Pokémon Red and Green Versions

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Pocket Monsters Red
ポケットモンスター 赤
Boxart of Pocket Monsters Red, depicting Charizard
Pocket Monsters Green
ポケットモンスター 緑
Boxart of Pocket Monsters Green, depicting Venusaur
Basic info
Platform: Game Boy*
Category: RPG
Players: 2 players simultaneous
Connectivity: Link cable
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: Generation I main series
Release dates
Japan: February 27, 1996[1]
North America: September 30, 1998*
Australia: November 1, 1998*
Europe: October 8, 1999*
South Korea: N/A
Hong Kong: N/A
Taiwan: N/A
Japanese: Pokémon.co.jp
English: N/A

Pocket Monsters: Red (Japanese: ポケットモンスター 赤) and Pocket Monsters: Green (Japanese: ポケットモンスター 緑) were the first Pokémon games ever released to the public, in Japan on February 27, 1996. Introducing the gameplay concepts that went on to provide the standard for games in the main series games, these games were eventually localized and released worldwide as Pokémon Red and Blue Versions, using a combination of the engine from Pocket Monsters: Blue (Japanese: ポケットモンスター 青) and the obtainable Pokémon from Red & Green. Much as would become standard, Red & Green were later joined by a third version, Blue, which slightly improved upon their features and provided the code for the international releases of Red and Blue, and eventually Pocket Monsters: Pikachu (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ), a fourth version based on the anime.

In 1999, the sequels to these games, Pocket Monsters: Gold & Silver (Japanese: ポケットモンスター 金・銀) were released with the Game Boy Color in mind but remaining playable on the original Game Boy like Red & Green. In 2004, the remakes of these games were released for the Game Boy Advance as Pocket Monsters: Firered & Leafgreen (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ファイアレッド・リーフグリーン).


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

Red and Green began the Pokémon series in the region of Kanto, where players became a ten-year-old Pokémon Trainer just starting off a journey from their home of Pallet Town, on the same day as their rival. After obtaining a starter Pokémon (a choice of the Grass-type Bulbasaur, Fire-type Charmander, or Water-type Squirtle) from Professor Oak, the local authority on Pokémon (and with their rival choosing the Pokémon whose type weakens that of the player), players would journey across the region, defeating the eight Gym Leaders: Brock, Misty, Lt. Surge, Erika, Koga, Sabrina, Blaine, and Giovanni. After all eight have been defeated, the player goes on to challenge the Elite Four, Lorelei, Bruno, Agatha, and Lance, and finally, in their last battle, the current Champion, the rival.

Along the way, Trainers will encounter the evil Team Rocket, a group of criminals that seek to exploit Pokémon, rather than train them as friends and partners, and must defeat them to put a stop to their actions. The rival will also continuously harass the player, challenging him to battle over and over, with an increasingly powerful team. As the player's own Pokémon become more powerful, they draw ever closer to Indigo Plateau.


The two games introduced the ability to allow players to trade Pokémon between two cartridges using a Game Boy link cable. To take fullest 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 their Pokémon against equals when their Pokémon are as powerful as they can be, at level 100.

Trades done between Pokémon games in different languages are impossible in this generation, and will always result in corruption if it is attempted. This is due to the fact that the games cannot automatically translate the Pokémon as there is not enough room on either cartridge for all of the text in so many languages (a feature that would later become possible). If a battle between two different region games was to be attempted, the battle would simply not work, with the save file left intact.



As would become the case for each Pokémon game in the main series to come, there are eight Pokémon Gyms in Kanto, each with their own type affiliation. The Gym Leaders are: Brock (Rock) at Pewter City, Misty (Water) at Cerulean City, Lt. Surge (Electric) at Vermilion City, Erika (Grass) at Celadon City, Koga (Poison) at Fuchsia City, Sabrina (Psychic) at Saffron City, Blaine (Fire) at Cinnabar Island and Giovanni (Ground) at Viridian City.

Elite Four

Another standard established by Red and Green, the goal for players, the Elite Four, is located at Indigo Plateau. The Elite trainers are Lorelei (Ice), Bruno (Fighting), Agatha (Ghost) and Lance (Dragon). The Pokémon Champion is the rival, Blue, who does not specialize in any one type.


Each game contains pre-recorded data on 151 different species of Pokémon, including Mew, a Pokémon even Nintendo was not aware of initially.[citation needed] 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-exclusive Pokémon

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.

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


Pocket Monsters Red and Green set the precedent for what has become a blockbuster, multi-billion dollar franchise. In Japan, Red, Green, and the third version Blue combined have sold 10.23 million copies.[2] In the United States, Pokémon Red has sold 4.83 million copies, while Pokémon Blue has sold 5.02 million copies.[3] These numbers combine to make a total of 9.85 million copies sold in the US.

Pocket Monsters Red and Green were the namesake of the Generation III remakes of FireRed and LeafGreen released in 2004, even in regions where Blue was paired with Red.


  • Development of Red and Green started during 1990, making their development the longest of all Pokémon games by far.
  • The game's main characters Red and Green have several default names, among them サトシ Satoshi and シゲル Shigeru, respectively. These names come from Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri and his friend and fellow Nintendo developer, Shigeru Miyamoto. When the games were translated into the English Red and Blue, the defaults became Red and Blue. Alternative names that could be chosen were Ash and Gary, after the anime characters that share the names Satoshi and Shigeru, respectively.
  • While Red and Green are the first Pokémon games released, they were not necessarily the first Pokémon trademark ever registered. Mew was the first Pokémon trademark ever applied for; the application for the Pokémon was submitted on May 9, 1990, while the application for Pocket Monsters Red and Green was submitted on September 11, 1995. Before Red and Green were granted registered trademarks on December 26, 1997, Mew (then spelled ミュー, not ミュウ) had already become the first Pokémon trademark registered, granted on March 31, 1994; ミュウ was later granted on August 6, 1999.
  • The storyline of Kanto introduced in these games has the honor of being the most available storyline of all games, being featured in six separate games: Blue, Yellow, FireRed and LeafGreen, in addition to Red and Green and not counting the post-Elite Four storyline in Kanto during Generation II and IV.
  • In The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon, Professor Oak references the games with his password, "REDGREEN".
  • The Pokémon depicted during Professor Oak's introductory lecture is a Nidorino. However, the cry that plays belongs to Nidorina. This is a mistake on part of the developers and was carried over to Blue and the localizations.
  • Although Pokémon Crystal was the only version whose name included the term "Version" in Japanese, the term was used in English on the back covers and the title screen of Red and Green as well as in the Japanese Blue.
    • The same situation occurs with the Japanese versions of Yellow, Gold and Silver, except it does not appear on the title screen.
  • Red and Green are the only Generation I games that inform the player that in order to save the game, the current save file has to be overwritten. Curiously, this only happens in the first attempt to save.
  • The fundamental difference between the v1.0 and v1.1 releases of Red and Green, apart from likely bug fixes, is the changes in the theme of Lavender Town, as to make it more eerie and less stressing to the ears.
  • Mew was added to the programming after the debug features were removed. The programmers took a great risk in doing so, because they couldn't test the game for glitches that would have been caused by adding Mew. Programmers usually never do this, because they can't know if the added code is going to cause major glitches or not.


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