Pokémon Yellow Version

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Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ
Yellow EN boxart.png
Pokémon Yellow Version's boxart, depicting Pikachu.
Basic info
Platform: Game Boy (enhanced for the Super Game Boy in all releases and for the Game Boy Color outside of Japan), Nintendo 3DS (Virtual Console)
Category: RPG
Players: 2 players simultaneous
Connectivity: Game Link Cable (Game Boy)
3DS Wireless (3DS Virtual Console)
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: Generation I core series
ACB: G (Game Boy)
PEGI: 12
GSRR: 6+ (3DS VC)
Release dates
Japan: September 12, 1998 (Game Boy)[1][2]
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
North America: October 18, 1999 (Game Boy)[3][4]
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
Australia: September 3, 1999 (Game Boy)[5]
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
Europe: June 16, 2000 (Game Boy)[6][7]
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
South Korea: N/A
Hong Kong: February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
Taiwan: February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
Japanese: The Pokémon Company (Game Boy)
The Pokémon Company (Virtual Console)
Nintendo (Game Boy)
Nintendo (Virtual Console)
English: The Pokémon Company International (Game Boy & Virtual Console)
Nintendo (Game Boy, needs Flash Player)
Nintendo (Virtual Console)
Yellow JP boxart.png
Boxart of Pocket Monsters: Pikachu
StrategyWiki has more about this subject:

Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ Pocket Monsters: Pikachu), often known as Pokémon Yellow Version, is the third Pokémon game for Game Boy released worldwide, as a solitary version of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions. In Japan, the game was the fourth Pokémon game released, as a second solitary version of Pocket Monsters Red & Green.

On November 12, 2015, a Nintendo Direct announced that Yellow will be released in Japan, North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand on February 27, 2016, the Pokémon 20th Anniversary, for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.

Similar to Red and Blue, Yellow arrived towards the end of the Game Boy's lifespan. It managed, though, to receive the title of second best-selling non-bundled game for its console, losing only to its predecessors.


201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201

Unlike other games, Yellow was inspired by the anime, and thus, instead of having a choice between Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, players are forced to start off with a Pikachu that Professor Oak caught on Route 1. With the rival beginning with an Eevee, the player journeys from Pallet Town to go through an all-new experience—with no Grass, Fire, or Water types to fall back on until each member of the Kanto starter trio is given to the player later on in Cerulean City, Route 24, and Vermilion City, respectively.

Much like before, players journey across Kanto from their hometown, Pallet Town, defeating the eight Gym Leaders (Brock and Misty do not join the player, unlike in the anime) and eventually the Elite Four.

Team Rocket battles feature yet another special, anime-based surprise, as Jessie and James show up, along with their Pokémon, Ekans, Koffing, and Meowth. Beyond these changes, the plot of Yellow is very similar to that of the Japanese Red and Green and Japanese Blue as well as of the Western Red and Blue.


You've finally been granted your Pokémon Trainer's license, and now you're on your way to becoming the world's greatest Pokémon Trainer! The shockingly-cute Pikachu tags along behind you as you search the enormous world for monsters to train and evolve. Face off against Blastoise's torrential water cannons. Stand strong when facing Pidgeot's stormy Gust. Develop the ultimate Pokémon strategy to defeat the eight Gym Leaders and become the greatest Pokémon Master of all time!

Changes from Red, Green, and Blue

Aesthetic changes

  • The front Pokémon sprites have all been updated to resemble how they appear in their then-current Ken Sugimori artwork usually used in promotional images and strategy guides for the Japanese Red and Green, Japanese Blue, and the Western Red and Blue, as well as some of them resembling how they appear in the anime. However, the back sprites are the same as the previous games.
  • Some Trainer sprites were also redone. Red and Blue now better resemble their stock artwork for Generation I, as the Pokémon sprites do. Brock wears an outfit like his anime counterpart's and Misty's bikini was changed to a shirt and shorts similar to those worn by her counterpart.
  • Blaine has a different overworld sprite, this time clearly showing him wearing glasses.
  • All policemen were recast as Officer Jennys and all Pokémon Center Nurses were recast as Nurse Joys (attended by a Chansey).
  • Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Sandshrew, and Oddish receive new overworld sprites. Pikachu also receives a unique icon on the party screen.
  • Kanto is slightly redesigned a second time, featuring different designs for doors, signposts, windows, and other minor elements.
  • Enhanced compatibility with the Game Boy Color is present outside of Japan, providing color palette changes as the player switches locations, whereas the Japanese version is similar to the previous core series Generation I games in that it only has Super Game Boy support.
    • The Super Game Boy palettes used for the Pokémon sprites are also lighter.

Location changes

Gameplay changes

  • Pikachu is the only starter Pokémon the player can choose and travels with the player on-screen, outside of a Poké Ball like Ash's Pikachu. It will also cry like Ash's Pikachu in the anime, with its cries now voiced by Ikue Ohtani.
  • The rival starts with Eevee. He will eventually have a different team based around one of Eevee's evolutions depending on how the player fares in the first two battles with the rival (the second being optional), at Professor Oak's Laboratory and Route 22.
    • If the player wins both, Eevee evolves into Jolteon.
    • If the player wins the first and loses or skips the second, Eevee evolves into Flareon.
    • If the player loses the first, Eevee evolves into Vaporeon.
  • A minimal friendship system is implemented to track how Pikachu feels about the player.
  • Gym Leaders have different teams, some based on those that appear in the anime.
  • Level-up learnsets and TM compatibility are altered slightly for certain Pokémon. Charizard, for example, can now learn Fly via HM02.
  • Support is added for the Game Boy Printer.
  • If the player does not have PokémonDollar.png500, they can still enter the Safari Zone. The player will have to pay any money they do have and will receive a number of Safari Balls proportional to the amount paid (but at least one).
  • Kinesis is given to Kadabra as its signature move. In the previous games, Kinesis was never used and the only way it might appear would be if randomly called by Metronome.
  • A new mode, "Colosseum 2", was added to the Cable Club.

Storyline changes

  • The chain of events leading to the player obtaining the starter is slightly different:
    • The player now takes one step further into the tall grass before Professor Oak comes along. Now himself standing in the tall grass, Oak encounters a wild Pikachu and immediately catches it before leading the player back to his laboratory.
    • Instead of giving the player and Blue the choice between Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, Professor Oak tells player to take the single Poké Ball on his desk, containing Eevee, but Blue shoves the player out of the way and takes the Poké Ball instead. Oak then gives the player the only Pokémon he has on hand: the Pikachu he has caught before, which, after the first battle against Blue, immediately breaks free from its Poké Ball and follows the player on foot from this point onward.
  • The old man in Viridian City now must be spoken to before going to Viridian Forest. He attempts to demonstrate how to catch a Pokémon, fails and leaves to get more Poké Balls from the Viridian Poké Mart. The player can visit the Poké Mart to ask him to repeat the tutorial.
  • Jessie and James appear throughout the game, replacing Grunts from the previous games in four different places. They are involved in Team Rocket's scheme and are typically found before a battle with Giovanni. Though they are named "Rocket" like any Team Rocket Grunt, they have distinct overworld and in-battle sprites.

Pokémon unobtainable in Yellow

The following Pokémon are not obtainable in Yellow. In order to obtain any of the below Pokémon, they must be traded from one of the previous Generation I games, or from the Generation II games, which has that Pokémon available, which will be indicated.

Note that "G" indicates a Pokémon that can be caught in the Japanese Green, and thus in the Western Blue as well. "B" indicates a Pokémon obtainable in the Japanese Blue.

013 013 Weedle Bug Poison RGB
014 014 Kakuna Bug Poison RGB
015 015 Beedrill Bug Poison RGB
023 023 Ekans Poison R
024 024 Arbok Poison R
026 026 Raichu Electric RGB
052 052 Meowth Normal GB
053 053 Persian Normal GB
109 109 Koffing Poison RGB
110 110 Weezing Poison RGB
124 124 Jynx Ice Psychic RGB
125 125 Electabuzz Electric R
126 126 Magmar Fire G

Changes from the Game Boy release in the Virtual Console release

Spr 1y 124.png

Spr 1y 124 vc.png

Jynx's original sprite
(GBC mode)
Jynx's recolored
Virtual Console sprite

The Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console releases can link with other Virtual Console Generation I core series games via Nintendo 3DS wireless communication, simulating the Game Link Cable. When initiating a link, the Virtual Console menu on the touch screen replaces the Cable Club attendant's dialogue. Additionally, all of the Game Boy Printer features are disabled, although the option still appears in the PC menu: when selected, the game acts as if the printing is in progress, even though, in reality, nothing is happening.

In the future, the games will be able to send Pokémon to Pokémon Bank, from where they can be sent to Pokémon Sun and Moon.

The moves Blizzard, BubbleBeam, Confusion, Dream Eater, Explosion, Guillotine, Hyper Beam, Mega Kick, Mega Punch, Psychic, Reflect, Rock Slide, Selfdestruct, Spore, and Thunderbolt had their animations changed slightly to tone down the flashing.

In the Western language releases, which are emulated in Game Boy Color mode, Jynx's sprite has been replaced to match its current design. The Japanese release is emulated in Game Boy mode, which is monochromatic, so no change was made.

The requirement for the Pikachu's Beach minigame is now the starter Pikachu instead of Surfing Pikachu.


Players may trade Pokémon between two cartridges using a Game Boy Game Link Cable. To take full advantage of this feature, several Pokémon are exclusive to each game, making it required that a person trade with others in order to complete their Pokédex. The Game Link Cable also makes possible battles with another player, allowing one to pit their Pokémon against new challenges. The Japanese versions can trade and battle with Japanese versions of Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow; the Western versions can trade and battle with Western versions of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow. It can also trade with Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal via the Time Capsule. Pokémon Yellow is completely incompatible with games from Generation III onward.

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 later became possible). If a battle between a Japanese game and a non-Japanese game is attempted, the battle simply does not work, with the save files left unharmed.

Yellow is compatible with the Japan-exclusive Pokémon Stadium, Western Stadium, and Stadium 2. While link battles are not possible directly between Yellow and the Generation II games, a player may challenge a Generation II game using Stadium 2.

Colosseum 2

Yellow debuted a new link battle mode, Colosseum 2. In Colosseum 2, players can select from several battle modes:

  • Pika Cup (for Pokémon between levels 15 to 20 only; their combined level limit is 50)
  • Petit Cup (for Pokémon between levels 15 to 20, heights under 6'8" (2 m), and weights less than 44.1 lbs (20 kg) only)
  • Poké Cup (for Pokémon between levels 50 to 55 only, and the sum of all entered Pokémon's Levels cannot exceed 155; Mew is not allowed).

These three cups would later become standard cups in Western Stadium.

In addition, in the Japanese versions, Blizzard's chance to freeze in Colosseum 2 is changed to 10% rather than the usual 30%. Blizzard's chance to freeze is always 10% in the Pokémon Stadium series and the Western releases of the Generation I games.

Virtual Console

The Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console release uses 3DS wireless communication as a substitute for the Game Link Cable. The Virtual Console release disables Game Boy Printer compatibility. It also will allow Pokémon to be moved to Pokémon Bank in the future, where they can then be sent to Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Japanese and non-Japanese Generation I core series games do not recognize each other when attempting to link them via 3DS wireless communication.

Differences from the anime

The game is loosely based on the original anime series, but has several differences:

English title

An American version game cartridge of Yellow

While the game's title has become widely accepted as simply Pokémon Yellow, its officially recognized name outside of Japan is not entirely certain. On the boxart for most English versions, the expression Special Pikachu Edition replaces the series' then-current slogan Gotta Catch 'em All! below the Pokémon logo, while Yellow Version is at the bottom, near where Red and Blue had theirs. However, the expression Special Pikachu Edition is repeated on the box's opening and spine.

Contemporaneous materials refer to the game as Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition,[8][9][10][11] or Pokémon Yellow for brevity. The instruction manual refers to the game as "the Yellow version of Pokémon", "Yellow" is one of the selectable preset names for the the player character, and Yellow Version can be seen on the game's title screen.

ESRB classified the game under the title Pokémon yellow.[12] The Australian Classification Board classified the game under the title POKEMON YELLOW.[13] The Canadian Intellectual Property Office records the copyright POKEMON YELLOW VERSION: SPECIAL PIKACHU EDITION.[14]

Pokémon.com refers to the game as Pokémon Yellow Special Pikachu Edition in full, but Pokémon Yellow Version and Pokémon Yellow in general usage.[15] Pokémon Yellow Special Pikachu Edition is also the title used in the Nintendo World Pokémon Series Showcase. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U refers to the game as Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition in Pikachu's trophy description.

In the Virtual Console release, the game is referred to as Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition on the Nintendo eShop and in the manual. Like many games, it is abbreviated on the Nintendo 3DS HOME Menu, being referred to as Pokémon Yellow Version.


Main article: Pokémon Yellow beta


Like Red and Blue, Yellow was also well received by the press. Like its predecessors, it received a perfect 10/10 "Masterful" rating from IGN.[16] However, it was criticized as being "just a stopgap to help us wait for the real sequels".[17] Yellow received a slightly lower average score than Red and Blue of about 85% on GameRankings. Despite this, it was the site's top rated Game Boy game in the year of its release, 1999.[18]


Main article: Game Boy: Entire Pokémon Sounds Collection CD

The soundtrack for Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue and Pokémon Red and Blue also applies to Pokémon Yellow. However, Yellow added three tracks that are absent from the official soundtrack, which precedes the release of Yellow by ten months. These additional tracks were also composed by Junichi Masuda.


Main article: Staff of Pokémon Yellow


Dated August 3, 1998 (source)


  • The game's Japanese release date of September 12, 1998 was intentionally timed to coincide with the release of a movie, being released two months after M01.[19][20]
  • Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, which reimplemented the walking Pokémon mechanic that was introduced in Yellow, were released in Japan exactly 11 years after Yellow was released in Japan.
  • The two available starter Pokémon of this game, Pikachu (player) and Eevee (rival), are the only Pokémon introduced prior to Generation V to evolve with a Thunderstone.
  • Out of all the core series Generation I games, this is the only one where Lickitung and Farfetch'd can be caught in the wild; in the Japanese Red and Green and Japanese Blue as well as in the Western Red and Blue, these Pokémon are only available by means of an in-game trade.
  • It is the only localized game prior to Generation III to lack the slogan below the Pokémon logo.
  • This is the only core series game influenced heavily by the anime.
  • Pokémon Yellow is the only core series game in which the player cannot choose their own starter Pokémon, and which is not Grass-, Fire-, or Water-type.
  • Pikachu had its cry changed to that of its anime counterpart for this game. Junichi Masuda details the modification of Ikue Ohtani's voice to a sound capable of being made by the low-tech Game Boy in his Director's Column. However, Pikachu's original cry was used in some parts of the game.
  • Prior to the Virtual Console release announcement, Pokémon.com listed Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow with a PEGI rating of 3.
  • The boxarts for Pokémon Red, Pokémon Yellow and Pokémon Silver are the only three instances where the English Pokémon logo is shown partially covered by some element (in this case, Pikachu's ears).

In other languages

Language Title
Japan Flag.png Japanese ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ
France Flag.png French Pokémon Version Jaune: Edition Spéciale Pikachu
Germany Flag.png German Pokémon Gelbe Edition: Special Pikachu Edition
Italy Flag.png Italian Pokémon Versione Gialla: Speciale Edizione Pikachu
Spain Flag.png Spanish Pokémon Edición Amarilla: Edición Especial Pikachu

See also

External links


  1. ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ | ポケットモンスターオフィシャルサイト
  2. ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ
  5. Nintendo - Nintendo 64 Games
  6. Pokémon™ Yellow Special Pikachu Edition | Video Games | Pokemon.com (UK)
  7. Pokémon Yellow Version | Game Boy | Games | Nintendo
  10. Pokémon Games | Pokémon.com (archive)
  11. Game Boy Color: Upcoming Games | Nintendo (archive)
  12. ESRB
  13. Classification Board
  14. Canadian Copyright Register
  15. Pokémon.com - Pokémon Yellow Special Pikachu Edition
  16. IGN: Pokemon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  17. Pokemon Yellow (Game Boy) Legacy game platform reviews - CNET Reviews (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  18. Pokemon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition for Game Boy (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  19. 社長が訊く『ポケットモンスター ハートゴールド・ソウルシルバー』
  20. Iwata Asks : Pokémon HeartGold Version & SoulSilver Version : The King Of Portable Toys
  21. ゲームボーイカラー
  22. SPACEWORLD'97 出展 GAME BOYソフト
  23. DMG/MGB/CGB: ゲームボーイ
  24. ポケモンの歴史

Generation I: Red & GreenBlue (JP)Red & BlueYellow
Generation II: Gold & SilverCrystal
Generation III: Ruby & SapphireFireRed & LeafGreenEmerald
Generation IV: Diamond & PearlPlatinumHeartGold & SoulSilver
Generation V: Black & WhiteBlack 2 & White 2
Generation VI: X & YOmega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Generation VII: Sun & Moon
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