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Characters / Pokémon Protagonists and Rivals: Hoenn

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The protagonists and rivals of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Emerald, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire.

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    General Tropes 
  • Affectionate Nickname: As the player character, Archie will call them "little scamp" or just "scamp".
  • Badass Adorable: They have no problem standing face-to-face with a beast that can shift continents, raise the sea, or Hyper Beam them to death, depending on the version. Or all three of them in Emerald.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: As an NPC, they represent a marked shift in rival characterization. While Blue and Silver were both jerkasses, they are far nicer. All rivals from them onward other than Gladion and Bede would be Friendly Rivals.
  • Disappeared Dad: So far as the player, the only aversion in the main series—the protagonist's father is Norman, the Petalburg Gym Leader. The rival is the child of Professor Birch.
  • Dragon Rider: In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire:
    • They can ride the legendary dragon Pokémon Latios or Latias depending on the game version after obtaining the Eon Flute.
    • During the Delta Episode they ride Rayquaza as they fly into space in order to stop the meteor falling towards Hoenn.
  • Dragon Tamer: In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire:
    • Brendan and May can summon Latios or Latias and use them for travel by playing the Eon Flute which according to Steven signifies their bond.
    • If the player picks Mudkip, Brendan and May as rivals will use the Grass/Dragon-type Mega Sceptile as their ace.
    • The character chosen canonically catches Rayquaza and commands it in the final battle against Deoxys.
    • Wally obtains the Flying/Dragon Altaria for use in his second battle, which he ends up replacing with the Dragon/Ground Garchomp for his third battle onward. In Sun and Moon and their Ultra versions he can switch between the two depending on what team he's using.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Actually averted, though not to the degree of X and Y, in the remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Your accomplishments in this game, from stopping Groudon/Kyogre to becoming Champion, are all acknowledged in game. Your claim to fame as Champion is even mentioned on the BuzzNav postgame, and everyone refers to you as the new Champion, while calling Steven the former Champion; it's a point of contention, in fact, for Zinnia, who sees you, and not Steven, as worthy of being her ally, due to your status.
    • Additionally, in a similar vein to the Johto games, you are named the Successor to the will of the Draconids; essentially taking over Zinnia's role as Lorekeeper, and the protector of the entire Hoenn region.
  • Free-Range Children: As with all of the games, no one seems to care that they're traveling around the island and fighting villains even though they're only 12-ish.
  • Implied Love Interest: Brendan and May have a smidgen of ship tease in the originals, and even more in remakes. Scenes have been added that make it seem like the player and the opposite gendered rivals are in love with each other, such as the date at the Mossdeep Space Center after the end of the Delta Episode. However, the only time that the term "boyfriend/girlfriend" is used is when an ad on the PokéNav+ jokes about the player character finding a love interest using the Item Finder. Pokémon Masters follows on from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire by having Brendan muse that May's eyes are pretty like stars.
  • Naïve Newcomer: As with any Pokémon game, the player character is entirely new to Pokémon training, despite being a natural at it. However, a first for the series, the player character is confirmed to not be native to the region the games take place in; they hail from Johto, specifically Olivine City.
  • Nice Hat: As per tradition. Yes, that weird white thing for Brendan is a knit cap. May wears a bandanna.
  • Only One Name: The rival is one of the few aversions in the entire franchise, having the surname "Birch".
  • Post-Final Boss: In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, after you beat Steven and the credits roll, you and the rival return to Route 103 where they take one last swing at you. Compared to the Champion, they're a walkover.
  • Privileged Rival: May/Brendan is the daughter/son of the regional professor Birch if they are the NPC. However by later in the game you as the hero are the son/daughter of Norman the Gym Leader while the true rival is the relatively anonymous Wally.
  • The Rival: The one you don't choose to play as, though to a lesser extent than the previous rivals as the role is shared with Wally.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Steven Stone is the playable character mentor, but Brendan or May ends up saving the world and beating him as the Pokémon League Champion. Wally wants to surpass them as well.
  • Super Mode: In the remakes they gain the ability to use Mega Evolution.
  • Theme Naming: Their official names evoke the Spring season. Some other defaults name in-game evoke land and sea, referring to the game's theme.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As the player character, they save the world from utter annihilation of the awakened pissed-off Legendary (depending on version of course) by either defeating or capturing them.
  • Totally Radical: In Emerald, their PokéNav nickname is "Rad Neighbor" if they're the Rival.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: In the remakes, their Contest outfits match costumes that Cosplay Pikachu can wear — Rock Star for Brendan and Pop Star for May.
  • Vague Age: Averted in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, as the BuzzNav states the rival character to be 12. Presumably the player character is the same age or around it. However, a Grunt in the Delta Episode will call the player a teenager when spoken to.
  • The Worf Effect: The rival loses to Zinnia at the beginning of the Delta Episode and gets their Key Stone stolen by her, establishing Zinnia as a powerful threat.
  • Younger Than They Look: May and Brendan are drawn looking similar to teenagers for their designs in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, despite being only 12. A Grunt even refers to them as teenagers on one occasion.

    Brendan (Yūki) 

Brendan / Yūki (ユウキ yuuki)
Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto (ORAS Promo - JP); Aleks Le (Pokémon Masters - EN), Yuko Sanpei (Pokémon Masters - JP)

Like Pokémon Crystal, For Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, you can choose between a male or female protagonist. Whichever one you chose; they follow the same story:

As the protagonist, you've recently moved to Littleroot Town in the Hoenn region from somewhere else (In Ruby and Sapphire, it was Johto, while in Emerald it was "somewhere far away"). Your father has become the gym leader of Petalburg City, and you're just the right age to start your Pokémon journey. Your town has a Pokémon Professor who will gladly give you a starter, but he's more into fieldwork than sitting around in a lab so he isn't there. Turns out that he's got himself into trouble with a wild Pokémon and you must help him by getting one of the starters from his bag. The rest of the story is up to you.

He made a few cameos in Pokémon movies where he's an accomplished trainer competing in tournaments. He also is in Pokémon Adventures (as Ruby), and in Pocket Monsters, and Pokémon Battle Frontier.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the Generation III games, his hair was black. Come Generation VI, it's brown.
  • Alliterative Name: If he's an NPC, his name is Brendan Birch.
  • Ambiguously Brown: His Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire artwork has him with noticeably darker skin than his Ruby/Sapphire or Emerald art.
  • Badass Bookworm: Brendan's PokéNav description claims that he battles "with knowledge".
  • Bare Your Midriff: A rare male example, his contest clothes in the remake shows his tummy [1] [2]
  • Break the Haughty: In the originals, this happens to him as your rival if you're May.
  • The Cameo: In the anime, he only shows up for a couple scenes in a few movies.
  • Chick Magnet: In Omega Ruby despite being 12 he gets affection from and has ship tease with May, Lisia, Zinnia, Courtney and Shelly to name some.
  • Cool Hat: Brendan's traditional knit cap, though a not-insignificant portion of the fandom likes to portray him as having white hair.note 
  • The Dandy: When you play as him during the beauty contests.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Inverted. For some obscure reason he always consistently wears a knit cap, and in Ruby and Sapphire he's wearing a rather thick jacket in the subtropical region that is Hoenn.
  • Like Father, Like Son: As a NPC it's mentioned he wants to be a better researcher than his dad.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Yuuki means "bravery".
    • English names:
      • Brendan comes from brave.
      • Two of Brendan's default names are Landon and Sean; which omes from "land" and "sea" referring to the 2 legendary Pokémon. Other languages also have a names reffering to land and sea.
      • In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire pre-release media and the official demo, his name is Orlando.
    • His Official French name is Brice, which sounds like "brise" meaning "breeze", a figure of speech commonly associated to spring.
  • Naughty Is Good: Mischievous but a serious battler.
  • One Steve Limit: Very nearly broken in Emerald, as Brendan's name is similar to Pyramid King Brandon.
  • Ship Tease: In Emerald, as a rival he states "I just saw a huge green Pokémon flying across the sky!....I wish you were there, <player's name>." Take of that what you will, but the way NPC-Brendan acts toward you. This is a bit more obvious in the remakes, where he outright stammers a few times when speaking to you, expresses concern and admiration, and is quite disappointed if you decline his invitation to travel with him back to Petalburg.
  • Signature Mon:
    • Like Red, Brendan's Signature Mon changes depending on the adaptation or official source he's seen in. Official art for the original games shows him with a Torchic and Combusken (referencing Ruby version). The anime and manga give him the Mudkip line.
    • The animated trailer for the remakes associates him directly with the Treecko line. This carries into both Pokémon Generations and Masters.
    • Pokémon Emerald's introductory cutscene shows a Torchic running alongside Brendan/May.
  • Skewed Priorities: In Masters, during the Pasio Eggsplorers Story Event, Brendan is led to believe by a wrong assumption from Barry that May is apparently considering quitting battling altogether over hiding eggs. The whole time, Brendan is thoroughly depressed about May not battling and hopes that it isn't true (despite the fact Birch's child doesn't fight as much and is trying to become like him anyway), instead of being worried about anything else.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: As your rival, Brendan in Lilycove City claims he's definitely not there to buy dolls. Afterwards, a Swablu Plushie can be seen in his bedroom.
  • To Be a Master: Brendan as either role. (NPC-Brendan states that he wants to be a professor).
  • Tsundere: Brendan plays a Type B version of this as an NPC; normally a Nice Guy but often kind of a jerk toward you. This is absent in the remakes, however; beyond one potentially demeaning comment the first time you meet (he was hoping you'd be a boy) he's nothing but kind and encouraging thereafter, outright declaring you friends.

    May (Haruka) 

May / Haruka (ハルカ haruka)
Voiced by: Kana Hanazawa (ORAS Promo - JP); Deneen Melody (Pokémon Masters - EN), Ai Nonaka (Pokémon Masters - JP)

The other protagonist of the Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire games, she is the option if you want to play as a girl.

If you don't choose her as the protagonist, she'll be a rival who is the child of Professor Birch, the Pokémon Professor of the Hoenn region. Unlike previous rivals, this one is more friendly. The same role applies to Brendan if you choose her as the protagonist.

She was a traveling companion for Ash in the anime. At first she didn't care for Pokémon and only wanted to travel, but she soon discovered Pokémon Contests and she learned to like them. She was a Wild Child named Sapphire in Pokémon Adventures.

  • Even the Girls Want Her: As the player character, she pretty much gets into some questionable interactions with important female NPCs, such as Lisia, Courtney, and Zinnia.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Her Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire Contest clothes with a bow and ribbons on the right side of her head and a scrunchy(?) bracelet on her left wrist.
  • Genki Girl: NPC-May is quite energetic, more so than NPC-Brendan anyway. She really shows off this attitude in OR/AS, with her adorable fist pumping action.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: NPC-May, somewhat; after you fight her in Lilycove City, seems to be more interested in filling her Pokédex than continuing training.
  • Idol Singer: The anime short/special for Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire shows her para para dancing alongside a Mega Altaria and a Mega Audino at a Pokémon Contest.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: How do her thick sidetails stay afloat?
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Haruka means "Spring flower" but also means "far away", which goes with Norman's name Senri which can also refer to "1000 li" (2440 miles, but also an idiomatic way to say far away).
    • English names:
      • Two of May's default names are Terra and Marina; also referring to Groudon and Kyogre who represents land ans sea respectively. Other langauges also have a name that evoke Land/heat and sea.
      • May is also the most well-known month of spring in the northern hemisphere, which matches her Japanese name. It could also refer to the Mayflower, which blooms in spring.
      • In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire pre-release media, her name is Anna.
    • Her German name is Maike, from "Mai" (May).
    • Her Spanish name is Aura, meaning gentle breeze, a figure of speech commonly associated to spring.
    • Her French name is Flora, reffering to the flora and souding like "fleur" (flower).
    • Her Italian name is Vera, from primavera (spring).
    • Her Koran name is Bom'i, from "bom" (spring).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In Masters, Brendan says that May tends to focus on Contests. May's counterpart in the anime focused on Contests too.
    • Also in Masters, May is shown to have a pair of fangs, which harkens to her Pokémon Adventures counterpart, Sapphire.
  • Plucky Girl: NPC-May is clumsy and shy but never lets any losses get her down.
  • Sailor's Ponytail: Keeps her hair short on the back while growing out her bangs on the sides.
  • Signature Mon: The Torchic line in almost every appearance and adaptation.
    • Official art for the third generation has also shown her with a Mudkip (as a reference to Sapphire Version). In the official trailer for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire she has both as the third Hoenn trainer Wally doesn't get a traditional starter (nor does he appear in the trailer). Her Kotobukiya ArtFx J figure also shows her with Mudkip. This is also what she uses in Masters, the other two starters being owned by the player and Brendan respectively.
    • Pokémon Emerald's introductory cutscene shows a Torchic running alongside May/Brendan.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: In Emerald and Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, May's top lacks sleeves.
  • Skirt over Slacks: In her Ruby and Sapphire outfit.
  • Tights Under Shorts: Her design in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Not as prominent as Blue's Raticate, but if you picked Torchic while playing as Brendan in Emerald, she will sport a Torkoal in her second (optional) battle in Rustboro City. Afterwards, the turtle is never seen again and a Slugma will be in its place. The only assumption as to what happened is that she likely placed it in the PC.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Wears a tiny white pair over her bike shorts in her Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire design, and also in her Contest clothes.

    Wally (Mitsuru) 

Wally / Mitsuru (ミツル mitsuru)
Voiced by: Ayumu Murase (Pokémon Masters - JP)

The other rival in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, as well as Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Wally is a sickly boy who starts his journey when you help him catch his first Pokémon. Drawing strength from the growing bond between himself and his Pokémon, Wally slowly manages to overcome his frailties and discover his resolve to become the Pokémon League Champion, becoming one of the strongest trainers in the series in the process.

While he doesn't have a Version name, his overall green motif can sometimes symbolize Emerald.

  • Always Someone Better: In the Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, after your first fight with him, he will always be a step ahead of you challenging Gyms. However, he comes at a stop right before facing the League.
  • Artistic Age: Aside from having a more confident expression and more realistic proportions, his Sun and Moon / Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon appearance is identical how he looks in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, despite an unknown amount of time having passed between the Hoenn games and the Alola games.
  • Ascended Extra: Originally an unexpected rival, in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Wally became one of the strongest trainers in the series, and returns in Sun and Moon, making him the first rival since Blue to make a reappearance outside their source game.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, during his final battle with you in the main story at the end of Victory Road, his light, bouncy theme becomes full-on electric rock.
  • Badass Adorable: Don't let his looks fool you, in the post game he is one of the toughest trainers in the series, with a team decked out with items, abilities, and movesets that wouldn't be out of place in a real life tournament.
  • Bling of War: His Mega Amulet.
  • Bonus Boss: In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, he can be fought again (with a new team) after completing one of the Super Rounds in the Battle Maison. With his team at level 79 and his Gallade at 81, he's one of the highest leveled boss fights in the series.
  • Boss Remix: In the Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, he gets a rock remix of his leitmotif as his Battle Theme Music.
  • Breaking Old Trends: The first of the main PKMN Trainers to neither have a traditional starter, nor a Version name, but his overall green motif can sometimes symbolize Emerald. He's also the first rival to not have a superiority complex, to the point that he's not always read as a rival because of how timid he is.
  • The Bus Came Back: In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, his Altaria disappears from his party. However, in Sun and Moon, it's back.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: You can battle with him as your partner at the Battle Tree in Pokémon Sun and Moon.
  • Graceful Loser: Zig-Zagged. When he loses in the pre-Elite Four battle in the remakes he falls silent and screams in frustration but quickly pulls himself together and thanks you for not holding back.
  • Handicapped Badass: Zig-Zagged. Wally starts out suffering from a breathing condition, but by the end of main storyline he appears to be no longer suffering the symptoms of this and has become a lot stronger. Post-game there is no evidence of Wally suffering from any conditions and is now one of the most powerful trainers in the entire series.
  • Ill Boy: While his condition isn't ever named, the fact that it's alleviated by clean air would suggest asthma. He seems to have mostly recovered by the end of the story. If Wally's condition is asthma, his recovery has some actual basis in fact. The best treatment for asthma actually is physical activity (with an inhaler in case of attacks). In fact, many athletes actually suffer from asthma, but regular physical activity actually reduces the chance of an attack. So Wally's taking a level in badass has science behind it.
  • Leitmotif: In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, his appearances are accompanied by a bouncy, light remix of Verdanturf Town's theme. When you battle him at the end of Victory Road, it turns into electric rock.
  • Luminescent Blush: About half the time in the remakes, due to his shyness.
  • Older Than They Look: When he returns in Sun and Moon as an opponent in the Battle Tree, he doesn't look like he has aged a day and if you were to compare his two battle models, his Sun and Moon one will be the smaller and younger looking of the two. Though it could be chalked up to his growth being stunted as a result of a sickly childhood.
  • The Rival: He tries to be this to you, and since May or Brendan stops their journey in the original games, becomes it by the time you get to Victory Road.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Definitely the Sensitive Guy to Brendan's Manly Man if you play as May, even though they don't interact.
  • Shrinking Violet: At least initially.
  • Sickly Child Grew Up Strong: Essentially his character arc in the game. He starts off as a sickly boy with breathing issues who is moving to his uncle and aunt's place in Verdanturf Town. However, after he gains a Pokémon, he starts to get stronger to the point where he replaces Brendan/May as your main rival.
  • Super Mode: He has a Key Stone in the remakes, and uses Mega Gallade. In Sun and Moon, he may also have Mega Garchomp or Mega Altaria.
  • Signature Mon: Ralts line, ending with Gardevoir. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire replaces Gardevoir with Gallade, Mega Gallade to be exact.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: In the remakes, when he challenges you to a battle at the end of Victory Road, the music (before and during the battle) becomes this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When you first meet him, he's a shy and sickly boy that needs help to catch his first Pokémon. On your second meeting, he knows how to battle and is confident enough to challenge the local Gym Leader (but still isn't that good). On your third meeting, he has an entire team of Pokémon that's just below the Elite Four in level and is much more confident in himself — his final rematch has his Pokémon only just below the Pokémon Champion himself in terms of level. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire take this further by having a fourth fight that shows how much knowledge he's gained, being one of the few NPCs to utilize held items on all of his Mons and having his post-battle dialogue show he's constantly thinking about how to improve his strategy.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: His green and white color scheme matches up perfectly with the Ralts line (his starter Pokémon).
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Even in the Pokémon world, he stands out a bit for his bright green hair, which is shared by only a handful of other characters and sprites in the series.


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