When you start out, the first question that the game asks you is the hour of the day, followed by the minute. You will begin in your house in New Bark Town. Go downstairs, and after your mother asks you the day of the week and whether it's Daylight Savings Time, she will give you your PokeGear.
Crystal: You can select whether you want your character to be a boy or a girl.
Now go to the big house all of the way up and to the left, this is Professor Elm's Lab. Once you go into the lab, Elm will talk to you and then give you the choice from three starting Pokemon:
#152: CHIKORITA (Grass)
If you want a DIFFICULT game, choose Chikorita. The reason you'll have such a hard time is even though it learns Razor Leaf right away, you'll have to take on Falkner with a weak type, which won't be easy! One good thing about Chikorita is that, unlike Bulbasaur it isn't part Poison, therefore it isn't useless after you beat the game.
#155: CYNDAQUIL (Fire)
If you're looking for an EASY game, Cyndaquil is the Pokemon for you! Bellsprout Tower will be a breeze with this guy and in no time he will evolve and Falkner will be dust. Something weird though is that Charmander used to be the difficult choice in Pokemon Red/Blue, but now with the new types, a Fire-type is strong.
#158: TOTODILE (Water)
Totodile, Squirtle's counterpart is your choice for a MEDIUM difficulty game. It learns some pretty good attacks, but you might run into some trouble at Sprout Tower, so you'll have to catch some Pokemon along the way to help you out.
Now that you have chosen your Pokemon, you can nickname it if you want and it will be yours! Elm will then exchange phone numbers, and he'll tell you to go and find his friend, Mr. Pokemon. He will also tell you that the machine at the top left-hand can restore your Pokemon's HP. It is very useful, since many times your Pokemon will get knocked out. Before you leave, Elm's assistant will give you a Potion that can help restore 20 of your Pokemon's HP. Use it only when you are far away from a Pokemon Center, but don't hesitate to use it since it is only useful at the beginning of the game. Don't worry about Poke Balls just yet; they will be given to you later. Now go outside the lab, to start your Pokemon journey!
CHERRYGROVE CITY AND THE POKEMON ELDER
Your first destination is Cherrygrove City to the west, but you should take the time to raise your Pokemon up to level 10 just outside New Bark Town on Route 29. You will have an easier time this way. Once you've built up to level 10 (which shouldn't take very long), go west. On Tuesdays, there is a girl named Tuscany that will show up. She has brothers and sisters who will also show up on certain days during the week (Monica on Monday, Wesley on Wednesday, Arthur on Thursday, Friday on Friday, Santos on Saturday, and Sunny on Sunday). They give you special items that you can attach to your Pokemon that increase a certain attack depending on the item. Don't worry about her siblings now because they will show up later on in your adventure. Tuscany will give you a Pink Bow which increases Normal-type moves.
Don't bother going up, because you won't be able to get very far anyway. Keep going until you get to Cherrygrove City. Talk to the old man at the beginning of the town, and answer "yes" to his question, and he'll take you on a tour of the town. When he ends at this house, he will give you a Map Card. It will allow you to access a map from your PokeGear.
Go north on Routh 30, and go into the house. Here there is a man who will give you an item called "Berry" and teach you how to use it. There are many different types of berries around the game (some heal, cure poison, paralysis, etc.), and you can get them from the large flowers that appear during the game (there is one outside of his house). The good thing about Berries is that you can equip it on a Pokemon, and whenever it reaches a certain low degree of Hit Points, it will automatically use that Berry. Elm has already equiped your Pokemon with a berry, so that your Pokemon won't faint because of its low HP. Keep going east and north on Route 31 until you reach Mr. Pokemon's house. When you enter Mr. Pokemon will introduce himself and then Professor Oak will talk to you and give you a high-tech version of the Pokedex. Oak then leaves to go do his very popular radio show. Mr. Pokemon will then give you an Mysterious Egg to take back to Elm. Not only that, but he will heal all of your Pokemon.
BACK TO NEW BARK TOWN
Once you step out of the house, Elm will call you telling you that there is trouble and that you should return immediately to the lab. Do what he says and make your way back to Cherrygrove City and use the Pokemon Center. Just before you leave town, you will encounter a young man named ??? who will be your rival. He has stolen one of Elm's Pokemon, the one that has the type advantage over yours. For example, if you chose Cyndaquil at the beginning, he would have Totodile since it is strong against fire. Your Pokemon should be at a high enough level that it will be an easy fight, since his Pokemon is only at Level 5.
After you have won, go and heal your Pokemon at the Pokemon Center if you need to, then go to Elm's Lab. The police will be there, and you will have to name the young man that you fought. He will then be your rival for the remainder of the game. He will look at the Egg that you were give, and will take it for a time to study. Just as you are about to leave, Elm's Assistant will give you 5 Poke Balls. The first man that you see outside of New Bark Town (named Dude) will instruct you on how to use the Poke Balls. You don't have to take his help, but I would recomend that you do if you are a novice to the game.
At this point, you should start to catch some Pokemon to
add to your team. A good choice to catch would be Sentret (the
flying racoon; can only be caught during the day). It can learn Cut, and strangely enough, Surf! Another good one is Pidgey, which can learn Fly and while you're at it, pick up a Geodude if you want (in the area where I said don't bother to go because you couldn't get very far) to learn Strength. Keep at least one slot open in your party! I'll tell you why later.
Now that you have some Pokemon, make your way to Violet City and then to the gym. How you get to Violet City is you go back north of Cherrygrove until you get to the part where the path splits in two. The part to the right leads to Mr. Pokemon's house and the path to the left leads to Violet. Along that path there are some trainers to battle to get your Pokemon experience. Keep going north until you get to Dark Cave and then start going west until you make it to the gateway to Violet and voila, you are there!
Before you battle the leader though, you will meet some weak trainers with Flying-type Pokemon, which can help you build up your Pokemon's Level. Now that you have dealt with them, battle Falkner, the gym leader, but save before you battle him incase you lose. You should always do that before big battles so that if you lose you can rebattle without losing half your money for fainting. Falkner like the trainers before him uses bird-type Pokemon, and should be relatively easy if you have built up your levels. Falkner only has a level 7 Pidgey and a level 9 Pidgeotto, which will be hardly a problem. After you have defeated Falkner, you will receive the Zephyr Badge, which increases the Attack of all of your Pokemon, plus it allows you to use Flash at any time. He also gives you TM31 Mudslap. It's basically just like Sand Attack, except it does damage. Lastly he will give you $300 for your victory.
Elm will call after you exit the Gym. Your egg is now ready, so go to the Violet City Pokemon Center, and Elm's Assistant will be there. After you have answered "yes" to his question, you can fill up that empty spot in your party with your egg, which he will give back to you. It can not attack though, but will hatch in some time into Togepi!
There's also a house in Violet that you can trade a Bellsprout for an Onix. The level will depend on what level your Bellsprout is because whenever you trade a Pokemon to a person in the game, their Pokemon will be the same level as yours.
Now go to the northern part of town to find a large tower named Sprout Tower. You'll encounter Sages with Bellsprout and the occasional Hoothoot. At the top your Rival beats the head Sage and runs off after talking to you. Defeat the Sage (who has 2 Level 7 Bellsprout and a Level 10 Hoothoot) and he will give you $320 and HM05 Flash.
Click here to see a map of the Sprout Tower.
RUINS OF ALPH
If you go just south of the Violet City Gym and Poke Mart and then west through the gateway, you'll find the Ruins of Alph, an archaeological site over 1,500 years old, but make sure you have at least 3 Pokeball with you. You don't have to do this right away, but it is worth getting it done so you don't forget about it later on. Anyway, keep going up past the first cave entrance you see and go north past the Alph Lab (the little building) to the next cave entrance. Inside you will find the first of four Alph puzzles that you will have to put together. The first one is a Kabuto puzzle and once you have completed it, the floor will drop out and down you will fall into the cave below. If nothing happens, you've put the puzzle together wrong, so keep trying.
Inside the room that you fell into are a bunch of Pokemon called Unown. They have no gender, but they do have many different shapes, all in the shapes of all 26 letters. Don't get confused though, they all have the same Pokedex entry. Catch 3 different shapes of Unown to bring to the Pokemon researchers in the Alph Lab.
To unlock more shapes you will have to surf, strength, break rocks, towards the 3 other entrances to the cave (Like the Kabuto one where there is a puzzle to solve.) You can find them by surfing on the Lower Level of Union Cave, but you need Strength to get two of them.
Now that you have your three Unown, go to the Alph Lab just outside the cave exit. The scientist there will give you an upgrade for your Pokedex which will show you what different Unown shapes you've caught. To make all 26 different shapes of Unown available, you'll have to solve all four puzzles. If you manage to catch all 26 shapes, go talk to the scientist again and he will let you print out your Unown shapes to make banners, if you have a Gameboy Printer.
Now that you have the upgrade, after you catch an Unown shape it will be recorded under here and you can take a look to see which ones you have by pressing Select while in the Pokedex and then choosing the last option, Unown Mode.
You might also want to check out the western area of the ruins, which is home to one lone trainer, and there is a patch of grass where you can try to catch Natu and Smeargle, but you'll need to know Surf first therefore do it later.
Crystal: In the Ruins of Alph there are treasure rooms coming from the Puzzle Rooms. You must look at the spelled out Unown words, and put them together. They tell you things that you need. Use Escape Rope in chamber; attach Mystic Water to lead Pokemon while in chamber; use Flash while in chamber; Move Ho-oh to the lead Pokemon spot in chamber. Doing this will bring you to the treasure room, where you'll find four treasures.