Pokemon Masters EX finally answers one of the series’ longest-running mysteries

Scott Baird
Pokemon Masters finally answers one of the series' longest-running mysteries

The long-running mobile title Pokemon Masters EX has answered a mystery that has existed since the days of Pokemon Red & Blue, involving the first-ever Pokemon battle.

As many fans may know, especially if they ever owned the original Game Boy, the canonical first battle between Pokemon in the series involves Gengar fighting a Nidorino. This happens in the opening of Pokemon Red & Green, the English version of Pokemon Red, and even the Pokemon anime.

This raises the question of who was having this battle, as the games never show the trainers. The Pokemon anime strongly suggests that Nidorino’s trainer was Bruno of the Elite Four, but even this isn’t confirmed on screen.

Pokemon anime cast

Pokemon Masters EX revealed the identity of the trainers in the first Pokemon battle

In a cutscene shown in Pokemon Masters EX, it’s revealed that the trainers who own Gengar and Nidorino are actually Agatha of the Elite Four and Professor Oak. This was recently discussed in a thread on the Pokemon Reddit, as Agatha and Oak have also battled in the Pokemon Adventures manga.

In retrospect, this makes a ton of sense. Agatha and Professor Oak are former rivals who battled in their youth, even though Oak eventually retired from training.

Agatha is the most famous Gengar owner in the series, being the Ghost-type user of the original Elite Four, owning two of them in her battle at the end of Pokemon Red & Blue. These viciously powerful ghosts posed a huge threat to anyone not using a Psychic-type Pokemon in Kanto.

Professor Oak isn’t quite as associated with a Nidorino or any Pokemon. However, the answer was there in front of us the whole time, as he uses a Nidorino in the opening cutscene after a player selects “New Game” and starts a fresh save.

So there you have it: the first battle happens between Agatha and Professor Oak. While the battle’s conclusion is shown, Agatha has a huge upper hand in the fight. Then again, Professor Oak might have loaded his Nidorino up with Rare Candy just to get one last victory over his eternal rival.