The Time Capsule (Japanese: タイムカプセル Time Capsule) is a mechanic in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal that allows players to trade Pokémon back in time to Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, Yellow. It is not present in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Although only Pokémon Gold and Silver were released in South Korea prior to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the Time Capsule is still present in the Korean versions.
In the games
A permanent fixture in every Pokémon Center, the Time Capsule is the only facility which allows direct inter-generational trades. Starting with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire in Generation III, this is no longer possible in the games, although it is possible to migrate Pokémon forward a generation through use of Pal Park (from Generation III to Generation IV), the Poké Transfer (from Generation IV to Generation V) and the Poké Transporter (from Generation V to Generation VI). Pokémon can no longer be "sent back in time", i.e., they can no longer be directly traded back to a previous generation game.
In the Japanese and Western versions
The Time Capsule is located on the second floor of each Pokémon Center. However, it will be under repair and unavailable until the player has met Bill in Ecruteak City. Even then, the player has to wait for another 24 hours in the game's internal clock before being able to use the Time Capsule.
- The player cannot have any Generation II Pokémon or Eggs in their party.
- None of the Generation I Pokémon that are in the party can know any moves introduced in Generation II. However, it is possible to trade a Pokémon into Generation I with a moveset that is only obtainable in Generation II, as long as said Pokémon and moves were introduced in Generation I (e.g., Alakazam with Fire Punch).
When linked up to a Generation I game, the trade will happen as it did in Generation I, and the Generation II game will act as if it is a Generation I game.
Held items of Pokémon traded from a Generation I game are determined by that Pokémon's catch rate in said game. This is why Pikachu hold a Light Ball or why Kadabra hold a Twisted Spoon if traded from Pokémon Yellow but not from Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue. For more information on this subject and a complete list of the items, see List of Pokémon by wild held item (Generation II).
Limitations and their consequences
Because of the restriction that moves introduced in Generation II cannot be traded back to Generation I, a Move Deleter in Blackthorn City will delete moves that are incompatible with earlier games. While trades with previous generations were not supported in any games after Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, the concept of a Move Deleter was retained as part of gameplay, as otherwise it would be impossible to make a Pokémon forget an HM move.
The Time Capsule's limitation that prevents Generation II Pokémon from entering can be bypassed with the Time Capsule exploit, though Generation II Pokémon brought in this way must still only know Generation I moves. When traded to a Generation I game, they will become glitch Pokémon. The four Pokémon that evolve by trade in Generation I—Haunter, Kadabra, Machoke, and Graveler—, if traded from a Generation I game to a Generation II game at the correct level, will learn a Generation II move after evolving, but can be traded back to Generation I immediately after. This gives access to glitch moves in the Generation I game.
In the Korean versions
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In the Korean releases of Pokémon Gold and Silver, although the Time Capsule is officially unsupported, it is enabled by linking with a Generation I game using the regular trading room of the Generation II games. The attempt to trade will be cancelled and Bill will appear as soon as the player attempts to leave the Pokémon Center in Ecruteak City.
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In the manga
In the Pokémon Gold & Silver: The Golden Boys manga
The Time Capsule was first mentioned by Professor Oak in The Legendary Pokémon Appears!, when a time tunnel appeared above the Violet Gym during Gold's Gym battle with Falkner. Out of the time tunnel came a Pikachu, which joined Gold's team. In Farewell To Pikachu?!, Eusine revealed how he and Bill had used Bill's Time Capsule to send Pikachu back in time in order to help it lead him to a Legendary Pokémon he was looking for.
In the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga
In the TCG
This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring the Time Capsule in the TCG.
| Time Capsule|
Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format.
Cards listed with a silver background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.
|Time Capsule||T||Neo Genesis||090/111||Gold, Silver, to a New World...|
In other languages
|This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.|