Pokémon Trainer (ポケモントレーナー, Pokémon Torēnā), is a selectable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He is modeled after Red, the male protagonist of the Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed and LeafGreen versions of Pokémon. Pokémon Trainer wears a VS. Seeker, an item in Pokémon used for detecting if people want to battle. Rather than fighting directly as the Trainer, the player instead controls his three Pokémon, Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard.
Pokémon Trainer is currently ranked 29th in the tier list. This is partly due to players being forced to master all three Pokémon playstyles. The stamina problem forces a PT player to make crucial decisions about whether to try and switch safely or to just keep piling on the damage and hope for a KO, with the problem being most apparent when fighting as Squirtle. The Pokémon also all suffer recovery issues, ranging from poor to relatively predictable (from bad to manageable: Ivysaur, Squirtle, Charizard). However, his ability to switch between different characters at will has given him decent matchups, allowing him to reach F tier. In the Japanese tier list, Charizard, Ivysaur, Squirtle, and Trainer each have their own spot, despite each Pokémon having to be swapped out due to the aforementioned stamina problem.
Pokémon Trainer's unique ability to be three characters at once allows for many different positive effects. For instance, the three separate characters can be used together in conjunction for a powerful effect, especially since altogether the Pokémon Trainer has nine special moves (Pokémon Change just swaps the Pokémon around). Since all the Pokémon have varying weights and sizes, certain Pokémon can be switched to during opportune moments. For example, if the Pokémon has high damage, Charizard can be switched to since it has a higher survival rate. Squirtle and Ivysaur both are excellent at racking up damage. The high damage opponent can then be KO'd by one of Charizard's high knockback moves.
All of the Trainer's Pokémon experience type effectiveness, but this is minor, due to it only altering knockback by ten percent. The invincibility granted by Pokémon Change can be used to avoid attacks on the ground, such as Final Smashes, or cure status ailments. However, Pokémon Change happens automatically after a Pokémon is KO'd. If the player wants to switch back to the Pokémon they were just using, they must endure four seconds worth (or more) of Pokémon Change to get back to that last Pokémon in use. Pokémon Change has another flaw, such as the fact that it makes the Pokémon being switched to somewhat vulnerable at the end. Also, it cannot be used in midair or while invincible. Certain Pokémon are bad for certain situations, either forcing the player to use the wrong Pokémon for certain bad situations, or go through multiple Pokémon Changes. Also, there is 2 minutes before the current Pokémon's stamina lessens, making its attacks less powerful.
The one thing that the entire team shares is a strong grab/throw game, though each one has different ways of implementing it. While Squirtle's grab has good range for a non-tether, its strength is more in grounding an opponent in their shield with an overwhelming attack rate before rushing in for a grab. From there, it has a KO option and excellent setup options with decent damage all around. Ivysaur does things differently by focusing more on tricking the opponent into a grab, as it has one of the best pivot grabs available, and will often have retreated to the edge in the process, and from there has the option to use its powerful Back Throw for a KO (or Up Throw, should the matchup recommend it). Charizard's long neck can outgrab most of the characters in the game, due to owning the second longest non-tether grab range in Brawl (second to King Dedede), giving it good match control options. It also has the option to grab-release, since the spacing will become perfect for a Down Tilt (and potentially a KO).
|Pokémon Trainer's Special Moves|
|Standard Special||(differs between Pokémon)|
|Side Special||(differs between Pokémon)|
|Up Special||(differs between Pokémon)|
|Down Special||Pokémon Change|
|Final Smash||Triple Finish|
In competitive play
- Up: Raises an arm up while holding a Pokéball and opens his mouth.
- Charizard: Stomps and roars to the sky, while flapping its wings.
- Ivysaur: Spins its bud, and shakes off some leaves.
- Squirtle: Backflips, spreads out its arms and opens its mouth saying "Squirtle, Squirtle".
- Side: Quickly jabs an arm to the side.
- Charizard: Stomps and makes a bizarre purring sound, and also flaps its wings once.
- Ivysaur: Stands on front legs and walks around while saying "Saur, Ivysaur".
- Squirtle: Spins on its tail and squirts out water and says "Squirtle."
- Down: Brings an elbow downwards in a victorious manner.
- Charizard: Stomps violently.
- Ivysaur: Spins around and extends its vines doing a dance, it throws around some leaves while saying "Ivy, Ivy".
- Squirtle: Goes into its shell and hops while spinning.
Role in The Subspace EmissaryAfter fleeing from Wario, Lucas bumps into the Pokémon Trainer, who advises him to stand back, and proceeds to take on a group of Primids with his Squirtle, which Lucas accompanies to defeat the Primids. After saving Lucas, he goes on his way, but Lucas follows him. As the story progresses, they develop a rather strong friendship. Pokémon Trainer is searching for two Pokémon, Charizard and Ivysaur, that are identified when he shows Lucas their cards. So, he and Lucas set out to find them. Until then, Squirtle is the only choice the player can use, and using Pokémon Change will not result in anything except the Pokémon Trainer in the background "flipping" a Pokéball in his hand twice. Outside of an old temple, they survive a brief encounter with Wario. After venturing deep into the ruins, finding Ivysaur, and battling and capturing Charizard, they then fight a giant monster named Galleom.
After Galleom's defeat, it will grab both Lucas and Pokémon Trainer (fainting the latter), and jump up into the air, revealing an armed Subspace Bomb in its head. Lucas then uses PK Thunder to detach the arm, and they free-fall towards the ground. Before hitting the ground and narrowly escaping the Subspace explosion, Meta Knight, flying, grabs them both before collision, and takes them to Marth and Ike. Later, Pokémon Trainer and Marth watch as Ice Climbers fall from the mountain. As the Shadow Bugs swarm over the cliffs, he joins Marth, Ike and Lucas in repelling the Primids. As he retreats, tossing a Poké Ball from hand to hand, Mario, Pit, Link, Kirby and Yoshi arrive at the Canyon's entrance.
Later, he joins the rest of the fighters in their assault on the Subspace Gunship, and is aboard one of the smaller ships when they navigate their way into Subspace. However, upon reaching Tabuu, the leader of the Subspace army, crushes all the fighters with his Off Waves. The Pokémon Trainer's defeat at this moment can be considered the only time he, himself, is KO'd in the entire game. He is later revived by King Dedede, Ness and Luigi, and can be chosen to fight Tabuu at the end.
- A person who raises Pokémon and trains them as partners in battle. In battle, a Trainer gives orders to the Pokémon and uses items. It's not an exaggeration to say battles can be won or lost on a Trainer's single strategic move. Trainers pour their hearts into their Pokémon and share anger, sadness, and joy as they adventure in hopes of becoming Pokémon Masters.
- Pokemon Fire Red/Leaf Green
About the Trainer
Contrary to some claims, this character is not Ash Ketchum from the Pokémon anime series, and, though Ash was loosely based on Red, they are distinct characters. Masahiro Sakurai has stated that only characters originating from video games are eligible for inclusion in Brawl's roster. However, he is nearly identical in appearance to Red, the main character of Pokémon (Red, Blue, Yellow, LeafGreen, FireRed). For the various voice clips that are used, a new English voice actor from the anime, Michele Knotz (who voices Nurse Joy, May, and other characters) was given the role. Sarah Natochenny, the voice actor of Ash, is not in this game, despite popular belief.
Various accommodations are made for Pokémon Trainer in several stages. In moving stages like Halberd and Delfino Plaza, Pokémon Trainer only appears on the stationary sections. On the Halberd, if the cannon is fired in his direction, he won't be affected. On the Bridge of Eldin, Pokémon Trainer always stays to the left, so that he never gets hit by the bomb that destroys the middle of the bridge. In Norfair, Pokémon Trainer stands on a special platform in the background that flies away when the huge lava wave is coming. He will move above the pit in the Yoshi's Island Stage when his Pokémon is on the opposite side of the pit (for example, if Pokémon Trainer is on the right and his Pokémon is on the left). Pokémon Trainer will appear on a similar background platform for any custom stage or Melee stage. If one of his Pokémon gets a certain item (Super Mushroom, Metal Box, etc.), the Pokémon Trainer would be unaffected by it.
Whichever Pokémon is currently battling will have its picture shown in the bottom of the screen, next to the damage percentage and the series logo. The picture then changes to the newly sent out Pokémon's portrait upon switching. If Pokémon Trainer is defeated, he will remain on the stage, covering his face with his hand. This is only if there are 2 or more people still brawling on the stage. Pokémon Trainer and the last Pokémon that was out at the match's end will appear together on the Results screen. When Pokémon Trainer wins the brawl, his Pokémon is named the winner, then Pokémon Trainer and his Pokémon do their victory pose together. When the current Pokémon is KO'd, the next in the Pokémon Change cycle will appear on the "halo" platform (Squirtle KO'd leads to Ivysaur, etc.).
All his Pokémon are scaled; Squirtle is 1'08" (50cm) tall, Ivysaur is 3'03" (1m) tall, and Charizard is 5'07" (1.7m) tall, but when brawling, Squirtle is a little smaller than Ivysaur and both almost the same size as their Trainer, while Charizard isn't as tall as he is in the Pokédex. The three Pokémon all share the same damage meter, but they have their own individual Stamina stat, which balance out the use of each Pokémon. Knocking out one of the Pokémon will make Pokémon Trainer lose a life. It is possible to choose which Pokémon the player begins the match with. By clicking on the Pokémon of the player's choice on the portrait (not the icon), the player will start with that Pokémon. Selecting Pokémon Trainer himself makes the starting Pokémon randomly chosen.
- On the Tourney mode and Adventure Mode character-selection screens, the player can toggle between character-related options using the "-" button on the Wii Remote, the right Control Stick on the Classic Controller, or "C" on the GameCube Controller and Nunchuk. This feature allows the player to choose the starting Pokémon for Pokémon Trainer.
- After clearing Classic Mode, and gaining the player character's trophy, in the screen that follows before the roll-call (showing all one's previously collected character trophies), the player may notice that the Pokémon Trainer is the only misplaced character in the line-up, always appearing at the end, after Sonic. This is probably because the Pokémon Trainer isn't exactly a fighter, and the individual Pokémon's Trophies are not shown.
- When Pokémon Trainer withdraws the Pokémon currently on stage, he will say a catchphrase. What Pokémon Trainer says as depends on how many KOs they have achieved. At 0-2 KOs, he will say "Get back!" At 3-5 KOs, he will say "Good job!" At 6 or more KOs, he will say "Amazing job!"
- Something similar happens when Pokémon Trainer releases the next Pokémon, dependent on how much damage the opponent has taken. From 0%-99%, he will say "Go, _______!". From 100%-149%, he will say "Hang on, _______!". From 150% and above, he will say "Just a little more, _______!" Both facts reference what trainers say when sending out Pokémon in the Pokémon series' games.
- If all lives are depleted, Pokémon Trainer will remain on the field, holding his head and hat down in defeat. This is similar to some of the defeated poses in the 3D Stadium games after GameCube's Pokémon Colosseum.
- Pokémon Trainer is one of the four people to not clap at the results screen when he loses, the other 3 being Jigglypuff, Diddy and the Ice Climbers.
- However, the last Pokémon he used will clap.
- In Classic Mode, one needs to finish with each Pokémon, Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard, separately to obtain each of their individual trophies.
- The Trainer will point his hand/fist up, right, or down to reflect the chosen taunt.
- During the Subspace Emissary, Pokémon Trainer will often Space Jump around the level to catch up with his Pokémon. This is seen as an orange-yellow streak across the screen.
- While Red appeared in the original Red/Green/Blue/Yellow versions, Pokémon Trainer is only based on his remake design, used in FireRed and LeafGreen.
- In the Subspace Emissary, the Trainer is shown fainting when Galleom grabs him and Lucas. When Meta Knight saves them and lands safely, he regains consciousness and thanks Lucas by shaking hands with him. This is the only time a playable character is shown fainted, though not KO'd.
- The Pokémon Trainer and Lucario are the only characters in Brawl that have a different dubber in every language.
- While in the Pokémon games Red appears as a silent character (only answering yes or no questions), the Pokemon Trainer in Brawl is able to speak perfectly. However, the things he says appear as text boxes in the games, so he may not be mute.
- Although some people believe otherwise, Pokemon Trainer is, in fact, not Ash Ketchum, the protagonist of the Pokémon anime series.
- Pokemon Trainer may be the youngest character in Brawl, due to the fact that Pokemon trainers usually start their adventures at age 10, possibly making him younger than Toon Link, who is 12 years old.
- Pokémon Trainer's page at Smash Bros. DOJO!!
- Pokémon Trainer in the Subspace Emissary
- Pokémon Trainer Character Guide at SWF