Playing Pokemon Gold & Silver, All I Wanted Was A Dark-Type
My favorite Pokemon type is the Dark-type. Yes, I also happen to love Shadow the Hedgehog and went through a phase where I thought ninja were the coolest thing ever – why do you ask?
The allure of the Dark-type is both in its mystery and how it flirts with the edge of the typical Pokemon rules. Pokemon battles are supposed to be a fair fight in the name of friendship and good sportsmanship. Dark-types spit on that by using attacks like Beat Up, which has all members of the user’s team gang up on the foe. Or Parting Shot, where the user hurls stat-reducing insults at the foe while running away. When Pokemon Gold & Silver added the type back in the year 2000, little wannabe edgelord me was ready to play dirty. There was just one problem: the game doesn’t let you catch any Dark-types until the endgame.
As an adult who writes about games (and still loves Shadow the Hedgehog), I can now tell that this was the point. Tyranitar is a “pseudo-Legendary” on par with the likes of Dragonite and Garchomp. Its power is your reward for putting in the time to find Larvitar and raise it up. The developers also probably wanted to give players something to do once they beat the story. Still, that doesn’t quite explain why Murkrow and Houndour don’t show up earlier. They’re underpowered by the time they appear, and aspiring Dark-type trainers like myself would have appreciated them. And since Pokemon is supposed to be for kids, it helps to cater to that impatience a little.
Shoutout To Umbreon
There is one sort of exception to all this: Umbreon. Eevee got a Dark-type evolution in Gold & Silver, and it’s one of the most popular Pokemon of all time. An Eevee could be found in Johto if the player was willing to backtrack. After meeting Bill in Ekruteak City, you can go back to Goldenrod (home of the infamous Whitney) to see him again. Bill will then give the player a low-level Eevee. With enough friendship, level grinding, and timing, Eevee can evolve into Umbreon and be your team’s resident Dark-type. While I missed out on this in my laser-focused quest to find Sneasel, Umbreon later became a core part of my Eevee team.
I still look fondly back on my time with Pokemon Gold & Silver. They built on the thrill of discovery created by the first games and made me a fan for life. The day/night cycle blew my mind as a game mechanic, and destroying Joey’s “top percentile” Rattata never got old. I would gladly give Nintendo money for a “Let’s Go!” version of Gold & Silver. Just please let me do it with Sneasel at my side this time.
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Sergio is the Lead News Editor for TheGamer. But usually he asks people to call him “Serg” because he wants to sound cool like the guy from System of a Down. He began as a convention reporter for FLiP Magazine and Albany Radio’s The Shaw Report to get free badges to Comic-Con. Eventually he realized he liked talking to game developers and discovering weird new indie games. Now he brings that love of weird games to TheGamer, where he tries to talk about them in clickable ways so you grow to love them too. When he’s not stressing over how to do that, he’s a DM, Cleric of Bahamut, cosplay boyfriend, and occasional actor.
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