Pokémon Gold, Silver & Crystal came out in North America nearly 20 years ago, and with their re-release on the virtual console a couple of years back they’re once again accessible to fans of all ages. Following the immense success of the Gen I games, the Gen II ones kept things rolling and added in several key features and mechanics – such as breeding, Shiny Pokémon, and separate bag compartments – that have become franchise staples. It’s safe to say that among the early generations, Gen II stands as the one that most benefited the franchise going forward with what it added to the mix.
So then why bring up some nearly two-decade-old games now? Well as previously mentioned, the virtual console releases have made the games available to fans both old and new once more. So in the spirit of revisiting the franchises second generation why not cover some of the tips and tricks to getting around Johto? Pokémon games aren’t really all that difficult, but there are ways to make things easier on yourself as well as some general knowledge that can benefit you in other games in the franchise as well. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at some of the most useful strategies you might not have come across yourself.
Here are 25 tricks from Gold, Silver & Crystal that casual fans have no idea about.
25 The Importance of Status Effects
Status effects have changed plenty over the years and while moves like burn and poison aren’t the flashiest in your moveset, they’re incredibly useful. Take burn for example; it does a whopping 1/8 Max HP damage which can really decimate your opponent.
Poison is an incredibly pesky ailment that actually hurts the player more than NPC trainers as it lingers on in the overworld. Paralysis can be great when facing speedy opponents and cuts their speed stat to ¼ its initial value. If you can make the most out of these then you’ll have a much easier time during battles.
24 A Natural Repellent
All Pokémon players know about repel and when to use it. While it’s generally a good idea to engage in battle as often as possible, there are times when you just need to get somewhere undisturbed. Its usage is pretty straight forward, but there’s something you can do that makes it even more effective.
It might seem like common sense to put your strongest Pokémon at the front of your party, and most trainers will. But those wanting to get the most out of repel will find that this is a great way to scare off those pesky low-level encounters.
23 Don’t Use These Moves Too Early
There are some moves that while useful, can actually be detrimental to your Pokémon when applied early on in battle. Waiting on a move is a good strategy in many battles and can actually help seal the deal in some cases.
Moves that cause your Pokémon to wait a turn before using such as Dig, Fly and Hyper Beam are best used to finish off an opponent later on in the match. Rather than open with these moves it would be smarter to lower an opponent’s HP first, and then go for the final blow.
22 A Last Ditch Effort
You might’ve had battles where things just haven’t been going your way. Losing isn’t great and most of the time we can’t do all that much about it. There are some moves – some pretty petty ones – that can turn the tables in this scenario though.
Explosion and Selfdestruct really stink when you’re on the receiving end, so why not turn the tables every so often? While they do take out whatever Pokémon uses them, they’re also incredibly powerful and will most likely take down your opponent as well. Just be sure to have a conscious Pokémon in your party.
21 Catch And Compare
There are plenty of trainers that keep whichever Pokémon they catch and just train them throughout their journey. That’s a fine way to go about it, but someone wanting to be a little more strategic will need a discerning eye.
It might be useful to catch a whole bunch of the same Pokémon at a fairly low level, then compare their stats and train the one with the most potential. It seems a little cold-hearted sure, but you’ll probably have a really strong bunch of fighters going forward.
20 Know When To Evolve Your Pokémon
For most trainers, evolution is the ultimate payoff and is something they strive for during training. Most trainers will let their Pokémon evolve when they do, but it could be beneficial to wait it out. You can cancel a Pokémon’s evolution at any time and make it so that it carries over to the next level.
Many non-evolved Pokémon learn certain powerful moves a good deal earlier than their evolved forms. However, in order to pull this off, you’d need to circumvent the evolution process. It’s always best for trainers to educate themselves on which level their Pokémon learn certain desirable moves and work from there.
19 Find This Old Face For A Prize
While traveling through Mt. Mortar it would be beneficial for players to take a small detour and seek out a familiar face from the Gen I games. Kiyo, the leader of Saffron’s fighting Dojo trains there and it’s possible to fight him. The fight isn’t the focus here so much as the prize for winning.
Defeating Kiyo should be easy as he uses Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan respectively. So a Psychic or Flying-type would be best suited here. Winning gets you a level 10 Tyrogue which you can evolve into one of its 3 evolved forms just 10 levels after obtaining it.
18 Moon Balls Are Useless
Gen II introduced a wide variety of different Poké Balls, with each serving various purposes that aid in catching different kinds of Pokémon. Thanks to a glitch in the games, Gen II Moon Balls don’t work as they were designed to.
Moon Balls were supposed to increase the catch rate of Pokémon that evolve with the Moon Stone by 4. But this was somehow messed up and instead increases the catch rate of Pokémon that use burn heal instead. The Moon Balls in Gen II are essentially useless because of this.
17 Some Indoor Fishing
If you look around the internet you can find some pretty interesting glitches from older games you’d have never found – despite all the hours you put in. This seems to be one of those. It may surprise some fans, but you can actually go fishing in the Cerulean Gym.
The glitch originated in Red & Blue and was fixed in Yellow. But for some reason, it reappeared in Gold & Silver only to once again be fixed in Crystal. In order to pull this off simply head into the gym, walk up to the water tiles and get out your fishing rod. It’s that easy.
16 Spice-Up Your Party
We all have a favorite Pokémon or even a favorite type of Pokémon. However, it wouldn’t really make sense for you to compose your party of entirely one type of Pokémon. A good party needs a little bit of variety.
Trainers are better off finding various types of Pokémon that cover a wide arrange of weaknesses and strengths. Having a party of only Grass-types, for example, can leave you vulnerable to so many enemies. So if you’re having trouble winning with your party, you might want to diversify your line-up a bit.
15 Keep These Useful Contacts
A fun mechanic introduced in the Gen II games was the ability to collect contacts throughout your adventure. These were trainers you’d defeat along Johto who call you with useful information. There are six particular contacts to keep in mind for trainers looking to collect tough to find Pokémon.
If you want Qwilfish, get Ralph’s number on Route 32. Dunsparce is Hiker Anthony on Route 33. Snubbull is Chad on Route 38. Remoraid is Wilton on Route 44. Yanma is Arnie on Route 35, and Marill is Parry on Route 45. These trainers let you know when there is a certain Pokémon swarm along their route.
You can do the same with evolutionary stones. For the Leaf Stone get Gina’s number on Route 34. The Fire Stone is Alan on Route 36. The Thunder Stone is Dana on Route 38 and the water Stone is Tully on Route 42.
14 Diversify Your Moveset
Just because a Pokémon is a Fire-type, doesn’t mean that you should teach it all Fire-type moves. Pokémon can learn a wide array of different moves, and this can really come in handy in battle.
It could be that your Fire-type can learn a Fighting-type move. That would be great to have in your moveset – especially if you’re taking on a Rock-type. These small details can get you out of some otherwise tricky situations.
13 Get Infected
This might seem odd to some. If you didn’t know, starting from Gen II onwards Pokémon could get infected with something called the Pokérus. When infected with the virus, a Pokémon has the effort values it gains through battle doubled.
This is great for those wanting to EV train their Pokémon and get a more competitive team going. Getting the virus itself is a little tricky as it’s a random occurrence. But once you see a Pokémon’s infected just keep it in your party and hope that it spreads.
12 How To Get All 3 Starters
To pull this off, players need to first start a new game and then go outside and save following the introduction sequence prior to picking a starter. Continue normally until you can first catch a wild Pokémon. Players need to then catch a Pokémon and go to the Pokémon Center in Cherrygrove City.
All you need to do there is pull off the cloning glitch, start over from where you first saved and go back to Professor Elm. Pick a different starter and go back to the Pokémon Center where your first choice starter should be in a box. Repeat for the final starter and voila.
11 How To Properly Use The Love Ball
Here’s another instance of the new Ball mechanics not working as desired. This time, however, the glitch is much more beneficial to the player. The Love Ball’s intended purpose is to catch Pokémon of the opposite gender. But it actually works better the other way around.
A glitch in the game's code makes it so that the ball is 8 times more effective when used against a Pokémon that is the same gender and species as the one the player is using. This makes it great for trainers wanting to catch and compare the same type of Pokémon.
10 How To Deal With A Glass Cannon
Certain Pokémon are best suited for quick hits and can do a lot of damage fast. These guys can be pretty annoying to deal with, as there’s a possibility that they take you out before you can even do anything to them.
There is a sure-fire way to slow these kinds of Pokémon down. Using moves like Thunder Wave or any other moves that cause paralysis or decrease the opposing Pokémon’s speed stat can do wonders. You still need the time to land the attack though, so you’ll need some luck as well.
9 Where To Find This Fan Favorite
The Union Cave is home to a pretty dull bunch of Pokémon. Typical encounters like Zubat, Geodude, and Rattata await you. But there are a couple of notable finds in there too; one of them being pretty popular among fans.
After defeating Morty, players can encounter a wild Lapras in the cave’s basement area. It appears every Friday and starts out at level 20. It would be greatly beneficial to add it to your party and there’s a good chance it stays in there throughout your adventure.
8 Save Some Money On Healing Items
Healing Items are an absolute necessity on any Pokémon trainer’s adventure. It isn’t wise to get by going from Pokémon Center to Pokémon Center. You don’t have to carry them in bulk, but a Super Potion can save you when you least expect it.
If you’re looking to save some cash, there are alternatives. One example would be getting some Lemonade from the Goldenrod Department Store. It’s dirt cheap at ₽350 and heals 80 HP which is actually less expensive and more effective than a Super Potion.
7 The Odd Egg Exploit
This next trick is exclusive to Crystal. In order to pull this off, you’ll first need to save your game prior to first talking to the Daycare Man on Route 34. Get the Odd Egg from him and deposit it in any PC box. Then change boxes and turn off the power just as the text finishes scrolling.
If you go check the box and see your initial egg in there then you’ve successfully pulled it off. You can go back to the old man and he’ll give you another egg. Repeat the steps on succession and you can get yourself 7 of the 8 baby Pokémon.
6 The Only Way To Catch This Mythical Pokémon
In many ways, Celebi is one of the most elusive mythical Pokémon in the series. In North America, the distribution of a certain key item made it incredibly hard to come by. That item was the GS Ball. The Japanese version made it available to players via the Pokémon Mobile System GB. But that online service never made it here.
It is possible to get the GS Ball in the original Gen II releases. But the virtual console releases make the whole process easier. Simply pick it up from the Goldenrod Pokémon Center after becoming champion. Then bring it to the Ilex Forrest, place it in the shrine and you’re good to go.
5 The Best Way To Train A Weak Pokémon
Training a weaker Pokémon at a certain point in the game may seem tedious, but it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is place the Pokémon you want to get stronger at the top of your party and switch it out on its first turn.
This will split the EXP equally between the two Pokémon. The higher level the opponents you’re facing, the quicker you can level-up that weaker party member. You can also use an EXP. Share but that would just take longer.
4 You HAVE To Make This Trade
There are several NPC’s that you can trade with in Gold, Silver & Crystal. Of all of them, there’s one trade that you absolutely should make. Along Route 15 in Kanto, you can find an NPC willing to trade an Aerodactyl for a Chansey.
This is the only way for you to obtain an Aerodactyl in the Gen II games themselves. Chansey itself is an incredibly rare Pokémon, appearing on Route 13, 14 and 15 with a meager 1% encounter rate. It’s definitely a tough catch but one that pays off in more ways than one.
3 A Toxic Combination
There’s plenty of ways to go about a battle. You can go on the defensive, weaken your opponent with debuffs and status effects or just try and outlast your opponent. You can also get creative with your moveset – particularly the order in which you use certain moves.
Here’s a great 1-2 combo for you. If you poison an opponent with Toxic you can then follow that up with a restrictive move like Bind or even Confuse to gradually wean down their HP. It might not finish them off but will make things easier for you as the battle goes on.
2 The Art Of The Switch
Some trainers like to leave their Pokémon on the battlefield until it knocks out. You can win most battles like this sure, but there’s a better way to do it. Sometimes knowing when to switch-out is key.
Your Pokémon may be close to fainting, or maybe weak to its opponent’s type. In that case, switching out might very well be worth the lost turn, especially regarding the latter of the two situations. The longer you can keep your Pokémon conscious – however barely it’s hanging on – the better.
1 The One Pokémon You HAVE To Own
Psychic-type Pokémon received a new counter in the form of Dark-types in Gen II, but that shouldn’t cause you to shy away from using one. Psychic-types were still pretty powerful at this point and could help you very often throughout the game.
You can catch some Unknown pretty early on in the game but they’re essentially useless. There are plenty of Dual-type Psychic’s you can go for but you’d be better off with a pure Psychic-type. Abra and Drowzee are two that you can get pretty early on in the game. Both have fantastic evolutions that will come in handy later in the game.