Interview with Game Freak

[10.13.00] » Pokémon creators discuss capture theory.

   The Official Pokémon Gold/Silver Guidebook was recently released in Japan, and it features an interview with Game Freak, the design team behind the main Pokémon series. Since the interview was done for a strategy guide, the team talks mostly about how to catch some of the trickier Pokémon; fortunately, that's probably just what's on the minds of American players who've just got the new games.

   There are several new stumbling blocks to getting all the Pokémon in Gold or Silver. First is the scarcity of the elemental Stones, which only appear once in the main game and are required to evolve some Pokémon. The only way to acquire more stones are through the Mystery Gift feature. Game Freak deliberately made these difficult to acquire, "to promote the transfer of characters from older versions of the game."

   They also provide hints on how to catch three very mobile Pokémon: Entei, Suicune, and Raikou. According to Game Freak, you'll need to figure out which direction they're moving before making an attempt to capture them, since they move one square on the map for every square that you do. The best way to meet up with these three is to "make sure you are on a collision course with them," says Shigeki Morimoto, the game's programmer.

   Also mentioned are the variant colors that every Pokémon sports in Gold/Silver. The color variations don't count toward the final Pokedex total, and won't give the player anything special; they are meant so that players can "gloat to their friends and say things like, 'My Gyarados is red.'" A similar reasoning is behind the 26 types of Unown Pokémon. Each type represents a letter of the alphabet, so players are encouraged to "use these letters and make a new game out of it, like secret codes or something like that."

   Other topics discussed include the difficulties of balancing 250 monsters, how the new Pokémon serve both the game and the popular cartoon series, the Pokérus disease, and rumors arising from the game's fanatical fan base. Go to for the full interview.

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