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Aesthetic changes[edit]

  • The male player character receives a redesign and is now called Ethan, while Kris is replaced by a new female player character called Lyra.
  • All the game's music is rearranged to better utilize the DS's sound capabilities. A GB Soundskey item allows the player to switch back and forth freely between the arranged soundtrack and original chiptune soundtrack.
  • The Pokégear has been redesigned. There are a range of skins that can be used and changed at the player's will.
  • Much like Kanto's was for its remakes, Johto's Pokédex has been redesigned. Unlike Kanto's remakes, which contained the same regional Pokédex as the originals, the original regional Pokédex for Johto has been slightly altered, including several Generation IV evolutions for Pokémon found in Johto.
  • An image of certain locations, like in FireRed and LeafGreen, appears when entering the location. Some of these images change depending on the time of day while others change the image of the Pokémon obtainable at the location on the image at random.
  • Team Rocket Grunts are redesigned once again.
  • Rocket Executives are also redesigned from Generation II, with four new ones appearing: Archer, Arianna, Petrel, and Proton. Like Team Galactic's Commanders followed a planetary naming scheme, the Rocket Executives are all named for various real-world rockets.
  • Lugia and Ho-Oh each have their own unique battle music, while the legendary beasts each use differently remixed versions of their battle theme from Crystal.
  • Kurt and Apricorns make a return to the series along with their respective Poké Balls. Apricorns can now be carried by the player in their own bag with a new item, the Apricorn Case.
  • All former Berry trees have become Apricorn trees.
  • Gym Leaders, Elite Four members, Silver, and Red have animated battle sprites and battle intros, as in Platinum. Many Gyms have been redesigned as well, some with new puzzles.
  • Rock Smash, previously a TM usable on the field in the originals, is now a full-fledged HM as it has been since Generation III. Defog loses its HM status to the returning Whirlpool.
  • Ambient sound effects are used with greater frequency than in previous games; for example, running water and the player walking through grass will produce audible noises.
  • The Magnet Train's tracks can be seen overground in locations such as Route 32.
  • Pal Park is located where the closed Kanto Safari Zone once stood in Fuchsia City.
  • The RageCandyBar is now a key item. This is likely to prevent the player from trading it to Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, which do not have any item data for it.
  • The player can now see how many Kanto badges they have. In the original games, the player could only see how many Johto Badges they had.
  • Ecruteak City and Cianwood City, while sharing a theme in Generation II, now feature separate remixed variations of the same theme.
  • Some music in Kanto is changed, with Mt. Moon and the Seafoam Islands changing their music to that which is used by of Johto's Union Cave and Ice Path, respectively. Music in Cerulean City and Fuchsia City, as well as on Routes 24 and 25, rather than taking the theme used in Pewter City, Celadon City, and on Route 3 as they did in the original Generation II games, keep the theme used in Generation I and Generation III. The music used on Route 2, however, is different from any previous generation; the Generation II theme, a remix of the Viridian Forest theme in Generation I, is used solely in Viridian Forest, while the theme used in Generation I and Generation III is, like in Generation II, only used on Route 1. Route 2 instead uses the theme that first appears on Route 3. Cinnabar Island also gets its own music, a remix of its original theme, instead of using the Saffron City theme.

Location changes[edit]

Gameplay changes[edit]

  • All 493 Pokémon are capable of following players similar to Pikachu in Yellow. Shininess is also retained. The player can interact with their Pokémon by pressing 'A', and can see how their Pokémon is feeling at the moment. In battle, like Yellow's Pikachu, they are sent out from the side of the screen, rather than from a Poké Ball, unless in certain situations, such as while riding the bicycle or going into a small space with a big Pokémon.
  • Similarly to the event Shaymin and Regigigas's effect on Platinum, the Pikachu-colored Pichu will unlock an event near the Ilex Forest Shrine, where the Spiky-Eared Pichu can be obtained.
  • The Pokémon storage system, bag, party interface, and the screen that pops up when pressing the Start or X buttons in the previous games all use the Nintendo DS's touch screen.
  • Legendary Pokémon from other regions can be caught in the games. Kyogre and Groudon appear in HeartGold and SoulSilver, respectively, after the Elite Four, and Rayquaza can be caught in both games once the other members of its trio are traded into the game. Latias (in HeartGold) or Latios (in SoulSilver) can be found roaming in Kanto later in the game after speaking to Steven Stone.
    • The Enigma Stone is an key item that features a use similar to that of the Eon Ticket. It can get the other Eon Pokémon depending on the player's game version: Latias (in SoulSilver) and Latios (in HeartGold).
  • Headbutting trees to locate certain Pokémon makes its return. However, this time it can also be used to collect Pokémon from Hoenn and Sinnoh after the National Pokédex is acquired.
  • Cynthia makes an appearance in an event involving Arceus. This takes place in an area accessed from the Ruins of Alph that is far to the north, named the Sinjoh Ruins. This event allows players to obtain either Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina at level 1. The only way to obtain the Griseous Orb and Origin Forme Giratina in this game is to choose Giratina during this event. It can be done a second time to acquire one of the previously unchosen of the three if you bring back a different event Arceus.
  • The Gracidea (flower) can be obtained in the flower shop in Goldenrod City by bringing any fateful encounter Shaymin to show them.
  • Eusine] a major character from Crystal who was not in the original Gold and Silver, appears, as do other aspects originally featured in Crystal.
  • A new sidequest, the Pokéathlon, features ten mini-games that pit Pokémon in athletic competitions. Its system appears to be analogous to that of Contests from previous games.
  • Apricorns are now the only items collected from plants on the field. Berries are instead collected from Jugglers in Violet City and Fuchsia City in exchange for shards, or by the player's mother if the player decided to save up their money. Because only a few berries cannot be collected in these games, they must by traded over from other versions, similar to that of FireRed and LeafGreen.
  • Berries can be grown portably using the Berry Pots, where the Squirtbottle is controlled via the touch screen to water four Berries at a time. Berries can be found on the ground in some locations, held by wild Pokémon, with the Pokéwalker, and will be bought by the player's mom at times.
  • Using the Apriblender, Apricorns can now also be mixed into drinks that increase Pokémon's Pokéathlon stats.
  • The Running Shoes are obtained in Cherrygrove City and can be permanently selected using the touchscreen menu. The selected item (from pressing Y or SELECT in previous games) is also on the touchscreen. Two items can be selected as opposed to just one.
  • Due to the absence of the Vs. Seeker, the Pokégear reintroduces an improved cell phone feature with a limitless call list. However, re-battling trainers is now dependent on the day and time.
  • The Radio Card for the Pokégear is required to continue in the game - Whitney will not return to her Gym until the player has the Radio Card.
  • Starter Pokémon from Kanto and Hoenn can be collected from Professor Oak and Steven Stone once certain conditions are met.
  • Commemorative photos can now be taken around Johto and Kanto with the player's partner Pokémon, team, Gym Leaders, and certain notable citizens.
  • An event-exclusive Celebi unlocks an encounter with former Team Rocket boss and Viridian Gym Leader Giovanni. Giovanni was mentioned repeatedly in the original Gold and Silver, but did not appear.
  • Many Pokémon have acquired the ability to learn new moves and expand and improve their movesets; for example, Togepi can now learn Extrasensory through breeding.
  • Like the GBA Wireless Adapter that came with FireRed and LeafGreen, a bonus is included with the purchase of HeartGold and SoulSilver: a Poké Ball-shaped pedometer called the Pokéwalker that has the capacity to link to the two games and hold a Pokémon. Storing a Pokémon in this manner increases its experience and happiness as the wearer walks. Other Pokémon can be captured in exclusive Pokéwalker-only areas and then transferred to the main game.
  • The GB Sounds, a key item obtained after all 16 badges have been obtained, allows players to swap the background music for the soundtrack from the original Gold and Silver, redone. New music tracks, such as the music that plays on Routes 47 and 48, also receive an 8-bit remix. However, not every track got an 8-bit remix and some can only be listened through the Pokémon Past Archive radio station in the Pokégear.
  • When using the move Whirlpool outside of battle, instead of the whirlpool disappearing like in Generation II, the player will simply surf over the whirlpools.
  • Specific individual values may be passed down through breeding depending on the EV-enhancing item that is held.
  • The Trainers that appear in Viridian City's Trainer House are now influenced by communication through two Pokéwalkers as opposed to the previous method of Mystery Gifting with the Game Boy Color's infrared port.
  • During the player's initial battle with the rival, he is known as Passerby Boy, unlike in Gold and Silver, where he was identified as ???. Players are still required to name him later.
  • When the player makes it all the way through the Bell Tower or Whirl Islands, instead of simply encountering Ho-OhHG or LugiaSS, respectively, the player must talk to the Kimono Girls who will summon the version mascot with a dance.