The Virtual Console re-release of Pokémon Crystal Version is here, allowing trainers the world over to play through the 2000 Game Boy Color classic and catch pocket monsters across both Johto and Kanto with the convenience of their Nintendo 3DSes. Although it’s no shocker that Pokémon like Cyndaquil and Suicine are now able to be caught and transferred to newer Pokémon games through the use of Poké Transporter and Pokémon Bank, there’s one Pokémon that can now be obtained that may surprise some players.

Celebi, the Grass/Psychic Time Travel Pokémon that was only available (legitimately) in the original release of the game through a Japan-exclusive event item, is able to be battled and caught in all versions of the 3DS release — provided some steps are taken, of course. In the OG Game Boy Color version of Pokémon Crystal that was released in Japan, players had access to the Pokémon Communication Center in Goldenrod City — a precursor to the online functionality seen in today’s Pokémon games. There, they could use what was called the “Pokémon Mobile System GB” to link up to a mobile phone and receive a GS Ball — the event item that allowed them to receive a Celebi.

While this distribution event was localized for the Western releases of Pokémon Crystal for the Game Boy Color, it was ultimately never implemented in the game, making catching a legitimate Celebi for non-Japanese players impossible. With the 3DS eShop release of the game, though, gamers have finally been provided a way to their hands on both the GS Ball and Celebi. Here’s how:

How to obtain the GS Ball

gs ball lance

The first step in netting yourself the GS Ball is by defeating Johto’s Elite Four: Will, Koga, Bruno, Karen, and Champion Lance. Once you’ve successfully overcome Lance’s army of Dragon-type Pokémon and sat through the game’s credits sequence, you’ll need to head over to Goldenrod City. If you’re in Kanto, Fly to Saffron City and hop on the Magnet Train, but if you’re in Johto, just Fly straight there. Once you’re in Goldenrod, enter the Pokémon Center. Go heal your Pokémon and then leave (or simply take one step forward and one step backward), and a nurse will come downstairs and approach you. She’ll congratulate you before awarding you the coveted GS Ball.

gs ball goldenrod city

You’ve got it! “The mysterious ball” (as described in your bag) is at last yours.

How to catch Celebi

Now that the GS Ball is safely in your possession, head over to Apricorn-expert-and-custom-Poké-Ball-extraordinaire Kurt’s house in Azalea Town. Hand him the ball and he’ll promise to check it for you. However, you won’t be given the ball back immediately — like with all of Kurt’s dealings, you’ll have to wait until after midnight for him to finish.

Optional: If you don’t want to wait until midnight, you can instead speed things up by resetting your clock using the Pokémon Gold/Silver Online Password Finder. Don’t worry, this is totally safe and all your save data will be there after this is complete. To reset your clock, follow these steps:

1. Save your game.
2. Go to the menu and open your Trainer Card.
3. Go to the Pokémon Gold/Silver Online Password Finder and enter your Name, ID number, and amount of money into the fields to receive a password.
4. Restart your game and head to the title screen.
5. Hold down SELECT + DOWN + B, then let go of DOWN + B. While still holding down SELECT, hold down UP + LEFT and then let go of SELECT to reset the game clock.
6. Enter the password you received and the game will restart again.
7. Hit “CONTINUE” on the menu to choose a new date/time. As long as you set the time anytime past midnight on the next day, you’ll be good. For example, if you gave Kurt the GS Ball at 6:30 p.m. on a Friday, set the clock to be 12:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Once Kurt has finished, talk to him again and he’ll tell you the GS Ball began shaking while he was examining it. He’ll rush out the door — follow him and you’ll find him just beside his house. He’ll hand you the GS Ball back and direct you to Ilex Forest, which has become “restless.” Before heading there, make sure you’re stocked up on Balls and ready to catch Celebi.

ilex forest shrine

From Azalea Town, you’ll need HM01 Cut on a Pokémon to reach the shrine where Celebi can be caught. The path to the Ilex Forest shrine is very short — just head up, and once you see the cuttable tree, you’re there. Chop it down and approach the shrine. Save your game before interacting with it. If you’re a Shiny hunter, rejoice: Celebi can be Shiny, so you have all the time in the world to reset for one.

Interact with the shrine and you’ll place the GS Ball in it. A Level 30 Celebi will float down from above and attack.

pokemon crystal celebi

This Celebi has a catch rate of 45, which is much higher than other legendaries, meaning it’ll be a lot easier for you to catch. After you’ve successfully caught Celebi (or fainted it), Kurt will run up to you and tell you how inspired you’ve made him. Once he’s gone, you can start enjoying your brand-new Celebi!

Transferring to Pokémon Bank

If keeping Celebi in your eShop version of Pokémon Crystal just isn’t your style, you can instead transfer it to Pokémon Bank and enjoy it in your copy of Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, or Ultra Moon. Best of all for competitive players, this Celebi is guaranteed five perfect IVs when transferred.

Go to a Pokémon Center and deposit Celebi into Box 1. Don’t skip this step, as Poké Transporter can only transfer Pokémon that are in Box 1. Also understand that all Pokémon in Box 1 will be transferred, so move any you don’t want to transfer to Pokémon Bank to another box. Save your game, boot up the Poké Transporter application on your 3DS home screen, and upload your Celebi to Pokémon Bank.

Once it’s successfully transferred, you can access Pokémon Bank and find your Celebi ready and raring to be transferred into any of your Gen VI or VII games. Just pop in whatever Gen VI or VII cartridge you want to transfer Celebi to, open up Pokémon Bank, and move it over to your game. Mission complete.

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Written by Daniel Dell-Cornejo

Always with his head in the clouds, Daniel is never apart from his creative thoughts – a blessing for an aspiring fiction writer. As a journalist and lifelong gamer, he aims to provide readers with the very best in Nintendo coverage.

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