The second generation of Pokémon games, sometimes known as the metal generation, is the second set of Pokémon games to be released, best described as a sequel to Generation I. Among older fans of the games, it is the most acclaimed of the generations, likely owing to this fact. It is much like Generation I before it, beginning in 1999 with the Japanese paired versions release of Pokémon Gold and Silver and ending in 2001 with the third version North American release of Pokémon Crystal. This Generation also saw the release of Pokémon Stadium 2.
Advances in gameplay
In addition to retaining the system from Generation I in almost every aspect, several key innovations were made to the series, most of which have been retained in every generation since.
Major additions include:
- The introduction of 100 new Pokémon, bringing the total to 251. Several are evolved forms of or pre-evolutions of Generation I Pokémon, while others are their own evolutionary lines.
- The addition of 86 new moves, bringing the total to 251 as well.
- The addition of two new types, the Template:Type2 and Template:Type2, to balance out the over-powerful Template:Type2.
- A new region to explore, Johto, in addition to the Generation I region, with the latter accessible after the Elite Four have been defeated. Johto has its own set of eight new Gyms and Gym Leaders to defeat, while the Elite Four has changed in three years.
- Genders for Pokémon, opening up the ability for two Pokémon which are similar enough to breed.
- Two additional boxes in the Pokémon storage system, which now includes the ability to move Pokémon directly between boxes.
- A new player character, Gold.
- A built-in clock, allowing for in-game events to be affected by the time of day and the days of the week.
- Differently-colored Pokémon, which sparkle when brought into battle.
- Happiness, introduced in Pokémon Yellow, becomes a stat used by all Pokémon.
- Pokémon can now hold items and use them in battle.
- A special Pokémon virus is introduced that boosts stats.
- Inheritance of a Pokémon's IVs from its parents.
Major alterations from Generation I include:
- A change of the types of four moves (Gust, Sand-Attack, Karate Chop, and Bite), all formerly Template:Type2, are now Flying, Ground, Fighting, and Dark, respectively.
- The addition of Steel as a secondary type for Magnemite and Magneton.
- An improved stat system, with the former Special stat being split into Special Attack and Special Defense.
- The bag is no longer one 20-item container, but has four separate sections for different items: Normal items, Poké Balls, TMs and HMs, and key items.
- A key item can be set to and then subsequently accessed with the select button, for convenience on the field.
- Opponent Pokémon Trainers are given individual names.
- Exp. All is removed in favor of the Exp. Share, a held item.
- Town Map is replaced with an electronic device, the PokéGear, which also has cellphone and radio capabilities, alongside map functions.
- The type chart has changed somewhat from Generation I:
|Attacking type||Defending type||Old effectiveness||New effectiveness|
|Bug||Poison||Super effective||Not very effective|
|Bug||Ghost||Normal effectiveness||Not very effective|
|Poison||Bug||Super effective||Normal effectiveness|
|Ghost||Psychic||Not effective||Super effective|
|Ice||Fire||Normal effectiveness||Not very effective|
Further additions in Pokémon Crystal include:
- A female choice for the player, Kris.
- Animations for all Pokémon when encountered or when sent from their Poké Balls.
- Main article: Johto
Generation II introduced a new region to the Pokémon universe, Johto, located directly west of the Kanto region featured in Generation I. Johto's culture is notably more old-fashioned than Kanto's, especially in the more rural areas, which are more plentiful than in Kanto.
The starter Pokémon introduced in Generation II follow the same Grass-Fire-Water alignment as those of Kanto. Despite this, they are not the same trio as in Generation I. Instead, Professor Elm offers Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile to the player as protection on an errand to Mr. Pokémon's house on Route 30.
Unlike other generations, where the first Gym is strong against the Fire-type and weak to Grass and Water, in this generation, the first Gym is strong against Grass, while Fire and Water both have an opening. Also, Pokémon available can cover for the weaknesses of the starter types very early on in the game, unlike in Generation I.
Johto's Gym Leaders specialize in types different from Kanto's Gym Leaders, with eight of the nine types not covered by Kanto being the specialty types of these Gyms. Like Kanto, these Gym Leaders will give out badges and TMs on their defeat.
| Gym Leader
| Violet City
| Azalea Town
| Goldenrod City
| Ecruteak City
| Cianwood City
| Olivine City
| Mahogany Town
| Blackthorn City
- Main article: Kanto
Unlike later games in the series, the Generation II games offer the player the chance, once Johto's Gyms are conquered and the Elite Four is defeated, to return to the Kanto region where the Generation I games are set. Here, players will find that many things have changed over the past three years.
| Gym Leader
| Pewter City
| Cerulean City
| Vermilion City
| Celadon City
| Fuchsia City
| Saffron City
| Cinnabar Island
| Viridian City
Discussion of Generation II
Pokémon Gold and Silver were among the most-hyped games in the Pokémon franchise, with the innovations introduced in them becoming staples of the series. The later-released Pokémon Crystal began the series' focus on legendary Pokémon of the regions in which the games take place, first bringing them into the plot of the game. Unlike future games, Generation II stood as an extension and a sequel of Generation I, and has been criticized by some for this.
- Despite the accepted "standard formula" for a generation to be two paired versions and later on a third version, Generation II is the only completed generation that has only this, as Generation I has four games in Japan, while Generation III and Generation IV have five games worldwide.
- Including console connectivity games, this makes Generation II is the smallest generation so far.
- Generation II is the only generation whose starters remain purely single-type Pokémon throughout all evolutionary levels.
- Generation II is so far the only generation where the total number of moves is equal to the total number of Pokémon in the National Pokédex at the time.
- Generation II is the only generation with no fossil Pokémon introduced or even available without trading.
- As far as release dates go, Generation II is the shortest generation in Japan, with exactly three years between the release of Gold and Silver and Ruby and Sapphire. All other generations, aside from Generation IV (which passes this mark in September of 2009) have had closer to four years between the release of their primary version pair and the primary pair of the next generation.