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Difference between revisions of "Pokémon Red and Blue Versions"

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Revision as of 12:01, 22 August 2010

This article is about the international releases. For the original Japanese releases, see Pokémon Red and Green Versions and Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese).

Pokémon Red and Blue Versions
Pokémon Red and Blue's boxart, depicting Charizard and Blastoise respectively.
Basic info
Platform: {{{platform}}}
Category: RPG
Players: 2 players simultaneous
Connectivity: None
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: {{{gen_series}}}
ESRB: E for Everyone
Release dates
Japan: February 27, 1996*
October 10, 1996*
North America: September 30, 1998
Australia: November 1, 1998
Europe: October 8, 1999
South Korea: N/A
English: Poké page
StrategyWiki has more about this subject:

Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version were the first Pokémon games to see release outside of Japan, becoming available in North America on September 30, 1998 [1], and thus being the first Pokémon media to hit the international market. The pair closely followed after their release of the Pokémon anime, which began airing September 8, 1998 [2], and within a year, Pokémon was well-known as a popular Nintendo franchise, with a third version, Pokémon Yellow, on the way.

Unlike later generations, Red and Blue were not the same as they were in their Japanese releases. Japan had gotten their first pair of Pokémon games as Red and Green, which in all aspects were the same as Red and Blue with the exception of sprite design. When preparing the games for their English release, it was decided that Red and Green would be merged with Japan's already-released third version, Blue, for its improved graphics and sound.

Despite being released towards the end of its console's lifespan, it quickly became the best-selling non-bundled game released for the Game Boy.


Illustrating the original Pokémon gameplay concepts, players begin their game in Pallet Town, a small town in the Kanto region, on the same day as their former best friend and now rival. Professor Oak calls the player to his laboratory, and allows the player to choose from starter Pokémon: the Template:Type2 Bulbasaur, Template:Type2 Charmander, or the Template:Type2 Squirtle. After the rival has jealously chosen the starter that weakens the player's choice and had a preliminary battle, the player leaves for his journey across the region, challenging Gym Leaders and other Trainers on their way to the ultimate goal: the Pokémon League at the Indigo Plateau.

Along the way, the player will meet up with his rival several times, and have multiple run-ins with the insidious Team Rocket, a criminal group that seeks to use Pokémon for their own gain. The player will ultimately find out that the boss of this evil group, Giovanni, is actually the final Gym Leader in the game.


"You've finally been granted your Pokémon Trainer's license. Now, it's time to head out to become the world's greatest Pokémon Trainer. It's going to take all you've got to collect 150 Pokémon in this enormous world. Catch and train monsters like the shockingly-cute Pikachu. Face off against Blastoise's torrential water cannons. Stand strong when facing Pidgeot's stormy Gust. Trade with friends and watch your Pokémon evolve. Important—no single Pokémon can win at all. Can you develop the ultimate Pokémon strategy to defeat the eight Gym Leaders and become the greatest Pokémon Master of all time?"


Like in Red and Green, players may trade Pokémon between two cartridges using a Game Boy link cable. To take full advantage of this feature, several Pokémon are exclusive to each game of the pair, making it required that a person trade with others in order to complete their Pokédex. The link cable also makes possible battles with another player, allowing one to pit his or her Pokémon against new challenges.

Trades between Pokémon games in different languages are impossible in this generation, and will always result in corruption if attempted. This is due to the fact that the games cannot automatically translate the Pokémon data, since there is not enough room on either cartridge for all of the text in so many languages (a feature that would later become possible).



Players are introduced to the first eight Pokémon Gyms, each with their own type affiliation, of the series, led by Brock (Rock), Misty (Water), Lt. Surge (Electric), Erika (Grass), Koga (Poison), Sabrina (Psychic), Blaine (Fire) and Giovanni (Ground).

Elite Four

The Elite Four of Kanto are a step above the rest, all located at the Indigo Plateau and ready to take on all challengers. In order, they are Lorelei (Ice), Bruno (Fighting), Agatha (Ghost) and Lance (Dragon). The final battle a Trainer has is against the Champion, their rival, who has Pokémon of mixed types.


Each game contains pre-recorded data on 151 different species of Pokémon, including Mew, a Pokémon unavailable to players of either game under normal conditions. Despite this, not all Pokémon are available to the player, regardless of version; trades must occur between players in order to complete their Pokédex without the use of cheats or glitches. Mew is the only Pokémon in these games that must be acquired through attending either a Nintendo sponsored event, a glitch, or cheating.

Version exclusives

The following Pokémon are only obtainable in one game of this pair. In order to obtain Pokémon exclusive to the other game of this pair, they must be traded either from that game or from another compatible game of Generation I which has that Pokémon available.

023 023 Ekans Poison
024 024 Arbok Poison
043 043 Oddish Grass Poison
044 044 Gloom Grass Poison
045 045 Vileplume Grass Poison
056 056 Mankey Fighting
057 057 Primeape Fighting
058 058 Growlithe Fire
059 059 Arcanine Fire
123 123 Scyther Bug Flying
125 125 Electabuzz Electric
027 027 Sandshrew Ground
028 028 Sandslash Ground
037 037 Vulpix Fire
038 038 Ninetales Fire
052 052 Meowth Normal
053 053 Persian Normal
069 069 Bellsprout Grass Poison
070 070 Weepinbell Grass Poison
071 071 Victreebel Grass Poison
126 126 Magmar Fire
127 127 Pinsir Bug


Red and Blue can trade with all games from Generations I and II, provided that a Japanese version of the game isn't being traded with a non-Japanese version. While link battles are not possible directly between Red and Blue and the Generation II games, a player may challenge a Generation II game using Pokémon Stadium 2.

Pokémon Red and Blue are completely incompatible with Generations III and IV.


The games received positive reviews from the press, receiving a perfect 10/10 "Masterful" rating from IGN.[3] The games received an average score of about 89% on GameRankings[4], the second highest on the site for a main series Pokémon game, and the 3rd best score for a Game Boy title.[5]


Spr 1b 109.png 109.png
Koffing's Red and Blue sprite (left) paired with its HeartGold and SoulSilver sprite (right).

While bringing Pokémon to international fame and continuing the legacy of the Japanese Red and Green, Pokémon Red and Blue have been met with much criticism, especially compared to more recent releases in the series. Aside from the number of glitches present in the games, many Pokémon look very little like their appearance in the anime, which premiered nearly simultaneous with the games' North American release, or later games, which improved on several other aspects as well as the graphics.

The two games are also notorious for their several drastic glitches, among them the fabled Missingno., Glitch City, and the Mew glitch. Despite this, the glitches are arguably minimal points of criticism due to the reward value that comes from their activation, such as the multiplication of a player's sixth item that happens when Missingno. is encountered.


  • The American staff in charge of localizing the games tried to change the Pokémon designs, however, Tsunekazu Ishihara refused the proposal.[6]
  • On the box art of Red and Blue, at the bottom states "Link with (Red or Blue) version to catch all 150 monsters". This is one of the rare occasions where the Japanese name "Pocket Monsters" is referenced.
  • These two titles along with Yellow are the only titles to have their mascot's artwork changed from their Japanese counterparts.
  • The blurb on the back of the games' boxes state that 139 different Pokémon can be obtained in the game without trading. This, however, includes all Pokémon that the player chooses (i.e. both the Omanyte and Kabuto families are counted). Therefore, the true total of different Pokémon obtainable in one adventure (without trading) is 128.
  • The Pokemon shown during Professor Oak's introductory lecture is a Nidorino. However, the cry that plays belongs to Nidorina.
  • In one episode of the sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," a child on a bus is playing a Game Boy with a Pokémon Blue cartridge in it.

In other languages

Language Title
France Flag.png French Pokémon Version Rouge et Version Bleue
Germany Flag.png German Pokémon Rote Edition und Blaue Edition
Italy Flag.png Italian Pokémon Versione Rossa e Versione Blu
Spain Flag.png Spanish Pokémon Edición Roja y Edición Azul


  1. IGN Pokemon Red Version
  2. Anime News Network - (Pokemon TV)
  3. IGN: Pokemon Blue Version (Pokemon Blue) (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  4. Pokemon Red Version for Game Boy - GameRankings (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  5. Reviews and News Articles - GameRankings (retrieved December 21, 2009)

Template:Main series

Project Games logo.png This game-related article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.