From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
| Generation II
| Title screen of Pokémon Crystal Version
|| October 15, 2000
|| November 21, 1999
|| 251 (100 new)
| Main games
|| Gold, Silver, and Crystal
| Region introduced
| Battle arena games
|| Stadium 2
|| March 19, 2003 (885 days)
|| November 21, 2002 (1096 days)
The second generation of Pokémon games, sometimes called the metal generation, or the metallic generation by older players due to the names of the paired versions, is a sequel to the Generation I games Red and Green, Blue, Red and Blue, Yellow.
Beginning with Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver and later joined by Pokémon Crystal, Generation II began the Pokémon series's expansion-focused nature, introducing to the world 100 new Pokémon which did not exist and are unable to be obtained in the Generation I games and the new region of Johto. Many of these Pokémon expand the evolution families of older Pokémon, while a majority of them are brand-new evolutionary families.
The initial hint that Generation II was on its way came in early 1997, with the release of the anime's first episode. A Pokémon appears to Ash Ketchum on the first day of his journey, shortly after he and Pikachu become friends, that cannot be identified by the Pokédex. This magnificent golden bird, later revealed to be the legendary mascot of Gold Version, Ho-Oh, was the first Pokémon from a future generation to debut in the anime. The games, initially named directly as "Pocket Monsters 2", were set for release in late 1997, but were pushed back to 1999 with the intention to redevelop the games to work with the Game Boy Color better.
Details in the games indicate that the storyline of the Generation II games occurs three years after the one in Generation I and Generation III, while the storyline of the Sinnoh-based Generation IV games indicate that they occur similarly contemporaneously to Generation II as Generation I does to Generation III.
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 Dark-type and Steel-type, to balance out the over-powerful Psychic-type and the underused Fighting-type.
- 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 to breed if they are similar enough.
- Two additional boxes in the Pokémon Storage System, which now includes the ability to move Pokémon directly between boxes, bringing Pokémon storage to 280.
- A new player character, Ethan.
- Seven new types of Poké Balls, all made from special fruit found in Johto.
- A built-in clock, allowing for in-game events to be affected by the time of day and the days of the week.
- Shiny Pokémon, which sparkle when brought into battle.
- Baby Pokémon, most of them pre-evolutions of Generation I Pokémon.
- Friendship, 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 in the types of four moves (Gust, Sand-Attack, Karate Chop, and Bite). All formerly Normal-type, they 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 upgraded into the Exp. Share and is made a held item.
- The definition of "upgrade" and not "replacement" in this situation is due to the items having the same name in the Japanese versions, suggesting an improvement on the item's mechanism and not necessarily a complete and independent substitute.
- Town Map is replaced with an electronic device, the Pokégear, which also has cellphone and radio capabilities, alongside map functions.
- The way the game handles color on the world map has been improved. Overworld sprites such as the surfing Pikachu no longer change their palettes when moving between areas.
- The type chart has changed somewhat from Generation I:
- 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. Like Kanto, it has a sea to the south and mountains to the north.
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.
- 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.
Unlike in Generation I, the Gym Leaders of Generation II Kanto will for the most part not give away TMs; only Janine and Erika do this.
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. Due to these improvements, Generation II is highly acclaimed among long-time fans. Unlike future games, Generation II stood as an extension and a sequel of Generation I, and has been criticized by some for this.
Like Generation I's games, the popularity of the Generation II games proved great enough that remakes were made during Generation IV as sequels to Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.
Johto thematic motif
The second generation of Pokémon games were more directed towards mythology and tradition. The three starters were all "pure" element types, fitting the classic Water > Grass > Fire cycle all starters adhere to. Unlike two of the fully-evolved starter Pokémon in Generation I, and at least one of every starter trio since, the fully-evolved Johto starters maintain their single typing.
This was the first installment that put emphasis on legendary Pokémon being actual legends in-game, in contrast to Mewtwo and the legendary birds of Generation I. Ecruteak City fleshed out the legends of Ho-Oh and the three beasts, their relationship with one another and the story behind their departure (the Burned Tower). Suicune was, unlike Raikou and Entei, unavoidable in Crystal Version if the player wanted to beat the game; the remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver give the same treatment to Ho-Oh and Lugia respectively. Lugia was also glimpsed by an elderly man in Ecruteak City, and others, who stated it looked like a dragon in the sky. Even the uncatchable Celebi was mentioned as the "Forest's Protector" at the shrine in Ilex Forest.
The Kimono Girls upheld ancient tradition in both battling Pokémon and dancing. The buildings in both Ecruteak City and Violet City have an older structure to them as well. The player must navigate Johto and Kanto, beating the new Elite Four, sixteen Gym Leaders and the original Pokémon Champion Red. This is after defeating the newly revitalized Team Rocket, searching for the fallen Giovanni. The second generation expanded upon trading through use of held items evolution through the addition of friendship, and breeding to attain pre-evolution or baby Pokémon. Kurt offered a more traditional means of creating Poké Balls via Apricorns which proved variably superior to manufactured Poké Balls. Johto is physically connected to Kanto and these games added depth to both regions.
Japanese title screens
- Generation II is the smallest generation so far with only seven games and three main series games.
- In addition, it introduced the least number of Pokémon to the series, with only 100.
- Generation II is the only generation where:
- The starters are holding an item and remain single-type Pokémon throughout their evolutions.
- The total number of moves are equal to the total number of Pokémon at the time.
- Each Pokémon has a different sprite in the original pair of games (except for Unown and a few others).
- New Fossil Pokémon were not introduced, nor can any Fossils be found or revived.
- A Dragon-type pseudo-legendary was not introduced.
- A two-stage, cat-like evolutionary line was not introduced.
- In terms of release dates, 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 have had closer to four years between the release of their primary version pair and the primary pair of the next generation.
- Generation II leaves the least extra space for Pokémon in the Storage System if one of every species is caught. Only 280 Pokémon may be obtained at once; there are 251 different Pokémon species available in this generation.
- Generation II features the first main series game, Crystal, whose Japanese title is in katakana only and that uses an English word, rather than using the Japanese counterpart word in kanji. No game since has been named in kanji.
- Unlike other Generations, should player use a cheat in Generation II game to get into tall grass without a Pokémon, the fight will instantly end (and be treated as victory in case of Trainers), instead of sending a glitch Pokémon.