From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
|| Release dates
|| December 14, 2000
| North America:
|| July 29, 2001
|| September 30, 2001
|| November 2, 2001
| South Korea:
| Hong Kong:
| Japanese boxart
Boxart of Pocket Monsters Crystal Version.
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 main 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, so far the only one to have the term Version (Japanese: バージョン) in its name, 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 Adapter GB to a Game Boy Color (also compatible with the Game Boy Advance).
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 to aid him/her get to Mr. Pokémon's house. The player (known by default as Gold or Kris, depending on the gender) 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, as well as trying to contact their missing leader using radio broadcasts.
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 taking a glimpse at 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 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 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 protagonist from Generation I, Red.
Changes from Pokémon Gold and Silver
- 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.
- 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 Burned Tower page for more).
- Lance's room at the Indigo Plateau was redesigned to have a draconic look, 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, a feature that would not be seen again until Pokémon Emerald.
- Certain Pokémon, such as Houndoom and Croconaw, were given new sprites; Pokémon like Sneasel and Suicune, which had identical sprites in Gold and Silver, had those sprites refurbished; the W Unown was redesigned (its new design was used in all future games). However, most Pokémon retained their sprites from either Gold or Silver.
- Typhlosion, as well as the aforementioned W Unown, got new back sprites.
- A few Pokemon, such as Spinarak, Magnemite and Sneasel were recolored to closer match the official artwork.
- The user interface used during 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.
- The National Park had a fountain added to the center of the pond.
- Certain Trainers have their dialogues changed.
- 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.
- 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 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 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.
- A new Trainer, Pokéfan Jaime, is added to the game; she is on Route 39 and can only be battled at night.
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.
The localized releases 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 at Ilex Forest after completing a short side-mission. A special Pokémon Mobile System GB event 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 modification of the saved game, the event was translated and adapted to the regular Pokémon Center in Goldenrod City from Gold and Silver, 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. Other than reverting the change from the Japanese Crystal back to a regular Pokémon Center in the localizations, the GS Ball event was also adapted to it but left unused, as mentioned above.
- Players could link to trade or battle through the use of the Mobile Adapter GB.
- 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 Generations IV and V.
- The 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.
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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 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 version 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". IGN still gave the game an "Outstanding" rating of 9/10. The game received an average score of near 80% from GameRankings, about 10% lower than Pokémon Gold and Silver.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- This is the last main series game to use the slogan Gotta catch 'em all!.
In other languages
- ↑ Pokémon.co.jp
- ↑ Pokémon.com (US)
- ↑ Pokémon.com (UK)
- ↑ IGN: Pokemon Crystal Version Review (retrieved December 21, 2009)
- ↑ IGN: Pokemon Crystal Version (Pokemon Crystal) (retrieved December 21, 2009)
- ↑ Pokemon Crystal Version for Game Boy Color - GameRankings (retrieved December 21, 2009)
- ↑ Pokemon Gold Version for Game Boy Color (retrieved December 21, 2009)