Episode #56 - Riddle Me This

Ash, Brock, and Misty hitch a ride on a cruise ship, anxious to reach Cinnabar Island, so that Ash can take on the next Gym Leader and win his next badge, the Volcano Badge. Unfortunately, on the ship, they meet up with Ash's rival, Gary. Apparently, he too, is on his way to Cinnabar Island...as are all of the other people on the cruise ship. Gary explains to Ash and his friends that Cinnabar Island is no longer just a Pokemon Town. Cinnabar Island has become something of a resort town.

When Ash and his friends get off the cruise ship, they discover that Gary was right. The Cinnabar Island Pokemon Gym lies in ruins, the laboratory has become a mini-mart, and the Pokemon Center has become a hotel-for people! Many of Cinnabar Islandís residents are unhappy with this turn of events, including the local Gym Leader.

Even Team Rocket is getting into the resort mood by selling Meowth-shaped cookies at one of the stands. Ash and his friends run into a mysterious hippie who explains that the local Gym Leader was so upset, that he packed up, and left. His gym now lies in ruins, an odd contrast to the lively city atmosphere.

The weird hippie likes to give them riddles, and as he leaves, he gives them a card that says ĎThe Big Riddle Inn.í During the night, Ash and his friends are searching for a hotel to spend the night at so that they wonít have to camp out again. Unfortunately, the Pokemon Center is booked, as are all of the islands' hotels.

Tired and hungry, Ash and his friends wander the streets, until a particular hotel room catches their eye. Ash walks towards it in desperation, and through the screen door, he can see a pair of musicians performing, as the guests enjoy their dinner.

One of the guests suddenly stands up and heads towards the door. The door slides open, and...Gary peeks out?! Gary seems to be living the high-life in the first class. Gary laughs at Ashís misfortune, and he offers the leftovers in a doggy bag to Ash, on the condition that one of them spins around three times, and says Pikachu.

Pikachu agrees to his remark, but Ash stops Pikachu, unwilling to let Gary humiliate them any further. Suddenly, another door inside opens, and Jigglypuff enters. This is the groupís entertainment. Realizing what the entertainment is, Ash, Brock, and Misty all run away as fast as they can, covering their ears. Jigglypuff sings its song...and then the whole room falls asleep...

The hippie that they'd spoken with earlier was something of a trickster, and on the card he gave them, was a riddle. "From some swings, you will either see my hands or my face." Whatís that meant to mean? Ash and his friends are in front of a swing, but they canít figure out the rest of the riddle.

Fortunately, Misty knows the answer! She tells them that from the swings, you can see a clock. A clock has a face and a hand, so they decide that the place must the big building in the distance that they can see with a clock. When they arrive at the inn, the hippie is pleased that they solved his riddle, and he offers them some food and shelter for their reward.

While they are eating, the hippie receives an urgent phone call, telling him that someone is attacking the Pokemon Center. He rushes to the Pokemon Center, and Ash follows the mysterious hippie, eager to help. When they arrive there, the people that were attacking the Pokemon Center was none other than Team Rocket!

Ash quickly sends out his Pidgeotto and his Pikachu to destroy the Team Rocket balloon. Ashís Pokemon easily wins, and Ash manages to save all of the Centerís Pokemon from Team Rocket. The hippie is impressed by Ash's deed, so he lets him in on a little secret. He tells them that the Cinnabar Gym still exists in another riddle.

The Cinnabar Gym isnít gone at all. It's just hidden in a place that's fire on the bottom, and water on top. Pondering over the answer to the riddle, they all resign to the local hot springs behind the inn. As Togepi is running around, it accidentally hits a switch, which opens a cave leading into a volcano behind them.

Ash and his friends enter the secret passageway and it leads them deep below the hot spring, and into the volcano that heats it. They pass through an iron gate, and they find themselves in a large, underground arena. There is a ring in the middle for Pokemon battles, suspended from the ceiling, with lava on all sides.

The hippie is waiting at the opposite end of the ring. Ash is surprised when he removes his wig and glasses, and he reveals himself to be Blaine, the Cinnabar Island Gym Leader. Blaine challenges Ash to a three on three Pokemon battle. Because Blaine specializes in Fire-type Pokemon, Ash sends out his Squirtle to counter him.

Blaine sends out a Ninetails who, despite its type, manages to defeat the water Pokemon with a single Fire Spin. Recalling the fainted Squirtle, Ash sends out his Charizard, who refuses to obey him, as usual-preferring to sleep. Finally, Ash sends out Pikachu.

Blaine sends out Rhydon, a Rock-type Pokemon. At first, it seems immune to Pikachu's thunder attacks, but the electric Pokemon eventually realizes that the creature's horn is it's weak spot. Pikachu uses Rhydonís horn as a lightning rod, and Pikachu hits the horn with an electrical attack, knocking the beast unconscious.

Blaine smiles, as he calls for his last Pokemon. The lava around them begins to bubble, and in a huge burst of flame, a fiery creature leaps from the molten river. It remains suspended in midair for a single moment, and then it slowly drops into the ring. Its feet hiss as they burn into the ground. Dexter informs Ash that it is Magmar.

Brock and Misty are worried, because they both know that Pikachu doesnít stand a chance against this monster. They beg Ash to forfeit, but he is confident that he will win. He orders Pikachu to use a thundershock on the Magmar, but Pikachuís attack seems to have no effect because Magmar has heated the air around him until it is so hot, creating an air lance, which repels electric attacks.

Meanwhile, Magmar sets its own fists on fire, and it aims a volley of punches at Pikachu's head. Pikachu is grazed, and badly burned. It stumbles about in blind pain, as the edge of the platform grows dangerously near...

Blaine then calls for Magmar to do its ultimate move, Fire Blast. Brock takes Ash aside, and tells him in plain terms, that Pikachu will not survive such an attack because it is much too weak. As the Fire Pokemon sends its five-pronged wall of flames hurtling towards Pikachu, Ash is given one last chance to forfeit...