Animated Character Database
200px-Ethan Donphan

Ethan (Japanese: ヒビキ Hibiki) is the main playable character in Pokémon Gold and Silver and is the male choice in Pokémon Crystal, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. In Crystal, his female counterpart is Kris, while in HeartGold and SoulSilver, his female counterpart is Lyra.

In the player's story as seen in the game manuals from Generation II, his name depends on the current game: GoldG, SilverS, or ChrisC (Japanese: ゴールド, シルバー, or クリス). Ethan's definitive name was introduced when he appeared as a non-player character in Generation IV games.

As the protagonist[]

Ethan's journey as a Trainer begins when Professor Elm asks him to run an errand for Mr. Pokémon, who lives north of Cherrygrove City on Route 30. Because he may encounter dangerous wild Pokémon along the way, Elm gives him a choice between three Pokémon to protect him: Cyndaquil, Totodile or Chikorita.

Ethan spots another boy his age watching Elm's Lab from outside. When Ethan tries to talk to him, the boy abruptly shoves him away. This boy, Silver, will become Ethan's rival.

Ethan continues onward and finally meets Mr. Pokémon and completes his errand. While there he meets Professor Oak who, upon realizing Ethan's bond with his new Pokémon, gives him a Pokédex. On his way back home, Ethan again meets Silver, who has stolen one of Elm's remaining Pokémon. After defeating the boy in battle, the boy tells Ethan his nameGSC/Ethan learns the boy's name from his dropped Trainer CardHGSS, and Ethan relays it to the police in New Bark Town. Professor Elm allows Ethan to keep the Pokémon he chose earlier, and also encourages him to compete in the Johto League.

Ethan begins on a Pokémon journey in the Johto region, facing off against its eight Gym Leaders, defeating and disbanding the revived Team Rocket, and becoming Pokémon League Champion by defeating the Elite Four and its previous Champion, Lance at Indigo Plateau. Along the way he also teaches Silver to respect Pokémon as living creatures and not just as tools for battle.

After being declared the Pokémon League Champion, Ethan then journeys by ship from Olivine City to Vermilion City in Kanto. Traveling around that region, he battles against another set of eight Gym Leaders. Upon getting permission from Professor Oak in Pallet Town, Ethan heads for Mt. Silver via Route 28. His journey comes to a close when, deep in Mt. Silver's cave, he faces the Champion from Pallet Town, Pokémon Trainer Red, who had been training there since shortly after he became Pokémon League Champion three years prior.

As a non-playable character[]

In Pokémon Crystal, if Kris is selected, then the male player character will not appear in the game at all (although his sprite will be used in a link battle with another game from Generation II as well as opponents in Viridian City's Trainer House).

In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, if Lyra is selected to be the player character, Ethan meets her in New Bark Town at the start of the game. In this particular scene, he is seen with a Marill. He will always have Marill even if another starter Pokémon is selected. In addition, he doesn't appear to take the remaining starter Pokémon. His role in the storyline of HeartGold and SoulSilver is similar to that of Lucas/Dawn in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum if they are not chosen as the player character, while Lyra takes this place if he is selected as the player. He teaches the player how to catch Pokémon on Route 29 (replacing the Dude from Gold, Silver, and Crystal).

While playing as Lyra, his grandparents run the Pokémon Day Care on Route 34. He also gives the player the Fashion Case in Goldenrod Tunnel and the Vs. Recorder on Route 31. Naturally, this role is given to Lyra if he is the player character.


Ethan uses this party to show the player how to catch Pokémon when Lyra is selected as the player character in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.


  • The Gold and Silver artwork was originally presented in the Official Guidebook of Nintendo Space World '97 (Japanese: NINTENDOスペースワールド'97オフィシャルガイドブック), along with Silver, Oak, Schoolboy, Lass, Firebreather, Kimono Girl, Fisher, Ho-Oh, Slowking, Ampharos, Donphan, and the new Pokédex.
  • Ethan is 4'11" (1.50 m) tall and weighs 88.2 lbs (40 kg) in HeartGold and SoulSilver. This was confirmed by checking the heights and weights of certain Pokémon in the Pokédex. As such, Clefable and Latias are both the same weight as Ethan.
  • Ethan is the only male player character to have two female counterparts; Kris and Lyra.
  • The majority of his Japanese default names from HeartGold and SoulSilver are shared with Red and Lucas. The same holds true for their respective female counterparts.
  • A 1997 pamphlet describing Gold and Silver mentions that the protagonist has a brother three years his senior. However, this aspect of his character was discarded by the time of the final release.
  • On the "Area" map on the Pokédex in HeartGold and SoulSilver, Ethan's headshot sprite shows his hat from Gold and Silver. An earlier, unused version of this sprite is also found within other scrapped Pokégear graphics data, in which Kris appears instead of Lyra.
  • One of Pokémon Trainer's palette swaps in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has a color scheme based on Ethan's appearance in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal.
  • The Japanese optional name カケル Kakeru, along with the English optional name Chase, were eventually given to the male protagonist of Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!.
  • Ethan's first anime counterpart having a different name, Jimmy, likely stems from the fact that Ethan did not become his canon name until HeartGold and SoulSilver.
  • Ethan is the only game protagonist to have two anime counterparts.


  • The Trainer's Guide released with each Generation II core series game tells a short story about the start of Ethan (or Kris in Pokémon Crystal)'s adventure as seen in the games. However, he has a different name in each game:
    • His name is Gold (Japanese: ゴールド Gold) in the manual of Pokémon Gold.
    • His name is Silver (Japanese: シルバー Silver) in the manual of Pokémon Silver.
    • The name "クリス" is equally used for both the male and the female player characters in the Japanese manual of Pokémon Crystal. However, this name is not mentioned in the English version of that manual.
  • In the Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal, the name "クリス" is the first option for both the male and female player characters. In the English version, this name was romanized as Chris for the boy and Kris for the girl.
  • Before he received an official name in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, most fans called him Gold (Japanese: ゴールド Gold).