way from Faraway Island back to the Kanto mainland.
The Cinnabar Gym was featured in the TCG as both a Japan exclusive Theme Deck and as a card. The following is a list of cards mentioning or featuring the Cinnabar City Gym in the Pokémon Trading Card Game
Cinnabar Gym Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format. Cards listed with a silver background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.