Compare and Contrast: Pokemon Silver (2000) vs. Pokemon SoulSilver (2010) (2023)

Left: start screen (Silver)

Right: start screen (SoulSilver)

Pokemon is a popular franchise spanning video games, cartoons, and trading card games. Each main game is an RPG that features the protagonist capturing and training the titular monsters (Pokemon, or “pocket monsters”) as they journey to become the best Trainer in the game’s region. Pokemon Red and Green were the first games, released in Japan in 1996, and when its remakes (Pokemon Blue and a reprogrammed Red version) were brought over to the U.S. in 1998 (and later, other countries), they proved to be extremely popular. Pokemon Gold and Silver were released in North America in October 2000. The games featured a new region/story/Pokemon, new types, breeding, multi-colored sprites, and other improvements over previous games. The remakes (Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver) were released state-side in 2010, largely preserving the original game story while modernizing the graphics and game mechanics.

The games were played until completion of the third Gym by defeating the Gym Leader, Whitney. However, the author also has prior experience with both games, having played both Pokemon Silver and SoulSilver at each game’s original release. As SoulSilver adheres closely to the original game’s design, the article is structured around the player’s journey in both games, with further details added for context as needed.

(Video) Why Gen 2 Pokemon Rocks

Left: old Pokemon in uninspired cutscene (Silver)

Right: mysterious new Legendary Dogs (SoulSilver)

The differences between Pokemon Silver and Pokemon SoulSilver (hereafter referred to as “Silver” and “SoulSilver”, respectively) start immediately. Upon booting up the games, the player is greeted by the introductory cutscenes, each serving as an exhibition of the game system’s capabilities and hyping the player for the game ahead. The two cutscenes also serve to illustrate the difference that a decade makes in good game design and technological development, as Silver’s cutscene is basic and under-utilized in comparison to SoulSilver’s. For example, Silver focuses on displaying the new color capabilities of the Nintendo Game Boy Color’s (“GBC”), with its contents consisting of several sprites of old Pokemon and the new starters (the first Pokemon picked by the player) displayed in simple ways. In contrast, SoulSilver integrates gameplay and story teasers into its exhibition of the Nintendo DS (“DS”). Different important locations, characters, and Pokemon are displayed, with one section of the introduction used to highlight the 2D/3D mixture of graphics used in the overworld, while other sections are used to hint at the story.

(Video) Pokemon Silver Version - Longplay [GBC]

Left: picking a starter Pokemon (Silver)

Right: picking a starter Pokemon; second screen not pictured (SoulSilver)

After starting a new game, the player must create their character. Character creation serves as an excellent example of the differences in general controls and game features, even highlighting an old part of gaming history. In Silver, character creation contains an extra step, as the games feature a real-time-synchronized day/night system that affects in-game encounters and events, among other things. For example, one rare Pokemon only appears on Friday in a certain location, while certain NPCs can only be encountered in the morning. As the GBC does not possess a system datetime, the time and day must be manually set. In contrast, setting the time in SoulSilver is simple, as the information is automatically pulled from the DS.

After setting the time in-game, the player chooses and names their character under the guidance of Professor Oak (an important minor NPC). However, in Silver, the player can only play as a male character, as video games were considered a “guy hobby” at the time. The enhanced GBC remake, Pokemon Crystal (released a year later), introduced the first female character, which became standard in the main games ever since. SoulSilver is no exception, featuring both a female and male character, each designed to match more modern aesthetics. SoulSilver also features confirmation dialogs in contrast to Silver, which means that the player does not need to restart the game to fix any mistakes. Throughout this process, SoulSilver uses the DS’s second screen and touchscreen to its advantage, showing more information at once, while allowing for faster and more natural input.

After character creation, the player gains control of their character, with basic controls used in both games (e.g., D-pad to move, A to interact, hold B to run) and touch controls added for ease of use in SoulSilver. The player picks their first Pokemon in the nearby lab of Professor Elm, who is the region’s local Pokemon Professor. In Silver, picking a Pokemon consists of a bit of text and an image of that starter, while in SoulSilver, the experience has been enhanced with 3D models of Poke Balls (spheres that Pokemon are stored in) and displayed on the touchscreen. SoulSilver also introduces its “companion system”, where the first Pokemon in the party follows the player character around in the world and has some basic interactions with the player. This can lead to amusing situations like having a whale on land.

(Video) Pokémon Silver for Game Boy Color ᴴᴰ Full Playthrough

Left: plain second Gym (Silver)

Right: redesigned second Gym with new web-crossing gimmick (SoulSilver)

The story in Silver/SoulSilver is fairly simple, comprised of several plots interwoven around a central thread together and written at a level that small children can understand but adults can still enjoy. For example, after receiving a Pokemon for protection, the player is sent a couple of areas over to pick up a package for Professor Elm. The player fetch-quest then introduces the “collect all Pokemon” goal for filling the Pokedex (a portable encyclopedia on Pokemon). Returning to the lab, the player encounters their rival, who serves as a recurring boss linked to another plot thread. At the lab, Professor Elm suggests that the player take the Pokemon League challenge, which is technically the main plot of the game. Along the way, the player also stops the local villain team’s activities in the region. Unlike later games, the story for Silver/SoulSilver does not significantly focus on the game’s mascot Legendary (powerful, unique) Pokemon. However, Silver/SoulSilver also features a second region after beating the Pokemon League’s Champion, though it is not as narratively important.

Throughout the game, the player builds a team of Pokemon for use in turn-based battles. Pokemon can be caught after being weakened, gifted, or traded, with the first method being the most common. Pokemon battles have mostly stayed the same between the games, with the most significant changes being new Pokemon, new moves, and the “Physical/Special [type-move] split” introduced in more recent generations. While most newer Pokemon are unavailable in SoulSilver without trading with another game that has them (e.g., Pokemon Platinum, placed in the Sinnoh region), the Physical/Special split is present from the start, completely rebalancing the game. Prior to the split, types (Pokemon/move elements with strengths/weaknesses) were classified as either Physical or Special, with the damage of moves depending on the type’s associated stat. Some pre-split Pokemon were built poorly as a result, possessing Specially-aligned types, but not possessing the high Special Attack stat to use them.

(Video) Pokemon Silver - Catching Lugia and Ho-oh

Left: Whitney’s Miltank (Silver)

Right: Whitney’s Miltank after extended combat (SoulSilver)

The player travels through many locations over the course of their journey, navigating dark caves, traveling through forests, and surfing over the ocean as they fight wild Pokemon, Pokemon Trainers, and Gym Leaders. Pokemon Gyms are special mini-dungeons that culminate in battling their Gym Leaders to earn Gym Badges, which are used to get into the Pokemon League and use special moves in the field. Each Gym specializes in a type, and many Gyms also feature a puzzle gimmick. In Silver, Gyms were basic or otherwise unimpressive in design, with the first Gym being placed over a simple pit (“empty space = Flying type”) and the second Gym lacking a gimmick entirely. SoulSilver fixed those problems, with some of them featuring new or upgraded gimmicks alongside their graphical redesigns.

The third Gym, which is where the author stopped playing, is infamous for the sudden leap of difficulty caused by the Gym Leader’s Miltank, a Pokemon with a single weakness, good defense, and a strong offensive move. While there are later battles that are objectively and subjectively more difficult, the fight against Gym Leader Whitney is memorable for most players for being the first Gym to require careful strategizing instead of ignoring mechanics.

(Video) Pokémon Gold / Silver / Crystal - All Legendary Pokémon Locations

Pokemon SoulSilver is in many ways an improvement over Pokemon Silver. Objectively-speaking, the graphics are better, the gameplay has been updated with modern Pokemon mechanics (at the time of SoulSilver’s release), the additional touch-based controls are faster and more intuitive, and many features have been improved (e.g., Berries, which grow in real time, can be managed on the go instead of being harvested in set locations). Even the story has been enhanced in some areas, bringing Lugia (SoulSilver’s mascot and Legendary Pokemon) into the main storyline instead of existing as an optional encounter. The main downside exhibited by SoulSilver is the decreased play speed, particularly centered around the forced tutorials and increased number/length of animations. One particularly egregious example is the second Pokemon-catching tutorial, as it is both mandatory and extremely slow. However, the author still considers Pokemon SoulSilver to be the far superior of the two games.


What are the differences between silver and SoulSilver? ›

In Silver, picking a Pokemon consists of a bit of text and an image of that starter, while in SoulSilver, the experience has been enhanced with 3D models of Poke Balls (spheres that Pokemon are stored in) and displayed on the touchscreen.

Is SoulSilver fake or real? ›

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are some of the most popular games in the franchise and can be quite expensive. If you're looking for one of those games and it's grey, stop. It's fake. Don't give your money to scammers unless you specifically wish to buy a reproduction copy.

Is Pokemon Soul Silver a remake of Pokémon Silver? ›

Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSilver Version are 2009 remakes of the 1999 Game Boy Color role-playing video games Pokémon Gold and Silver, also including features from Pokémon Crystal.

Which starter should I choose Soul Silver? ›

Totodile is probably the best choices to start with in Pokemon HG/SS. Totodile's best stats are attack and defense, followed by average HP and special defense. Because it's a water type it has less weaknesses.

What is the strongest Pokemon in soul silver? ›

The Strongest Pokemon In Gold & Silver (Based On Stats)
  • 8 Meganium, Umbreon, and Espeon. ...
  • 7 Feraligatr. ...
  • 6 Typhlosion. ...
  • 5 Crobat. ...
  • 4 Kingdra and Blissey. ...
  • 3 The Legendary Beasts. ...
  • 2 Tyranitar and Celebi. ...
  • 1 Lugia and Ho-oh.
Nov 21, 2021

Which Pokémon is a Karen? ›

Karen (Japanese: カリン Karin) is a Dark-type Trainer and member of the Indigo Elite Four.

Who is Silver's dad Pokémon? ›

After the battle, Sird revealed that Giovanni is, in fact, the father of Silver. After hearing this, Silver fainted and was taken by Sird to the Team Rocket airship in order to reunite the boy with his father. When he awakes, Silver refuses to accept that Giovanni is his father and that he is the heir of Team Rocket.

What is Silver's real name Pokémon? ›

Silver's default name varies between the games that he appears in: His default name is Silver in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Crystal, Gold in Pokémon Silver, Soul in Pokémon HeartGold and Heart Pokémon SoulSilver.

Can you get mew in SoulSilver? ›

To get Mew, you need to connect to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and download the Pokemon using the Mystery Gift option. The Mew you will receive starts at level five with one move, Pound. He also comes in a Cherish Ball and has a Premier Ribbon.

Is SoulSilver harder? ›

That's right, Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver are harder than their predecessors and still tougher today than some of the future games that follow. The original level curve in Gold, Silver, and Crystal was arguably one of the lowest the games have seen and didn't require you to put in much time grinding away for levels.

Does Pokemon SoulSilver have Shinies? ›

Once you catch it, you can view the Pokemon's summary menu and find a star near the sprite (image) of the Pokemon to verify the Shiny Status. Shiny Pokemon are very rare and can be found randomly in the wild. The chances of running into a shiny Pokemon is 1 in 8192!

Why is HeartGold and SoulSilver so good? ›

Both HeartGold and SoulSilver are compatible to connect, battle, and trade with the fourth generation titles, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. This allowed for further accessibility to the many species that were available at the time as well as opportunities for more competitive play against a variety of teams.

Can you get SoulSilver on Switch? ›

Unfortunately, the reality is that Nintendo is likely just renewing trademarks before they expire and there are no current plans for Game Freak or The Pokemon Company to bring either of these classic games to Nintendo Switch at the moment.

Can you get all three starters in soul silver? ›

As such, the are four different sets of these starter Pokémon. Unlike Diamond, Pearl & Platinum however, Heart Gold & Soul Silver give you access to three out of these four possible sets of Pokémon. As such, you can only pick one of them in each set so you must choose wisely.

What is the best pokeball in SoulSilver? ›

The best pokeball out of them all is the Master Ball. There is only one Master Ball per game, and will always catch a pokemon no matter what! Some Pokeballs catch certain pokemon or under certain circumstances. In Heart Gold and Soul Silver many hard to come by pokeballs make their return with Apricorn trees.

Is cyndaquil or Totodile better? ›

Cyndaquil is weak against Ground, Rock, and Water attacks. Tototdile is weak against Electric and Grass attacks. In terms of weaknesses, Totodile is your best bet.

Can you get rayquaza in soul silver? ›

Once you catch Groudon, make sure you have a friend who has HeartGold who will lend you a Kyogre for a while. Head back to the same cave and Rayquaza will be there. It will also be level 50. Catch it and it's yours!

Do you get Lugia in soul silver? ›

Lugia is the Diving Pokémon and the star Pokémon of Pokémon Soul Silver. As such, the way you discover it in Soul Silver is through obtaining the Silver Feather after beating Team Rocket and defeating the Kimono Girls. With this, when you go to Whirl Islands and get to the bottom, you will encounter Lugia at Level 45.

Can you get arceus in soul silver? ›

Since Arceus is not available in earlier versions, you will at least be transferring from Generation 4. You can trade an Arceus from Diamond, Platinum, Pearl, HeartGold, or SoulSilver using PokeTransfer, as well as from any of the Black or White games as a regular trade.

Are any Pokémon female? ›

Most Pokémon are either male or female. However, depending on the species, players are more likely to encounter a Pokémon of a specific gender than the other.

Who is the Queen Pokémon? ›

Queen Ilene (Japanese: アイリーン Eileen) is a supporting character who appeared in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. She is the current queen of Rota and resides in Cameran Palace.
Queen Ilene.
Queen Ilene アイリーン Eileen
Queen Ilene
RelativesQueen Rin (ancestor)
Anime debutLucario and the Mystery of Mew
4 more rows

Is there a female Pokémon? ›

Starting in the Generation II games, most Pokémon have a gender (including Pokémon previously transferred from Generation I games): male (Japanese: オス male) or female (Japanese: メス female); however, some species of Pokémon are gender unknown.

Who is Ash dads? ›

As Ash arrives back home he finds his mum, who cheerfully informs him that his dad was just here - but that he had to leave. No explanation is given as to why Mr Ketchum couldn't wait five minutes to see his son after all this time, but it's a pretty damning indictment of his parental skills if you ask me.

Who is Giovanni's son? ›

Biography. As revealed in the FireRed & LeafGreen Chapter, Silver is the son of Team Rocket's boss, Giovanni.

Who is pikachus brother? ›

This week's episode of the Pokémon Sun and Moon cartoon was all about Pikachu and its Alolan older brother, Raichu.

Who is the Jesus Pokémon? ›

Bird Jesus
Pokémon Speciesnormal/flying
Levellvl 36 to evolve
Acquiredfrom pigeotto
3 more rows

Is Silver a girl? ›

The name Silver is both a boy's name and a girl's name .

Is Silver a boy? ›

The name Silver is both a boy's name and a girl's name of English origin. This shimmery Age of Aquarius unisex flower child name is making a comeback, along with metal and gem names like Steel, Jade, and Ruby.

How rare is Mew Secret Rare? ›

Top 11 rarest Pokemon Celebrations cards

Finally in third is the gold Shiny Mew Secret Rare at 1 out of 129.

How do you get zapdos in Pokemon Soul Silver? ›

Zapdos. Found in the Power Plant after collecting all 16 badges.

How do you get a black Eevee? ›

Changing the name. You can evolve an Eevee into an Espeon (psychic), Umbreon (dark type), Flareon (a fire type), a Vaporeon (a water type) or a Jolteon (an electric type) just by changing your Eevee's name. This trick only works once per name, so do each evolution with an Eevee that has good stats for the best results.

Where can I get a free Eevee in soul silver? ›

When you return to Goldenrod City following this encounter with Bill (at any time), you should visit his home, which is a modest, small structure on the west side of the metropolis. When you walk in, you'll find him sitting at a table with his family. Speak with him, and he'll offer to pawn off a rare Eevee on you.

How many hours does it take to beat Soul Silver? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver is about 37 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 214 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Can you get Charizard in SoulSilver? ›

Through battle experience. It'll evolve at level 16, maybe 18, into Charmeleon, and then into Charizard at around level 36. YES!

Do natures matter in SoulSilver? ›

A Nature increases one of your Pokemon's stats by 10% while decreasing another stat by 10%. Four our of the 24 natures do nothing at all.
RashSpecial AttackSpecial Defense
CalmSpecial DefenseAttack
CarefulSpecial DefenseSpecial Attack
GentleSpecial DefenseDefense
21 more rows

Should you purify Shinies? ›

Why would you purify? The most obvious reason to purify is get yourself a 100% IV Shiny Pokemon. Even nearly four years after Pokemon Go released, this is something many trainers are still searching for. While this is good for your collection and bragging rights, the reason behind is purely aesthetic.

Does Ash own any Shinies? ›

Noctowl is the first Shiny Pokémon seen in the anime, although it is not the first alternately colored Pokémon to appear. It is also the first Shiny Pokémon to be owned by a main character and the only Shiny Pokémon owned by Ash.

What starters are shiny locked? ›

However, in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet (SV) starters are shiny-locked, meaning the Sprigatito, Fuecoco, or Quaxly you pick at the beginning of the game cannot be shiny no matter how many times you reset — so no, you can't hunt for shinies right at the start of the game.

How old is red in HeartGold and SoulSilver? ›

Red is introduced as a curious 11-year-old boy from Pallet Town.

Are shiny Pokemon stronger in HeartGold? ›

Are Shiny Pokémon Any Stronger? It's easy to think that a super rare variant of a Pokémon would be much stronger than its normal counterparts, but the reality is, unless you're playing in Pokémon Gold, Silver, or Crystal, the answer is a definite no, Shiny Pokémon are not any stronger or weaker than normal Pokémon!

Which version is better HeartGold or SoulSilver? ›

Pokemon Soul Silver and Heart Gold are both excellent games, but which one is the best? It really depends on what you're looking for. If you want a more traditional Pokemon experience, go with Soul Silver. However, if you want to interact with your Pokemon in new ways, Heart Gold may be the better choice.

Can you go to Kanto in Soulsilver? ›

After defeating the Pokemon League, you'll be able to roam the Eastern Region known as Kanto. Here you can collect eight more GYM badges!

Can you get all starters in Soulsilver? ›

It is possible to get the Hoenn starters. All you need to do is beat the elite four and get all of the kanto badges, then go to Silph Tower. A guy will give you one of the starters; you have to pick either a green, red or blue stone.

Is Soulsilver on 3DS? ›

A: Yes, you can use this Nintendo DS cartridge that contains Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSliver to play on Nintendo DS, 3DS, and 3DS XL. Was this answer helpful?

What is the difference between HeartGold and SoulSilver? ›

As they are a pair game, the main difference between them is the different Pokemons in the game. The Pokemons featured are only in one of the paired games and not featured in the other.

Is HeartGold and SoulSilver the same as Gold and Silver? ›

HeartGold and SoulSilver are remakes of 2000's Gold and Silver, which essentially means Nintendo has revamped a Game Boy Color game for the DS. That's a 10 year difference though so the similarities between the two are outweighed by the differences.

What version is better HeartGold or SoulSilver? ›

Pokemon Soul Silver and Heart Gold are both excellent games, but which one is the best? It really depends on what you're looking for. If you want a more traditional Pokemon experience, go with Soul Silver. However, if you want to interact with your Pokemon in new ways, Heart Gold may be the better choice.

What Pokemon can't you get in SoulSilver? ›

Unobtainable Pokemon
  • Mew.
  • Celebi.
  • Regirock.
  • Regice.
  • Registeel.
  • Jirachi.
  • Deoxys.
  • The Three Starters from Hoenn / Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald.

How long does it take to beat SoulSilver? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver is about 37 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 217 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Can you get kyogre in SoulSilver? ›

Traverse the cave and you will find Kyogre if you're playing Heart Gold or Groudon if you are playing Soul Silver. They are at Level 50 so be prepared. Unlike Lugia & Ho-Oh, you cannot get both Pokémon in one game so you'll have to trade to get both.

Can you go to Kanto in HeartGold SoulSilver? ›

After defeating the Pokemon League, you'll be able to roam the Eastern Region known as Kanto. Here you can collect eight more GYM badges!

Is SoulSilver the best Pokemon game? ›

HeartGold and SoulSilver are the best in the franchise; HeartGold and SoulSilver's near-perfect execution makes them a masterpiece. Overall, HeartGold and SoulSilver are the best Pokémon games of all time; they set the standard for what the games should be.

Why Hgss are the best games? ›

The ability to travel back to and journey through a previous region has to be the biggest fan-favorite feature of any Pokémon game and it has yet to make a return since HeartGold and SoulSilver. It then becomes easy to see why this probably has to be the most fan-requested feature to make a return.

What version is better Pokémon Gold or Silver? ›

In Gold, you can catch different pokémon than in Silver. In Silver, the levels of Ho-oh and Lugia are different from Gold. Then Gold has different graphics than Silver. You all know in Silver, Lugia is level 40 and Ho-oh is level 70, and in Gold, it's the other way around, right?

Can you sprint in SoulSilver? ›

In the games

In HeartGold and SoulSilver, this method is overhauled and replaced with the Sprint Button, a panel on the lower screen that, when touched with the stylus, automatically puts on the Running Shoes, allowing the player to run without having to hold the B button.

What does Dragon Scale do SoulSilver? ›

It allows Seadra to evolve into Kingdra.


1. How to Get Celebi in Pokemon Gold and Silver
2. (Part 1) Pokewalker - Pokemon Heart Gold / Soul Silver - vs. Pikachu 2 GS
(Erica Griffin)
3. Evolution of Lugia Battles (2000 - 2017)
4. How to find all three starters in Pokemon Crystal, Silver and Gold with one game
5. Pokemon Gold, Silver & Crystal - All Legendary Pokémon Locations (1080p60)
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