Welcome back to Seriously Average Gamers, or greetings if you’re new! Today I’ll be talking about something a little different to normal. Unlike normal where we talk about games, new and old. Today I’m going to talk about a little Pokemon Rom Hack that I played recently and loved. It’s called Pokemon Fool’s Gold, and it’s an altered version of Pokemon Crystal.
I’m not one to play many hacks of games in all honesty. Before this I had only played one other, that was Pokemon Omega Red. It’s an altered version of Fire Red for the GBA. This one I’m talking today challenges a lot more than that one.
I found this Rom wholly by accident, a YouTube video came up and I had nothing else to watch. So I clicked it and loved what I saw. The video is below here from a channel called HoodlumScrafty.
It seems that Fool’s Gold was put together by a small team, “in their spare time”. You can check it out here on PokeCommunity, to see some info about the game. Or you can keep reading of course to see my opinion too.
- Max / kingbigb0y
- Revé/ froqpond
- Gaby/ g.eeb
- Amanda/ hamandswiss
- Joe / celadonk
What’s the message?
So what’s the hook for Fool’s Gold, well it’s a take on Pokemon Crystal. In my opinion, and similarly that of our Zack, the second generation of Pokemon games are some of the best. I personally really like the Johto region anyway, with its locations and Pokemon designs. It also has some of my favourite artwork and sprite work of any of the games. It’s also the only generation to feature 2 full regions, Johto and Kanto.
So far so good. What really drew me to Fool’s Gold was the fact that these guys have redesigned all 251 from the first 2 regions of Pokemon. This includes entirely new visual designs, typings, ways to evolve, and movesets. Pokemon locations have been altered and every Pokemon can be obtained at some point during your journey.
That’s right. Every single one and let me tell you, some of these are fantastic. I’ll get into that a bit more in a second though.
Along with these redesigns they have also added in a couple of new routes and locations. One of which has a very creepy Nurse Joy sidequest. I won’t spoil it but I really enjoyed it and had a good giggle to myself.
A lot of the “boss” trainers have had their teams updated and improved. The gym leaders and elite four, all have new Pokemon and stronger teams. It adds a little extra challenge to the game that is really appreciated.
What’s it good for?
So as I said above, some of the Pokemon redesigns are amazing. There are some interesting type combinations and also just the visual sprite work is incredible. I also said above how much I liked the art style of the second gen of Pokemon. The sprite work for the Pokemon themselves are definitely the highlight here. I have always found these sprites so endearing. A major upgrade from the original games, and it was very obvious.
The guys behind Fool’s Gold have held true to this endearing feeling and made their new sprites just as good. Now when I talk about sprites I mean the in-battle ones and also some of the menu ones. I’m not sure how many they added but I can confirm that they’ve added a dedicated Cyndaquil line for one. I like that. I really like that.
Some of my fave designs
Firstly Houndoom. Houndoom is already one of my favourite Pokemon anyway, it’s new one is just as awesome. It is now a Grass/Dark type, it looks like a Celtic/Norse woodland wolf spirit.
Hitmonchan is now a Fighting/Fire type. It basically just has flaming gloves, it’s simple but I’m super into it.
The male Nidoran line are now robots. They’re Electric/Steel types and literally just look like metal versions of the originals. Nidoking though now has a drill hand and a cannon arm. So yeah that’s dope.
Finally I’ll mention Porygon. Porygon is now basically a rubber ducky and gains the water typing. When evolved into Porygon2 it becomes a little blue ducky with a sailors hat. Need I explain further?
Nurse Creepy Joy
Next I will talk a little bit about the creepy side quest. I won’t spoil the actual story behind it though. All I will say is that on your journey you will find a new route and if you take it you will come to a new town. This new town is called Tumbleweed Town, there’s nothing here but a Pokemon Center. It’s really run down and the Nurse acts strange. There’s a dungeon below the center that you can explore.
When you get to the end of the dungeon you get the choice to pick one of the Kanto starters, with their new types and designs of course. I took Squirtle in my playthrough. I actually really don’t like Squirtle, I find it to be the worst Kanto starter. However in Fool’s Gold the Squirtle line are water/dragons. This makes them much better! The moveset for Blastoise is much better too, getting Surf and Dragon Pulse makes it a beast.
What’s a bummer?
There’s honestly not much that I don’t like about Fool’s Gold, it’s built on a really strong foundation. The idea is awesome, but there are just 2 areas in which I have some minor issues.
First is that I don’t like all of the redesigns. Now to be fair I don’t think a single person could honestly say they like every Pokemon design. There are bad designs in every generation of Pokemon, that’s just a fact. I think I find this more of an issue because the original in some cases is already pretty good. This is, as with all Pokemon, is subjective. So in my opinion I don’t really like the redesign of the Zubat line or the Magnemite one.
I personally really like the Zubat line, Crobat especially looks awesome. The Fool’s Gold redesign makes them weird, kind of winged eyeballs. It’s an interesting idea but I feel they look much worse than the originals.
Magneton is actually part of my perfect Gen 1 Pokemon team. I love the design and typing for it. The redesign is a singular psychic type, which is objectively worse, and they’re now blobs. They have kind of taken on the look of Grimer/Muk which I do not prefer over magnet eyeballs.
The other issue I have is with some of the movelists. To be clear I know that a lot of the movelists in the normal Silver/Gold/Crystal are also bad. The team updated these to use new moves already, like adding moves for their new typing. If they had already done this, it would have been nice if they had improved them overall.
The biggest example for me would be Nidorino. I got him up to level 45 and it had only learnt Thundershock and Metal Claw. Just adding Thunderpunch or Thunderbolt along the way would vastly improve the experience. It’s only small but would make a rather noticeable difference in my opinion.
So there’s some of my likes and dislikes for Pokemon Fool’s Gold. I think if you have access to an emulator and like Pokemon Crystal this is a must play. The redesigns of all of the Pokemon breath new life into an absolute gem of a Pokemon game.
I’ll also definitely be playing it again, likely with a Totodile this time. Totodile by the way is now a little pilot with wings. Gotta love it.