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Lt. Surge (Japanese: マチス Matis) is the Gym Leader of Vermilion City's Gym, known officially as the Vermilion Gym. He hands out the Thunder Badge to Trainers who defeat him. He specializes in Electric-type Pokémon.
In the games
Lt. Surge is known as The Lightning American. Apparently, he is or was an American soldier who fought in at least one war, during which Electric-type Pokémon saved his life. As a member of the army, Surge was a strict CO, and was rather cautious. He was a pilot as well, and used Electric-type Pokémon to power his planes, a practice that in at least one occasion saved his life. Also, Surge saved the life of one of the Trainers in his gym who was in the army at the same time.
A little paranoid, Lt. Surge installed a series of traps in the gym. He takes a liking to Trainers with a lot of guts.
In addition to the Thunder Badge, Lt. Surge gives out TM24 (Thunderbolt), in Pokémon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow. In FireRed, LeafGreen, HeartGold, and SoulSilver he gives out TM34 (Shock Wave). In Gold, Silver, and Crystal, he doesn't give out a TM. Also in HeartGold and SoulSilver, he trades a foreign Pikachu with the player for another Pikachu.
In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, he will be outside of the Power Plant between 9 AM and 11 AM. This only occurs after the player has captured, not defeated, Zapdos. If the player defeated Zapdos, he or she will need to battle the Elite Four again for Zapdos to reappear. If the player arrives walking with a Pikachu, he will happily give his Pokégear number out, and if called on Friday morning, will be at the Fighting Dojo for a rematch. After the player gets his Pokégear number, he will be at the Magnet Train station in Saffron City. There he'll offer to trade his French Pikachu, nicknamed VOLTY, for the player's Pikachu that he saw at the Power Plant (though it need not be the same one). She will be at the same level as the Pikachu traded, will know the moves appropriate for that level, and be holding a Yellow Shard.
In the animeLt. Surge made his only anime appearance in Electric Shock Showdown. He has also appeared in a flashback in Pika and Goliath!.
Lt. Surge is an extremely large and muscular man, and seems to be the show's tallest human character. He is arrogant, loud, and crude, and refers to all Trainers as "babies" until they manage to defeat him. Lt. Surge generally looks down on unevolved Pokémon, preferring to evolve them as soon as possible, though he was proven wrong when Ash's Pikachu managed to defeat his Raichu using pure speed. He also seems to be an extremely brutal battler, as nearly every trainer that faced him ended up with their Pokémon seriously injured, including Ash's Pikachu on his first attempt.
His Raichu shares many of his personality traits, also appearing to be rather tough. Lt. Surge's main weakness was that he evolved his Pokémon too quickly without taking the time to teach them the speed attacks. Even though he managed to defeat Ash and his Pikachu once with pure power, Pikachu was able to use speed-altering moves like Agility to get the best of Raichu and defeat it, making Lt. Surge the first Gym Leader Ash actually beats in battle and not just receiving the Gym Badge out of gratitude.
Lt. Surge was one of the evil leaders of Team Rocket. In his debut round, Danger: High Voltorb, he used the S.S. Anne in Vermilion City to transport captured Pokémon illegally. He tried to kill Red, but was bested after Red's Poliwhirl evolved into Poliwrath.
Lt. Surge captured Zapdos at the Power Plant under Giovanni's orders. He then fought Red at Silph Co. with an Electrode bazooka and Magneton shield all powered by his newly caught Zapdos. He also had an electrocution suit on so he couldn't be shocked by Zapdos' power. Red waits for him to make Zapdos use its full power and makes Saur cut up the power cords to his machines and his suit so he gets electrocuted instead. However, he, along with the rest of Team Rocket, was dispersed when the chimera made from the Legendary Pokémon was defeated by Red, Blue, and Green in Saffron City.
Some time later, the Elite Four tried to destroy humanity. Team Rocket joined up with the trainers from Pallet Town to stop them. During the battle against the Elite Four on Cerise Island, Lt. Surge was paired with Red according to Sabrina's Spoons of Destiny. However, with Red absent due to injuries, Lt. Surge picked Bill as his partner instead, whose Spoon had not bent due to the fact that he didn't want to battle in the first place. When Red arrived as Bill and Lt. Surge were about to lose, Lt. Surge's spoon bent, revealing Red as his true partner. The three of them then teamed up to defeat Bruno.
In Johto, Lt. Surge was first seen accidentally capturing Crystal, who freed his submarine by capturing the Corsola that were keeping it stuck. He re-payed her by allowing the SS Anne to take her to Olivine City free of charge. He then went to Mahogany Town to investigate the rise of Team Rocket under a different leader, since Koga and Giovanni disappeared and Sabrina was busy healing her wounds. He confronted the Mask of Ice, but lost and barely managed to escape with his life. He then stumbled upon Silver's Red Gyarados at the Lake of Rage. He is then led to several items of Gold and Silver's including one of their Pokédexes and goes to Morty so he can use them to locate the lost boys, who tells him that they are at the Whirl Islands. He is able to return their stuff and watches the Johto Pokédex holder's battle against Lugia before a message is sent to him stating that he is being summoned to a Gym Leader tournament at Indigo Plateau that would pit the Kanto Gym Leaders against the Johto Gym Leaders. Lt. Surge is pitted against Morty for the competition, but their match ends in a draw due to Morty's Misdreavus using Destiny Bond just as his Magnemite beats it.
He battled the Mask of Ice again with Misty and Blaine, but lost.