Similar to Pokemon Gold and Silver, HeartGold and SoulSilver take place in the Johto region of the franchise's fictional universe. The universe centers on the existence of creatures, called Pok√©mon, with special abilities. The silent protagonist is a young Pokemon trainer who lives in New Bark Town. At the beginning of the games, the player chooses either a Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile as their starter Pokemon from Professor Elm. After performing a delivery for the professor, he decides to let the player keep the Pokemon and start them on a journey.
The goal of the game is to become the best trainer in Johto and Kanto, which is done by raising Pokemon, completing a catalog of Pokemon called a Pokedex, defeating the eight Gym Leaders in Johto for Gym Badges, challenging the best trainers in the region known as the Elite Four and the Champion, and then defeating the eight Gym Leaders in the Kanto region. Finally, the player may face off against Red atop Mt. Silver, who serves as the game's final boss.