Pokémon Gold Version (JP) and Pokémon Silver Version (JP) (formerly known as Pocket Monsters 2: Gold and Silver (JP)) are the second installments of the Pokémon series of RPG video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Color. The series featured a new region entitled Johto and introduces a century of new Pokémon. Pokémon Crystal was created as a sequel to the games. A remake of these games was released for the Nintendo DS known as Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. Unlike Pokémon Red and Blue, this game has time and the seven days of the week. You can catch certain Pokémon at night, and on some days there will be events.
The gameplay remains mostly consistent from Red and Blue. There are a few major changes. The first is the introduction of Steel and Dark types. Several moves also change type such as Bite turning from Normal to Dark. The second is there is now a Special Defense stat instead of Special being combined. This redistributes the stats of the older pokemon and make Psychic types less powerful. The EVs, IVs and stat boosts, however, apply to both Special Attack and Special Defense. The third major addition is breeding. This allows the player to create more on Nonlegendary pokemon. It also introduces Baby Pokemon, pre-evolutions of existing Pokemon that come from the Pokemon's egg. They tend to evolve from, happiness, another new mechanic introduced.
In addition to the base level changes, the game also introduces 100 new Pokemon, a new region with 8 new gym leaders and the ability to return to Kanto and battle all those gyms and their changes from the original games. A new Pokeball crafting mechanic was introduced, introducing several new kinds of Pokeballs. The real time clock brought several time based mechanics like different Pokemon depending on the time of day and different events based on the day of the week. The pokegear had a radio, which allowed the player to change the music and gave hints to getting Pokemon, and the phone, which let people challenge trainers they faced before as well as hints to getting certain Pokemon.
To let players access their old Pokemon from Red and Blue, the added a special section to the Link functions where the player could trade with past games. The only restrictions were that only the 151 original Pokemon could be traded, no items and no new moves.
The boy's dream is to defeat the Pokémon League and become the best Pokémon trainer.
At the beginning of his adventure for the Johto and Kanto regions, the protagonist receives PokéGear and his Pokémon as Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. The first task entrusts him to go to Pokémon to retrieve an object, which will prove to be a Togepi egg. A Pokémon home will meet Professor Oak who entrusts the mission of completing the Pokédex, an encyclopedia that can gather information about the Pokémon 251 available in the game.
To gain access to the Pokémon League in the region, the protagonist will have to win the medals of the eight chiefs of the Johto region. Once defeated the Elitfour will be able to go to the Kanto region where he will have to win eight other medals in order to gain access to Red's Mount Silver.
Gold and Silver were first showcased at the 1997 Nintendo SpaceWorld Expo in Japan, becoming the most popular exhibit at the program. Unlike the previous game in the series, Pokémon Yellow, the new titles were announced to be more than a small transition to Pokémon Red and Blue. Instead, they would feature a new storyline, a new world, and new species of Pokémon.
An interview with former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, Ishihara stated that Gold and Silver started development after Pokémon Red and Green were released in Japan. Development issues, worsened by Game Freak being sidetracked with Pokémon Stadium and the localization of the first generation, led the game to be postponed, and the original release slate was taken over by Pokémon Yellow.
Craig Harris of IGN gave the games a "masterful" 10 out of 10 rating, stating that: "As awesome as the original Pokémon edition was, Pokémon Gold and Silver blew it away in gameplay elements, features, and goodies. There are so many little additions to the design it's impossible to list them all".
There was particular praise given to the innovative internal clock feature, with Frank Povo of GameSpot, noting: "The first major addition to Pokémon GS is the presence of a time element... Although it may sound like a gimmick, the addition of a clock adds quite a bit of variety to the game". Povo went on to give the games a "great" 8.8 rating. Nintendo Power listed the Gold and Silver versions of it combined as the sixth best Game Boy/Game Boy Color video game, praising it for its new Pokémon, features, and full-color graphics.
- The game was originally developed for the original Game Boy, with Super Game Boy compatibility in the same vein as Pokémon Red and Blue, and was slated for release at the end of 1997. However, the game ended up being delayed to 1999, allowing Game Freak to take advantage of the then-new Game Boy Color by making Gold & Silver a Game Boy-compatible title; Super Game Boy compatibility did manage to remain, though this feature was excised from Crystal, which needed the extra VRAM of GBC-only cartridges to store new features such as the animated Pokémon sprites.
- Forcing Crystal to boot up on an original Game Boy shows a somewhat functioning version of the game's intro and title screen ("somewhat" being the operative word; both the intro and title screen feature a number of graphical glitches due to certain sprites being programmed to be stored in areas of the Game Boy Color's greater VRAM that the Game Boy lacks). Force-booting the cartridge on a Super Game Boy additionally brings up the border for Gold and an orange-beige screen tint. Trying to play the game results in it crashing when it tries to load the overworld, however. Nevertheless, this appears to indicate that Game Boy compatibility was planned for Crystal, but was dropped when it turned out to be too much for the original handheld to handle.
- The limited space of Game Boy Color cartridges is more than likely the reason that many buildings and dungeons in Kanto have been scaled down or became inaccessible due to various plot reasons in Kanto. For example, Cinnabar Island's volcano erupted and destroyed almost everything, Fuchsia City & Cerulean City's shared music was replaced with that of Celadon City and Viridian City, respectively, and most of Silph Co. isn't open to the public. HeartGold and SoulSilver restores most of the areas and their music, though Cinnabar Island is still destroyed and the Fuchsia City Safari Zone has been with replaced with the Pal Park.
- The names of Kris (the female protagonist of Crystal) and Silver (the rival) have never been confirmed. Kris' name comes from the English box-art while Silver's came from using the same Theme Naming as Blue Oak.
- The battle with Red was originally planned to pull data from Pokémon Red and Blue so that Red would use the Pokémon the player used completed the original game with. This proved too difficult to implement with the technology available at the time, so the default option of the three previous starters and the plot-relevant Pokémon were used instead.
- There's leftover code that allowed the player to name their mother. What this would have served isn't known, but this leftover data may have been used for the catching tutorial (which is used by Dude). Naming your mother would show up in Mother 3 released several years later.
- Very early info mentioned that Ethan had a brother three years his senior that gave him a hand-me-down computer that he likes to tinker with. In the final versions of Gold and Silver, Ethan is an only child, computers aren't important to the plot, and he has no known personality traits. Contrary to popular belief, the brother was not Red. Incorrect translations simply assumed it was Red.
- Satoshi Tajiri mentioned several unused plot details in an early 1997 interview. He said that the story starts when the protagonist learns of a boy in Kanto who completed his Pokedex, implying that Red was an important character and that the story took place directly after the original games. Satoshi also implied that Giovanni would return, when in the final product he is absent and he didn't return until an event for the remake.
- A 1997 playable Space World demo featured completely different starters (the above-mentioned ones), different Japanese names for the Pokemon, and a vastly different overworld. It also had the starting town as named "Silent Hills". Some of the name changes were: "Eleking" for Elekid, "Puko" for Harysen (Qwilfish), "Sunny" for Kimawari (Sunflora), "Painter" for Doble (Smeargle), "Yoroidor" for Airmd (Skarmory), "Buku" for Otachi (Sentret), and "Animon" for Unknown (Unown).
- Game Freak posted a unused character design for Kris once. The screencap was small but details could be deciphered. Kris still had pigtails but they were styled differently and her hair seemed to be black, not blue.
- For months prior to the official release of the game promotional materials referred to the Pokémon Marill as "Pikablu" likely due to its mouse-like appearance, the zig-zag tail that resembled Pikachu's lightning bolt tail and... well, the fact that it was blue. Marill was never officially referred to by this name at any point, not even during the planning stages. Despite this the misnaming was so prevalent that even Topps used it in the Pokémon: The First Movie Trading Cards.
- A scrapped fire starter, Honoguma, is sometimes jokingly called "Pikaflare", just like Marill is called "Pikablu", due to its resemblance to Pikachu.
- The three games are collectively referred to as GSC and the Metal Generation.
- Silver (the rival, not the game) is sometimes jokingly referred to as ???.
- Marill is very frequently treated as a Pikaclone by the fandom. While the parallels are there, Game Freak has never officially promoted Marill's line in that capacity, and the association is a leftover from the old "Pikablu" rumors.
- Similarly to the above, the Korean versions of Gold & Silver, which are Game Boy Color-exclusive can also be force-booted on a Game Boy, though things tend to go haywire as soon as you get past the title screen due to the GBC's extra VRAM being used to store the rather large Hangul alphabet. The game is still playable, however, albeit in a very garbled state with occasional crashes; this seems to indicate that, as with the case of Crystal, Game Boy compatibility was planned for the Korean Gold & Silver, but was dropped due to the Hangul alphabet being too big to fit on a Game Boy-compatible cartridge.
- In an early build of the game, the name of New Bark Town was going to be Silent Hills.
- Each town and city in Johto has an alternate map in the games' ROM with different layouts than the the final product. There is also a map for a town or city located in the Lake of Rage, complete with its own Gym.
- In an "Iwata Asks" interview, it was confirmed that Gold & Silver were intended to be the last installments in the series, as the developers felt that they were too much of a Tough Act to Follow.
- Staryu and Starmie may have been originally intended to have genders, as Staryu has Egg Moves programmed for it and both are able to be taught Attract (a move that only works if the user and target have opposite genders) in these games only.
- A string of text in the ROM suggests that the Honey Tree mechanic that debuts in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl was originally intended for these games.
- The original Water and Fire starters were completely different creatures. The fire starter was a rodent-looking Pokemon called Honoguma instead of Cyndaquil and the water-type was a seal-looking Cartoon Creature named Kurusu instead of Totodile. Happa was a very early version of Chikorita with a less refined design.
- An image from the magazine MicroGroup Game Review shows unused designs for 2 Pokémon; a turtle that resembles Tirtouga from Pokémon Black and White and what can only be described as a Hitmontop and Clefairy hybrid (with elements of the later Pokémon Spoink). It also shows that Tyranitar was going to be brown instead of green.
- Pre-release material promised a skateboard item (separate from the bike) that would be allow access to new areas.
- Updated maps for Cinnabar Island's Pokémon Lab are in the data (though they have no event data), indicating that the island was originally going to return unchanged.
- There's an unused script for an encounter with a Level 40 Entei, implying that it (and possibly Raikou and Suicune) was originally intended to be found in a static spot instead of randomly roaming around Johto.
- Nintendo, (October 18, 2000) "Game Boy Release Dates"