From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
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. A permanent fixture in every Pokémon Center, the Time Capsule is the only facility which allows direct inter-generational trades.
In the games
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.
After this point, it is possible to trade with the core series Generation I games; however, there are still some restrictions:
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.
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 Johto guard glitch, 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 future generations
Direct trades between generations would not be possible in any games starting with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire in Generation III, 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.
The Time Capsule is not present in the Generation IV remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga
The Time Capsule makes an appearance in Find the Legendary Pokémon!!.
In the TCG
This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring the Time Capsule in the TCG.
In other languages