From Gamehiker Wiki
|Team Rocket grunts|
| Archer, Ariana, Petrel, Proton|
Jessie, James, Meowth (Yellow only)
|Debut||Pokémon: Red, Green and Blue Versions|
Team Rocket is the criminal organization that is featured as the primary antagonists of the first two generations of Pokémon games, as well as appearing in several spin-off games due to their popularity, which has been boosted by their role in the anime series.
First Generation Era
Team Rocket was at large during the era of the first generation games, where they were spread throughout Kanto under the control of Giovanni. They were said to traffic Pokémon for criminal use and to discard Pokémon that they did not think were popular or useful, as well as being implied to have been involved in deaths of Pokémon. The mass minions of Team Rocket all wore uniforms and were known only as grunts. They mostly used common and/or poison Pokémon such as Rattata, Raticate, Koffing, Weezing, Zubat and Golbat. There were also higher up characters in suits known as Executives who were introduced in the second generaton and remakes. Team Rocket had a hidden base under the Rocket Game Corner in Celadon City and had criminal operations in nearly every area of the game. Team Rocket members were first seen at Mt. Moon, where they were searching for Pokémon fossils to sell. Red defeated all of the grunts there, followed by the Super Nerd whom had found two fossils, although he did not seem to be affiliated with Team Rocket and split his fossils with Red after being defeated. A long Rocket Grunt robbed a house in Celadon City for TM 28: Dig, but Red found the grunt in the house's backyard and defeated him, at which point he returned the TM and ran off. Another Rocket Grunt appeared at the end of the Nugget Bridge, where he rewarded Red with a golden nugget for defeating the bridge's other trainers and offered him a place in Team Rocket, then battling him after he refused.
Red later discovered the Rocket Game Corner and fought his way through it. At the end, he battled Giovanni, who retreated after being defeated and left behind a Silph Scope. At the same time, Team Rocket members had caused trouble in the Lavender Town. Here it was implied that Rockets were responsible for the deaths of multiple Pokémon whose ghosts resided in the tower, and at the top of the tower the player must battle the uncatchable ghost of a Marowak mother that had died trying to flee Team Rocket. They held Mr. Fuji hostage on the top floor of the tower after he complained about the harm they had caused the Pokémon, but Red was able to defeat them as well. In the meantime, Team Rocket had occupied Saffron City, where Giovanni was trying to convince Silph Co.'s president to give him the Master Ball. Red defeated Giovanni again, and this was the last active Team Rocket battle of the original games. After Giovanni was defeated again at the Viridian Gym, he officially disbanded Team Rocket, apparently deciding to dedicate his life to the study of Pokémon and bettering himself.
In the Yellow Version, the Team Rocket characters from the anime, Jessie and James, appeared throughout the game as minibosses in several areas in the place of normal grunts. They were battled at Mt. Moon, the Rocket Game Corner, Lavender's Pokémon Tower and Silph Co. They used Koffing, Ekans and Meowth as their Pokémon, with the former two evolving into Weezing and Arbok before the Pokémon Tower battle.
In FireRed/LeafGreen, it was shown that lingering members of Team Rocket remained active on the Sevii Islands, operating out of the Rocket Warehouse on Chrono Isle, which was part of the Five Isle Meadow. Rocket Grunts were dispatched to several islands seeking the Ruby and Sapphire items. A pair of grunts looking for the Ruby appeared at Mt. Ember, where Red defeated them and learned one of the two passwords to the warehouse. Several Rocket Grunts also caused mischief in the Icefall Cave, but Lorelei of the Elite Four drove them away while letting Red take one down. A Team Rocket Scientist, Gideon, later was successful in stealing the Sapphire from the Dotted Hole on Fortune Island, and then returned to the warehouse while telling Red one of the passwords to the warehouse.
In the warehouse, Red battled the remaining Team Rocket grunts as well as the two Rocket Executives (who seemed to be Ariana and Archer, but dressed in grunt uniforms) and Gideon. The male executive did not believe Red's claim that Team Rocket had been disbanded, but after being defeated he noticed the Earthbadge that he had won from Giovanni and realized the truth, at which point the Rockets left the warehouse, with the admin stating his intentions to find Giovanni and resurrect Team Rocket. Gideon stayed behind, where Red battled him to get the Sapphire. This was the end of Team Rocket for a while, but data on a nearby computer foreshadowed Team Rocket's return by showing that they were researching radio signals that could evolve Pokémon.
Second Generation Era
Over the next three years, Team Rocket reformed under the control of a group of Rocket Executives who practically worshiped Giovanni. These Executives were unnamed in Gold/Silver/Crystal, but HeartGold/SoulSilver made them into the characters Archer, Ariana, Pluton and Petrel. They operated primarily in Johto, with a hidden base in Mahogany Town beneath a souvenir shop, where they experimented with radio waves as part of their plan to recall Giovanni from his disappearance to resume control of Team Rocket.
A group of Rocket Grunts led by Pluton (a grunt in the original games) occupied the Slowpoke Well at Azalea Town, where they stole the town's Slowpoke and cut off their tails to sell. Some grunts felt guilty, but they also attempted to rationalize their actions due to Slowpoke regenerating their tails, and the grunts being terrified of Pluton. Gold/Lyra was able to stop them, at which point they retreated. Gold later made his way up to Mahogany Town, where Team Rocket was using radio waves to force the Magikarp of the nearby Lake of Rage to prematurely evolve into Gyarados, resulting in Red Gyarados appearing. Gold teamed up with Lance to infiltrate the underground hideout, where Persian statues acted as security cameras and summoned Rocket Grunts to battle Gold until he shut them down. Gold used passwords from defeated grunts to access Petrel's room, where Petrel attempted to pass himself off as Giovanni, although his disguise was seen through.
After being defeated, Petrel revealed the password to the control room, but then fled as it was useless because it was voice activated. However, a Murkrow in the room repeated the password and wound up opening the door for Gold. When Gold and Lance approached the control room, they were attacked by Ariana and a Rocket Grunt (or another Executive in Gold/Silver/Crystal) who engaged them in a double battle. Ariana then retreated, claiming that their experiment with the radio waves was still a success and that they were ready for the next phase of their plan. To shut down the radio waves, Gold and Lance then had to defeat the group of Electrode that was providing the power.
Team Rocket then took control of the Radio Tower in Goldenrod City, with Petrel impersonating the Director, who was imprisoned in the underground warehouse. They hijacked the airwaves and sent out a radio transmission calling out to Giovanni, and it was suggested that they would eventually also use the radio waves to take control of all the region's Pokémon. Giovanni never came, and instead Gold began fighting his way through the Rockets, succeeding in defeating Petrel, Pluton and Ariana again. At the top of the Radio Tower, he then battled Archer, who seemed to be either the overall leader of the Executives or possibly on equal footing with Ariana. After Archer was defeated, he finally admitted the futility of his dream and disbanded Team Rocket for good, before disappearing.
There was only one other act of Team Rocket activity later in the gamer which occurred in Kanto, where a Rocket Grunt from another country (later revealed to be Unova) who spoke in broken English stole a Machine Part from the Power Plant and hid it in the Cerulean Gym, as part of a plan to create an energy crisis for Team Rocket to take advantage of when they returned from Johto. Gold noticed him leave the gym, and he fled to Route 24. After he was defeated at the Nugget Bridge, he revealed where he hid the Machine Part and learned about Team Rocket's disbandment, then wondering what he should do from now on. In HeartGold/SoulSilver, he contemplated restarting Team Rocket in his home country. Additionally, an event in HeartGold/SoulSilver allows the player to travel through time and learn Giovanni's whereabouts during the Rocket radio broadcasts. He was indeed planning on answering the call and reclaiming control of Team Rocket, but the time-traveling Gold found him and defeated him, at which point he gave up again.
Fifth Generation Era
The last Team Rocket grunt from the second generation game reappears at Unova, now bald and with a family but still speaking in broken English. In Pokémon: Black and White Versions, he appeared at Icirrus City in a house that can only be reached during the wintertime. It turns out that even though he had pledged to start a Unova version of Team Rocket, he wound up marrying and having a child instead. This kept him too busy to carry out his pledge, but he felt happy with his life as it was. His wife also gave out RageCandyBars that used to belong to her husband's coworkers.
In Pokémon Stadium 2, the player must battle Team Rocket on the Gym Leader Castle between Jasmine and Pryce's challenges. This consists of four battles, with two grunts and two executives, one of each gender. The Team Rocket members from the anime also appear in Pokémon Puzzle League, with Jessie and James as well as Giovanni appearing as bosses in 1P Stadium mode. Jessie, James and Meowth (this time part of the team rather than their Pokémon) use Weezing, Arbok and Golbat in this appearance. In Spa Service, Butch and Cassidy appear as opponents in addition to the other Team Rocket members.
- In the anime, Team Rocket appears as recurring protagonists, particularly the trio of Jessie, James and Meowth, who appear in every episode following their first appearance in the second episode. The three are played as bumbling comic relief villains who sometimes even wind up aiding the heroes, either intentionally or not. The rest of Team Rocket outside of them is rarely shown, especially Giovanni, although other agent pairs (such as Butch and Cassidy, or Atilla the Hun) occasionally appear. Unlike in other continuities, Ash (Red's counterpart) never confronts Giovanni directly and Team Rocket is never disbanded, which allows Jessie and James to continue appearing in the Hoenn and Sinnoh-based episodes. This formula was finally changed in the Black and White series, where Jessie and James received promotions and new black suits (bringing their wardrobes closer to the games') as a result of their efforts against Team Galactic in the previous series. Giovanni also contacts them directly with specific missions to accomplish in Unova. In the process Jessie, James and Meowth went from series regulars to only frequently appearing, and they are shown as more competent criminals than in earlier seasons.
- Team Rocket also appears throughout the Pokémon Adventures manga, where they were portrayed in a darker fashion and shown to sometimes cause the death of Pokémon. In the Red/Green/Blue arc, other gym leaders such as Sabrina, Koga and Lieutenant Surge (as well as Blaine, before he reforms towards the end of the arc) appear as Giovanni's lieutenants. They perform a variety of inhumane experiments such as injecting Ryhorn with something to force its evolution, creating Mewtwo and implanting an Eevee with a chip that forces it to alternate between its three possible evolutions randomly. Their ultimate plan was to capture the three legendary birds and the eight gym badges, using the badges to power a machine that forced the three birds to fuse together. However, Red, Green and Blue were able to foil their plans by undoing the fusion and Red then defeated Giovanni in a battle resulting in Team Rocket's temporary disbandment. In the Yellow arc Giovanni and the former commanders helped Red and company in the final battles with the Elite Four. In the Gold/Silver/Crystal arc, the details of Team Rocket forming again were changed, with the Mask of Ice bringing them together through brainwashing as part of his plan to capture Ho-Oh and Lugia followed by Celebi, rather than their game plan of calling for Giovanni. The Rocket Executives from the games also appeared as two of the Mask of Ice's people whom he had raised since childhood and are given the names Kean and Charmaine. After Pryce disappears in time and their brainwashing is undone, they disband again. Giovanni brings Team Rocket back together again in the FireRed/LeafGreen arc, with the three new commanders Carr, Sird and Urm, in order to create Deoxys as well as seeking Giovanni's son Silver.
- They are the beginning of a trend within the Pokémon series, as following the first two generations (which both featured Team Rocket as antagonists), every generation has featured a different antagonistic organization, and each group's title has started with "Team".
- In HeartGold/SoulSilver, the player character can take a picture wearing a Team Rocket costume in Goldenrod's Underground Tunnel, and later in the game the player must briefly disguise themselves as a Rocket Grunt in order to enter the Radio Tower, although Silver notices and removes the disguise almost immediately.
- In HeartGold/SoulSilver, the Rocket Executives follow a naming scheme of being named after real-life rockets and missiles.
- Team Rocket and Team Galactic are both mentioned by a Plasma Grunt in Pokémon: Black and White Versions, who blames the past failures of both teams on how high-profile they were, and he claimed that Team Plasma would be different due to their more subtle nature.