Pokémon HeartGold and Pokémon SoulSilver (JP) are enhanced remakes of the 2000 video games Pokémon Gold and Silver. The new titles are members of the Pokémon series of role-playing games, and were developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. They were released on September 12, 2009 in Japan, March 14, 2010 in North America and March 26, 2010 in Europe. This is the second Pokémon remake, following Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. The games were released roughly around the tenth anniversary of the original Gold and Silver.
The mascot for HeartGold is Ho-Oh and for SoulSilver is Lugia; these were the mascots for the original games. The graphics are updated for the DS. The game's Starter Pokémon are the same Pokémon from Gold and Silver, and your current lead Pokémon will follow the player at all times, similar to Pokémon Yellow. Both games came with an accessory called the Pokéwalker which works via an infrared hookup on the game cartridge itself (not the DS) and the Pokéwalker.
The game retains the mechanics, battle style, and adventure style of all past games. It also retains the touchscreen features of Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the player's Pokémon on the head of their team will follow the player around, as if the player is in Amity Square the entire game, except every Pokémon is able to follow you, from Bulbasaur to Arceus. You can see the following Pokémon's mood by pressing "A" while facing the Pokémon. The mood of the Pokémon will change depending on how the player treats it and where they are.
A new event in the game called the Pokéathon features 10 new touch screen controlled mini-games. Any of the 493 Pokémon can participate in the challenges, and some will perform better in specific events than others. Rewards are given out to trainers who perform well.
Lugia and Ho-Oh will appear in the games, but Arceus also play a large role. Arceus will give the player either a Dialga, Palkia, or a Giratina. Then later in the game, if you transfer the Arceus from a Pokémon event for Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum to Pokémon HeartGold or SoulSilver versions, you will receive a level 1 Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina. Groudon and Kyogre also appear in different versions but when traded to one copy, you can catch Rayquaza. Mewtwo is also available after defeating the game in Cerulean Cave basement
With Mystery Gift, players can acquire special Pokémon and items distributed by Nintendo through game retailers or through other means or by a friend. In previous iterations of the Pokémon series, the Mystery Gift could only be acquired by entering a password, though in HeartGold and SoulSilver it is made available automatically. When using Mystery Gift, players can acquire gifts through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection or by going to a Nintendo event.
As in the previous video games, Nintendo hosted various events for HeartGold and SoulSilver that gave players access to rare Pokémon and other features.
The Spiky-Eared Pichu event was one of the earliest. First, players had to download the Pikachu-Colored Pichu to Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum. To do this in Japan, players would have to go to see the 12th Pokémon movie in theaters where they would be given the Pichu. In America, players could download it at any GameStop in the United States at the end of January and into February of 2010. When sent over to HeartGold or SoulSilver, the player is required to have the Pichu follow him or her into Ilex Forest, which will activate the event when the player reaches Celebi's Shrine. Once there, the Spiky-Eared Pichu will emerge. When this happens, the player will not have to battle it, but rather it will automatically join their party.
Arceus can be obtained in the video games Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. When sent over to HeartGold or SoulSilver, the player can cause the Sinjoh Ruins to emerge. When the player enters the ruins, they will be given the chance to acquire either Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina. They can only choose one, and regardless of which one they choose it will always be at level 1. Interestingly, the Pokémon the player chooses will be able to learn moves they normally can't (similarly to the Spiky-Ear Pichu).
Jirachi was made available for download in the Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum games prior to the release of HeartGold and SoulSilver. The promotion ended before the two games were released. When transferred over to HeartGold or SoulSilver, players receive a the Night Sky's Edge PokéWalker course. This course features Pokémon such as Clefairy, Jigglypuff, Zubat, Hoothoot, Geodude, and Onix.
- Yellow Forest: The Yellow Forest is a Pokéwalker stage that contains a large amount of Pikachu. The Pikachu in the Yellow Forest know moves that Pikachu can't usually learn. In North America, Europe and Australia it was made available on April 1 of 2010.
- 10th Anniversary Mew: With this event the player can acquire Mew with a Premier Ribbon attached to it.
- Enigma Stone: In this event, you take the enigma stone you received over the internet to the Pewter City Museum. Once you leave the museum, either Latios or Latias will arrive and battle the trainer depending on which version they have (Latios in SoulSilver and Latias in HeartGold).
- Winner's Path: The winner's path is a Pokéwalker stage that contains rare Pokémon including Beldum, Munchlax, Horsea, Duskull, Magikarp, and Bronzor, all of which know moves they normally wouldn't learn. The US distribution for this occurred May 6 to June 25.
- The Rocket Backstory: This event was distrubted via a special Celebi. If you bring the special Celebi to the shrine in Ilex Forest, Lyra/Ethan will appear and will start talking to you. Soon after, Celebi starts glowing and sends you back in time along with Lyra/Ethan. Once you're back in time you overhear a conversation between your rival and his father. They argue a bit about Team Rocket and then they part ways. Celebi then takes you forward in time and it is later revealed that Giovanni is actually your rival's father.
Some of the visuals are in 3D, similar to all incarnations since Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. As per tradition, the top-down view is still retained. There are many differences in the graphics between the original games and the remakes. Every single sprite in the game has been redone, and many areas, buildings, characters and even Pokémon have been redesigned. During battles, the backgrounds now have different colors that change depending on the time of day.
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver were released ten years after the original Japanese release of Pokémon Gold and Silver. In order to appeal to players who had already played the original games, the developers enhanced the graphics, included the Kanto region and consequently added that region's eight gym leaders, included brand new areas, incorporated Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, made the sound clearer and more. Perhaps most noteworthy of all was the inclusion of the Pokéwalker accessory.
This is also the second game in North America (after Personal Trainer: Cooking) to be localized for countries outside of the United States. There is a French version released in Canada and a Spanish version released in Mexico respectively.