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Pokémon HeartGold Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ハートゴールド Pocket Monsters HeartGold) and Pokémon SoulSilver Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ソウルシルバー Pocket Monsters SoulSilver) are paired Generation IV remakes of the Generation II games Pokémon Gold and Silver.
Much like how Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen revisited the Generation I story of Kanto, HeartGold and SoulSilver retell the story of Johto, with the player's starting town being New Bark Town. While the games feature several expansions in key areas, the overall plot follows the same direction as the original Gold and Silver. Some aspects exclusive to Crystal are also included. Like how FireRed and LeafGreen could link up with Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald to complete the Pokédex by trading regionally exclusive Pokémon, HeartGold and SoulSilver can link up with Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum to obtain Pokémon unavailable in Johto and Kanto (such as the Sinnoh starters) and vice versa.
Kris, despite being the female counterpart of Crystal's player character, is not included as the female player character, with a new character instead taking her place. Whether she is chosen to be the player character or not, this new character will still appear in the game. The unselected protagonist will take a pseudo-rival role similar to the unselected characters of Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
The games were released on September 12, 2009 in Japan, February 4, 2010 in Korea, March 14, 2010 in North America, March 25, 2010 in Australia and March 26, 2010 in Europe (this excludes the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of Belgium due to an in-game save error, with the patched copies later released on April 2, 2010).
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
The plot of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver is mostly the same as Gold and Silver with a few changes and included plot elements exclusive to Pokémon Crystal. The player, either Ethan or Lyra, begins his/her journey from New Bark Town, running an errand for Professor Elm to Mr. Pokémon's house to discover what he was so excited about. Elm supplies the player with one of three Pokémon, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile, for this errand. After Mr. Pokémon's discovery turns out to be an Egg, the player returns to New Bark Town, only to find that a suspicious red-haired boy seen lurking outside of Elm's lab earlier has stolen one of Elm's Pokémon— the one that the player's choice is weak to, coincidentally. Upon defeating him and returning to New Bark Town, the player gives the name of the boy (the player can choose any name, provided it fits under the seven-character limit; his name defaults to Soul in HeartGold and Heart in SoulSilver) to a police officer who has come to investigate the incident. Elm is amazed by the egg and insists on studying it, allowing the player to keep the Pokémon they traveled with as a starter Pokémon. From here, he encourages the player to journey across Johto and challenge the eight Gym Leaders, Falkner, Bugsy, Whitney, Morty, Chuck, Jasmine, Pryce, and Clair, and eventually the Pokémon League. With the first Gym in Violet City nearby, the player heads off on their adventure.
Upon arriving at Violet City, the player must first defeat the Elder Li at Sprout Tower before facing the Violet City Gym. He has just been defeated by Silver and after defeating Li, he gives the player Flash. After defeating Falkner for the Zephyr Badge, Elm's assistant appears to give the player the egg, which will later hatch into a Togepi. Heading south towards Azalea Town by way of Route 32 and Union Cave, the player meets up with the villainous Team Rocket, formed again after it was disbanded three years prior in the neighboring Kanto region by a young Trainer. They are cutting off the tails of the Slowpoke that are sacred in Azalea, intending to sell them for a large profit. Kurt, a local maker of specialty Poké Balls, is greatly angered by this, and requests the player's help in chasing away Team Rocket and saving the Slowpoke. Though he falls into the Slowpoke Well, hurting himself in the process, he begs the player to continue on to fight the organization with their Pokémon. After this has been done, and Team Rocket is chased away from Azalea, Kurt gives the player a Lure Ball and will make his specialty Poké Balls when brought any kind of Apricorn, one per day. After defeating Bugsy in the Azalea Gym for the Hive Badge and defeating the red-haired boy (Silver) once again, the player can journey into Ilex Forest to find the Charcoal maker's Farfetch'd and get HM01 (Cut). With this, Ilex Forest can be navigated through towards Route 34. On Route 34, a Pokémon Day Care is set up that is capable of raising two Pokémon at once. The Day Care functions the same way as in other Generation IV games.
Venturing into Goldenrod City, the player's third Badge, the Plain Badge, awaits. After defeating Whitney and getting the Plain Badge, getting a SquirtBottle allows the player to move the strange tree blocking Route 36 to the north. If it is Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, the Bug-Catching Contest will be on at the National Park on Route 35, as well. In Ecruteak City, Bill, the developer of the PC Pokémon Storage System is performing repairs on the Time Capsule, and as the player arrives, he will finish, asking for them to come visit him in his parents' house in Goldenrod, where he will give away an Eevee. Another Gym is in Ecruteak City, where the Ghost-type Leader Morty battles for the Fog Badge. The player encounters the legendary beasts in the Burned Tower and they run off around Johto. The player also meets Eusine who is studying the Burned Tower and takes interest in Suicune.
The player goes on through Route 38 and Route 39 to arrive in Olivine City. Once there, they learn from Silver that Jasmine, the Gym Leader, is not available at the moment, since she is taking care of the lighthouse's Ampharos and refuses to leave until the Pokémon is given a special medicine from Cianwood City. The player thus surfs their way through Route 40 and Route 41 to get to Cianwood City. There, they encounter the Fighting-type Leader Chuck, who presents the player with the Storm Badge. They get the SecretPotion from the Cianwood Pharmacy and goes back to Olivine City. Jasmine, relieved after getting her Ampharos's medicine, goes back to taking Gym challenges. Her Pokémon specialty is of the Steel type. When the player gets their sixth Badge, the Mineral Badge, they travel to Mahogany Town, through Route 42. The Gym is blocked by a man and the way to Route 44 and the Ice Cave is blocked by a man trying to sell Rage Candy Bars.
The player heads north to Route 43 and the Lake of Rage. Upon entering the gate, two Rocket Grunts charge them 1000 to go through. When the player gets to the lake, they encounter the Red Gyarados. After the player defeats, catches or flees from it, they get the Red Scale. A caped man named Lance appears on the shore and reveals Team Rocket's secret hideout to the player. The player goes back to Mahogany and goes through the hideout, along with Lance. Team Rocket's plan was to emit sound waves, inducing the Magikarp in the lake to evolve into Gyarados, which caused the effect of the Red Gyarados. Once the player defeats all the Rockets and disables the wave-emitting machine, they can challenge Pryce, the town's Ice-type Gym Leader.
Upon defeating the Gym Leader and obtaining the Glacier Badge, the player receives a phone call from Prof. Elm about a strange radio signal emitted by Team Rocket, trying to connect with their missing leader, Giovanni. The player goes to the Goldenrod Radio Tower to investigate. Once there, a Team Rocket Grunt tells the player only Team Rocket members are permitted to enter the tower. The player then goes into the tunnel, where a Team Rocket Grunt says they are looking for new recruits, then dresses the player in a Team Rocket grunt's uniform. The player is then permitted to enter the tower, but, all of a sudden, Silver enters, and tells the player off for thinking they look tough in the clothing. The player finds out the tower has been taken over by Team Rocket. When the player ascends to the top floor, they find the director of the Radio Tower, only to discover that he has been impersonated by a Rocket and that the real Director is actually locked in Goldenrod's basement. Once the player enters the basement, they are once again encountered by Silver, who intends to defeat Team Rocket all by himself. He still questions the way he treats his Pokémon. Once the player gets to the very bottom of the basement, they find the Tower's real Director. He gives the player the Card Key, so that they can access the higher floors of the Radio Tower.
After clearing all of the Rockets and defeating the Rocket executives, effectively disbanding them, the player receives either a Rainbow Wing to encounter Ho-Oh or a Silver Wing to encounter Lugia, in HeartGold and SoulSilver, respectively. The player then is allowed to go through the Ice Path and to Blackthorn City. There the player can challenge Clair, the Dragon-type Gym Leader. Before giving the player the Rising Badge, however, Clair makes the player go through a test to prove their worthiness. To complete this test, the player must enter the Dragon's Den and take a test before they receive the Rising Badge from Clair. Having obtained all 8 Badges, the player is given the Master Ball by Elm and is requested to visit the Kimono Girls to prove their worthiness. After defeating the Kimono Girls, the player will either go to the Bell Tower (HeartGold) or the Whirl Islands (SoulSilver) to encounter Ho-Oh (HeartGold) or Lugia (SoulSilver). Then the player is allowed to go east of New Bark into Kanto.
From New Bark Town, the path to the Pokémon League is to the east, across Route 27 and into Kanto, then across Route 26 and through Victory Road to the Indigo Plateau. When the player reaches the exit of Victory Road, Silver appears again and battles the player.
The Elite Four awaits the player if they have collected all eight Badges. When the player enters the League, they must face all four in sequence. Will, who trains Psychic-type Pokémon, is first, followed by Koga, whose specialty is Poison. Bruno, who uses Fighting Pokémon, follows, and finally, Karen, who specializes in the Dark type. After defeating these four, the reigning Pokémon Champion, Lance whom the player met at the Lake of Rage, challenges the player to a final battle. After his defeat, Oak and his co-host on Pokémon Talk, DJ Mary, arrive and congratulate the player. Lance then takes the player to a back room and tells the player that they are admitted into the Hall of Fame. The credits roll.
The player then returns to their bedroom in New Bark Town. They head downstairs and receive a message that Professor Elm has something for them. Returning to his lab the player receives an SS Ticket for the fast ship S.S. Aqua departing to the region of Kanto, where many rare Pokémon live. The player boards the ship in Olivine City and is bombarded by a sailor looking for his daughter who got loose on the ship. Searching the whole ship, the player finds a sailor who is angry that his co-worker is asleep on the job. Finding him and challenging him to a battle, he runs out of his cabin to join the mate. The player later finds the missing girl in the bottom of the ship. The girl asks the player to play hide and seek with her. The man from before then finds the girl as she mentions that the player was playing with her. The girl's grandpa thanks the player as the ship arrives at Vermilion City in Kanto.
Deciding to take on the Gyms of Kanto, the player enters the Gym in Vermilion City, defeating Lt. Surge who specializes in Electric types, and earning the Thunder Badge. The player travels north to Saffron City and enters the Gym there defeating Sabrina, who specializes in Psychic types and had envisioned the player's arrival three years prior, and earns the Marsh Badge. Still, in Saffron, the player encounters the Copycat in her new house who seems to have misplaced her Pokémon doll. Going back to Vermilion's Pokémon Fan Club the player sees the Lost Item and retrieves it bringing it back to the copycat who gives the player a pass to the Saffron Magnet Train.
The player then travels west of Saffron to Celadon City and travels to the Gym taking on Erika and winning the Rainbow Badge. Going back to Saffron and traveling east, the player comes to the Kanto Power Plant where they find that an important part of a machine in the plant has been stolen and they are unable to get the machine running. Traveling north of Saffron to Cerulean City the player finds out that a suspicious character has been hanging out around the Gym. Traveling north onto Route 24 the player finds and battles a Team Rocket grunt who is trying to revive the team unbeknownst to the fact that the team in Johto was disbanded by the player. The player defeats the grunt who admits that he dropped the part in the Cerulean Gym. The player goes to the Gym and retrieves the Machine Part. They return it to the Power Plant and the machine is once again made up and running.
The player then moves through the Rock Tunnel, arriving at Lavender Town, where they discover that the former Pokémon Tower has now become a Radio Tower for Kanto. Talking to the director inside the tower, they receive the Radio Expansion Card which allows them to listen to radio stations in Kanto as a reward for restoring power at the Power Plant. Traveling the length of the Silence Bridge and Routes 13, 14, and 15, the player arrives at Fuchsia City and takes on the Gym Leader Janine who specializes in Poison types winning the Soul Badge. Going back north to Cerulean and the up to Route 24, the player challenges the Nugget Crew and finds Misty with her boyfriend at Cerulean Cape. Misty's boyfriend runs off angering her until she realizes that the player is indeed, a challenger. The player returns to Cerulean Gym and takes on Misty's Water types winning the Cascade Badge.
Returning again to Vermilion City, the player recalls the large Pokémon sleeping outside the entrance to Diglett's Cave on the eastern edge of town. He/she plays the Poké Flute Station on their radio which awakens and angers the Pokémon, a giant Snorlax. After capturing, defeating, or running away from it, the player enters and goes through the Diglett's Cave emerging on Route 2 just south of Pewter City. The player goes north to Pewter City and challenges Brock and his Rock types and earns the Boulder Badge.
The player travels south across Route 2 and through Viridian Forest before arriving at Viridian City the player continues south to Pallet Town and the surfs to Cinnabar Island. There, the player sees Blue who mentions how the town previously found on the island was destroyed in a volcanic eruption, and that the town's Gym Leader had to relocate his Gym to the nearby Seafoam Islands. Blue then goes back to his own Gym in Viridian. The player travels east to the Seafoam Islands and find's Blaine's Fire-type Gym within the islands and challenges him to earn the Volcano Badge.
The player travels back to Viridian City and challenges Blue in his Gym, which does not seem to have any specialty in types, and defeats him to earn the Earth Badge. The player goes back to Pallet Town and visits Professor Oak in his laboratory. Oak sees that the player has earned all of the Gym Badges in Kanto and, after giving him/her the HM08, decides to allow him to enter Mt. Silver, a mountain so dangerous the average Trainer is not allowed to enter it, to challenge Red who has been the champion of Kanto for three years and trains there constantly. The player goes to Mt. Silver and climbs to the top to find Red training mutely, and challenges him to a battle. After a hard-fought battle, the player defeats Red becoming the new champion of Kanto and Red walks away without saying a word. The credits roll again.
Prepare for thrilling new adventures as Legendary Pokémon awaken!
Explore the Johto region as you catch, train, and battle with your favorite Pokémon by your side. Turn the tides—call forth the Legendary Pokémon!
Changes from Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal
- All 493 Pokémon are capable of following players similar to Pikachu in Yellow. Shininess and form differences are retained when a Pokémon is following the player. The player can interact with their Pokémon by pressing 'A' while facing it, so they can see how their Pokémon is feeling at the moment. In battle, like Yellow's Pikachu, they are sent out from the side of the screen, rather than from a Poké Ball. The player's lead Pokémon will always follow them except in certain situations, such as while riding the bicycle, surfing, or going indoors with a large Pokémon.
- A new series of events precede encountering the version mascots in both versions, and thus it is mandatory for the player to engage in battle with the version mascot in order to continue with the game and proceed to the Pokémon League, similar to the plots of Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. In the originals, it was completely optional to encounter Ho-Oh and Lugia.
- The five Kimono Girls from the Dance Theater in Ecruteak City now have a significant role in the game. During the player's adventure, he/she can meet each Kimono Girl at different points of the game where they will ask the player to do them a small favor. After receiving the Master Ball from Professor Elm and before meeting the version mascot, each Kimono Girl tests the player with a battle. Once all five are defeated, they proceed to the Bell Tower (in HeartGold) and Whirl Islands (in SoulSilver) where they will perform a dance to summon Ho-Oh and Lugia, respectively.
- As these events were not part of the plot of the originals, the Kimono Girls were originally battled earlier on in the game at the Ecruteak Dance Theater in order to earn HM03 (Surf) once all five were defeated. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, a Team Rocket grunt inside the theatre needs to be battled instead.
- Kurt and Apricorns make a return to the series along with the respective Poké Balls. Apricorns are now carried by the player in a new item, the Apricorn Box. As in Crystal, Kurt can be given multiples of the same color Apricorn at once in order to make multiple Poké Balls.
- While the Rainbow Wing and Silver Wing allow permission to climb the Bell Tower and enter Lugia's cave in the Whirl Islands, respectively, the player cannot encounter their version's respective mascot until they obtain the Clear Bell in HeartGold and the Tidal Bell in SoulSilver. (Since the Tidal Bell cannot be obtained in HeartGold and the Clear Bell cannot be obtained in SoulSilver, those items are not required in those versions to encounter the opposite mascot.)
- Unlike Generation II, new tasks are put in to complete that are now required to progress the story forward. For example, the Radio Card for the Pokégear must be obtained to be able to challenge Whitney, and the Kimono Girls and version mascot event must be completed to challenge the Elite Four.
- The RageCandyBar is now a key item. This is likely to prevent the player from trading it to Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, which does not have any item data for it.
- Similar to the event Shaymin and Regigigas in Platinum, two in-game events are unlocked through the use of event-exclusive Pokémon. The Pikachu-colored Pichu unlocks an event near the Ilex Forest Shrine where the Spiky-eared Pichu can be obtained, and an event-exclusive Celebi unlocks an encounter with former Team Rocket boss and Viridian Gym Leader Giovanni. Giovanni was mentioned repeatedly in the original Generation II games, but did not appear. These events effectively replace the GS Ball event formerly found in the Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal.
- The Pokémon Storage System, Bag, party interface, and the screen that pops up when pressing the Start or X buttons in the previous games all use the Nintendo DS's touch screen.
- Legendary Pokémon from other regions can be caught in the games. Hoenn's legendaries, Kyogre and Groudon, return in HeartGold and SoulSilver, respectively, after Red has been defeated, and Rayquaza can be caught in both games if a Groudon from SoulSilver and a Kyogre from HeartGold are shown to Professor Oak. Latias (in HeartGold) or Latios (in SoulSilver) can be found roaming in Kanto later in the game after speaking to Steven Stone. The legendary birds can also be found in certain locations in Kanto while Mewtwo can be found at Cerulean Cave.
- Cynthia makes an appearance in an event involving Arceus. This takes place in an area accessed from the Ruins of Alph that is far to the north, named the Sinjoh Ruins. This event allows players to obtain either Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina at level 1. The only way to obtain the Griseous Orb and Origin Forme Giratina in this game is to choose Giratina during this event.
- The Enigma Stone is an event key item that features a use similar to that of the Eon Ticket, allowing the other Eon Pokémon to be battled (i.e. Latios in HeartGold and Latias in SoulSilver, respectively) in a non-roaming encounter.
- Headbutting trees to locate certain Pokémon makes its return. However, this time it can also be used to collect Pokémon from Hoenn and Sinnoh after the National Pokédex is acquired.
- The Gracidea can be obtained in the flower shop in Goldenrod City by bringing any fateful encounter Shaymin to show them.
- Eusine, a major character from Pokémon Crystal who was not in the original Gold and Silver, appears, as do other aspects originally featured in Crystal.
- A new sidequest, the Pokéathlon, features ten mini-games that pit Pokémon in athletic competitions. Its system appears to be analogous to that of Contests from previous games.
- Like the GBA Wireless Adapter that came with Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, a bonus is included with the purchase of HeartGold and SoulSilver: a Poké Ball-shaped pedometer called the Pokéwalker that has the capacity to link to the two games and hold a Pokémon. Storing a Pokémon in this manner increases its experience and friendship as the wearer walks. Other Pokémon can be captured in exclusive Pokéwalker-only areas and then transferred to the main game.
- Apricorns are now the only items collected from plants on the field. Berries are instead collected from Jugglers in Violet City and Fuchsia City in exchange for shards, through the Pokéwalker's Dowsing function, hidden on the ground, or from the deliveryman in Poké Marts sent by the player's mom (if the player allows their mom to save money). A few Berries cannot be collected in these games and must by traded over from other versions, similar to in FireRed and LeafGreen. Though they cannot be grown on the ground like in Hoenn or Sinnoh, they can be grown portably using the Berry Pots, where the SquirtBottle is controlled via the touch screen to water four Berries at a time.
- Using the Apriblender, Apricorns can now also be mixed into drinks that increase a Pokémon's Pokéathlon stats by putting Apricorns in the blender and walking around.
- The Running Shoes are obtained in Cherrygrove City and can be permanently selected using the touchscreen menu. The selected item (from pressing Y or SELECT in previous games) is also on the touchscreen. Two items can be selected as opposed to just one.
- Due to the absence of the Vs. Seeker, the Pokégear reintroduces an improved cell phone feature with a limitless call list. However, re-battling Trainers is now dependent on the day and time.
- Passing certain parts in the game can also affect the rematches by improving the team of the Trainers that can be re-battled. By defeating the Elite Four and then after collecting the 16 Badges the Pokémon team of that Trainer are fought at higher levels as long as each rematch phase has been fought at least once.
- Starter Pokémon from Kanto and Hoenn can be collected from Professor Oak and Steven Stone, respectively, as appreciation for defeating Red.
- Commemorative photos can now be taken around Johto and Kanto with the player's partner Pokémon, team, Gym Leaders, and certain notable citizens.
- Many Pokémon have acquired the ability to learn new moves and expand and improve their movesets; for example, Togepi can now learn Extrasensory through breeding.
- The GB Sounds, a key item obtained after all 16 Badges have been obtained, allows players to swap the background music for the soundtrack from the original Gold and Silver, redone. New music tracks, such as the music that plays on Routes 47 and 48, also receive an 8-bit remix. However, not every track got an 8-bit remix and some can only be listened through the Pokémon Past Archive radio station in the Pokégear.
- When using the move Whirlpool outside of battle, instead of the whirlpool disappearing like in Generation II, the player will simply surf over the whirlpools.
- An addition to the breeding system is introduced where one of the three random IVs inherited by the offspring can be guaranteed if one of the parents holds an EV-enhancing item.
- The Trainers that appear in Viridian City's Trainer House are now influenced by communication through two Pokéwalkers as opposed to the previous method of Mystery Gifting with the Game Boy Color's infrared port.
- During the player's initial battle with the rival, he is known as Passerby Boy, unlike in Gold and Silver, where he was identified as ???. Players are still required to name him later.
- The man in Ilex Forest, who previously gave out the TM for Headbutt in Generation II has become a Move Tutor for that move. This is due to the fact that Headbutt is no longer a TM. Unlike other Move Tutors, he does not require anything from the player to tutor the move, and will do it as many times as the player would like.
- Similar to Pokémon Crystal, the legendary beasts can be caught from the moment the player sees them fleeing in the Burned Tower, with the exception of Suicune who can only be encountered in battle at Route 25, instead of at the Bell Tower. Suicune can be seen running around in certain locations across Johto and Kanto.
- The map in the Pokégear has the same function as the Marking Map for the Pokétch in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum to track roaming Pokémon. Additionally the player does not need to face Raikou or Entei (as well as Latios and Latias) in battle first to be able to track them.
- Trainers in Kanto will now give out their Pokégear numbers, whereas only Trainers on Routes 26 and 27 would do so in the original games.
- In the original Gold and Silver, the real Janine was in the lower left corner of the Gym, while one of her Gym Trainers was in the middle, where the Leader should be. This isn't the case in HeartGold and SoulSilver, where Janine was moved to the middle.
- It is now possible to Fly to the Pokémon League Reception Gate. It is also now possible to Fly between Indigo Plateau or the Reception Gate and any location in either Kanto or Johto. Curiously, however, it's not possible to Fly to the Pokémon Centers in Routes 4 and 10, whereas it was possible in FireRed and LeafGreen, but not in the original Gold and Silver.
- The clock reset interface from the original Pokémon Gold and Silver was removed, as was the case with Pokémon Crystal. In its replacement is a microphone test interface which can be accessed via the button combination X,Y and Down on the title screen; though this feature, unlike the clock reset interface has been officially mentioned by Nintendo via the game instruction booklet.
- Any special Pokémon, such as Sudowoodo, will respawn to their specific location after the player defeats the Elite Four if they were defeated instead of caught the first time.
- The ability to decorate the player's room, a feature introduced in the original Gold and Silver, is absent.
- After defeating the Elite Four, Professor Oak's Pokémon Talk can identify Pokémon outbreaks daily when accessed through the Pokégear's radio. This also includes the six Generation II Pokémon whose outbreak formerly occurred when a specific trainer whose number that was stored in the Pokégear would contact the player to report the outbreak during Generation II.
- Elm's Lab has an upstairs level, where the professor and his family live, his old house being occupied by Lyra/Ethan and her/his family.
- The Battle Tower west of Olivine City, introduced in Pokémon Crystal, returns, bringing with it exactly the same Battle Frontier seen in Platinum.
- Two new routes, Route 47 and Route 48, are introduced near Cianwood City. They lead to a new Safari Zone, as well as the Embedded Tower and the Cliff Cave.
- Mt. Silver is much bigger and Viridian Forest is not cut down.
- Cerulean Cave and the Seafoam Islands remain as they were in Generation III (though Blaine still takes part of the Seafoam Islands), allowing the legendary Pokémon that live inside them to be battled. Moltres, formerly found in Victory Road and Mt. Ember, can be found in Mt. Silver.
- The Fighting Dojo in Saffron City takes a role similar to Sinnoh's Battleground, where the rematches between the player and Gym Leaders take place.
- The Pewter Museum of Science in Pewter City and the Bike Shop in Cerulean City are open, although the latter is packing up.
- Union Cave's ladder from 1F to B1F has been shifted north (now closer to the north entrance). There are also many minor changes to B1F.
- The Route 23 in Generation II is now a part of Indigo Plateau. Route 23 no longer exists.
- The male player character receives a redesign and is now called Ethan, while Kris is replaced by a new female player character called Lyra.
- All the game's music is rearranged to better utilize the DS's sound capabilities. A key item allows the player to switch back and forth freely between the arranged soundtrack and original chiptune soundtrack.
- Ambient sound effects are used with greater frequency than in previous games; for example, running water, blowing wind and the player walking through grass will produce audible noises.
- The Pokégear has been redesigned. There are a range of skins that can be used and changed at the player's will.
- Much like Kanto's was for its remakes, Johto's Pokédex has been redesigned. Unlike Kanto's remakes, which contained the same regional Pokédex as the originals, the original regional Pokédex for Johto has been slightly altered, including five Generation IV evolutions for Pokémon found in Johto.
- The National Pokédex must now be unlocked, unlike in the originals where it was available immediately.
- An image of certain locations, like in FireRed and LeafGreen, appears when entering the location. Some of these images change depending on the time of day while others change the image of the Pokémon obtainable at the location on the image at random.
- Team Rocket Grunts are redesigned once again. The Team Rocket Executives are also redesigned from Generation II, with four new ones appearing: Archer, Ariana, Petrel, and Proton. Like how Team Galactic's Commanders followed a planetary naming scheme, the Executives are all named for various real-world rockets.
- The Tin Tower is renamed the Bell Tower.
- Lugia and Ho-Oh each have their own unique battle music, while the legendary beasts each use differently remixed versions of their battle theme from Pokémon Crystal.
- All former Berry trees have become Apricorn trees.
- Gym Leaders, Elite Four members, Silver, and Red have animated battle sprites and battle intros, as in Platinum. Many Gyms have been redesigned as well, some with new puzzles.
- Rock Smash, previously a TM usable on the field in the originals, is now a full-fledged HM as it has been since Generation III. Defog loses its HM status to the returning Whirlpool.
- Rock Climb, despite it not being available prior to Generation IV, continues to be HM08 and requires the Viridian Gym Badge. As a result, several caves and cliffs have markings which allow them to be scaled like in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
- All Kanto Gym Leaders give out TMs.
- If the player turns off the battle scene in the Options menu, the Pokémon will not be animated when they come into battle, whereas in Platinum they were.
- The Magnet Train's tracks can be seen overhead on Route 32, as well as in Goldenrod City where the tracks were previously on street-level.
- Pal Park is located where the closed Kanto Safari Zone once stood in Fuchsia City.
- The player can now see how many Kanto Badges they have. In the original games, the player could only see how many Johto Badges they had.
- Ecruteak City and Cianwood City, while sharing a theme in Generation II, now feature separate remixed variations of the same theme.
- Some music is changed, with Slowpoke Well, Mt. Moon and the Seafoam Islands changing their music to that which is used by Union Cave, Dark Cave and Ice Path, respectively. Music in Cerulean City and Fuchsia City, as well as on Routes 24 and 25, rather than taking the theme used in Pewter City, Celadon City, and on Route 3 as they did in the original Generation II games, keep the theme used in Generation I and Generation III. The music used on Route 2, however, is different from any previous generation; the Generation II theme, a remix of Viridian Forest theme in Generation I, is used solely in Viridian Forest, while the theme used in Generation I and Generation III is, like in Generation II, only used on Route 1. Route 2 instead uses the theme that first appears on Route 3. Cinnabar Island also gets its own music, a remix of its original theme, instead of using the Saffron City theme.
- The Goldenrod City Radio Tower has an observation deck accessible via elevator. This replaces the second recording room.
- There are wind turbines standing in New Bark Town and on Route 14.
- When viewing the stats of a Pokémon outside of battle, one of the stat names will be very light blue, indicating which stat is decreased by the Pokémon's Nature, and one will be very light red, indicating which stat is increased. If the Pokémon has a neutral Nature, none of the stats will be colored.
- The Glitter Lighthouse in Olivine City contains balconies that are used to navigate through the tower. While on the balconies, the overhead viewing angle of the player changes. This is the first such instance of camera angle variation in the core series games and would later be implemented in different variations in Pokémon Black and White.
As in Pokémon Gold and Silver, the primary Pokémon of the remakes are native to the Johto and Kanto regions. Due to advances in gameplay since the second generation, the regional Pokédex used in Gold and Silver (the New Pokédex) has been updated to include those Pokémon which evolve upon learning a new move. Rather than simply excluding these evolutions (as Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen did with friendship-based evolutions), an improved Johto Pokédex was established with 256 Pokémon: five more than the New Pokédex.
Similarly to other recently released Pokémon games, Pokémon from outside the regional Pokédex can be captured after defeating the Elite Four and earning the National Pokédex. Pokémon native to Sinnoh and Hoenn can be found in various methods. Swarms of Pokémon sometimes break out across the Johto and Kanto regions; oftentimes these are not native to either of the regions. Pokémon from other regions can be located by playing one of two special stations on the Pokégear's radio function. There is a channel for Sinnoh Pokémon which plays only on Thursdays; the Hoenn channel only plays on Wednesdays. By having either of these programs turned on when in tall grass the chance of finding a foreign Pokémon increases. The Bug-Catching Contest also hosts, from time to time, Hoenn and Sinnoh Pokémon. They will only appear on Thursdays and Saturdays. The Johto Safari Zone's customization option also allows for the finding of Pokémon from other regions.
In an apparent attempt to remove reliance on Generation III cartridges, starter Pokémon of Kanto and Hoenn can be obtained late in the game from Professor Oak and Steven Stone respectively. Some legendary Pokémon which were not included in the Generation II games, such as Kanto's legendary birds and Mewtwo, are also available.
As in all core series Pokémon games, there are a number of Pokémon which can be found in one of the paired games, but not the other. A list of these Pokémon follows below.
The games received an 8.5/10 "Great" rating from IGN. Pokémon SoulSilver Version received an 87.94% at Game Rankings, ranking as the 10th best DS game of all time, while HeartGold Version received a slightly less 87.83%, also ranking the 6th most popular game, surpassed by Super Scribblenauts, Pokémon Diamond, Pokémon Platinum, Pokémon White, and Pokémon Black.
- Main article: Staff of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
The soundtrack contains all of the background music from the games. Much of the music is remixed from the music of Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal. It serves as the closest approximation to a soundtrack release of Pokémon Gold and Silver, which are the only paired versions that lack an official soundtrack release of the games' original tracks. Discs 1 and 2 of the soundtrack contain the rearrangements of Generation II music, in addition to the music assigned to new areas. Disc 3 of the soundtrack (based on the GB Sounds feature), is meant to emulate the style of 8-bit music. However, not all of the GB Sounds music is available on the CD.
- Main article: Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver beta
- Several figures were given away with pre-orders. People could receive a Ho-Oh figure by pre-ordering HeartGold, a Lugia figure by pre-ordering SoulSilver, and an Arceus figure by pre-ordering the Japanese versions of both HeartGold and SoulSilver.
- These games mark the tenth anniversary since the release of the original Gold and Silver Versions.
- Unlike how Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen used completely different Trainer sprites from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, many Trainer classes shared between regions, like Hikers and Psychics, keep their Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum sprites in battle.
- The font used for the English titles of these games was changed from the one that has been used since Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, while the Japanese logos are still in the same style used since those games. FireRed and LeafGreen also used a different font than the Hoenn games, however, it was still the same color. The fonts are Athenaeum Bold, Futura Extra Bold and Helvetica Black Condensed, respectively.
- Additionally, the Ho-Oh crest shaped like a heart and Lugia soul are used in the English logos, while the fire and leaf that appear on FireRed and LeafGreen's Japanese logos were not used in the English release.
- These games mark the first time that the English versions were announced before the games themselves came out in Japan.
- Because of HM05's conversion from Defog to Whirlpool, these games are the first in which all available HMs teach damaging moves (both Defog and Flash, contained in HM05, prevented this in previous games).
- These are the first games in which major characters offer their Pokémon for a trade with the player, with Gym Leaders Brock, Lt. Surge, Jasmine, and Hoenn's former Champion Steven Stone offering Pokémon of their specialty type in exchange for another.
- These are the first games in which an in-game trade accepts a Pokémon of any kind, with Jasmine accepting such in exchange for her Steelix.
- Unlike how FireRed and LeafGreen's intro was an updated version of the opening from Red and Green, HeartGold and SoulSilver have an entirely new intro, using none of the footage from the intro of Gold and Silver. The intro however, uses some music that was in the original and the title screen displays 3D renders of Ho-Oh and Lugia in movement similar to the original title screens. They differ by HeartGold's intro featuring Ho-Oh at dawn and SoulSilver having Lugia at dusk (both at the beginning); additionally at the end with Suicune on cliff, screen moves towards sky in HeartGold and towards ocean in SoulSilver.
- HeartGold and SoulSilver include the Champions from each of the previous paired versions: Blue from Red and Green, Lance from Gold and Silver, Steven Stone from Ruby and Sapphire, and Cynthia from Diamond and Pearl.
- The credits of HeartGold and SoulSilver are the first to feature Gym Leaders, Elite Four members and villainous team members.
- There is a minor quirk involving the Poké Mart signs, in which they are sometimes shown to be placed on the roots of trees, making it appear as if it was built there.
- Another minor quirk is that the player will sometimes seem to be standing in the same spot as large Pokémon following them, such as Ho-Oh and Lugia.
- The Pokédex entries for the Pokémon that existed in Gold and Silver are carried on over to HeartGold and SoulSilver, respectively, much as how FireRed used the entries from the Japanese Red and Green while LeafGreen used the entries from Blue.
- These titles are the first Pokémon games to be available domestically in Canada in French, other than just in English.
- In the Japanese and Korean versions of Gold and Silver, Phanpy and Donphan were exclusive to Gold, and Teddiursa and Ursaring were exclusive to Silver. In the Western localizations, this was switched for unknown reasons: Teddiursa and Ursaring could be found in Gold, and Phanpy and Donphan could be found in Silver instead. However, all versions of HeartGold and SoulSilver have Phanpy/Donphan in HeartGold and Teddiursa/Ursaring in SoulSilver.
- HeartGold and SoulSilver, as well as Gold and Silver, have Gym Leader or Elite Four specialists for every type that existed at the time except the Ground type. However, Giovanni, a former Kanto Gym Leader who specialized in the Ground type, appears during a special event and can be battled.
- Unlike Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, HeartGold and SoulSilver do not track sudden changes of the system's clock, tricking the games into thinking it is a new day, letting daily events happen instead of them not occuring due to the games knowing the date has been changed.
- Although the Goldenrod and Celadon Game Corners were changed in the non-Japanese releases, all versions (Japanese, Korean, and Western) have every map of the Game Corners: in the Japanese versions, the maps related to Voltorb Flip and Mr. Game are unused and have no events or warps programmed, while the Korean and Western versions have the original maps with their warps intact, plus the event to interact with the clerk is still present and the interface used to buy coins is functional and was translated. TM78 (Captivate) also remains in the unused Goldenrod Game Corner in the Korean and Western versions, and the slot machines in the leftover maps trigger Voltorb Flip in these versions.
- Froslass's entry in SoulSilver's (but not HeartGold's) Pokédex has a typo where the period at the end of the sentence is missing.
- A second nearly unnoticeable typo appears in both versions during Professor Oak's congratulations speech, when the player has a completely filled National Pokédex (minus event Pokémon). One of his sentences, "Meeting you is something l will cherish all my life long!", uses a lowercase L instead of a capital I.
- On page 6 the North American manual for HeartGold, it is mentioned that "In order to catch all the Pokémon in the Johto region and complete your Pokédex, you must trade with the Pokémon HeartGold Version" when it should say "with the Pokémon SoulSilver Version". This error is not present in the SoulSilver manual, which correctly identifies the correct opposite game.
In other languages
- Pokémon.com (US)
- Nintendo of Australia - Pokémon HeartGold Version
- Nintendo of Australia - Pokémon SoulSilver Version
- Pokémon.com (UK)
- Nintendo of Belgium announcement (Dutch)
- Nintendo of Korea
- IGN: Pokemon SoulSilver Version (retrieved June 20, 2011)
- Game Ranking: Pokemon SoulSilver Version (retrieved June 20, 2011)
- Game Ranking: DS Games index (retrieved June 20, 2011)
- Game Ranking: Pokemon HeartGold Version (retrieved June 20, 2011)
- Game Ranking: DS Games index (retrieved June 20, 2011)
|This game-related article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.|