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Norman resides in Petalburg City and awards the Balance Badge. He is an expert on Normal-type Pokémon, from which his name is derived.
His gym is composed of branching paths that eventually lead to Norman. Each room contains a door that says what's ahead: a trainer who uses an X Attack, a trainer that abuses Potions, etc. Norman uses two Slaking and a Vigoroth in Sapphire and Ruby, but also uses a Zangoose and Spinda in Emerald without one Slaking. After defeating him he hands you TM42: Facade, an attack that does double damage if the user is affected by a status.
His role in Pokémon Adventures is similar to his video game role, as he is the father of Ruby. Norman is shown to be quite calm. He was originally going to be a gym leader in Hoenn five years prior to the start of the Ruby and Sapphire story arc. He and Professor Birch brought their families along.
There a wild Salamence attacked Professor Birch's daughter Sapphire, but Norman's son Ruby saved her, resulting in him receiving a scar on the forehead. This event caused Ruby to believe he needed to be more soft and Sapphire to toughen up to protect herself. The wild Salamence then went into the nearby research building resulting in Rayquaza escaping from the building. Norman is then banned from becoming a gym leader until he tracks down where Rayquaza is.
In the anime, Norman is May's and Max's father. He is a major celebrity in the area around Petalburg, and his skill is reputed to approach the level of an Elite Four member. He uses a high-level Slaking to accompany his powerful Vigoroth. His undefeated streak ends when he battles Ash, who wins his fifth gym battle. However, Max, depressed at seeing his father lose, snatches the badge just as Norman was giving it to Ash and runs away with it. Ash, May, and Norman manage to make him see that losing is as important as winning, and Max gives back the badge.