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"Putting together the potential of many is how you produce a huge power... That's what an organization is... That's the strength of an organization! I failed...to make the best use of my subordinates' potential...! But you shall witness one day the revival of me and my Team Rocket!"

Pokémon has several intelligent and ambitious villains who rise above their competition.

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Core Games
  • Giovanni was the evil leader of Team Rocket and the Big Bad of the Kanto games. Giovanni ran multiple illegal businesses that profited off the abuse of Pokémon, most notably the selling of Cubone skulls and the Rocket Game Corner. However, he also secretly served as the Viridian Gym Leader. In a major push to gain power, Giovanni led Team Rocket to invade the Silph Company for the Master Ball, convincing many of the scientists to join them. After his defeat at the Viridian Gym, Giovanni officially disbanded Team Rocket and went into hiding. While he was planning on making a major comeback with Team Rocket's resurrection, another defeat put a hold on that. Eventually, Giovanni resurfaced as the leader of Team Rainbow Rocket, pulling alternate universe versions of other team leaders to help him. Taking advantage of the Ultra Wormholes, Giovanni invaded Aether Paradise, taking Aether Foundation president Lusamine hostage. Giovanni planned on using their technology and research to gain an army of Ultra Beasts, and even when he was defeated, simply pulled out while setting his sites on another world. Although cruel, Giovanni is also honorable and polite, and is willing to yield if it means him and his team benefit in the long run.
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  • Cyrus was the boss of Team Galactic in the Sinnoh games. A nihilist who wishes to end conflict, Cyrus plans to remake the universe to remove all spirit. Polite and charismatic, Cyrus travels across Sinnoh, sprouting his philosophies and intellectual findings. Keeping his minions in the dark, Cyrus successfully used them to capture the Lake Guardians and crafted the Red Chain to control Dialga and/or Palkia. In the end, Cyrus summoned the Legendary Pokémon and was only stopped by outside interference. Although suffering a Villainous Breakdown, Cyrus quickly regained composure, vowing to never give up on his dream. A very ambitious man, Cyrus's polite and philosophical exterior offset what was a horrible vision he had for the world.
  • Colress was the acting leader of Team Plasma in Black 2 and White 2. A scientist looking for the best way to bring out a Pokémon's strength, Colress traveled across Unova and battled trainers to craft a theory for him to test out. As part of Team Plasma, Colress invented a machine to maximize the full extent of Kyurem's power and fire it upon the world, freezing Opelucid city in the process. Admitting that he doesn't care about his cruel actions, Colress engaged the protagonist in battle to test out his theory on hidden potential and upon defeat allowed them to face off against Ghetsis to develop his theories more. Showing no loyalty to Team Plasma or Ghetsis, Colress is such a nice person that it is easy to forget that he never regretted almost destroying Unova.
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Side Games

  • Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness: Greevil was the Grand Master of Cipher, ruling the organization with his sons. Under the guise of Mr. Verich, Greevil interacted with the citizens of Gateon Port and gave free food and drink at The Krabby Club. After the defeat of the organization in Orre five years prior, Greevil restored the organization with the creation of a Shadow Lugia that could not be purified. Using the Lugia for evil purposes, Greevil worked to hide Cipher's efforts in creating an army of Shadow Pokémon, only acting when the plan was in jeopardy, such as kidnapping Professor Krane when he was inventing a purification machine or attacking ONBS when they had evidence of Cipher's return. Even when production of the Shadow Pokémon fell apart, Greevil was able to kick start the last part of the plan anyway in which Lugia would lead the Shadow Pokémon to take over the world. Upon the defeat of both him and Lugia, Greevil briefly considered destroying his base to make a getaway in spite of the loss of life before surrendering so that he wouldn't have to live with the moral consequences.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers:
    • Dusknoir is Primal Dialga's right-hand man who pursues the player and Grovyle into the past. He poses as a friendly explorer while using his knowledge of the future in order to pick up information. He successfully deceives Treasure Town into helping him capture Grovyle, thereby dooming the future to paralysis, and even drags the amnesic player back to the future as a precaution. Once Grovyle, the player, and their partner escape, Dusknoir allows them to find Celebi, intending to capture her once she reveals herself. He brings along Primal Dialga to accompany him and the party is barely able to escape him. Despite his ruined reputation, he lies in wait in the past and forces Grovyle to sacrifice himself by dragging them both back to the future. Once they arrive in the future, he earns Grovyle's trust and lures him into a trap in an attempt to hijack his body. If it wasn't for the conscience he'd developed convincing him otherwise; Dusknoir's plan would gone off flawlessly.
    • Darkrai is the true mastermind behind the destruction of Temporal Tower, which he sabotaged so he could create a world of darkness to rule. When Grovyle and the player traveled back in time to stop it, Darkrai attacked them within the Passage of Time. This separated the two, as well as giving the player amnesia and transforming them into a Pokémon. After Temporal Tower is saved, Darkrai decided to distort space in order to create a world of eternal nightmares. Disguising himself as Cresselia, Darkrai blamed the player and their partner for the distortions, and convinced Palkia that their deaths would restore everything back to normal. Once his ruse was revealed, he retreats to Dark Crater and puts the player in an illusion to convince them to join him. When that fails, he reveals an army of six other Pokémon to help him kill the player. As a final back-up plan, he has a dimensional hole ready for a quick getaway, only being stopped by the timely arrival of Palkia.
  • Pokémon Conquest: Nobunaga is the Warlord of the kingdom of Dragnor and a master of Dragon-type Pokemon. Seeing his homeland of Ransei ravaged by wars to unite the seventeen kingdoms and summon Arceus before the victor, Nobunaga decides to conquer Ransei himself and destroy Arceus so these destructive wars will cease. Though the Player Character pushes back his campaign, Nobunaga feigns defeat so that they will be the conqueror of Ransei instead and summon Arceus in his place; Nobunaga then launches a surprise attack against it with his five lieutenants and an even more powerful partner Pokemon than before. He treats friend and foe alike with respect even as he confidently tells them he will defeat them, and then takes his loss with dignity and acknowledges his opponent's power if they prevail. Nobunaga's reputation as the greatest Warlord in all of Ransei is well-earned.

Anime

  • Main Series:
    • Giovanni is the boss of Team Rocket and discreetly the Viridian City Gym Leader. Giovanni approves of plans that he finds clever and supports agents that give him results. At the same time, Giovanni allows his less competent agents to do what they want if they don't get in his way. After the incident with Mewtwo, Giovanni tracked it down and captured the clone Pokémon to use as hostages before trying to force Mewtwo to obey his will. Discovering the Meteonite in the Unova region, Giovanni planned to use its power to coax business leaders and politicians into giving him power. Later on, Giovanni led the operation to capture Meloetta and use its power to control Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus. Possessing both cruelty and mercy, Giovanni never let go of his ambitions for world conquest.
    • Black & White: Colress was a perky scientist working for Team Plasma who sought to discover how to bring out strength in Pokémon. Colress invented a machine to control Pokémon as well as up their power. As the machines got destroyed, Colress recorded more data and upgraded to new machines. When Team Rocket attempted to persuade Colress to join them, Colress responded by successfully controlling Meowth, in spite of his resistance, and using him against Jessie and James. Arriving at the White Ruins, Colress forced N to give the Light Stone to Team Plasma by controlling Pikachu and using him against Ash. With Reshiram revived, Colress controlled it, all while marveling at the Legendary's power. Even upon arrest, Colress was still ambitious, as he planned on finding a way to communicate with Pokémon directly.
  • Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo is the clone of the Mythical Pokémon Mew and a confused being wondering why its alive. Enraged at its seemingly pointless existence, Mewtwo vowed revenge against humanity. Constructing the Pokémon Palace on New Island, Mewtwo brainwashed a Nurse Joy to serve as a proxy and issued invitations to the palace proclaiming to be the world's greatest trainer. Mewtwo then created a hurricane around the island to weed out only the strongest and bravest trainers. With those that he wanted at the island, Mewtwo battled them with his own clone Pokémon and stole their Pokémon with special Poké Balls. When Ash freed the orginals as Mew arrived on the island, Mewtwo challanged Mew to battle with its army of clones against the originals. As the battle ended with Ash petrified, Mewtwo watched in amazement as both clones and original cried over him, and left with the clones to find a place for them to belong while erasing the memories of everyone involved.
  • Pokémon: Jirachi: Wish Maker: Butler was on the surface a friendly magician. But unbeknownst to most, Butler was a former Team Magma scientist who vowed revenge after an experiment to create a Groudon failed and resulted in his firing. Working with his girlfriend Diane, Butler found Jirachi hibernating in a crystal and gave it to Max in order to awaken it. Capturing the Pokémon Absol to prevent it from interfering, Butler attempted to use Jirachi's true eye as power source for creating a Groudon. When Ash and friends the group escaped with Jirachi, with the help of Diane and Absol, Butler followed them with a tracking device. Ambushing them, Butler successfully used Jirachi's third eye to create Groudon. When the Groudon came out as a energy stealing monster, Butler came up with the plan to destroy it, hoping to undo all problems that he caused.

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