|“||Hold it. …Are you going to challenge the Pokémon League? Victory Road is at its end, for sure. But did you notice…? You didn't see any real Trainers on the way, did you? Man, they were all spineless! Well, the fact that you have come this far means you're not one of them. But! Your journey ends here! Because… right here, right now… I will crush you!||„|
|~ To the player at Victory Road|
Silver is the secondary antagonist of Pokémon Gold & Silver, Pokémon Crystal and the remakes of Pokémon Gold & Silver, Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver. He is the rival of Ethan (GS, Crystal, HGSS), Kris (Crystal) or Lyra (HGSS).
In the games
Silver first appears lurking outside of Professor Elm's lab, looking through the window. When talked to, he will deny everything and push the player away. During the player's journey to Mr. Pokémon's house, Silver makes his move, stealing one of Elm's two remaining starter Pokémon (coincidentally always the one that is strong against the player's choice). He will meet with the player on the outskirts of Cherrygrove City, battling to get through. A policeman will later ask for the name of the rival, and the rival will be called the name the player gives for the rest of the game.
Silver shows a strong dislike of Team Rocket. He considers them to be weak, and vows to take them, as well as any other weak Trainer, down. He steals a Sneasel from a Trainer in Cianwood City and while Ethan/Kris/Lyra attempts to take down Team Rocket in Mahogany Town and Goldenrod City, he interferes to prove himself. It is in the Mahogany hideout that he meets with Lance, Champion of the Elite Four at Indigo Plateau. Silver challenges Lance and is easily defeated by the dragon Trainer, who then proceeds to berate Silver for his callous ways towards training Pokémon. Though Silver is outraged for losing to someone with such an attitude, the loss and Lance's words ultimately set him on the path to becoming a better person. When Team Rocket takes over the Goldenrod Radio Tower, Silver first blows the player's Team Rocket disguise, unaware of the player's plan to sneak in by pretending to be a member of Team Rocket. He later follows the player to the Goldenrod underground and they battle Team Rocket, hoping that Lance will reappear and he can request a rematch.
By the time the player reaches Indigo Plateau, Silver battles against the player not out of malice, but to prove that he is a good Trainer. He is defeated and departs to continue training. The player battles Silver on Mt. Moon, and though he loses he claims he can feel his Pokémon getting stronger, and resolves to train at Dragon's Den. When battled the seventh time at Indigo Plateau, Silver seems to have finally learned to care for his Pokémon properly, as his Golbat has evolved to Crobat, which only occurs when Golbat is very friendly. This is further expressed in Generation IV when his starter Pokémon starts to follow him around, much like the player's Pokémon; Professor Elm even expressly states that Silver's Pokémon have come to trust him when Silver returns to the lab, presumably to return the starter he stole.
Following Silver's final encounter with the player and after the player has become Champion, Silver can be found training on Tuesday and Thursday in the Dragon's Den, where he cannot be battled, and will appear at Indigo Plateau on Monday and Wednesday to challenge the player to a battle, should he or she appear. He does not appear at all on Friday or the weekends, indicating that he may in fact take the day off, resting his Pokémon. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Lance and Clair will appear in the Dragon's Den and challenge the player and Silver to a Tag Battle following the battle at Mt. Moon giving him the chance to avenge his loss from earlier.
In terms of personality, Silver is the darkest of the rivals in the series. While most other rivals are generally good-natured, or at least zestful enough to crack a joke at the player, Silver is (at first) cruel, hateful, power-obsessed and even physically abusive, pushing the player character around several times. Even after he starts to become kinder, he remains a rather serious individual. He does, however, express genuine happiness when Elm allows him to keep the Pokémon he stole.
Giovanni and Silver's relationship is revealed in HeartGold and SoulSilver when a fateful encounter Celebi is brought to Ilex Shrine. Celebi takes the player back in time three years to witness Giovanni abandoning Silver to go into seclusion because of his defeat at the hands of Red. Silver's hate for Team Rocket apparently stems from the failure of his father.
- Silver is the only rival whose team does not change in accordance to his starter, nor does he have any types that cover for his starter's initial type.
- In the original Gold, Silver, and Crystal games, when battled at Indigo Plateau, the Champion theme is played instead of his rival theme.
- Art of Silver on Game Freak's website depicts him with a Houndoom, despite not owning one within the games.
- Ash's rival Paul borrows traits from Silver in ways:
- Both were initially cold and cruel to the protagonists.
- Both believed that only have strong pokemon is what matters most of all.
- Both were defeated by a poweful Champion/Frontier Brain (Lance for Silver and Cynthia for Paul).
- Both have one relative shown (Giovanni for Silver and Reggie for Paul).