From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The first generation of Pokémon games, often known as the color generation due to the names of the versions released, was the first set of Pokémon games to be released. The generation consists of Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow on the Game Boy and two Pokémon Stadium games for the Nintendo 64 in Japan, and Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow on the Game Boy and only Pokémon Stadium on the Nintendo 64 in the rest of the world.
It may be contemporaneous with Generation III, as revealed by details in the later remakes of the games, and occurs three years before both Generation II and Generation IV.
Generation I introduced many of the major Pokémon gameplay basics that have remained up to this point, as well as a system of releases that is also considered to be the "standard formula".
Major gameplay elements include
- A party of Pokémon that the player keeps with them, consisting of six members.
- Bill's 12-box Pokémon storage system, which holds Pokémon that the player has captured but does not currently have in their party, up to a limit of 240 Pokémon (at 20 per box).
- A complex stat system, with separate HP, Attack, Defense, Special, and Speed stats for each Pokémon.
- 151 species of Pokémon, with many related to each other by way of evolution.
- 165 unique moves, restricted to four per Pokémon.
- 15 unique types, each with distinct weaknesses and resistances to each of the other types.
- 8 Gyms, each specializing in a different type, the Elite Four, and Pokémon Champion, making up the Kanto region's Pokémon League.
- A system for trading with and battling against other players using a Game Link cable to connect two Game Boy systems.
- Main article: Kanto
Generation I introduced the first region to the Pokémon series, which, though unnamed in the original English games, is named in Japanese as Kanto, after the region of Japan it is based on. The name has since passed into English, first being used in Super Smash Bros., and subsequently being noted in all games since.
At the outset of the player's journey, he will have no Pokémon on hand, and venturing outside of Pallet Town is impossible, as Professor Oak will stop him and bring him back to his lab, where three Pokémon await both the player and his rival.
The starters of the Kanto region began the three-type trio that is still followed in Generation IV of Grass, Fire, Water, with the player's choice being of Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle. Much as in later generations as well, the rival will choose whichever of the three has the type that is super effective against that of the player.
The choice of a starter can make the beginning few Gyms change in difficulty, but does not affect much in the long run aside from the rival's party. Bulbasaur is known by many to be the easiest to start with, as its Grass-type weakens the first two Gyms and resists the attacks of the third. Squirtle is known as the second easiest, as Water-types also weaken the first Gym, however, it can prove difficult mid-game if the player has not caught a Pokémon that can resist the later Gyms. Charmander is widely regarded as the hardest of the trio, as Fire-type moves do little damage against the first Gym's Pokémon, and there are few opportunities for capture of a Pokémon that can counterbalance its weaknesses against the first several Gyms.
In Pokémon Yellow, instead of the normal trio found in Red, Green, and Blue, players can only start with the Template:Type2 Pikachu, which likewise has difficulty with the first Gym. The rival will take Oak's Eevee and evolve it into one of its three stone-based evolutions depending on the results of the player's battles against him.
The eight Kanto Gym Leaders each specialize in a different type of Pokémon. Each gives out a badge and a TM on their defeat.
Discussion of Generation I
When the games were first released, despite their inferior graphics and sound compared to other games of the time, they were revolutionary, firmly rooting the Pokémon series as one of Nintendo's mainstays alongside Mario and The Legend of Zelda.
Throughout the four generations so far, Pokémon has continued to build on the successes of Generation I's system, while addressing the drawbacks and errors made in the development of the games. Many of the Pokémon world's standards were set in the first generation, including the first five HMs, all of which, with the exception of Flash, remain tools required for the game's completion in the most recent games.
Not only were gameplay aspects of the world set in Generation I, but also the storyline aspects. Each region since Kanto has had a local Pokémon Professor named after a tree who gives the player a starter Pokémon, an evil team whose goal is to rule the world, and many other things that are now integral to being a main series game.
The games proved popular enough that, eight years after their original release, they received remakes in the form of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, as these games are incompatible with Generation III and onward.
- Excluding FireRed and LeafGreen, as they are remakes, Generation I is the only generation so far whose mascots are non-legendary Pokémon.
- As far as release dates go, Generation I is the shortest generation in North America, partly due to the fact that Red and Blue were not released until 1998, while in Japan, they were released in 1996, and their successors, Gold and Silver, were released closer together, in 1999 in Japan and 2000 in North America. As the rest of the world's releases are more similar to the North American releases than the Japanese releases, it is also the shortest generation worldwide.