Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version[b] are role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. They are the first installments in the second generation of the Pokémon series. They were released in Japan in 1999, Australia and North America in 2000, and Europe in 2001. Pokémon Crystal, a special edition, was released roughly a year later in each region. In 2009, on the 10th anniversary of the games, Game Freak remade Gold and Silver for the Nintendo DS as Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
The games introduce 100 new species of Pokémon, and follow the progress of the central character, whose name the player may choose, in his quest to master Pokémon battling. Both games are independent of each other but feature largely the same plot and, while both can be played separately, it is necessary to trade between them and their backward compatible predecessors in order to fully complete the games’ Pokédexes. The Johto Saga of the Pokémon anime is based on the new region introduced in the games.
Pokémon Gold and Silver were critically acclaimed upon release. They are considered by some to be the best games in the entire series, as well as some of the fifth generation console gaming’s most significant titles. They continued the enormous success of their predecessors as Pokémon began to form into a multi-billion dollar franchise. The games almost matched the sales of Pokémon Red and Blue and went on to jointly sell millions of copies worldwide. By 2010, the recorded sales of Gold and Silver were at 23 million units.
On June 6, 2017, The Pokémon Company announced via a Pokémon Direct broadcast that the games would be re-released via the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console on September 22 that year in all regions. Pokémon Crystal was also eventually re-released on January 26, 2018.
Like Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow, Pokémon Gold and Silver are played from a top-down perspective, or third-person, with players directly navigating the protagonist around the fictional universe, interacting with objects and people. As the player explores this world, he or she will encounter different terrains, such as grassy fields, forests, caves, and seas in which different Pokémon species reside. As the player randomly encounters one of these creatures, the field switches to a turn-based “battle scene”, where the Pokémon will fight.
There are two main goals within the games: following through the main storyline and defeating the Elite Four and Pokémon Master Lance to become the new Champion, and completing the Pokédex by capturing, evolving, and trading to obtain all 251 creatures. A major aspect of this is developing and raising the player’s Pokémon by battling other Pokémon, which can be found in the wild or owned by other Trainers. This system of accumulating experience points (EXP) and leveling up, characteristic and integral to all Pokémon video games, controls the physical properties of the Pokémon, such as the battle statistics acquired, and the moves learned.