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The dark, gloomy forest is very large and confusing. After you help the Apprentice, you can explore the forest to find TM 02, Headbutt, which can shake Pokémon out of trees. The girl in the guard house will give you TM 12, Sweet Scent, which can attract more Pokémon to you.

Ilex Forest

Navigating the forest[edit]

The Charcoal Maker's Apprentice[edit]

The charcoal maker, who lives in Azalea Town's south-east, hasn't seen his apprentice since he went into the forest. You'll find him safe, but his Farfetch'd is lost. Farfetch'd is in the middle of the forest, but when you approach it, it runs away. So you'll need to loop around and come at it from behind, chasing it right into the apprentice's arms!

The charcoal maker will give you HM01 (Cut)

The charcoal maker will show up and reward you with HM 01, Cut, which when learned by a Pokémon in your party, allows you to cut trees like the tree at the top of the path that is blocking your way up to Route #34. If you go back to Azalea town and into the charcoal makers house, the apprentice will give you Charcoal. If you give it to a Pokémon to hold, it will power up all of its Fire-type techniques.

Get TM 02 (Headbutt)[edit]

You have to go a bit out of your way to get to a man who waits east of the forest pond, but it's an opportunity you won't want to miss. He gives you TM 02, Headbutt. This is a useful attack, and it's also the key to getting four Pokémon you wouldn't be able to get any other way! Keep reading for details.

Alternatively, Headbutt can be learned through leveling up with the following Pokémon SlowpokeSlowbroSeelDewgongDrowzeeHypnoCuboneMarowakSnorlaxSlowking

Catching Pokémon with the art of the Headbutt[edit]

In battle, Headbutt has a power of 70 and makes opponents Flinch 30% of the time. That's a great attack, but Headbutt is even better on the field! Whenever you see one of the smaller trees, you can use Headbutt to hit it, possibly knocking out a Pokémon!

In Ilex Forest, it will be a high chance that a member of the Caterpie or Weedle family falls out (depending on your version), or possibly a Exeggcute with a 15% chance in Gold and Silver or Pineco in Crystal.

Other Pokémon that you can catch in other areas of Johto include Noctowl, Heracross, Ledyba, Spinarak, Ekans, Exeggcute, and Hoothoot. Headbutting trees in Azalea town (Crystal Version only) is one way to get the extremely rare Aipom. In Gold/Silver, they can be found in the trees on Route 33 (east exit from Azalea/South exit from Union Cave). You can also get Aipom on Route 44 by headbutting trees. Aipom has a high attack stat, so it's good in battle.

Return later on, and surf for Psyduck[edit]

If you Surf in Ilex Forest until you're attacked, you'll encounter an elusive Psyduck (the evolved form Golduck may also appear). Crystal players dont have to rely on Surfing if they wait until night time to go Psyduck hunting as they appear in the tall grass 10% of the time. You can also catch these Water Pokémon by Surfing near Route 35.

On to Goldenrod[edit]

Goldenrod is the biggest city in Johto, and there's a ton of things to do there. You can breed Pokémon at the nearby Day-Care, gamble for prizes at the Game Corner, shop at the Department Store, get a bike, visit the Radio Station… And, of course, challenge Whitney for the Plain Badge. You must travel across one route to reach it, Route #34.

Trainers & Items[edit]

Trainer Item
Pokemon GSC Bug Catcher.png
Bug Catcher Wayne:
  • Ledyba (lvl. 8, 96 EXP)
  • Paras (lvl. 10, 150 EXP) and Pokebuck.png160
  • Revive
  • X Attack
  • Antidote
  • Super Potion (hidden in corner before green headed boy)
  • Ether
  • Ether (hidden in corner near water by Wayne)
  • HM 01 (Cut)
  • TM 02 (Headbutt) from green-haired boy
  • Full Heal (hidden in corner under the water)

Pokémon Found[edit]

Ilex Forest (Land) encounters
Gold Silver Crystal
Morn Day Night Morn Day Night Morn Day Night
Pokemon 041Zubat.pngZubat 5% 5% 25% 5% 5% 25% N/A N/A N/A
Pokemon 010Caterpie.pngCaterpie 50% 60% N/A N/A N/A N/A 30% 30% N/A
Pokemon 011Metapod.pngMetapod 30% 30% N/A N/A N/A N/A 20% 20% N/A
Pokemon 013Weedle.pngWeedle N/A N/A N/A 50% 60% N/A 30% 30% N/A
Pokemon 014Kakuna.pngKakuna N/A N/A N/A 30% 30% N/A 10% 10% N/A
Pokemon 046Paras.pngParas 15% 5% 15% 15% 5% 15% 5% 5% 5%
Pokemon 043Oddish.pngOddish N/A N/A 60% N/A N/A 60% N/A N/A 50%
Pokemon 016Pidgey.pngPidgey N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 5% 5% N/A
Pokemon 054Psyduck.pngPsyduck N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 10%
Pokemon 048Venonat.pngVenonat N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 30%
Pokemon 163Hoothoot.pngHoothoot N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 5%
Ilex Forest (Surfing) encounters
Gold Silver Crystal
Morn Day Night Morn Day Night Morn Day Night
Pokemon 054Psyduck.pngPsyduck 90% 90% 90% 90% 90% 90% 90% 90% 90%
Pokemon 055Golduck.pngGolduck 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10%
Ilex Forest (Headbutting) encounters
Gold Silver Crystal
Morn Day Night Morn Day Night Morn Day Night
80x40pxButterfree 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% N/A
Pokemon 010Caterpie.pngCaterpie 50% 60% N/A N/A N/A N/A 30% 30% N/A
Ilex Forest Fishing
Old Rod Good Rod Super Rod
Pokemon 129Magikarp.pngMagikarp 80% 50% 20%
Pokemon 060Poliwag.pngPoliwag 20% 50% 80%
Pokemon 061Poliwhirl.pngPoliwhirl 0% 0% 10%
#43 Oddish #46 Paras
Pokemon 043Oddish.png
The Oddish family has a few new tricks. One is Moonlight, a high-level move which recovers HP, but the amount changes based on the time of day. The other is Bellossom, a new evolution (It's not a fourth form, but an alternative to Vileplume). Some of its stats are weaker than Vileplume's, but Bellossom is now the only Oddish relative that can learn Solarbeam. Another good utility Pokémon, Oddish can be taught HMs Flash and Cut along with Sleep Powder, it can be useful while only taking up 1 slot.
Pokemon 046Paras.png
Paras doesn't have any new forms, but it does have a couple of new moves, including Poison Powder, and Grass-type's new power move, Giga Drain. These round out a decent move set that includes Para's trademark "puts them to sleep 100% of the time" Spore move. It has a higher physical Attack stat compared to Special Attack and uses Slash to good effect. Too bad that Paras is still one of the slowest Pokémon in the game though.
#48 Venonat #54 Psyduck
Pokemon 048Venonat.png
Venonat was always an awkward mix of Bug and Poison types that got mostly Psychic attacks and wasn't powerful enough to use them effectively. And, well, that's all still true. It does learn Supersonic at level 9 and Confusion at level 17, as well as Psybeam and Psychic later on. But its Special Attack is still very weak. At least evolved form Venomoth can learn Gust now at level 31 and does gain some Special Attack.
Pokemon 054Psyduck.png
You can get Psyduck much earlier in Crystal than you could in Red/Blue/Yellow. Psyduck's few new moves aren't worth much, but it learns the old moves up to 20 levels earlier.

Luckily, it does have some good uses, Water-type Psyduck and Golduck can learn 5 HM techniques! Surf, Waterfall, Whirlpool, Strength and Flash!

#102 Exeggcute #204 Pineco
Pokemon 102Exeggcute.png
Now more than ever, evolution timing is the key for Exeggcute and Exeggutor. Stick with Exeggcute if you want to learn Confustion at level 19, a few of the Powder moves and Solar Beam at level 43 which is its last learnt move.

Evolve into Exeggutor early if you want to learn Stomp at level 19 and Egg Bomb at level 31 which is its last learnt move.

Pokemon 204Pineco.png
This is one enraged pine cone! Pineco and its evolved form Forretress specialize in moves that do major suicide damage to opponents…and themselves! Selfdestruct, Explosion, Take Down, Double Edge, that sort of thing. It can dish out the beatings, but it won't last long.