DP164 : Piplup, Up and Away!
Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl
DP166 : The Fleeing Tower of Sunyshore!
Flint Sparks the Fire!
DP165   EP631
Ōba of The Big Four and Gym Leader Denzi!
First broadcast
Japan February 25, 2010
United States July 24, 2010
English themes
Opening We Will Carry On!
Japanese themes
Opening サイコー・エブリディ!
Ending ドッチ~ニョ?
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
Storyboard 金崎貴臣 Takaomi Kanasaki
Assistant director 渡辺正彦 Masahiko Watanabe
Animation directors 古川博之 Hiroyuki Furukawa
牧内ももこ Momoko Makiuchi
神垣弥生 Yayoi Kamigaki
志村泉 Izumi Shimura
Additional credits

Flint Sparks the Fire! (Japanese: 四天王オーバとジムリーダー・デンジ! Ōba of The Big Four and the Gym Leader Denzi!) is the 165th episode of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, and the 631st episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on February 25, 2010 and in the United States on July 24, 2010.

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


When Ash arrives at the Sunyshore Gym for his next Gym battle, its uninspired Gym Leader refuses to accept his challenge!

When our heroes arrive at the Sunyshore Gym for Ash's next Sinnoh Gym battle, they discover that the Gym Leader, Volkner, is giving away Badges free to any challenger without battling! Ash gets very upset, so much so that he is about to be thrown off the Gym premises. Before he can be thrown out, the process is interrupted by none other than Flint of the Elite Four. Flint is a good friend of Volkner's, so our heroes accompany him to see the disenchanted Gym Leader.

Still, Volkner mysteriously refuses to battle Ash. Flint explains that when they were kids they were a team, but Volkner lost interest in Gym challenges when he became a Gym Leader. When Volkner continues to refuse Ash's challenge, it is suggested that Flint battle Ash instead, which he agrees to do, with Volkner watching.

The battle between Ash and Flint is intense, and it reminds Volkner of the days when he participated in electrifying battles alongside Flint. Ash loses, but his perseverance impresses Volkner so much that, filled with a renewed spark for battling, he finally agrees to battle Ash at the Sunyshore Gym!


Ash and his friends have finally arrived in Sunyshore City, and are amazed to see the whole city is powered by solar panels as well as its moving sidewalks. Ash is more eager than ever to battle for the final Badge he needs for the Sinnoh League. However, Dawn warns him that the Gym Leader, Volkner, is known as a difficult opponent. Brock confirms that he has yet to be defeated and is considered to be Sinnoh's strongest Gym Leader. Naturally, this makes Ash all the more excited and the group immediately heads to Sunyshore Gym. Team Rocket are trailing close behind, but they stop briefly to look at the iconic Sunyshore Tower. Arriving, a robotic voice greets the group and asks them their business. Ash explains that he's there to battle for a Gym Badge, however, the voice opens a box full of Beacon Badges and tells him to help himself, much to everyone's surprise. Dawn suggests Ash should just take a Badge, but Ash and Brock believe that winning them with effort is what makes Badges significant, just being allowed to take them defeats the whole purpose of having Gyms in the first place. Dawn suddenly realizes that this is what Paul meant when he criticized the Gym during their previous meeting. Ash furiously knocks on the door demanding a battle against Volkner, but the Gym's computer system refuses to even let him enter. After getting fed up with Ash's persistent knocking, the high-tech Gym forcefully escorts him off the premises. Just then, someone yells out "Use Mach Punch" and an Infernape appears, releasing Ash from the Gym's clutches. It emerges that Infernape's Trainer is none other than Flint, a member of the Sinnoh Elite Four who specializes in Fire-type Pokémon.

Flint introduces himself and after noticing Ash's determination, he escorts him and his friends directly to Volkner, who has been in the Sunyshore Tower. On their way up, Flint notes that Sunyshore is powered purely by solar energy, and all the solar panels throughout the city are controlled by the Tower. Volkner is responsible for being the architect and controller of the entire Sunyshore solar network. A Raichu greets Ash, ready to attack. When Flint shows up, Raichu runs toward Flint to give him a hug. Volkner enters the room almost instantly after that, in a depressed state. Ash tells Volkner that he wants a Gym battle, but Volkner orders him to just take a Badge. Ash refutes Volkner's free Badge and explains that he wants to earn it fair and square in a Gym battle. Volkner replies that he has completely lost interest in battling. Flint steps in to tell Volkner that Ash is an "electrifying" Trainer and asks Volkner to give him a chance. Though Volkner asks Ash and everyone else to leave before returning to the Sunyshore Tower control room.

Flint takes Ash and his friends out for coffee and sandwiches run by his friend the Proprietor, but Ash is still in a bad mood over not being able to battle Volkner. Both Flint and the Proprietor tell Ash that Volkner didn't always find battling dull, he was one of the best Gym Leaders in Sinnoh. Flint explains that he and Volkner met when they were both kids, and quickly became rivals after Volkner's Pikachu beat Flint's Chimchar. They battled constantly to prove who was the top Trainer in Sunyshore. The pair became friends after losing in a battle against the Proprietor, back when he was a poacher. Flint and Volkner began to become distant after they pursued their interests, with Volkner becoming Sunyshore’s Gym Leader and Flint eventually joining the Elite Four. Volkner slowly lost interest in battling as it became repetitive, and became more obsessed with technology and restructuring his vision for Sunyshore City. Flint admits that he hoped by bringing Ash to Volkner, that he might get a spark for battling again. Volkner suddenly walks in saying it was a waste to bring Ash up to the Tower. Flint is enraged, but Volkner simply dismisses anything he says. The Proprietor then suggests Flint have a battle with Ash, and he orders Volkner to watch the match.

Returning to Sunyshore Gym, Ash and Flint get ready for a three-on-three battle. Flint calls out Infernape and Ash sends out Buizel. Volkner still shows no interest. Buizel attacks with Water Gun, but Infernape jumps in the air and the attack misses. While in the air, Buizel uses Ice Punch but the attack is blocked (with its fists being frozen in the process). When they land Buizel uses Sonic Boom, but the attack is blocked and the ice on Infernape's fists breaks. Buizel then, uses Aqua Jet, only for the attack to be countered and overpowered by a Flare Blitz, and Buizel is taken out.

Ash then sends out his own Infernape, using Flamethrower, Flame Wheel, and Mach Punch. Again, Flint's Infernape blocks all attacks and uses Mach Punch on Ash's Infernape, and knocks him out easily. Volkner stands up and calls this battle a waste of time, though the Proprietor calls him back into line. Ash sends out Pikachu, using Quick Attack, and it hits but does little damage. Flint then instructs Infernape to use Flare Blitz again and Pikachu replies with a Volt Tackle. The pair collide, though incur little damage. Infernape uses Mach Punch, which Pikachu tries to counter by using Iron Tail, but is eventually thrown into the Gym wall. Pikachu, still determined, rushes towards Infernape, who uses Close Combat. Pikachu then uses Thunderbolt after being flung into the air by Infernape's attack. Pikachu uses Quick Attack and is countered with Close Combat. The now-airborne Pikachu uses Thunderbolt as a last resort and Flint persists with one last Flare Blitz and Pikachu is sent flying again. Ash jumps to catch Pikachu, which prompts Volkner to really open his eyes. The Proprietor asks Volkner to recall his past and admits that their match all those years ago led him to abandon the poaching trade. Pikachu uses Volt Tackle and Flint returns with Mach Punch, though Pikachu still pushes on. Volkner's flashback to his youth and Ash's present collide, as Ash instructs Pikachu to use Volt Tackle on Infernape and Flint now has Infernape use Thunder Punch, leaving both Pokémon standing. Pikachu then collapses and faints, awarding the victory to Flint.

Team Rocket is found outside with James, collapsed on the ground, in tears after one of his prized bottle caps was swept up by the city’s automatic street sweepers. Meowth tries to console James, but it's no use. Jessie suggests focusing on the city, and how solar power runs its entirety. Meowth mentions they should take over Sunyshore Tower, which Jessie concurs as well as James who now takes a revengeful attitude.

Volkner, after witnessing the battle between Ash and Flint, is convinced that he needs to take care of "unfinished business" as a Gym Leader to pass on his spark to every challenger. Volkner becomes inspired to become the Gym Leader once again, to the excitement of Flint and the Proprietor. With his spark returned Volkner agrees to challenge Ash to an official Gym battle.

Major events

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



Pokémon debuts






Infernape's tail error
  • After Ash's Infernape is knocked out, Flint's Infernape's tail is missing.
  • In some scenes of the flashbacks of Flint and Volkner's childhood, the cuffs of Volkner's jacket are yellow instead of gray.
  • The Polish dub title has a typo at the end, where it shows "Flint wkracza do akcjil!".

Dub edits

  • In the English dub, after Buizel is knocked out, Volkner says that he has faced so many weak challengers and that they are all confident at first. In the original Japanese version, he adds that he got sick of it and quit.

In other languages

DP164 : Piplup, Up and Away!
Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl
DP166 : The Fleeing Tower of Sunyshore!
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.