Gold & Silver: Powered Up

Posted By at 7:54 PM on Monday March 26, 2012

Let’s move on to Gold and Silver. What sort of features did you devise for those two games?

Watanabe: The first order of business was to expand the number of places you could go and increase the number of Pokémon. We also tried to realize the things we couldn’t do in Red and Green due to memory constraints.

Masuda: I think that players were hoping to run into new Pokémon on new maps, so Gold and Silver were set in the towns of Kansai-themed Johto rather than the previous games’ Kanto.

What sort of improvements did you make to the program and the system?

Moriyama: Small changes we made included putting in explanations for the items and making the screen easier to look at. We aimed to make Gold and Silver gentler on the player than the previous games. We also endeavored to make the games more link-battle-oriented.

Sugimori: My goal was to make the graphics even better. Not only are the games in colour, now that there’s been some time for Pokémon to sink in, I thought I’d try to show off the charm of an even greater variety of Pokémon.

Watanabe: With the games being in colour, it was necessary to come up with some new programming tricks. The Pokémon world doesn’t have a separate map for each town. The whole game’s connected, you know? That means that as the protagonist is travelling around, the graphics for the next town and the next Pokémon to appear have to be read into the memory in advance. Because the game is in colour, each town’s houses have roofs of a different hue. However, because we couldn’t let the players see palettes changing, we had to make a gate at the start of each town and read the new palette into memory from there.

I see. So, even when the when the protagonist is just walking around, the game is reading data like crazy. The brightness of the screen also changes depending on whether it’s night or day, correct?

Masuda: That’s right. The types of wild Pokémon you encounter and the music you hear during battles also change from night to day. The tempo of the music is different, and the tone becomes more rounded. Just little things.

The trainers have more individuality in Gold and Silver, don’t they.

Sugimori: Yes, they do. We made it so that trainers would use a particular set of Pokémon depending on their occupation.

Nishino: The trainers have a lot of little details as well. When a Schoolboy grows up, he turns into a Super Nerd, for example, while a Lass becomes a Beauty.

The trainers grow up as well, you’re saying?

Nishino: That’s right. It never comes up in the story, but it’s in the game nonetheless.

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