Video Game: Pokémon Gold and Silver aka: Pokemon Heart Gold
"Enter a whole new world, with new Pokémon to capture, train and battle! Meet Professor Elm and get the all-new Poké Gear, including map, radio, cell phone and clock. Set the clock then watch as day turns to night and events take place in real time -— and be sure to keep an eye out for Pokémon that come out only at night!"
— Blurb on the back of the boxes of Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions
After the massive success of the firstPokémon games, Game Freak and Nintendo realized they had a Cash Cow Franchise on their hands. So naturally, Pokémon Gold And Silver were developed for the Game Boy as the "second generation," moving the series to a new region filled with more Mons, threats, and challenges to await players.Set three years after the events of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions, a young trainer sets out to collect the eight badges of Johto (based on the Kansai region of Japan as well as the western part of the Chubu region) and challenge the Elite Four so that they can earn their own place in the hall of fame. Along the way, however, they have to contend with a callous thief and the reemerging threat of Team Rocket.Gold and Silver introduced many new concepts to the series, like an In-Universe Game Clock (with certain Mons preferring certain times of day), the ability to equip Pokémon with items, rare alternate colorations, and the ability to breed baby Pokémon. It also expanded and reconfigured numerous other gameplay elements, like the addition of two new elemental types (bring the grand total to 17!), splitting the "Special" stat into separate attack and defense scores, and new skills designed to give other elemental types a more level field to battle against the (previouslygame-breaking) Psychic element.One year later, an Updated Re-release appeared: Crystal. On top of a new subplot revolving around Suicune, a slight graphics bump, and other minor differences, Crystal marked the debut of the Purely Aesthetic Gender option in the series, by offering players the choice of a male or female player, instead of simply giving them a male character to assign a masculine or feminine name to (thereby bypassing the unintentional Les Yay that could've resulted — now it's the result of lines written for the male player character being read to the female one).After Red and Blue got a Video Game Remake in FireRed and LeafGreen, fans fully expected to see the "metal generation" get their own updates. In late 2009, those expectations were finally met with HeartGold and SoulSilver for the Nintendo DS. Unlike the remakes of the first generation games (which mostly updated them to Generation III's mechanics and graphics), these remakes pulled elements from everywhere else in the series; not only did they include the added plot points from Crystal, the original storyline was further expanded upon, pulling in cameos and Continuity Nods from later regions. New minigames were added via the Pokéathlon and PokéWalker, and one of Yellow's main gimmicks was brought into play, allowing trainers to let one of their Pokémon run free behind them and interact freely with them instead of remaining on standby like the rest of the player's Party in My Pocket. Major changes were made to some areas as well, such as the addition of a new Safari Zone (noticeably missing from the original versions), which can be accessed even before beating the game, and new dungeon and Gym layouts.The Iwata Asks interview for Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions can be viewed here.Finally, there was also a hilariously nonsensical, bootleg translation of Crystal in Vietnam.Let Us Never Speak Of It Again.
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Tropes used in Gold, Silver and Crystal
Audible Gleam: "Shiny" Pokémon have this (in order to distinguish them for the monochrome Game Boy system). This feature was even kept in future games, where this trope would not have been needed to distinguish Shiny Pokémon.
Breakout Character: Silver has actually gone on to become the most popular character of the generation. He ended up getting an expanded role in the remakes and Paul as an Expy in the anime.
There is a man in Mahogany that will stop you from heading to Blackthorn until Team Rocket takes over the Goldenrod Radio Tower. If you happen to try and go past Mahogany at any point before this he'll drop hints on what you have to do, mentioning Olivine, Cianwood, and the Pharmacy, referring to the sick Ampharos.
Character Select Forcing: Not so much of pointing which starter you should pick, but pointing out who you shouldn't choose. Chikorita is a Grass-type starter with low offenses and doesn't learn attacks of types other than Normal and Grass. In Johto, three out of the eight Gyms and a member of the Elite Four have critical advantages over it, three Gym Leaders and the Champion resist Grass-type attacks with none of the other Leaders or League members being weak to Grass, Team Rocket uses Poison-types often, two of the new trainer classes specialize in types with an advantage over Grass, and so on.
Outside of the starter and eventually Kadabra/Alakazam, every one of the rival's Pokémon have an advantage over Grass. Start with Chikorita, and he gets Cyndaquil as his starter. Perhaps making up for Bulbasaur in RGBY?
Circling Birdies: The new in-battle animation for when a Pokémon is confused features what appears to be bird head balloons circling around the confused Pokémon. Notably, this is the first game where this trope is used for precisely that purpose; it would become a staple later on.
Dub Name Change: Due to the games' lack of kanji (which makes it easier to keep track of the Japanese language's nightmarish amount of homophones), the Bell Tower was mistranslated as Tin Tower. The association with the Clear Bell and the fact that the remakes call the path to it Bellchime Trail and have bells on the top of the tower ended up with it being retranslated in the remakes.
Early-Installment Weirdness: Like its predecessors, Gold and Silver have a bizarre TM list, which includes the elemental punches and Endure. It isn't until Ruby & Sapphire that the TM list starts having reoccurring moves across generations.
Forced Tutorial: After you get your Pokégear and set the date on it, your mother asks if you know how to use the phone feature. You could answer yes or no to this. Saying yes will only change the sentence, "I'll read the instructions. Turn the POKéGEAR on and select the PHONE icon," to "Don't you just turn the POKéGEAR on and select the PHONE icon?" The rest continues telling how to use the phone regardless.
Notably averted with the trainer near the beginning of the game who shows you how to catch Pokémon. Gold and Silver are pretty much the only games in the main series in which you have the option to refuse the man's offer.
Game-Favored Gender: The gender of a Pokémon is based on its Attack IVnote Individual Value, which vary between Pokémon and modify base stats; higher values result in male Pokémon (unless the species is purely female). This means that generally in these games, males are physically stronger than females. This was in place to maintain compatibility with the previous games, in which all Pokémon save for the Nido families were genderless. Future games, including HeartGold and SoulSilver, don't determine gender this way; instead they rely on personality values, which also determine a Pokemon's Characteristic, Ability, and other variables.
Shades of this are also seen in way of the starters. All Starter Pokemon have a gender ratio of seven males to one female, and due to this, as well as the way in which gender and Shininess were determined, it was impossible to have a Shiny female starter Pokémon in Generation II, as the lowest Attack IV a Shiny Pokémon could have was 2, while the highest Attack IV a female Pokémon in that gender group could have was 1.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: There's a rather infamous in-game comment made by one Juggler Irwin, who, when encountering him says "Behold my graceful ball dexterity!" and when you beat him, kindly informs you he dropped his balls. The radar caught on with the remakes; he now says, "Behold my dexterity and grace!" and "Whew! That was a jolt."
G-Rated Sex: When leaving a male and a female Pokémon in the daycare together (or some genderless ones like Ditto), they have a chance of leaving an egg, depending on their "interest" in each other.
Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Happens to the player when solving a puzzle, walking into a hole, or, in Crystal, when the trap door opens on the player.
An Interior Designer Is You: In the Gen. II games, you can decorate your room with various dolls and such, thanks to Mystery Gifts. Your mother can also buy things with the money you sent home after battles.
Have a Gay Old Time: One of the Trainers in the Burned Tower (removed in Crystal) is named Dick. A trainer in the "Firebreather" class, no less. Now there's a mental image that nobody wanted. It's probably not a coincidence that his name was changed to Richard in HGSS.
Intentional Engrish for Funny: Earl speaks entirely in broken English, though in his Pokémon Stadium 2 appearance, he speaks normally so people could understand him, as he gave hints and advice that were imperative to competitive battling.
The Rocket Grunt who steals the Machine Part from the Power Plant.
Interface Spoiler: The souvenir shop in Mahogany Town (which is actually a front for the Team Rocket HQ) already has enough cues to indicate something is wrong about it; the biggest giveaway, however, is the unusual music that plays within the store.
Lost Forever: The game cartridges themselves are quickly dying due to the flawed internal battery system not really being designed to last past the decade since its release. Even with cartridges still playable, Espeon and Umbreon are absolutely lost, as they evolved based on the clock — the first thing to go.
Obvious Rule Patch: The steps taken to remove Psychics as Game Breakers: The Special stat was split into Sp. Attack and Sp. Defense (resulting in most Psychics having lower Sp.Defense), and two new types introduced (Steel: resistant to Psychic attacks and weak to the formerly useless Fighting attacks, and Dark: immune to Psychic attacks and deals extra damage to Psychic Pokémon). Also Ghost attacks now did extra damage to Psychic types like they were originally intended to, and stronger Bug-type Pokémon and attacks were introduced.
The player can unlock furniture and Pokémon dolls for thier room when the game is used in Pokémon Stadium 2. The dolls are unobtainable in the remakes however.
Just like in the original Pokémon Stadium, if the player beats the Master Cup with a Pikachu in thier party, that Pikachu will get the chance to learn surf, and even has the same overworld sprite. In the remakes, a surfing Pikachu can be obtained after beating Battle Revolution, but lacks the overworld sprite.
Olympus Mons: The originals had them, yeah, but it was in these games where they began appearing on the covers. If that wasn't enough, the remakes added new plot points regarding them, starting with defeating the Kimono Girls one after another and requiring players to face the one on the case, though catching it is optional as defeating it will just result in it coming back after defeating the Elite Four.
Redundant Researcher: Come on, Alph Ruins researchers. It does not take ten years to assemble a jigsaw puzzle, especially one that has perfectly square pieces instead of being shaped like a typical jigsaw puzzle.
Running Gag: Averted for original games, subverted for remakes (as in these games there is no 6 Magikarp team until rematches).
Sequence Breaking: Similar to R/B/Y, three of the gyms in Johto (Gyms 5, 6, and 7) can be fought in any order. While the "official" order is Cianwood-Olivine-Mahogany, one could use Surf (obtained in Ecrutreak around the time of the 4th gym) to go straight to Mahogany, do the next part of the TR plot, catch the Red Gyarados, and beat Pryce before doing the other two. Unlike with R/B/Y, where doing the gyms out of order is not recommended (due to noticeable level differences between the 3), the levels of trainers and Pokemon around Mahogany City and the Gym are roughly equivalent to those around Cianwood, making it very reasonable.
Crystal and the remakes give each character unique dialogue for each character's reaction when they realize that you're calling them while relatively close. This can at times be frustrating (even if it does make sense) if there's a specific character interaction that you can only have on the phone (such as checking to see if someone's waiting for a battle, to see if they're holding an item for you, or calling them for a battle as the remakes will sometimes allow you to do).
The fighting gym leader being named Chuck isn't exactly a subtle shout-out.
In the French version, the sailor sleeping on duty on SS Aqua is named Gaston.
The movie playing on TV in the player's house is described as being about two boys riding on a train under a starry sky - likely a nod to Night on the Galactic Railroad.
Sliding Scale of Continuity: Definitely Level 3-4. This is possibly the only Pokemon game which carries on with the major events from Pokémon Red and Blue. The Johto Pokedex is considered as an extension of the Kanto Pokedex, you have to stop Team Rocket from returning to its former glory, and the Pokemon League is the same Indigo Plateau, and you get to visit the rest of Kanto as well. Most, if not all, characters from Kanto returns, including the previous game's protagonist, who is now a former Pokemon Champion, and powerful wandering Trainer. And many of them have moved on with their lives. The only reason this isn't Level 5 is due to having to start with a new protagonist.
Spin-Off: Pokémon Puzzle Challenge features Pokémon from these games and retells a simplified version of Ethan's (as it was released before Crystal, Ethan was the only player character as in Gold and Silver) journey to defeat Gym Leaders and the Elite Four in a Puzzle Game format.
Stalker with a Crush: Juggler Irwin certainly keeps...abreast of your adventures. It's even possible that he'll call you to gush about something you just accomplished. It's like he can see you every waking moment of the day...
This is even less subtle in Crystal, when he only behaves this way if you play as a girl.
Time Skip: Takes place three years after the events of Red and Blue. Unsurprisingly (and partially due to space limitations), a lot of stuff in Kanto has changed since then: a Magnet Train station connecting Saffron City to Goldenrod City has opened, powered by a restored and now functional Power Plant, the Pewter Museum and Safari Zone are closed respectively due to renovations and the owner taking a vacation Cinnabar Island was almost entirely ravaged by a volcanic eruption...
Unfortunate Names: Firebreather Dick. Unsurprisingly, his name was changed in the remakes.
Wholesome Crossdresser: The trainers in the Fuchsia gym dress like Janine. One of them is a Camper (a male Trainer class)...
That's right, I'm a boy! What's wrong with a boy dressing up as Janine?
Wutai: Although all the regions in the main series are based on Japan (except Unova and Kalos), only a few towns are actually obviously Japanese-influenced, and they're all in Johto. Of special note is Ecruteak City, whose music was remixed in HGSS to sound more Japanese. Interestingly, Cianwood City, which it originally shared music with, has a separate remix that does not use the Japanese-sounding instruments of Ecruteak's version.
Tropes appearing in HeartGold and SoulSilver
Adaptation Expansion: These games more resemble Crystal than the actual Gold and Silver, and features from other games were added as well.
Apathetic Citizens: Subverted. At one point you dress up as a Team Rocket member. You can interact with the citizens of Goldenrod, although you can't leave the city, and what do they do when they see you? Tell you that you could be doing good instead. There is also a brief mention of the trainers at the Gym trying to stop Team Rocket when they take over Goldenrod, but they are completely ineffective.
The Artifact: Subversion. A guy in the first PokéMart claims his Pokémon nearly fainted on the field because of poison, as in Generation IV, Poison will automatically wear off after the Pokémon's HP reaches 1.
Lampshaded when you get to Indigo Plateau. In the original games there was a nice man who would have his Abra teleport you home, since you couldn't fly between Kanto and Johto and thus your only other way back until you beat the Elite Four was walking back. In the remakes you can now use Fly to get back (this also works at the entrance to the building before Victory Road), but the old man is still there offering his services...only to note that because of Fly most trainers turn him down. In fact, the game doesn't even let you take him up on his offer, not offering a Yes/No choice after he's finished talking.
The games however does manage to find a use for Abra's Teleport. A guy and his Abra (possibly copycats of the two at Indigo Plateau or the actual two) are the only way to leave the Sinjoh Ruins (from the nearby cabin) without going through the whole ceremony with Arceus in the Sinjoh Ruins.
Battle Cry: One response when speaking to your Pokemon in the Elite Four and Champion's rooms is for it to unleash a battle cry.
But Thou Must: As of Crystal and continuing into Generation III and Generation IV, you're required to face the version mascot due to the plot. The remakes force you to do the same before you can set out for the Indigo Plateau, though there's no real reason why you can't put it off.
The Hoenn and Sinnoh games at least had some justification for this, but the Johto remakes don't even bother. Ethan or Lyra will just block your way to Kanto until you go meet with the Kimono Girls and battle Ho-oh/Lugia.
As above under The Artifact, there's an inverted "But Thou Must Not", where since you're now allowed to Fly anywhere you want from wherever you are, you're no longer allowed to take up the old man's offer to Teleport you back home just because.
To the original Gold, Silver, and Crystal games. When you battle Red, he is the only trainer to still use the Poke Ball battle transition from Generation II.
While many of the changes the original games brought to Kanto due to space limitations have been undone, they are still handwaved in the games: it is stated, for example, that the Cerulean Cave did collapse at one point, but has since been rebuilt.
In the minigames, the player's Pokémon get circling Psyduck when stunned.
In the PokéWalker, the player's one Pokémon gets circling stars when KOed by a wild Pokémon.
Chip Tune: While the original games had this by definition, here in Generation IV, after acquiring all 8 Kanto Gym badges, an NPC in Game Freak HQ will reward you with the "GB Sounds" item that allows you to switch to remakes of the original chiptunes at will while exploring Kanto or Johto. (It even includes chiptune renditions for areas that were added since the originals, like the Johto Safari Zone and Global Trade Station.)
Copy Protection: ROMs randomly freeze up within minutes of beginning gameplay, making progress in the game nearly impossible for would-be pirates.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: If you chose Chikorita, each of Silver's Pokémon will be 2 levels higher at Goldenrod Tunnel than if you choose Totodile or Cyndaquil - this is to compensate for the fact that his starter is still in second form (Quilava evolves at Lv. 36 while Croconaw at Lv. 30 and Bayleef at Lv. 32).
If you activate the time travel event and have Celebi faint in the battle against Giovanni, the opposite-gendered player character uses a Max Revive on it so they can return to their own time.
Disc One Nuke: Many Pokéwalker Pokes can become this, easily allowing the player to obtain a good variety of Pokémon with great moves early in the game. if you're lucky, you can get a powerful Kangaskhan on your very first stroll.
The impossibility to lose coins and higher use of skill in the international versions of the Game Corner turn Dratini (normally quite expensive/hard to gamble for) into one of these. They start with Thunder Wave note Causes Paralysis with 100% base Accuracy, giving a 1/4 chance of the opponent not moving, plus lowers their Speed to 1/4th normal and makes capturing wild Pokémon 1.5 times as likely and Dragon Rage note Always does 40 damage at a point in the game where few foes have more than 40 HP, and it is quite a bit into the game before mons with more than 80 HP are common, has a typing that resists most early game attacks, and has the Shed Skin ability, giving it a chance to cure Standard Status Effects each turn. It can also later on evolve into one of the more powerful Pokémon in the game.
Not to mention that if you trade over an event Arceus, it's possible to get one of Sinnoh's legendary dragons before the first Gym. A legendary dragon that shares your ID number, in fact, meaning that it will never disobey you. Admittedly at Level 1, but it's a legendary! Like Dratini above, the Sinnoh dragons stay useful throughout the whole game, on account of being legendary and all.
Thanks to the Pal Park you can trade over your end-of-game level Pokémon teams from FireRed/LeafGreen as soon as you set foot in Kanto (provided you're willing to walk/bike to Fuchsia first thing), allowing you to blow through the majority of the region's Gym Leaders fairly easily.
Also, the Safari Zone in Johto opens after curing the Ampharos in the Lighthouse, and by completing one very easy task then waiting three hours you can catch a Larvitar, Gen II's pseudo-legendary, MUCH earlier than it appears in the wild. Raise it diligently and you'll have a very powerful Tyranitar before the Elite Four or even the eighth Gym. Have patience, though, as it can and will be a pain to catch.
In general, the Safari Zone is home to loads of these, including level 17 Magneton and Weezing. Neither of these two evolve from Magnemite and Koffing until level 30 and 35, respectively.
Dunsparce, surprisingly, is this. You can actually catch one before your first Gym Badge.note It's a 1% encounter in the Dark Cave. It learns Glare before the second Gym,note Glare causes paralysis 75% of the time on any Pokemon, even Ground-types that are normally immune to Thunder Wave. Paralysis reduces the opponent's speed to 1/4, and causes them to not act 25% of the time. It also improves the chance of you catching a Pokemon. and gets the Serene Grace ability.note This ability doubles the chances of a secondary effect. This may not seem like much at first, but it can also learn Headbutt very early. Headbutt has a 30% flinch chance which is raised to 60% by Serene Grace. Combine this with Glare, and your opponent only has a 30% chance of acting. Headbutt is also quite powerful when you get it, so any opponent unlucky enough to not act on its turn is looking at a swift defeat. Any opponent. This strategy is popularly used competitively (known as Para Flinch), although more commonly by Togekiss and Jirachi, both of whom also learn flinching moves.
Even Evil Has Standards: One man in Goldenrod considers himself a bad guy, but says he won't hang out with someone in Team Rocket.
Forced Tutorial: Just like in the originals, your mother insists on telling you how to use the phone. Just like in every Pokémon game, someone has to show you how to catch Pokémon. This gets very tedious, because your pseudo-rival will show you how to catch Pokémon, realize that you weren't in battle mode and therefore "didn't see it", and then you have to stand around some more while he/she shows you again.
A double battle with a young couple on route 47 is a rather tongue in cheek version. The girl sends out an Onix, while the guy sends out a Cloyster. Unfortunately, the infamous one from the original version (i.e. Juggler Irwin saying he dropped his balls) is no longer present (see the Gold and Silver section above).
It's probably no coincidence that a Firebreather (of all things!) in the Burned Tower named Dick in Gold and Silver had his name changed to Richard.
Gym Leader rematches. Before you can request another fight, you have to get them registered in your Pokégear. To do that, you have to talk to them after meeting certain criteria. Problem is, you have to meet them at certain locations (some of which are rather obscure) at a certain time on a certain day of the week, instead of simply talking to them at their respective Gym. There's even a couple that are gotten from an NPC other than the Gym Leader. Good luck finding all of them without a guide, even with the NPC that will randomly call you to give info about a random Leader. A good example of this is Jasmine, who appears at the Olivine City Diner between 13:00-14:00. Said diner is not important in the least outside of this one time and looks like a normal house, so you may not have just overlooked it every time you were in town.
Want to find a specific Pokémon in the Johto Safari Zone? Unlike previous generations, your Pokedex area listing doesn't include the Safari Zone, so you're on your own. After acquiring the National Pokedex, you can customize the Safari Zone using "blocks" to attract different species (mostly Hoenn or Sinnoh region Mons) that wouldn't normally appear at all, but again, good luck trying to attract a specific one without consulting a strategy guide for help.
The starting favor from Elm is changed from the player fetching an object that turns out to be an egg from Mr. Pokémon for Elm, to Elm asking the player to walk a Pokémon for him. When contacted by Mr. Pokémon in the scene, Elm thinks he is just bugging him about "another egg" (as Pokémon eggs are common knowledge since Generation II-III). This is a holdover from the Crystal version, where Elm asks a similar favor before he gets Mr. Pokémon's email.
The man before the Elite Four offers to teleport you back to New Bark Town, but notes no one takes him up on his offer because everyone wanting to go there just flew there. Completely true; the Indigo Plateau seems to be the one place in the entire game from which a person can fly to any city in Johto or Kanto.
Steven from Ruby/Sapphire makes a cameo in this game; when you first meet him, he mentions how all the trainers who gave him a hard fight looked very similar to each other.
Kansai Regional Accent: Numerous characters speak with either a Kansai-ben accent or another sort of accent. Kurt, Whitney, Bill, etc.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: In the original Gold/Silver, you only found out you could revisit Kanto from Red/Blue near the "end" of the game when an NPC stops you on your trip to Victory Road to tell you "you've just taken your first step into Kanto! Check your map!" In the remakes, everybody knows that Johto and Kanto are neighboring regions. It's pretty obvious after examining the world map (moving the cursor to the right side changes the "Johto" text to "Kanto" even if there are no Kanto locations marked yet), and not too far into the game people start mentioning places in Kanto you may come across during your travels. Even before the remakes were released, one of the trailers showed the protagonist taking the Magnet Train along with images of Pallet Town and other famous landmarks from Kanto.
Lost Forever: Mr. Pokémon gives you the Exp. Share if you trade him a Red Scale obtained from battling the Red Gyarados. If you happen to NOT talk to him in between the time you battle the Red Gyarados and receive a Kanto Starter Pokémon from Professor Oak, he'll give you the orb needed to catch Kyogre/Groudon instead, leaving the Exp. share unobtainable. However, another Exp. Share can be obtained from Goldenrod Radio Tower Lottery if the player can match 3 digits.
Lost in Translation: In some of the non-Japanese versions of the game, the Celebi's event has dialogue changed a little bit, never revealing that Silver is Giovanni's son.
Luck-Based Mission: Voltorb Flip, bring something of a cross between Picross and Minesweeper, can become this. A little logical deduction can improve your chances of avoiding the Voltorb, but clearing the board (which is required to earn higher payouts) almost always ends up requiring a guess between two or three cards, and hoping you pick right.
No Fair Cheating: Because the beginning is so tedious, one of the more likely AR cheat codes someone would select is either the Ghost Mode code, which gives you both the running shoes and the ability walk through the trees and around all of the trainers, or the code that lets you start with the running shoes and no ghost ability. However, doing so means that when you get to Cherrygrove City, the man who would give you a tour, the Running Shoes (after the tour) and the Map (after you leave) isn't there. Not having the Map makes the game far more irritating, especially without being able to fly from one side of Johto to the other.
Or you could use the "All Scenario Items" code. Whatever works.
NPC Roadblock: Lyra or Ethan (the one you aren't playing as) will simply stand there and block your way to Kanto until you defeat the mascot of your game.
Rainbow Speak: Sinjoh Ruins and Mystri are highlighted in red, as well as time travel if you bring Spiky-eared Pichu to Elm. Plus, at the choice screen, names of starters are highlighted in colors of their types.
The Gym Leaders are noticeably more difficult than they were in the second generation, thanks to abilities (Bugsy's Scyther has "Technician", increasing its Quick Attack by 50%, and Whitney's Miltank has "Scrappy" (how fitting), enabling it to hit Ghosts who would otherwise be immune to Normal attacks) and better AI tactics (like the "Spore Punch" combo, where Chuck's Poliwrath puts your Pokémon to sleep so they can't disrupt its powerful Focus Punches) or simply because the elemental types are better balanced than originally, and this works out in the AI's favor quite often. Even the physical/special split introduced in Generation IV seems to favor the AI (for example, "Flame Wheel" now relies on Cyndaquil's physical Attack, which is lower than its Special Attack).
Kanto received a huge difficulty spike in the remakes, compared to the original where everyone was level 30 or so: All trainers are now in the Lv.45-50 range, and the Gym Leaders are in the 50-60 range. Red's Pokémon are in the 80's, with his Pikachu being level 88, the highest level Pokémon used by a non-player Trainer in the entire main series!
Retcon: A lot of it due to the story being reworked to be taking place around the same time as Generation IV and after Generations I and III.
Retraux: HeartGold and SoulSilver have a key item called the GB Sounds (which is unlocked by getting all 16 badges) that, when activated, makes almost all overworld and battle music 8-bit, even for (some) tracks that didn't exist in any 8-bit Pokémon games (i.e. music originating in those games, other DS games, or the GBA games). Every Sunday the music radio station plays 8-bit tracks not accessible with the GB Sounds (i.e. music that only plays prior to obtaining the GB Sounds or music from radio stations, which aren't affected by the GB Sounds).
Spear Counterpart: The Bird Keepers in the remakes seem to be this to Bird Keepers of Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, which had female Bird Keepers instead of male ones like the rest of the series (including these games), as they have the same clothing and hair color. However, since the Vs. Recorder upload data is shared with Platinum, the female Bird Keepers still appear in the Battle Frontier.
Stop Poking Me: Talking to your Pokémon too much leads to it getting angry and defiant, even if it's at maximum happiness.
Super Cell Reception: The Pokegear's phone can receive or make calls anywhere. Including deep inside Mount Silver, an area so remote that there are only three people in it and the route leading to it, one of whom is the nurse in the Pokemon Center.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: In the remakes, the shop that's a front for Team Rocket features a sign on the door that reads "Just a Souvenir Shop. Nothing Suspicious about It. No Need to Be Alarmed."
Unfortunate Names: The French titles of the games were, for some odd reason, not translated like the others. The proper translation would have been "Coeur d'Or" and "Ame d'Argent", but instead, only the "Gold"/"Silver" part was translated, with the English names added to the end. This leads to the weird names Or Heart Gold and Argent Soul Silver. And what does the latter spell when it's shortened? "ASS".
The original abbreviation "SS" wasn't exactly fortunate to begin with.
Video Game Caring Potential: Done with the Walking Pokémon feature. You can't help but feel warm and fuzzy when you check on your Pokémon's status and they spontaneously hug you.
...Unless, of course, your Pokémon is something like a Wailord or Scyther.
Villains Out Shopping: If you enter the department store while dressed as a Team Rocket member, one of the people remarks, "I never thought about it, but Team Rocket does go shopping..." Not a literal example of the trope, but close enough to count.
What Happened to the Mouse?: What became of the Murkrow that opened the door to the radio transmitter and then ran off? (It might have run off to become a wild Pokémon...)