Polished Crystal

July 28, 2022

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A greatly updated version of Crystal adding abilities, the physical/special split, and an improved Kanto section of the game. Also frequently updated and added new areas to explore and new content.
  • Tons of new modernization features including Phys/Special Split, abilities, and more.
  • interesting changes to Pokemon types and moves to shake things up.
  • Built-in Nuzlocke rules is cool for those who partake.
  • Improved Kanto portion of the game and newly-added areas extend the gameplay.
  • Half-finished content makes some of the discovery annoying instead of enjoyable.
  • Some may not like the removal of some Pokemon and move changes.
4/5 Stars


Pokemon Crystal, but with bug fixes, updates from later in the series, restored content from R/B/Y, some backported HG/SS content, and original additions. The physical/special split is here, natures are here, the Fairy type is here, and moves and other changes from future generations are updated as well. Kanto has an actual level curve and more content, making it feel like a full part of the game and less like a bonus extra area. Add in some new content to find along the way and you've got a fresh experience that still feels like the classic Crystal you're used to.

There's also some changes to pokemon typing and moves, such as making Noctowl Flying/Psychic and buffing most HMs to be less of a dead weight. There's a 'faithful' version of the game to avoid the pokemon changes.

Major Features

  • Physical/Special Split and the Fairy Type.
  • Abilities are added to the game.
  • You can catch all 253 available pokemon, which includes future evolutions, but does remove some other pokemon such as some baby pokemon and deliberd, spearow line, hoppip line and others.
  • Item evolutions now work via holding the item while leveling up instead of trading, other trade evolutions now involve requiring five stat boost items' worth of stat exp.
  • Some moves added and removed with learnsets roughly equal to Gen VI.
  • Catching Pokemon grants XP
  • 1 in 1,024 shiny chance.
  • More post-game events.
  • Lyra from HG/SS is added to the game as a secondary rival.
  • Nuzlocke Mode available at start of game.
  • Wonder Trade machine available in Goldenrod city.
  • The ability to vary pokemon appearance based on their IVs, this allows for some fun things like different Magikarp scale patterns.


This is a pretty big update to Pokemon Crystal, adding some features from both Gen 1 and areas and features from Heart Gold and Soul Silver. It backports the physical/special split, fairy type, abilities, and natures from future gens with several of these being toggleable when you start the game. I'm incredibly impressed by abilities being added especially. I was not expecting to see that in a pre-gen-III game. That and the improved Kanto experience really sell this hack to me.

There hasn't been a stable release in a while, so the creator recommends the beta as the best version to play for all the features. It runs fine to the end of the game, but there are some new, original areas that are unfinished with doors that don't work or tall grass with no encounters. I found these kind of annoying to stumble across whenever I did. It's cool that there are some new areas adding to the sense of discovery, but after a while it just kind of disappointed me or felt like I was wasting time trying to figure out if anything works or not in an area.

I enjoyed playing through the non-Faithful version, as the pokemon changes such as making Ledian part Fighting were sensible to me and I enjoyed having a bit of a shakeup with Pokemon I was already familiar with. I did not try the Nuzlocke mode myself, but it's nice that it's included in the game and once some of the new content is more finalized I'll try that as a second runthrough.

I lost some interest towards the end in this one due to the unfinished content becoming more common, but I still enjoyed it a lot. Definitely worth playing through if you want a Gen 2 Run for the gameplay updates alone and I'm excited to see where it ends up when more of the original content is completed.