Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In Pokémon, a Pokémon Trainer is a person who capture Pokémon with Pokéballs, raise them and train them to battle other trainers that have Pokémon. The main character in each incarnation of the Pokémon games is an aspiring young trainer. A notable Pokémon Trainer is Ash Ketchum, the main character of the Pokémon TV series.
Pokémon Trainer can also be used in a broader context: any person with a Pokémon can be considered a Pokémon trainer. In this sense, people in related Pokémon occupations, such as Pokémon Coordinators, can also be considered to be Pokémon Trainers.
Pokémon Trainers carry a Pokédex with them, which serves as identification as well as a tool for keeping track of the Pokémon a trainer has seen or caught. The process of completing such a list is known as filling the Pokédex, with a trainer having filled the Pokédex (with minor exceptions) being a Pokémon Master. In the animated series, the Pokédex is already loaded with much of the information that a trainer needs in order to identify Pokémon, but in the video games, the data of a Pokédex starts empty and must be gradually filled as more Pokémon are seen or caught.
Many Pokémon Trainers compete in a regional Pokémon League. To qualify for league competition, a trainer must win a number of Gym Badges from various Pokémon Gym Leaders throughout the region through Pokémon Battles.
A person usually becomes a Pokémon Trainer when they are over ten years old. There, authorities chosen by the regional Pokémon League, usually a Pokémon expert such as Professor Samuel Oak, will allow a trainer to choose their first Pokémon from three, which vary from region to region. In the video games, a second trainer, generally referred to as the rival, will choose the Pokémon with the typewise advantage over your starting Pokémon. Of course, those people who already have possession of a Pokémon, either as a pet or inherited through family, may eschew this process and start their Pokémon Journey with that Pokémon.
Types of Pokémon Trainers
Although many Pokémon Trainers have no further distinctions, some are also further classified:
A Pokémon 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 must battle over or around.
An Elite Four Trainer is one of the four trainers that a Trainer must beat in succession before facing the regional Pokémon League Champion.
A Pokémon Master is 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. 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.
The goal of many Trainers is to not only raise powerful Pokémon (or help Pokémon become stronger battlers), but to also compete for league competitions. To do so, one must collect Gym Badges.
In the video games, a Gym Badge serves as a symbolic marker of the progress of the game. Depending on the badge, it allows Trainers to use Hidden Machines that allow you to use certain attacks outside of a Pokémon Battle, letting the Trainer move certain obstacles, light up dark areas, or travel on water. Possession of Gym Badges may also reduce the likelihood of stronger Pokémon disobeying their Trainers, and thus serves as a token of respect between Pokémon and their Trainers.
It is said in the games that badges are gifts from Pokémon to Trainers. This of course is merely symbolic of the bond one develops with their team.
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 wild Pokémon and capturing it in a Pokéball, it is also the primary method for trainers to acquire new Pokémon.
A Pokémon Battle is essentially a tag team match where two teams of Pokémon battle each other until all the members of one team are knocked out, or fainted. In a normal Pokémon Battle (or elimination battle), only one member of a team may be battling at the time, although multiple battles where more than one Pokémon may be fighting at the same time exist. Pokémon Trainers, as a rule, cannot have more than six Pokémon on their active roster at a time, although they can have more than six Pokémon accompany them (as long as the trainer asserts ownership of up to six of them).
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 PokéMart, a supermarket that also sells Pokémon-related items.
In the end, the losing trainer is likely to have their Pokémon either knocked out or in serious condition. In this case trainers try to proceed quickly to a local Pokémon Center, a place authorized by the regional Pokémon League to heal 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.
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