The Search for the Legend (Japanese: 天駆ける伝説 ヒロシとファイヤー！The Heavenly Legend, Hiroshi and Fire!) is the 18th Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station side story episode and the 18th episode of Pokémon Chronicles. It first aired in Japan on September 28, 2004, in the United Kingdom on September 7, 2005 and in the United States on September 30, 2006.
Richie is on the S.S. Anne when a school of wild Gyarados block the waters ahead. The crew is about to take the long way around, but a grizzled Trainer named Silver orders his Salamence to send the Gyarados packing so the trip can continue. Silver also has a Chikorita, and a lifelong mission: to battle the Legendary Moltres! But Richie thinks there's something suspicious about the two researchers with Silver, especially when the ship docks at an evacuated volcanic island and Richie sees the three of them sneaking onto the shore. Richie jumps ship and follows them, convinced something is up.
When he catches them headed for the top of the volcano, they tell him Moltres should appear at this volcano tomorrow. The researchers want to sample Moltres's fire for scientific reasons, so they enlisted Silver's help—and they don't want Richie tagging along. However, Richie later overhears the researchers talking, and they're really Butch and Cassidy! Richie tells Silver that something is wrong, but Silver doesn't care; he likes Richie's stubbornness and even lets Richie join the group.
The next day, they make it to the top of the volcano and see Moltres flying straight for them. Silver orders Salamence to battle it, but Moltres' fire attacks seem unusually weak. That's because it recharges its energy at the volcano, and Butch and Cassidy want to snag it while it's weak! When Silver refuses to do their dirty work, Team Rocket gets out Cloyster and Tentacruel to help capture Moltres in a net. When Silver comes to Moltres' aid, Team Rocket stick Silver and Richie in a net, too! But Silver's Chikorita cuts open the net, and Richie's Pikachu blasts Team Rocket into the sky.
Moltres plunges into the volcano's lava and emerges fully refreshed. Silver insists on a battle, even though the volcano is about to erupt beneath him. But he rethinks his position after Moltres saves him from being crushed by falling rock; he has Salamence fly him and Richie to safety. Moltres has flown away, but Silver will wait for Moltres. If Richie stops by the island again someday, they can have a battle too!
The episode starts off with Ritchie and Sparky aboard the S.S. Anne, continuing his journey to become a Pokémon Master. As the ship moves along the ocean en route to its' destination, four Gyarados emerge from the depths, shocking Ritchie. One of the crew members alerts all the passengers of the hostile group of Pokémon, and urges them to return to their rooms and remain calm. Ritchie then asks the crewman what will happen next.
The crewman says that regrettably they will have to carefully maneuver their way from the Gyarados and take a longer route to their destination, as there is no other option. Then, out of nowhere, a man calls forth his Salamence. Ritchie is puzzled slightly by the appearance of Salamence and checks for data in his Pokédex. The unknown man then says out loud that he "doesn't have time for a bunch of overgrown Magikarp to block his way". He then orders Salamence to use a Hyper Beam, which frightens the Gyarados and drives them away. The man then orders the crewman to tell the skipper to move the ship.
Ritchie is amazed at how skillfully the man drove away the Gyarados, but the man says that that's nothing compared to his next opponent... Moltres. Ritchie then gives off info regarding the legendary Pokémon, but says that no one knows where it is. The two then make a rocky introduction, with the man saying his name is Silver. Next, two more people come up to Silver asking if he's getting them into trouble again as Silver has gotten them kicked out of numerous places.
Ritchie then asks who they are and the woman says her name is Dr. Louise Armstrong from the Bogus Fake Institute of Science and the man says his name is Dr. Satchmo (however, they are clearly Butch and Cassidy of Team Rocket). Ritchie believes that they know where Moltres will be next, which they quickly deny. Ritchie then says that Silver just told him about his plans. They try to pass off his plans as just an injury, and Dr. Satchmo then lays his hand on Silver's arm, which angers Silver greatly. Silver then bids goodbye to Ritchie, with Ritchie suspicious of the group.
The ship then lands at One Island. Ritchie and Sparky look in awe at the volcano. The crewman from earlier then tells them that the volcano is still active and could erupt at any moment. Because of this, the whole island was evacuated and it's little more than a rest stop for the ship. Ritchie then sees Silver and the doctors getting off the ship. Thinking quickly, Ritchie jumps off of the ship and follows them. He catches up to them and says he wants to see Moltres. Once again the doctors deny that they know where Moltres is, saying they are only there to study rocks. Silver knows that Ritchie won't fall for such an obvious lie though and tells the doctors to just tell him the truth so they can move on. The doctors then explain that they have been studying Moltres' flight patterns and have determined that it will stop at Mount Ember.
The doctors then say they want to harness Moltres' fire as an alternate means of energy, but because it is so difficult to get the fire they have to rely on Silver to weaken it in the hope of an opportunity arising. Silver then says that he hopes to have the battle of a lifetime with Moltres. Ritchie wants to tag along, but he is denied the privilege of traveling with them. Persistent in nature though, Ritchie decides to follow them anyway so he can see Moltres.
Silver and the group decide to set up camp, with Ritchie not far behind reminiscing about past adventures. Then, he overhears something so he moves in closer. It's the doctors talking to someone on a radio! They're talking about capturing Moltres using electromagnetic nets. As the man on the radio tells them some vital information, Ritchie breaks a twig and alerts the two doctors. Ritchie then hides on the cliff, thus avoiding being caught. The doctors then continue talking to the man on the radio. Silver approaches them not long after and they head off to bed nervously. Silver approaches the cliff and sees Ritchie hanging on, telling him that there is a path. Ritchie jokes that climbing is more fun, but loses his grip on the wall and starts to fall.
Silver then saves Ritchie's life by telling his Chikorita to use Vine Whip. Ritchie warns Silver about how suspicious those doctors were acting, but Silver says it doesn't matter so long as he can battle Moltres. Silver invites Ritchie back to his camp. The doctors then see Ritchie and quickly excuse themselves. Ritchie then thanks Silver for not getting mad at him, to which Silver says Ritchie's demeanor reminds him of himself in his youth. Ritchie then says that his attitude is due largely in part to his friend Ash. The mention of Ash's name takes Silver by surprise. Ritchie then says that Ash is a very stubborn person. Silver says that being stubborn is the same as being determined.
Silver then tells Ritchie that he was the same age as he was when he first saw Moltres. Moltres' very glow that night made the stars seem dull by comparison. That's when Silver decided to find and battle Moltres. Morning arrives and the group make their way to the top of the volcano. The volcano then starts to shake, still as active and dangerous as it was thought to be. Hours go by as they wait for Moltres. Nothing has shown Moltres will come to the volcano, with Butch commenting on a possibility of Moltres not appearing. Silver claims he'll wait as long as it takes. Then, something can be seen in the breaks in the clouds...
It's Moltres! Ritchie gathers his Pokédex information on the legendary bird while Silver calls forth Salamence for battle and orders a Hyper Beam. Moltres dodges the attack and launches a Flamethrower. Unfortunately the Flamethrower is weak and dies out before it hits Salamence. Moltres only comes to that island when it's at its' weakest. Butch and Cassidy then urge Silver to battle it, but Silver refuses as there is nothing to be gained from battling a Pokémon when it isn't in top form.
Butch and Cassidy then discard their disguises and reveal their identities to Silver and Ritchie, while firing the net at Moltres. Silver then frees Moltres with his Salamence. Butch and Cassidy then continue their attempt to capture Moltres, but Salamence saves Moltres with its Dragon Breath. However, another net catches Salamence as well as Silver and Ritchie.
Silver tells Chikorita to free them from the net with its Razor Leaf and Salamence to do the same with its' Dragon Claw. Ritchie then sends Team Rocket blasting off with Sparky's Thunderbolt. Moltres ends up falling into the lava, with Salamence unable to save it. The two wonder if Moltres can survive the lava. Then Moltres emerges from the lava in all its' fiery splendor. Whenever Moltres is weak, it dives into the volcano's lava to regain its' power.
Silver then gets to have the battle he had been waiting for. He orders Salamence to use Hyper Beam. Moltres counters with Flamethrower which at first results in a stalemate. However the Flamethrower pushes through and hits Salamence. Salamence is still able to fight and then uses Double Team and Dragon Breath. The attacks result in an even bigger, fiery version of Moltres before dissipating. Silver enjoys the battle he's having, but the volcano starts to erupt! Silver says he's going to stay despite the risk, but as a boulder is heading towards him Moltres saves his life.
Silver then changes his mind and says he'll fly them out on Salamence. The two of them look on as Moltres flies away into the sky. While Ritchie is disappointed Silver couldn't finish his battle, Silver says he can wait a little longer. The two part ways, with Silver staying on One Island to battle Moltres if it reappears. Ritchie and Silver then decide to have a battle if the chance arises, the two now good friends.
Ritchie does the narration in the Japanese version.
The boat that the episode begins on is not named in the Japanese version, while the dub identifies it as the S.S. Anne. An error is avoided here as the ship that sank in Battle Aboard the St. Anne was referred to by its Japanese name - the St. Anne - in the dub of that episode.
The volcano that Ritchie and Silver visit is actually Mt. Ember, but the dubbers failed to pick this up, giving it instead the name Mount Magma.