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Refined Gold Overhaul

Hack of Pokémon: HeartGold Version


PLEASE see the accompanying Readmes in the .zip file for specific details. See the attached readme for a link to them in Google Docs if desired.

This is the Refined Gold Overhaul. For the original hack, please see Both are standalone hacks, but Refined Gold is closer to vanilla while Overhaul has a new level curve. If you are not sure which to play, you probably want Refined Gold Overhaul.

EDIT 09/04/2023: THIS IS NOW VERSION 2.0.2!

The whole game is finished, including Kanto!!

This was based on the 4787 version of the HeartGold ROM. DSPRE and Pokeditor v2 were used for scripting and editing.

Refined Gold Overhaul is an expansion of the original Refined Gold hack that substantially improves trainers and the difficulty curve along with meaningful QoL such as the Platinum shard tutors. However, the game is still true to vanilla where possible, modernizing unique design choices of HeartGold by using first-of-its-kind features such as nonlinear progression in the midgame and move tutors that take shards like in Platinum. All exotic Pokémon are in the postgame, meaning the player’s options are a lot like vanilla HeartGold. Gameplay changes instead focus on allowing access to options such as Houndour and Yanma to make proper use of the preexisting Johto Dex. Despite having engaging and competent trainer design this is not a difficulty hack. It should be easier than Renegade Platinum and feel more like vanilla B2W2 Challenge Mode than anything else.

Refined Gold Overhaul also features several novel advancements in the scripting department that serve to better capture the intended original experience.

  • Move Tutors that accept shards in Ecruteak and Mahogany/Cianwood to match Platinum’s R212 and Snowpoint tutors. A Saffron tutor covers the Survival Area.
  • Kanto has been segmented into three phases. You can pick the gyms of each phase in any order, Mega Man 7 style. It goes Surge/Janine/Erika/Sabrina-Brock/Misty/Blaine-Blue. This offers a more cohesive and engaging postgame campaign because frankly vanilla Kanto is a mess.
  • As of v2.0, the entirety of the Kanto postgame is redone with new teams on every trainer along with a fresh level curve building right from Lance.

And, of course, THE OVERHAUL:

  • From post-Morty to Radio Tower is fully nonlinear, allowing the player to pick their own path.
  • This recreates the original choice in vanilla without sacrificing player agency or gameplay quality.
  • Both trainers and wild encounters will become more powerful after completing a “track”, either by finishing Rocket HQ or getting the SecretPotion.
  • Gym trainers and leaders scale off of the player’s badge count, with the 7th Gym being a real threat and packing 5 mons instead of 4.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Pokemon - HeartGold Version (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: DS (all) (v. 20210227-111036)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: 4FCDED0E2713DC03929845DE631D0932EA2B5A37
  • File/ROM CRC32: C180A0E9



RHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack Image


ContributorType of contributionListed credit
Julian KönigDesignMain help with balancing and planning
Frozen MetroidHackingHelped with scripting and analysis
Tanning BedHackingData entry, singlehandedly saved my hands.
PKsLabDesignTrainer development in the midgame

User Review Information

User Reviews
This game is not recommended for actual hardware.face23510 Sep 20232.0.2No