Ritchie sails on an island on a boat, where he meets a trainer named Silver. Silver wants to face a Moltres he encountered as a child. Ritchie decides to go as well, seeing two scientists (who are Butch and Cassidy) that want to go to the island to find Moltres as well.
Ritchie, along with Sparky, set sail on S.S. Anne. Suddenly, the ship encounters some Gyarados, who stand in their path. The passengers go into their cabins, while the sailor reports they have to take a different route to avoid danger. Suddenly, a man sends Salamence, claiming he can't be blocked by "a bunch of overgrown Magikarp". Salamence uses Hyper Beam, scaring the Gyarados off, while the man shouts at the sailor to navigate the ship. Ritchie is amazed by this man, who claims this was nothing compared to Moltres he will face soon. Ritchie is shocked and remembers Moltres can illuminate the darkest night with its wings. Ritchie also remembers nobody knows where Moltres appears. The man introduces himself as Silver and calls Ritchie a kid, even if he doesn't like that. Suddenly, two people join Silver, claiming to be scientists. Ritchie wonders if they know about Moltres, but they deny where it may be.
They think Silver had too many brawls and the man touches Silver. Silver takes offence and intimidates them both, since he came to help them out. Silver and the two scientists leave, but Ritchie feels they are hiding something. The ship arrives to an island, with a volcano. The sailor warns Ritchie this volcano is active and may erupt soon, hence why all the villagers were evacuated. However, Ritchie notices Silver and the two people going on the island. The ship goes to leave, so Ritchie jumps and lands on the docks, wanting to pursue the men. Ritchie catches up and wants to see Moltres. Silver orders the men to explain what they learned. The scientists reply Moltres flies from one volcano to another and they managed to find a pattern where it appears. Apparently, Moltres will appear on this island's volcano, Mt. Magma. However, they wanted to keep this a secret, otherwise tourists and other would come and make a mess. They came to harness some of Moltres' energy, but since it has to be subdued, they contacted Silver to battle Moltres.
Silver claims this was boring, for he came here for a battle of a lifetime. Ritchie decides to join, but the men claim it is too dangerous and can't have a little kid coming along. Ritchie is insulted and promises to go to the top on his own. As the day passes, Silver found a place to make camp. Ritchie, during the night, is walking on the mountain, reminding it is like the time at Mt. Moon. He hears the scientists talking and overhears the men are from Team Rocket, who contacted Dr. Namba. They plan on having Silver defeat Moltres and then they'd capture it and send it to the base. Ritchie tries to get closer, but steps on a branch, making a cracking sound. The men turn around, but see nothing, for Ritchie descended down to hide himself. The men continue talking, but Silver approaches them. The men claim to be just walking and go away, while Silver finds Ritchie, who claims climbing is more fun. Ritchie loses strength and falls down, but is grabbed and pulled back by Chikorita's Vine Whip.
Ritchie tries to warn Silver these men are doing something shady. Silver ignores that, but invites Ritchie for dinner. Silver and Ritchie come to the campfire, where the scientists talk and decide to go to their tent, where they whisper the kid could ruin their operation. Ritchie thanks Silver for not being mad at him to follow Silver around. Silver replies Ritchie reminds of him when Silver was a young adventurer. Ritchie admits he can't help it when he has the opportunity to see a rare Pokémon, just like his friend, Ash, who is also stubborn. Silver claims that trait is called determination, to not let anything stand on his path to the goal. Silver also admits he had seen a Moltres once and from that day, his wish was to find Moltres and battle it, which he will do tomorrow. The next day, the group arrives to the top. The mountain starts shaking and smoke starts rising up in the sky.
The group waits a bit and notices Moltres in the sky. Silver sends Salamence, who uses Hyper Beam, but misses. Moltres uses Flamethrower, but it is weak and does not even reach Salamence. The scientists are glad, for this is the place where Moltres comes when it is very weak. Silver refuses to battle it, since it is not to his standards. The scientists claim it is their turn, as they send Tentacruel and Cloyster, who use Water Gun. Moltres dodges the attacks, but is caught into the scientists' net and becomes electrocuted. Silver is angered at what the scientists do, since a Pokémon has to be caught valiantly and has Salamence use Dragon Claw to free Moltres. Cloyster and Tentacruel repeat their attacks, but the moves are countered by Salamence's Dragon Breath. The scientists release two nets, entangling and electrocuting Salamence, as well as Ritchie and Silver. Silver demands to know who these people are, so the scientists take off their disguises, revealing to be Butch and Cassidy.
Tentacruel and Cloyster repeat their attacks, hitting Moltres. Another net is released and traps Moltres, so Butch believes if they caught a Legendary Pokémon, it'd make them legendary as well. Silver's Chikorita uses Razor Leaf, cutting the net, as well as Salamence cutting its own net. Sparky uses Thunderbolt, blasting Team Rocket off. Moltres, however, falls into the lava, so Silver hopes Moltres will survive this. A glow is emitted from the lava, as the Moltres re-appears and uses Flamethrower in the sky. Ritchie suspects Moltres came here to restore its power. Silver is pleased, as this is something he has been waiting for all his life. Salamence uses Hyper Beam, which collides with Moltres' Flamethrower. Moltres' attack manages to hit Salamence, who uses Double Team, surrounding Moltres. Salamence uses Dragon Breath, which hits Moltres, but Moltres absorbs the attack and turns itself into a giant sphere, then turns into a shape of a bird.
The volcano starts erupting, so Silver thinks the kid has to leave, while he goes to continue the fight. A boulder starts falling on Ritchie and Silver, but is crushed by Moltres' Flamethrower, who rescued them. Ritchie and Silver ride on Salamence and see Moltres leaving. Silver isn't sad, for he can wait a bit longer to finish the battle. Later, Silver decides to stay, to have another chance at battling Moltres. Silver thinks Ritchie could return one day and even battle Moltres if wanting to become a Pokémon Master. Silver reminds Ritchie he won't go easy on him, but Ritchie does not want to do the same either. Silver laughs, seeing Ritchie is like him and bids Ritchie farewell, who boards on the ship.
- Ritchie reads the title episode.
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