Ok, so today sees the release of Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver in Japan (US and Europe have to wait till spring next year). A lot has changed in Johto since the old Gameboy Colour games, and we’re here to bring you a brief run down of everything known so far.
Gyms and Gym Leaders: Almost all Gym’s on both sides of Mt. Silver have had a redesign, and a lot of the Gym leaders have had their levels tweaked. Most of them have gone up (the Kanto lot especially), but a couple (including Whitney) have gone down in level. All the Kanto Gym Leaders now hand out TMs when beat
Red has been training up in mount silver since we last saw him, and he’s gotten impressive as well. His Pikachu is up to level 88 now while his Venusaur, Blastoise and Charizard are now at 84 and his Snorlax is now at level 82 (all up 7 levels). He’s also switched out his lowest level 73 Espeon for a level 80 Lapras. And you thought he was tough before.
For those of you hoping that the Leaf Green/Fire Red version of Kanto, prepare to be disappointed. It’s mostly the Gold/Silver/Crystal version. Cinnabar Island volcano still blew (so that’s gone), Mt. Moon is still small and there’s no Safari Zone in Fuchsia. However, Viridian Forest (which was removed in G/S/C) still exists in the game, and in the old Safari Zone’s place is HG/SS version of the Pal Park, so if you still have some Pokémon on GBA games, here’s where you can get them picked up.
Speaking of Safari Zone, it was said that it was moved, we now know where. Remember that strange new area west of Cianwood? Well that’s where the new Safari Zone is located. It mostly works like the other Safari Zones, there are 6 areas and each one has a specific list of Pokémon contained within. The new twist, however, is that you can rearrange the areas in any way you like using a computer in the entrance. This means that if you want to search a certain area for a certain Pokémon, you can shift it to be the entrance area and not waste too many precious steps to get there.
Bizarrely, Johto Pokédex has increased from 251 to 256. The extra 5 Pokémon are Yanmega, Likiliky, Mamoswine, Ambipom and Tangrowth. All these Pokémon evolve from standard Johto Pokédex Pokémon via the learning of moves, which may explain why they were added.
Team Rocket has had a bit of change in leadership. Several admins (all named after real life rockets) have been introduced. Lambda, Athena and Apollo will crop up at various points in the game to fight for Team Rocket’s honour (and to try and take over the world, of course). During the battle of the Goldenrod Radio Tower, you will actually disguise yourself as a member of Team Rocket to sneak in.
Speaking of Bosses of Team Rocket, Giovanni is back in this game. He’ll appear during a special event to do with Celebi, and you’ll get to battle him as well. No idea’s how to activate this event… probably by using a download item like Darkrai and Shaymin in Platinum
Remember those Kimono Girls who all have Eeveelution Pokémon? Remember they’d have an important part in the story? Well one of the things they’ll do is let you be able to find both Ho-Oh and Lugia… which you can’t do until you battle and beat them all. Depending on which version you get, depends on the level of those Pokémon. On Heart Gold, Ho-oh will be level 45, same level as Lugia on Soul Silver. The other legendary will be level 70
Speaking of legendaries, here’s a quick rundown of all the ones in the game: Entei and Raikou roam around the world, while you have to follow Suicune to several places in both Johto and Kanto before being able to fight and catch it on route 25. All dogs are at level 40. Articuno is in the seafoam caves, Zapdos is outside the power plant and Moltres is in Silver Cave. All 3 birds are at level 50. Mewtwo is at level 70 hiding in Cerulean Cave. As described in the previous post, Heart Gold will allow you to get Kyogre while Soul Silver will let you get a Groudon in route 47 after getting the National Pokédex, getting a Kanto starter and picking up a coloured orb. Once you’ve caught one of them, trade to get the other one (must be from a HG/SS game) and show them to Oak, he’ll give you another orb that will let you catch Rayquaza from the same place. Latias and Latios both roam the lands at level 35 each.
After you beat your rival several times across both Johto and Kanto, he’ll end up training around the Dragon’s Den. Head up there and you could end up in a double battle with him against both Clair and Lance.
Any Pokémon you have will follow you. They use the one at the start of your party. If it’s a very large one and you enter a small area, it will re-enter its ball. Also if the Pokémon is shiny, it will be shiny in its over world sprite. While walking around, it does have a chance of picking up items like berries and accessories, like they did in Amity Square
After you’ve beaten Red, all of the gym leaders leave their gyms at certain times/days. If you go meet up with them, they’ll get added to your contact list and they’ll then call you for rematches.
And that’s it for the moment… and while that’s a lot of info and this post is MASSIVE already, here’s a side note. Remember Melee! Pokémon Scramble? Well it’s heading over to the US under the new name of Pokémon Rumble. No release date yet, but it shouldn’t be within the next month or two. Hopefully it will also be released in Europe before the end of the year
And that really is it… for now anyway. More when we have it.