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 30, 2001
Australia: September 30, 2001
Europe: October 31, 2001
South Korea: N/A
Hong Kong: N/A
Taiwan: N/A
Japanese: ポケットモンスタークリスタルバージョン
English: Games: Pokémon Crystal
Pokémon Crystal
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Pokémon Crystal (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.


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.

The player is called to Professor Elm's lab to run an errand. He gives you the choice of taking along one of three different Pokémon. Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile. The player, known by default as Gold, meets Kanto's own Professor Oak during an errand for Elm. Oak, convinced that Gold has started his own Pokémon journey, gives him a Pokédex. On the way back Gold is attacked by a spiteful and mysterious Pokémon trainer. Upon his return to New Bark Town, Gold is informed that someone has broke 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 character's default name is Silver. He will battle the player at certain points in the game to test the player's Pokémon; being defeated is an indication for the player to level up his or her team. He will always steal for his starter a Pokémon that has a type advantage over the player's chosen one. For example, if the player chooses Chikorita, a Template:Type2 Pokémon, he will choose Cyndaquil, a Template:Type2 Pokémon, giving it an advantage over the Grass-type Chikorita.

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 often challenge the player to a battle.


Changes from Gold and Silver

  • Another character, Eusine, is added to the game. He is searching for Suicune as well, and will battle players to earn its respect.
  • Both Lugia and Ho-Oh can be found in this game; Lugia in the Whirl Islands, and Ho-Oh at the Tin Tower. They are both level 60 when they are caught. However, 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 the Unown.
  • 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. Areas like the Ice Path and Lance's chamber at the Indigo Plateau received alternate designs as well.
  • Players can now catch certain Pokémon that were exclusive to either Gold or Silver. For example, Gligar and Skarmory are both catchable in this game but were exclusive to only a certain version previously.
  • Sneasel appears in the Ice Path, whereas in Gold and Silver it did not appear until reaching Mt. Silver.
  • Previously, trainers who called on the cell phone all said the same thing with only the names of the Pokémon they reference. 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).
  • 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.
  • Some trainers were repositioned on the map.
  • 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 (the Crystal version equivalent of the Silver or Rainbow Wing), 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 Pokémon Daycare folk will give a free Pokémon egg to the player.
  • The "reset the clock" glitch from Pokémon Gold and Silver was fixed.

Changes from the Japanese version of Crystal

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 in the Pokémon Communication Center in Goldenrod City, may be taken to Kurt in Azalea Town to investigate. After a day passes, 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 of the Diamond and Pearl versions.
  • The News Machine at the Pokémon Communication Center updated over the Mobile Adapter. 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 Daycare 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 alternately-colored baby Pokémon knowing Dizzy Punch. In the English version the old man instead gives away the egg itself.


As in Pokémon Gold and Silver, there are eight Pokémon Gyms in Johto, each with their own type affiliation. The Gym Leaders are Falkner (Flying), Bugsy (Bug), Whitney (Normal), Morty (Ghost), Chuck (Fighting), Jasmine (Steel), Pryce (Ice) and Clair (Dragon).

Elite Four

The Elite Four, located at the Indigo Plateau, also remained unchanged. The Elite trainers are Will (Psychic), Bruno (Fighting), Koga (Poison) and Karen (Dark); the Champion is Lance, who uses Template:Type2 Pokémon.


Each game contains pre-recorded data on all 251 Pokémon of this and the previous generation (including Mew and Celebi). Despite this, not all Pokémon are available to the player, regardless of version; trades must occur between players in order to complete their Pokédex without the use of cheats. Mew (the Nintendo exclusive of Generation I) and Celebi are the only Pokémon in Gold and Silver that must be acquired through the attending of a Nintendo sponsored event.

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.

Game Exclusives
Gold and Silver Vulpix, Ninetales, Mankey, Primeape, Mareep, Flaaffy, Ampharos, Girafarig, Remoraid, Octillery
Red, Blue and Yellow Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Venusaur, Charmander, Charmeleon, Charizard, Squirtle, Wartortle, Blastoise, Omanyte, Omastar, Kabuto, Kabutops, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mewtwo, Mew

Nintendo Event exclusives

The following Pokémon are available only after having the GS Ball transferred to a player's cartridge at a Nintendo sponsored event, or by obtaining the item via mobile phone link-up, bringing it to Kurt, then taking it to the shrine in Ilex Forest; the latter which can only be accomplished in the Japanese version of Crystal.

Nintendo Event exclusives
251 251 Celebi Psychic Grass


The PokéGear is received at the beginning of the game from the protagonist's mother. It has several functions, some of which will need to be unlocked during the game by receiving special expansion cards. The PokéGear displays the day of the week and the time of day, entered at the beginning of the game, a map of Johto (and later Kanto) once the Map Card is obtained, a cellphone, allowing the user to make calls to people that they've traded phone numbers with, and a radio which allows the player to get tips from Professor Oak and DJ Mary on Oak's Pokémon Talk, affect how active wild Pokémon are by playing Pokémon March or Pokémon Lullaby on the Pokémon Music station, listen to the Lucky Channel to keep track of the Radio Tower's lottery promotion, or tune into Buena's Password and receive points in order to redeem prizes.


More specialized Poké Balls were introduced in this game. A Lure Ball is more effective if used against a Pokémon caught with a fishing rod, and a Friend Ball will make a Pokémon more comfortable and friendly to its trainer much more quickly. To obtain these balls, Apricorns must be picked from special plants found throughout Johto, and Kurt in Azalea Town will fashion these into the different balls based on their color. In Pokémon Gold and Silver, only one Poké Ball can be created at once; in Crystal this changed so that the player could create multiple balls simultaneously, provided the Apricorns were of the same color. Players must wait until the next day for Kurt to finish the ball. Although these specialized Poké Balls and Apricorns were not in future generations, they were replaced by other specialized balls.


After becoming the Pokémon League Champion, players can travel to Kanto, the region introduced in Generation I, and see how things have changed over the past three years:

  • A key is no longer required to open the door to Lt. Surge and the garbage cans are all empty (except for trash) in the Vermilion City Gym.
  • A volcano has destroyed everything but the Pokémon Center on Cinnabar Island.
  • Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres are no longer found in Kanto, partially because they can already be caught in Generation I. The Cerulean Cave and Mewtwo are also gone, though a man near the cave ruins does mention the dungeon, and an item called the Berserk Gene is found in the water near where the Cerulean Cave once was.
  • Bill's house is still present, but Bill himself now lives in Goldenrod City in Johto. The house is now home to Bill's grandfather.
  • Blaine has moved his Gym to the Seafoam Islands due to the volcano eruption on Cinnabar Island (which is why Articuno and all water Pokémon in the Seafoam Islands are no longer available).
  • Blue (Green in the Japanese versions), the rival of Generation I, is now the leader of the Viridian City Gym. Giovanni is nowhere to be seen, though he is mentioned. Red, the Generation I protagonist, appears in Johto's Mt. Silver, serving as the game's true final challenge, his highest level Pokémon being a level 81 Pikachu. Red also has a Snorlax at level 75, a Blastoise, Venusaur, and Charizard, all level 77, and a level 73 Espeon. It is interesting to note that all of the Pokémon on the team are all involved in some sort of event in Pokémon Yellow; Pikachu is the starter, Snorlax is a significant roadblock, Blastoise, Venusaur and Charizard are given to the player, and Eevee is discovered in Celadon Mansion, like an event.
  • Copycat still lives in Saffron City, but has moved to another home. Her old house is now the Magnet Train station. After Copycat's house was torn down for the station, she received a free rail pass from a man at the station, which she gives to you after returning her lost doll. According to her mother, this is the same doll that Red gives Copycat in Generation I in exchange for TM30.
  • Kanto Gym Leaders now use Pokémon that debuted in Johto.
  • Most of the music from the Generation I games are used, with major remixing done to most battle themes, and minor remixing done to the remaining tunes.
  • Most routes were shortened, but cities and towns remain the same size except Celadon City, which shrunk slightly.
  • Pokémon seen in the wild are different: many Johto Pokémon exist in the grass. Some Pokémon that were previously restricted to the Safari Zone (which cannot be entered) can be caught in other areas, such as Rhyhorn in Victory Road and Kangaskhan in Rock Tunnel.
  • Team Rocket's headquarters in the basement of the Celadon City Game Corner has been sealed, although it's still alluded to by the same man in Celadon's Pokémon Center.
  • The abandoned Power Plant is now in use to power the newly-opened Saffron City Magnet Train (which may have led to the departure of all the Pokémon that were infesting the plant in Generation I, including Zapdos).
  • The bike shop in Cerulean City has been closed down, due to the owners moving to Goldenrod City in Johto.
  • The "coffee man" in Viridian City has now had his coffee, and says, "Hey, kid! I just had a double shot of espresso and I am wired!" He then says that he was once good at capturing Pokémon, and asks if you believe him. However, he does not show you how to catch Pokémon regardless of whether you answer "Yes" or "No." This may be due to the Old Man Glitch in Red and Blue.
  • The Fighting Dojo leader is away training, so the Fighting Dojo only provides a Focus Band item left behind, which can be held by a Pokémon. The Fighting Dojo leader is training in Mt. Mortar in Johto. He gives you a Tyrogue if you defeat him.
  • The museum in Pewter City is closed for renovations.
  • Caverns and the Viridian Forest all have the same layout as they did before (with the exceptions of Mt. Moon and the Seafoam Islands), just shrunk down.
  • The player can meet and battle many of the characters from the previous games, including the rival of the original games, Green. After completing the quests in Kanto, the player can access a new area in Johto, Mt. Silver, and battle Red, the protagonist of Generation I. Another quite notable difference is that Koga, Gym Leader of Fuchsia City (now a member of the Elite Four), has been replaced by his daughter, Janine.
  • The Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town has been replaced by a Radio Tower, similar to the one in Goldenrod City. In turn, the Pokémon gravesites were moved into the newly added Soul House. Also, you can only go on the first floor due to added security (a safety precaution as a result of Team Rocket's takeover of Johto's Radio Tower). Only the first floor has been written in the game's code; even with the use of a GameShark, the higher floors are inaccessible.
  • The Safari Zone is closed while the warden is on a vacation. Instead, the Johto Bug-Catching Contest at the National Park takes its place. A portal to the Safari Zone in Fuchsia City can be found, but not used. However, players can use a GameShark or similar device to enter the unfinished Safari Zone.[1]
  • The Underground Path from Celadon City to Lavender Town has been sealed indefinitely, ostensibly due to vandalism. The game cites local complaints about battles there.
  • Victory Road's length has been drastically shortened, and no longer includes the barriers, boulders, trainers, and pressure sensors, explaining why the trainers appear outside. Moltres is no longer there, as well.
  • Viridian Forest has been reduced to a small group of trees visible outside the forest entrance, and wild Pokémon can only be caught there on the grass of what used to be Route 2.

New features

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 IV. 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. The Japanese version of Crystal also 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, and the Wi-Fi capabilities of the Nintendo DS completely optimized the concept in Generation IV games.


Pokémon Crystal received good reviews, although they were not quite as positive as those of Pokémon Gold and Silver. It was praised as being the best Pokémon game to date, "definitely the version to get if you aren't already one of the upteenth billion owners of Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue, Pokemon Yellow, Pokemon Gold, or Pokemon Silver" [1]. However, 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" [2]. The game received an average score of 80% from Game Rankings, over 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 Gold or Silver.
  • Why the GS Ball-related events are not 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 to the 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.
  • Pokémon Crystal 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.

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