…I plan on doing this with the original Red and Blue and their Game Boy Advance remakes FireRed and LeafGreen, likely in February or April. I already did it for Ruby and Sapphire and their remakes OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire two years ago so…yeah.
Now that the original Gold and Silver have (Finally) been re-released (on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console), I have decided to do this little compare and contrast for folks regardless of which you prefer. Personally, I like both versions. LOL.
Let’s get started:
- At the time of their original 2000 release, The Power of One–also known as Pokemon The Movie 2000 in the U.S.–fans were already familiar with Lugia, who was the main Legendary in the movie. As a result, Silver was more popular even though you could catch both Lugia and Ho-Oh in both games and in the same locations. The cover legendary could be caught at level 40 with their signature move while the other could be caught at level 70 without it. This is not possible in the Virtual Console versions–not yet anyway–but if you had Pokemon Crystal, you could pay the Move Relearner in Blackthorn City a visit to get Aeroblast or Sacred Fire on the level 70 versions of Lugia and Ho-Oh.
- The remakes included the Pokefinder Prehep, which was essentially an enhanced replacement for the Mystery Gift feature in the originals. It also doubled as an additional way to both level pokemon you weren’t currently using and even randomly get new items or pokemon which could then be transferred back to the game.
- Speaking of Mystery Gift. The feature works fully in the the Virtual Console versions: All the 2DS, 3DS and New 3DS Family consoles have an infrared bar so…yeah. As a reminder, you can only Mystery Gift the same person once a day.
- In terms of difficulty, the originals were a little easier than Red/Blue/Yellow in some ways but harder in others. The Johto Starters don’t present a particular advantage against the Gyms out the gate due to a variety of factors. Chikorita is almost useless until you get to Kanto. Cyndaquil is good for Buggsy obviously but will be curb-stomped by Jasmine’s level 35 Steelix despite the type advantage (Her Steelix has Rock Slide for coverage). Totodile evolves fast (18 and 30) but offers no clear advantage against any of the Gyms or even the Elite Four. To offset this, the levels of the Gyms and the Elite Four are lower than their first-Gen counterparts.
- In terms of difficulty, the remakes were definitely easier than Diamond/Pearl/Platinum in some ways but harder in others. The remakes included Pokemon Abilities and Natures introduced in the 3rd Gen as well as the reclassing of moves into Physical, Special/Energy and Other/Non-Damage in the 4th Gen. This added an extra layer of strategy to both be mindful of and exploit in the remakes.
I’ll pause the list for a bit and explain further:
Those who played Pokemon from the 3rd Gen on knows Gastly and its evolutions know the ability Levitate, which neutralizes their weakness to Ground-Type moves. Since Abilities don’t exist in the 2nd Gen, you could import a Level 30 Dugtrio (highest level you can use from trades with your badges at that point) with Earthquake and sweep Morty, the Ghost Gym Leader without taking any damage.
Let’s look at another Pokemon: Magnemite and its evolutions. Magnemite sometimes has an ability called Magnet Pull, which prevents Steel-type Pokemon from being switched out. This can make catching a wild Magnemite tricky if your lead Pokemon happens to be a Steel type but it can cause you problems since both of Jasmine’s Magnemites know Magnet Pull in the remakes.
I mentioned the reclassing of moves: Before the 4th Gen, Rock Slide was a Special Attack. Starting in the 4th Gen it’s considered a Physical move. To take it a step further, look at the Elemental Ice/Fire/Thunder Punch, which certain Pokemon naturally learn and are TMs in the originals: They are all physical movies starting in the 4th Gen since the user makes physical contact with their opponent. Why do you need to know this? Certain Pokemon Abilities are triggered by physical contact from the opponent. For example Static, which Pikachu and Mareep (and their evolutions) have: There is a 30% chance Paralysis will be inflicted on the opponent who makes physical contact with them.
Again, it’s an extra layer of strategy that needs to be taken into account in the remakes that you don’t in the originals.
- In the originals, there are 26 variations of Unown (A to Z). In the remakes, two more were added in the 3rd Gen for the “!” and “?” characters for a new total of 28 variations of Unown.
- In the originals, you could not trade with the 1st Gen games until the day after you meet Bill in Ecruteak City. In the remakes, you can trade with Diamond/Pearl/Platinum as soon as you name your rival.
- The Safari Zone in Fuschia City from the 1st Gen is closed in the originals. In the remakes, it has been moved to a new area west of Cianwood City. In addition, the Pal Park–the mechanic used to migrate Pokemon from the 3rd gen games to the 4th–is where the Safari Zone was in Fuschia City in the remakes.
- In the originals, hatching Pokemon took a while. In the remakes, you could speed up the process by putting a Pokemon with the Magma Armor ability in your party.
Breaking news: Pokemon Crystal has been confirmed to be coming to the 3DS eShop’s Virtual Console on January 26, 2018. Pokemon Crystal was set apart from Gold and Silver for 3 reasons. One was it was Game Boy Color exclusive. The second is the Pokemon Sprites are animated, which was likely why it was GBC exclusive. Third, you had a guaranteed shot at the legendary Pokemon Suicune without having to find it first.
It has also be revealed that unlike the originaal U.S. release, you will be able to catch Celebi in the U.S. Virtual Console version of Pokemon Crystal. This wasn’t possible back in 2001 as the Japanese version had an exclusive prehep that allowed one to connect their cellphone to their Game Boy Color. The Japanese version of Pokemon Crystal contained additional features that made use of the mobile phone adapter including the ability to trade online in Japan. Said features were obviously excluded from the U.S. version since Nintendo scrapped bringing the mobile adapter to the U.S. at the last minute. If you used a Game Shark on Crystal you already know the coding for Celebi was obviously still in the game.
If I had to guess, Nintendo will modify the coding to make Celebi an in-game event Pokemon once certain conditions have been satisfied. One of the conditions in the Japanese version was to collect all 16 badges. The other three involved the features excluded from the U.S. version. My guess is beating Red or completing the Pokedex will be added in the U.S. version as requirements to catch Celebi. The Time Travel Pokemon will be level 30 so prepare accordingly!
Speaking of Pokemon Crystal. Those who played it as well as HeartGold and SoulSilver will have noticed the Eusine storyline involving Suicune was brought back. What this means is in Crystal as well as in HS/SS is you have a guaranteed shot at catching Suicune. You will still need to do the legwork for Entei and Raikou though.