Episode #179 - A Ghost of a Chance
Ash and friends finally arrive at Ecruteak City. Brock points out the landmark Tin Tower and says that the Gym must be nearby. Ash gets excited and heads into town. The friends meet an eccentric salesman who tries to sell them a device that supposedly locates buried treasure. Brock jokes that he'll try it if it helps him find a girlfriend, and Misty drags him away be the ear.
Team Rocket is in town as well, hungry and upset that they haven't caught Pikachu yet. Jessie gives James her purse and sends him to buy lunch. However, he runs into the salesman who persuades James to buy the treasure detector. When he returns, Jessie and Meowth are angry, but James tries the device and finds a rare bottle cap.
The gang reaches a burned-out building that the guidebook says is the Ecruteak Gym. They go inside but the place suddenly erupts into flames! Trapped by the flames, they try to use Totodile and Staryu to put out the fire but the water doesn't seem to work. Totodile gets close to the fire and discovers that it's not hot, it's an illusion. Ash tells Noctowl to use Foresight and reveals that some Gastly are creating the illusion.
Noctowl drives the Gastly away, but they return with some Haunter, against which Pikachu's attacks are ineffective. Then a Gengar appears! A young man enters and calls off the ghost Pokemon, and introduces himself as Morty, the Ecruteak Gym Leader. He explains that this building isn't really the Gym, and the ghost Pokemon have made their home here.
Ash notices a design on the wall and Morty says it's Ho-oh, a Legendary Pokemon. Ash remembers that he saw one on the first day of his journey, but Morty tells him that the Ho-oh vanished centuries ago. The Tin Tower that stands today is a replica; this burned-out building was the original. Morty's ancestors had used it as temple to communicate with the Ho-oh, but invaders came and set the temple on fire and the Ho-oh fled, never to be seen again.
Togepi wanders away and Pikachu chases it into a hole in the wall. Morty calls the ghost Pokemon to help find them.
Outside, Team Rocket approaches the tower, following the treasure detector's signal. James has a bag full of bottle caps that he claims are rare and valuable. Jessie wants to sell them for the money but he refuses. Then Togepi and Pikachu crawl out from a hole at their feet and they rejoice at finding a real treasure. Meowth grabs Togepi and tells Pikachu that if he zaps them he'll hit Togepi too, and Pikachu is forced to surrender.
The ghost Pokemon lead Ash and friends ouside, and Gengar trips Team Rocket to stop them from escaping. Ash and Misty challenge them, but they try to run again. Gengar rescues Pikachu and Togepi and sends Team Rocket blasting off with a powerful attack called Shadow Bomb. Ash is impressed and Brock warns him that he might have to face Gengar in his Gym battle.
Morty goes home, and suggests to Ash that he and his Pokemon get some rest. They will have their battle in the morning.