From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
This is the Bulbapedia walkthrough for Pokémon Red and Blue Versions. This walkthrough follows the original Game Boy version, not Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.
The guide for those can be found here.
Turn the Game Boy on. After the intro, press A or Start on the title screen and you'll see the main menu.
You should be able to select from New Game and Option. (You may have Continue as a selection; this is if you have already started and saved a game on this cartridge.)
Moving the cursor to Option and pressing A will show three topics. You don't need to touch them, but it's a good idea to put the Text Speed to Fast. Go down to Cancel and press A, and you'll be back on the main menu. Select New Game and press A.
Professor Oak appears! He briefly introduces the world of Pokémon and the Pokémon themselves, but you know all this, right?
When he asks you for your name, you can choose from:
- (New Name)
- RED or BLUE (corresponding to the version you are playing)
- ASH or GARY
- JOHN or JACK
If you don't want any of the preset names, go to New Name and press A. Here it's a simple case of moving around to the letter you want and pressing A to select it. To remove the last letter, press B. Once you're done entering your name, select ED in the bottom right corner or press START. This stumped a lot of people when the game was first released.
Now you are introduced to your rival! Choose his name in the same way, and you'll be teleported off to Pallet Town!
You start the game in your bedroom, sitting in front of a SNES. Now it's time to get used to the controls:
- The D-Pad (Arrows) will move your character around. Go on, try it! They will also move your cursor around in menus.
- The A button is the game's all-purpose "do" button. It will let you talk to people, push buttons, search things and a whole load of other stuff.
- The B button cancels selections and lets you exit menus.
- The Start button opens the in-game menu for you.
The PC in the top-left corner of your room has a use. Move in front of it, face it, and press A.
Your PC is your item-storage system. You can only hold 20 items in your backpack, so if you have too many you can put them in your PC. The system is simple: if you want to store an item, choose Deposit Item and select an item. If you want to retrieve an item, choose Withdraw Item and then select an item. Finally, if you want to get rid of an item permanently use Toss Item and select the item to remove.
Your PC can hold a maximum of 50 items.
Your PC already holds an item, a Potion. Select Withdraw Item and choose Potion x1. You're asked how many to withdraw. Since there's only one Potion, you may just press A.
Now how do we get out of menus? Press B a few times and you'll be back in your bedroom.
Maybe it would be a good idea to save our game now. So with nothing selected, press Start.
Most of the options are self-explanatory. For now, select Save, and the game will ask you if you are sure you want to save. Select Yes. Once it is done saving and the menu has disappeared, the game is saved. You could then turn off the Game Boy and continue from exactly from this point later on.
Enough of this, let's go downstairs. Walk on top of the stairs in the top right corner of the room.
When downstairs, you see your Mom sitting at the table. If you talk to her, you'll find that she watches too much television, and that apparently Oak has been looking for you.
To get out of your house, there is a mat at the door. Simply walk right through it. Welcome to Pallet Town!
Pallet Town is a rather tiny town, having only three buildings. The house you just left is yours, the one to the right of that is your rival's house, and the big building is Professor Oak's lab. You can walk all around town and talk to everyone, but Oak will not appear. Looks like there's nothing else to do but leave town, so walk to the tall grass north of Pallet Town and...
Oak appears! He must have been hiding behind one of the signs or something.
Oak warns you that walking into tall grass without a Pokémon is dangerous so he offers you a Pokémon. Once you're in control of yourself, it's time to decide which Pokémon you're going to start with. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, and some are more of a challenge than the others. So, take a look at your options, and pick the Pokémon that's right for you...
- Bulbasaur is perfect for beginners. It can easily mop up Pokémon in the Pewter, Cerulean, and Viridian Gyms, while at the same time being somewhat immune to the Pokémon in the Vermilion and Celadon Gyms and completely immune to the effect Poisoned. It may have trouble with the Saffron and Cinnabar Gyms, but at that point in the game you should have some great Pokémon to back it up.
- Charmander is the most difficult Pokémon for beginners to use, since it is weak against the types in the Pewter, Cerulean and Viridian Gyms, while only having a type advantage against Celadon Gym. His final evolution, Charizard, is noted for being quite powerful, though it may not usually have a type advantage in battle.
- Squirtle is the second-easiest to train. It can defeat the Pewter, Cinnabar, and Viridian Gyms without much effort. However, its movepool is relatively limited, and it may have trouble against the other Water-types in the Cerulean Gym.
Once you have chosen a Pokémon, it's your rival's turn; he will always choose the Pokémon that has the type advantage to yours. When you turn to leave, he will challenge you to a battle. Get ready for your first battle.
When battling, you'll each send out your Pokémon; they are Level 5, which is shown by the :L5 aside each Pokémon. Under that is the health bar, showing each Pokémon's remaining HP. You win a battle when you take all of your opponents Pokémon down to 0 HP; you will lose the battle if all of your Pokémon reach 0 HP.
Choosing Fight will allow you to choose an attack to use against your opponent. Your Pokémon will have two attacks regardless of who you chose. The first one with hurt the enemy, and the other one will lower one of the enemy's stats. Keep using the attacking one, which will be either Tackle or Scratch. If your Pokémon starts to lose a lot of HP, you could use that Potion we got out of the PC earlier; go to Item and it will bring up a list of the items you are holding. You only have a Potion, so select it and then select your Pokémon. This is the same way you use the Item menu outside of battle.
Once you have defeated your rival, you will get 175, and he will leave. (Don't worry if you didn't win the battle, you won't lose any money from it, and practice makes perfect anyway.) If you win the battle, your Pokémon will gain enough experience to grow to level 6.
Now leave Oak's lab and head north from Pallet Town, and you'll be in Route 1.