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Red's Pikachu (game)

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Red's Pikachu
レッドのピカチュウ Red's Pikachu
Poké Ball
Red Pikachu PO.png
Red's Pikachu in Pokémon Origins
Debuts in Pokémon Yellow Version
Caught at Pallet Town
Gender Male*
Ability Static
Current location With Red
This Pokémon has not evolved.
Voice actor Japanese English
As Pikachu Ikue Ohtani (Yellow, Stadium)

Red's Pikachu (Japanese: レッドのピカチュウ Red's Pikachu) is the sole starter Pokémon in Pokémon Yellow for Red; he is based on Ash's Pikachu from the Pokémon anime, which Yellow Version is loosely based on. As of HeartGold and SoulSilver, he is the highest-leveled Trainer-owned Pokémon in the main series games. He, along with Charizard, serve as Red's signature Pokémon.

In the games

In Generation I

Pikachu first appearing as a wild Pokémon
Pikachu and Red traveling together

Pikachu first appears along the outskirts of Route 1, where Professor Oak will encounter and catch it. The player receives Pikachu after they go into Professor Oak's laboratory and attempt to take the starter Eevee, which Blue will take instead. Like all Pokémon from Generation I, Pikachu has no identified gender, but if traded to a Generation II game, Pikachu will be either male or female.

Pikachu replaces all of the other usual starter Pokémon, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle; although these three Pokémon can be received during events later in the game, which reflects how Ash Ketchum eventually obtained all three of Kanto's starters in the anime. This Pikachu is also the only Pikachu found in Yellow; other Pikachu must be traded in from compatible games.

After battling against Blue for the first time, the Pikachu will choose to stay out of its Poké Ball and follow the player around unless he faints, is put into storage, or is traded. If the player decides to speak to Pikachu, a small image of his current emotion will pop up. The image also shows how much the Pikachu likes the player. This makes Pokémon Yellow the first game to show Pokémon friendship, which would become more prominent in Generation II. Pikachu's friendship does not have many uses in the game, however it is vital if the player wishes to receive a Bulbasaur in Cerulean City. Besides showing Pikachu's emotions and friendship, the image can also show several other events, such as when Pikachu learns Thunderbolt.

Pikachu has several in-game events where he can show an emotion other than how happy he is. They include:

  • If talked to right after losing to Blue in the Pokémon Lab, it will turn his back to the player.
  • If talked to right after winning against Blue in the Pokémon Lab, it will appear uninterested in the player.
  • If Pikachu is affected by a status condition, it will appear weak or in pain. If he is asleep, it will appear asleep when talked to.
    • Playing the Poké Flute outside of battle will wake Pikachu up if it is asleep.
  • If Pikachu has just learned Thunder or Thunderbolt, it may shock the player if talked to.
  • In Pewter City's Pokémon Center, there is a Jigglypuff that will Sing a lullaby if talked to. After listening to the Jigglypuff, Pikachu will fall asleep and not move unless awakened by the player. The center's nurse will also comment on Pikachu's sleeping if talked to, instead of healing the party. Until the player awakens Pikachu, it can't be deposited into the PC.
  • When the player goes to Bill's house and discovers that he has turned into a Pokémon, Pikachu will approach him and look confused. When he reappears in human form, Pikachu will appear to be shocked.
  • If the player walks into the Pokémon Fan Club in Vermilion City, Pikachu will approach a Clefairy and fall in love with it.
  • If the player uses a fishing rod then checks Pikachu, it will appear to have a bait bucket over its head.
  • If taken inside Pokémon Tower, Pikachu will appear to be scared.
  • If talked to right after catching a Pokémon, he will make a V with his fingers to represent victory, similar to how Ash's Pikachu posed after Ash caught Caterpie.
  • If talked to after losing a battle, Pikachu will appear disappointed in and unsure of its Trainer.
  • If talked to after trying to give him a Thunderstone, Pikachu will shake its head in refusal.

Notably, like Ash's Pikachu did, this Pikachu will refuse a Thunderstone given to it in Yellow, and not evolve into Raichu unless it is traded out of Yellow to do so. Raichu must be otherwise obtained by either trading in an already evolved one or trading in a Pikachu from another game.

When storing Pikachu into Bill's computer, Pikachu complains and becomes less friendly toward the player. If the player attempts to release Pikachu, they will be unable to and Pikachu will complain.

Pikachu is also able to learn Surf if transferred into Pokémon Stadium, and will be able to participate in the Surf Minigame if it knows the move. In battle, its animations are different from other Pikachu, and its voice is based on Ikue Ohtani's as opposed to using Pikachu's normal cry.

If the starter Pikachu from Yellow is traded to Generation II, it will be holding a Light Ball.

Starting moveset

Spr 1y 025.png
Electric Unknown
Pikachu Lv.5

In Generation II

Red can be battled in Mt. Silver, with a level 81 Pikachu on his team. At the time, his Pikachu was the highest leveled Pokémon that could be battled in the main series. This Pikachu is likely to have been based on Red's Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow.

Spr 2c 025.png
Electric Unknown
Held item:
Pikachu Lv.81
Quick Attack

Although Red doesn't use his Pikachu when battled in Pokémon Stadium 2, he still makes a cameo appearance during the game's end credits, battling Blue's Eevee.

When brought into Pokémon Stadium 2, the player's Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow still uses special Pikachu voice effects rather than its cry.

In Generation IV

Red's challenge at Mt. Silver returns in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. He still uses Pikachu in these games; he is now level 88. This again makes him the highest level Trainer-owned Pokémon in the series, a title he lost to Barry's starter Pokémon on the release of Pokémon Platinum only a year before.

In the final battle, he is holding a Light Ball, while he knows the four moves used by Ash's Pikachu most often prior to the release of the games, during the Diamond & Pearl series.

Spr 4h 025 m.png
Electric Unknown
Held item:
Bag Light Ball Sprite.png Light Ball
Pikachu Lv.88
Volt Tackle
Electric Physical
Iron Tail
Steel Physical
Quick Attack
Normal Physical
Electric Special

In Generation V

Red can be battled in the Champions Tournament of Pokémon World Tournament in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. He uses his Pikachu as his signature Pokémon once again in the battle, though it, like all opponent Pokémon in the PWT, varies in gender.

Spr 5b 025 m.png
Held item:
Bag Light Ball Sprite.png Light Ball
Pikachu/ Lv.50
Fake Out
Normal Physical
Iron Tail
Steel Physical
Volt Tackle
Electric Physical
Brick Break
Fighting Physical


Spr 1y 025.png Spr 2g 025.png Spr 2s 025.png Spr 2c 025.png Spr 4h 025 m.png Spr 5b 025 m.png Spr 5b 025 f.png MS Pikachu Y.png Spr b g1 025.png Spr Y Red Pikachu.png
Sprite from
Sprite from
Sprite from
Sprite from
Sprite from
HeartGold and SoulSilver
Sprites from
Black 2 and White 2
Menu and overworld
sprite from Yellow
Back sprite from
Mood sprite from

In the anime

Ash's Pikachu in the anime

In the main series

Main article: Ash's Pikachu

Red's Pikachu is mostly based on Ash Ketchum's Pikachu in the Pokémon anime series.

In Pokémon Origins

Red's Pikachu briefly appeared in the Pokémon Origins episode File 4 - Charizard, where Red was seen catching it with a Poké Ball.

In the manga

Red's Pikachu in the Pocket Monsters HGSS manga

In the Pokémon Adventures manga

Main article: Pika

In Pokémon Adventures, a character named Red owns a Pikachu named Pika. While Pika is not technically Red's actual starter Pokémon, he is still one of Red's closest companions.

In the Pocket Monsters HGSS Jou's Big Adventure manga

Red's Pikachu appears at the end of The True Road to Becoming the Strongest!!, though he debuted as a cameo in the end of the previous chapter.


  • In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, there is a park called Amity Square where players may walk around with a Pokémon following them. While only certain kinds of Pokémon may follow the player, Pikachu is one of the few and may reference Red's Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow.
  • Red's Pikachu likely inspired, at least partly, the concept of any Pokémon following the player outside his Poké Ball in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
  • When battling against Red, Pikachu appears to come from inside his Poké Ball, contradicting his dislike of doing so in Pokémon Yellow.
  • Although Pikachu initially resides inside of its Poké Ball until the player has battled with the rival for the first time in Pokémon Yellow, it still enters the first battle from outside of the Ball.
  • Red's Pikachu is the only starter Pokémon in the main series that will not evolve unless it is sent to another game.
  • Other Pikachu when transferred from other Generation I titles to Yellow will behave like normal Pokémon, as opposed to following and interacting with the player. This is because the game checks for a Pikachu in the player's party with a trainer ID and OT that matches the player. If a second Pikachu were obtained through illegitimate means to have these matching variables, the game would use whichever Pikachu appears first in the player's party.

Related articles

For more information on this Pokémon's species, see Pikachu.

Project CharacterDex logo.png This game character article is part of Project CharacterDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each character found in the Pokémon games.