Pokémon's many Gym Leaders have been renowned for different things through the various mediums Pokémon presents itself. For example, Brock and Misty are remembered so well because of the cartoon. Others we remember because they had such great Pokémon pair-ups, like Sabrina and Alakazam or Lt. Surge and Raichu. The latter of those two is who we're here to celebrate today!
Lt. Surge first appeared on our Game Boy screens in Pokémon Red and Blue. Going head to head against Surge and coming out with the Thunder Badge and increased Speed felt great, almost halfway to beating the whole of Kanto's Gym Leaders! Before you know it you're on your way to the next destination without ever looking back. But maybe you should have? That arrogant and obnoxious guy you just beat who kept referring to you as "baby" until you beat him, he's seen some things.
Some of these will completely change your view on the "lightning lieutenant" and prepare you for Pokémon Let's Go. We'll be looking at Lt. Surge from all mediums (Lore, Game, Anime, TCG, Manga) to find some of the craziest things Lt. Surge has hidden in his closet. And hopefully, we can find some answers of our own? It's time to get your ground types ready, Lt. Surge has challenged you to a battle! Let's take a look at some of the most surprising facts on our electrified Lieutenant!
22 France And Germany Know Him As Major Bob?
Speaking of names and changes. In the French and German versions of the games and anime, Lt. Surge is actually called Major Bob. It's crazy to think that that's the name other people associate him with. Some people even use his real name, from all of my digging up, I can conclude that Lt. Surge's real name is actually Matis. I didn't think much of this until I said Matis Surge as a sentence, now, it feels so right. I think Matis Surge is a better name than Lt. Surge or Major Bob.
21 Electric Pokémon Saved Him During The Pokémon War
Deep in Pokémon's lore and history, there was a Pokémon war. Though the details of the war are sketchy at best, it's known that Lt. Surge played a role in the conflict. When you ask Lt. Surge his favorite Pokémon he replies: "I tell you, kid, electric Pokémon saved me during the war!" When you ask Gentleman Tucker from the Vermillion Gym about Surge he answers: "Lt. Surge was always famous for his cautious nature in the Army." In the original Blue & Red versions, he says before battle "You won't live long in combat! That's for sure!... ...electric Pokémon saved me during the war! They zapped my enemies into paralysis!" This confirms the Pokémon war was a thing, right from the start!
20 He Will Trade You A FRENCH Pikachu For Some Reason
Lt. Surge is a generous guy in the games. In Heart Gold & Soul Silver, after the player catches Zapdos at the Power Plant and gets his Pokégear number, they'll find him at the Magnet Train Station in Saffron City. Here he'll offer to trade the player a Pikachu for a Pikachu. But wait, it's not complete madness, Surge trades the Player a Female, French Pikachu, nicknamed Volty. She'll be at the same level as the Pikachu you traded, she'll know the moves appropriate for that level and she'll be holding a Yellow Shard.
19 Surge Was A CO In the Pokémon Army
According to Gentleman Tucker in the Vermillion Gym, "When I was in the Army, Lt. Surge was my strict CO. He was a hard taskmaster." This confirms that Lt. Surge was a large part in the war, as a CO he would have been in charge of hundreds of troops. It also confirms most of the adults were in the war, with Tucker been one of them. I know some of the films go into details about the war, but I'd love a game about it. Maybe with Surge as your strict CO?
18 He Has Powerful Pokémon Weapons
He wasn't just a one-time villain in the Pokémon Adventures manga. He actually goes on to capture Zapdos in the abandoned Power Plant, following Giovanni's instruction. Red comes across Lt. Surge in Silph Co. where he uses some fancy - yet questionably cruel - Poképowered Equipment.
He uses an Electrode Bazooka and a Magneton-powered shield.
All of this been powered by the Zapdos he caught. On top of this, cautious-natured Surge had a special suit on that would stop him been electrocuted by Zapdos's power. Talk about super-charged! Them poor Electrode...
17 He Was An Epic Pilot Before He Was A Gym Leader
Lt. Surge wasn't just in the Pokémon War, he was also rumored to be a pilot!
The idea Pokémon can be used to power machines is somewhat cool but also kind of cruel.
This rumor helps paint a more vivid image of Surge's capabilities in the war. Although the original games state he's from the West, it's now widely accepted that the Pokémon Nation is not set in our world.
16 He Created A Creepy Hybrid Legendary Pokémon
Surge's control over Zapdos in the Pokémon Adventures manga escalates into the creation of a chimera style Pokémon. Thu-Fi-Zer was the result of a failed Team Rocket experiment - you know, the guys behind Mewtwo. This was an experiment to merge the three Legendary birds: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. What's interesting is that Red actually played a role in its creation, been tricked into using his gym badge's energy through an amplifier to create Thu-Fi-Zer. The near-perfect Pokémon, it could use moves like Blizzard, Fire Spin, and Thunder.
15 The Tallest Character In The Anime...
Lt. Surge is actually the tallest character in the original Anime (most likely the whole Anime). The size comparison between Ash and Surge is crazy. Lt. Surge must've eaten his greens when he was younger! This was probably also to reinforce and install emphasis on the fact he was a soldier in the war. Surge's height is said to rival a Tyranitar! It should be mentioned that his height in the Anime show could be completely out of whack with the newest versions of Lt. Surge. Most notably among newer versions is the upcoming LT Surge from Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! / Let's Go Eevee!
14 He Uses A Bunch Of Grass Pokémon In Stadium For Some Reason
In the primary games, Surge's parties contain strictly electric type Pokémon. However, in the Pokémon Stadium games, Surge is more open-minded to mixing it up. In round 2 of Pokémon Stadium, Surge has a Tangela and Lickitung in his party. Round 1 of Pokémon Stadium II features a Porygon in Surge's party that knows no thunder moves. Round 2 of Pokémon Stadium II is without a doubt THE most diverse party Surge has ever had. A female Victreebel consisting of grass and poison moves; looks like someone evolved from the last round, as Porygon2 is in Surge's party; an excellent water/ground-based counter to even his party's type balance comes in the form of a female Quagsire; finally, a female Dodrio appears in Surge's party. This also happens to Surge's parties in Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga.
13 He Didn't Get His Shades Well Gen IV!
Despite the common image players have of Lt. Surge now, a lot of them might be surprised to know he didn't get his shades until HeartGold & SoulSilver. This one is also aimed at younger Pokémon fans who've not played any of the older games. It's crazy how much a character can change, he also grew between HeartGold & SoulSilver and Black & White 2. Although, that's probably down to the improvements in the game's engine as time's passed.
12 He Holds A Unique Record?
LT Surge has been praised for many things throughout this list, but one of the most bizarre of titles goes to him. He is the only gym leader, in the entire history of Pokémon, to only use one Pokémon in his party.
In Pokémon Yellow Version, Surge uses a single Raichu.
Just like in the anime, only we aren't Ash, and Surge isn't some huge learning curve. Since this happened in Pokémon Yellow, no other Gym battle has ever featured just one Pokémon, making Surge, one of a kind!
11 Surge's "Other" Raichu?
I touched upon earlier how LT Surge may have more than one Raichu in Pokémon Stadium. When we look at movesets, the Raichu's have different moves, so it's highly likely that Surge has more than one Raichu up his sleeve. Strangest of all, one of Lt. Surge's Raichu's is one in a million and knows impossible techniques. The player could never obtain such a Raichu in any game. It knows Surf, a move that is only obtainable through an event Pikachu and it knows Reversal, a move only obtained through hatching. Since you can't hatch an event Pikachu, it's impossible to obtain a Raichu that can use Surf and Reversal.
10 Ash's First Genuine Victory...
Ash Ketchum is a mediocre trainer at best, but the first ever Gym Badge he won - genuinely and not as a sign of gratitude - was Lt. Surge's "The Thunder Badge". I could go on all night about Ash, but instead, I thought I'd take the technical approach. You see, the lesson we take away from this is that you shouldn't evolve Pokémon at the nearest chance (more on that next). Though in the first battle, Ash's Pikachu was defeated by raw power, in the second battle, Ash's Pikachu's speed is used to its advantage. Pikachu uses techniques like Agility to defeat Surge's Raichu. Although, you could have just caught a Digglet or something Ash, took a leaf out of Brock's book?
9 He Evolves His Pokémon Right Away!
Some trainers like Pokémon fast and small, whereas others like Pokémon strong and tall. How do you like your Pokémon party?
Lt. Surge believes evolving Pokémon should be done as soon as possible.
This, however, proves less helpful in the long run. Some Pokémon learn specific moves and techniques from been a lower level - that once they're evolved - cannot be learned. When building your perfect team you should consider moves that can be learned throughout your game. Even if that means slogging round Charmander until he's level fifty.
8 He Pays Extremely Well (Better With Each Game)
In the Pokémon Red, Green & Blue versions of the game, Lt. Surge gives the player $2,376. In Fire Red & Leaf Green versions he pays $2,400. However, in the supercharged, Yellow version of the game (based on the Anime), Lt. Surge pays $2,772. The high voltage Gym Leader just gets richer and richer as the games go on! In the Heart Gold/Soul Silver remakes he pays the best ($6,360) then for a rematch: ($6,720). Whereas in the original Silver, Gold & Crystal versions, he pays somewhere between the $4,000 mark. Maybe it's to do with inflation?
7 He Worked For Team Rocket In The Manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Lt. Surge is actually a team rocket sub-boss! He first appears in Danger: High Voltorb. He uses the S.S. Anne in Vermillion City to transport captured Pokémon illegally. He was some bad that he even tried to get rid of Red for good - one of Pokémon's leading protagonists. That is, until, Red's Poliwhirl evolves into Poliwrath to best the Lt. It's not too hard to picture Lt. Surge actually been a crooked guy, his previous military experience makes him an ideal candidate for Giovanni and Team Rocket.
6 Surge's Most Expensive Card...
We've got a list of the rarest Pokémon Cards (and what they're worth), right here, on TheGamer. Wanna take a guess who isn't on the list? The original LT Surge in Reverse Foil is Surge's most valuable card and sells for a measly average of $18.98.
The card only allows basic swapping maneuvers and isn't anything special.
That been said, the Trading Card Game was massive, and Surge was left behind. He has had some newer released cards in the TCG, but nothing worth over the above price. It's okay Surge, we still love you.
5 Raichu Was Unpopular In The Manga...
Despite the popularity of Lt. Surge's Raichu in the Anime and Yellow version of Pokémon, Raichu doesn't appear as often in the Pokémon Adventures manga. The Raichu was seen at Sliph Co. briefly but didn't participate in any battles. In fact, Surge traveled all the way to Johto with Raichu before actually battling with him against the Masked Man. He did go on to use Raichu against the famous Red Gyarados, but he called Raichu off when he realized the Gyarados was trying to free Silver.
4 Surge Was Paired With Raikou!
Lt. Surge was also - slightly ironically - paired up with the Legendary dog Pokémon, Raikou. The thunder-toothed canine teamed up with Surge to fight the Masked Man, however, when Surge was rendered unconscious by the Masked Man, Raikou found itself a friend in Gold. After the dust settles and everything is back to normal, Raikou leaves Gold's side to return to the wild. Much later in the series, it was recaught by Salon Maiden Anabel in Johto.
3 Surge Always Has A Raichu In His Party!
Pokémon Adventures manga aside, in the Pokémon games, every single party that Lt. Surge has ever, ever used, contains a Raichu. This proves that Raichu was always shipped with Lt. Surge right from the Pokémon Nation's earliest incarnations. Pokémon Stadium actually raises questions about whether or not Surge has more than one Raichu. In round 1 & 2 in Pokémon Stadiums 1 & 2, Surge has a Raichu in both parties. Although the other Pokémon he uses swap and change throughout the games, Raichu is the only consistent member of every party Surge uses.
2 Surge Is One Of The Most Popular Gym Leaders
Our star of the show, Lt. Surge, has appeared (including Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!) in sixteen titles (Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, FireRed, LeafGreen, HeartGold, SoulSilver, Black 2, White 2, Stadium, Stadium 2).
He's one of the most popular characters in the franchise in terms of showtime.
It's going to be interesting to see if LT Surge plays any sort of part in the Let's Go storyline? It would be great to see all the Gym Leaders play a vital role in the game's story.
1 He's A Well-Travelled Gym Leader
So Surge is probably from Unova. But out of the whole of the Gym Leaders, with the way it stands, Lt. Surge is one of the only two Gym Leaders that have left the known Pokémon Nation. The other been Fantina. This could all change with Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! if the Surge in Let's Go says he's from Unova (or any other region, be it just a name). It's highly likely that the Fantina in the game's future (if they go down that road) will say she's been to another region in the known Pokémon Nation.