Editorial: Oh! Jolly Johto

Alright, it is time to explore the second generation of Pokemon and delve into the Johto region that was prominently featured in Pokemon Silver, Gold, and Crystal. Of course, this editorial will also briefly cover some of the changes featured in their Nintendo DS remakes Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSiver.

His face looks like he has really been throughout a lot emotionally, maybe Jennifer dumped him.
The only shiny Pokemon most people actually get without cheats or events.

First off, it is important to mention all the new key features that were added in these specific installments in the “Pokemon” franchise. The very first of which being the two new Pokemon types, Dark and Steel, which were added to balance out the Psychic and Fighting types. Numerous changes also occurred in terms of which Pokemon types were super-effective against each other, the most famous being Psychic now being weak to Ghost-type attacks instead of only being weak against Bug-type Pokemon which was a huge problem at the time considering that most Bug type Pokemon moves were as effective as throwing actual bugs at the screen. Other important changes included the addition of being able to breed Pokemon, Egg Groups, Shiny Pokemon, Pokerus, and the division of the Special stat to create Special Attack and Special Defense for some much needed variety. Game Freak also added a time feature that affected the appearance of certain Pokemon through either the morning, day, or night. Overall, the developers really outdid themselves when it came to innovating new ways to enhance the Pokemon experience. It was not only a graphical upgrade with some new Pokemon, but instead a game that they were unafraid to experiment with which was well appreciated then and now.

While it does not look that cool as a screenshot, this was a pretty tense moment in-game.
There he is, the cocky guy who refused to evolve his Pikachu.

Released in late 1999 for Japanese players, Pokemon Gold and Silver came out almost four years after Pokemon Red and Blue and was playable on the Game Boy and the Game Boy Color. These games also marked the first time the version’s exclusive legendary Pokemon was the mascot for the game and the first time a precious stone was used for the title. This generation also added 100 new species of Pokemon while also being able to contain the previous 151 through trading from previous versions or a Nintendo event. While the game’s main region was Johto, upon completion the player could actually travel back into the Kanto region and defeat the gym leaders located inside albeit it with oodles of changes as so that it was not as if players were just playing the original game once again. Although this editorial will not list every single one of these changes, it is probably important to reveal the most iconic alteration that occurs after the player finishes Pokemon Gold and Silver, Red. That is right, the protagonist from the first generation of Pokemon waits for the player on the top of Mt. Silver located at the far right of the Johto region. Red serves as the games most brutal challenge right before filling up the Pokedex as he comes equipped with six high-level and powerful Pokemon, including a level 81 Pikachu.

The greatest invention in all Pokemon history, never to be heard from again.
These pots were the damn future of gaming.

To conclude, the focus will switch to the “definitive” edition of the second generation, Pokemon Crystal which launched just a little over a year in Japan on December 14th, 2000. Arguably the coolest graphical difference between this game and the previous versions is the new intro animations that Pokemon contained upon appearance which in the later years would evolve into longer and more complete Pokemon animations. Of course, the game also came with other graphical changes such as new Pokemon sprites, and location changes to better suit the storyline changes that came into place once Suicune was selected as the version’s main Legendary Pokemon. Now to conclude this editorial’s conclusion, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver have to be mentioned as they contain some of the very best additions to the Pokemon franchise, some of which were never seen again. In the DS remakes, all 493 Pokemon had a chance to follow the player onscreen if they were the first Pokemon in the party which was adorable and is sorely missed by some players. Alongside this, these remakes improved music, graphics, sprites, animations, story changes, and character changes in order to tie the Johto region in with the later generations including Legendary Pokemon from those games. The best change of all however, hands down, was the inclusion of berry pots which were a gift from God himself as players no longer had to remember where they planted berries in order to collect them as they were always traveling with the player in their bag.

Well, that pretty much wraps up the second generation of Pokemon and all of its beautiful additions to the series. What do you think of Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal? Do you just like other generations more or do you think their remakes Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver are superior? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. Nice work Adeki. In answer to the question posed at the end, I’m assuming HeartGold and SoulSilver are considered superior by a number of people considering the price these command in the used market (top 10 most expensive DS games on eBay at least). Part of this is likely due to the fact these are compatible with current hardware, but a used DS game – complete as it may be – doesn’t sell for $50 unless there’s a strong demand for it.

    My opinions at this point are limited to my online perusal of Pokemon games, as I’ve yet to play through one. That will change this summer once I start either X or Y.

  2. @Sebastian

    Thanks! I actually still own my boxed copy of SoulSilver along with its Pokewalker, just because I liked the game so much, I had no idea it’d be such a hit to this day. As for X and Y I think that they’re pretty good Pokemon games in general but part of me feels like OR:AS refines some of the new problems that arose from creating a 3D Pokemon game. In my opinion, you really can’t pick a wrong Pokemon title to start out with as long as it’s in the main franchise. Hope you have fun!

  3. @Adeki The sheer number of titles out there is daunting. I haven’t gone out looking for review scores since I’d rather ask the staff here… Lusipurr suggested X or Y, but if Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire are more refined version, maybe one of those?
    Another portable game with many iterations (which I have personal experience with) is Etrian Odyssey. I’m currently playing EO Untold, which was far easier to progress in than EO 2, which was the first one I had tried. I hear that the first one is a little different, 2 is very hard, etc. If I had to recommend one I suppose it would be Untold, but that’s because I’ve become pretty familiar with, and haven’t played 1, 3, or 4…
    If only these games were as fragmented as Final Fantasy. Iterative versions are far harder to decipher for the beginner than discrete titles!

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