Whether you’ll be retracing nostalgic steps or discovering a classic for the first time, this Friday Pokémon fans will be returning to the Johto region with Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version – Game Boy games given a new breath of life on the Nintendo 3DS’ Virtual Console!
Whether you’re a beginner, or a veteran whose memory is a little hazy after 17 years, we’ve collected a few tips that should help you get the best out of your Johto adventure:
One of the many additions brought by the Pokémon series’ second generation, it’s no surprise Gold and Silver took advantage of the new 7 day calender, offering events only taking place on certain days – such as a chance to catch the Transport Pokémon Lapras!
With Gold/Silver’s Virtual Console release happening on a Friday, you might be in a bit of a rush to catch this Pokémon – as it only appears on that day. Once you’ve defeated Morty and acquired your fourth Gym Badge, you’ll be able to use Surf to find a Lapras in the basement of Union Cave – located between Violet City and Azalea Town.
Lapras is a considerably bulky Water/Ice type that can pack quite a punch with moves like Ice Beam and the ability to learn Sing could come in very handy in your adventure. Definitely not a potential team candidate to overlook so quickly.
02. Bug Catching Contest
This goal might be a little bit more achievable for those looking to collect a healthy arsenal early on. North of Goldenrod City lies the National Park, which hosts a Bug Catching Contest every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Each time you enter, you’ll be given 20 Park Balls and 20 minutes to catch the rarest Bug-type you find. It’s important to note however, that you may only keep a single caught Pokémon – and only bring in one with you to help. Entrants are then ranked based on species, level, stats and if their caught specimen is holding an item – with the top prize being a Sun Stone, which is useful to evolve a Gloom into Bellossom, or a Sunkern into Sunflora!
Obtainable Pokémon of particular note are Scyther and Pinsir – each having a mere 5% chance of appearing! If you catch a Scyther, once you’ve defeated the Pokémon League and obtained the Metal Coat, you can trade it to evolve into Scizor!
03. Headbutts and Heracross
The Bug Catching Contest isn’t the only way to get an insect beat stick though! Once you acquire TM 02 Headbutt in the Ilex Forest, you can train a Pokémon to knock into particular trees – which can sometimes yield a Pokémon.
While you’re more likely to attract common species like Caterpie and Weedle, some trees – like those in Route 29 or 30, have a chance of yielding the very powerful Bug/Fighting-type Heracross, which can only be found in trees. Other Pokémon that can only be found in trees include Pineco (Azalea Town, Ilex Forest) and Aipom (Routes 29, 30).
In addition, if you use Headbutt at night, some of the Pokémon you encounter will already be asleep – making them easier to catch!
04. What A Load of Balls
One of my favourite additions to Gold/Silver and one I always hope makes a regular return in newer games, are the Apricorn Balls. A series of special Poké Balls made by Kurt of Azalea Town, these provide enhanced effects when trying to catch particular species of Pokémon:
- Level Ball: Higher chance of catching Pokémon of a lower level than your active. Requires Red Apricorn (Route 37).
- Lure Ball: Improved chances of catching Pokémon hooked on a fishing rod. Requires Blu Apricorn (Route 37).
- Moon Ball: Works better when catching Pokémon that evolve via Moon Stone. Requires Ylw Apricorn (Route 42).
- Friend Ball: Boosts the friendliness of Pokémon caught using this Poké Ball. Requires Grn Apricorn (Route 42).
- Love Ball: Higher chance of capturing Pokémon of a gender opposite to your active. Requires Pnk Apricorn (Route 42).
- Heavy Ball: The heavier a Pokémon, the easier it is to catch. Requires Blk Apricorn (Route 37).
- Fast Ball: Improved chance of catching Pokémon that flee. Requires Wht Apricorn (Azalea Town).
There are a few catches however. Kurt can produce only 1 Apricorn Ball per day, which takes him the day to make. Also, each Apricorn bearing tree will only produce 1 apricorn per day – so choose wisely!
During your Johto journey, you may find the Love, Level and Heavy Balls the most helpful, although the Fast Bell will be incredibly value when chasing Entei, Raikou and Suicune – at least, once you’ve thrown your Master Ball at one of them!
You my also want to make a Moon Ball for some reason and hey, we won’t judge you for it. While the least useful, they do look pretty badass when Pokémon caught in them are transferred to newer games.
05. Espeon & Umbreon
The Poster Pokémon of Gold/Silver’s new Day & Night feature, you’re likely eager to know how you can get your hands on the new Eeveelutions Espeon and Umbreon. As you may already know from subsequent games, Espeon is obtained by levelling up a very friendly Eevee during daylight (4:00am – 5:59pm), whereas Umbreon, is the result of levelling up at night (6:00pm – 3:59am). What you may not know however, is where to get Eevee and the best way to evolve it.
Obtaining Eevee is the easy part. When visiting Goldenrod City for the first time, pop into Bill’s house near the southern entrance of Goldenrod Tunnel and he will gift you with an Eevee. Additional Eevee can be obtained early on by breeding a female with another Pokémon, or a male with a Ditto (found in the routes north and south of Goldenrod City).
Making an Eevee friendly enough to evolve into Espeon or Umbreon can be an arduous task, especially as it’s better to evolve an Eevee sooner rather than later. However, here are some tips on how to grow closer to your Eevee (and the other Pokémon who evolve via friendship):
Haircut Brothers: Visiting Goldenrod Tunnel once a day (except Monday) will allow you to purchase a haircut from one of two brothers. The more expensive but experienced brother will appear on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, while his younger and cheaper brother will appear on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Using a Vitamin: Purchasable at the Goldenrod Department Store, these expensive items not only raise a Pokémon’s stats, but their friendliness as well. While you can max out the Stat Experience of all stats in Gold/Silver, we recommend Calcium (Sp.Atk + Sp. Def) and Carbos (Speed) for an early boost with Espeon, with HP Up (HP), Iron (Defence) and Calcium (Sp.Atk + Sp.Def) for a particularly tanky Umbreon.
Battling: Every level up your Pokémon receives contributes to increasing its friendship, as will being used in battle against a Gym Leader or Elite 4 member. Be careful however, as losing will reduce its friendliness! Teaching the Pokémon a TM and even walking around with it in your party can also provide tiny contributions.
Be careful not to trade your Pokémon though – as that will completely reset its friendliness!
The quest for an Espeon, Umbreon, Togetic or any of the other Pokémon who evolve via friendship won’t be an easy one, but hopefully we’ve made it a little easier!
Those are just a few tips that should give a healthy start to your Pokémon Gold / Silver adventure and barely touch the surface – there’s two whole regions to explore, after all!
Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version will be available exclusively to download on the Nintendo 3DS eShop from 22 September 2017.