The second generation of Pokémon games, sometimes called the metal generation by older players due to the names of the paired versions, is a sequel to the Generation I games Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow.
Generation II began the Pokémon series's expansion-focused nature, introducing to the world 100 new Pokémon which did not exist and are unable to be obtained in the Generation I games. Many of these Pokémon expand the evolution families of older Pokémon, while a majority of them are brand-new evolutionary families.
The initial hint that Generation II was on its way came in early 1997, with the release of the anime's first episode. A Pokémon appears to Ash Ketchum on the first day of his journey, shortly after he and Pikachu become friends, that cannot be identified by the Pokédex. This magnificent golden bird, later revealed to be the legendary mascot of Gold Version, Ho-Oh, was the first Pokémon from a future generation to debut in the anime. The games, initially named directly as "Pocket Monsters 2", were set for release in late 1997, but were pushed back to 1999 with the intention to redevelop the games to work with the Game Boy Color better.
Details in the games indicate that the Generation II games occur three years after Generation I and Generation III, while the Sinnoh-based Generation IV games indicate that they occur similarly contemporaneously to Generation II as Generation I does to Generation III.
Advances in gameplay
In addition to retaining the system from Generation I in almost every aspect, several key innovations were made to the series, most of which have been retained in every generation since.
Major additions include:
- The introduction of 100 new Pokémon, bringing the total to 251. Several are evolved forms of or pre-evolutions of Generation I Pokémon, while others are their own evolutionary lines.
- The addition of 86 new moves, bringing the total to 251 as well.
- The addition of two new types, the Template:Type2 and Template:Type2, to balance out the over-powerful Template:Type2 and the underused Template:Type2.
- A new region to explore, Johto, in addition to the Generation I region, with the latter accessible after the Elite Four have been defeated. Johto has its own set of eight new Gyms and Gym Leaders to defeat, while the Elite Four has changed in three years.
- Genders for Pokémon, opening up the ability for two Pokémon which are similar enough to breed.
- Two additional boxes in the Pokémon storage system, which now includes the ability to move Pokémon directly between boxes, bringing Pokémon storage to 280.
- A new player character, Ethan.
- Seven new types of Poké Ball, all made from special fruit found in Johto.
- A built-in clock, allowing for in-game events to be affected by the time of day and the days of the week.
- Shiny Pokémon, which sparkle when brought into battle.
- Happiness, introduced in Pokémon Yellow, becomes a stat used by all Pokémon.
- Pokémon can now hold items and use them in battle.
- A special Pokémon virus is introduced that boosts stats.
- Inheritance of a Pokémon's IVs from its parents.
Major alterations from Generation I include:
- A change of the types of four moves (Gust, Sand-Attack, Karate Chop, and Bite), all formerly Template:Type2, are now Flying, Ground, Fighting, and Dark, respectively.
- The addition of Steel as a secondary type for Magnemite and Magneton.
- An improved stat system, with the former Special stat being split into Special Attack and Special Defense.
- The bag is no longer one 20-item container, but has four separate sections for different items: Normal items, Poké Balls, TMs and HMs, and key items.
- A key item can be set to and then subsequently accessed with the select button, for convenience on the field.
- Opponent Pokémon Trainers are given individual names.
- Exp. All is upgraded into the Exp. Share and is made a held item.
- The definition of "upgrade" and not "replacement" in this situation is due to the items having the same name in the Japanese versions, suggesting an improvement on the item's mechanism and not necessarily a complete and independent substitute.
- Town Map is replaced with an electronic device, the Pokégear, which also has cellphone and radio capabilities, alongside map functions.
- The type chart has changed somewhat from Generation I:
|Attacking type||Defending type||Old effectiveness||New effectiveness|
|Bug||Poison||Super effective||Not very effective|
|Bug||Ghost||Normal effectiveness||Not very effective|
|Poison||Bug||Super effective||Normal effectiveness|
|Ghost||Psychic||Not effective||Super effective|
|Ice||Fire||Normal effectiveness||Not very effective|
Further additions in Pokémon Crystal include:
- A female choice for the player, Kris.
- Animations for all Pokémon when encountered or when sent from their Poké Balls.
- Main article: Johto
Generation II introduced a new region to the Pokémon universe, Johto, located directly west of the Kanto region featured in Generation I. Johto's culture is notably more old-fashioned than Kanto's, especially in the more rural areas, which are more plentiful than in Kanto. Like Kanto, it has a sea to the south and mountains to the north.
The starter Pokémon introduced in Generation II follow the same Grass-Fire-Water alignment as those of Kanto. Despite this, they are not the same trio as in Generation I. Instead, Professor Elm offers Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile to the player as protection on an errand to Mr. Pokémon's house on Route 30.
Unlike other generations, where the first Gym is strong against the Fire-type and weak to Grass and Water, in this generation, the first Gym is strong against Grass, while Fire and Water both have an opening. Also, Pokémon available can cover for the weaknesses of the starter types very early on in the game, unlike in Generation I.
Johto's Gym Leaders specialize in types different from Kanto's Gym Leaders, with eight of the nine types not covered by Kanto being the specialty types of these Gyms. Like Kanto, these Gym Leaders will give out badges and TMs on their defeat.
| Gym Leader
| Violet City
| Azalea Town
| Goldenrod City
| Ecruteak City
| Cianwood City
| Olivine City
| Mahogany Town
| Blackthorn City
- Main article: Kanto
Unlike later games in the series, the Generation II games offer the player the chance, once Johto's Gyms are conquered and the Elite Four is defeated, to return to the Kanto region where the Generation I games are set. Here, players will find that many things have changed over the past three years.
| Gym Leader
| Pewter City
| Cerulean City
| Vermilion City
| Celadon City
| Fuchsia City
| Saffron City
| Cinnabar Island
| Viridian City
Discussion of Generation II
Pokémon Gold and Silver were among the most-hyped games in the Pokémon franchise, with the innovations introduced in them becoming staples of the series. The later-released Pokémon Crystal began the series' focus on legendary Pokémon of the regions in which the games take place, first bringing them into the plot of the game. Due to these improvements, Generation II is the most acclaimed generation among long-time fans. Unlike future games, Generation II stood as an extension and a sequel of Generation I, and has been criticized by some for this.
Johto thematic motif
The second generation of Pokémon games were more directed towards mythology and tradition. The three starters were all "pure" element types, fitting the classic Water > Grass > Fire cycle all starters adhere to. Unlike two of the fully-evolved starter Pokémon in Generation I, and at least one of every starter trio since, the fully-evolved Johto starters maintain their single typing.
This was the first installment that put emphasis on legendary Pokémon being actual legends in-game, a stark contrast to Mewtwo and the legendary birds of Generation I. Ecruteak City fleshed out the legends of Ho-Oh and the three beasts, their relationship with one another and the story behind their departure (the Burned Tower). Suicune was, unlike Raikou and Entei, unavoidable in Crystal Version if the player wanted to beat the game; the remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver give the same treatment to Ho-Oh and Lugia respectively. Lugia was also glimpsed by an elderly man in Ecruteak City, and others, who stated it looked like a dragon in the sky. Even the uncatchable Celebi was mentioned as the "Forest's Protector" at the shrine in Ilex Forest.
The Kimono Girls upheld ancient tradition in both battling Pokémon and dancing. The buildings in both Ecruteak City and Violet City have an older structure to them as well. The player must navigate Johto and Kanto, beating the new Elite Four, sixteen Gym Leaders and the original Pokémon Champion Red. This is after defeating the newly revitalized Team Rocket, searching for the fallen Giovanni. The second generation expanded upon trading through use of held items evolution through the addition of happiness, and breeding to attain pre-evolution or baby Pokémon. Kurt offered a more traditional means of creating Poké Balls via Apricorns which proved variably superior to manufactured Poké Balls. Johto is physically connected to Kanto and these games added depth to both regions.
- Generation II is the smallest generation so far with only seven games and three main series games.
- In addition, it introduced the least number of Pokémon to the series, with only 100.
- Generation II is the only generation where:
- The starters are holding an item and remain single-type Pokémon throughout their evolutions.
- The total number of moves are equal to the total number of Pokémon at the time.
- Each Pokémon has a different sprite in each game (except for Unown and a few others).
- Fossils cannot be found. However, an Aerodactyl can be obtained through an in-game trade.
- A Dragon-type pseudo-legendary was not introduced.
- A two-stage, cat-like evolutionary line was not introduced
- The National Pokédex cannot be completed without another generation, as the Kanto starters, fossil Pokémon (save for Aerodactyl), and legendary Pokémon can only be obtained from a Generation I game.
- In terms of release dates, Generation II is the shortest generation in Japan, with exactly three years between the release of Gold and Silver and Ruby and Sapphire. All other generations have had closer to four years between the release of their primary version pair and the primary pair of the next generation.
- Generation II leaves the least extra space for Pokémon in the storage system if one of every species is caught. Only 280 Pokémon may be obtained at once; there are 251 different Pokémon species available in this generation.
- Generation II features the first main series game, Crystal, whose Japanese title is in katakana only and that uses an English word, rather than using the Japanese counterpard word in kanji. No game ever since has been named in kanji.
|This game-related article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.|