Shiny Pokemon

Pokemon Heart Gold Walkthrough and Guide

by CMBF  

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Appendix 15

Shiny Pokemon

You may have heard of them or even seen a picture of one on the web, but chances are slim that you have never encountered one in the game, and even if you have encountered one,  you may not have realized it as you have to pay close attention during the opening of the encounter in order to see the give-away sign that it is a special Pokemon.  Once the encounter is underway, the most obvious signs that you have encountered a Shiny Pokemon are the alterations of the opening visual and sound effects of the encounter/battle and its colors.    

At the start of an encounter with a Shiny Pokemon the opening sound effect and graphics are slightly different, featuring radiating sparkles and what most trainers call a "sparkling sound effect" that is obvious once you know what to listen for.  This effect is also present when you use a Shiny to battle another trainer, or encounter a Shiny in a battle with another trainer. 

In the Second Generation games the sound effect and sparkles occur in the opening sequence before the Pokemon voices its call, while in the Third and later Generations these effects happen after the Pokemon voices its call.

The colors on a Shiny Pokemon are different from those of a normal one -- for example the Pidgey that I encountered had a very light olive-green color to its feathers in place of the rich brown that the normal ones have, and the difference in color is very pronounced and obvious, but that is not always the case.  A smaller number of Pokemon have only the slightest variation of color and hue so that spotting the stars and hearing the tinkling sound can be the only effective way to identify their unique form!

Shiny status is not a transient status, and what that means is very simple: if a Pokemon is Shiny, it will always be Shiny, even when it evolves into another form, whereas if a Pokemon is not Shiny there is nothing that you can do legitimately to make it a Shiny.  Some casual players make use of game altering hardware and software to edit their Pokemon to boost their stats or turn them into Shinies, but doing this will invalidate both your Pokemon AND your cartridge/card for use in Tourney Play!  When you sign up for a Tournament at official Pokemon events,  your cartridge or card is validated using a special console by the officials, and all of the Pokemon in it are evaluated and checked for tampering.

If you are found to have tampered with any of the Pokemon or even to have an altered Pokemon that you obtained legitimately from the Global Trade Station, your card will be flagged as permanently invalid for Tourney Play!  Altering Pokemon, even when it is done nearly perfectly, is simply not worth that penalty, so when it comes to Shiny and Legendary Pokemon, you are better off restricting your acquisition only to trades with people that you can absolutely trust, finding them in the wild, or breeding them yourself!

-- Generation I & II Shiners --

Shiny Pokemon were first introduced in the Second Generation of games, and though the color differences can range from very slight for some Pokemon to very pronounced and obvious for others, the factor that determines whether or not it is a Shiny also differs between Generation II games and the later Generations. 

There were no Shiny Pokemon per se in the First Generation, but the method that was used to determine the Shiny status for the first two Generations involved it having capped Speed, Defense, or Special Individual Value Points (IV's), and because of this a Shiny could be traded backwards to a Generation I game and then traded forward to a Generation II game while still retaining its Shiny status.  This was often done in order to permit the Pokemon to learn Generation I TM's, assuming that the Pokemon was a member of the Dex of the First Generation.

The odds of encountering a Shiny in Generation II were approximately 1 in 8,192 (which are very long odds indeed!).  That being so, it should be noted that Shiny status is a trait, so if a trainer breeds Shiny Pokemon together the odds jump to an astounding 1 in 64 chance, which is almost a sure thing compared to the odds of encountering them in the wild!

 -- Generation III and Newer Shinies --

Unlike the first two Generations, the method for determining whether or not a Pokemon is Shiny in the later Generations uses a different system.  Since there is no possibility of trading between Second Gen and later games, the Dev's were able to devise a more random and reliable system for Shiny flags that utilizes your Trainer ID Number (a five-digit number assigned to each trainer as they begin their journey into the world of Pokemon), and the Secret ID Number (a second five-digit number that while invisible to the player exists to guarantee that even if two trainers somehow share the exact same name, ID number, and gender, the games will still recognize their Pokemon as being from different trainers).  This second number is hidden and cannot be viewed by the player.

The odds of encountering a Shiny Pokemon are 1 in 8,192 but they can be encountered in any location where you can catch Pokemon as well as from eggs that you have hatched, whether you bred them or not.  Unlike the Second Generation games, using Shiny Pokemon to breed does NOT increase the odds of obtaining an egg that contains a Shiny Pokemon in the 3rd and later Generations!

While the IV's and stats for Shinies were slightly better in the 2nd Generation games, this is not the case in the 3rd and later Generations, as the Shiny Pokemon in these games always have the same basic chance and spread as regular Pokemon. 

-- Generation IV Exceptions --

The 4th Generation Games (Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold and SoulSilver) have specific exceptions in them that none of the previous generations contain, and these give a significant advantage to trainers who are seeking to capture or breed Shiny Pokemon!  There are two exceptions, and these consist of:

Exception 1: The Masuda Method

Named after Game Freak Director Junichi Masuda, was revealed by Masuda in his regular Pokemon column, and further refined by the folks at the Fan Site "Smogon" ( and is defined as:

When an egg is bred from Pokemon that are obtained from games that are of different languages from each other (for example an English male from the US version of Pearl and a Japanese female from the Japanese version of Pearl) the resulting egg is four-times more likely to result in a Shiny than otherwise. 

The Pokemon can be obtained either through capture, breeding, or trade via GTS, Wi-Fi, or game-to-game, but this does not work if both of the Pokemon are from the same foreign language, even if the game that they are playing in is different from their language.  Foreign-language Pokemon that are obtained via in-game trading with NPC's  (such as Surge's Pikachu or Meister's Magikarp) also will NOT have this exception because while their language is different, they originated in an English (or whatever your game language version is) game.

The mechanics of this exception are intentional, and were created by Masuda, and the basic function is thus: when a pair of Pokemon are presented to the Daycare Center and the game detects that one of them originated in a game from a language different than that of the game, the odds of their egg resulting in a Shiny are altered from 1 in 8,192 to 1 in 2,048 (which equals a four-times greater chance).  This may not seem like a major difference but in the world of statistics it is considerable.

This advantage does come at a cost, however.  When breeding with two foreign Pokemon, the 50% chance of passing on one of the parents nature using an Everstone is removed.

Exception 2: Chaining

The chaining method requires you to maintain unbroken chains of detection using the Poke Radar.  As you battle the Pokemon and your chain increases the chances of encountering a Shiny Pokemon also increases.  As you work through the chains if the grass glows instead of shaking you have encountered a Shiny Pokemon! 

To facilitate this method you will want to use as many Repel Potions as necessary in order to maintain the Repel Status throughout the chaining session, to avoid a random encounter that would, in effect, break the chain.

-- The Shiny Attraction --

Despite the fact that Shiny Pokemon are only special because of their appearance, and do not have better stats or special abilities other than what any Pokemon of that type might have, they are still a very sought and desired commodity in the world of Pokemon trainers!  On private trade boards you will often see trainers who are willing to trade legendary Pokemon for bog-standard common types as long as they are Shiny, and there is even a subset of trainers who actively compete in Tourneys whose special interest is fielding teams that consist entirely of Shiny Pokemon!

Whether this notion appeals to you or simply represents a curiosity, if you ever do encounter a Shiny Pokemon you should make every effort to catch it, because it could easily be worth one or more of the Pokemon you may still need to complete your Dex, and would make that process much easier through trading it!  Be aware though -- in the 12 years that I have been playing, covering every single game in all of the generations, I have only encountered seven Shiny Pokemon in wild encounters and eggs, and of those, I was only able to capture four, and that is considered to be a very good result.


Comments for Shiny Pokemon

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163 comments, latest first.
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The one and only shiny I've ever encountered was a butterfree in gold. It was early in the game and I was unable to catch it.

Added 15th Oct 2015, ID #616744

I was once playin Pokémon Sapphire (my favorite), and training for Roxanne, 'cause I picked Torchic, and I also had a Zigzagoon, but then I saw a SHINY Zigzagoon, caught it, replaced the other, evolved it into Lineoon, and named it Lucky. That is so far my only Shiny.

Added 20th Sep 2015, ID #609914

I have never seen a shiny pokèmon, EVER.... :(

Added 17th Sep 2015, ID #609113

Right now I found shiny thing, cant remember.

Added 18th Feb 2015, ID #517875

Shiny Roserade , Shiny Mawile , Shiny Gigalith , Shiny Golem , Shiny Tangela , Shiny Garchomp , Shiny Beedrill , and................. the Lake of Rage's Shiny Gyarados
All Legit

Added 11th Feb 2015, ID #514716

Aww! My only shiny is a Butterfree

Added 7th Feb 2015, ID #512881

I once caught a shiny graveler, but reset the game and lost it because apparently getting a fresh start was more important that that.
I also caught a shiny spearow once when I first attempted the Nuzlocke challenge and then I lost the cartridge I was playing on...
Then once I got really lucky (i guess?) and saw a shiny Aron during a contest in Ruby i think, which i later found out was so rare that some people would debate on whether or not it was something that could actually happen.

Added 5th Feb 2015, ID #511962

I once found a shiny onix (it was yellow so I thought it was ill) and accidentally KO'd it 😩

Added 23rd Jan 2015, ID #505878

One time in Philemon black I was poking around looking for a manna and there was a shaking patch so I ran into it because audio gives you a lot of ex p points and it was like BAM shiny purple audio!! I caught it and her name is lavender

Added 19th Oct 2014, ID #460378

i found a shiny cubone in soul silver in safari zone it was green but it got away it took me the whole day and also found and caught a shiny geodude in the safari zone found a shiny elcatabuzz and a shiny fearow but i only caught the shiny geodude casue it was in the safari zone

Added 24th Aug 2014, ID #440421

I have a shiny HOOTHOOT in heart gold

Added 7th Aug 2014, ID #432226

First, grats to all of you who have caught some shiny mon.

Second, thank you for sharing your stories here. We love that!

Gotta Catch em all!

Added 6th Aug 2014, ID #431910

I got a shiny crobat and weaval in my hg both pink

Added 29th Jul 2014, ID #427381

Eh, Never got a shiny that wasn't Gyrados. It's a bit sad and was hoping in x and y I'd find one for the first time playing through but have turned my focus to alpha sapphire for getting a first shiny. (Hoping it's a Ralts or Sableye, Oh heck or even Kyogre (But I am not one to do srs unless getting female starters))

Added 21st Jul 2014, ID #422977

I have a shiny geodude I want to trade it for a shiny suicune Where can I get a shiny Suicune I also have a shiny mew, HO-OH and a shiny Numel in Black I am very impressed I also have the Shiny Gyarados I am still looking for a shiny shinx

Added 15th Jun 2014, ID #400204

I have a shiny xatu I love him from my firered

Added 28th May 2014, ID #390229

I caught a shiny luvdisc on my pokemon x version on feburary 22, 2014!

Added 25th Feb 2014, ID #358964

First shiny was an amoonguss in X, then I hatched a shiny charmander on the 3rd egg with a French ditto ( about 116 eggs overall at that point). Also have a shiny Dialga from gamestop

Added 15th Jan 2014, ID #344154

got a pink butterfree

Added 27th Nov 2013, ID #322791

ill never catcha pokemon that's shiney nownes givin any good tips but im still happy:P

Added 13th Nov 2013, ID #319303

i have a shiny zubat i found it in the dark cave

Added 26th Sep 2013, ID #311306

I caught a shiny golbat. It was all like HEY IM GREEEEEN

Added 14th Sep 2013, ID #309559

I've done. 3 files on heart gold and 3 on black1 and white 2 and all for 300 hours not 1 shiny but the garadose

Added 29th Aug 2013, ID #307334

You may have heard of them or even seen a picture of one on the web, but chances are slim that you have never encountered one in the game, and even if you have encountered one, you may not have realized it as you have to pay close attention during the opening of the encounter in order to see the give-away sign that it is a special Pokemon. Once the encounter is underway, the most obvious signs that you have encountered a Shiny Pokemon are the alterations of the opening visual and sound effects of the encounter/battle and its colors.
At the start of an encounter with a Shiny Pokemon the opening sound effect and graphics are slightly different, featuring radiating sparkles and what most trainers call a "sparkling sound effect" that is obvious once you know what to listen for. This effect is also present when you use a Shiny to battle another trainer, or encounter a Shiny in a battle with another trainer.
In the Second Generation games the sound effect and sparkles occur in the op

Added 4th Aug 2013, ID #302530

i got shiny ho oh latios palkia rayquaza raikou and kyurem and the best of them all is my max special attack kyogre with 437 special attack igot over 18 other shinies but was not legendaries but if any one have shiny deoxys isay to him please trade on yourpokemon white or black 2 i actually don not like deoxys but its attack form is super powerful my really best is colochanged heatmor please if any one have these two guys in color change pleas trade ps my other shinies are(lopunny golem gallade metagros infenape black charizard golurk umbereon salamance blissey ninetail rapidash luxray concledurr haxorus)

Added 26th Jul 2013, ID #300421

I once was rummaging in the grass on the route to the Victory Road, and a red, shiny sandslash appeared. It was random, yet cool!

Added 15th Jul 2013, ID #297706

I got a green and yellow taros! But then I traded it for a giritina cause I love those things!

Added 2nd Jul 2013, ID #294464

I have a shiny suicune (from gamestop) and a shiny spoink my bro caught and traded to me and I have a shiny watchhog I caught as a patrat and a shiny gyarados (nothing speacial) Oooh, and I once encountered a shiny graveler but... I had no pokeballs..... boohooo.suicune rules. If you have a shiny ralts I will give you a shiny.

Added 1st Jul 2013, ID #294183

omg i have 4 i was cacthing ho - oh then boom freaking shiny i was like YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!then when i started the game i saw a pink cyndaquil i was like cool and picked him.once on my 10th softreset a pink shiny lugia popped out awsome.last you know how dragon master gives you dratini on my first try pink . i pretty much got them all on my first try except lugia. just on one file and lots of pink shinys;]

Added 10th Jun 2013, ID #289179

i have seen one shiny other than garados and i was unable to save i have probably 1000 hours in my pokemon adventures :(

Added 3rd May 2013, ID #279695

picked up my brothers heartgold and found a shiny ponyta.i sent it to my black 2. plus on fire red i found shiny nidorino and rhyhorn!!! but they both ran away:(

Added 30th Apr 2013, ID #279012

t a gold geodude red garados and shiny spero and a green zubat from XD wierd how is that possible?

green pikachu
Added 26th Mar 2013, ID #267440

So how about that shiny eevee from the VGCs for HG &SS back in 09 or 10? I'm gonna evolve it into the new evolution from gen 6 and its gonna be great. And besides the event shinies of suicune, raikou, entei, eevee, and the horrible red gyarados, my only shinies are zebstrika, zubat (which is now crobat), and dratini (from beating benga). Almost done with the nat. dex in white 2 so I can get the shiny charm and breed with my Japanese ditto. Shiny charm + masuda method FTW.


Added 18th Mar 2013, ID #264939

i have the gyarados and a shiny geodude once in ruby i found a shiny pidgey but i didn't know it was shiny and i ko'd it:(

Added 10th Mar 2013, ID #262236

Shiny MEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AWW YEAH!
Plus shiny:
Gyrados(Got it in HeartGold so it's not really rare)

and I think that's it.

Added 7th Feb 2013, ID #251468

I had a shiny geodude in firered, but my brother started a new game before I could trade it and he he erased it! It was my first shiny, too. However, I have managed to catch a shiny pichu(now a pikachu) in pearl, a trapinch(now vibrava) in black2, and the rarest of all, a shiny DRAGONITE in White. yes you read that correctly. Yes I know what Dragonite is

Added 3rd Feb 2013, ID #249466

Green Eared Clefable

Added 19th Jan 2013, ID #244302

I have every shiny from the events in SS, Shiny Garchomp and Lucario, and a black Charizard :P they sit in my PC boxes as trophies ^,..,^

Added 19th Jan 2013, ID #244230

I got an golden margikarp.

Added 4th Jan 2013, ID #237252

I started to breed for I shiny archen, and after the 510th try, I finally get it!

Added 26th Dec 2012, ID #228777

My freind caught a shiny pidgey, bred it and another shiny hatched, i know this isn't 100% possible n will be shiny but he got lucky.

Added 23rd Dec 2012, ID #226993

all my pokemon are shiny and i completed my pokedex

Added 9th Dec 2012, ID #217964

I have been playing Pokemon my hole life and not once seen a shiny Pokemon. I have only been traded Shiny's, but not encountered any :(

Added 5th Dec 2012, ID #215460

I had a shiny shedinja on a diamond game and then my brother erased the game :(

Added 3rd Dec 2012, ID #214741

i sadly ran out of pokeballs trying to catch a green tailow from my emerald version, it was the first shiny and only shiny i have ever found, cruel joke from the man upstairs right? lol

Added 13th Nov 2012, ID #208187

use a mastear ball

Added 8th Nov 2012, ID #206681

the only shinys i have ever got are a shiny kyurem and shiny crobat. i'm trying to get a shiny starter for my heart gold.

Added 8th Nov 2012, ID #206576

At the Ruins Of Alph I found and obtained a blue unown:D;also at Lake Of Rage while fishing I obtained a golden magikarp!

Added 4th Nov 2012, ID #205140

I've been playing Pokemon for 16 years, I have played every game through to the end multiple times, I have played in almost every spare moment I've ever had when I wasn't sleeping or eating.

I've never encountered a shiny.

Added 21st Oct 2012, ID #199553

Lol I ATTRACT shiny pokemon. In emerald an Leafgreen, I ve gotten 10 legit combined shinies and 4 shinies I got by saving and restarting the system a crap ton of times until it turned shiny. Plus, I frikken ran into a shiny rattata BEFORE I had any pokeballs. MADE ME MAD!
Mankey, Pikachu, Skitty, Marill, Chimecho, Wobuffet, Meowth, Snubble, Wooper, and Doduo are the ones a ran into
I restarted a bunch for Eevee, Rayquaza, Metwo, and Beldum.

Added 19th Oct 2012, ID #198353