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|“||Why are you in such a hurry, Tim? She's filled me in on what you're doing. I understand that you've captured Keith...and now you've managed to wreck my machine. That's quite an accomplishment. (Emilia: Tim! Don't bother with me. Just—Ah!) Listen up. Open the valves on both sides of the machine and start it up!||„|
|~ Roger to Tim after capturing Emilia.|
Roger Clifford, better known as simply Roger, or "The Mastermind", is the main antagonist of the 2018 video game Detective Pikachu; a spin-off of the Pokémon franchise and a major character in its 2019 film adaptation Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. He is the seemingly friendly producer of the TV network GNN, who is later revealed to be the one behind all the Pokémon-related incidents affecting Ryme City.
In the video game, he was voiced by Xander Mobus in the English dub, who also voiced Master Hand, The Conductor, Abigail, and Momoshiki Ōtsutsuki, and by Hiroki Tōchi. In the Pokémon: Detectve Pikachu film, he was portrayed by Chris Greere.
Roger was the producer of the GNN TV station, and was highly successful at his job due to his charisma, friendly nature and good ideas. At some point prior to the game, he discovered Pokémon Comprehensive Laboratory's failed miracle drug called R, which, due to being derived from Mewtwo's cells, would cause any Pokémon that consumed it to become incredibly powerful, as well as incredibly hostile and violent.
Deciding to use R to gain power, he had Simon Yen, the only person other than Dr. Waals who knew how to make R, kidnapped and forced to produce the chemical inside a laboratory at Ryme Wharf, while he built GNN up as the most influential TV station in the city, so he could control any and all information that went through it. Then, he had R dispersed on various instances in order to make Pokémon go berserk (primarily in front of GNN cameras or reporters, so the company could profit off of the chaos). He did this through his main henchman Keith Norman (who was unaware of his boss' true identity), whom he also sent to attack Harry Goodman with his Skorupi when he and his Pikachu began to investigate the incidents. Eventually, through someone working for Carlos Hernando, Roger had Harry's car tampered with, resulting in an accident that caused Harry to disappear and Pikachu to lose the ability to use attacks, while gaining the ability to speak. Two months later, Harry's son Tim comes to Ryme City to search for his father, and teams up with Pikachu to do so.
Meeting Tim Goodman
Roger is first seen in Chapter 5, "Fine Park", where he, Emilia and Meiko stop at the Hi-Hat Café to get coffee. When they arrive, they meet Tim and Pikachu, and Roger introduces himself, remarking that Emilia and Meiko cannot stop talking about him and his detective skills. When Tim states that he and Pikachu are headed to Fine Park to investigate the incident that happened there a year before, Roger invites him to come to GNN to watch the coverage Emilia and Meiko had done on it the next day.
Later, in Chapter 6, "GNN", Tim and Pikachu arrive at the GNN building to see the Fine Park footage, and Meiko and Emilia decide to take them to the studio first to say hi to Roger. Inside the studio, Roger is being praised for his idea of Yanma cameras by the GNN president, Mr. Graham. When Tim and Pikachu arrive with Meiko and Emilia, Roger introduces his boss to the two detectives. Meiko soon leaves to get the Fine Park recording, and Roger offers Tim and Pikachu a tour of the studio. Roger and the other GNN staff members are later summoned by Tim and Pikachu when they discover who had stolen Carina Mitchel's violin, exposing the culprit as Max Warhol. Max soon breaks down and explains that he stole the violin because he thought his popularity was sagging and he would lose his job, needing to sell the violin to pay off his debts, however, Roger explains that he was planning on getting Max to continue as the host of Maximum Music, but now has no choice but to call the police. Roger is then present when Tim, Meiko, Emilia, and Pikachu analyze the Fine Park footage and realize that Keith and his Skorupi had been at the park that day and used a balloon filled with R to provoke Charizard into going on a rampage.
Truth Revealed and Defeat
In Chapter 8, "Where R Goes", after Keith is arrested, Tim, Emilia and Pikachu discover that he had been working for someone else, and that the three different versions of R had been planted at the Pokémon Carnival, ready to go off during the parade. Due to the R also being planted before GNN cameras, Tim and Pikachu deduce that whoever the mastermind is, they have to be someone who works for GNN. In Chapter 9, "Pokémon Carnival", Tim, Emilia and Pikachu rush to prevent the R from going off at 8:00, when all three different parades converge in the Ryme City square. When Pikachu and Tim discover the liquid R at a snack stand, Roger arrives and talks to them. He states that, since Pikachu is unable to use any attacks, Tim should run away if he feels threatened, before returning to watching the parade.
Once all three types of R are recovered, Frank Holiday arrives and informs Tim and Pikachu that Keith testified to there being one more location where R has been hidden. Tim, Pikachu and Emilia discover a machine inside the clock tower set to release R all over the parade, and the two detectives dismantle it while Emilia leaves to get the police. After shutting the machine down, Tim and Pikachu deduce that, due to Keith's testimony, the culprit being an employee of GNN, and the fact Roger knew how Pikachu isn't able to use attacks, despite Keith being the only person who should've known, that he must be the mastermind.
Roger, while holding Emilia captive, arrives, confirming their suspicions before forcing Tim to turn the valve on the side of the machine, which will reactivate it, by threatening Emilia. In order to keep Roger distracted while Pikachu sneaks up on him, Tim asks why he wanted to smuggle R in the first place, and he states that he wants to seize power over the world. Tim continues to pry on why Roger wants to attack the carnival, and, although annoyed, he decides to answer, as it will be their last conversation. He explains that he wants to test the effects of R on a large group of Pokémon, also explaining that he needed money to fund his plans (presumably the reason Keith had been trying to auction off R in the previous chapter). Emilia comments on how wrong Roger's plans are, but he doesn't care, showing that he still possesses Mewtwo's cells and can make as much R as he needs. Then, he realizes that Pikachu is missing, and the latter jumps on him from behind, forcing him to let go of Emilia.
Roger is enraged at letting his guard down, but arrogantly proclaims that they won't be a match for him since Pikachu can't use electricity, and summons Noivern to carry him out of the tower. A moment later, he and Noivern burst through the wall, Noivern empowered by a more controlled version of R, and begin blasting the machine with Super Sonic to make the vats break and release the R. Tim, Emilia and Pikachu are unable to stop the attack, however, Pikachu manages to summon the power to use Thunderbolt, and overpowers Noivern's Dragon Pulse, zapping it and Roger unconscious. Soon, Roger is arrested for his crimes while everyone reconciles, Meiko commenting that she never would've suspected Roger as the mastermind, but wouldn't have been surprised if it were Mr. Graham (not knowing the latter is overhearing what she's saying). Pikachu also returns Mewtwo's cells to the latter, ensuring that R can never be produced again.
Throughout most of the game, Roger is portrayed as a kind, calm, and openly friendly person. He is eager to meet new people, especially those he hears positive things about, as demonstrated with Tim and Pikachu. He wants to have a good relationship with his employees, such as going out for coffee with them and treating them like friends, even giving them the freedom to do what they want. When Max is revealed to be the one who stole Carina's violin, Roger is deeply disappointed in this revelation and having to call the police. He humbly takes compliments from others like Mr. Graham, and even gets nervous when he begins to show his more angry and bossy side.
However, in the final chapter, this is proven to be nothing more than a facade. Roger was truly a cunning and manipulative sociopath who had no compassion for those around him. At heart, he only desired power and control, with no qualms on what he had to do to get it. He is still very cautious, making sure nobody, not even his henchmen, knew his identity by contacting them via phone or letter, never showing his face. Being the one behind the R incidents, he clearly did not care who or what was hurt/destroyed for the sake of his research, even if it was one of his own staff members. Notably, he directly harms Emilia by taking her hostage to force Tim into reactivating the R machine. He is incredibly arrogant as well, remaining totally confident in himself during the final confrontation, which leads to him letting his guard down and revealing the truth behind his plans. During the aforementioned confrontation, he noted to Tim that it would be "their last conversation", implying that he was going to have him, Emilia, and Pikachu killed or otherwise taken out of the way so that they couldn't reveal the truth (although the former is more likely, since he attempted to eliminate them with Noivern soon afterwards). Despite his cruelty, he seems to have a certain level of respect for Tim's detective skills, although he could be faking this too.
In Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
Roger appears in the video game's live-action adaptation Pokémon: Detective Pikachu as a supporting character. In this version, he is depicted as the CEO of Clifford Enterprises and the son of industrialist Howard Clifford, who constructed Ryme City after being diagnosed with a degenerative disease that lead him to deeply value the bond between humans and Pokémon. Roger is first seen in a promotional video for Ryme City that explains it's history and creation when Tim Goodman goes there to say goodbye to his seemingly deceased father Harry and pick up his things. Later, when Tim decides to investigate his father's disappearance with the help of Detective Pikachu, the both of them decide to go to the Clifford News Network building to meet with Lucy Stevens; an intern of Clifford Enterprises who was following his father's story. While there, he comes across Roger and Howard giving a televised announcement of the parade they are giving in honor of Ryme City's creation. After the announcement, however, Roger angrily and bitterly criticizes his father for his seemingly narcissistic portrayal of himself, in spite of Howard's claims to the contrary. Roger is then approached by Lucy, who tries to tell him of her story about Harry Goodman and his case, only to be blown off by him for not having any leads or sources.
Later on, Tim and Pikachu are taken to the Clifford Enterprises building by Howard's assistant Mrs. Norman, and he reveals to them that he had hired Harry Goodman to investigate the creation and distribution of the drug R (which makes the Pokémon who inhale it go berserk) before his disappearance, also revealing that Harry had discovered that Roger was behind it the whole time, as he wants to destroy human and Pokémon relationships due to feeling that his father neglected him for the sake of Pokémon. Tim asks why Howard had never done or said anything before, and he goes on to state that Roger has control over his company and most of the city—including the police—and that Harry was the only one he could trust. Through a holographic recreation of the accident, Howard shows them both that Harry survived the crash but was abducted by Mewtwo, an artificially created Pokémon who Roger is using, and that to find Harry, they need to find Mewtwo. Tim and Pikachu subsequently go to the PCL lab that Harry was investigating with Lucy and her Psyduck to look for clues; however, using the security cameras in the laboratory, Roger finds out where they are and sets after them with his henchmen. Roger remotely releases the Greninja that PCL was experimenting on to take care of Tim and the others while driving there, though this attempt to stop them fails, as does the field of massive Torterra created by PCL's growth experiments (although the latter encounter leaves Pikachu greatly injured).
Afterwards, Tim convinces a herd of Bulbasaur and Morelull to lead him to a Pokémon who can heal Pikachu, and they take him to Mewtwo, who after healing Pikachu begins to tell them that the former had freed him from PCL, though before he can tell the whole truth he is captured and restrained by Roger, who smiles at Tim and then leaves. Heartbroken about seemingly causing Harry's death, Pikachu runs away from Tim, who goes with Lucy and Psyduck back to the city to warn Harold and everyone else about Roger; meanwhile, at the same time, Pikachu ends up at Harry's crash site and deduces that Greninja caused Harry's accident and not Mewtwo, making him realize that Harold manipulated the hologram recreation and was using them the whole time. In Ryme City, Tim attempts to warn Harold of Roger's plan, only to find him using the neural device created by Ann Laurent to transport his mind into Mewtwo's body. After possessing Mewtwo, Harold explains that his real intentions were to use Mewtwo's psychic powers and the R gas that was synthesized from him to evolve humanity by melding their minds with Pokémon bodies, before knocking Tim out and unleashing the gas hidden inside the parade balloons.
Upon awakening, Tim realizes that he needs to remove the neural device from Howard’s body to free Mewtwo, and also discovers Roger, who had been tied up in the closet. At that moment, another "Roger" appears in the room, revealing itself to actually be Howard’s Ditto, who had used it's shape-shifting abilities to impersonate him and take the form of his assistant Mrs. Norman, before again taking different forms (including Lucy's) to defeat Tim and leave him dangling from the window. Before Ditto can kill Tim, however, Roger swats it out of the building with a chair, although is then immediately knocked out when it flies back into the building as a Braviary and uses it's Bouffalant form to knock him out. Eventually, Howard is defeated and Mewtwo manages to return all the people and Pokémon had had affected to normal. As Howard is being arrested, Roger voices his disappointment in himself for not being around for him enough, and then offers to give Lucy her own exclusive report on the entire incident for getting the story before anyone else, much to her joy.
|“||Hi! Lemme guess...Tim, right?||„|
|~ Roger's first lines and introduction to Tim.|
|“|| Roger: Nice to meet you. Roger Clifford.|
Tim: Oh, nice to meet you, too!
Roger: These two won't stop talking about you. They say you're a great detective!
|~ Roger complimenting Tim.|
|“|| Tim: Roger! How can you do something like this?!|
Roger: Just get moving.
Emilia: Let go of me!
Tim:...I just need to turn this handle, right?
Roger: Right. You completely destroyed the circuitry...but it can still be activated manually if you open the valves.
|~ Roger forcing Tim to restart his machine.|
|“|| Tim: By the way...why smuggle R in the first place?|
Roger: Are all detectives this inquisitive? To seize control of the world! For starters...I needed to make GNN the most influential TV station in this city.
|~ Roger revealing his motives.|
|“||Less talking and more turning! But...I suppose this'll be our last conversation. So I might as well say...its because I'm gathering data for R. There aren't a lot of opportunities where so many Pokémon are in one place. Besides, if GNN gets the scoop on the chaos, it'll help our reputation that much more! And once I accomplished that and GNN was in my power, I could use it to control all the information in Ryme City. Meaning this city is mine to rule! But of course, a plan like that needed money, y'know?||„|
|~ Roger explaining his master plan.|
|“|| Emilia: That's so wrong...|
Roger: What's wrong is you two interfering in my plans! I have Mewtwo's cells, fortunately...so I can make as much R as I need. Anyway...where'd that Pikachu go?
|~ Roger before being attacked by Pikachu.|
|“||Blast! I let my guard down this time! But your Pikachu can't use electricity, now can it? Which means...you are no match for me! Noivern, come!||„|
|~ Roger escaping on Noivern.|
|“|| Roger: Ah ha ha ha! Very good, Tim! So what do you think of the new and improved R?|
Tim: What do you mean?!
Roger: This new version allows the Pokémon to recognize it's partner. Do it, Noivern!
|~ Roger ordering his R-enhanced Noivern to destroy his machine and unleash the R on the parade (also his last words).|