Pokémon Red and Blue Versions
- 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 Version and Pokémon Blue Version were the first Pokémon games to see release outside of Japan, becoming available in North America on September 1, 1998, and thus being the first Pokémon media to hit the international market. The pair were followed closely after their release by the Pokémon anime, which began airing less than a week later, 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 Team Rocket boss, 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).
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.
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.
Red and Blue can trade with all games from Generations I and II, provided the language is the same. While link battles are not possible between Red and Blue and the Generation II games, a player may challenge a Generation II game using Pokémon Stadium 2.
The games received positive reviews from the press, receiving a perfect 10/10 "Masterful" rating from IGN. The games received an average score of about 89% on GameRankings, the second highest on the site for a main series Pokémon game, and the 3rd best score for a Game Boy title.
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.
- 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 125.
- Blastoise shares the first letter of its name with the game it is the mascot of: Blue.
In other languages
- French: Version Rouge/Version Bleu
- Spanish: Edición Roja/Edición Azul
- German: Rot-Edition/Blau-Edition
- Italian: Versione Rosso/Versione Blu
|This game-related article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.|