In a world corrupted by greed, Trainers from around the world still hold one relic from the past dear - catching and training Pokemon.
Unfortunately, due to Team Rocket's criminal activities, even this age-old tradition is in risk of disappearing. Set 26 years after Ash Ketchum and his longtime Rival Gary Oak journeyed on their quest to be the very best, Trainers still view the practice of capturing and training Pokemon as both tradition and a teenager's rite of passage. Due to technological advancement, Trainers no longer start from Pallet Town, instead they typically start their foray into Pokemon in Vermilion City, if they are situated within the Kanto region. Alternatively, they begin in Olivine City if they are from Johto.
After the Kanto government declared Team Rocket enemies of the state, Team Rocket moved their headquarters into Johto and began plotting numerous schemes involving financial fraud and violence using and directed at Pokemon. However, approximately 8 years ago, Team Rocket began the corporate buyout and eventual takeover of Silph Co., the largest and most prominent manufacturer of Pokemon-related technology in the world. Although their crime is concentrated more so in Johto, Team Rocket's reach through Silph Co. in Kanto is ever-present.
In what would eventually be dubbed as The Pokemon Purge
, Team Rocket, using their newly-established connections and influence within Silph Co., managed to steal thousands of Pokemon from unsuspecting Trainers and citizens alike. Pokemarts all over Johto and Kanto began selling Silph Co.'s new product: Champion Pokeballs - cheap to produce, extremely cheap to purchase and guaranteed to catch virtually any Pokemon without having to go through that inconvenient process of weakening the Pokemon first and then trying to catch it. For all intents and purposes, Team Rocket made Master Balls accessible to the average Joe. But there was a defect with the Champion Pokeballs; they would occasionally lock-up and Trainers would be unable to summon their Pokemon.Once members of the Elite 4 and various Gym Leaders were unable to recall their Pokemon, news of the defective Champion Pokeballs spread like wildfire. Under the guise of Silph Co., Team Rocket ordered a complete recall of every Champion Pokeball ever sold.
Trainers, Gym Leaders and virtually everyone within the two regions scrambled to the Silph Co. headquarters, stationed in both Goldenrod City and Cinnabar Island. The company promised they would correct the manufacturing issue and Trainers would be reunited with their Pokemon once said issue was resolved. The defective Champion Pokeballs were Team Rocket's true intention; they were now in possession of thousands of high-leveled and rare Pokemon. Team Rocket held the entire world by the throat.