Pokémon Red and Blue Versions

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Pokémon Red redirects here. For the Japanese game with the same name, see Pokémon Red and Green Versions.
Pokémon Blue redirects here. For the Japanese game with the same name, see Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese).
Pokémon Red Version
Red EN boxart.png
Pokémon Red Version's boxart, depicting Charizard
Pokémon Blue Version
Blue EN boxart.png
Pokémon Blue Version's boxart, depicting Blastoise
Basic info
Platform: Game Boy (enhanced for the Super Game Boy), Nintendo 3DS (Virtual Console)
Category: RPG
Players: 2 players simultaneous
Connectivity: Game Link Cable (Game Boy)
3DS Wireless (3DS VC)
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: Generation I core series
ACB: G (Game Boy)
PEGI: 12
Release dates
Japan: N/A
North America: September 28, 1998[1] (Game Boy)
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
Australia: October 23, 1998
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
Europe: October 5, 1999 (Game Boy)[2][3]
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)[2][3]
South Korea: N/A
Hong Kong: N/A
Taiwan: N/A
Japanese: N/A
English: The Pokémon Company International (Game Boy & Virtual Console)
Nintendo (GB, Red; needs Flash Player)
Nintendo (GB, Blue; needs Flash Player)
Nintendo (VC, Red)
Nintendo (VC, Blue)
StrategyWiki has more about this subject:

Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version were the first Pokémon games to be released outside of Japan, becoming available in North America on September 28, 1998,[1] in Australia and New Zealand on October 23, 1998 and in Europe on October 5, 1999.[2][3] In North America, the pair closely followed the debut of the anime's English dub, which began airing on September 8, 1998,[4] and within a year, Pokémon was well known as a popular Nintendo franchise.

The games were available on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console between the Pokémon 20th Anniversary on February 27, 2016 and the discontinuation of the 3DS Nintendo eShop on March 27, 2023.

Unlike later generations, Red and Blue were not the same as their corresponding Japanese releases Pokémon Red and Green. Besides Pokémon distribution, the aspects of Red and Blue such as graphics, script, and sprite designs are instead based on the Japanese Pokémon Blue.

Despite being released towards the end of Game Boy's lifespan, they quickly became the best-selling non-bundled games released for the Game Boy as well as being the best-selling role-playing games of all time when also including sales of Pokémon Green and the Japanese versions of Pokémon Red and Blue. Sales exceed 31 million units for all versions combined, which made them the best selling Pokémon games and the only games in the series to exceed 30 million units.


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

Illustrating the original Pokémon gameplay concepts, the player (canonically known as Red) begins his game in Pallet Town, a small town in the Kanto region, on the same day as his former best friend and now rival. After meeting up with Professor Oak while trying to leave for Route 1, both the player and their rival are asked by Oak to choose a first partner PokémonBulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle—from the desk near him. Oak allows the player to choose first and the rival quickly gets jealous, chooses the first partner Pokémon whose type is super effective against the player's first partner Pokémon, then challenges the player to a battle.

After the battle, Oak allows the two new Trainers to leave for their journey across Kanto. Stopping in Viridian City's Poké Mart, the player will find that a package has come in for the professor, and the clerk asks that it be delivered to him. After this has been completed the professor gives one Pokédex to the player and one to the rival, and sends them on their way. Viridian City has a Gym; however, it is locked.

From here, the player has his first encounter with other Trainers, on Route 2 and in Viridian Forest, and his first encounter with a Gym Leader: Brock the Rock-type Gym Leader of Pewter City. After his defeat, journeying along Route 3 and through Mt. Moon brings the player face to face with the regional villainous team, Team Rocket, who are attempting to extract rare Fossils from the cave. Their defeat allows the player to continue through the cave, obtain the Dome Fossil or Helix Fossil which can be regenerated into Kabuto and Omanyte, and continue onto Route 4, which leads directly into Cerulean City, where another Gym is. This one, however, is run by Misty, and specializes in Water-type Pokémon. To the north, as well, there are two routes leading up to Bill's cottage. On the way, the player is confronted with a trainer who tries to persuade him to join Team Rocket. When the player reaches Bill's cottage and frees him of his transformation into a Pokémon, he will give the player a ticket for the S.S. Anne, a luxury ship moored in Vermilion Harbor and filled with Trainers. Taking a shortcut through a house burglarized by Team Rocket, the player finally arrives at Route 5.

After traveling down Routes 5 and 6, using the Underground Path to bypass Saffron City, the player finally arrives in Vermilion. This city is home to another Pokémon Gym; however, the way to it is blocked by a small tree. The only thing to do is to show the ticket to the Sailor guarding the harbor, allowing entry into the S.S. Anne. It is here, after assisting the captain with his seasickness, that the player will obtain the first of the five Hidden Machines available in the game, containing Cut. With this, and the Cascade Badge, the tree blocking the way to Vermilion Gym can be easily cut through, and Lt. Surge, a Gym Leader specializing in Electric-types, can be challenged. From here, Route 11 beckons, as does Diglett's Cave, through which is the only way to get back to Route 2, and a second HM, containing Flash held by one of Professor Oak's aides on Route 2. The player takes a brief detour to Pewter City's museum's back entrance which was previously blocked due to a Cut-able tree, which can now easily be bypassed. The player obtains the Old Amber in the museum. Heading back to Diglett's Cave, and to Vermilion, the player must go to Cerulean and to the east, onto Route 9 and towards the Rock Tunnel.

Rock Tunnel, a still undeveloped natural tunnel between the sections of Route 10, is pitch black inside; for this reason, Flash is recommended, but not required, for navigation of it. Finally reaching Lavender Town, the only town in Kanto without a Pokémon Gym besides Pallet, there is not much to do; the local Pokémon Tower is haunted. From here, Route 8 leads to Saffron City, but it again must be bypassed by way of another Underground Path, which has its other entrance on Route 7, on the west side of Saffron. Celadon City, the home of the fourth Gym which specializes in Grass-type Pokémon, is just a short walk further. Like the Vermilion Gym, the Celadon Gym also has a small tree blocking the way to its entrance, and an old man outside.

The Rocket Game Corner in Celadon is not what it appears to be. In fact, the Game Corner itself is merely the above-ground portion of a sprawling underground complex: the Rocket Hideout. The Team Rocket boss, Giovanni, appears for the first time here, and after his defeat, flees, leaving behind a Silph Scope. A Silph Scope is required to fully navigate the Pokémon Tower inside of Lavender Town that the player encountered earlier.

After this, the Pokémon Tower can be navigated, and the ghosts haunting it are revealed to be Gastly and Haunter. In front of the stairs to the final floor, blocking the way, is also a final spirit, that of a deceased Marowak that was killed by Team Rocket when they captured her child. Making it all the way to the top reveals Mr. Fuji held hostage by Team Rocket grunts, who will leave when they are defeated. Fuji gives away the Poké Flute, and with that, the Snorlax blocking Route 11 and Route 16 can finally be moved away. Another HM, containing Fly, can be obtained easily by cutting away a tree blocking the northern section of Route 16.

Now the player is presented with a choice of how to get to Fuchsia City. Traveling down either way the Snorlax are blocking, a faster way via Routes 16, 17, and 18 on Cycling Road, or down the Silence Bridge of Routes 12, 13, 14, and 15, inevitably brings one to the southernmost city in continental Kanto, Fuchsia City, home of Koga of the Poisonous Fuchsia Gym and the Kanto Safari Zone. The Safari Zone is currently running a contest: the person to reach a specific rest house first will win yet another HM, containing Surf. Finding the Safari Zone Warden's Gold Teeth also will have him reward the player with the final of Kanto's HMs, containing Strength.

The player then goes back to either Celadon City or Lavender Town, encountering the other Snorlax on the way back. After stopping off at the Celadon Department Store and buying a drink at a vending machine, Saffron City can finally be entered. However, Team Rocket is guarding almost every door in the city, including that of the local Pokémon Gym! One of the open buildings, however, is the unofficial Fighting-type Pokémon Gym. After the player defeats the Fighting Dojo, he is entitled to either a Hitmonchan or a Hitmonlee. The city's centerpiece building, Silph Co.'s headquarters, has also been infiltrated by the organization, and at the top, waiting in the boardroom, is the Team Rocket Boss, Giovanni, appearing for a second time, demanding that the president give him the Master Ball that the company had developed. After his defeat, he flees.

After Team Rocket clears out of Saffron City, all buildings previously blocked are now open, as well as the Gym. The Gym Leader, Sabrina, specializes in Psychic-types. The floor, as well, is covered in warp tiles that make it difficult to navigate. After Sabrina's defeat, the player makes his way back to Fuchsia City again and heads out to obtain the rest of the Badges.

With six Badges in hand, and five HMs in the bag, finally the player can adventure onto the open sea of Routes 19 and 20. A short way across them, of course, is a minor obstacle: the Seafoam Islands. After they have been navigated through, the player can continue on Route 20 to Cinnabar Island, home of Blaine's Fire-type Gym. There are also several more facilities on the island, including one that actually revives Pokémon Fossils. After Blaine's defeat, only the final Gym, that of Viridian City, remains.

Finally unlocked, the Gym, whose leader specializes in Ground-types, is revealed to be none other than the boss of Team Rocket himself, Giovanni! After his defeat, he vows to disband Team Rocket and disappears. Now with eight Badges, all that lies ahead is the Pokémon League at Indigo Plateau, conveniently at the end of Route 23.

The Elite Four await challengers, those who have proven themselves worthy by getting all eight Badges and making it through Victory Road will face them, in order. Lorelei, who trains Ice-type Pokémon is first, followed by Bruno, whose specialty is Fighting, Agatha, whose specialty is Ghost, and finally Lance, who specializes in Dragon-types. After defeating these four, the reigning Pokémon Champion challenges the player to a final battle, and the Champion is none other than the player's own rival! After his defeat, Oak arrives and tells the player that he won because he cares better for his Pokémon, and the player's current party are added to the Hall of Fame.

After the credits roll, the player is back in Pallet Town. The previously closed Cerulean Cave is now open, and the powerful Mewtwo can be found inside.


You've finally been granted your Pokémon Trainer's license. Now, it's time to head out to become the world's greatest Pokémon Trainer. It's going to take all you've got to collect 150 Pokémon in this enormous world. Catch and train monsters like the shockingly-cute Pikachu. Face off against Blastoise's torrential water cannons. Stand strong when facing Pidgeot's stormy Gust. Trade with friends and watch your Pokémon evolve. Important—no single Pokémon can win at all. Can you develop the ultimate Pokémon strategy to defeat the eight Gym Leaders and become the greatest Pokémon Master of all time?



Players are introduced to the first eight Pokémon Gyms of the series, each with their own type affiliation, led by Brock (Rock), Misty (Water), Lt. Surge (Electric), Erika (Grass), Koga (Poison), Sabrina (Psychic), Blaine (Fire) and Giovanni (Ground).

Elite Four

The Elite Four of Kanto are a step above the rest, all located at Indigo Plateau and ready to take on all challengers. In order, they are Lorelei (Ice), Bruno (Fighting), Agatha (Ghost) and Lance (Dragon). The final battle is against the Pokémon Champion, the rival, who does not have a type specialization.


Each game contains pre-recorded data on 151 different species of Pokémon, including Mew, a Pokémon unavailable to players of either game under normal conditions. 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.

0023 Ekans Ekans
0024 Arbok Arbok
0043 Oddish Oddish
Grass Poison
0044 Gloom Gloom
Grass Poison
0045 Vileplume Vileplume
Grass Poison
0056 Mankey Mankey
0057 Primeape Primeape
0058 Growlithe Growlithe
0059 Arcanine Arcanine
0123 Scyther Scyther
Bug Flying
0125 Electabuzz Electabuzz
0027 Sandshrew Sandshrew
0028 Sandslash Sandslash
0037 Vulpix Vulpix
0038 Ninetales Ninetales
0052 Meowth Meowth
0053 Persian Persian
0069 Bellsprout Bellsprout
Grass Poison
0070 Weepinbell Weepinbell
Grass Poison
0071 Victreebel Victreebel
Grass Poison
0126 Magmar Magmar
0127 Pinsir Pinsir


Players may trade Pokémon between two cartridges or battle with another cartridge using a Game Boy Game Link Cable. To take full advantage of this feature, several Pokémon are exclusive to each game of the pair and others require trading to evolve, making trading necessary to complete the Pokédex. The games can trade and battle with Western versions of Red, Blue, and Pokémon Yellow. They can also trade with Western versions of Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal via the Time Capsule. Red and Blue are completely incompatible with games from Generation III onward.

Trades between Pokémon games in different languages are possible; however, a Japanese game cannot connect with a non-Japanese game without causing corruption. 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 neither game fully encodes both kana and the Latin alphabet (only encoding one fully and the other partially). 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.

Red and Blue are compatible with Pokémon Stadium and Stadium 2. While link battles are not possible directly between Pokémon Red and Blue and the Generation II games, a player may challenge a Generation II game using Pokémon Stadium 2.

Virtual Console

The Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console releases use 3DS wireless communication as a substitute for the Game Link Cable. Japanese and non-Japanese Generation I core series games do not recognize each other when attempting to link them via 3DS wireless communication.

Using Poké Transporter, the entirety of Box 1 can be sent from the Generation I core series games to Pokémon Bank (regardless of language), from where they can be withdrawn in the Generation VII core series games.

Localization changes

  • The first pair of games in Japan was Pokémon Red and Green, followed by Blue as the third core series game, which included a graphics and sound upgrade, as well as the removal of several known glitches that had been found in the original pair. In the localizations, the first pair of games was Red and Blue, which had the same version-exclusive Pokémon available as Pokémon Red and Green, and also kept the improvements from the Japanese Pokémon Blue.
  • Because Pokémon Red and Blue's script is based on a translation of the script of Pokémon Blue but use the in-game trades from Pokémon Red and Green, two translation errors related to these trades occur.
    • The man who trades the player an Electrode on Cinnabar Island claims that the Raichu he received "went and evolved". As Raichu does not have an evolved form, this is not possible. In the context of Japanese Pokémon Blue, it makes sense as the player trades away a Kadabra, which evolves through trade, for a Graveler.
    • The old man who trades the player a Jynx in Cerulean City claims that the Poliwhirl he received "went and evolved". As Poliwhirl cannot evolve via trade in Generation I, this is not possible. In the context of Japanese Pokémon Blue, the old man trades away a Haunter for a Machoke, which does evolve through trade.
  • In the localized versions of Pokémon Red and Blue, the Pokédex entries were taken from the Japanese Pokémon Blue. The earlier Pokédex entries shared by Japanese Red and Green were left untranslated until they were reused in later games.
    • In Japanese Pokémon Blue, two Pokédex entries use the term "Mythical Pokémon" (Japanese: まぼろしの ポケモン Mirage Pokémon), stating that Mew is currently considered one and Dratini used to be considered one as well. In the English version, the word "mythical" is used referring to Dratini but "mirage" instead referring to Mew.
    • In Japanese Pokémon Blue, Mew's entry has no mention of "many experts". This wording was added in the translation, as seen in: "still said to be a mirage by many experts".
    • In Japanese Pokémon Blue, Mew's entry mentions that few people have seen it in the entire country (全国(ぜんこく)). In the English version, this was changed to mention the world instead of a country: "few people have seen it worldwide".
    • In the localized versions of Pokémon Red and Blue, Nidoqueen's weight (132.3 lbs; 60.0 kg) and Geodude's weight (44.1 lbs; 20.0 kg) are correctly taken from Japanese Blue, instead of using the lower incorrect values from Japanese Red and Green (6.0 kg for Nidoqueen and 2.0 kg for Geodude).
  • In the player's bedroom, the video game console is a Famicom in the Japanese Red, Green, and Blue. This video game is a SNES in the localizations of all Generation I games.
  • In the international Red and Blue, it is possible to buy HP Up in the Celadon Department Store, which was also true in the Japanese Blue but not in Japanese Red and Green.
  • In the international Red and Blue, the Cerulean Cave uses the layout from Japanese Blue instead of the layout from Japanese Red and Green.

Localization changes shared by Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow

  • In the player's story as seen in the Japanese game manuals, the player and rival have a different name in each game. This story is present in the English manuals as well, except their names are absent, the player character being referred to "you" and the rival character as "your rival".
    • In Japanese, the player is named according to the current game: レッドR, グリーンG, ブルーB, or イエローY (Red, Green, Blue, or Yellow).
    • In Japanese, the rival is named according to another game: グリーンR, レッドGB, or ブルーY (Green, Red or Blue).
  • In all languages of the Generation I games except French, the TV in the player's house is showing a movie involving four boys walking on railroad tracks, a reference to Stand by Me.[5]
    • The TV in the French version shows an animated cartoon featuring a boy with a monkey tail (French: "Un dessin animé! Un petit garçon avec une queue de singe."), possibly a reference to young Son Goku from Dragon Ball, or alternatively, young Son Gohan from the sequel Dragon Ball Z.
  • In the localized versions of Generation I games, a Bird Keeper in Route 14 states: "The 3 legendary Pokémon are all birds of prey." However, in the Japanese dialogue, he simply says that they are three birds.
  • In the Japanese version of the Trainer Card, the names of all Gym Leaders are written above their faces (each Japanese name consisting of exactly three katakana characters), except Giovanni's name is written as "---". In the international versions, the Gym Leader names are not written on the Trainer Card, possibly owing to the longer English names.
  • In the Japanese version, the Pokémon's level is repeated in the first and second stats screens. In other language versions, the level is only shown in the first screen.
  • Localization changes concerning the Town Map:
    • In the Japanese version, there is a border around the map, and the place name is displayed on a short blank space at the top-left corner outside that border. In the international versions, that border was removed, and the place name is displayed on a blank line above the map, leaving more space for longer place names.
    • In the Japanese version, the Town Map has a limit of 9 characters for the displayed place name. This would be enough to display the full Japanese name of all the places available on the map other than Silph Co.. However, some words are not used on the Town Map: シティ (City), タウン (Town), しま (Island, as seen in Cinnabar Island), こうげん (Plateau, as seen in Indigo Plateau), and カンパニー (Company, as seen in Silph Co.). For instance, while the Town Map displays the full name "Cerulean City" in English, this place is displayed as ハナダ (Hanada) instead of ハナダシティ (Hanada City) in Japanese. Silph Co. is displayed on the Town Map as シルフほんしゃビル (Sylph Main Office Building), which may be a shortening of シルフ カンパニー ほんしゃ ビル (Sylph Company Main Office Building).
    • In the Japanese version, the only in-game mention of the Kanto region appears if the player interacts with the Town Map in Daisy's house prior to obtaining it. However, the name "Kanto" was removed from this game quote in the international versions, rendering the region unnamed in-game.
  • When encountering a Pokémon using a fishing rod, the game says "The hooked <POKÉMON> attacked!" In the Spanish localization, this was erroneously translated to "¡El malvado <POKéMON> atacó!". The word "malvado" translates roughly to "wicked" or "evil."
  • In the Japanese versions of all Generation I games, the girl who gives the player TM48 (Rock Slide) in exchange for a Soda Pop states that this move can sometimes cause the enemy to faint (Japanese: たまに あいてを きぜつ させる).
    • In the English version of Pokémon Red and Blue, she makes no reference to fainting, but instead says Rock Slide can "spook the target sometimes". This may be a reference to flinching, even though the move could not cause flinching until Generation II.
    • The the English version of Pokémon Yellow, this quote is absent.
  • The acronym for TM in the French localization of the games is CT. It is used incorrectly in one area of the game. When the player exchanged Lemonade for CT49, the text reads "TM49... TRIPLATTAQUE!".
  • In the Spanish and Italian localizations of the games, both versions erroneously refer to Squirtle's shell as "concha" and "conchiglia" which translates to "seashell" in Spanish and Italian respectively.
  • In the Japanese versions of Generation I games (as well as in all versions of Generation II games and Pokémon Stadium series games), the moves Absorb, Mega Drain, Leech Life, and Dream Eater always fail if the target is behind a substitute. In the localized versions of Generation I games, these moves always hit if the target is behind a substitute (except Dream Eater, which will fail if the target is not sleeping).[6][7]
    • Both the original effect (always miss when behind a substitute) and the localized Generation I effect (always hit behind a substitute) were likely unintended. The change in effect for localized games likely is a side-effect from a fix that was meant to prevent Swift to always hit a target behind a substitute (even if the target is in the semi-invulnerable turn of Fly or Dig).
  • In the Japanese version, there are butsudan (Buddhist shrines) in some Celadon City buildings, but they were changed to sculptures of Diglett in the English version. They return the text "ぶつだん だ……" (It's a butsudan...) in Japanese, but "It's a sculpture of DIGLETT." in English.
  • In the Japanese version, the PC storage system has 8 boxes with 30 Pokémon each instead of 12 boxes with 20 Pokémon each.
  • In the Japanese version, the name of the non-player character always precedes the quote said when they are defeated in battle. After the character's name, there is a corner bracket character (『) and then the quote starts. The names of Trainer classes are abbreviated, such as ミニスカ (Miniski) instead of ミニスカート (Miniskirt) for Lass.
    • In the international versions of Generation I games, the opponent's name is not automatically added in the end battle quotes like this.
  • In the Japanese versions of the handheld games, Blizzard has 30% chance to freeze. The chance was lowered to 10% for Pokémon Yellow's Colosseum 2, the Stadium games, and all international Generation I games.
  • In the Japanese versions of the Generation I handheld games, Swift functions as a 100% accuracy move due to a glitch, unless the opponent is behind a substitute. In all international games, Swift bypasses accuracy checks to always hit.
  • The American staff in charge of localizing the games tried to change the Pokémon designs, but Tsunekazu Ishihara turned down the proposal.[8]

Localization changes shared by Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen

  • In the English version, a Cue Ball (named Cue Ball Luke in Generation III) on the Route 17 area of the Cycling Road calls the player a "little mouse" before the battle and a "little rat" when defeated. Those references to real-life animals were added in the localization and are not present in the Japanese version.

Localization changes shared by Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen, Let's Go, Pikachu!, and Let's Go, Eevee!

  • Poké Center and Poké Mart signs were altered between regional releases
  • In the Japanese version, the old man passed out drunk at the start of the game, hence why he blocks the way out of Viridian City at the start of the game. In the English version, he is grumpy due to not having had his coffee yet.
  • Lt. Surge often uses katakana versions of English words in his Japanese dialogue. This is not addressed in the English game dialogue.
  • In the Japanese version, at the Celadon Department Store 3F, the boy who receives Haunter in a trade calls himself Haunter Maniac (Japanese: ゴーストマニア Ghost Maniac). This name is not mentioned in the English versions.
    • In Generation I only, the two boys trade a Haunter for a Kangaskhan, and it is implied that Haunter evolves by trade into Gengar. In the localized versions, they trade Graveler for Kangaskhan instead.
  • In the Japanese version, the characters Erik and Sara (Japanese: コージ Kōji and アツコ Atsuko) may be cameos of Kōji Nishino and Atsuko Nishida.
    • Their Japanese dialogue involves some wordplay using the word 「とり」 ("tori"). They failed to meet each other due to a misunderstanding: Erik used a bird Pokémon to arrive at Fuchsia City (とりポケモン "tori Pokémon" means bird Pokémon), while Sara is waiting for him inside the Safari Zone or GO Park where they would be able to obtain Pokémon (ポケモンとり "Pokémon tori" means obtain Pokémon). This wordplay is not mentioned in the English version.
  • The Japanese version of the Pokémon Mansion journals use a singular "わたし" (watashi, "I" pronoun), implying that only one person was involved in discovering Mew and creating Mewtwo. The English localization changed this pronoun to "we"; this happens to be consistent with the events of Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back, in which a group of scientists created Mewtwo.

Differences in the Virtual Console release

The Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console releases can link with other Virtual Console Generation I and II 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.

Using Poké Transporter, Pokémon can be sent from the Generation I core series games to Pokémon Bank, from which they can be withdrawn in the Generation VII core series games.

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.


This section is about general development info. For development leftovers and unused content, see Pokémon Red and Green beta.
050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Wikipedia has nifty info from official sources. Post it and cite it here

As Red, Green, and Blue

Release date

Pre-release flyer with the earlier release date

The games were originally scheduled for a December 21, 1995 release, according to an old Nintendo of Japan flyer.[9] This could explain the copyright year of 1995 that appears in the games' introductory sequence, and all subsequent games and official merchandise.

No Mew present

According to the interview by Satoru Iwata with Tsunekazu Ishihara and Shigeki Morimoto about the release of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, localized as Iwata Asks, they admitted that after the debugging tools were removed, they added Mew in the remaining space on the ROM. Nintendo thought that this would have been risky because altering the internal data after completing the testing period meant that any new bugs and/or glitches created by adding data without referring to debugging tools would have been much harder to fix. Standard programming practices usually discourage altering the source code and not testing it just before releasing the software to the customer.[10]

Poké Balls

Main article: Poké Ball

Some concept art depicts Poké Balls on the ground, in two pieces. This is most likely just a carryover from when Pokémon was still the concept of Capsule Monsters. Strangely, the original Poké Ball sprites from Pokémon Red and Green lack the button in the center of the Poké Ball.

Rebattling Trainers

In an interview with Shōko Nakagawa in her book Shōko Nakagawa: Pokémon Taught Me The Meaning of Life, Tsunekazu Ishihara revealed that originally, the game was programmed to trigger a battle with each Trainer any time the player walked by them, even if the player had already defeated them in battle previously. The wild Pokémon encounter rate was also significantly higher originally. The Trainer rebattling was omitted from the final release and the wild Pokémon encounter rate was significantly reduced.[11]

Prerelease border

On page 153 of the December 1995 book New Game Design by Game Freak is a summary of Red and Green's final plot. Two screenshots of the game are shown which use an unseen border resembling a Super Game Boy border. In it, "POCKET MONSTERS!" is written in a different size. The border has more Pokémon on it than the Super Game Boy borders from the final game. Clefairy and Pidgey are included, suggesting the screenshot may be from Japanese Red. Kangaskhan does not appear in the border.

Concept art

Early concept art by Ken Sugimori

During a gaming exhibition called Game On, early concept art of Capsule Monsters by Ken Sugimori was featured, along with pre-release material from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. The concept art depicts rough versions of various concepts that made it into the final releases of the Generation I games. They seem to include various battles, the Safari Zone, Red riding on a Lapras, a Blastoise, Celadon City, Silph Co., and a town with a fountain which could have been reworked into Celadon City. Some other Pokémon are identifiable in a raw or semi-normal form, such as Gastly, and others are prototypical of an entire class of Pokémon, such as a basic Dragon-type.

GameCenter CX

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Expand based on the information provided by Satoshi Tajiri, if applicable

A Japan-exclusive special Pokémon episode of GameCenter CX, known as Retro Game Master outside of Japan, included an interview with Satoshi Tajiri, where he revealed early Pokémon character profiles of Nidoking, Slowbro and Kadabra. Notably, they are given a National Pokédex number which matches their internal index number, rather than their final Kanto Pokédex number. Nidoking, for instance, is noted as being #007, rather than #034, either suggesting that there was another method of ordering the Pokémon proposed, or that they reflect their ordering in the internal data. The latter is supported by interviews with Ken Sugimori, which verify that Rhydon, which has an index number of 001, was the first Pokémon ever created, and early sketches from Capsule Monsters featuring Rhydon. Nidoking is also referred to as マイコー♂ Maikō♂, indicating that there were either placeholders or alternate names for Pokémon before the development of Pokémon Red and Green had finished.


The earlier Pokémon sprites planned for the Japanese Blue

Different front sprites of Pokémon were planned for Pokémon Blue, notably the ones for Raticate, Rhydon, Ditto, Dragonair and Mewtwo. These were featured in the November 1996 issue of CoroCoro, which published general information about the game.[12]

As Red and Blue

Pokémon names

Australian 1998 promotional poster with early names for Generation I Pokémon

During the promotional period that preceded the English release of both the anime and Pokémon Red and Blue, a large amount of Pokémon were shown with different names from those they had in the final releases. Some of these names were similar to their final names, but some were quite close to their Japanese names, and others were completely different from any current Pokémon name.

In addition to promotional materials distributed before the games' English releases, the book Pokémon Trainer's Survival Guide, one of the earliest player's guides available in North America, erroneously refers to Haunter as Spectre, its pre-release name.

#   Final name Early name Japanese name
006 Charizard Charizard Charizr Lizardon
010 Caterpie Caterpie Catterp Caterpie
014 Kakuna Kakuna Kokoon Cocoon
015 Beedrill Beedrill Beedril Spear
016 Pidgey Pidgey Pidge Poppo
018 Pidgeot Pidgeot Pidgeott Pigeot
019 Rattata Rattata Rattatak Koratta
023 Ekans Ekans Nagahis/Arbo Arbo
024 Arbok Arbok Nagaasp Arbok
028 Sandslash Sandslash Sandstorm Sandpan
035 Clefairy Clefairy Aria Pippi
036 Clefable Clefable Ariala Pixy
037 Vulpix Vulpix Foxfire Rokon
038 Ninetales Ninetales Ninetai/Nine Tales Kyukon
039 Jigglypuff Jigglypuff Pudding Purin
040 Wigglytuff Wigglytuff Custard Pukurin
043 Oddish Oddish Ladish Nazonokusa
046 Paras Paras Parasyte Paras
050 Diglett Diglett Digda Digda
058 Growlithe Growlithe Flamie Gardie
059 Arcanine Arcanine Blaze Windie
060 Poliwag Poliwag Aqua Nyoromo
061 Poliwhirl Poliwhirl Aquanau/Polihirl Nyorozo
062 Poliwrath Poliwrath Aquamar Nyorobon
063 Abra Abra Hocus Casey
064 Kadabra Kadabra Pocus Yungerer
066 Machop Machop Karate/Kara-tee Wanriky
067 Machoke Machoke Kungfo/Kung-foo Goriky
068 Machamp Machamp Judoh/Ju-doh Kairiky
072 Tentacool Tentacool Jilly Menokurage
073 Tentacruel Tentacruel Manowar/Man O War Dokukurage
078 Rapidash Rapidash Gallop Gallop
079 Slowpoke Slowpoke Slowmo Yadon
081 Magnemite Magnemite Coil Coil
082 Magneton Magneton Recoil Rarecoil
083 Farfetch'd Farfetch'd Fowler Kamonegi
084 Doduo Doduo Dodo Dodo
087 Dewgong Dewgong Manaty Jugon
092 Gastly Gastly Spirit Ghos
093 Haunter Haunter Spectre Ghost
094 Gengar Gengar Phantom Gangar
096 Drowzee Drowzee Sleeper Sleepe
099 Kingler Kingler Kingle Kingler
102 Exeggcute Exeggcute Eggstre Tamatama
103 Exeggutor Exeggutor Eggscut Nassy
104 Cubone Cubone Orphon Karakara
105 Marowak Marowak Guardia Garagara
106 Hitmonlee Hitmonlee Lee Sawamular
107 Hitmonchan Hitmonchan Chan Ebiwalar
108 Lickitung Lickitung Tonguetyd Beroringa
109 Koffing Koffing Ny Dogars
110 Weezing Weezing La Matadogas
113 Chansey Chansey Lucky Lucky
114 Tangela Tangela Medusa/Meduza Monjara
118 Goldeen Goldeen Goldy Tosakinto
119 Seaking Seaking Neptune Azumao
122 Mr. Mime Mr. Mime Mrmime Barrierd
123 Scyther Scyther Stryke Strike
130 Gyarados Gyarados Skulkraken Gyarados
131 Lapras Lapras Ness Laplace
132 Ditto Ditto Morpho Metamon
133 Eevee Eevee Eon Eievui
137 Porygon Porygon Poregon Porygon
138 Omanyte Omanyte Ess Omnite
139 Omastar Omastar Kargo Omstar
140 Kabuto Kabuto Att Kabuto
141 Kabutops Kabutops Lantis Kabutops
142 Aerodactyl Aerodactyl Ptera Ptera
147 Dratini Dratini Dragoon Miniryu
148 Dragonair Dragonair Dragyn Hakuryu


"The Brock wants to fight!"

Before the English releases of Pokémon Red and Blue, screenshots were released of a battle with the rival where the text string "The Blue wants to fight!" was used. While this text would work with a typical Trainer, such as "The Lass wants to fight!" or "The Hiker wants to fight!", as they were not given personal names until Generation II, it would cause problems with Gym Leader, Elite Four, rival, and link battles, causing them to read "The Misty wants to fight!" or "The Lance wants to fight!", as these Trainers did not at the time have titles, only their names. Because of this, the definite article The was dropped in the final releases, leading to the somewhat odd sentence style in Generation I of:

  • "{Trainer's class or name} wants to fight!"

A screenshot in the instruction manual and player's guide of English Red and Blue still contains the text "The Brock wants to fight!", possibly suggesting a late removal. The instruction manual also mentions Pokémon Leaders instead of Gym Leaders.

A slightly different grammar was also going to be used for other text strings.

  • "{Player} sent {Pokémon} out!" instead of "{Player} sent out {Pokémon}!"
  • "A wild {Pokémon} appeared!" became just "Wild {Pokémon} appeared!" (this change would be reverted in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, where it has been kept since then)
    • Similarly, "The enemy {Pokémon} fainted!" became simply "Enemy {Pokémon} fainted!" (also reverted in XD as the definite article The was reinstated)


The games received positive reviews from the press, receiving a perfect 10/10 "Masterful" rating from IGN.[13] The games received an average score of about 89% on GameRankings,[14] the second highest on the site for a core series Pokémon game, and the 3rd and 4th best score for a Game Boy title.[15] Video Game Canon ranks Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen as five of the best games of all time.[16]


Though they brought Pokémon to international fame following the success of the Japanese Red and Green, Pokémon Red and Blue have retrospectively been met with criticism, especially compared to later releases in the series. Many Pokémon look very little like their appearance in the anime, which premiered nearly simultaneous with the games' North American release, or later games, which improved on several other aspects as well as the graphics. Some have also accused the Kanto region itself and the Pokémon in it of being blander or less detailed than later regions and regional Pokédexes.

The two games are also notorious for having several drastic glitches, among them MissingNo., Glitch City, and the Mew glitch. The battle system also features numerous glitches and oversights, such as the Badge boost glitch, the 1/256 miss glitch, and Psychic's unintended immunity to Ghost (which was corrected to be a weakness from Generation II onwards). On the other hand, many players have found that these oddities make Red and Blue unique from other games in the series, and have praised such errors either as opportunities for exploration or exploitation (e.g., as a way to get Mew), or as interesting alternative battle mechanics (e.g., among challenge runners who exploit Badge boosts).

Spr 1b 109.png


Koffing's Red and Blue sprite Koffing's Generation V sprite


Main article: Game Boy: Entire Pokémon Sounds Collection CD

The soundtrack release for Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue also applies to Pokémon Red and Blue.


Main article: Staff of Pokémon Red and Blue


Title screens

Virtual Console icons


  • The names Red and Blue were selected because it was believed that these colors would better appeal to Americans due to the United States flag being red, white, and blue.[17]
  • The blurb on the back of the boxes states that 139 different Pokémon can be obtained in each game without trading. This, however, includes all Pokémon that the player must choose between (i.e., both the Omanyte and Kabuto families are counted). Therefore, the true total of different Pokémon obtainable in one adventure without trading is 124, which excludes the two unchosen first partner Pokémon families, one Fossil family, two Eeveelutions, one of Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan, and the four Pokémon that only evolve when traded.
    • This obtainable is based on the Caught status in the Pokédex. However, if one of each Pokémon is counted to be on your Box, this will further go down to 120. This excludes the first two stages of the chosen first partner Pokémon, the first stage of the Fossil chosen, and Eevee.
  • According to the Pokémon Pokédex Collector's Edition (Prima's Official Pokémon Guide), Red and Blue were developed by a team of nine members.
  • Prior to the Virtual Console release announcement, Pokémon.com listed Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow with a PEGI rating of 3.[18] When PEGI rated the game for its Virtual Console release, it received a rating of 12, due to gambling.
  • An error made during development causes the Pokémon depicted during Professor Oak's introductory lecture to be a Nidorino but with the cry of a Nidorina. This error was inherited from the Japanese Red, Green, and Blue games.
  • The box arts for Pokémon Red, Yellow, and Silver are the only three instances where the English Pokémon logo is shown partially covered by some element (in this case, Charizard's head).
  • In the Canadian French manual for Pokémon Blue, Pokémon is often misspelled as "Pokémons".
  • Several official sources, such as Pokémon.com[19] and Iwata Asks interview,[20] incorrectly state that these games were released in Europe on June 10, 1999. This error appears to have come from the confusion of American and European date formats (the game was released in different parts of Europe on different days from October 5 to 8).
  • The opening of Pokémon Red features a Gengar battling a Nidorino, like in the original Japanese Red and Green versions, while the opening of Pokémon Blue features Gengar battling a Jigglypuff instead as in the Japanese Blue.
    • Due to an oversight, Jigglypuff appears purple (instead of pink) in this battle against Gengar. This is a leftover from the earlier battle between two purple Pokémon (Gengar vs. Nidorino).
  • The title screen of international Pokémon Red and Blue features the same 16 Pokémon appearing one-on-one together with the player as in Japanese Red and Blue, respectively. This starts with Charmander in Red and Squirtle in Blue. However, since there is no international game named Pokémon Green, the list of 16 Pokémon from Japanese Green is not seen in the international games.

In other languages

Language Title
French Canada Flag.png Canada Pokémon Version bleue*
Pokémon version bleue*
France Flag.png Europe Pokémon Version Rouge et Version Bleue
Germany Flag.png German Pokémon Rote Edition und Blaue Edition
Italy Flag.png Italian Pokémon Versione Rossa e Versione Blu
Brazil Flag.png Brazilian Portuguese Pokémon Versão Vermelha e Versão Azul
Spain Flag.png Spanish Pokémon Edición Roja y Edición Azul

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Game Boy's Pokémon Unleashed on September 28! (archive)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Pokémon Red Version | Game Boy | Games | Nintendo
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Pokémon Blue Version | Game Boy | Games | Nintendo
  4. Pokémon (TV) [Episode titles] - Anime News Network
  5. (July 2000). 田尻智さん(ゲームフリーク)VS石原恒和さん(クリーチャーズ)対談 (ページd)Nintendo Online Magazine (N.O.M). No.23.
  6. Swift (Speed Star) in Japanese 1st Gen - Glitch City Laboratories Forums
  7. Pokemon Red substitute/swift/drain bugs - Pastebin
  8. スペシャル対談/3
  9. すばらしきポケットモンスター赤緑(表側)の広告
  10. Iwata Asks | 1. Just Making The Last Train | Iwata Asks - Pokémon HeartGold Version & SoulSilver Version | Nintendo
  11. Dogasu's Backpack: Nakagawa Shouko "Pokemon Taught Me the Meaning of Life"
  12. 2012-06-01 - ポケモンのおっさん
  13. IGN: Pokemon Blue Version (Pokemon Blue) (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  14. Pokemon Red Version for Game Boy - GameRankings (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  15. Reviews and News Articles - GameRankings (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  16. Video Game Canon (retrieved 2023 June 26)
  18. Pokémon™ Red Version and Pokémon™ Blue Version | Video Games | Pokemon.com (archive)
  19. Pokémon™ Red Version and Pokémon™ Blue Version | Video Games | Pokemon.com (UK)
  20. Iwata Asks | 2. Pokémon Born Anew | Iwata Asks in Motion: Pokémon X and Pokémon Y | Nintendo

Project Games logo.png This game-related article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.