The Viridian Gym (Japanese: トキワジムTokiwa Gym) is the official Gym of Viridian City. During the events of GenerationsI, III, and VII, it is based on Ground-typePokémon and the Gym Leader is Giovanni, the head of Team Rocket. After Team Rocket is disbanded at the end of Generations I, III, and VII, Blue takes over as the Leader during Generations II, IV, and VII; under his direction, the Gym no longer concentrates on any particular type. In Generation VII, Blue takes over the Gym immediately after Giovanni leaves it, rematching the player in his place during the post-game. Trainers who earn a win at the Viridian Gym receive the Earth Badge.
In the anime, Agatha of the Elite Four serves as a temporary Gym Leader here following Giovanni's abdication of the position to focus on leading Team Rocket.
Viridian City Pokémon Gym Leader: ...
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Viridian City Pokémon Gym
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Viridian Gym appears in all games set in the Kanto region. In Generations I, III, and VII, when the player first reaches the Gym, it is locked due to the absence of the Gym Leader. With this acknowledged, the player journeys off to other Gyms to challenge them. Once the player has collected the other seven Gym Badges, the Viridian Gym reopens. In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, the Gym guide declares that earning seven Badges is the prerequisite for entering the Gym, effectively meaning that the Viridian Gym, unlike most other Kanto Gyms in Generation VII, has no additional prerequisites required for entering.
In Generations II, IV, and VII, Blue takes over the Gym. In Generation II, the Gym can be challenged as soon as Blue is spoken to on Cinnabar Island. In Generation IV, however, Blue will stay on Cinnabar Island and will not return to his Gym until the player speaks to him after obtaining the other seven Kanto Gym Badges. In Generation VII, Blue can be challenged to a Gym Leader rematch at the Gym during the post-game in place of Giovanni.
Inside the Gym, the floor uses the same transporting tiles as are used in the Team Rocket Hideout. The player must use these tiles to navigate through the Gym to reach the Gym Leader. In Generation II, the Gym is completely remodeled and the tiles are gone; in Generation IV, the tiles are put back up, now covering almost the entire floor of the Gym.
The Viridian Gym was originally led by Giovanni, as it was in Generation I. The Gym featured ancient Roman architecture, stately pillars, and an old mural. A predominant brownish color scheme was used to represent the Gym's affiliation with the Ground type. Owing to this, there were also guards resembling ancient Roman soldiers posted outside.
The Viridian Gym debuted in The Battle of the Badge. Before Ash could challenge the Gym, however, Gary appeared, taunting him with his ten Badges and insisting on challenging the Viridian Gym for fun. Gary faced Giovanni, though his confidence quickly eroded after Giovanni brought out Mewtwo, who defeated each of Gary's Pokémon with ease, even when Giovanni allowed him to use more than one Pokémon at a time.
Ash challenged the Gym soon after. However, unbeknownst to him, Giovanni had unmentioned business to attend to, and thus he left the Gym in the care of Jessie, James, and Meowth, giving them several Pokémon to use against any possible challengers. At first, Ash had a hard time beating them, as the trio had rigged the Trainer platforms to shock anyone whose Pokémon took damage. Eventually, Ash overcame the borrowed Pokémon's power and defeated all of them, causing Team Rocket to completely ignore the Gym rules and send out their Arbok and Weezing. Despite this, even the two additional Pokémon were quickly taken down. When Togepi started playing with Meowth's remote control, it inadvertently caused the Trainer platforms to explode and send Team Rocket blasting off again. They dropped an Earth Badge in their wake, allowing Ash to get his eighth Badge. Ash, Misty, Brock, Gary, and Gary's cheerleaders then ran out of the Gym, which proceeded to collapse into ruins due to the explosion.
The rebuilt Viridian Gym appeared when Ash returned to Kanto from Hoenn in The Scheme Team, where it was revealed that Agatha of the Elite Four was serving as the temporary Gym Leader until the official new Leader would arrive. Ash challenged her to an exhibition match, but lost. This was also the place where Ash first met Scott, who told him about the Battle Frontier. During its second appearance, the Gym sported a new, lighter color scheme.
Giovanni abdicating his position as Gym Leader is similar to the case in the Generation I games; however, in the anime, he is still in charge of Team Rocket, while he also disbands the team in the games.
Giovanni held control of this Mewtwo created by his scientists for some time, until it learned that Giovanni had meant its purpose to be fighting for him, and escaped.
While controlling Mewtwo, Giovanni used its overwhelming Psychic powers to capture new Pokémon for Team Rocket and in his Gym battles, where it defeated all of his challengers effortlessly. When Mewtwo discovered Giovanni's real intentions for it, it broke out of its bonds and escaped.
Golem was the first Pokémon that Giovanni used in his Gym battle with Gary, sending it against Gary's Nidoking. The Megaton Pokémon was easily defeated. It was later seen in its cage while Giovanni went to see Mewtwo.
Giovanni used his Kingler in his Gym battle with Gary, sending it to battle against Gary's Nidoking. Gary, however, quickly withdraws his Pokémon and calls out Arcanine. Despite having a type advantage, Kingler proved to be no match for the Legendary Pokémon, and was finally taken out by Arcanine's Fire Blast.
Kingler was also later loaned to Jessie for Ash's Gym battle. She used it to battle against Bulbasaur, but lost, although not before dealing heavy damage to Bulbasaur with its Bubble attack, and by consequence, Ash experienced its pain.
Giovanni loaned his Machamp to Jessie for her Gym battle against Ash. It battled against Ash's Squirtle, but lost, although not before dealing heavy damage to Squirtle with its Karate Chop attack, and by consequence, Ash experienced its pain.
The Viridian Gym was featured in File 3: Giovanni. Once Red arrived in Viridian City in order to challenge the Gym, he encountered Blue, who was revealed to have defeated the newly returned Gym Leader just the day before.
Once Red entered the Gym, he right away noticed the different atmosphere it had compared to the other Gyms he had previously visited. The reason for this was revealed soon enough, as Red then found out that the Gym Leader was none other than the Team Rocket Boss, Giovanni. Red refused to believe that a man who treated Pokémon as tools for business, like Giovanni, could be the strongest Gym Leader of all. Giovanni, however, ignored this, simply stating that he didn't need his acceptance to make it true. As he asked whether Red wanted to battle him or not, Red replied that he was challenging him, but not as a Gym Leader, but as the enemy of all Pokémon. Seeing Red's arrogant attitude, Giovanni put away his usual Gym Leader team and took out two Ultra Balls, containing his strongest Pokémon. The first one was Rhyhorn, which, surprisingly, was able to defeat four of Red's Pokémon, despite two of them (Victreebel and Kabutops) having a tremendous type advantage over it.
Eventually, Red's Hitmonlee was able to tie with the Spikes Pokémon, leaving both Trainers with one Pokémon remaining. Knowing that Red was going to use his Charizard, Giovanni revealed his other Pokémon being Rhydon, and said that Red made a mistake by saving Charizard as his last Pokémon. Red, however, told that he had intended it to be so right from the start, wanting to give the whole match a meaning by winning it with his Charizard. At first, Giovanni intended to crush Red's pride along with his Charizard, but when he sent out his starter Pokémon, Giovanni realized that the pose that he had taken and the way he threw his Poké Ball reminded him of his childhood, when he had also battled just for fun and excitement. After a climactic clash between Charizard and Rhydon, which ended with Charizard defeating the Drill Pokémon with Seismic Toss, Giovanni was ready to give the Earth Badge as a sign of his defeat, but Red refused to take a Badge from the Boss of Team Rocket. With his childhood passion for battling revitalized, Giovanni told his minions that Team Rocket was now disbanded, before turning back to Red and presenting the Earth Badge to him as the Viridian Gym Leader instead of as the Boss of Team Rocket.
Once Red left the Gym and headed for the Pokémon League, Giovanni decided that it was time for him to find a new path for himself and his Pokémon, indicating that, much like in the games, he was going to leave the Gym and train on his own.
The Viridian Gym battlefield in Pokémon Generations
The Viridian Gym made an appearance in The Chase. While searching for Giovanni, the International Police managed to track his location down to the Viridian Gym. A squadron of International Police SWAT officers led by Looker subsequently raided the Gym in order to catch Giovanni, but came to find out that the Gym was empty, although signs of a recent battle were visible on the battlefield.
During a follow-up investigation, the International Police was surprised to discover that Giovanni was the Viridian Gym Leader, and that he had vanished after losing to twoTrainers.
The Viridian Gym made a brief appearance in Make Way For Magmar!, where citizens of Viridian City were asking questions about the missing Gym Leader.
Red revisited the Gym from Drat That Dratini! to Long Live the Nidoqueen?! after hearing rumors about the missing "invincible" Gym Leader. At the Gym, he met Giovanni, learning that not only was he the Viridian City Gym Leader, but also the leader of Team Rocket. Giovanni then challenged Red to a battle, making a bet with him that should Red lose, he'd come to serve him as his right-hand man. During the battle, Giovanni's Nidoking's Earthquake caused the Gym to collapse into ruins. Eventually Red emerged victorious with his Pika defeating Giovanni's Nidoqueen and knocking the Gym Leader himself unconscious as well.
In Forretress of Solitude, Red participated in Pokémon Association's Gym Leader test for the new Viridian Gym Leader at the reconstructed Viridian Gym. Although he passed the test with flying colors, Red had to turn down the offer, as he had not yet completely recovered from the frostbites he had received after being frozen by Lorelei in the Yellow chapter. As such, Blue was appointed as the new Gym Leader instead, after he impressed the Pokémon Association by stopping and capturing a group of rampaging wild Pokémon.
In Secrets from Sneasel, Yellow went to the Viridian Gym, looking for Blue, but only found his hologram, set there in case for a challenger coming while he was not present. An automated system then brought out Blue's Pokémon, which, even without their Trainer giving them commands, easily defeated Yellow's Chuchu in a battle. Soon Silver arrived at the site as well, looking for his roots.
Pokémon used in the Gym
Used by Giovanni
Giovanni's Cloyster was called out to take care of two Magmar that were causing trouble after Red did not finish them off. He froze them solid before brutally shattering them to take out. Later, he was seen again during the Gym battle against Red and used the same freezing strategy on Poli to defeat him when Red lost his cool and attacked the Rocket Boss vigorously.
None of Cloyster's moves are known and his Ability is Shell Armor.
Nidoqueen first appeared in the Viridian Gym battle against Red. She was able to heavily damage Red's Snor by countering his attack and hurling him straight for the wall with little effort. However, at the climax of the battle, she was KO'd by Pika's Thunderbolt* and lost the battle.
Beedrill is one of Giovanni's main Pokémon. He caught him when he was a Weedle at Viridian Forest while he was a young Pokémon Trainer. Since then, Giovanni has used Beedrill as a reliable partner in many situations as a boss of Team Rocket. He notes that while he prefers to use Pokémon of his specialty type, his origins have given him a profound significance in his heart.
Beedrill debuted during Giovanni's battle with Red, where he ended up being knocked out by Aero's Hyper Beam. He later appeared when Giovanni came to help Yellow in the battle against Lance at the Cerise Island, where Giovanni used him to burst the giant bubble which Lance had been using to protect himself and his Pokémon.
Nidoking was one of the Pokémon used in the Viridian Gym battle but did not officially participate. Later, he was used to destroy the Gym with an Earthquake. Many years afterwards, Giovanni observed a site where Deoxys rampaged and left a gang of bikers in ruins. When one of them begged Giovanni to save his life, he promptly swatted him away, and then used Nidoking's Rock Tomb to incapacitate him and his Magmar.
Rhyhorn was one of the Pokémon used in the Gym battle against Red. He was very powerful as he was able to knock out Red's Aero in a single hit. During the Yellow arc, Giovanni used him to battle Lance in Cerise Island but got knocked out by Dragonair's Hyper Beam.
Pidgeot is one of Blue's original main team members. He was used to send letters to Professor Oak when they cut off communication after Blue's battle with Agatha. He was later replaced by Rhydon. He has a Hardy nature. As of The Last Battle XIV, Pidgeot is at level 76.
Alakazam's only known move is Role Play and his Ability is Inner Focus.
None of Exeggutor's moves are known, and his Ability is Chlorophyll.
None of Arcanine's moves are known and his Ability is Intimidate.
The Viridian Gym appeared in PZ09, where Satoshi entered the Gym and was surprised to find out that Giovanni was the Gym Leader. First Satoshi used his Lapras against Giovanni's Rhydon, but its Hydro Pump wasn't enough, so Satoshi switched out for his Charizard, who was able to beat Rhydon, ending the battle. Satoshi then gave Giovanni the object he had received from Mr. Fuji before coming to Viridian City, which turned out to be the horn of Giovanni's dead Nidoking. Afterwards, Giovanni gave Satoshi an Earth Badge as a sign of his victory.
Pokémon in Viridian 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.
In the anime, Agatha's temporary position as Leader of the Viridian Gym, replacing Giovanni, may be a reference to the games, in which Giovanni quit Team Rocket and his status as Gym Leader after being defeated by Red.
In Generation II, it is possible to challenge Blue before beating any other Kanto Gym Leader by talking to him on Cinnabar Island. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Blue can only be challenged when the player has seven Badges from Kanto.
In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the exterior coloring of each Gym is based on the colors most associated with the type that the Gym specializes in. Viridian Gym, however, is both green and blue, possibly referring to its Gym Leader's name.
Although the Gym guide in Generations I and III seems to be unaware of the Gym Leader's identity until the player defeats Giovanni, in Generation I, the statues near the Gym's entrance still list Giovanni as the Leader of the Gym. This oversight was removed in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, where the Gym Leader's name is only visible on the statues once Giovanni has been defeated.
The Viridian Gym is the only Gym with non-hidden items that can be picked up from the floor.