Roark appeared in the episodes between Shapes of Things to Come! and O'er the Rampardos we Watched. He battled Paul in his debut episode. In this battle, he showed his strong abilities (even beating Paul's Azumarill with his Geodude). However, his powerhouse, Cranidos, wasn't powerful enough to defeat Elekid. With this win Paul earned the Coal Badge from Roark. Following his defeat, Roark battled and defeated Ash in the following episode.
He used Cranidos to battle the prehistoric Pokémon, Aerodactyl unleashed in Oreburgh City. During the conflict, his Cranidos evolved into Rampardos.
Roark then faced Ash again in a rematch. Onix and Geodude were defeated by Pikachu and Aipom. His powerhouse Rampardos battled against Ash's whole team and was defeated by Turtwig. Being the victor, Ash earned the Coal Badge.
Roark reappeared in flashbacks in DP048 and DP120.
He reappeared in Ancient Family Matters!, visiting his father, Byron in Canalave City. He argued with Byron over which of them loves Fossils more and had a short battle with him. He revealed that Byron suddenly left Oreburgh Gym to him when he was requested to take over the Canalave Gym. Roark was shocked and saddened by his father's sudden departure, thinking that he didn't care what happened to him or his mother. Later, Byron revealed that he had always treasured a Fossil of a Sunkern's leaf that Roark had given to him as a child ten years earlier, and Roark accepted that his father did care about him all along.
Along with being the foreman of the Oreburgh Mine, Roark is also the chief of Ancient Pokémon Expedition Operations.
In Dealing With Defensive Types!, he was the referee for Ash's Gym battle against Byron.
- Cranidos → Rampardos
- His Japanese Leader title is ザ・ロックと いわれた おとこ.
- Roark is the third Gym Leader encountered first in the region that uses Rock-type Pokémon, the other two being Brock and Roxanne.
- He and his father's Badges are references to the term Coal Mine. Plus, they both have mines in or near their respective town (Oreburgh Mine and Iron Island, which was once a mine).
- He is the only Sinnoh Gym Leader not to use any fully evolved Pokémon in his Gym battle in the games.
- He is also the only Sinnoh Gym Leader whose Pokémon do not change in the slightest between Diamond and Pearl and Platinum.
- He is the only Gym Leader to have a parent that is a Gym Leader in the same region at the same time.