Note: This page is only for the Team Skull found in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. For the main series version, go to Team Skull.

Chaw-haw-haw! Team Skull at your service!
~ Skuntank

Team Skull (jap.: ドクローズ, Skull and Crossbones) is an exploration team made up of Skuntank (jap.: スカタンク, Sukatanku), the leader, and his sidekicks Koffing (jap: ドガース, Dogāsu) and Zubat (jap.: ズバット, Zubatto), serving as recurring antagonists in the Pokémon spin-off games Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky for the Nintendo DS.

They take great pleasure in terrorizing Pokémon weaker to them, especially the main character and their partner. They are also extremely greedy and pull all kinds of tactics, like deceit, manipulation, theft or physical assault to get their way. Their desired goals change throughout the main story, but they are usually motivated by pure greed or revenge.

Biography

First encounter

That little wimp that was pacing around... had something good, right?
~ Koffing alongside Zubat taking an interest in the partner's Relic Fragment.

The two Team Skull members Koffing and Zubat spy on a timid Pokémon trying to register into the Wigglytuff Guild as an explorer but does not find the courage to do so. Downed by their lack of self-esteem the Pokémon looks at their personal treasure, they call the Relic Fragment, and telling to themself that they thought this treasure would give them the necessary courage to finally enter the Guild, but they were unfortunately wrong. After that they decide to go to the beach. After the Pokémon left, Koffing and Zubat, who were hiding behind the left pole of the Guild take an interest in the Pokémon’s treasure as they think it could be sold for a nice price and thus decide to follow them to the beach.

Arrived at the beach, the Pokémon sees the main character collapsed in the sand. Upon seeing this, the Pokémon rushes over to check on them. After realizing that they are fine, the two are starting to form a bond with each other, when suddenly Koffing and Zubat sneak up from behind and push the Pokémon causing the latter to drop their treasure. The two fiends then proceed to pick the dropped treasure up and then taunt the Pokémon for not having the courage to stand up to them before fleeing into the Beach Cave, the first dungeon of the game. The main character and the Pokémon decide to follow the two thieves. Reaching the deepest point of the dungeon the two heroes finally catch up to Team Skull and demand that they hand over the stolen relic. The two thugs refuse to return their loot and challenge the main character and his partner to a fight. After a fairly easy fight, the defeated thieves give the relic back to its owner and flee out of the cave. Koffing and Zubat later reappear alongside their leader in the sixth Chapter of the main story.  

Infiltrating the Wigglytuff Guild

Whoa-ho-ho! Speaking of the Chief, I can smell him coming now!
~ Koffing announcing the arrival of Team Skull's Leader, Skuntank.

The main character and the other Pokémon who have finally joined the Wigglytuff Guild under the team name Poképals (the default name of the protagonist's group) are trying to get picked for the expedition to the Fogbound Lake organized by the Guild by fulfilling as many jobs as they can when suddenly they see two familiar faces studying the Job Bulletin Board who are none other than Koffing and Zubat, the two robbers from the beach cave.

The duo reveals to Team Poképals that they are an exploration team as well and then ask the main character and their partner what they are doing in the guild and the Partner Pokémon tells them that they are currently training to become an exploration team, Koffing and Zubat tell them to give up on this idea, they do this possibly as a means to get back at Team Poképals after humiliating them inside the beach cave. However, the partner refuses to be pressured by them and while in a very emotional state accidentally tells Koffing and Zubat about the planned expedition which immediately catches the attention of the greedy explorers. Zubat proceeds to tell to the main character and the partner that they will not get selected for the expedition as they lack the necessary talent which enrages the partner and tells Koffing and Zubat that they are so weak that even Team Poképals beat them to which Koffing replies that if their leader has been with them they would have bested the main character and their partner. Shortly after a foul stench is filling the room followed by a Pokémon entering the Guild who is none other than Team Skull’s leader Skuntank. After entering the room, Skuntank knocks the main character with a toxic gas attack unconscious and tells their partner to move out of his way if they do not wish to end like their fellow teammate lying on the ground. His two sidekicks, Koffing and Zubat, then tell him about the expedition organized by the Guild in which Skuntank takes an immediate interest in and then leaves together with his two lackies the guild to come up with a plan. Team Skull plans to participate on the expedition and hopes to claim a treasure and later take out the guild members to keep the treasure for themselves.

The next day Chatot, Wiggyltuff's aid, introduces the guild to their new allies and shortly after a foul stench just like yesterday is filling the room followed by Team Skull entering the room. The Team introduces themselves and Chatot proceeds explaining to the guild members that these three Pokémon are going to join them on their expedition as assistance, this decision was made by the Guildmaster Wigglytuff, much to Team Poképals shock. Since it would prove difficult to just coordinate teamwork with the three, Wigglytuff and Chatot decided to let Team Skull reside within the Guild for several days so that the Guild members can "form a bond" with the trio. The Guild members however are anything but excited about the three new guests and get a bad vibe from them immediately.

Gaining the Guildmaster's trust

Chaw-haw-haw! You’re not thinking strategically, you two. Why'd we come here in the first place? The expedition, right? Right now, the trick is for us to win the trust of Wigglytuff.
~ Skuntank to Koffing and Zubat.

During the first night of Team Skull's temporally stay, they sneak into the guild’s food stock and eat up the entire store of Perfect Apples, Guild Master Wigglytuff’s favorite meal. The very next day, after controlling the food storage, Chatot tasks Team Poképals to go to take some Perfect Apples from the Apple Woods in order to refill the stock.

Skuntank and Koffing using their noxious gas combo on Team Poképals.

Deep in the forest, Team Poképals see Perfect Apples hanging from a tree. The two guild members are wondering how to get to the apples when suddenly Team Skull jumps from the top of the tree to the ground. Skuntank then proceeds to ram into the tree and as a result a bunch of Perfect Apples fall on the floor. Skuntank and his goons encourage Team Poképal to pick them up but the partner suspects that this is just a set-up for a trap. The trio confirms the partner's allegation, Skuntank and Koffing then step towards Team Poképals and unleash their noxious gas combo onto them causing Team Poképals to lose consciousness. After recovering from the gas attack Team Poképals realizes that Team Skull has stolen all of the Perfect Apples while they were still unconscious. They return to the guild telling Chatot that they failed their mission, which enrages the guild master’s aid. The partner tries to explain that Team Skull stole all of the apples but the furious Chatot shuts them down immediately.

Later that evening, Team Poképal and Chatot inform Wigglytuff about the failed mission regarding the Perfect Apples which causes the latter to have an emotional breakdown causing the ground to shake. As Wigglytuff's emotional outburst is about to get worse Team Skull steps in and gives the Guildmaster a Perfect Apple as a token of "friendship" to Wigglytuff. This gesture calms the Guildmaster down and he thanks his new "friends" while enjoying his Perfect Apple. Chatot, who is very grateful to Team Skull from preventing a catastrophe, forces Team Poképals to show their respect much to the latters dismay.

This whole situation was nothing but an elaborate scheme by Team Skull's leader Skuntank in order to successfully gain the trust of Wigglytuff and Chatot. Skuntank reveals later to Koffing and Zubat that he is surprised how well his plan is going and how easy it was to gain Wigglytuff's trust and does not understand why the guild members are so scared of the Guildmaster describing the latter as a "big baby" and no "big deal". These words will later come back to haunt him.

On the expedition

No hard feelings... But the great, famous explorer Wigglytuff... is finished. Chaw-haw!
~ Skunktank before attacking Wigglytuff together with Koffing.

After Team Poképals manages to solve the mystery of the foggy lake, Team Skull appears and "thanks" them for their efforts and are now no longer of any use to the three fiends. Skuntank and Koffing are about to use their noxious gas combo on Team Poképals just like in Apple Woods to get rid of them for once and for all but luckily for Team Poképals the three brutes get interrupted by Wigglytuff who was chasing after a Perfect Apple. The Guildmaster tells his trainees to continue their exploration on the lake, saving their lives without realizing it.

Skuntank and the others want to pursue Team Poképals and beat them to the treasure but are stopped by the oblivious Guildmaster, who insists on leaving the exploration to his apprentices, as he doesn't wish to bother his new friends with such a task. Team Skull fears to miss out on the potential treasure if they don’t act quickly, so they decide to take down Wigglytuff and then chase after Team Poképals. They use their noxious gas combo on Wigglytuff, but the Guildmaster brushes the attack off like it is nothing and then proceeds to take out the three crooks with ease all by himself off screen. Team Skull is later seen lying on the ground being puzzled as to how Wigglytuff managed to resist their attack while they are still recovering from the fight. The Guild returns from their expedition without Team Skull and Wigglytuff never brings his fight against the three fiends up even once.

Revenge on Team Poképals

Chaw-haw-haw... Wigglytuff wrecked us... And I'm not about to let it go! So humiliating! I need payback... one way or another. But, to be brutally honest, we don't stand a chance against Wigglytuff. Grrrrr! I’m so furious! It's burning me up!
~ Skuntank about the humiliating defeat at the lake.

After their humiliating defeat at Fogbound Lake, Team Skull returns to the guild in chapter 10 with a furious Skuntank thirsting for revenge on Wigglytuff and the guild but as much as he hates to admit it he knows that Team Skull does not stand a chance against the Guildmaster. The member Zubat proposes then to take their anger out on Team Poképals instead to which Skuntank happily agrees and the three fiends begin to form another one of their schemes. They steal the Water Float, an important item belonging to the two Water-type Pokémon Marill and Azurill, and hide it in the Amp Plains which is inhabited by numerous Electric-type Pokémon.

Dusknoir challenging Team Skull.

According to Team Skull’s plan, Marill and Azurill ask for the help of Team Poképals to retrieve the item to which the latter agree and are on their way to the plains. As the team finds the item in question, they are attacked by a pack of Luxio led by Luxray (or by Electrikes led by Manectric in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky) but luckily the famous explorer Dusknoir shows up to save the team. Dusknoir finds out very quickly that someone planted the Water Float here on purpose to lure Team Poképal into a trap. He then demands the sneaking scoundrels to show their faces and Skuntank alongside Koffing and Zubat come out of their hiding spot. They admit that they were hoping for Team Poképals to get weakened by Luxray and then step in "to mop up" afterward. Dusknoir then challenges Team Skull to a fight but the three fiends flee the scene instead as they know that they do not stand a chance against the famous explorer. After this encounter Team Skull will not reappear until chapter 17.

Stealing the Relic Fragment once more

It will be us! Team Skull! We'll be the ones going to the Hidden Land!
~ Skuntank

In Chapter 17, the town elder Torkoal, a Pokémon Team Poképals met in Chapter 5, visits the guild to provide Team Poképals and the rest of the guild members with vital information about their next destination, being The Hidden Land. He tells the heroes and their friends that in order to gain access to the Hidden Land they need proof to be declared worthy to travel to said land, said proof bears an inscription of a certain pattern, this pattern happens to be the fragment engraved on the partner's relic. After the partner shows their Relic Fragment to the guild Wigglytuff and Chatot immediately recognize it and tell that they have seen this pattern on the Relic Fragment inside the Brine Cave. While Team Poképals and the guild members prepare for their journey to this cave Turkoal leaves the guild wishing them the best.

Outside of the guild, Turkoal deepens in nostalgic thought about his youth and says to himself that if he was younger, he would also try to find the Hidden Land. Unbeknownst to him Team Skull overhears Turkoal's statement and takes an immediate interest in this "Hidden Land", this oldtimer, as they call him, is talking about. They approach, then surround the town elder and take him away to a place where they will not be disturbed. It is unknown how they got Turkoal to tell them about the Hidden Land, the pattern or the Brine Cave but they most likely threatened the old Pokémon possibly with their noxious gas combo even.

Skuntank "accidentally" dropping the Relic Fragment.

Later in the Brine Cave, Team Poképal alongside Chatot get ambushed by Team Skull and steal the partner's Relic Fragment. They then run deeper inside the cave while being pursued by a furious Chatot. Later on, Team Poképal finds Team Skull lying on the ground completely exhausted. Worried about their well-being, Team Poképals checks on the three injured fiends asking them what happened to them. They tell the heroes, that they were ambushed and overwhelmed by an other Pokémon. Skuntank then asks Team Poképals how they can find it in themselves wanting to help him and his sidekicks after all the terrible things they have done to the two guild members to which the partner replies that despite their horrible deeds it would not be right to leave them behind and let them suffer. Touched by this statement Skuntank "accidentally" drops the Relic Fragment. He says that the Relic Fragment slipped out of his grip but Team Poképals sees through Skuntank's attempt to maintain his image as Team Skull’s ruthless and selfish leader and thank him for giving the relic back to them to which he replies that there is no need to thank him since he "accidentally" dropped it and promises to Team Poképals that they will be back at their old tricks again once they escaped the dungeon. He then tells them about Chatot’s whereabouts and Team Poképal proceeds to catch up with Chatot after telling Skuntank to get his team out of the cave to which Skuntank asks them to not patronize Team Skull. This is the last time Team Skull shows up in the game. In Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, it is revealed that Team Skull managed to escape from the Brine Cave.

Quotes

Chaw-haw-haw!
~ Skuntank's laugh.
Whoa-ho-ho!
~ Koffing's laugh.
Heh-heh-heh!
~ Zubat's laugh.
Chatot, sir, it's nothing. That one always overreacts to every little thing.
~ Skuntank to Chatot about the main character's partner.
Chaw-haw-haw. Knock us out? That’s very rude of you! Why, I was even going to offer my help for your mission.
~ Skuntank trying to trick the player and their partner in Apple Woods.
Koffing and I will use our... noxious gas combo.
~ Skuntank announcing his and Koffing's combo attack.
Please accept it as our token of friendship.
~ Skuntank giving Wigglytuff a Perfect Apple to gain his trust.
This being a famous guild and all, I was playing it cautious at first, but it's been ridiculously easy. Wigglytuff's been nothing more than a big baby. He’s no big deal. Why everyone’s so terrified of Wigglytuff, I don’t know. I'm clueless.
~ Skuntank on Guildmaster Wigglytuff.
Old-timer... Why don't we take this chat somewhere we won’t be disturbed? Chaw-haw!
~ Skuntank to Turkoal.

Gallery

Trivia

  • All three team members are of the Poison type, with Koffing being the only pure Poison type and Skuntank being a Poison/Dark type and Zubat being a Poison/Flying type.
  • None of the three members have any arms.
  • Skuntank is the only member who is not fought as a boss character in the game.
  • Skuntank is the only Pokémon of Team Skull that is fully evolved.
  • The first and the last dungeon where Team Skull is encountered are both caves, the first being called Beach Cave and the last being called Brine Cave.
  • Skuntank is the only member of Team Skull who is not a Pokémon from the Kanto region but from the Sinnoh region.

External Links

Team Skull on Bulbapedia.

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