From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- Pokémon Red redirects here. For the Japanese game with the same name, see Pokémon Red and Green Versions.
- Pokémon Blue redirects here. For the Japanese game with the same name, see Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese).
|| Release dates
|| As Red and Green:|
February 27, 1996
As Blue: October 15, 1996 (CoroCoro Comic)
October 10, 1999 (retail)
| North America:
|| September 28, 1998
|| October 23, 1998
|| June 10, 1999|
October 5, 1999
| South Korea:
Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version were the first Pokémon games to be released outside of Japan, becoming available in North America on September 28, 1998, in Australia and New Zealand on October 23, 1998 and in Europe on June 10, 1999 or October 5, 1999 (depending on the source used). In North America, the pair closely followed the debut of the anime's English dub, which began airing on September 8, 1998, and within a year, Pokémon was well known as a popular Nintendo franchise.
Unlike later generations, Red and Blue were not the same as their corresponding Japanese releases. Japan had gotten their first pair of Pokémon games as Pokémon Red and Green, which in all aspects were the same as Red and Blue with the exception of Pokémon sprite designs and more numerous bugs. When preparing the games for their English release, it was decided that Red & Green would be merged with Japan's already-released third version, Pokémon Blue, for its improved graphics, sound, and lack of easily-accessed gamebreaking glitches.
Despite being released towards the end of Game Boy's lifespan, they quickly became the best-selling non-bundled games released for the Game Boy as well as being the best-selling role-playing games of all time.
Illustrating the original Pokémon gameplay concepts, the player begins his game in Pallet Town, a small town in the Kanto region, on the same day as his former best friend and now rival. Professor Oak calls the player to his laboratory, and allows the player to choose from the three Kanto starter Pokémon: the Grass-type Bulbasaur, the Fire-type Charmander, or the Water-type Squirtle. After the rival displays jealously, he chooses the starter that has a type advantage against the player's chosen starter and challenges the player to a preliminary battle. Afterwards, the player leaves for his journey across the region, challenging 8 Gym Leaders and other Trainers until he reaches 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.
At the end of the game, the player will have a battle against the Champion, Blue, after beating the Elite Four.
After the credits, the player will gain access to Cerulean Cave in Cerulean City and be able to battle strong Pokémon. The player will be able to battle and capture the strong legendary Pokémon Mewtwo.
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 possible in this generation; however, a Japanese game cannot connect with a non-Japanese game. The latter will always result in corruption if attempted. This is due to the fact that the games cannot automatically translate the Pokémon data from Japanese to a different language or vice versa, since there is not enough room on either cartridge for all of the text, namely kana and the Latin alphabet (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 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 is against the Pokémon Champion, the rival, who does not have a type specialization.
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 or Generation II which has that Pokémon available.
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 games from Generation III onward.
- Main article: Pokémon Red and Green beta
While the original Pokémon Red and Green had various pre-release elements that differ from the final release, Pokémon Red and Blue had several of their own altered aspects during the two-and-a-half years between the release of Red and Green, their bug-fixing release, Blue, and the release of the merger of the trio into Red and Blue for overseas markets.
An error made during development causes the Pokémon depicted during Professor Oak's introductory lecture to be a Nidorino but with the cry of a Nidorina. This was already the case in the Japanese Red, Green, and Blue.
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 core series Pokémon game, and the 3rd and 4th 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.
| Koffing's Red and Blue sprite
|| Koffing's Black and White sprite
- Main article: Game Boy: Entire Pokémon Sounds Collection CD
The soundtrack release for Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue also applies to Pokémon Red and Blue.
- Main article: Staff of Pokémon Red and Blue
- The American staff in charge of localizing the games tried to change the Pokémon designs; however, Tsunekazu Ishihara refused the proposal.
- The blurb on the back of the boxes states that 139 different Pokémon can be obtained in each game without trading. This, however, includes all Pokémon that the player must choose between (i.e., both the Omanyte and Kabuto families are counted). Therefore, the true total of different Pokémon obtainable in one adventure without trading is 124, which excludes the two unchosen starter families, one Fossil family, two Eeveelutions, one of Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan, and the four Pokémon that only evolve when traded.
- According to the Pokémon Pokédex Collector's Edition (Prima's Official Pokémon Guide), Red and Blue were developed by a team of nine members.
- Pokémon.com and the Nintendo World Store exhibit erroneously list the release date of Pokémon Red and Blue as September 30, 1998. The game was actually released on September 28, 1998.
- Because the script for Pokémon Blue, rather than that of Pokémon Red and Green, was used for the translation of the Japanese trio into Pokémon Red and Blue, translation errors were made for two of the in-game trades.
- The old man who trades the player an Electrode on Cinnabar Island claims that the Raichu he received "went and evolved". As Raichu does not have an evolved form, this makes no sense whatsoever. In the context of Pokémon Blue, it makes sense as the player trades away a Kadabra, which evolves through trade, for a Graveler.
- The old man that trades the player a Jynx in Cerulean City claims that the Poliwhirl he received "went and evolved". While Poliwhirl does evolve, it does not evolve by trade in Generation I but rather through the use of a Water Stone. In the context of Pokémon Blue, the old man trades away a Haunter for a Machoke, which does evolve through trade.
In other languages
|| Pokémon Version Rouge et Version Bleue
|| Pokémon Rote Edition und Blaue Edition
|| Pokémon Versione Rossa e Versione Blu
| European Spanish
|| Pokémon Edición Roja y Edición Azul