Pokémon Gold and Silver versions were finally released in Japan in 1999. The games finally made their way to North American shelves on October 15, 2000. The highly-anticipated release came almost two years after the date it was originally announced. There was a small team working on the games, but they surely created nothing short of a masterpiece. The Game Boy Color games gave the Pokémon franchise a new life; Pokémon were now seen in a way they were never seen before.
The games also had a lot of differences from Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow besides being in color. The game now had a breeding function, which opened up new opportunities for raising Pokémon. Of course, the game also introduced a batch of 100 new Pokémon which included Pokémon that were previously teased in the anime, such as Ho-Oh and Togepi. Pokémon Crystal was released in North America on July 29, 2001 and introduced even more new features. Now, players could finally pick a female character and Suicine played a prominent role in the story among several other changes and enhancements.
In short, Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal can be described as the quintessential Pokémon games. Being the massive games that they are, it could be easy to miss certain things. You also might not have played the games since you were young or maybe you have never played the games at all. Either way, it might be interesting for you to know these 20 things you missed in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal.
20 The Lost Safari
Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal included the Kanto region along with Johto, its main region. For the most part, these games stayed faithful with their representation of Kanto. However, there still existed plenty of differences, and one of the most disappointing differences was the lack of the Safari Zone in Fuchsia City. In Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, access to the safari zone gave the player a chance to catch interesting rare Pokémon such as Pinsir, Scyther, and Chansey among others. It turns out that there exists an unfinished Safari Zone that was originally intended to appear in Gold and Silver. From the unfinished map, it looks as if it would have been very similar to the Safari Zone in the first games. It must have been scrapped early in development because there are no Pokémon or exits coded into the unfinished area.
19 Egg-scuse Me?
You might be aware of the famous Mew glitches of the Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow games. Mew was a mysterious Pokémon that could only be obtained legitimately though an event, so many had to resort to glitches to obtain the popular Pokémon. The story is the same for Celebi in the Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal games. Celebi could only be obtained legitimately through an event. The “event” in these games was actually an event in the game that had to do with the shrine found in the Ilex Forest. Alas, the event never came to the West and was only held in Japan. Players had to resort to an intricate Celebi glitch. It required training two Sneasels up to level 57 with the same moves in the proper order and then following a series of several complicated steps.
18 Hey, I'm Fishing Here!
The good old Cerulean gym is designed like an indoor swimming pool. The player walks on platforms to avoid having to get into the water, which are also cleverly designed to ensure you walk into the gym trainers. At least the gym doesn’t have any annoying puzzles that you have to solve. One other interesting aspect of this gym is that you can actually fish in the swimming pool in Pokémon Gold and Silver, and Pokémon Red and Blue. You can catch a Magikarp, Krabby, Corsola, Staryu, or even a Kingler. This was actually not an intended feature of the Cerulean Gym because one could not fish inside the gym in Pokémon Yellow and then again in Pokémon Crystal. I suppose the devs just messed up again when making Pokémon Gold and Silver.
17 Sorry, But You're Stuck Here
Pokémon games are great because you are almost forced to interact with friends in order to fully complete the game. Unless you have two Game Boys and two games, you’re going to have to do some trading. The Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal games were actually compatible with the Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow games. You could trade your beloved generation 1 Pokémon to your generation 2 games. However, the Pokémon traded up to generation 2 are trapped there forever. There is no way for generation 2 Pokémon to make their way to generation 7, unlike generation 3 and up. This is because there were large game mechanics changed with the introduction of the third generation, such as the way that the special stats worked. It would have been too complicated to make them compatible with each other.
16 A Good Trade
One of the coolest things about Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow was the fossils. You could get the fossil for Omanyte or the fossil for Kabuto. You could also obtain the old amber which was the “fossil” for Aerodactyl. As cool as the fossil Pokémon were, no new fossil Pokémon were introduced in the second generation of Pokémon games. However, there is a way that you could obtain a fossil Pokémon in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal. There is a nice NPC who is willing to trade his Aerodactyl to you. Unfortunately, he wants a Chansey in return and there are no other fossil Pokémon besides Aerodactyl available. Even though Chansey is rare, this trade is the only way one can obtain Aerodactyl without trading up from Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow.
15 Was Red Meant To Be Silent?
The Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal games were massive. Not only were you able to battle the eight Johto gym leaders and defeat the Pokémon League, you were able to travel around the region of Kanto featured in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow. After defeating the additional eight gym leaders of Kanto, you are able to finally able to trek Mt. Silver. Waiting for you at Mt. Silver is none other than Red, the protagonist of the first generation games. Red reacts with, “…” and the trend of Red’s silence continued on to later games. However, this trend might have been started with these games and Red might not have been silent in the original games. In the first generation games, it is implied that Red speaks when he interacts with the Copycat.
14 It Seems A Little Different...
Pokémon Red and Blue were great games, but there were not a whole lot of differences between them besides having some different Pokémon in the wild. Their sprites were also identical. Pokémon Gold and Silver were interesting games because they spiced things up a bit. The games had different sprites from each other and they were animated. This was especially important because we did not yet have a lot of different depictions of Pokémon and some people were upset that Pokémon Red and Blue had some Pokémon that did not look like they did in the anime (despite the games being created first). Unfortunately, this was not a trend that continued on into the future, but it’s pretty cool going back and seeing the different sprites.
13 Drawing Some Graffiti
In Celadon City, one can find a tall building commonly known as the Celadon mansion. However, it actually isn’t a mansion. The Celadon Mansion is actually the Celadon Condominiums. It was referred to as the Celadon Mansion because of a translation error. Anyway, it’s an interesting building. In the first generation Pokémon games, one can find a Poké Ball containing Eevee. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the second generation games, but there is still an interesting little Easter egg. If you climb all the way to the top of the building, you’re able to walk around. If you go into the little corner next to the stairs and face towards the stairs, you can press “a” to find graffiti. Your player adds a moustache to the graffiti.
12 Don't You Forget About Me
Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of the Pokémon introduced in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, but it would be a stretch to say that all of them are works of art. For example: do you remember Dunsparce? You probably don’t, and that’s because it is an incredibly forgettable Pokémon. Dunsparce is not very strong and does not look very flashy. Dunsparce does not have an evolution either. It just seems like Game Freak forgot to finish its evolution line. Another Pokémon in a similar boat is Girafarig. Maybe it is unfair to say Girafarig is forgettable because it seemed like I encountered a wild Girafarig a frustrating amount of times during my playthrough of these games. Either way, the Pokémon is pretty weak and does not have an evolution.
11 No Personality Over The Phone
When I was younger and played through Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, I thought the idea of the player having a phone to stay in contact with other trainers was a brilliant idea. If you play the games through again, you may seem less enthused about the idea. The trainers in Pokémon Gold and Silver do not actually have a personality of any sort. They say pretty much the same exact phrases just with different Pokémon names. Schoolboy Alan will rant and rave about his Tangela in the same way all the others do about their Pokémon. Pokémon Crystal changed things a bit by giving these trainers a personality. One trainer may talk about shopping while another may talk about grooming. They also gave out items in Crystal, such as a fire stone or berries.
10 An Entire City Destroyed
One detail that commonly gets overlooked is the fate of Cinnabar Island. An entire island of people was destroyed by a volcano only to leave a Pokémon center and a sign post. Nobody mentions anything about the number of survivors and they seem to only casually speak about it. One NPC states, “I heard that the gym in Cinnabar is gone. I wonder what became of Blaine, the gym leader.” Upon finding Blaine at his new gym, he seemed pretty gloomy. Blaine says, “Waaah! My gym in Cinnabar burned down. My fire-breathing Pokémon and I are homeless because of the volcano. Waaah!” That’s pretty serious. The man actually became homeless because of this natural disaster and I am sure that is also the fate of many others who lived there. It’s an actual tragedy that is barely talked about.
9 The Ugliest Shiny Of All
You might not have actually caught this change in Pokémon Gold and Silver because it was before the widespread availability of the internet and these Pokémon were incredibly rare. Pokémon Gold and Silver introduced shiny Pokémon. This is a pretty big deal considering how popular shiny Pokémon have become. If you don’t know, shiny Pokémon are rare catchable Pokémon that have a different color scheme from their typical colors. For example, Charizard’s shiny is black with red wings. Interestingly enough, shiny Charizard was not always as cool as he is now. Charizard’s shiny counterpart actually used to be a pretty disgusting purple color with green wings. This is a similar color scheme to a lot of other shiny Pokémon. They probably changed it because people expect Charizard to look way cooler than a purple dragon.
8 Mom, Stop It!
One of the biggest changes in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal may be the larger role that the mom character plays. She informs the player about the Pokégear, helps set the time, and even sets it to daylight saving time when appropriate. The mother also communicates with you throughout the game and saves some of your money. Unfortunately, she sometimes squanders your money on items. The items can be cool, like a Moon Stone, or it can be lame, like a Repel. Either way, it’s interesting have something of a bank. Having to deal with your mother throughout the game actually makes you seem less alone. Her character was also meant to have an even bigger role, and there was internal data found that suggested she could have been named by the player early in development.
7 The Baby Pokémon Conundrum
If I were to use one word to describe baby Pokémon it would be confusing. A number of baby Pokémon were introduced in the second generation games: Pichu, Cleffa, Igglybuff, Togepi, Tyrogue, Smoochum, Elekid, and Magby. I suppose they were introduced to show off the new breeding feature in the second generation games, but they never really added much to the game with the exception of Tyrogue. I was also confused with the rules regarding baby Pokémon. Could there be a baby Pokémon for a Pokémon that already has two evolutions, or does the baby Pokémon count as the basic form of the Pokémon? In the card game, for example, Magmar was (and still is) a basic Pokémon, which means you don’t need to evolve him from another card to play it like you would with Magmortar. So are baby Pokémon their own category?
6 A Little Rivalry Never Hurt Nobody
This little tidbit might be a little unfair, but I thought it was interesting enough to include it. Your Rival in Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal, Silver, is an edgy red-haired guy with an attitude problem. He was probably the only rival in the franchise who was legitimately a jerk. It turns out that Silver is the son of Giovanni. You read that right. We’re talking about the same Giovanni who runs Team Rocket, an organized crime syndicate. Now it makes sense why Silver is so edgy. This information is not really teased until the third generation games and then finally confirmed in the fourth generation games. I didn’t buy the theory at first because I’d imagine Giovanni is pretty rich. I wouldn’t think Silver, the son of a wealthy crime boss, would run around like a petty thief in the same clothing for an extended period of time.
5 A Free Pokémon For Everyone
Nothing feels as good as receiving a Pokémon for absolutely nothing in return. For example, in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, one can receive an Eevee in the Celadon Condos. One can also receive a free Pokémon in Pokémon Crystal. In the Dragon’s Den in Blackthorn City, one can find a Dragon Shrine. There, Claire’s grandfather and some other dragon master quizzes the player on their style of battling. If you manage to answer all of the questions correctly, the player will receive a Dratini. This Dratini also knows ExtremeSpeed, which makes it especially useful. Typically, Dratini cannot learn ExtremeSpeed from leveling up or TMs in Generation II. Unfortunately, this Dratini can only be obtained in Pokémon Crystal and cannot be obtained in Pokémon Gold and Silver.
4 The Final Games?
Pokémon Gold and Silver were huge games. Not only did they include the new Johto region, but it also included the Kanto region with all eight gym leaders available. No Pokémon games past these second generation games had packed so much content into them. The reason for this is because Pokémon Gold and Silver were actually meant to be the final games in the series. There was an interview with Tsunekazu Ishihara in which he stated that Gold and Silver represented the “finish line” in terms of Pokémon. He went on to say: “I didn’t intend to make any more Pokémon titles. I even thought that once we entered the twenty-first century, it would be time for me to do something else entirely.” I’m glad they continued to make more games.
3 The Reasons For The Trading Cards
The Pokémon Trading Card game seems partly responsible for the success of the franchise. When I was growing up, it seemed like everyone had Pokémon cards even if they didn’t know exactly how to use them. To this day, the Pokémon Trading Card game is still going strong with a dedicated fan base and competitive tournaments. It’s ironic how large the game has become considering it was once just considered part of a marketing scheme to support the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver. In the interview with Tsunekazu Ishihara mentioned earlier, he stated: “The reason that I licensed so many products and developed things like the trading cards was basically to ensure that Gold and Silver were successful. I felt that this was my primary role.”
2 The Useless Moon Ball
Pokémon Gold and Silver introduced many new special Poké Balls that were not present in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow. There is an NPC named Kurt that will make Poké Balls for you. All you need to do is hand him an Apricorn and he’ll make a special Poké Ball. For example, Kurt will create a Lure Ball out of the Blue Apricorn. The Lure Ball increases the catch rate for Pokémon that were hooked using a rod. There is also the Moon Ball which is created from the Yellow Apricorn. The Moon Ball is supposed to improve the catch rate of Pokémon that evolve using a Moon Stone, but they were not actually coded that way. The Moon Ball was coded so Pokémon who evolve using burn heal (which no Pokémon evolve from) are caught easier.
1 Lance, The Cheater
Lance is the fourth Elite Four trainer in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow. He is also the champion in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal. He’s known as the strongest Dragon tamer in the franchise. All things considered, Lance is a pretty nice guy with strong morals. However, there is one thing that is a little shady about the guy: he’s a dirty cheater. Lance has Pokémon with moves that they cannot normally learn in any way. In Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, Lance has a Dragonite that knows Barrier. In Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, Lance has an Aerodactyl that knows Rock Slide. Lance’s hacked Dragonite actually led to an official Dragonite with Barrier being released in 2016 to commemorate the classic Kanto games. Now you can be just like Lance!