Team Skull is first encountered very early in the game. Koffing and Zubat are hiding behind poles, listening to the player's soon-to-be partner talk to themself about their personal treasure. On the beach, they steal the Relic Fragment because they want to sell it for a lot of money, demonstrating their greed. They can be battled in the Beach Cave. However, due to the fact that Skuntank has not made an appearance yet, only Koffing and Zubat are battled. This is the only time that Team Skull can be battled in the entire game.
Later, the team arrives in Wigglytuff's Guild, where it is revealed to the hero and their partner that Skuntank is the team's boss. He greets the hero by blasting them with his horrible stench, knocking them out and filling the room with the awful smell. Unlike his allies, Skuntank proves to be exceptionally tough and clever. Team Skull attempts to earn their way into the Guild's exploration, in order to later turn on them and take their treasures. During the first night of their stay, Team Skull sneaks into the guild's food storage and eat all the Perfect Apples. When Chatot assigns the player and partner to pick up Perfect Apples to refill the storage, Team Skull beats them to the location, eats all the apples, and easily knocks out the player's team with Skuntank and Koffing's "noxious gas combo", a combination of their terrible stenches (which accidentally knocks out Zubat as well). Upon returning to the guild, Chatot is very unhappy with the player's failure, refusing to hear the explanation about what happened, and the player's team is sent to bed without dinner as punishment. Skuntank then presents Wigglytuff with one of the Perfect Apples (stopping the latter's tantrum), and is made out to be the hero.
During the Guild's exploration, Team Skull confronts the hero's team after they cleared the fog of Fogbound Lake and attempt to knock them out with the noxious gas combo, but Wigglytuff arrives the scene having been chasing his Perfect Apple then assigns the player and the partner to explore the forest even though they already did. He also doesn't let Team Skull explore, not wanting to burden them (which he actually is). Skuntank and Koffing try to knock out Wigglytuff with their gas combo and mug a rumored treasure he possesses, but Wigglytuff shrugs it off. Wigglytuff ends up single-handedly defeating Team Skull (although this wasn't shown). After the expedition, Team Skull wanted to get revenge on Wigglytuff, but they realize they are no match for him. Later, Zubat proposes that they target the player's team, since they are "wimpy". Skuntank agrees and a few days later, Team Skull steals the Marill brothers' Water Float and places it in the deepest part of Amp Plains, planning on the player's team getting attacked by the Amp Plains tribes. However, this plan is foiled by the appearance of Dusknoir and they immediately flee when he confronts them.
Much later, close to the end of the main story, the player's team goes to Brine Cave with the Relic Fragment to gain access to the Hidden Land. Toward the way-point of the cave, Team Skull appears and steals the Relic Fragment once again before running off with a furious Chatot on hot pursuit, their true intentions in the expedition having been revealed to him in the process. However, they are ambushed and brutally beaten by two Omastar and a Kabutops offscreen and then scolded by Chatot while still down before the player's team arrive. Although he claims to be "still seeing red" over Chatot's words, Skuntank ends up giving the Relic Fragment back to the player's team, though still acting like a tough guy. Skuntank claims that when they meet another time, they would be "back to their old tricks". The player's team then proceeds to go after Chatot.
Despite Skuntank's claim, Team Skull are never seen again in these games. It was unknown whether or not they escaped from Brine Cave until Skuntank's appearance on the Grass Continent in Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon reveals that they indeed escaped.
Personality and characteristics
Team Skull is frequently antagonistic, especially towards the hero and their partner. Sometimes, they like to take the trust of other people and use them to the team's benefit. This is evident in the fact that they joined the guild, gained the trust of Wigglytuff (by framing the player's team, indicative that they don't care who they step on to get what they want) to join the guild's expedition, and take the treasure for themselves. Other times, they bully other Pokémon just for fun, as evidenced when they hid Marill and Azurill's Water Float in the Amp Plains, which is full of Electric Pokémon. However, unlike the previous rival team, Team Skull has no outright evil intentions, only being incredibly greedy and selfish. However, in their final appearance, Skuntank is touched by the fact that despite everything they had done, the hero and partner still wish to help them and returns the Relic Fragment, showing there is a kinder part to their personalities, even if they would never outright admit it.
Koffing and Zubat
Koffing and Zubat are merely Skuntank's sidekicks. Not much can be said about them, other than the fact that they are exactly like their leader in personality. Koffing is one of two members that is part of the "noxious gas combo", a combination of Koffing and Skuntank's terrible stenches. They are the first boss in the game as well. Zubat is known to say his trademark "Heh-heh-heh!", while Koffing says, "Whoa-ho-ho!"
Skuntank is the big boss of Team Skull. Therefore, he typically proves more clever than his teammates, and comes up with all of the team's plans. While the group stay at the Guild, the town and guild Pokémon constantly complain of his terrible stench, which even keeps some Explorer Teams away from town. He has the distinctive laugh of "Chaw-haw-haw!" It is not possible to battle Skuntank, but his partners say Skuntank is much more powerful than they are.
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Reason: Skuntank's moveset upon recruitment in SMD.