Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions
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Pokémon HeartGold Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ハートゴールド Pocket Monsters HeartGold) and Pokémon SoulSilver Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ソウルシルバー Pocket Monsters SoulSilver) are paired Generation IV remakes of the Generation II games Pokémon Gold and Silver.
Much like Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen revisited the Generation I story of Kanto, HeartGold and SoulSilver retell the story of Johto, with the player's starting area being New Bark Town. While the games feature several expansions in key areas, the overall plot follows the same direction as the original Gold and Silver. Some aspects exclusive to Crystal are also included. Like FireRed and LeafGreen could link up with Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald to complete the Pokédex by trading regionally exclusive Pokémon, HeartGold and SoulSilver can link up with Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum to obtain Pokémon unavailable in Johto and Kanto, such as the Sinnoh starters.
Kris, despite being the female counterpart of Crystal's player character, is not included as the female player character, with a new character instead taking her place. Whether she is chosen to be the player character or not, this new character will still appear in the game. The unselected protagonist will take a pseudo-rival role similar to the unselected characters of Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
The games were released on September 12, 2009 in Japan, February 4, 2010 in Korea, March 14, 2010 in North America, March 25, 2010 in Australia and March 26, 2010 in Europe (this excludes the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of Belgium due to an in-game save error, with the patched copies later released on April 2, 2010).
Changes from Pokémon Gold and Silver
- The male player character receives a redesign and is now called Ethan, while Kris is replaced by a new female player character called Lyra.
- All the game's music is rearranged to better utilize the DS's sound capabilities. A key item allows the player to switch back and forth freely between the arranged soundtrack and original chiptune soundtrack.
- Ambient sound effects are used with greater frequency than in previous games; for example, running water, blowing wind and the player walking through grass will produce audible noises.
- The Pokégear has been redesigned. There are a range of skins that can be used and changed at the player's will.
- Much like Kanto's was for its remakes, Johto's Pokédex has been redesigned. Unlike Kanto's remakes, which contained the same regional Pokédex as the originals, the original regional Pokédex for Johto has been slightly altered, including several Generation IV evolutions for Pokémon found in Johto.
- An image of certain locations, like in FireRed and LeafGreen, appears when entering the location. Some of these images change depending on the time of day while others change the image of the Pokémon obtainable at the location on the image at random.
- Team Rocket grunts are redesigned once again. Team Rocket's Executives are also redesigned from Generation II, with four new ones appearing: Archer, Arianna, Petrel, and Proton. Like Team Galactic's Commanders followed a planetary naming scheme, the Executives are all named for various real-world rockets.
- Lugia and Ho-Oh each have their own unique battle music, while the legendary beasts each use differently remixed versions of their battle theme from Pokémon Crystal.
- All former Berry trees have become Apricorn trees.
- Gym Leaders, Elite Four members, Silver, and Red have animated battle sprites and battle intros, as in Platinum. Many Gyms have been redesigned as well, some with new puzzles.
- Rock Smash, previously a TM usable on the field in the originals, is now a full-fledged HM as it has been since Generation III. Defog loses its HM status to the returning Whirlpool.
- Rock Climb, despite it not being available prior to Generation IV, continues to be HM08 and requires the Viridian Gym badge. As a result, several caves and cliffs have markings which allow them to be scaled like in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
- The Magnet Train's tracks can be seen overhead on Route 32, as well as in Goldenrod City where the tracks were previously on street-level.
- Pal Park is located where the closed Kanto Safari Zone once stood in Fuchsia City.
- The player can now see how many Kanto badges they have. In the original games, the player could only see how many Johto badges they had.
- Ecruteak City and Cianwood City, while sharing a theme in Generation II, now feature separate remixed variations of the same theme.
- Some music in Kanto is changed, with Mt. Moon and the Seafoam Islands changing their music to that which is used by of Johto's Union Cave and Ice Path, respectively. Music in Cerulean City and Fuchsia City, as well as on Routes 24 and 25, rather than taking the theme used in Pewter City, Celadon City, and on Route 3 as they did in the original Generation II games, keep the theme used in Generation I and Generation III. The music used on Route 2, however, is different from any previous generation; the Generation II theme, a remix of the Viridian Forest theme in Generation I, is used solely in Viridian Forest, while the theme used in Generation I and Generation III is, like in Generation II, only used on Route 1. Route 2 instead uses the theme that first appears on Route 3. Cinnabar Island also gets its own music, a remix of its original theme, instead of using the Saffron City theme.
- The Goldenrod City Radio Tower has an observation deck accessible via elevator. This replaces the second recording room.
- There are wind turbines standing in New Bark Town and on Route 14.
- When viewing the stats of a Pokémon outside of battle, one of the stat names will be very light blue, indicating which stat is decreased by the Pokémon's nature, and one will be very light red, indicating which stat is increased. If the Pokémon has a neutral nature, none of the stats will be colored.
- Elm's Lab has an upstairs level, where the professor and his family live, his old house being occupied by Lyra/Ethan and her/his family.
- The Battle Tower west of Olivine City, introduced in Pokémon Crystal, returns, bringing with it the exact same Battle Frontier seen in Platinum.
- Two new routes, Route 47 and Route 48, are introduced near Cianwood City. They lead to a new Safari Zone, as well as the Embedded Tower and the Cliff Cave.
- Mt. Silver is much bigger and Viridian Forest is not cut down.
- Cerulean Cave and the Seafoam Islands remain as they were in Generation III (though Blaine still takes part of the Seafoam Islands), allowing the legendary Pokémon that live inside them to be battled. Moltres, formerly found in Victory Road and Mt. Ember, can be found in Mt. Silver.
- The Fighting Dojo in Saffron City takes a role similar to Sinnoh's Battleground, where the rematches between the player and Gym Leaders take place.
- All 493 Pokémon are capable of following players similar to Pikachu in Yellow. Shininess is also retained. The player can interact with their Pokémon by pressing 'A', and can see how their Pokémon is feeling at the moment. In battle, like Yellow's Pikachu, they are sent out from the side of the screen, rather than from a Poké Ball, unless in certain situations, such as while riding the bicycle, surfing, or going indoors with a large Pokémon.
- A new series of events precede encountering the version mascots in both versions, and thus it is mandatory for the player to engage in battle with the version mascot in order to continue with the game and proceed to the Pokémon League, similar to the plots of Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. In the originals, it was completely optional to encounter Ho-Oh and Lugia.
- The five Kimono Girls from the dance theatre in Ecruteak City now have a significant role in the game. During the player's adventure, he/she can meet each Kimono Girl at different points of the game where they will ask the player to do them a small favor. After receiving the Master Ball from Professor Elm and before meeting the version mascot, each Kimono Girl tests the player with a battle. Once all five are defeated, they proceed to the Bell Tower (in HeartGold) and Whirl Islands (in SoulSilver) where they will perform a dance to summon Ho-Oh and Lugia, respectively.
- As these events were not part of the plot of the originals, the Kimono Girls were to be battled earlier on in the game at the Ecruteak Dance Theatre in order to earn HM03 (Surf) from a man once all five were defeated. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, a mischievous Team Rocket grunt inside the theatre needs to be battled instead.
- Kurt and Apricorns make a return to the series along with the respective Poké Balls. Apricorns are now carried by the player in a new item, the Apricorn Case. As in Crystal, Kurt can be given multiples of the same color Apricorn at once in order to make multiple Poké Balls.
- While the Rainbow Wing and Silver Wing only allow permission to climb the Bell Tower and enter Lugia's cave in the Whirl Islands, respectively, the player cannot encounter their version's respective mascot until they obtain the Clear Bell in HeartGold and the Tidal Bell in SoulSilver. Since the Tidal Bell cannot be obtained in HeartGold and the Clear Bell cannot be obtained in SoulSilver, those items are not required in those versions to encounter the opposite mascot.
- Unlike Generation II, new tasks are put in to complete that are now required to progress the story forward, such as obtaining the Radio Card for the Pokégear to be able to challenge Whitney, and the Kimono Girls and version mascot event must be completed to challenge the Elite Four.
- The RageCandyBar is now a key item. This is likely to prevent the player from trading it to Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, which does not have any item data for it.
- Similarly to the event Shaymin and Regigigas's effect on Platinum, the Pikachu-colored Pichu unlocks an event near the Ilex Forest Shrine, where the Spiky-eared Pichu can be obtained.
- The Pokémon storage system, bag, party interface, and the screen that pops up when pressing the Start or X buttons in the previous games all use the Nintendo DS's touch screen.
- Legendary Pokémon from other regions can be caught in the games. Hoenn's legendaries, Kyogre and Groudon, return in HeartGold and SoulSilver, respectively, after Red has been defeated, and Rayquaza can be caught in both games if a Groudon from SoulSilver and a Kyogre from HeartGold are shown to Professor Oak. Latias (in HeartGold) or Latios (in SoulSilver) can be found roaming in Kanto later in the game after speaking to Steven Stone. The legendary birds can also be found in certain locations in Kanto while Mewtwo can be found at Cerulean Cave.
- Cynthia makes an appearance in an event involving Arceus. This takes place in an area accessed from the Ruins of Alph that is far to the north, named the Sinjoh Ruins. This event allows players to obtain either Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina at level 1. The only way to obtain the Griseous Orb and Origin Forme Giratina in this game is to choose Giratina during this event.
- The Enigma Stone is an event key item that features a use similar to that of the Eon Ticket. It can allow other Eon Pokémon to be encountered (i.e. Latios in HeartGold and Latias in SoulSilver, respectively).
- Headbutting trees to locate certain Pokémon makes its return. However, this time it can also be used to collect Pokémon from Hoenn and Sinnoh after the National Pokédex is acquired.
- The Gracidea can be obtained in the flower shop in Goldenrod City by bringing any fateful encounter Shaymin to show them.
- Eusine, a major character from Pokémon Crystal who was not in the original Gold and Silver, appears, as do other aspects originally featured in Crystal.
- A new sidequest, the Pokéathlon, features ten mini-games that pit Pokémon in athletic competitions. Its system appears to be analogous to that of Contests from previous games.
- Like the GBA Wireless Adapter that came with Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, a bonus is included with the purchase of HeartGold and SoulSilver: a Poké Ball-shaped pedometer called the Pokéwalker that has the capacity to link to the two games and hold a Pokémon. Storing a Pokémon in this manner increases its experience and happiness as the wearer walks. Other Pokémon can be captured in exclusive Pokéwalker-only areas and then transferred to the main game.
- Apricorns are now the only items collected from plants on the field. Berries are instead collected from Jugglers in Violet City and Fuchsia City in exchange for shards, through the Pokéwalker's Dowsing function, hidden on the ground, or from the deliveryman in Poké Marts sent by the player's mom (if the player allows their mom to save money). Because only a few berries cannot be collected in these games, they must by traded over from other versions, similar to that of FireRed and LeafGreen. Though they cannot be grown on the ground like in Hoenn or Sinnoh, they can be grown portably using the Berry Pots, where the Squirtbottle is controlled via the touch screen to water four berries at a time.
- Using the Apriblender, Apricorns can now also be mixed into drinks that increase a Pokémon's Pokéathlon stats by putting Apricorns in the blender and walking around.
- The Running Shoes are obtained in Cherrygrove City and can be permanently selected using the touchscreen menu. The selected item (from pressing Y or SELECT in previous games) is also on the touchscreen. Two items can be selected as opposed to just one.
- Due to the absence of the Vs. Seeker, the Pokégear reintroduces an improved cell phone feature with a limitless call list. However, re-battling Trainers is now dependent on the day and time.
- Starter Pokémon from Kanto and Hoenn can be collected from Professor Oak and Steven Stone, respectively, as appreciation for defeating Red.
- Commemorative photos can now be taken around Johto and Kanto with the player's partner Pokémon, team, Gym Leaders, and certain notable citizens.
- An event-exclusive Celebi unlocks an encounter with former Team Rocket boss and Viridian Gym Leader Giovanni. Giovanni was mentioned repeatedly in the original Gold and Silver, but did not appear.
- Many Pokémon have acquired the ability to learn new moves and expand and improve their movesets; for example, Togepi can now learn Extrasensory through breeding.
- The GB Sounds, a key item obtained after all 16 badges have been obtained, allows players to swap the background music for the soundtrack from the original Gold and Silver, redone. New music tracks, such as the music that plays on Routes 47 and 48, also receive an 8-bit remix. However, not every track got an 8-bit remix and some can only be listened through the Pokémon Past Archive radio station in the Pokégear.
- When using the move Whirlpool outside of battle, instead of the whirlpool disappearing like in Generation II, the player will simply surf over the whirlpools.
- Specific individual values may be passed down through breeding depending on the EV-enhancing item that is held.
- The Trainers that appear in Viridian City's Trainer House are now influenced by communication through two Pokéwalkers as opposed to the previous method of Mystery Gifting with the Game Boy Color's infrared port due to it being available from the start.
- During the player's initial battle with the rival, he is known as Passerby Boy, unlike in Gold and Silver, where he was identified as ???. Players are still required to name him later.
- The man in Ilex Forest, who previously gave out the TM for Headbutt in Generation II has become a move tutor for that move. This is due to the fact that Headbutt is no longer a TM. Unlike other move tutors, he does not require anything from the player to tutor the move, and will do it as many times as the player would like.
- Similar to Pokémon Crystal, the legendary beasts can be caught from the moment the player sees them fleeing in the Burned Tower, with the exception of Suicune who can only be encountered in battle at Route 25, instead of at the Bell Tower. Suicune can be seen running around in certain locations across Johto, as well as and Kanto.
- The map in the Pokégear has the same function as the Marking Map for the Pokétch in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum to track roaming Pokémon. Additionally the player does not need to face Raikou or Entei (as well as Latios and Latias) in battle first to be able to track them.
- Trainers in Kanto will now give out their Pokégear numbers, whereas only Trainers on Routes 26 and 27 would do so in the original games.
- In the original Gold and Silver, the real Janine was in the lower left corner of the Gym, while one of her Gym trainers was in the middle, where the Leader should be. This isn't the case in HeartGold and SoulSilver, where Janine was moved to the middle.
- It is now possible to Fly to the Pokémon League Reception Gate. It is also now possible to Fly between Indigo Plateau or the Reception Gate and any location in either Kanto or Johto. Curiously, however, it's not possible to Fly to the Pokémon Centers in Routes 4 and 10, whereas it was possible in FireRed and LeafGreen, but not in the original Gold and Silver.
- The clock reset interface from the original Pokémon Gold and Silver was removed, as was the case with Pokémon Crystal. In its replacement is a microphone test interface which can be accessed via the button combination X,Y and Down on the title screen; though this feature, unlike the clock reset interface has been officially mentioned by Nintendo via the game instruction booklet.
As in Pokémon Gold and Silver, the primary Pokémon of the remakes are native to the Johto and Kanto regions. Due to advances in gameplay since the second generation, the regional Pokédex used in Gold and Silver (the New Pokédex) has been updated to include those Pokémon which evolve upon learning a new move. Rather than simply excluding these evolutions (as Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen did with happiness-based evolutions), an improved Johto Pokédex was established with 256 Pokémon: five more than the New Pokédex.
Similarly to other recently released Pokémon games, Pokémon from outside the regional Pokédex can be captured after defeating the Elite Four and earning the National Pokédex. Pokémon native to Sinnoh and Hoenn can be found in various methods. Swarms of Pokémon sometimes break out across the Johto and Kanto regions; oftentimes these are not native to either of the regions. Pokémon from other regions can be located by playing one of two special stations on the Pokégear's radio function. There is a channel for Sinnoh Pokémon which plays only on Thursdays; the Hoenn channel only plays on Wednesdays. By having either of these programs turned on when in tall grass the chance of finding a foreign Pokémon increases. The Bug Catching Contest also hosts, from time to time, Hoenn and Sinnoh Pokémon. They will only appear on Thursdays and Saturdays. The Johto Safari Zone's customization option also allows for the finding of Pokémon from other regions.
In an apparent attempt to remove reliance on Generation III cartridges, starter Pokémon of Kanto and Hoenn can be obtained late in the game from Professor Oak and Steven Stone respectively. Some legendary Pokémon which were not included in the Generation II games, such as Kanto's legendary birds and Mewtwo, are also available.
Choosing a starter Pokémon
The redesigned touch screen menu, as well as the three starters shown with the player character
Outside the Burned Tower
- Shiny Pichu HGSS event.png
Spiky-eared Pichu event
Inside Professor Elm's laboratory
- Red Gyarados encounter HGSS.png
Encountering the Red Gyarados
- HeartGold title.png
HeartGold title screen
- SoulSilver title.png
SoulSilver title screen
- Heartgold soulsilver preorder figures.jpg
HeartGold and SoulSilver pre-order figures
- Ho oh in Heartgold.png
Ho-Oh in HeartGold
Lugia in SoulSilver
- Several figures were given away with pre-orders. People could receive a Ho-Oh figure by pre-ordering HeartGold, a Lugia figure by pre-ordering SoulSilver, and an Arceus figure by pre-ordering the Japanese versions of both HeartGold and SoulSilver.
- These games mark the tenth anniversary since the release of the original Gold and Silver Versions.
- Unlike how Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen used completely different Trainer sprites from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, many Trainer classes shared between regions, like Hikers and Psychics, keep their Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum sprites in battle.
- The font used for the English titles of these games are different than the font that has been used since Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, while the Japanese logos are still in the same style used since those games. FireRed and LeafGreen also used a different font than the Hoenn games, however, it was still the same color.
- Additionally, the Ho-Oh crest shaped like a heart and Lugia soul are used in the English logos, while the fire and leaf that appear on FireRed and LeafGreen's Japanese logos were not used in the English release.
- These games mark the first time that the English versions were announced before the games themselves came out in Japan.
- Because of HM05's conversion from Defog to Whirlpool, these games are the only games in which all available HMs teach damaging moves (both Defog and Flash, contained in HM05, prevented this in previous games).
- These are the first games in which major characters offer their Pokémon for a trade with the player, with Gym Leaders Brock, Lt. Surge, Jasmine, and Hoenn's former Champion Steven Stone offering Pokémon of their specialty type in exchange for another.
- These are the first games in which an in-game trade accepts a Pokémon of any kind, with Jasmine accepting such in exchange for her Steelix.
- Unlike how FireRed and LeafGreen's intro was an updated version of the opening from Red and Green, HeartGold and SoulSilver have an entirely new intro, using none of the footage from the intro of Gold and Silver. The intro however, uses some music that was in the original and the title screen displays 3D renders of Ho-Oh and Lugia in movement similar to the original title screens.
- HeartGold and SoulSilver include the Champions from each of the paired versions: Blue from Red and Green, Lance from Gold and Silver, Steven Stone from Ruby and Sapphire, and Cynthia from Diamond and Pearl.
- The credits of HeartGold and SoulSilver are the first to feature Gym Leaders, Elite Four members and villainous team members.
- There's a minor quirk involving the Poké Mart signs, in which they are sometimes shown to be placed on the roots of trees, making it appear as if it was built there.
- Another minor quirk is that the player will sometimes seem to be standing in the same spot as large Pokémon such as Ho-Oh and Lugia.
- The Pokédex entries for the Pokémon that existed in Gold and Silver are carried on over to HeartGold and SoulSilver, respectively, much as how FireRed used the entries from the Japanese Red and Green while LeafGreen used the entries from Blue.
- These titles are the first Pokémon games to be available domestically in Canada in French, other than just in English.
- Similarly, these titles are the second set of Pokémon games (after the original Pokémon Red and Blue Versions) to be released in Latin America in Spanish.
- In the Japanese versions of Gold and Silver, Phanpy and Donphan were exclusive to Gold, and Teddiursa and Ursaring were exclusive to Silver. In international versions of Gold and Silver, this was switched for unknown reasons: Teddiursa and Ursaring could be found in Gold, and Phanpy and Donphan could be found in Silver instead. However, all versions of HeartGold and SoulSilver have Phanpy/Donphan in HeartGold and Teddiursa/Ursaring in SoulSilver, making this inconsistent with international versions of Gold and Silver.
- HeartGold and SoulSilver, as well as Gold s and Silver s, have Gym Leader or Elite Four specialists for every type except the Ground type.
- A typo exists in the script of the English versions. Upon evaluating the National Pokédex with at least 484 of the 493 Pokémon caught when talking to Professor Oak, he, like in all the other Pokémon games he is in, will congratulate the player. However, in the sentence "Meeting you is something l will cherish all my life long!" of his speech, the lowercase L should be an I instead.
- Another typo exists in Froslass's Pokédex entry in SoulSilver, the period at the end is missing. This is not the case in HeartGold.
In other languages
- Official Japanese Announcement
- Official English Announcement
- Official Japanese Site
- Official English Site
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