Pokémon Crystal Version

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Pokémon Crystal Version
ポケットモンスター クリスタルバージョン
Crystal EN boxart.png
Pokémon Crystal Version's boxart, depicting Suicune.
Basic info
Platform: Game Boy Color
Category: RPG
Players: 2 players simultaneous
Connectivity: Game Link Cable, IR*, Mobile*
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: Generation II core series
CERO: Not applicable
ACB: G8+
GRB: Not applicable
Release dates
Japan: December 14, 2000[1]
North America: July 30, 2001[2]
Australia: September 30, 2001
Europe: November 2, 2001[3]
South Korea: Unreleased
Hong Kong: N/A
Taiwan: N/A
Japanese: Pokémon.co.jp
English: Pokémon.com (US)
Pokémon.com (UK)
Pokémon Crystal.com
Crystal JP boxart.png
Boxart of Pocket Monsters Crystal Version.
StrategyWiki has more about this subject:

Pokémon Crystal Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター クリスタルバージョン Pocket Monsters: Crystal Version) is the third and final Generation II core series game for Game Boy Color. It was released as a sister game to Pokémon Gold and Silver, which were released one year before. It was released in Japan on December 14, 2000, in North America on July 29, 2001, and in Europe on November 2, 2001.

It featured various fixes and some new additions, most notably the introduction of the option to play as a girl. It takes place in the region of Johto like Gold and Silver, with access to Kanto granted later in the game, with the player's starting town being New Bark Town.

The Japanese version had far more new features, all related to a mobile phone-related linking technology usable through the Pokémon Mobile System GB when connecting a Mobile Game Boy Adapter to a Game Boy Color or Game Boy Advance (original or SP).


201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201

The player is called to Professor Elm's lab to run an errand. He provides the player with one of three Pokémon: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile to help him/her get to Mr. Pokémon's house. He/She meets Kanto's own Professor Oak during the errand for Elm. Oak, convinced that the player has started his/her own Pokémon journey, gives him/her a Pokédex. On the way back, the player is attacked by a spiteful and mysterious Pokémon Trainer. Upon his/her return to New Bark Town, the player is informed that someone has broken into Professor Elm's lab and has stolen a Pokémon, the same Pokémon that the Trainer from earlier battled with (the Pokémon that the player's starter is weak against); even more so, that very same Trainer fits the description of the Pokémon thief. This Trainer will become the player's rival for the course of the game, having several conflicts with the player as to what it means to be the world's greatest Pokémon Trainer.

Team Rocket has returned with a new attitude, since the disappearance of their leader Giovanni, and once again tries to take over the world, starting with the Johto region. They begin with petty things (such as cutting off the tails of Slowpoke to sell as food for a high price) before becoming more devious, such as a plan to use radio frequencies to artificially induce evolution in some Pokémon at the Lake of Rage near Mahogany town. When the player defeats or captures the Red Gyarados rampaging in the lake, Lance will arrive and congratulate the player for his/her battling and requests that the player help him find the source of the radio signals. When the player returns to Mahogany town and enters the Souvenir Shop, he/she will find Lance and his Dragonite threatening the man in the shop. A secret door will open to the Rocket base, which was revealed by a Rocket Grunt to be an old ninja hideout. After the player defeats the Rocket Executive found in the hideout, Lance asks the player to help him knock out the Electrode powering the machine producing the radio waves.

After completing this task, Lance thanks the player and gives him/her the HM Whirlpool. After the player defeats Pryce - the leader of Mahogany Gym - Professor Elm will call the player and tell him/her about unusual broadcasts from the Radio Tower in Goldenrod City. When the player reaches Goldenrod City, it is revealed that Team Rocket has taken over the Radio Tower, their intent being to try to contact their missing leader, Giovanni, and persuade him to return to Team Rocket. Also, the Director of the Goldenrod station has been kidnapped and replaced by an impostor. After the player defeats the impostor, he will tell him/her the location of the real Director. When the player frees the real Director, he will give the player the Card Key, which opens the door on 3F of the Radio Tower and leads to the Rocket Executive currently in charge of the group. The player defeats the executive and Team Rocket officially disbands for a second time. The Director rewards the player with a Clear Bell.

Throughout the adventure, the player will also come across Suicune, a Legendary Pokémon that traverses Johto after the player awakens the three Legendary beasts from their sleep at the Burned Tower. Unlike Raikou and Entei, Suicune takes notice of the player; similarly, Eusine shows interest in Suicune, having sought it for ten years and finally catching a glimpse of it thanks to the player. As Eusine challenges the player to a battle near Cianwood City, it becomes clear that Eusine wants to earn Suicune's respect so that he can find out what it is that it looks after. However, it is when the player is entrusted with the Clear Bell that the Wise Trio allow them to enter the Tin Tower, where Suicune has arrived to put them to the test. Later in the story, after the player has proven their ability to touch the souls of Pokémon by catching all three of the Legendary beasts, Ho-Oh returns to the Tin Tower after 150 years of testing humans from afar.

As in all previous games, the main goal of the player is to defeat all the Gym Leaders of Johto, win all eight Badges, and take on the Elite Four and the current Pokémon League Champion. Afterward, the player will be able to travel to the region of Kanto and take on the Kanto Gym Leaders for their Badges. After winning all eight Badges, Professor Oak will give the player permission to go to Mt. Silver and face the protagonist from Generation I, Red.

201 Spoilers end here. 201


The latest in the Gold & Silver series!
Travel back to the world of Johto as the Gold & Silver series continues with brand new features! Whether you're reading the fresh descriptions in your Pokédex, using the unique sort function to organize your Pokémon in new ways, watching the all-new battle animations, or discovering another way to capture Suicune, you'll need all of your Poké-skills to master Pokémon Crystal on your Game Boy Color!

  • Unlock the mysteries of the Unown! All-new puzzles and rewards await you in the Ruins of Alph!
  • Fight through the Battle Tower, a challenging tournament featuring Johto's best trainers!
  • For the first time, play as a male or female trainer!
  • Trade with Gold, Silver, Red, Blue, and Yellow versions to catch 'em all!
  • Compatible with Pokémon Stadium 2 for the Nintendo 64!

Changes from Pokémon Gold and Silver

Aesthetic changes

  • A female player character, Kris, was introduced, marking the first time players could choose the gender of their character. The choice is purely aesthetic and does not affect gameplay.
  • When entering a new area, its name appears on-screen for a brief time. This would become standard for the rest of the series.
  • The Ice Path was redesigned with an ice-like appearance. Some of its puzzles were also changed.
  • The Burned Tower was redesigned on the exterior and interior. The outside was altered to look more liked a burned building rather than a short one (see the Burned Tower page for more information).
  • Lance's room at the Indigo Plateau was redesigned to have a draconic appearance, with the statues in the room being replaced with Dratini statues.
  • Raikou, Entei, and Suicune have their own special battle music when the player encounters them in the wild, making Crystal the first game to sport special Legendary Pokémon battle music.
  • The Dragon's Den was subtly altered; now the Dragon Shrine is open, and some Headbutt trees were added to the back of the Shrine.
  • The Goldenrod Department Store had a roof area added.
Pokémon sprites are now animated.
  • More work was done on Pokémon sprites:
    • Pokémon sprites now play a short animation upon entering the fight and a longer one when the Pokémon's profile is viewed, a feature that would not be seen again until Pokémon Emerald. In this game, only the front sprites are animated.
    • While most of the Pokémon retain their sprites from either Gold or Silver, certain Pokémon, such as Houndoom and Croconaw, were given new ones. This includes some Pokémon who had identical sprites in both original versions, like Sneasel and Suicune. The W Unown was redesigned, its new design was used in all future games.
    • A few Pokémon, such as Spinarak, Magnemite and Sneasel, were recolored to more closely match their official artwork.
    • Several of the Pokémon that were redrawn gained new back sprites.
  • The user interface used during Game Link Cable trades was redesigned. Gold and Silver used a simple black on white trading interface that was identical to the one used in the Generation I games, mainly to retain compatibility with older Game Boy systems. In Crystal, the menus were revamped with full color on a black background, a design which better suits the capabilities of the Game Boy Color.
  • A fountain was added to the center of the pond in the National Park.
  • The inside of Mt. Mortar was changed.
  • Certain Trainers have their dialogue changed.

Location changes

  • Extra grass was added to the route west of Violet City, and in this grass, Growlithe can be caught, allowing players to acquire a Fire-type Pokémon much earlier than in other versions (assuming they did not choose Cyndaquil), and making a large difference in the availability of Fire-types for areas like the Azalea Gym and the Sprout Tower, where Fire-types are super effective.
  • Just like in the Japanese Pokémon Blue and all releases of Pokémon Yellow, changes were made to available wild Pokémon:
    • On one hand, several Pokémon that were exclusive to Gold or Silver are available in the wild, like Gligar and Skarmory. On the other hand, some species that were available in both Gold and Silver are a no-show this time around, like the Mareep family.
    • Sneasel appears in the Ice Path, whereas in Gold and Silver, it did not appear until reaching Mt. Silver.
    • Magmar no longer appears in the Burned Tower, instead appearing exclusively in Mt. Silver.
    • Some of the wild Pokémon that appear in Kanto were altered.
  • Some Trainers were repositioned on the map.
  • Several new Trainers were added, some of which could only be battled when certain conditions are met. For example, Pokéfan Jaime on Route 39 can only be battled at night. Some of them won't approach the player themselves, and, when spoken to, won't play the "encounter" music before engaging in battle.
  • A Battle Tower, the first in the series, was added to the north of Route 40.

Gameplay changes

  • Ho-Oh cannot be caught until Raikou, Entei, and Suicune are all caught.
  • Changes were made to the Ruins of Alph. This included more common Unown, as well as a new subplot—completing enough puzzles allows the player to read a secret message left behind by the Unown. It suggests that the Unown were left behind by the ancient civilization that constructed the Ruins of Alph, and that the statues that line the interior were made by those people.
  • Previously, Trainers who called on the cell phone all said the same phrase, with only the names of the Pokémon they reference changing. Trainers are now given distinct personalities (one talks about shopping, another about grooming), and call for reasons other than battling, such as giving the player items, or informing them of a rare Pokémon appearing (Wade gives the player Berries, Alan gives them a Fire Stone, etc.).
  • The Buena's Password radio show was added, which players can listen to on their Pokégear and receive points in order to redeem prizes.
  • The new rooftop area of the Goldenrod Department Store has occasional sales, which the player is informed about if Camper Todd's number is registered in the Pokégear.
  • The function to reset the clock in non-Japanese and non-Korean versions of Gold and Silver remains, although it is now more difficult to access.
    • On the title screen, the player must first hold the , SELECT, and B buttons.
    • While holding SELECT, they must release and B.
    • Still holding SELECT, they must now hold and .
    • Finally, the player must release SELECT.
  • Kurt can now make multiple Balls from same colored Apricorns simultaneously.
  • The Day-Care Man now gives the player an Odd Egg.
  • Some Pokémon have changed level-up movesets, however, all but one of them have only one change.
  • Some bugs with the battle mechanics were fixed; however, the game performs a check when it detects a Link battle to use the older and buggy mechanics in order to maintain compatibility with Pokémon Gold and Silver. This occurs even between linked players of Pokémon Crystal games.
    • Likewise, the game also performs a check that partially converts Kris into Ethan at the Cable Club and Time Capsule rooms, even if all the players using the Cable Club rooms are specifically playing Pokémon Crystal.

Storyline changes

  • Suicune, instead of being a side Legendary Pokémon, has a prominent role in the game's storyline. Awakening the Legendary Beasts is now a prerequisite for challenging Morty. After this, the player will constantly find Suicune in various locations throughout Johto. After receiving a Clear Bell (where in Gold and Silver, the Rainbow or Silver Wing would be obtained instead), the player will have a chance to battle and capture it in the Tin Tower, and it will not run away.
  • A new character, Eusine, is added to the game. He is searching for Suicune as well, and will battle the player in Cianwood City to earn its respect.
  • The chain of events to obtain the Rising Badge is altered. Where previously, it involved a trip to the Dragon's Den to retrieve the Dragon Fang, it now involves entering the Dragon Shrine within the Den. There, Clair's grandfather and leader of the dragon-user clan quizzes the player on their style of battling. Clair arrives and still refuses to hand over her Badge after the player passes. In response, her grandfather threatens to tell her cousin, Lance, of whom Clair is terrified. If all the questions are answered correctly, the player will receive a Dratini that knows ExtremeSpeed upon returning and speaking with Clair's grandfather.

Pokémon not found in Crystal

These Pokémon must be traded from the other games of Generation I and II, as they cannot be found in Pokémon Crystal.

Note that "G" indicates a Pokémon that can be caught in the Japanese Green, and thus in the Western Blue as well.

Found in Gold and Silver
037 037 Vulpix Fire GYS
038 038 Ninetales Fire GYS
056 056 Mankey Fighting RYG
057 057 Primeape Fighting RYG
179 179 Mareep Electric GS
180 180 Flaaffy Electric GS
181 181 Ampharos Electric GS
203 203 Girafarig Normal Psychic GS
223 223 Remoraid Water GS
224 224 Octillery Water GS
Only in Generation I
001 001 Bulbasaur Grass Poison
002 002 Ivysaur Grass Poison
003 003 Venusaur Grass Poison
004 004 Charmander Fire
005 005 Charmeleon Fire
006 006 Charizard Fire Flying
007 007 Squirtle Water
008 008 Wartortle Water
009 009 Blastoise Water
138 138 Omanyte Rock Water
139 139 Omastar Rock Water
140 140 Kabuto Rock Water
141 141 Kabutops Rock Water
144 144 Articuno Ice Flying
145 145 Zapdos Electric Flying
146 146 Moltres Fire Flying
150 150 Mewtwo Psychic
151 151 Mew Psychic

Localization changes

The localized releases of Crystal, while improving on the mechanics of Pokémon Gold and Silver, did not reprise a number of newer features that the Japanese version had received:

  • In the Japanese version, Celebi may be caught at Ilex Forest after completing a short side-mission. A special event requiring the Pokémon Mobile System GB allowed players to obtain the GS Ball. This item, given by a nurse at the Pokémon Communication Center in Goldenrod City, may be taken to Kurt in Azalea Town to investigate. After a day passes, Kurt gives back the GS Ball to the player and asks him/her to check the restless Ilex Forest. Taking the GS Ball to the shrine at Ilex Forest summons a level 30 Celebi to battle. Despite the fact that the GS Ball was unavailable overseas without cheating or hacking, the event was translated and adapted to the regular Pokémon Center in Goldenrod City of the Western releases of Crystal, indicating that it was intended for the localizations to include the event, but was later scrapped.
  • Goldenrod City's Pokémon Center was replaced by a much larger building, the aforementioned Pokémon Communication Center. The localizations reverted it to the Pokémon Center of Pokémon Gold and Silver while changing some of the NPCs to match those in the Pokémon Communication Center.
  • Players could link to trade or battle through the use of the Mobile Game Boy Adapter and the previously mentioned Pokémon Mobile System GB.
  • Players could leave a Pokémon and a request for the Pokémon species that it be traded for at the Pokémon Communication Center's Trade Corner. A player could also view Pokémon up for trade from other players, and trade with them. This is similar to the current Global Trade System of the Generation IV and later games.
  • The Pokémon News Machine at the Pokémon Communication Center updated over the Pokémon Mobile System GB. Pokémon News was compiled from the saved game data of players across Japan, allowing players to read about other players' adventures.
  • The Day-Care Man at the Pokémon Day Care on Route 34 gave an Egg Ticket which, when taken to the Trade Corner at the Pokémon Communication Center, could be traded for an Odd Egg which carried a rare Shiny Baby Pokémon knowing Dizzy Punch. In the localizations, the Day-Care Man instead gives away the Odd Egg himself.
  • The Battle Tower does not connect to the Pokémon Mobile System GB in the localization versions and is open at all times.


While Gold and Silver introduced the majority of Generation II's contributions to the game mechanics, Crystal also featured several additions to the franchise that continue into the future. First, Crystal introduced the option to play as a female character. The game also featured the first Move Tutor of the series, as well as the first Battle Tower. This was the first game to include animated sprites for Pokémon, though this only applied to front sprites (back sprites remained still as they did in previous games). This feature was absent in later games until it was reintroduced in Pokémon Emerald, after which it became standard. Back sprites did not become fully animated until Pokémon Platinum, which also added animations for important Trainers such as Gym Leaders. In Pokémon Black and White, sprites remain animated throughout the battle; before these games, Pokémon Crystal was the only game that had more than two frames per animation.

Even though Pokémon Gold and Silver were the first games to use Legendary Pokémon (specifically Ho-Oh and Lugia) as game mascots, it was Crystal that incorporated them into the plot for the first time. The story additions involving the Legendary beasts (most prominently Suicune), Ho-Oh and Unown were unprecedented, since up until then no Pokémon had been referenced in the dialogue on more than one occasion. This was also evident in the fact that the Legendary beasts received a unique battle theme, and in that the plot climax was no longer limited to thwarting Team Rocket, instead culminating in the battle against Suicune at Tin Tower. Later generations focus on their game mascots as part of the plot involving the villainous team of the respective region (with the only exception being the remade versions; Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen follow Pokémon Red and Green's footsteps, and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are similar to Crystal in keeping the two stories separated).

The Japanese version of Crystal notably introduced the ability to link to a wireless connection and interact with other characters (via cell phone). The Game Boy Advance Wireless Adapter also enabled this ability in Generation III (albeit to a far lesser extent, due to the Wireless Adapter's limited range), and the Wi-Fi capabilities of the Nintendo DS completely optimized the concept in Generation IV games. The GS Ball event was the first time where an event Pokémon (in this case Celebi) could be caught in-game as opposed to being directly downloaded to the cartridge; this went on to be the case for several such Pokémon in subsequent generations.


Pokémon Crystal received good reviews, although they were not quite as positive as those of Pokémon Gold and Silver. Like Pokémon Yellow before it, and subsequently Pokémon Emerald, it was criticized for being too similar to its sister games, with IGN commenting, "there's not much in this edition that makes it a 'must buy' for folks who already own a copy or two of the previous editions".[4] IGN still gave the game an "Outstanding" rating of 9/10.[5] The game received an average score of near 80% from GameRankings,[6] about 10% lower than Pokémon Gold and Silver.[7]

Battery life

Copies of the Generation II games typically lose the ability to save in a shorter timeframe than copies of the Generation I games due to the battery maintaining both the saved game and real-time clock data, causing it to drain quicker.

The battery is replaceable with another one of the same kind (a CR2025), or a CR2032, which is slightly thicker and lasts longer. Since it powers the save file, interrupting the power by removing the battery will cause any current save file to be lost. Third party devices such as the GameShark may offer ways to backup and restore the save file.

A symptom of a battery running dry is the game's inability to keep track of the time correctly (the error message TIME NOT SET may also appear on the title screen).


Main article: Staff of Pokémon Crystal


Dated October 31, 2000 (source)


Main article: Pokémon HeartGold & Pokémon SoulSilver: Super Music Collection

Most of the game's music comes from Pokémon Gold and Silver, which have not had any sort of official soundtrack release of the games' original tracks. The closest approximation to such a release is Disc 3 of Pokémon HeartGold & Pokémon SoulSilver: Super Music Collection, which is based on the GB Sounds item and the Pokémon Past Archive radio program of HeartGold and SoulSilver that is meant to emulate the style of chiptunes. However, not all of the old-style music is available on the CD. Additionally, Discs 1 and 2 of the aforementioned soundtrack contain remixes of the music originating from Pokémon Gold and Silver (and Crystal). Moreover, several tracks that are exclusive to Japanese Crystal have not received official releases.

Version history


Only one version was released.


Version Changelog
1.0 Initial release (English version only)
  • Adds a new memory address for the page number value in the Pokédex, fixing a potential glitch.[8]
  • Unintentional encoding change. This corrupts the graphics in the unused Mobile Stadium screen[8] (also applies to the non-English European localizations).
  • Fixes a glitch in v1.0 in which Battle Tower Trainers use text belonging to the list of female Trainers only.[9]

Development cycle

Main article: Pokémon Crystal beta


An early logo for Japanese Crystal (the word kashō (仮称) means "tentative title")
  • Although Game Freak released a game called Pokémon X for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013, the tentative title for a game similar to the Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal with planned support to connect to a mobile phone and set for an April 2000 release was also Pocket Monsters X (ポケットモンスターX), according to multiple sources such as an Asahi Shimbun news article from December 1999.[10] The game was postponed until 2001 due to the planned release of the Game Boy Advance.[11] The article mentions an adapter for linking a Game Boy to a mobile phone, with the datacenter server used for the feature being hosted by Kyocera in Kyoto.
  • The Japanese logo shown at Nintendo Space World 2000 was originally similar to the one from Gold and Silver.[12] Additionally, the previous referred source also shows an early design for the PokéCom Club rooms.
  • People buying a Game Boy Color during the release of this game were given the option of buying a Game Boy Advance that came with Pokémon Crystal in the package.
  • During battles, Japanese midline horizontal ellipses ("⋯") are used in the English versions instead of regular ellipses ("…") due to an oversight.
The unused title screen of Pokémon Crystal
  • The game's opening shows several Unown communicating with Suicune over radio waves, alerting it to the Ruins of Alph. Oddly, this is not part of the game's story, with the Ruins of Alph sidequest being independent of the plot involving Suicune. That said, the Unown are referenced by the Wise Trio as having a cooperative bond with Suicune.
    • In the Japanese version, a researcher at the Ruins of Alph claims that the Pokémon Communication Center in Goldenrod City influences the Unown. His unused English text is: According to my research... Those mysterious patterns appeared when the Pokécom Center was built. It must mean that radio waves have some sort of a link...
    • Additionally, there is an unused static title screen in the game's data that shows an A-shaped Unown instead of Suicune. It also does not reboot the game automatically after the title screen's music stops.
  • The Japanese Super Game Boy border of Pokémon Gold (labeled Pocket Monsters Gold Version) is unused in all releases of Pokémon Crystal. The equivalent border from the Japanese Pokémon Silver (labeled Pocket Monsters Silver Version) is not present.
  • This is the last localized core series game to use the slogan Gotta catch 'em all!.
  • The Japanese version has an emblem of Suicune's crest on the back of the Game Pak's circuit board.

In other languages

Language Title
Japan Flag.png Japanese ポケットモンスタークリスタルバージョン
France Flag.png French Pokémon Version Cristal
Germany Flag.png German Pokémon Kristall-Edition
Italy Flag.png Italian Pokémon Versione Cristallo
Spain Flag.png Spanish Pokémon Edición Cristal

See also


Generation I: Red & GreenBlue (JP)Red & BlueYellow
Generation II: Gold & SilverCrystal
Generation III: Ruby & SapphireFireRed & LeafGreenEmerald
Generation IV: Diamond & PearlPlatinumHeartGold & SoulSilver
Generation V: Black & WhiteBlack 2 & White 2
Generation VI: X & YOmega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Generation VII: Sun & Moon
Pokémon game templates

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