Pokémon Yellow Version

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Pokémon: Special Pikachu Edition
Both the English and Japanese versions' boxart, depicting Pikachu.
Basic info
Platform: {{{platform}}}
Category: RPG
Players: 2 players simultaneous
Connectivity: None
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: {{{gen_series}}}
ESRB: E for Everyone
Release dates
Japan: September 12, 1998
North America: October 1, 1999
Australia:  ???
Europe: June 16, 2000
South Korea: N/A
Hong Kong: N/A
Taiwan: N/A
Japanese: ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ
English: Games : Pokémon Yellow
Pokémon Yellow
StrategyWiki has more about this subject:

Pokémon: Special Pikachu Edition, oftentimes known simply as Pokémon Yellow Version, is the third Pokémon game released worldwide, as a follow up to Pokémon Red and Blue. In Japan, it was the fourth Pokémon game, released as ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ (Japanese: Pocket Monsters Pikachu), after Red, Green, and Blue.


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 now journeys from Pallet to go through an all-new experience—with no Grass-, Fire-, or Template:Type2s to fall back on until each member of the Kanto starter trio is obtained later on, about a quarter of the way through the game.

Much like before, players journey across Kanto from their hometown of Pallet, 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. Aside from their battles, the plot of Yellow is very similar to that of Red, Blue, and Green.


"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!"


As well as reprising the ability to allow players to trade Pokémon between two cartridges via a Game Boy link cable, Yellow also debuted a new link battle mode, Colosseum 2. While battling another player's Pokémon team had been possible since the release of Pokémon Red and Green two years before Yellow's release, Yellow introduced several regulations in Colosseum 2 mode. Battle modes introduced include the 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", and weights less than 44 pounds only) and 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 Pokémon Stadium.

Changes from Red, Green, and Blue

  • Pikachu is the only starter Pokémon the player can have, and travels with the player on-screen, outside of a Poké Ball like Ash's. The rival starts with Eevee, and the three normal Kanto starters can be obtained later in the game.
  • Pokémon sprites have been completely redone to more closely resemble Ken Sugimori's art and their depiction in the anime.
  • In-game trades are changed to different Pokémon.
  • Level-up and TM compatibility altered slightly.
  • A minimal happiness system is implemented to track how Pikachu feels about the player, and Pikachu will refuse to evolve.
  • Gym Leaders have different teams, some based on those that appear in the anime.
  • Enhanced compatibility with the Game Boy Color (outside of Japan) and the ability to print out Pokédex entries using the Game Boy Printer.
  • A majority of glitches were disabled, and many glitch Pokémon were altered into different, stranger forms.
  • Jessie and James appear and are involved in Team Rocket's scheme.
  • Cerulean Cave, the game's final dungeon, is redesigned a second time.
  • A Surfing Pikachu minigame is included.



As in the other games of Generation I, there are eight Pokémon Gyms in Kanto, each with their own type affiliation. The Gym Leaders are Brock (Rock), Misty (Water), Lt. Surge (Electric), Erika (Grass), Koga (Poison), Sabrina (Psychic), Blaine (Fire) and Giovanni (Ground). The levels of certain Gym Leaders' Pokémon were adjusted for Yellow; some of their Pokémon teams were revised as well.

Elite Four

The Elite Four is located at the Indigo Plateau. The Elite trainers are Lorelei (Ice), Bruno (Fighting), Agatha (Ghost) and Lance (Dragon); the Champion is the player's rival, who has Pokémon of mixed types. The levels of certain Elite trainer's Pokémon were adjusted for Yellow; some of their Pokémon teams were revised as well.


Yellow did not introduce any new Pokémon, and so the 151 present in Red, Green, and Blue are the only ones obtainable. Like the prior games, some Pokémon are missing from Yellow and must be traded from another game to complete the Pokédex or evolved from less powerful forms.

Version-exclusive Pokémon

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

These Pokémon cannot be found in Pokémon Yellow. To obtain any of these Pokémon, they must be traded from one of the other games of Generation I that has that Pokémon, which are indicated below.

Note that "G" indicates a Pokémon that can be caught in the Japanese Green, and thus in the English 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


Like Pokémon Red and Blue, Pokémon Yellow was also well received by the press. Like it's predecessors, it received a perfect 10/10 from IGN 1. However, it was criticized as being "just a stopgap to help us wait for the real sequels" 2. Yellow received a slightly lower average score than Pokémon Red and Blue, 85% on Game Rankings. Despite this, it was the site's top rated Game Boy game in the year of its release, 1999.


While this game's title has become widely accepted as simply Pokémon Yellow, its officially-recognized name is not entirely certain. On the boxart for most English versions, "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, "Special Pikachu Edition" is repeated on the box's opening and spine, while the Japanese title is simply Pocket Monsters Pikachu, with no color specified.

Despite this, the instruction manual refers to the game as "the Yellow version of Pokémon", and "Yellow Version" can be seen at the game's title screen.

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