Satoru Iwata’s work on Pokemon Gold and Silver clarified
Posted on October 7, 2023 by Brian(@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News
Although it’s known that late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata worked on Pokemon Gold and Silver, there have been some inaccurate reports regarding his actual contributions. While some have claimed that he helped make both Johto and Kanto fit on a single cartridge, it turns out that wasn’t the case.
Did You Know Gaming relays that Satoru Iwata did indeed write up an an algorithm for Pokemon Gold and Silver, but it was about speed – not size. Iwata’s code saves a fraction of a second at the start of battles, when Pokemon come out, and more. Essentially it all adds up to faster load times. Interestingly, the algorithm was a tweaked version of what was used in EarthBound and other titles from HAL Laboratory.
So how did Kanto end up in Pokemon Gold and Silver if it wasn’t for Satoru Iwata’s code? It actually comes down to Game Freak using a one megabyte Game Boy cartridge. Previous games only had access to half a megabyte. Ultimately Game Freak was able to take advantage of a cartridge that was double the size.
Another tidbit we’ll mention is that Iwata’s code actually decreased the amount of storage space available by a few percentage points. But since there was much more room to work with, that wasn’t an issue.
You can check out Did You Know Gaming’s full report on Pokemon Gold and Silver here.