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The Ruins of Alpha house an interesting Archaeological Site that is over 1,500 years old. It's being studied by scientists trying to unlock its secrets. What could the mysterious writing that covers the walls mean? Until you can use Surf or Strength, you won't be able to explore the entire area to find out.

New Pokémon
Gold Silver Crystal

Pokemon 201Unown.pngUnown
Return with Surf:
Pokemon 177Natu.pngNatu
Pokemon 235Smeargle.pngSmeargle

Mysteries of the Ruins of Alph[edit]

Pokemon GSC map Ruins of Alph.png

There are four rooms in the Ruins of Alph, but for now, you'll only be able to get to one. Inside you'll find the first of four puzzles where you have to make a picture out of sliding tiles. Read the hint (Kabuto) on the right side of the stone tiles to help you slide the piece into position. Start with the corners, then the border, then finish with the inner pieces. When you solve the puzzle, a hole will open in the floor. You'll be dumped down to B1 where you'll fight the odd Pokémon called Unown.

Catch at least three or more differently shaped Unown and when you get back out, one of the scientists will take you back to the lab and alter your Pokédex to include the Unown Pokédex so you can keep track of all the variations you catch. Access that in the option screen of the regular Pokédex. They'll be listed in the order that you catch them in.

If you catch all 26, the scientists will let you print them out on your Game Boy Printer. But note that all 26 variations won't be available until you've solved the puzzles in all four of the rooms.

Collect them all and win[edit]

There are different versions of the Unown Pokémon. If you catch one of each and talk to the scientists, they'll let you print out the Unown on your Game Boy printer. But you won't be able to catch more than A to K now; You'll need to solve the other puzzles to get the rest.

Return later on for more puzzles[edit]

You can swim to one of the sliding puzzle rooms, but the other two will require exiting from special areas within Union Cave. The three new puzzles are much harder, since they're not symmetrical like the first one. Each one you solve releases more new Unown variations into the Ruins:

  • Southeast puzzle - forms S, T, U, V, W
  • Southwest puzzle - forms L, M, N, O, P, Q, R
  • Northwest puzzle - forms X, Y, Z

Natu, Smeargle and a Trainer[edit]

Psychic Nathan:
Pokemon GSC Psychic.png

The thin strip of grass to the left of Psychic Nathan is one of the more overlooked Pokémon catching areas in the game. It's the only place that you can find either Natu or Smeargle, so don't leave without them.

To reach this place, go to the Union Cave and go one level down (ladder in the middle of the cave). Then go to the northwest corner of the cave and you will arrive. When you encounter a Smeargle, be careful not to kill it in one hit, as it is rare.

The New Alph Puzzles
As you'll discover in Crystal, there are many secrets beyond the four puzzle rooms. Each of the four rooms has two puzzles now. If you solve the sliding puzzle in the middle of the room, you'll be dumped into the basement level and more Unown variations will be released. You'll find a different cryptic inscription on the back wall of each room. Translate the inscription, and then use a related item, technique, or Pokémon. You'll gain access to an area with four items, and a large room with a piece of the Unown story written on the floor. Open the spoiler below to learn the secrets of each puzzle room.
#177 Natu #235 Smeargle
Pokemon 177Natu.png
As cute as this little bird may be, this Psychic/Flying combo has nothing on Lugia as a fighter. Its stats are very mediocre, and it doesn't get many good attacks. And while Natu can Teleport you back to the last Pokémon Center you visited, it can't learn to Fly for real. Evolved form Xatu can, however.
Pokemon 235Smeargle.png
Shy Smeargle doesn't come out much, so you'll have to be patient to catch one. This novelty Pokémon learns only one move, Sketch, every 10 levels.

Sketch can be used to copy—permanently—the last attack used on Smeargle (it won't work versus humans). So with a lot of effort, you can set yo Smeargle with the best attacks in the game. While its stats are too low to do much with them, his true value lies on breeding him with other Pokemon in an effort to have them inherit the moves.

#201 Unown
Pokemon 201Unown.png
The Unown are an English cipher: Each variation represents a letter that it (sort of) resembles, and can be used to decipher the words that appear under each entry in your Unown Pokédex. But what do the words mean? Are they instructions from an alien intelligence? The Unown have only one move, the mysterious, seemingly random Hidden Power. For obvious reasons, Unown should never be part of your team.