Pokémon Crystal Version

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Pokémon Crystal Version
Pokémon Crystal's boxart, depicting Suicune.
Basic info
Platform: {{{platform}}}
Category: RPG
Players: 2 players simultaneous
Connectivity: None
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: {{{gen_series}}}
ESRB: E for Everyone
Release dates
Japan: December 14, 2000
North America: July 29, 2001
Australia: September 30, 2001
Europe: November 2, 2001
South Korea: N/A
Hong Kong: N/A
Taiwan: N/A
Japanese: Pokémon.co.jp page
Nintendo.co.jp page
English: Pokémon.com page
Official US Sub-site (Wayward archive)
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 sixth Pokémon game in the main series; however, in Japan it was actually the seventh Pokémon game. It was released as a sister game of Pokémon Gold and Silver, which were released one year before. It featured various fixes and some new additions, including the short animations of Pokémon's battle sprites upon being released from their Poké Ball and the introduction of the option to play a girl character, among others. It takes place in the region of Johto (and later in the game, Kanto) and the player's starting area is New Bark Town.


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 gives the player the choice of taking along one of three different Pokémon: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile. The player (known by default as Gold or Kris, depending on the gender) meets Kanto's own Professor Oak during an 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; even more so, the Trainer fits the description of the Pokémon thief. This Trainer will become the player's rival for the course of the game. The rival always chooses the Pokémon that the player's starter is weak against.

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, as well as trying to contact their missing leader using radio broadcasts.

Throughout the adventure, the player will also come across a man named Eusine, hopeful of catching the legendary Pokémon Suicune. To earn Suicune's respect, Eusine will challenge the player to a battle once.

As in all previous games, the goal of the player is to defeat all the Gym Leaders, win all eight badges, and take on the Elite Four and the current League's champion. Afterwards, the player will be able to travel to the region of Kanto and get the chance to take on its Gym Leaders for their badges. After winning all eight, Professor Oak will give the player permission to go to Mt. Silver and get the chance to face the hero from Generation I, Red.

Changes from Pokémon Gold and Silver

Aesthetic 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.
  • The Ice Path was redesigned with an ice-like appearance. Some of its puzzles were also changed.
  • Lance's room at the Indigo Plateau was redesigned to have a draconic look, with the statues on 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.
  • Pokémon sprites are now animated, a feature that would not be seen again until Pokémon Emerald.
  • Certain trainers have their dialogues changed.
  • Certain Pokémon, such as Sneasel and Raikou, had errors fixed from their Gold and Silver sprites.

Location changes

  • 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 Trainers were repositioned on the map.
  • Some of the wild Pokémon that appear in Kanto were altered.

Gameplay changes

  • A female player character, Kris, was introduced, marking the first time where players could choose the gender of their character.
  • Another character, Eusine, is added to the game. He is searching for Suicune as well, and will battle the player to earn its respect.
  • Both Lugia and Ho-Oh can be both found in the game; however, they are now both at level 60. Also, 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.
Pokémon sprites are now animated
  • Players can now catch certain Pokémon that were exclusive to either Gold or Silver. For example, Gligar and Skarmory are both catchable in the game but were exclusive to only a certain version previously.
  • Previously, Trainers who called on the cell phone all said the same thing 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).
  • Suicune, instead of being a side legendary Pokémon, has a prominent role in the game's storyline. 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • The function to reset the clock from Pokémon Gold and Silver was removed.
  • Kurt can now make multiple Balls from same colored Apricorns simultaneously.
  • The Day Care Man now gives the player an Odd Egg.

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.

Found in Gold and Silver
037 037 Vulpix Fire GBS
038 038 Ninetales Fire GBS
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

Japanese version box art.

The English version of Crystal, while improving on the mechanics of 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 in the Ilex Forest after completing a short side-mission. A special mobile event allowed players to obtain, via mobile phone link-up, 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 in Ilex Forest summons a level 30 Celebi to battle. Despite the fact that the GS Ball was unavailable without the use of a cheating device like GameShark, the event was translated, indicating that it was intended for the English releases 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.
  • Players could link to trade or battle through the use of a mobile phone adapter.
  • Players could leave a Pokémon and a request 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 feature was later used for the Global Trade Station in Generation IV.
  • The News Machine at the Pokémon Communication Center updated over the mobile system. Pokémon News was compiled from the save data of players across Japan, allowing players to read about other players' adventures.
  • The old man at the Pokémon Day Care south of Goldenrod City gave an Egg Ticket which, when taken to the Trade Center at the Pokémon Communication Center, could be traded for an Odd Egg which carried a rare shiny baby Pokémon knowing Dizzy Punch. In the international versions, the Day Care Man instead gives away the egg himself.


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 would continue even into Generation V. First, Crystal introduced the option to play as a female. 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 version 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 till 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.

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 ((Celebi) could be caught in-game as opposed to being directly downloaded to the cartridge, as 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".[1] IGN still gave the game an "Outstanding" rating of 9/10.[2] The game received an average score of near 80% from GameRankings[3], about 10% lower than Pokémon Gold and Silver.[4]


  • 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.
  • Due to the female character not being in Gold or Silver, the sprite of the character will automatically change to the male character's sprite when trading or battling with another game.
  • Why the [[Mobile Adapter features were not made available in the English version has never been officially revealed; Nintendo says that they had FCC issues, but it is more likely a result of children with cell phones being not nearly as common outside of Japan in 2001, and there being a plethora of different styles of phones in use in North America. While the Mobile Adapter system did not make the cut, the maps and text for the system can still be found in the English version, indicating that it was initially intended for the English release.
  • Pokémon Crystal is the only third version to have its version mascot come before the version mascots of the other two games of its generation in the National Pokédex. It is also the only third version in a generation with three legendary version mascots to have its version mascot not in a legendary trio with the other two.
  • Although Pokémon Gold and Silver are compatible with all Game Boy models (original up to the Game Boy Advance SP), Crystal will not work on models prior to the Game Boy Color. This is due to the cartridges being of different models.
  • Pokémon Crystal is the only version in Japanese to have the term "Version" in its name. This may be because it is the first game whose name is completely in katakana, rather than kanji, that uses an English word (クリスタル Crystal) instead of the Japanese equivalent 結晶 (けっしょう Kessho). All later games, whose names are in katakana (including the remakes of Red and Green and Gold and Silver) do not have バージョン Version added to the end, despite all using English words.
    • It should be noted, however, that the first game to have its name fully in katakana was Pokémon Yellow. The difference is that Yellow used a Japanese word (in this case, Pikachu's Japanese name), while Crystal used the English word for its name.
  • This is the last main series game to use the slogan Gotta catch 'em all!.
  • In the English versions, whenever an ellipsis appears in the dialogues of battles, it is aligned slightly higher than usual. This is rather a lapse on part of Nintendo's localization team, which likely forgot to change this alignment from the Japanese script. This is similar to the international versions of Gold and Silver accidentally using Japanese quotation marks on certain occasions such as radio stations.

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


  1. IGN: Pokemon Crystal Version Review (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  2. IGN: Pokemon Crystal Version (Pokemon Crystal) (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  3. Pokemon Crystal Version for Game Boy Color - GameRankings (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  4. Pokemon Gold Version for Game Boy Color (retrieved December 21, 2009)

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