Pokémon Crystal replay: a diary

• 7 minutes to read

After enjoying A LOT giving another run to the classic Pokémon Red, one of the first Game Boy games I ever played, I decided to do the same with the second generation of the saga.

Full disclosure: Pokémon wisdom level OVER 9000.

I've recently re-played Pokémon Red and I blogged about it, journal-style.

I thoroughly enjoyed going down memory lane, so I decided to do the same with the follow-up. For Gen I, I played Red, and that's why I chose it this time around, but for Gen 2, I decided to play Crystal, because it's sort of an enhanced version of Gold/Silver (equivalent of Yellow for this generation). I remember I bought Gold, back in the day, but wanted to try Crystal, as it has some slight twists in the adventure and the creatures available.

Let's go!

Day one: Getting off the ground

One of the things I remember about this game is that it was the first generation to introduce shiny Pokémon (even though they were hidden in Gen 1). So the initial part of the game of fetching the Egg from Dr. Elm and whatnot feels eternal, as you don't have any Pokéballs yet you're encountering wild 'mons. In a way, you're praying to avoid encountering any shiny species, as you wouldn't be able to catch them.

I don't remember much my team from Pokémon Gold, as I remembered my team from Pokémon Red. All I remember was that I picked Totodile as a starter and that I had a Hoppip and a Mareep in my team, but that's right about it. Even though I played it a lot, it was just a fraction of the hours I played Red.

So this time around, I decided to build a team around the fire starter: Cyndaquil. For that, I wanted to use Lapras as a water Pokémon, but normally water species, in most games, are difficult to find until mid-game. The fact that Poliwag is available right after the first/second town made me decide against this funny guy. Also, I've never played the Poli family and they're fast and strong enough (and Poliwrath is double-type Water and Fighting, so it'll be interesting to try this one).

Next up, I wanted a sweeper. I remember Heracross being one of my favourite 'mons and I never got around to play it, but you don't get it until before Elite Four, so fuck that. I considered Tauros, since you get it at a relatively-early point in the game, but then I found that Phanpy is also found between the first two towns, just that it only appears in the morning. Since I'm playing at night, it'll require waking up early tomorrow to catch it.


  • Cyndaquil: Level 11 (Tackle, Leer, Smokescreen)
  • Poliwag: Level 7 (Bubble, Hypnosis)

Day two: Half a team already!

Woke up early to catch a Phanpy. The first time I got one, it fled right away, so I decided to put him to sleep using Poliwag, so at the second attempt, I managed to catch it. Levelling it up has been quite a pain in the arse, as it came at level 2, and tackle is one of the worst attacks in the game.

I managed to bring Phanpy up to an acceptable level by beating wild 'mons and a few trainers, and then I proceeded to sweep the Sprout Tower, the first Gym (it was so easy that I think I didn't even notice it - I was taking a call while playing), Union Cave a couple of areas and then the Slowpoke Well.

As for the next members in my roster, I refused to get Nidoking and Fearow this time around, not because i didn't like themm, but because I played them in red already and wanted to choose something else. They're great, and Nidoking is especially fun. Fearow is just convenient but pretty dull to be honest.

I also discarded the idea of having a grass type in the team. Bellsprout didn't seem much fun, and since I've got Poliwag, I've got enough Gen 1 on my team already. I also don't like grass types that much. They're pretty slow and rely too much on condition-altering moves, so I've decided to skip Poison, Grass and Flying types for this game. I'll use a Tauros, instead, just for the fun.

I decided to stop right before the second gym, with the following team:

  • Quilava: Level 17 (Tackle, Leer, Smokescreen, Ember)
  • Poliwag: Level 16 (Bubble, Hypnosis, Water gun)
  • Phanpy: Level 14 (Tackle, Growl, Defense curl)

Day three: Hatching & catching eggs

Change of strategy. Seeing that Tauros and Donphan have a terrible moveset in the game, I decided to just keep one of them: Donphan (mostly because it's Gen 2 and because I already have Phanpy, but its moveset is really appalling!).

I decided to ditch the bull Pokémon and get grass into the game with Exeggutor. I have never played this one, and the fact that I'm pretty close to getting it very early in the game, makes it an interesting choice. I know I'll have two Psychics in the team, but it'll compensate all the games in which I haven't had a single psychic type around.

So, back to the adventure, the gym was a walk in the park, with Quilava burning through all the battles. After that, Togepi hatched, so I had to go back to Elm, not without first grabbing HM01 Cut, so I could travel a bit faster and reach a few unobtainable items otherwise.

On the way back, I almost got tempted of getting a Bellsprout or a Sandshrew in the team, but decided against it both times. I really like to have my team complete as early as possible to stop worrying about the level difference every time a new 'mon joins the ranks.

Anyways, I didn't remember the trip back was just to get an Everstone. Else, I wouldn't have done it (but maybe it would've prevented me to progress? dunno) so back into the Ilex Forest, I cleared it up easily and managed to catch a few species I didn't have like Oddish, Caterpie, Weedle and Venonat - in case there's something like in Gen 1 requiring you to have a certain number of capture species to obtain special items like the Itemfinder or the Exp. All.

After the forest, I could almost see the remaining three members of my team. Actually, the first one of them came really fast. The first headbutt on a tree gave me the egg Pokémon, so it was an easy catch (they show up asleep). After that, got the bike so I could hatch the odd egg faster and saved the game.

I want an Elekid because that's the electric type I wanna play in this game. I have never played Electabuzz, and it usually is a species you get well late into the game, so it's worth spending a few soft resets - all the more reason if they can hatch shiny!

My first attempt resulted in a Tyrogue, so I decided to soft reset.

Anyways, before venturing any further, I finished the day with:

  • Quilava: Level 19 (Tackle, Leer, Smokescreen, Ember)
  • Poliwag: Level 19 (Bubble, Hypnosis, Water gun, Doubleslap)
  • Phanpy: Level 17 (Tackle, Flail, Defense curl, Mud slap)
  • Togepi: Level 5 (Growl, Flash, Headbutt, Charm)
  • Sandshrew: Level 5 (Scratch, Defense curl, Cut)
  • Exeggcute: Level 10 (Barrage, Hypnosis, Reflect)

Day whatever: Still hatching eggs

After 2 Tyrogues, 2 Cleffas, 2 Pichus, one Magby and one Smoochum, still nothing.

Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit

Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit

CEO and Founder at MarsBased and Director at Startup Grind Barcelona. I run a team of 20 people, where I spearhead the sales and strategy areas. My background in consulting and development (ex-Deloitte, ex-VASS) and my international profile help me with the technical and the business perspective. I love loud guitars, cats, travelling and tacos.