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The many depictions of Team Magma & Team Aqua

Discussion in 'Pokémon Generation III Discussion' started by shoz999, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. shoz999

    shoz999 It's a Brooklyn episode. So turn on the subtitles.

    Team Magma & Team Aqua's depiction throughout the series is fairly interesting in the fact that many current adaptations of the villains are rooted from the Ruby & Sapphire games version of Team Magma & Team Aqua. For those who don't know in the Ruby & Sapphire games, Archie was never portrayed as someone who thought expanding the seas would help the Pokemon and neither was Maxie portrayed as someone who wanted to expand the continents to create land for humanity. Those motivations were only introduced in the ORAS remakes which in some ways nearly changed the characters for some Pokemon fans who knew them from Ruby & Sapphire, just two dudes who wanted to expand the lands or the seas just because. More specificially, GameFreak didn't really put a lot effort into Archie and Maxie and so were just in the end two generic bad guys, bad guys with a lot of room for adaptations. As proof of this, one simply has to look at the one that got the most different incarnation from this blank slate GameFreak created, Tabitha of Team Magma who looks incredibly different from his remake, anime and manga counterpart.

    With that being said. What do you think of Team Aqua & Team Magma overall throughout their many appearances? Is there any member of the group that's a favorite? Do you think it's interesting that GameFreak's blankslate for Team Aqua and Team Magma has resulted in different depictions of the group, including the remakes.

    I've organized a list of many of the well-known Team Magma & Team Aqua members that stood out to me below by the OG games, remakes, anime and Pokemon Adventures manga. Unlike the Team Rocket list I made previously, the many depictions of Team Aqua and Team Magma are so different you could separate them as different characters rather.

    OG Games - Ruby and Sapphire (Gen 3)
    If you've taken a quick look at the list below, your probably wondering what's with the sprite images instead of artwork. It's because there is no official artwork featuring any of the Team Magma and Team Aqua lieutenants beforehand. As you can see in my quick explanations, Maxie & Archie not only feel like blank sates but even their lieutenants are also too, having the same dialogue of their Ruby or Sapphire counterparts.

    Maxie
    [​IMG]

    This is the original Maxie featured in Gen 3. His goal is simple really. He wants to find a way to expand the landmass and it's never really explained why in the end. Once he is defeated, he claims to have regret his actions, disband Team Magma and deliver the orb he stole back to Mt. Pyre.

    Tabitha
    [​IMG]
    This is Tabitha, a lieutenant of Team Magma and the only thing that sticks out from the rest of the Magma grunts is his cape. There's not much known about him except that he is very cocky and can't help but chuckle every time you meet him. Interestingly, this is a trait that's actually carried over in the Tabitha of the remakes.

    Courtney
    [​IMG]
    Courtney is the other lieutenant of Team Magma and as you notice what sticks out from the other female Magma grunts is her black skirt. Similar to Tabitha, she also is very cocky and can't help but laugh like a stereotypical villain, boasting how strong she is and acknowledging your strength if you defeat her.

    Archie

    [​IMG]
    This is the original Archie featured in Gen 3. His goal is also simple. He wants to find ways to expand the seas and it's never really explained in the end either. Once he is defeated, similar to Maxie he claims to regret his actions, disband Team Aqua and deliver the orb he stole back to Mt. Pyre. As mentioned before, it's easy to see why Maxie and Archie are seen as blank slates that resulted in multiple interpretations over the years.

    Matt
    [​IMG]
    Yes. This is not fake. The muscle-headed Matt who exposes his manly pecks was originally this guy. This is the OG Matt and is similar to Tabitha actually, sharing the exact same cocky personality and chuckling.

    Shelly
    [​IMG]
    If you noticed how similar Matt's personality is to Tabitha, it's the same here for how Shelly's personality is similar to Courtney's. Shelly boast how strong she is and has a grudging respect for the player's strength.

    Remake Games - Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (Gen 6)
    Unlike past remakes, even HGSS where Team Rocket's new makeover was understandable due to the lack of names, here ORAS's Team Magma and Team Aqua get undoubtedly the hugest makeover, some characters looking like entirely new characters even. It's noted that unlike previously, GameFreak has decided to give Team Magma and Aqua and actual motive, to expand the lands to advance humanity or to expand the seas to help Pokemon. Personally... I think both plans are honestly the most overcomplicated and dumbest plans ever by a Pokemon villain since possibly HGSS, when Archer used all his manpower just to contact one man and disband it after failing to contact one man. However I will admit the new character designs boast more personality and character than previously, the original Team Magma and Team Aqua lacking more character than even the faceless Team Rocket of the original Gold and Silver versions.

    Maxie
    [​IMG]
    This is the remakes take on Maxie of Team Magma. Much more defined in not only character but even in style, Maxie is portrayed as an intelligent man who longs for the advancement of humanity by expanding the landmass. Not only does he get a new style of clothing paired with an awesome red jacket that reminds you of Lance, he gets glasses with a Mega Stone embedded into it. Although to be honest, I think his plan is honestly one of the dumbest and most over-complicated villainous plans GameFreak has come up with just to humanize Maxie for the player.

    Tabitha
    [​IMG]
    Tabitha's cocky laughter from the OG Ruby and Sapphire games have made a return here combine with some new traits such as his extreme devotion and loyalty to Maxie often addressing him as "Leader Maxie". He is noticeably more brainy than his previous counterpart and takes his missions far more seriously but also thinks very highly of himself, shocked whenever he loses to you, the player, to whom he always addresses as "the child".

    Courtney
    [​IMG]
    Coutney makes a return sporting the same hairdo she had originally but with a pinkish color. Unlike Tabitha's personality who evolved from the OG games, Courtney's character is completely different, seemingly inspired by Team Galactic member Mars of Pokemon Adventures. She has a stoic robot-like voice, likes to analyze the situation and is also loyal to Maxie. Similar to Adventures take on Mars, she is battle crazy, having an crazy-looking smile on her face and loves to giggle at you, the player's destruction.

    Archie
    [​IMG]

    This is the remakes take of Archie of Team Aqua. Unlike Maxie's design who looks somewhat of an evolution of his previous design, Archie's design made a huge leap, almost unrecognizable in some ways utilizing a diver-suit with a Mega Evolution stone embedded into an anchor-necklace. He's often consider a favorite out of the two among fans for his cocky personality and love for Pokemon battles. However similar to Maxie, I also think his plan to expand the seas is just as dumb and complicated just to humanize Archie.

    Matt
    [​IMG]
    Similar to Courtney, Matt had a massive makeover. Now he sports huge muscles and is noted for his bromance with Archie. He's the ultimate "bro" of Team Lieutenants, having an undying loyalty to Archie and often begging for forgiveness when he realizes his mistakes.

    Shelly
    [​IMG]
    Shelly is interesting in that she seems to be an evolution of Shelly from the games. She is full of confidence in her strength and has grudging respect for you, the player's strength. She is the brains of Team Aqua and it's also hinted that she has a crush on Archie.

    Anime
    The anime's take is honestly what I believe to be the worst version of Maxie and Archie. To give you an idea just how bad it is to me personally, Archie & Maxie only appear in a disappointing two-parter episode. Archie ends up as a generic bad guy while Maxie literally doesn't do anything. I am not kidding, this guy LITERALLY does not use a single Pokemon once. He literally does nothing. The worst part however is that we don't actually get to see Team Magma and Team Aqua work hard to unleash Groudon and Kyogre. By the time Ash & Co. meets Team Magma and Team Aqua, they already have Groudon and Kyogre somehow without any real explanation. It's also noted that Lieutenants Courtney and Matt make no appearances in the anime but the anime surprisingly does a good job in capturing the idea of what Tabitha and Shelly looks like in animation from their sprite work, considering there is no official artwork of them back than.

    Maxie
    [​IMG]
    This is Maxie of Team Magma from the anime who appears in a two-parter special in-between the 6th and 7th gyms. Team Magma does somewhat have a reason for their goals of expanding the land and they claim it's for peace and it never goes any further from that. What's interesting is that Team Magma is extended and portrayed as also an evil group in it's movie appearance, building further hype on the Team Magma lore. This Maxie who sought out for the orb later realizes the error of his ways when he sees Archie corrupted by the blue orb. From then on, Maxie never appears or is mentioned again. This is one of the more weaker and disappointing adaptations of Maxie as his vague character, the fact that we practically know nothing about him, shows that the anime crew really had no clue what to do with him. In fact, never once in the two-parter episode do we see Maxie use a Pokemon of his own and he doesn't really do anything during the special.

    Tabitha
    [​IMG]
    This is Tabitha of Team Magma as portrayed from the anime. Surprisingly with the lack of official artwork from GameFreak, the anime actually gives us a really accurate look on what his design looks like beyond the game-sprites and captures it perfectly. He is a Team Magma Lieutenant who seeks answers on how to revive Groudon and constantly encounters Ash & Co. who meddles his plans. There's not really much known about him except he has the same cocky behavior as his game counterpart.

    Brodie
    [​IMG]
    This deceiving damsel is actually a man who is a master of disguise lol. I'm sorry. I couldn't resist using this picture to represent Brodie but hey! He's pretty good at disguises as shown here lol. Brodie is a fun villain for Ash & Co to fight and honestly it's one of the few surprises about Team Magma & Team Aqua that was genuinely interesting which help the build-up to the supposed epic Team Magma & Team Aqua finale. He actually appears again after the two-part special as a classic master-of-disguise villain on a cruise ship where Ash & Co. and Officer Jenny are on the hunt for.

    Butler
    [​IMG]
    A former Team Magma scientist, he originally approached Team Magma to show them his invention of creating a Groudon. Team Magma laughed at his failed demonstration which ultimately serves as the background of the movie, Jirachi Wishmaker where Butler seeks Jirachi to create a Groudon. He instead ends up with a monstrosity that fans refer to as "Fake Groudon".

    Archie
    [​IMG]
    Archie is the leader of Team Aqua and is shown to be a cocky individual. His goal is never explained but he turns into a generic evil bad guy due to the orb corrupting his body. All we know other than that is that Team Aqua has deep respect for him and that's really it.

    Shelly
    [​IMG]
    Shelly is the lieutenant of Team Aqua and is a very determined and calculating individual. She is tasked on many missions, including to retrieve the orb to awaken Kyogre. She is noticeably an accurate design of the games spritework despite the fact that GameFreak has no real official artwork of the Aqua lieutenants. Other than that, she seems to deeply care about Archie's well being and that's really it.

    Team Aqua Agent
    [​IMG]
    Although very few sites mention him, he is the first real Team Aqua member to make his debut and he stands out from other grunts by giving Team Aqua a great start through secrecy, infiltrating the Devon Corp. and threatening Briney to take him across the seas.

    Pokemon Adventures Manga
    EVERYONE IS HERE. We have the OG Maxie, Courtney, Tabitha, Archie, Shelly and Matt and also the remakes take on Maxie, Courtney, Tabitha, Archie, Shelly and Matt as well. Not to mention we also have manga-exclusive Magma and Aqua lieutenants, Blaise and Amber who are just as memorable that you may mistake them as a lieutenant from the games like I did. In fact Amber is arguably the best Team Aqua Lieutenant out of any series even though he's manga-exclusive due to his undying loyalty to Archie even after Team Aqua disbands. Adventures take on the OG Team Magma and Team Aqua are easily my favorite because they have a simple yet very logical goal behind their reason to expands the land or seas, power. That's it. Just lust for power and nothing else and this generic trope is actually quite interesting due to it's execution. Unlike previous story arcs, these two villainous teams feel like one of the main characters here where you get to see their plans in action step-by-step through the POV of Team Aqua and Team Magma as they are working against each other. In some cases, your actually rooting for the bad guys to win.

    Maxie
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    With the blank slate of GameFreak's Maxie and Archie, Maxie has been given quite an interesting character. He's not a big brainy scientist of the remakes but instead he and Team Magma are portrayed as bunch of hardened thieves hiding underground somewhere, which makes the horned clothing a lot more sense than scientists. Here, Team Magma want the power of Groudon not to advance humanity but for simply the sake of power. This simple generic reason actually makes so much sense than the overcomplicated one of the remakes. It's power and the steps that Maxie do to lead Team Magma are incredibly interesting that Team Magma does feel like a main character of the Pokemon series.

    Courtney
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Because the original games were blank-slates, so is Courtney. The original Courtney hates the responsibilities of her job as a lieutenant and is definitely one girl who isn't afraid of anyone, downright disrespecting Tabitha who is a very large muscular man. She's an absolute powerful battler that is able to handle herself well against even Gym Leaders and what's interesting about her is that she has a crush on Ruby or what you game fans know as Brendan. The thing is, unlike other characters with such tropes, she does not hide this crush wanting Ruby to be hers, even by brute force if she has to. Part of the reason for this is that she can relate to Ruby's love of fashion and beauty as she herself used to be a master of Pokemon Contests before joining up Team Magma. In fact it's actually her knowledge of beauty in Pokemon Contests is what makes her so dangerous. Her battling style consist of not just her Pokemon but also herself by mixing berries from her experience as Pokemon Coordinator to create different effects. Tomato berries for example can blind Pokemon due to it's burning properties. A Pomeg and Kelpsy berry mixed together can create a sticky substance that prevents the opponent from escaping. After the events of Groudon & Kyogre, she's given up her life in Team Magma and is seen gardening her flowers as a civilian with a bright new house near her, smiling at a bright future.

    The second iteration of Courtney is different from the original as it's revealed that "Courtney' are part of a series of code-names. Similar to her game-counterpart. She's crazy.

    Tabitha
    [​IMG]
    This is Tabitha. He seems like the muscle of the group however that does not actually accurately reflect his deceiving battle style. Like his fellow lieutenants, he has a particularly unique battle style, one that consist of using smoke and toxic gases that can blind or disrupt people's body functions such as making them drowsy. There's not much known about him except that he tends to butt heads with fellow lieutenant Courtney and that despite being a villain, he is not heartless having rescuing the enemy, Team Aqua Lieutenant Amber from almost certain death. After the events of Groundon & Kyogre, Tabitha is no longer a Team Magma member and is now a civilian of Lavaridge Town, wearing a bathrobe as he is about to head to Lavaridge's famous hotsprings.

    The second Tabitha is far more brainy but also cocky and tends to complain a lot. He is actually a former researcher of the Devon Corporation but is fed up with their policies and joined up with Team Magma as the new "Tabitha", Tabitha revealed to be a codename.

    Blaise - Hoenn Kindler Trainer Class
    [​IMG]
    Blaise is an interesting character. He was originally loyal to Maxie's vision to expand the land but after the disbanded Team Magma, he resumed a civillian life as a Kindler which is a trainer class from Hoenn. In truth however, he was plotting to awaken Groudon again and start a new Team Magma only for the real Maxie to appear sporting new clothes and glasses. Surprised at not only Maxie but his leadership skills and devotion to controlling Groudon some day, Blaise becomes loyal to Maxie again, shoving away his plot to form a new Team Magma as Maxie offers Blaise his Mega glasses before he passes away. Since then, Blaise wears the glasses in memory of Maxie. What's interesting about Blaise is that he is a manga-exclusive Lieutenant who actually makes a return in the ORAS chapter, a celebration of the ORAS remakes, and plays a rather huge role in the story. His battling style is one of the most dangerous and also most interesting as Blaise is well-known among Team Magma as an illusionist. He uses a mixture of heat and smoke from his Pokemon to create illusions making him an extremely hard opponent to beat due to his trickery.

    Archie
    [​IMG]
    With the blank slate of GameFreak's Maxie and Archie, Archie has been given quite an interesting character. He's not a cocky trainer who loves battling originally but instead he and Team Aqua are portrayed as a secret organization that has access to the news media, which makes the original black-jet clothing a lot more sense. Here, Team Aqua want the power of Kyogre not to help Pokemon but for simply the sake of power. This simple generic reason actually makes so much sense than the over-complicated one of the remakes. It's power and the steps that Archie do to lead Team Aqua are incredibly interesting that Team Aqua does feel like a main character of the Pokemon series. Whats more is that Archie actually appears in a total of three story arcs, showcasing his neverending lust for power and is responsible for the creation of an abomination called Fake Kyogre, a giant monster made of the great seas itself capable of flooding entire cities.

    Matt
    [​IMG]
    The original Matt is a tough battler that uses brutal tactics which is fitting considering that he has Sharpedo and Azumarill. Yes, Azumarill is a brutal Pokemon in competitive lol. He is merciless but he is also extremely loyal to Archie begging him to go with him into the deep seafloor cavern where Kyogre awaits despite objections. It is unknown what happened to him after the events of Groudon & Kyogre.

    The second Matt is revealed that "Matt" is a codename. Not much is known about him except that he's quite a muscle-head.

    Shelly
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The first Shelly is not only loyal to Archie but she is often treated as the leader of the lieutenants when Archie isn't around. She is smart and calculating, a deadly opponent that uses any advantage she can find to win. Other than that, there's not much to her.

    The second Shelly is revealed to be a codename. She is a former researcher of the Devon Corporation who works for Team Aqua after being fed up with their policies.

    Amber - Hoenn Fisherman Trainer Class
    [​IMG]
    Amber, a manga-exclusive character is arguably the most interesting Team Aqua Lieutenant out of the entire Pokemon series. This man is extremely loyal that it's actually kind of sad and yet fulfilling in a way. As Amber is fighting Tabitha, Amber sees Archie who thinks he's here to assist him only to be betrayed. Even after that, Amber remains confident that it must've been a mistake and returns to Archie like nothing happened. Even after the events of Groudon & Kyogre, Amber, in the clothing's of a Hoenn fisherman, still missed the "good ol' days" of Team Aqua and finds evidence that Archie might be alive. He seeks to return to his boss and during Archie's final hours, Archie rewards the man's loyalty despite betraying him with his mega anchor. Amber now carries on Archie's dying memory through that mega anchor.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  2. Prof. SALTY

    Prof. SALTY The Scruffy Professor

    I thought the ORAS interpretation of Aqua was the best. The anime interpretations were just bad and daddy Matt couldn't even smash in RS. The admins had waaaay more personality and charm in ORAS and were pretty well written characters. You could actually see how much Matt and Shelly cared for Archie and it even almost seemed romantic on Shelly's part.

    I have no opinion on Magma because the characters in ORAS weren't as strong as their Aqua counterparts. Courtney was the only one who even mattered. No interpretation of Magma was all that great... I will admit that the grunt outfit is much better than Aqua's in all versions though.
     
    shoz999 likes this.
  3. shoz999

    shoz999 It's a Brooklyn episode. So turn on the subtitles.

    I have to disagree with "no interpretation" of Team Magma was all that great. In Pokemon Adventures, I thought it had both the best version of Team Magma and Team Aqua with Team Magma being the more interesting of the two. I guess I best describe their stories as sort of like spy-fi stuff where you get to see the lieutenants on missions and it's quite a blast to see their unique battling styles and personalities on the field. My favorite of the six lieutenants would definitely have to be Courtney who is easily the best take on Courtney in my opinion. This version of Courtney is a former Pokemon coordinator who loves fashion & beauty and is one of the things she relates to Ruby (Brendan) who also loves fashion & beauty to the point she teases him a lot to be her partner. One of the most interesting things I found about Courtney is how deadly a master of Pokemon Contests can be when they put their knowledge to creative use, specifically how berries work which have different properties alone or if mixed. She even helps Ruby in the end when things go very very horribly wrong when Groudon & Kyogre are awakened. In many ways, and it seems readers of the manga seem to agree on this, that honestly ORAS Courtney was kind of a downgrade compared to Adventures Courtney. I suppose in terms of exclusively games though, ORAS Courtney is an upgrade.
     
  4. Prof. SALTY

    Prof. SALTY The Scruffy Professor

    I'm not going to get into another argument regarding Special, but I disagree. I think Aqua was still handled leagues better than Magma in the manga and that Magma just isn't as solid a team in any iteration. Special has the second best version of magma, but it's still not a good one.
     
  5. shoz999

    shoz999 It's a Brooklyn episode. So turn on the subtitles.

    I have to respectfully disagree. Adventures take on Team Magma and Team Aqua's simplistic goal for power manage to turn a generic trope into an interesting step-by-step goal that faithfully adapts GameFreak's vision for Groudon & Kyogre, showing how power can go horribly wrong in the wrong hands whereas I honestly do think Team Magma and Team Aqua's motives of the remakes really is one of the dumbest and most overcomplicated takes I have ever seen in a Pokemon villain. However I have the feeling that you feel the same way too leaving it completely out of your response? Is it perhaps not Team Aqua or Team Magma's goal of any version really you find interesting but the characterization itself? If so, now that really comes down to personal opinions really as trying to compare ORAS Archie to Adventures Archie is like trying to compare good Archie to evil Archie. Both are interesting characters in their own right because they feel like two completely different characters and when you start comparing the two, it really comes down to your opinion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  6. Leonhart

    Leonhart Disney fanatic

    I didn't mind the two Houen villainous teams, although I did feel like the games didn't explain enough why they were so focused on ruining environments so selfishly. The two team leaders needed a backstory.
     
    shoz999 likes this.
  7. KyogreThunder

    KyogreThunder Call of Fate

    Although Team Magma&Aqua's plans were silly in the Generation III games, I didn't mind them as at least they weren't as lame as Team Rocket. The remakes fleshed them out even more and gave the Leadres and Admins memorable personalities. I really disliked Tabitha's new design, though, as the old one was pretty good actually. My favourite member of the lot is Shelly, and I liked the slight shipping implications in the anime, despite the fact the final battle in AG was anticlimactic.
     
    shoz999 likes this.
  8. shoz999

    shoz999 It's a Brooklyn episode. So turn on the subtitles.

    Honestly, although Team Magma and Team Aqua had more character in the remakes, I honestly kind of like the Emerald take better as it had a far more satisfying built-up and conclusion that lead to arguably the first cinematic cut scene in the Pokemon main series games, Rayquaza descending down to stop Kyogre and Groudon. So far I've only seen Rayquaza vs. Groudon and Kyogre in Pokemon Emerald, the Mega Evolution Anime Special and Pokemon Adventures Ruby & Sapphire.
     

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