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| Red's Pikachu
レッドのピカチュウ Red's Pikachu
Red's Pikachu in Pokémon Generations
| This Pokémon has not evolved.
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 is loosely based on. As of HeartGold and SoulSilver, he is the highest-leveled Trainer-owned Pokémon in the main series games. He serves as Red's signature Pokémon.
In the games
In Generation I
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 going into Professor Oak's Laboratory and attempting 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, but these three Pokémon can be received during events later in the game (which reflects Ash Ketchum's eventually obtaining 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. Should the player speak to Pikachu, a small animation of his current emotion will pop up; this image can also be an indication of how much the Pikachu likes the player. (This makes Pokémon Yellow the first game to show Pokémon friendship, a mechanic that would become more prominent in Generation II.) Although the player's friendship with Pikachu does not have many uses in the game, it is vital if the player wishes to receive a Bulbasaur in Cerulean City. Besides showing Pikachu's emotions and friendliness, the game also shows animations of several other events, such as Pikachu learning Thunderbolt. These also include:
- If talked to right after the player loses to Blue in the Pokémon Lab, Pikachu will turn its back to the player.
- If talked to right after the player wins 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 it is asleep, it will appear asleep when talked to.
- 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. The cable club will also be inaccessible. Until the player awakens Pikachu, it cannot be deposited into the PC, have items used on it (excluding the Poké Flute), or moved in the party.
- 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 Bill 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 and 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 the player catches a Pokémon, he will make a V with his fingers to represent victory, similarly to how Ash's Pikachu posed after Ash caught Caterpie.
- If talked to after the player loses a battle, Pikachu will appear disappointed in and unsure of its Trainer.
- Notably, reflecting the actions of Ash's Pikachu, this Pikachu will refuse a Thunderstone given to it in Yellow, and, if talked to after the player tries to use the stone, will shake its head in refusal. It will not evolve unless traded to another cartridge. (The player can obtain Raichu in Yellow either by trading one in or by using a Thunderstone on a Pikachu traded from another game.)
After the player stores Pikachu in Bill's computer, Pikachu complains and becomes less friendly toward the player. The player is also unable to release Pikachu; if release is attempted, Pikachu will complain.
In battle, Pikachu's animations and cry are different from other Pikachu, its voice based on Ikue Ohtani's. In the Virtual Console release of Pokémon Yellow, Pikachu can also participate in the Surf Minigame.
If the starter Pikachu from Yellow is traded to Generation II, it will be holding a Light Ball.
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.
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. Again, at the time, Pikachu was the highest level Trainer-owned Pokémon in the series.
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.
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.
In Generation VII
Red can be battled in Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon. He uses his Pikachu when battled at the entrance of the Battle Tree. However, Pikachu is not in Red's pool of usable Pokémon inside the Battle Tree proper. He can also be battled in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, once again using Pikachu as the leading member of his team.
| Early artwork with Red, Blue, and Charizard
|| Concept artwork for Kotobukiya ArtFx J figurines
In the anime
In Pokémon Origins
Red's Pikachu briefly appeared in File 4: Charizard, where Red was seen catching it with a Poké Ball.
In Pokémon Generations
Pikachu appeared in The Adventure, where it was encountered and captured by Red in Viridian Forest. It was later seen encountering a Caterpie in the same forest, a group of Wooper in Ecruteak City, a Vigoroth near the Weather Institute, a Probopass and Regigigas outside of the Snowpoint Temple, a Volcarona and Landorus at the Relic Castle, and a Noivern and Zygarde in Terminus Cave.
Personality and characteristics
Initially, Pikachu had a childlike personality, seemingly being curious and inexperienced. However, as time went on, it gained more self-confidence and experience.
| Using Thunderbolt
| A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.
In the manga
Pikachu in Pocket Monsters HGSS Jō's Big Adventure
In the Pocket Monsters HGSS Jō's Big Adventure manga
Red's Pikachu briefly appeared alongside his Trainer in The True Road to Becoming the Strongest!! as Jō reached the summit of Mt. Silver, ready to challenge Red to a battle.
In the TCG
Red's Pikachu is featured in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. The following is a list of cards featuring Pikachu.
- 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 their 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 first 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.
For more information on this Pokémon's species, see Pikachu.