Pokémon Trainer

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This article is about the group that catches and trains Pokémon. For the fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series, see Pokémon Trainer (character).

Pokémon Trainers (ポケモントレーナー Pokemon Torēnā?) are people who catch Wild Pokémon and train them for battles against other Pokémon. Anyone that owns at least one Pokémon becomes a Pokémon Trainer. In this sense, people in related Pokémon occupations, such as Pokémon coordinators or Pokémon breeders, can also be considered to be Pokémon Trainers.

Some Trainers carry a Pokédex with them, which serves as identification as well as a tool for keeping track of the Pokémon the Trainer has seen or caught. The process of completing such a list is known as "filling" the Pokédex. Any Trainer who has filled the Pokédex (with minor exceptions) is a Pokémon Master. In the animated series, the Pokédex is already loaded with much of the information that the Trainer needs in order to identify Pokémon, but in the video games, the data of the Pokédex starts empty and must be gradually filled as more Pokémon are seen or caught. Seeing a Pokémon will give the picture of its image, and the area in the region it lives in. Catching one will give a small biography, and reveal its weight and height in comparison with the trainer.

The trainer can travel across a certain region, and challenge each of the eight Gym Leaders (each specializing in a specific type of Pokémon); and upon defeating each one, will obtain a Gym Badge respective to the specific Gym.

When a Pokémon Trainer obtains all 8 badges from a specific region, he or she can participate in that region's Pokémon League. In the video games, the trainer must consecutively defeat all four members of the Elite Four, and then the Champion (without the ability to leave). In the animated series, the trainer must enter a tournament style competition, and defeat other trainers who have obtained eight badges; upon completing this, the trainer will then have the opportunity to face the Elite Four and then the Champion. In both the game and the animated series, the trainer will become the League Champion after defeating the current champion.

An individual usually receives their Pokémon Trainer's license when they become or are older than 10 years old. Authorities chosen by the regional Pokémon League, usually a Pokémon expert such as Professor Oak, will allow a Trainer to choose their first Pokémon from three, which vary from region to region. Inside the anime television series, those people who already have possession of a Pokémon, either as a pet or inherited through family, may eschew this process and start their journey with that Pokémon.

In the video games, a second Trainer, generally referred to as the "rival", will choose the Pokémon with the type advantage over the player's starter. However, in Pokémon Black and White Versions, there is a second rival, with both rivals taking one starter. However, one of your rivals takes the Pokémon that yours has the advantage over.

The protagonist in the main Pokémon series of games is the player character, who is meant to represent the player in the world of Pokémon. At the start of each game, the player can decide on their name, but each has an array of default names. As the anime and the manga are, to differing degrees, based on the games, other Pokémon protagonists, as well as supporting characters, are often named after and share many characteristics with the game protagonists.

Game appearances[edit]

In the games, Pokémon Trainers behave differently than they do in the anime. Pokémon Trainers possess different types of Pokémon depending on their career and origin. They are themed differently, and have Pokémon that match their character, name and type of person. For example, in Pokémon Colosseum, there exists a trainer named Botan who uses grass type Pokémon. His name provides a hint as to what the player might expect, as Botan is probably drawn from Botany. It also means Peony in Japanese.

Pokémon Trainers are all types of people, with given names. For example, a player may encounter a Trainer called Hiker Kent or a Trainer called Beauty Violet. Trainers like this are never assigned a particular strategy, just a group of Pokémon for its type. As the player travels through the game, Trainers will approach them and demand a battle, rather than simply asking. Pokémon Trainers will often be found on routes and in caves, and especially gyms, and give more experience to the player than wild Pokémon, as well as give money on their defeat.

Trainers are known to have a particular quality about them; for example, a "Rich Boy" will often give the player lots of money for being victorious. Their names can also be a clue as to how difficult it will be to defeat them (compare "Youngster" and "Expert"). Also, some trainers such as an "Ace Trainer" or a "Veteran" will possess a variety of Pokémon, and are more difficult to defeat than ordinary trainers. They appear more often the further a player has progressed into the game.

Pokémon Battles[edit]

Pokémon Battles serve as a useful way of exercise for the Pokémon as well as the main source of income for a Pokémon Trainer. By weakening a wild Pokémon and capturing it in a Poké Ball, it is also the primary method for Trainers to acquire new Pokémon. A Pokémon Battle is essentially a match where two teams of Pokémon battle each other until all the members of one team are knocked out. In a normal Pokémon Battle, only one member of a team may be battling at the time, although there do exist "double battles," where two pairs of Pokémon may be fighting at the same time,and "triple battles",introduced in Gen V. Pokémon Trainers, as a rule, cannot have more than six Pokémon on their active roster at once, although they can have more than six Pokémon accompany them (as long as the trainer only asserts ownership of up to six of them). You can put the Pokémon that are not in your party in a "box", a Pokémon storage system in the Pokémon Center and switch in and out Pokémon as many times as you want.

In the video games, the winning Trainer is also entitled a cash prize from the losing Trainer, which can be used to buy items at a local Poké Mart.

In the end, the losing Trainer is likely to have his or her Pokémon either knocked out or in serious condition. In this case Trainers must proceed quickly to a local Pokémon Center, which heals Pokémon for no charge (in the video games, this is done automatically). In the animated series, a Pokémon Center also serves as an inn for Pokémon Trainers.

Types of Pokémon Trainers[edit]

Although many Pokémon trainers have no further distinctions, some are also further classified:

  • A Gym Leader is a Trainer who runs a training facility for a specific type of Pokémon (or, in rare cases, a mixed team of Pokémon). Some gyms are authorized by a regional Pokémon League, and these Gym Leaders offer a Gym Badge upon their defeat in a special Pokémon Gym Battle. In the Pokémon animated series, this is often a Pokémon Battle in which Gym Leaders are not permitted to switch Pokémon, but the nature of a Pokémon Gym Battle is entirely up to the Gym Leader to decide. In the video games, Gym Leaders will also give a Technical Machine to any Trainer able to defeat them in a Gym Battle. In the animated series, many Gym Leaders have a signature Pokémon that Ash (the main character) must battle over or around.
  • An Elite Four Trainer is one of the four top trainers of the region that a Pokémon trainer must beat in succession before facing the regional Pokémon League Champion.
  • A Pokémon League Champion is the top trainer of the region they hold their title in. They have defeated the Elite Four and hold their title as Champion until a stronger Pokémon Trainer defeats them in battle (with the exception of Pokémon Black). The Pokémon Trainer who defeats the Champion becomes the new Pokémon League Champion and their team of Pokémon used at the time of their victory are recorded in archived files to look back on. In the Video Games, once the Pokémon League Champion is defeated, you may go on with your adventure or even challenge that Champion however many times you wish. In addition, you are permitted to travel to an Island restricted (with exceptions) to only Pokémon Trainers who have defeated the Elite Four and the Pokémon League's Champion called the Battle Frontier. Elite Four Trainers and Previous Pokémon League Champions may also travel to Battle Frontier freely whenever they please.
  • A "Pokémon Master" has been said to be a Trainer that has, with few exceptions, filled their Pokédex. In the Pokémon animated series, many Pokémon Trainers set out to achieve the dream of becoming a Pokémon Master, but most give up trying either because of the lure of another career or an insurmountable obstacle. Alternatively, some Trainers will instead choose to specialize in a particular type of Pokémon and choose to obtain a mastery over that particular type. In the anime, Misty is one such Trainer, choosing to try to become a Water Pokémon Master. In the video games, this is an impossible task with one game alone—the trading of Pokémon between players with different versions of the game is necessary to become a Pokémon Master, unless a cheat code device such as an Action Replay or GameShark is used. In the anime, where the Pokédex already contains the data of all Pokémon, a Pokémon Master is defined (in the episode Memories Are Made of Bliss) as someone who is the Pokémon Champion, or "Champion Master" as the position is sometimes called in the anime.
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