A Ghost of a Chance (やけたとう！マツバとうじょう！！ The Burnt Tower! Enter Morty!!) is the 24th episode of Pokémon: Johto League Champions.
Ash and co finally arrive at Ecruteak City. Ash heads to the gym for his battle only to have he, Misty and Brock be attacked by Ghost Pokémon. Just as Ash was about to fight back a young man stops him and explains that the ghost Pokémon were just protecting their home. He introduces himself as Morty, the Ecruteak Gym Leader. Ash asks for a battle but Morty declines saying that where they were standing wasn't the place to have one. Then a picture of a Pokémon Ash saw caught his eye and Morty explains that it was Ho-Oh. Was that Pokémon really what Ash saw when his journey began?
The heroes arrive to Ecruteak City. They see a landmark, the Tin Tower, where close by the Gym should be. Ash runs to the Gym, while Brock and Misty understand his excitement for the next badge. They notice the city is older, as Brock reads it values tradition. Suddenly, a flame appears, as a fire-breathing clown named Infernando appears. He knows that they are new in town (hence Brock's guidebook) and offers them a "Treasure Detector", to find old things in the city. Ash and Misty pass by him to get to the Gym. Infernando tells they can use this detector at the Gym. Brock is interested in using this detector to find girls, causing him to be scolded by Misty.
Jessie and Meowth are sad, as they have lost the twerps from sight. James knows the twerps are headed for the Gym (since it is usually what they do when coming into the town). Jessie and Meowth are, nevertheless, hungry, as Jessie gives her purse to James to buy some food. The heroes come to the Gym and are surprised, since it looks different and old. James encounters Infernando, who persuades him to buy the detector. James comes back to Jessie and Meowth to report he gave his money away to buy the detector, causing Jessie and Meowth to hit him on his head. James is confident the detector will allow him to find the treasure, sell it and buy food. James uses the detector and finds something. He digs up and finds a bottle cap, thanking Ecruteak City and the detector for such an discovery. Jessie wishes he'd dig up an pizza using the detector.
The heroes come to the real Gym, but see it is an old burned tower. The heroes go inside (following Brock's guidebook) and Brock notices the scorches look old. Suddenly, flames appear, so the heroes go downstairs to the basement. Even there, the flames appear, so Ash and Misty send Totodile and Staryu to use Water Gun to douse the fire. It does not work, so Totodile comes closer to douse the fire, but with no effect. Totodile comes into the flames and is not burned; Brock confirms the flames are not hot, so it is an illusion. Ash sends Noctowl, who uses Foresight, revealing the flames to be Gastly. Gastly use Nightshade, so Noctowl tackles them (since Foresight allows them to be hit with such moves). Gastly retreat, but come back with Haunter on their side. Pikachu uses Thundershock, but the ghosts disappear and float around them. A Gengar appears and Pikachu goes to attack it, but a man comes and stops the fighting. The Ghost Pokémon come to this man, who explains to the heroes the Pokémon want to protect this place. He calls the ghosts off and introduces himself as Morty, the Ecruteak City's Gym Leader.
Ash challenges him to a battle, but Morty tells this is not the place to do it, as many think this is a Gym. Morty tells once a place of hope, this place is a home for Ghost Pokémon. The heroes are sad, as they see they trespassed, while the ghosts wanted to protect their home. Ash sees a drawing of a Pokémon. Morty tells it is a Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh, though Ash recalls seeing it once, when he started his journey. Morty thinks he saw a different Pokémon, as Ho-Oh has not been seen in centuries. Morty tells that the Tin Tower they saw on their way here is a copy, as this is the original. Morty tells his family guarded this tower for generations; it was a place where Ho-Oh appeared. However, people wanted it to use for evil powers and the tower was burned, so Ho-Oh fled. Morty's family decided to keep this Burned Tower as a memorial, but build a new Tin Tower, though Ho-Oh did not appear there. It makes Ash think of the time he and Pikachu saw Ho-Oh.
Suddenly, Togepi walks into a hole and Pikachu follows it. Morty leads the heroes into another room, but knows the fire caused support beams to crash. Instead, he calls Gengar, who gets Haunter and Gastly to find Pikachu and Togepi. Pikachu found Togepi, who runs away. James led Jessie and Meowth to the Burned Tower, collecting more caps. Jessie thinks they should sell the caps, but James protests, as they make him happy. He is disgusted to see them money-hungry, though Meowth tells they are plain hungry. Togepi appears, making Team Rocket happy they will capture that Pokémon. Pikachu appears as well, making them even more happy. Pikachu goes to zap them, but Team Rocket respond he'll zap Togepi as well. Pikachu surrenders, so they got him as well. Gastly reports to Morty, as it saw Pikachu and Togepi on the surface. Morty acknowledges that and leads the heroes out of the tower. Team Rocket run away, but Morty's Gengar uses its tongue to trip them over. The heroes come and see Team Rocket with Pikachu and Togepi.
Ash goes to get them, but gets scratched by Meowth. Jessie and James go to battle them, but Meowth reminds them they usually get blasted off, so they run away. Gengar goes to battle them, so Jessie sends Arbok and James Weezing. They go to attack, but Gengar disappears before them. It appears behind them and hits them, knocking them down. Gengar stops Team Rocket, while Morty is disgusted, since they are trainers that steal Pokémon. Gengar uses Nightshade to release Pikachu and Togepi, while Haunter and Gastly catch them and give them back to Ash and Misty. Arbok and Weezing attack Gengar, who disappears, causing them to bash onto the ground. Gengar gets wrapped by Arbok, but it disappears and retaliates with Shadow Ball. Arbok and Weezing go to intercept, but get hit and blast off with Team Rocket. The heroes are amazed by this Shadow Ball, but Brock reminds Ash he is surely to battle Gengar in his match.
Morty advises Ash to have the Gym Battle tomorrow. Ash agrees, as he needs to sleep to focus on the battle. Morty goes in the Gym, while Brock and Misty warn Ash his Pokémon are tricky and powerful. Ash is not worried, as he will see for himself tomorrow.
- This episode was set to be called "The Tower Inferno" before the 9/11 incident. Pokémon.com also referred to this episode by that title until late 2010.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" is Raticate.
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