How to Get All 16 Badges in "Pokemon Crystal"
By Seth Amery
Updated September 22, 2017
"Pokemon Crystal" doesn't stop with the eight badges that Johto has to offer; after you defeat the Elite Four, you'll ride the S.S. Anne all the way back to Kanto, where you can earn the classic eight badges from the first games. Like Johto, the Elite Four awaits when you've earned the final eight badges in Kanto.
After you defeat the first gym in Violet City, your Pokemon should be at least five levels higher by the time you reach the next one; this is true for all the Johto gyms. For instance, while level 10 Pokemon can tackle Falkner without breaking a sweat, you'll want them at level 15 by the time you hit the second gym in Azalea Town and level 20 for Goldenrod City. Ecruteak City introduces the first real challenge with Ghost-types, but Ice- and Dragon-types eliminate the concern. Fighting-type Pokemon help bring victory in Cianwood, Olivine and Mahogany Town, but you'll want Ice-types for the dragons of Blackthorn City.
Johto Elite Four and the Champion
If you've followed the 5-level rule, you're in great shape for the Elite Four. That's because levels scale differently in "Pokemon Crystal," so the enemy Pokemon aren't as powerful as in "Gold" and "Silver." Power alone will grant you a victory, though having Fighting- and Ground-types will help ensure that fact. Still, that doesn't mean the fights will be easy; it's not possible to heal up and restock your items in between fights, so empty your wallet at any Poke Mart before battle. Stock up on Full Heal potions and any items that undo a disabling effect, such as Paralyze Heal, Awakening and Revive.
The Champion of Johto
The Champion, Lance, features a high-level party worthy of awe. The biggest danger isn't the weak-to-water Charizard or the weak-to-electricity Gyarados: It's the level 50 Dragonite featuring a different moveset than the other two Dragonites he uses. Like in Blackthorn, using an Ice-type will help cinch your victory regardless of what moves Lance and his team of Dragonites have up their metaphorical sleeves.
Storming Kanto's Gyms
Gyms in Kanto don't follow the same leveling pattern, but if you maintain the 5-level guideline, you'll be in good shape without needing to worry about Pokemon types. Using Ground- and Bug-types will help you conquer the Vermillion and Saffron gyms, and ensuring that your Pokemon are much higher level than your opponents earns you the victory in Celadon, Fuchsia, Cerulean and Pewter City. Water-types will destroy the Seafoam Islands Gym Pokemon, and then you'll face a very powerful rival party in Viridian. Since these Pokemon vary so much, opt for defense instead; for example, using Steel-types ensures most attacks against your Pokemon aren't very effective.
The Elite Four, Revisited
The Elite Four return, though their Pokemon are stronger than the first time you encountered them in Johto. The same strategies you used for the first tournament will work now with your own higher-level Pokemon; your opponents use the same Pokemon and feature the same weaknesses you can exploit, including the fact that you'll be higher level by following the 5-level guideline. You'll also have the same restrictions as before, meaning you'll need to stock up on items before agreeing to fight.
Fighting the True Champion
The last person you can fight is Kanto's Champion, who waits with level 80 Pokemon inside Mt. Silver, accessible from Route 28. You can't enter this mountain before getting all 16 badges, and that's for good reason; this is the toughest fight in the game. Get your own party as close to level 80 as possible, which puts them just a hair under Red's strongest Pokemon, Pikachu. Ground-types are your best bet for victory, especially ones with higher speed; you'll want to go first as often as possible, using high-damage attacks like Earthquake to knock out your opponents.
Seth Amery is a long-time writer whose specialties extend to all areas of video games, having written thousands of tutorials, fully-featured strategy guides and reviews across all platforms. His experience also includes one-on-one relationships with major gaming publishers to write previews on upcoming games, establish interviews with game designers and hold early game giveaways.