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Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions
|Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions|
|Players||1-5 players simultaneous|
|Game advisories and suggested ages|
|Japan||September 12, 2009|
|N. America||March 14, 2010|
|Australia||March 25, 2010|
|Europe|| March 26, 2010|
April 2, 2010*
|Korea||February 4, 2010|
|English||Official Site (America)|
|Japanese||Official Site (Japan)|
Pokémon HeartGold Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ハートゴールド Pocket Monsters HeartGold) and Pokémon SoulSilver Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ソウルシルバー Pocket Monsters SoulSilver) are paired Generation IV Remakes of the Generation II games Pokémon Gold and Silver.
Much like Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen revisited the Generation I story of Kanto, HeartGold and SoulSilver retell the story of Johto, with the player's starting area being New Bark Town. While the games feature several expansions in key areas, the overall plot follows the same direction as the original Gold and Silver. Some aspects exclusive to Crystal are also included. Like FireRed and LeafGreen could link up with Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald to complete the Pokédex by trading regionally exclusive Pokémon, HeartGold and SoulSilver can link up with Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum to obtain Pokémon unavailable in Johto and Kanto, such as the Sinnoh starters.
Kris, despite being the female counterpart of Ethan (the player character in the original Gen II games and these games), is not included as the female player character, with a new character, Lyra, instead taking her place. Whether she is chosen to be the Player character or not, this new character will still appear in the game. The unselected protagonist will take a pseudo-rival role similar to the unselected characters of Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
The games were released on September 12, 2009 in Japan, February 4, 2010 in Korea, March 14, 2010 in North America, March 25, 2010 in Australia and March 26, 2010 in Europe (this excludes the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of Belgium due to an in-game save error, with the patched copies later released on April 2, 2010).
The games apparently use the same engine as Pokémon Platinum. The reverse happened in Generation III, where Pokémon Emerald was based on FireRed and LeafGreen's engine.
Much like Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen revisited the Generation I story of Kanto, HeartGold and SoulSilver retell the story of Johto, with the player's starting area being New Bark Town. While the games feature several expansions in key areas, the overall plot follows the same direction as the original Gold and Silver. Some aspects exclusive to Crystal are also included. Like FireRed and LeafGreen could link up with Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald to complete the Pokédex by trading regionally exclusive Pokémon, HeartGold and SoulSilver can link up with Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum to obtain Pokémon unavailable in Johto and Kanto, such as Turtwig.
Kris, despite being the female counterpart of Crystal's player character Gold, is not included as the female player character, with a new character instead taking her place. Whether she is chosen to be the player character or not, this new character will still appear in the game, taking a pseudo-rival role similar to the unselected characters of Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
 Changes from Pokémon Gold and Silver
 Aesthetic changes
- Gold receives a redesign while Kotone replaces Kris.
- The DS's 3D capabilities are utilized in selecting the Starter Pokémon.
- The PokéGear has been redesigned. Now, it features two designs, one blue and white for males and another white and pink for females.
- 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, presumably to exclude Kanto-exclusive Pokémon such as Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle and to include Generation IV evolutions for Johto Pokémon.
- An image of certain locations, similar to that of FireRed and LeafGreen, appears when entering the location.
- Team Rocket Grunts are designed like they were in FireRed and LeafGreen.
- Rocket Executives are also redesigned from Generation II, with four different characters appearing in the games' intro. It is unknown as of yet if they have names.
- Ho-Oh and Lugia have their own battle music (they used the standard wild battle music in all Generation II games), while the Legendary beasts use a remixed version of their battle theme from Pokémon 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.
 Location changes
- Elm's Lab has an upstairs level.
- Maps have been remade to match the design style used in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
- The Battle Tower west of Olivine City, introduced in Pokémon Crystal, returns, bringing with it an entire new Battle Frontier.
- A new area to the west of Cianwood City is a Safari Zone.
 Gameplay changes
- All 493 Pokémon are capable of following the player similar to Pikachu in Yellow. CoroCoro showed examples of several examples including Steelix and Wobbuffet. Shininess is apparently retained. In battle, like Yellow's Pikachu, they are sent out from the side of the screen, rather than from a Poké Ball.
- Similarly to the event Shaymin and Regigigas's effect on Platinum, the Pikachu-colored Pichu to be given to those who have pre-ordered tickets to the twelfth movie will unlock an event near the Ilex Forest Shrine featuring the Notched-ear Pichu.
- 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.
- Groudon and Kyogre will appear in SoulSilver and HeartGold, respectively, after the Elite Four, and Rayquaza can be caught in both games once the other members of its trio are brought into the game.
- Cynthia and Arceus are shown together in a new section of the Ruins of Alph named the Shinto Ruins. This event will allow players to obtain either Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina at level 1.
- Eusine, a major character from Pokémon Crystal who was not in the original Gold and Silver, appears, as do other aspects originally featured in Crystal.
- A new sidequest, the Pokéthlon, will feature ten mini-games that pit Pokémon in athletic competitions. Its system appears to be analogous to that of Contests from previous games.
- Using the Apricorn Shaker, Apricorns can now also be mixed into drinks that increase Pokémon's Pokéthlon stats.
- Berries can be grown portably using the Berry Planter, where the Squirtbottle is controlled via the touch screen to water four Berries at a time. It is currently unknown where Berries can be obtained in the first place, but it appears that they do not grow on the trees where their Generation II counterparts were found, as those are used for growing Apricorns.
Like the GBA Wireless Adapter that came with FireRed and LeafGreen, HeartGold and SoulSilver will be packaged with a bonus: a Poké Ball-shaped pedometer called the PokéWalker that will link to the games and hold a Pokémon, increasing its Experience and Happiness as the wearer walks.
In response to the news confirming the development of HeartGold and SoulSilver, fans posted their reactions and commentary on the Internet. In particular, IGN editor Jack DeVries reasoned that the primary reason for the updated games was to be compatible with Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, allowing players to collect old Pokémon species that were previously unobtainable in the new games. He also expressed skepticism that the new titles could match the quality of the originals; stating, "For me, Gold/Silver were amazing because they introduced so many new features that have since become standards for the series. It was the first, and only, time the Pokémon games have made such a significant expansion. These days we're lucky if we get a new feature that invisibly changes the strategic elements of the game." He reminisced over the qualities that made Gold and Silver truly unique, including the full color support, internal clock, Pokémon breeding, and PokéGear. Several months later, after DeVries had played through some of the game, he wrote, "so far I like what I see, even if it all feels very familiar and formulaic at this point."
In Japan, the games sold 1,480,980 units within the first two days of release, topping the Japanese sales chart that week. Within two weeks, the games had sold a combined total of over two million units. As of December 18, 2009, the games have sold over 3,228,000 copies.
Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu awarded the games an aggregate score of 37 out of 40 based on four individual reviews, of which the ratings were 9, 10, 9, and 9. The reviewers praised the games for retaining much of the quality that drew them to the original Gold and Silver. The only drawback mentioned was that the games brought "no major surprises".
- Several figures were given away with pre-orders. People could receive a Ho-Oh figure by pre-ordering HeartGold, a Lugia figure by pre-ordering SoulSilver, and an Arceus figure by pre-ordering the Japanese versions of both HeartGold and SoulSilver.
- These games mark the tenth anniversary since the release of the original Gold and Silver.
- Unlike how Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen used completely different Trainer sprites from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, many Trainer classes shared between regions, like Hikers and Psychics, keep their Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum sprites in battle.
- The font used for the English titles of these games are different than the font that has been used since Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, while the Japanese logos are still in the same style used since those games. FireRed and LeafGreen also used a different font than the Hoenn games, however, it was still the same color.
- Additionally, the Ho-Oh crest shaped like a heart and Lugia soul are used in the English logos, while the fire and leaf that appear on FireRed and LeafGreen's Japanese logos were not used in the English release.
- These games mark the first time that the English versions were announced before the games themselves came out in Japan.
- Because of HM05's conversion from Defog to Whirlpool, these games are the first in which all available HMs teach damaging moves (both Defog and Flash, contained in HM05, prevented this in previous games).
- These are the first games in which major characters offer their Pokémon for a trade with the player, with Gym Leaders Brock, Lt. Surge, Jasmine, and Hoenn's former Champion Steven Stone offering Pokémon of their type speciality in exchange for another.
- These are the first games in which an in-game trade accepts a Pokémon of any kind, with Jasmine accepting such in exchange for her Steelix.
- Unlike how FireRed and LeafGreen's intro was an updated version of the opening from Red and Green, HeartGold and SoulSilver have an entirely new intro, using none of the footage from the intro of Gold and Silver. The intro however, uses some music that was in the original and the title screen displays 3D renders of Ho-Oh and Lugia in movement similar to the original title screens.
- HeartGold and SoulSilver include the Champions from each of the paired versions: Blue from Red and Green, Lance from Gold and Silver, Steven Stone from Ruby and Sapphire, and Cynthia from Diamond and Pearl.
- The credits of HeartGold and SoulSilver are the first to feature Gym Leaders, Elite Four members and villainous team members.
- There's a minor quirk involving the Poké Mart signs, in which they are sometimes shown to be placed on the roots of trees, making it appear as if it was built there.
- Another minor quirk is that the player will sometimes seem to be standing in the same spot as large Pokémon such as Ho-Oh and Lugia.
- The Pokédex entries for the Pokémon that existed in Gold and Silver are carried on over to HeartGold and SoulSilver, respectively, much as how FireRed used the entries from the Japanese Red and Green while LeafGreen used the entries from Blue.
- These titles are the first Pokémon games to be available domestically in Canada in French, other than just in English.
- Similarly, these titles are the second set of Pokémon games (after the original Pokémon Red and Blue Versions) to be released in Latin America in Spanish.
- In the Japanese versions of Gold and Silver, Phanpy and Donphan were exclusive to Gold, and Teddiursa and Ursaring were exclusive to Silver. In international versions of Gold and Silver, this was switched for unknown reasons: Teddiursa and Ursaring could be found in Gold, and Phanpy and Donphan could be found in Silver instead. However, all versions of HeartGold and SoulSilver have Phanpy/Donphan in HeartGold and Teddiursa/Ursaring in SoulSilver, making this inconsistent with international versions of Gold and Silver.
- HeartGold and SoulSilver, as well as Gold and Silver, have Gym Leader or Elite Four specialists for every type except the Ground type. However, Giovanni, a former Kanto Gym Leader who specialized in the Ground-type, appears during a special event and can be battled.
- A typo exists in the script of the English versions. Upon evaluating the National Pokédex with at least 484 of the 493 Pokémon caught when talking to Professor Oak, he, like in all the other Pokémon games he is in, will congratulate the player. However, in the sentence "Meeting you is something l will cherish all my life long!" of his speech, the lowercase L should be an I instead.
- Another typo exists in Froslass's Pokédex entry in SoulSilver; the period at the end is missing. This is not the case in HeartGold.
- In Goldeen's Pokédex entry, it refers to its speed as 5 knots per hour. A knot isn't a measure of distance, but speed. Thus, knots per hour measure acceleration.
- The Charcoal apprentice in Azalea Town will call the player a "man" even when the player is a girl. (This is after getting back the Farfetch'd and receiving the Charcoal.)