It's been nearly 20 years since Pokémon Gold and Silver—the first games in the second generation of the series—hit our shelves. Whether you played these classic RPGs for the first time on Game Boy Color or the 3DS Virtual Console, you probably enjoyed them a lot! Picking up three years after the events of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, these games saw the player travel through the regions of Johto and Kanto, collecting Gym Badges and defeating Team Rocket as they went. There were all-new Pokémon to catch, new Types to behold, and even new methods of evolution. What's not to love?
Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal were somewhat unique Pokémon games in the sense that they allowed the player to explore two regions of the Pokémon world rather than the standard one. This meant double the towns, many more routes, and plenty of caves, islands, and forests. Still, the most diligent players traveled everywhere possible across both Johto and Kanto. At least, that's what we all thought!
Turns out that just like pretty much every other Pokémon game released, Gold and Silver contained hidden areas and secret locations that even the most masterful of Pokémon players didn't find. Whether these places were unlocked using glitches or special items inaccessible in many regions, they mostly remained hidden—until now, that is! We've collected together just some of the locations that not every Pokémon player managed to find, and the results may surprise you. Game Freak certainly hid a lot of secrets in those small game cartridges!
20 The Trainer House's "Unown" Version
In Pokémon Gold and Silver, Viridian City's Trainers' School has been replaced by the Trainer House, a training facility where you can battle one trainer each day. This trainer is either the last real-life friend the trainer used the Mystery Gift function with, or a generic NPC called Cal.
Well, those are the official options, anyway!
There are numerous glitches that can modify the trainer you battle, and their Pokémon's levels. The Unown Method, for example, involves entering the house after viewing a glitched Unown in the Unown Pokédex. The exact method is very complex and technical, but it can lead to weird and wonderful trainers and Pokémon appearing—such as a Level 217 Ho-oh!
19 The Rare Pokémon Fishing Area
While there are a lot of glitch-based areas that the player can access in Pokémon Gold and Silver, very few of them actually allow you to catch Pokémon without the game totally crashing. However, there's one area accessed using Gameshark codes that actually allows you to fish for Pokémon on the tile in which you start—even though there's no water there!
The Pokémon you encounter aren't Water-types, either.
They're usually pretty rare creatures with levels that can be impossibly high. Known as Glitch Map 0xDA00, this area features Ho-oh, Umbreon, and Jolteon as accessible Pokémon. Sure, visiting it MIGHT break your game... But is the risk worth it? That's for you to decide!
18 The "Diglett's Cave" Glitch
Despite its name, this secret area found in Pokémon Gold and Silver isn't accessible through a hidden tunnel in Diglett's Cave! Instead, it's another glitch that requires using Gameshark codes and going upstairs and downstairs in any Pokémon Center. The player will end up in a place that the PokéGear claims is Diglett's Cave.
However, it most definitely isn't.
The "Rival Encounter" trainer battle music plays, weird symbols crowd the screen, and the world gets a purple background. There are no Diglett here—or any Pokémon, in fact! There's not much to explore, but hey—at least you can say you've found this glitch area!
17 Celebi's Shrine
Remember that weird shrine that appears in Ilex Forest in the very early stages of Gold and Silver? In these games, it served a purely visual purpose. However, this all changed in Pokémon Crystal, although only for a handful of players. A special event in Japan allowed players to access the GS Ball, an item that would cause the Legendary Pokémon Celebi to spawn at the shrine. These days, players from all regions can reveal the secrets of the shrine using the Virtual Console version of Crystal. A kindly man in Goldenrod City Pokémon Center will give you the GS Ball when you defeat the Pokémon League!
16 The Glitch Dimension
Pokémon Gold and Silver don't just feature the odd glitch location here and there. There's an entire Glitch Dimension for you to discover! It's surprisingly easy to access: for example, one method involves simply viewing the Pokédex entry for Machop and using the Coin Case directly afterward. While this action might cause your game to crash, it may also cause it to restart with an entirely new color scheme. This is what's nicknamed the "Glitch Dimension": a version of Johto that's almost exactly the same as the one we know and love, but just that little bit different! Even the colors of battles and Pokémon are altered. Weird...
15 The Safari Zone
Back in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, one of the main attractions of Kanto's Fuschia City was its Safari Zone. In this unique area, players could pay for the privilege to go and catch some pretty rare Pokémon. Considering that Pokémon Gold and Silver feature a return to Kanto, many players expected that the Safari Zone would again be playable. However, its owner is apparently on holiday, making the area inaccessible to players...
Or so we thought!
Turns out that the Safari Zone's map can be accessed using GameShark Codes. No Pokémon appear in the area's grass, but you can catch some Water-type Pokémon in its ponds using a fishing rod. Neat!
14 The "Empty" House
In Pokémon Red and Blue, a house just south of Cerulean City—on Route 5—houses the Day Care Man. As his name suggests, this kindly man will look after your Pokémon for a while—and raise their levels while he's at it. By the time that Pokémon Gold and Silver brought us to Kanto, though, this man had moved out of his home. On the front door, a sign reads "House For Sale: Nobody lives here." Well, that's that—no point investigating the house further, right? Wrong! The house is not, in fact, empty. An old woman lives there who'll give you the Cleanse Tag, an item that decreases the amount of wild Pokémon you encounter.
13 Union Cave
Now, Union Cave isn't exactly a hidden location in itself. Every single Pokémon Gold and Silver player has to pass through it to reach Azalea Town! However, it's very easy to miss out on the treasures of this cave's depths. If you simply pass through it early on in the game and fail to return when you've acquired the HM Surf, you miss out on capturing one of the game's coolest Pokémon.
A Lapras lurks in a pool found in the cave's basement floor!
However, it only appears under very specific circumstances. Lapras only comes out on a Friday—visit the cave on any other day, and you'll be met with an empty pool!
12 Cerulean Gym's Fishing Spot
Everyone knows that in Pokémon Gold and Silver, the storyline doesn't end when you become Pokémon League Champion. Your next task is to travel Kanto, defeating the region's eight Gym Leaders as you go. This journey eventually takes you to the Cerulean Gym, where Misty awaits you with her Water-type Pokémon. While most players will have simply visited this Gym to defeat Misty and then leave again, others may have picked up on a pretty funny oversight that Gold and Silver's developers left in the game. You can actually fish in the water that surrounds Misty and her fellow trainers! How did wild Water-type Pokémon get in there?! Nobody knows.
11 Olivine City's Secret House
Some of the secret areas accessible in Pokémon Gold and Silver appear to be locations that were initially going to be included in the games themselves but were eventually scrapped. The so-called "secret house" in Olivine City is just one example of this. Using GameShark codes, it's possible to find a home in the city that houses one female NPC and her Rhydon (which, confusingly, glitches into a Clefairy when it moves). The woman talks to you about a medicine shop in Ecruteak City that cured her Rhydon when it became sick. In the final version of the game, this pharmacy is in Cianwood City, and this NPC is nowhere to be seen!
10 Breaking Boundaries
One particular glitch in Pokémon Gold and Silver allows you to access scores of areas that were previously barred to players. The aptly-named Walk Through Walls Gameshark cheat allows the playable character to traverse previous boundaries, including walls, inaccessible forests, and other "forbidden" places. You can walk behind the desk in the Pokémon Center, or enter the black nothingness that surrounds rooms when you walk indoors. If you're feeling like the Messiah, you can even walk on water.
No more Surf for you!
There are a few complicated methods involving other glitches that allow you to walk through walls without a Gameshark code, too! There's plenty of fun to be had with this trick.
9 The Cyndaquil Fly Glitch Forest
One of the many glitch locations accessible in Pokémon Gold and Silver is the Glitch Forest. To access it, you have to pull off some pretty inexplicable move teaching, but hey—glitches and codes can make pretty much anything happen! If you teach Cyndaquil—aka, the Fire-type starter that definitely doesn't have wings—the HM move Fly, you can use this to fly to the middle of a forest area. You'll then need to have activated the Walk Through Walls glitch to get out of this mysterious place—otherwise, you'll be trapped! At least you won't be all alone—an NPC appears next to you in the forest, and then shows up wherever you go. How strange...
8 The Hidden Berserk Gene
In Pokémon Gold and Silver, fans of the first games in the series were disappointed to discover that Mewtwo was no longer catchable. Cerulean Cave, this powerful Pokémon's haunt in Red and Blue, had totally collapsed, and Mewtwo was nowhere to be found. In their disappointment, many players left this area without discovering its new, hidden secret!
At the site of the former entrance to the cave, a unique item can be found.
The hidden Berserk Gene raises a Pokémon's Attack when ingested in battle, but also leaves it confused. Is this item a relic of Mewtwo, an infamously genetically engineered Pokémon? Quite possibly...
7 Glitch Map 21FF
Don't be fooled by this area's very clinical name: it's a whole lot weirder than it sounds. Glitch Map 21FF is a weird hidden location in that it totally crashes some Generation Two games—namely, Japanese Gold and Silver and English Crystal—but works totally fine in others. Accessed via various game codes, the area takes on the initial appearance of Dark Cave: it's totally pitch-black. No music plays, making it super creepy, and if you use Flash, Unown inscriptions like those in the Ruins of Alph are visible. However, the game tries to say that you're either in Blackthorn or Goldenrod City. It's pretty strange!
6 Cherrygrove City's Pokémon Center
Again, in itself, Cherrygrove City's Pokémon Center isn't really anything special—aside from being the first building of its type that you encounter in Gold and Silver. However, within this seemingly ordinary Center, dozens of secrets await the more adventurous player! For reasons known only to Pokémon's developers, this Pokémon Center serves as a gateway to numerous glitch events. By entering a range of codes and then going up and down the Center's stairs, you can end up in glitch areas, battle glitch Pokémon, or, if you're unlucky, just straight-up break the game. All that in sleepy little Cherrygrove City! Who knew?
5 Bill's Secret Garden
Bill's Secret Garden joins the "Mew under the truck" in the club of Pokémon 'secrets' that turned out to be total fabrications. The legend of the garden began in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, and continued in the Kanto post-game section of Gold and Silver. Apparently, if you visited Bill's house to the north of Cerulean City, there was a way to sneak around his fence and basically trespass in his garden. Said garden allegedly contained a whole host of rare wild Pokémon that were just there for the taking. As cool as it would be for this secret area to be included in the games, its existence has been totally debunked.
4 The "Time Glitch" Trainer House
This particular Trainer House glitch will change your experience there in a way that's different to the Unown trick's results, but still equally weird. If you turn the time on your game backward directly after a Mystery Gift encounter or a trade, an interesting Pokémon Trainer will appear at this glitched-out version of the Trainer House. He'll have six Pokémon, but they'll all technically be fainted before the battle even starts! When this guy sends out his first "Pokémon"—which turns out to be a glitched creature—the whole game will crash. Who is he, and what's with his Pokémon?! Nobody knows.
3 The Flipped Sprites Dimension
Ever wanted to know what Pokémon Gold and Silver would look like if loads of their visuals were flipped? Well, through the use of cheat codes and glitches, you can! If you manage to enter this "flipped sprites mode", what exactly gets reversed is seemingly random. It's possible for Pokémon, buildings, trainers, and even the game's title screen to be affected in this way, but it's not guaranteed. Plus, the effect can apparently wear off at any point after it's been activated. It's a pretty cool version of Johto to look at, though, even if its existence is only temporary!
2 Japanese Map F121
This "hidden area" could only be accessed in the Japanese versions of Gold and Silver: clearly, the glitch that caused it to appear was fixed for international versions of the game. For any players who didn't get to play a Japanese game, here's what you missed out on—in terms of this glitch anyway! A number of GameShark codes existed that, when used in conjunction with the Walk Through Walls trick, led players to find a very strange new area in Cherrygrove City. It featured the music of Violet City, but was somehow also linked to Pewter City—if you walked far enough, you ended up in a glitched version of Brock's Gym!
1 The Ruins Of Alph
Now, the Ruins of Alph aren't exactly a secret location—they're right there by Violet City, just waiting to be explored. However, getting to the end of them can be something of a pain, so a large proportion of players probably don't know what awaits them.
Who has time for puzzles when you're becoming the Champion?
If you ever did reach the final chamber of the Ruins in the original Gold and Silver, you'll know that nothing more than a few cool items awaits. However, players of the Virtual Console version of the game found something else entirely. There's now an inscription on the wall that reads "Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon" in Unown glyphs! Talk about a cool easter egg!