Time Capsule

The Time Capsule (Japanese: タイムカプセル Time Capsule) is a mechanic in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal that allows players to trade Pokémon back in time to Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow. It is not present in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.

Ken Sugimori artwork of the Time Capsule from Pokémon Gold and Silver

In the games

Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal (Japanese and Western versions)

In Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, the Time Capsule is located on the second floor of each Pokémon Center. However, it will be under repair and unavailable until the player has met Bill in Ecruteak City. Even then, the player has to wait for another 24 hours in the game's internal clock before being able to use the Time Capsule.

After this point, it is possible to trade with the core series Generation I games; however, there are still some restrictions:

When linked up to a Generation I game, the trade will happen as it did in Generation I, and the Generation II game will act as if it is a Generation I game.

If the Pokémon traded from the Generation I game changes its type during the trade (unless it’s a Magnemite or Magneton), the trade is immediately cancelled.

Held items of Pokémon traded from a Generation I game are determined by that Pokémon's catch rate in said game. This is why Pikachu holds a Light Ball and Kadabra holds a Twisted Spoon if traded from Pokémon Yellow, but not from Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue. For more information on this subject and a complete list of the items, see List of Pokémon by wild held item (Generation II).

Limitations and their consequences

Because of the restriction that moves introduced in Generation II cannot be traded back to Generation I, a Move Deleter in Blackthorn City will delete moves that are incompatible with earlier games. While trades with previous generations were not supported in any games after Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, the concept of a Move Deleter was retained as part of gameplay, as otherwise it would be impossible to make a Pokémon forget an HM move, other than putting it in the Pokémon Day Care and having it level up so it only retains the last 3 moves, and the new move.

A Pokémon holding an Everstone won't evolve when traded to the Generation II games. However, a Pokémon which can evolve and is holding an Everstone will evolve when traded to the Generation I games.

Poliwhirl, Slowpoke, Scyther, Onix and Porygon won't evolve when traded to the Generation II games from a Generation I game, even if they're holding the correct item.


The Time Capsule's limitation that prevents Generation II Pokémon from entering can be bypassed with the Time Capsule exploit, though Generation II Pokémon brought in this way must still only know Generation I moves. When traded to a Generation I game, they will become glitch Pokémon. The four Pokémon that evolve by trade in Generation I (Haunter, Kadabra, Machoke, and Graveler), if traded from a Generation I game to a Generation II game at the correct level, will learn a Generation II move after evolving, but can be traded back to Generation I immediately after. This gives access to glitch moves in the Generation I game.

Pokémon Gold and Silver (Korean version)

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Although no Generation I games were released in South Korea, the Time Capsule is still present in the Korean versions of Pokémon Gold and Silver. The Time Capsule is officially unsupported, but it is enabled by linking with a Generation I game using the regular trading room of the Generation II games. The attempt to trade will be cancelled and Bill will appear as soon as the player attempts to leave the Pokémon Center in Ecruteak City.

After unlocking it, the player can use Time Capsule with Western versions of the Generation I games. However, like when trading between Korean and Western Generation II games, because the Western games do not support Korean characters, Pokémon names and Original Trainers will not display properly in the Western games; if a Korean character corresponds to a control character in the Western games, this can have other unexpected effects.

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Pokémon Stadium 2

In Pokémon Stadium 2, the trade machine at the Pokémon Lab can be used to trade Pokémon between Generation I and/or Generation II games.

Much like in the Time Capsule, if a Pokémon was introduced in Generation II, or it has a move introduced in Generation II, it may not be traded to a Generation I game.

Comparison with other games

The Time Capsule is the only facility in the core series which allows direct inter-generational trades. Starting with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire in Generation III, this is no longer possible in the games, although it is possible to migrate Pokémon forward a generation through use of Pal Park (from Generation III to Generation IV), the Poké Transfer (from Generation IV to Generation V), the Poké Transporter (from Generation V to Generations VI and VII), and Pokémon HOME (from Generations VI and VII to Generations VIII and IX). Pokémon HOME is also the only other method for sending Pokémon back a generation, as of version 3.0.0 (i.e. Pokémon originating from Generation IX can be transferred to compatible Generation VIII games and back, though not to Generation VII games).

In the manga

Pokémon Adventures

Gold, Silver & Crystal arc

While the Time Capsule has not appeared in Pokémon Adventures, it was hinted at in The Last Battle XIV, where Bill, after learning about the Masked Man's attempt to control time, began researching time travel in order to improve the Pokémon Storage System.

Pokémon Gold & Silver: The Golden Boys

The Time Capsule was first mentioned by Professor Oak in The Legendary Pokémon Appears!, when a time tunnel appeared above the Violet Gym during Gold's Gym battle with Falkner. Out of the time tunnel came a Pikachu, which joined Gold's team. In Farewell To Pikachu?!, Eusine revealed how he and Bill had used Bill's Time Capsule to send Pikachu back in time in order to help it lead him to a Legendary Pokémon he was looking for.

Pokémon Pocket Monsters

The Time Capsule appeared in Find the Legendary Pokémon!!, where Bill demonstrated it to Red. Clefairy became interested in it, and Bill agreed to send Red and his Pokémon back in time.

In the TCG

This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring the Time Capsule in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Time Capsule
Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format.
Cards listed with a green background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.
Card Type English
Rarity # Japanese
Rarity #
Time Capsule T Neo Genesis   090/111 Gold, Silver, to a New World...    

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 時光膠囊 Sìhgwōng Gāaunòhng *
時間囊 Sìhgāan Nòhng *
Mandarin 時光膠囊 / 时光胶囊 Shíguāng Jiāonáng *
時間囊 Shíjiān Náng *
  French Bloc Temporel
  German Zeitkapsel
  Italian Tempocapsula
  Korean 타임캡슐 Time Capsule
  Russian Капсула времени Kapsula vremeni
  Spanish Cápsula del Tiempo

See also

Inter-generational transfer
Gen I Time CapsulePoké TransporterBank
Gen II
Gen III Dual-slot modePal Park
Gen IV Dual-slot modePal ParkPoké TransferRelocator
Gen V Poké TransferRelocatorPoké TransporterBank
Gen VI Poké TransporterBank
Gen VII Poké TransporterBankGO ParkHOME
Gen VIII BankHOMEGO Transporter
Gen IX

  This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.