Jagged Pass

Pokémon crime syndicates

Each anime saga and set of video games in the Pokémon franchise has featured a crime syndicate seeking to take over the world. Unlike real-world crime syndicates, these organizations usually forgo the use of firearms or other weapons in favor of battling with their Pokémon, due to the franchise's focus on battling Pokémon to solve conflicts.

Team Rocket

was the first syndicate to be revealed in the Pokémon metaseries. In each of its various incarnations, Team Rocket desires to steal Pokémon to further its goal of world domination. They are led by the criminal mastermind, Giovanni. After debuting in the original games, Red and Blue, the syndicate then appeared in the animated series and the Pokémon Trading Card Game. They also appear in the Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, FireRed, and LeafGreen versions.

In the video games

In the video game series, the player attempts to foil Team Rocket's criminal activities. The games focus on particular attempts by the organization to monopolize gambling, perform mob take-overs of cities and generally terrorize the inhabitants of Kanto and Johto.

In Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed and LeafGreen, the player must foil several schemes by Team Rocket, including those in Celadon City, Saffron City, and, in FireRed and LeafGreen, the Sevii Islands, specifically the fifth island. Giovanni is the final Pokémon Gym Leader of the Viridian City Gym, and the team is disbanded after his gym battle defeat. However, in FireRed and LeafGreen, a handful of Team Rocket operatives continue to operate in the Sevii Islands until they are defeated.

In Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal, Team Rocket returns to Johto, at

Team Rocket Grunts most often use fierce-looking Pokémon. Their chosen Pokémon tend to be of the Poison type. Their leader, Giovanni, uses mainly Ground-type Pokémon.

The fate of Team Rocket

Team Rocket as an organization has not yet been abolished in the anime, but it met its demise in the video games. In Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen, the player temporarily disbands the organization by defeating Giovanni in his Viridian Gym. Three years later, in Gold, Silver, and Crystal, Team Rocket continues to survive through its Executives, who control the organization but seek to bring back Giovanni, who is supposedly in solo training. When the Executives are defeated by the player, however, it permanently disbands them.

In other games and regions, the crime syndicates are not related to Team Rocket.

The Main characters of Team Rocket

Jessie (ムサシ, Musashi?), James (コジロウ, Kojirō?), and Meowth (ニャース, Nyasu?) are the main characters of Team Rocket. While they set out to steal Ash Ketchum's Pikachu and various other Pokémon in almost every episode, they usually fail in the end. They use various disguises, traps, and schemes to trick Ash's group into a false sense of security, and after being revealed, they give a poetic speech, known as their motto, that often changes slightly throughout each season. After failing, they are often sent "blasting off" by an explosion or a Pokémon's attack. They are constantly out to appease their boss, Giovanni, though he finds the group to be incompetent.

Jessie is a loudmouth who often abuses the other two. She grew up in a poor foster family, while her mother focused on missions from Team Rocket. She is voiced by Megumi Hayashibara in the Japanese version, Rachel Lillis during the first eight seasons of the English anime and Michele Knotz from the ninth season onwards. James is portrayed as whiny and submissive. He grew up in a rich household that he ran away from after his parents set up an arranged marriage. James is voiced by Shin-ichiro Miki in the Japanese version, Ted Lewis for the first thirteen episodes of the English anime, Eric Stuart until the end of the eighth season, and Jimmy Zoppi from the ninth season onwards. Meowth is a unique Pokémon with the ability to speak, which came about while trying to impress a female Meowth. Meowth is voiced by Inuko Inuyama in the Japanese version, Nathan Price for the first thirty episodes of the English anime, Maddie Blaustein until the end of the eighth season, and Jimmy Zoppi from the ninth season onward. (source from the article List of characters in the Pokémon anime series wikipedia)

In the anime

The most frequently appearing members of the organization in the anime, which is based loosely on the video games, are Jessie and James, alongside a talking Meowth. They are the main antagonists of the anime series, known for their incompetence in their evil doings, and their catchphrase, "Looks like Team Rocket's blasting off again!". This is said after being sent flying off by a Pokémon, usually Pikachu, or a Pokémon they have tried capturing. The group acts as the comic relief of the series. Other frequently-seen members of Team Rocket include Butch, Cassidy and Giovanni, Team Rocket’s Leader.

In the manga

In the Pokémon manga series, Pokémon Adventures, Red encounters and battles Team Rocket in many locations, including Mt. Moon, the Vermillion port, where they were kidnapping Pokémon for transport by sea, Lavender Tower and during their siege of Saffron City.

In the manga, Blaine is a former Team Rocket Scientist who had combined the DNA of Mew with his own DNA, creating Mewtwo. However, he gained the DNA of Mewtwo as well, giving him the ability to track Mewtwo. The manga also shows Koga, Lt. Surge, and Sabrina as high-ranking operatives of Team Rocket. A major difference between the manga and other versions of Team Rocket is that several Gym Leaders are antagonists in the manga. It is also noted that at the end of the Kanto Saga after disbanding from Team Rocket, that Jessie and James reveal to Red in a letter that they are married and having a child.

In this continuity, Team Rocket is apparently an acronym for “Raid On the City, Knock-out, Evil Tusks.”

Neo Team Rocket

After being defeated by the protagonists in the R/B/Y arc, Team Rocket was reformed as Neo Team Rocket. The leader of Neo Team Rocket is the Mask of Ice, a stranger being able to shoot ice at his enemies in various ways, including Icicle Spears and the ability to freeze anything he touches instantly.

The Mask of Ice kidnapped Blue, Silver, Shum, Cart, Will and Karen as children, and raised them as his servants. Blue and Silver escaped soon after, but the rest of them remained in his clutches. After Giovanni disbanded Team Rocket, the Mask of Ice recruited the Rocket Grunts that were left behind, forcing those who are not interested by controlling them with masks. However, former Team Rocket Executives Lt. Surge, Sabrina, and Koga were not recruited by Mask of Ice.

The Mask of Ice’s true identity is that of Pryce, the Gym Leader of Mahogany Town. In the final chapters of G/S/C, he is somewhat defeated by Gold and his Pichu and sent into the voids of time.

In the card game

Team Rocket received two expansion sets of cards in the Pokémon Trading Card Game: “Team Rocket” and “EX: Team Rocket Returns.” These expansions feature Dark Pokémon, which are Pokémon that have been turned evil by Team Rocket. Dark Pokémon are actually dual types, combining their regular type and Dark-type in the second Team Rocket expansion. There are also “Rocket’s” Pokémon, most of which are EXs, apart from Wobbuffet and Meowth. All of them are Dark-type, though most require their normal elemental energies.

Hoenn crime syndicates

Team Aqua and Team Magma are rival organizations in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. They both originate from the Hoenn region. Both attempt to take over the world.

Team Aqua

is a group of thieves/peacemakers in the Hoenn Region. They specialize in Water and Dark type Pokémon.

Team Aqua is based in a giant nuclear submarine out at sea, with a helicopter for land-to-sea travel. The team members all wear striped black and white shirts with jeans. Their do-rags bear a white skull-and-crossbone in the shape of the letter "A". Like Team Magma, Team Aqua is run by a ruthless Commander. Shelly (Izumi in the Japanese version) is referred to as Team Aqua Leader, though the actual leader is Archie (Aogiri in the Japanese version).

Team Aqua are likened to a band of pirates and are experts in the field of Oceanography as well as water Pokémon. They only exist in the Hoenn region and do not recognize Team Rocket, unlike Team Magma. Team Aqua are the bitter antagonists of Team Magma and are currently in a brief war with each other. Team Aqua's main goal is to [partially] flood the world as a giant ocean for their water Pokémon, believing that by doing this they will be making the world a better place. To that end, they will awaken Kyogre from its slumber.

Team Aqua is slightly less vicious than Team Magma (and vice versa in the manga), and has more females in its group, but they have a male leader. Although they seem bad they turn out to only want to stop Team Magma. Their main thoughts about Ash Ketchum are not made clear, though Archie and Maxie (who seemed to have a relationship of sorts with him once) do see him as a pest. Team Aqua is well-known in the Hoenn region, and they often blackmail local fishermen into telling lies.


Archie is the boss of Team Aqua.

In the anime, he is a ruthless villain who was once a friend of Maxie. However, as he became more advanced in Pokémon, he became more greedy, and organized Team Aqua and battled Team Magma for world control. In episode 374 ("The Scuffle of Legends"), Archie absorbed the Red Orb into his body, gaining the power to control Kyogre, but the orb was expelled from his body because it could not take the power strain of the orb. Lance ordered his Dragonite to catch him. Archie was laid down by Shelly. Shelly desperately tries to wake him up. When Archie finally wakes up, he has no memory of the event. In the games, he is a misguided individual who believes he is doing the right thing.

Anime of team Aqua

Team Aqua appears in Pokémon Advanced Battle, where they try to take over the world. Shelly, disguised as a Magma, let Kyogre into the sea, which was then used to destroy the island the crew were on. Archie used the Red Orb to control Kyogre, and commanded it to destroy the island, but once again, the crew managed to save the world when Ash's Pikachu bonded with the blue orb, causing Groudon to attack Kyogre.

Team Magma

is another group of thieves/peacemakers in the Hoenn Region. They are a group of experts in the fields of geology and plate tectonics. Like Team Rocket, some rebels are Pokémon thieves, but Team Magma specializes in the field of Fire and Ground type Pokémon.

The group all wear dark-red uniforms with a black stylized "M" made of either mountains or volcanoes on their shirts. The head of Team Magma is Maxie (Matsuba in the Japanese version), but his second in command is The Commander, named Tabitha (Homura in the Japanese version). Another notable member of Team Magma is Brody (Ban'nai in the Japanese version), who owns a Ditto and is able to imitate the voice and appearance of anyone he wishes, earning him the name of 'The Man of a Thousand Faces.' Team Magma often use equipment that is normally used for experiments with high temperatures. No vehicles are shown in the anime except for the Commander's helicopter.

Team Magma are bitter rivals of Team Aqua. Though Team Magma does not exist outside the Hoenn region, they do know the work of Team Rocket, who have no Hoenn branch. Team Magma's main purpose is to expand the land mass, believing that by creating more room for life on land that they will be making the world a better place. To that end, they'll awaken Groudon from its slumber.

Team Magma frequently make appearances in Pokémon Advanced, and are seen merely as "big brothers" rather than a proper archrival. They eventually disappear after a battle between Groudon and Kyogre. It has been verified that neither Team Aqua nor Team Magma will be appearing in any future Pokémon episodes. However, Brody appears again in the episode The Ribbon Cup Caper after the disbandment of Team Magma. Butler and Diane also have a brief cameo in the credits of the Pokemon movie "Jirachi Wish Maker".


Maxie is the leader of Team Magma. In the anime and games, Maxie wants to wipe out the sea for more land by using (in Ruby and Emerald) a volcano and Groudon. He is more misguided than truly evil, as he believes that his actions will benefit others.

Maxie met Ash in the episode "Gaining Groudon," and told him of his dreams. He also told Ash about the Blue Orb, which could control Groudon, and with it in his hands, he could make life better for him. Suddenly, Pikachu got possessed by the Blue Orb. It controlled Groudon, and a cataclysmic battle began, resulting in Groudon's victory.

After the battle, Maxie thanks Ash, realizing that the land of Hoenn was perfect the way it is. He led Team Magma away and has not been seen since...

In the games

In Ruby, Team Aqua befriends the protagonist and attempts to stop Team Magma from taking over the world. Magma has several plots, all of which involve expanding the land mass so that more Pokémon can live on the land. The leader, Maxie, takes the Blue Orb from Mt. Pyre in the belief that he can control the legendary Pokémon Groudon with it. Team Magma steals a submarine and enters the Seafloor Cavern, where Maxie successfully awakens Groudon. However, Groudon disobeys and flees. When Maxie surfaces, he is stunned to discover that Hoenn is baking under a withering sun. The player enters the Cave of Origin and either catches or subdues Groudon, reverting Hoenn back to normal.

In Sapphire, the sitaution is reversed. Team Magma befriends the protagonist and attempts to stop Team Aqua from expanding the sea so that more Pokémon can live in the sea. Team Aqua steals the Red Orb from Mt. Pyre to awaken the legendary Pokémon Kyogre. Like Groudon, Kyogre flees after being freed, and brings eternal rainstorms. The player enters the Cave of Origin to revert Hoenn back to normal.

In Emerald, both teams are now the enemy. In Ruby and Sapphire, both teams had their secret hideout over the water, but in Emerald, Team Magma has set up camp in a place called Jagged Pass, where Maxie awakens Groudon. Like in Sapphire, Archie steals the submarine and goes down to Seafloor Cavern to awaken Kyogre. Groudon and Kyogre begin fighting at Sootopolis, resulting in alternating sunshine and rain. The player travels to Sky Pillar and awakens the legendary Pokémon Rayquaza, who calms the two legendaries. Afterwards, Maxie and Archie return the two Orbs to Mt. Pyre.

Team Galactic

are the crime syndicate in the Sinnoh region, which is the setting of the video games Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. The team’s commanders (Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) are named after planets.

In Diamond and Pearl, Team Galactic state their intention to create a new world order . However, only Cyrus and his commanders know the true details (and even then, Saturn is not entirely clear on this)--that this will first entail the total destruction of the current world to allow the presence of the new. They kidnap the legendary Lake Trio (Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf) and extract crystals from them to create an item known as the Red Chain, which shackles and controls a Pokémon, yet keeps their full power (according to Cyrus' files, they do not plan to keep their target in a Poké Ball, in which they claim that it will restrain its full power). The player infiltrates Galactic's headquarters and defeats Cyrus, so he allows the player to release the three after beating Saturn. At the Spear Pillar, Cyrus uses the Red Chain to bring the legendary Pokémon Dialga (in Diamond) or Palkia (in Pearl) out, planning to use their power to distort spacetime and so create the new universe, over which he will be the new deity (or so he thinks). However, the Lake Trio come back to nullify the legendary's power and break the Red Chain, interrupting the ritual. After this, and Cyrus's failure to defeat the player, most of Team Galactic disappears including Cyrus himself. Only a handful remain in Veilstone City, led by Saturn, who has renounced his earlier extremism and decided to found a new, more benevolent Team Galactic.

In Pokémon Platinum however, Team Galactic plans to captivate both deities of time and space, resulting in the interruption of an enraged Giratina, the third Sinnoh deity who represents dimension, chaos, and death. The player will have to chase down Cyrus, now infatuated with the power of the before-unknown Giratina, to an eerie dimension known as the Torn World(Yaburareta Sekai), in which Giratina has resided for countless ages.

In the anime

Team Galactic has made several appearances in the anime. So far, only two grunts and Saturn have appeared. They first appeared in A Secret Sphere of Influence!, though it was only a brief cameo at the end. They assigned the Team Rocket trio of Jessie, James, and Meowth to steal the Adamant Orb for them. Both Brock and Officer Jenny believed that the trio had been assigned to this work by Butch and Cassidy or Pokémon Hunter J.

In their next appearance in Journey to the Unknown!, Saturn brings the two grunts into the Solaceon Ruins. The Team Rocket trio observe them, following them inside. Using three plates, Saturn obtains a cube inside of the ruins, enraging the Unown and causing general chaos inside of the ruins. Before leaving, Saturn thanks the Team Rocket trio for their assistance in the earlier episode and his group escapes with his Bronzor.

Team Galactic appeared again in Enter Galactic!, where Saturn appears yet again. After exposing the cube obtained in Journey to the Unknown! to the Veilstone City meteorites, it transforms into the Spear Key. This episode is also the time when Ash and his friends finally encounter them. Their mission this time is apparently to steal some of Veilstone City's meteors. Saturn also battles Brock with their Toxicroak and Croagunk, respectively. However, no thanks to Ash, Dawn, Officer Jenny, and Paul's Electabuzz, the battle ends up in a draw and the mission is a complete failure, leaving Team Galactic to retreat. It is currently unknown why they wanted to steal the meteorites.

They will appear again in DP096 and DP097. Mars, Jupiter and Cyrus will make their debut in this episode.


Cyrus (Akagi in original Japanese language versions) is the 27-year old boss of Team Galactic who grew up in Sunyshore City. Although he was a brilliant student, he scorned the company of both humans and Pokémon, favoring the company of machines. He despises the "weak and incomplete" human heart, creating as it did both the strife and conflict that disturbed original tranquility (as he puts it, the situation where "only time flowed and space expanded"), and emotions such as pity and compassion that are "naught but weak illusions that cannot stand against death". Cyrus himself is utterly emotionless due to the fact that he was touched by Mesprit (Although he is reunited with the exclamation point in the recent Pokemon video games 'Pokemon Diamond' and 'Pokemon Pearl'), yet extremely charismatic, able to attract all of the grunts, and even Saturn with just his promises of a new world. It is also known that Cyrus sometimes made visits to Canalave Library. Also in the games he uses dark type Pokémon like Honchcrow and Weavile.


Cipher (Japanese: シャドー Shadow) is an evil syndicate that planned to take over the world. Appearing only in Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. They operate only in the Orre region, Cipher's goal was closer as their Shadow Pokémon scheme neared fruition. Apparently founded by Evice, also known as Mayor Es Cade, Cipher had most of Orre under its control proving its size compared to other pokemon Crime Synddicate in the pokemon world, having enough money to build a sky scaper, factorys and an entre island.

Like Team Rocket, Team Aqua and Magma and Team Galactic it has a large army of Peons (known as Grunts in the hand held pokemon games) unlike them Cipher can also call on the support of almost all of the criminal underworld of Orrie.


In pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD it features 10 Admins in Pokemon Colosseum they are -

  • Miror B. (Commands Cipher in Pyrite Town)
  • Dakim
  • Venus (Commands Cipher in the Under)
  • Ein (Encharge of the Shadow pokemon Lab)

And in XD the other 6 admins are -

  • Ardos (Body Guard of Greevil)
  • Eldes (Body Guard of Greevil)
  • Gorigan (Encharge of the Shadow Pokemon Factory)
  • Lovrina (Encharge of the Shadow Pokemon lab after Ein)
  • Snattle (Commanded An Opperation in Phenac City)


  • Evice/Es Cade (Founder and leader in Colosseum)
  • Greevil (True Leader in XD)
  • Nascour (Cipher's Vice President and Evice right hand Man)



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  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Mato. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 1: Desperado Pikachu. VIZ Media LLC, July 6 2000. ISBN 1569315078
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Mato. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 2: Legendary Pokémon. VIZ Media LLC, December 6 2000. ISBN 1569315086
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Mato. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 3: Saffron City Siege. VIZ Media LLC, August 5 2001. ISBN 1569315604
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Mato. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 5: The Yellow Caballero: Making Waves. VIZ Media LLC, April 2002. ISBN 1591160278
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Mato. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 6: The Yellow Caballero: The Cave Campaign. VIZ Media LLC, September 5 2002. ISBN 1591160286
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Mato. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 7: The Yellow Caballero: The Pokémon Elite. VIZ Media LLC, January 2003. ISBN 1569318514
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Mato. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 8. Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd., July 2003. ISBN 981-241-300-6
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Mato. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 9. Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd., September 2003. ISBN 981-241-511-4
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Satoshi Yamamoto. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 10. Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd., November 2003. ISBN 981-241-546-7
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Satoshi Yamamoto. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 11. Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd., January 2004. ISBN 981-241-600-5
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Satoshi Yamamoto. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 12. Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd., March 2004. ISBN 981-241-723-0
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Satoshi Yamamoto. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 13. Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd., April 2004. ISBN 981-241-760-5
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Satoshi Yamamoto. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 14. Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd., July 2004. ISBN 981-260-014-0
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Satoshi Yamamoto. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 15. Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd., September 2004. ISBN 981-260-098-1
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Satoshi Yamamoto. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 21. Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd., February 2006. ISBN 981-4204-44-7
  • Kusaka, Hidenori, & Satoshi Yamamoto. Pokémon Adventures, Volume 22. Chuang Yi Publishing Pte Ltd., October 2006. ISBN 981-269-437-4

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