The Pokemon games have a variety of different music throughout, with Trainer battles being some of the most enjoyable themes available. We’ve rounded up ten of the greatest character-specific tunes when it comes to battling, so follow along below to relive these legendary encounters and determine which one is truly the best (like no one ever was).
One of the highlights of Pokemon ORAS’ storyline is the post-game Delta Episode content, starring the mysterious trainer known as Zinnia. As if her design, narrative, and partner Pokemon weren’t badass enough, this theme makes her even more memorable. Zinnia’s battle music is the perfect blend of intensity and mystery, which perfectly suits her character. With the violin creating a ridiculously catchy melody among the fast-paced drums, this music is sure to make your fight against her a significant highlight within the entire ORAS game.
There’s good reason why Cynthia has made a name for herself as one of the fan-favorite Sinnoh characters and Champions in the Pokemon franchise. Not only does she have a great character and a powerful partner Pokemon in her beloved Garchomp, but this fight music is hands-down one of the best tracks to have ever come out of a Pokemon game. The beat is intense and fast-paced, perfectly capturing that feeling of going up against the Elite Four Champion.
Cynthia is known to be?one of the most difficult Champion battles?to overcome in the Pokemon game series, so this theme portrays her level of skill and presents a truly threatening aura on behalf of her powerhouse team.
Guzma’s theme stands out as being very different from most Trainer battle themes, taking on unique Hip-Hop influences, even including looped vocal effects throughout. There’s no denying it; this theme is one hundred percent Guzma. It just radiates his energy completely, keeping an intense and catchy tune that indicates his desperation to become a powerful Trainer, while also portraying his role as leader of the Team Skull hooligans through the remixed vocals and various turntable scratches pulled from the Team Skull Grunt theme.
Champion Lance & Red
I don’t know about you, but this tune will forever be embedded in my brain as one of the most iconic Pokemon anthems of all time. I’ll never forget the intense battles of both Champion Lance and his three Dragonite and the mysterious Trainer Red’s team of fully-evolved classics in both Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal, as well as HeartGold and SoulSilver.
From the iconic intro, the build-up, and then the drop into the full beat, this battle theme truly does a perfect job at making you feel like you’re going up against one of the greats from the very first chord and is the perfect way to round out your battling adventure in the Johto Region.
Wally is certainly a beloved character and friendly rival all in one, going through a huge development from the moment you first meet him until your last fight against him. At the beginning of Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and ORAS, Wally is a sickly boy who needs a hand catching a partner Pokemon for himself. After obtaining his Ralts, he still seems quite weak – both in terms of health and as a Trainer.
However, by the end of the game, you can stumble across this lovable, resilient lad again on Victory Road, where he will challenge you to a significantly more difficult battle than any previous encounters, proving to have grown in confidence.
This theme, using a rather heroic electric guitar lead, is the perfect anthem for Wally, proving that his health isn’t a factor that holds him back when it comes to personal growth and skills as a Pokemon Trainer. This battle is certainly a fond memory for many, and the music helps it to be such a favorable encounter, especially the combination of Mega Gallade making an appearance and beginning to dish out damage with the guitar ringing in the background, just showing how much Wally has overcome on his journey to the top alongside the very best Trainers of Hoenn.
Look, it doesn’t matter if you love Steven or if you hate him; how could his battle theme do anything other than get you pumped for the match at hand? Seriously, the intro to this theme kicks off full blast, before diving right into chaotic and busy synths that truly amplify the intensity of this Champion battle.
There’s nothing else to say, other than the music perfectly orchestrates Steven’s power and his unique team of unique Pokemon, such as the mighty Metagross, fearsome Aggron, and both fully evolved forms of the Hoenn Fossil Pokemon. Steven’s battle music truly is, and always will be one of the best pieces of Pokemon music – just listening to the tune again gives me the same rush of adrenaline that my younger self received upon heading into this encounter.
While his character development and personality may be a letdown, there’s a lot to love about Lysandre’s theme. It kicks off with subtle music that sounds as if it’s building towards an impending doom, but then the beat drops and it amplifies all the chaos this man stands for. Most significantly, Lysandre’s theme sounds unique and almost quirky in comparison to other Trainer battle themes, which makes it stand out even more.
This mix creates a completely different type of intensity than the classic Champion themes or big boss battles, with a perfect blend of electric guitars, fast-paced drums, and even spooky choir-like vocals. To be perfectly honest, this mix leads me to be completely torn between feeling an overwhelming sense of dread, or an overwhelming need to dance around and bop my head like a maniac for the entirety of this theme; it’s just that good.
N (Final Battle)
A character as intriguing and mysterious as N should certainly have a battle theme to match; and Pokemon absolutely delivered on this. N’s final battle mix is full of mysterious synths, keys, and vocals to continue portraying that stranger and unfamiliar aura regarding his character, even in his most intense moments of battle.
This theme also builds really well throughout, which creates so much more satisfaction as you slowly manage to overcome and pick off his mighty team. From start to finish, the music just makes you feel like you’re getting one step closer, one step closer, and then finally; victory!
Champion Diantha’s theme is also quite different compared to other Champion battle themes, utilizing a much softer and more whimsical sound that perfectly suits her character’s role as a professional actor. I mean, just look at her costume, everything about her seems to have a rather luxurious vibe to it, and her battle theme is no exception. While it may not be as crazy or intense as other themes, it certainly manages to be just as catchy, which makes it stand out as one of the best character themes in the Pokemon game franchise.
Lusamine’s battle theme is another anthem that stands out for being unique and different from the classic Pokemon sound, which just makes it that much more memorable. The vocals in the intro are completely jarring and suit Lusamine perfectly, balancing her beauty-focused aesthetic with the fragmented obsession with Ultra Beasts inside her head. The main melody is somehow both quite relaxing and serene, while also sounding like a chaotic tune suited for the villainess that she is, which is a very impressive combination.
Penny’s theme is rather odd – at first, it sounded like an absolute chaotic mess to me, and I was sure it was going to be a complete annoyance, giving me a headache. And then, out of nowhere around the 0:40 mark, the beat starts to properly kick off, changing my impression from a chaotic tune that hurts my head to a chaotic tune I absolutely must franticly bop my head to. And just when I started getting into it, Penny’s battle theme hit even harder, dropping into synths around the 0:50 mark that almost have a subtle dubstep-like influence.
Honestly, even though a lot of Pokemon themes naturally sound quite similar, I can’t help but feel as if I’ve never really heard anything like this battle music before. And it was such a wild surprise, having Penny, who is such a quiet, timid character, have such loud and wild music; truly an S-tier mix.
Geeta’s theme is truly a masterpiece; everything about this battle music absolutely slaps. Not only does it carry that perfect Scarlet & Violet sound, but there are also many elements of iconic battle themes from previous generations that can be clearly heard throughout by any longtime Pokemon fan.
This is the perfect way to pay homage to the development of past titles, especially with Scarlet & Violet being the first step towards a new direction of Pokemon games. This is certainly the perfect theme for Geeta and a brilliant track for the Gen 9 Champion battle. If future battle themes are this much of a bop, then I’m sure we all have plenty to look forward to with the next Pokemon soundtrack