Joey explains to Gold that his backpack, which was stolen by a Murkrow, contains important documents which he needs to deliver to Professor Elm at Professor Oak's request. Wanting to meet Professor Oak, Gold decides to tag along.
On the way through downtown New Bark Town, they encounter a Bird Keeper that is scamming Trainers by challenging them to capture all his Pokémon in less than a minute. Instead of keeping honest track of the time, however, his Hoothoot just cries whenever a Trainer is about to win. Gold, unable to resist a challenge, decides to try anyways. Gold starts the challenge and calls out the Bird Keeper when he tries to get his Hoothoot to end the game early.
The crowd dissipates, and Gold realizes his backpack is missing. Joey deduces that because Gold's backpack is filled with Poké Balls just like his, the thief must have mistaken Gold's backpack for Joey's and taken it in error. Gold and Joey head for Professor Elm's lab in search of the thief.
Meanwhile, a mysterious character sneaks into Elm's lab, lurking in the shadows and hanging from the ceiling.