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| Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition|
Pokémon Yellow Version's boxart, depicting Pikachu.
|| Release dates
|| September 12, 1998 (Game Boy)|
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
| North America:
|| October 18, 1999 (Game Boy)|
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
|| September 3, 1999 (Game Boy)|
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
|| June 16, 2000 (Game Boy)|
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
| South Korea:
| Hong Kong:
|| February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
|| February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
| Japanese boxart
Boxart of Pocket Monsters: Pikachu
Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ Pocket Monsters: Pikachu), often known as Pokémon Yellow Version, is the third Pokémon game for Game Boy released worldwide, as a solitary version of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions. In Japan, the game was the fourth Pokémon game released, as a second solitary version of Pocket Monsters Red & Green. Unlike other games, Pokemon Yellow was inspired by the anime.
Similar to Red and Blue, Yellow arrived towards the end of the Game Boy's lifespan. It managed, though, to receive the title of second best-selling non-bundled game for its console, losing only to its predecessors.
On November 12, 2015, a Nintendo Direct announced that Yellow will be released in Japan, North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand on February 27, 2016, the Pokémon 20th Anniversary, for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.
Generation VII remakes, titled Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, were released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch on November 2018, two months after Yellow's 20th anniversary in Japan.
Much like in other Generation I games, players start their journey across Kanto from their hometown, Pallet Town, eventually defeating the eight Gym Leaders and the Elite Four. Unlike other games, the player starts off with a Pikachu and the rival with an Eevee.
Team Rocket battles feature yet another special, anime-based surprise, as Jessie and James show up, along with their Pokémon, Ekans, Koffing, and Meowth. Beyond these changes, the plot of Yellow is very similar to that of the Japanese Red and Green and Japanese Blue as well as of the Western Red and Blue.
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!
Changes from Red, Green, and Blue
- The front Pokémon sprites have all been updated to resemble how they appear in their then-current Ken Sugimori artwork usually used in promotional images and strategy guides for the Japanese Red and Green, Japanese Blue, and the Western Red and Blue, as well as some of them resembling how they appear in the anime. However, the back sprites are the same as the previous games.
- Some Trainer sprites were also redone. Red and Blue now better resemble their stock artwork for Generation I, as the Pokémon sprites do. Brock wears an outfit like his anime counterpart's and Misty's bikini was changed to a shirt and shorts similar to those worn by her counterpart.
- Blaine has a different overworld sprite, this time clearly showing him wearing glasses.
- Giovanni uses a Persian in the battle at the Viridian Gym, referencing the anime Giovanni owning a Persian.
- All policemen were recast as Officer Jennys and all Pokémon Center Nurses were recast as Nurse Joys (attended by a Chansey).
- Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Sandshrew, Oddish, Jigglypuff and Clefairy receive new overworld sprites. Pikachu also receives a unique icon on the party screen.
- Kanto is slightly redesigned a second time, featuring different designs for doors, signposts, windows, and other minor elements.
- Enhanced compatibility with the Game Boy Color is present outside of Japan, providing color palette changes as the player switches locations, whereas the Japanese version is similar to the previous core series Generation I games in that it only has Super Game Boy support.
- The Super Game Boy palettes used for the Pokémon sprites are also lighter.
- In some locations, Trainers who reference characters from the anime replace previous Trainers.
- Two extra trainers (a Lass and another Bug Catcher) were added in Viridian Forest.
- The Summer Beach House, where Pikachu's Beach can be played, was added to Route 19.
- In the Cinnabar Gym, the player must now take the quiz machines' quiz before they can battle the Trainer stationed nearby.
- The Bicycle theme does not play on Route 23 and in Victory Road.
- Cerulean Cave has a completely different layout.
- Changes were made to the locations and availability of Pokémon.
- Some changes may have been made to reinforce the anime-based setting.
- Pikachu and Raichu are removed from all availability in the wild, leaving only the player's starter Pikachu (who cannot evolve).
- In the anime, Ash catches a Caterpie and a Pidgeotto in Viridian Forest. In the game, though both Caterpie and Weedle were available in previous games, only Caterpie is now. Pidgey and Pidgeotto are also both added to Viridian Forest.
- The player can now also obtain all three of the original Kanto starter Pokémon (at Cerulean City, Route 24, and Vermilion City), just like Ash in the anime.
- The Pokémon that Team Rocket uses (Koffing, Ekans, Meowth, and their evolutions) are no longer available to be caught in the wild.
- In-game trades are changed to different Pokémon, and two trades are removed from the game.
- Farfetch'd and Lickitung, previously available only through in-game trades, now appear as wild Pokémon.
- Abra, previously available on the routes north of Cerulean City, has now been relocated to the four routes surrounding Saffron City.
- A trash can was added next to the table at Professor Oak's Laboratory.
- Pikachu is the only starter Pokémon the player can choose and travels with the player on-screen, outside of a Poké Ball like Ash's Pikachu. It will also cry like Ash's Pikachu in the anime, with its cries now voiced by Ikue Ohtani.
- The rival starts with Eevee. He will eventually have a different team based around one of Eevee's evolutions depending on how the player fares in the first two battles with the rival (the second being optional), at Professor Oak's Laboratory and Route 22.
- If the player wins both, Eevee evolves into Jolteon.
- If the player wins at the lab and loses or skips at Route 22, Eevee evolves into Flareon.
- If the player loses at the lab, Eevee evolves into Vaporeon.
- A minimal friendship system is implemented to track how Pikachu feels about the player.
- Gym Leaders have different teams, some based on those that appear in the anime.
- Level-up learnsets and TM compatibility are altered slightly for certain Pokémon. Charizard, for example, can now learn Fly via HM02.
- Support is added for the Game Boy Printer.
- If the player does not have 500, they can still enter the Safari Zone. The player will have to pay any money they do have and will receive a number of Safari Balls proportional to the amount paid (but at least one).
- Kinesis is given to Kadabra as its signature move. In the previous games, Kinesis was never used and the only way it might appear would be if randomly called by Metronome.
- A new mode, "Colosseum 2", was added to the Cable Club.
- The Viridian City Poké Mart now sells Potions. The NPC complaining about Potions not being sold in Pokémon Red and Blue now states that the Mart finally sells Potions again.
- The chain of events leading to the player obtaining the starter is slightly different:
- The player now takes one step further into the tall grass before Professor Oak comes along. Now himself standing in the tall grass, Oak encounters a wild Pikachu and immediately catches it before leading the player back to his laboratory.
- Instead of giving the player and Blue the choice between Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, Professor Oak tells player to take the single Poké Ball on his desk, containing Eevee, but Blue shoves the player out of the way and takes the Poké Ball instead. Oak then gives the player the only Pokémon he has on hand: the Pikachu he has caught before, which, after the first battle against Blue, immediately breaks free from its Poké Ball and follows the player on foot from this point onward.
- The old man in Viridian City now must be spoken to before going to Viridian Forest. He attempts to demonstrate how to catch a Pokémon, fails and leaves to get more Poké Balls from the Viridian Poké Mart. The player can visit the Poké Mart to ask him to repeat the tutorial.
- Jessie and James appear throughout the game, replacing Grunts from the previous games in four different places. They are involved in Team Rocket's scheme and are typically found before a battle with Giovanni. Though they are named "Rocket" like any Team Rocket Grunt, they have distinct overworld and in-battle sprites.
Pokémon unobtainable in Yellow
The following Pokémon are not obtainable in Yellow. In order to obtain any of the below Pokémon, they must be traded from one of the previous Generation I games, or from the Generation II games, which has that Pokémon available, which will be indicated.
Note that "G" indicates a Pokémon that can be caught in the Japanese Green, and thus in the Western Blue as well. "B" indicates a Pokémon obtainable in the Japanese Blue.
Differences in the Virtual Console release
| Jynx's original sprite
| Jynx's recolored|
Virtual Console sprite
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. Additionally, all of the Game Boy Printer features are disabled, although the option still appears in the PC menu: when selected, the game acts as if the printing is in progress, even though, in reality, nothing is happening.
Using Poké Transporter, Pokémon can be sent from the Generation I core series games to Pokémon Bank, and from Pokémon Bank, they can then be moved to 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.
In the Western language releases, which are emulated in Game Boy Color mode, Jynx's sprite has been replaced to match its current design, as the original had previously fell under controversy for its resemblance to blackface. The Japanese release is emulated in Game Boy mode, which is monochromatic, so no change was made.
The requirement for the Pikachu's Beach minigame is now the starter Pikachu instead of Surfing Pikachu.
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 other Generation I games and others require trading to evolve, making trading necessary to complete the Pokédex. The Japanese version can trade and battle with Japanese versions of Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow; the Western versions can trade and battle with Western versions of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow. It can also trade with Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal via the Time Capsule. Pokémon Yellow is 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.
Pokémon Yellow is compatible with the Japan-exclusive Pokémon Stadium, Western Stadium, and Stadium 2. While link battles are not possible directly between Pokémon Yellow and the Generation II games, a player may challenge a Generation II game using Pokémon Stadium 2.
Pokémon Yellow is also compatible with the Game Boy Printer. It is possible to print Pokédex entries, the Diploma, Pokémon Storage System Boxes, Party Pokémon, and the Pikachu's Beach high score.
Yellow debuted a new link battle mode, Colosseum 2. In Colosseum 2, players can select from several battle modes:
- Pika Cup (for Pokémon between levels 15 to 20 only; their combined level limit is 50)
- Petit Cup (for Pokémon between levels 25 to 30, with a height no more than 6'07" (2 m), and weight no more than 44.1 lbs. (20 kg) only)
- 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 (known as Pokémon Stadium 2 in Japan).
In addition, in the Japanese versions, Blizzard's chance to freeze in Colosseum 2 is changed to 10% rather than the usual 30%. Blizzard's chance to freeze is always 10% in the Pokémon Stadium series and the Western releases of the Generation I games.
The Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console release uses 3DS wireless communication as a substitute for the Game Link Cable. The Virtual Console release disables Game Boy Printer compatibility. 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, all Pokémon in Box 1 can be sent from the Generation I core series games to Pokémon Bank (regardless of language), and from Pokémon Bank, they can then be moved to Generation VII core series games.
Differences from the anime
The game is loosely based on the original anime series, but has several differences:
An American version game cartridge of Yellow
While the game's title has become widely accepted as simply Pokémon Yellow, its officially recognized name outside of Japan is not entirely certain. On the boxart for most English versions, the expression 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, the expression Special Pikachu Edition is repeated on the box's opening and spine.
Contemporaneous materials refer to the game as Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition, or Pokémon Yellow for brevity. The instruction manual refers to the game as "the Yellow version of Pokémon", "Yellow" is one of the selectable preset names for the player character, and Yellow Version can be seen on the game's title screen.
ESRB classified the game under the title Pokémon yellow. The Australian Classification Board classified the game under the title POKEMON YELLOW. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office records the copyright POKEMON YELLOW VERSION: SPECIAL PIKACHU EDITION.
Pokémon.com refers to the game as Pokémon Yellow Special Pikachu Edition in full, but Pokémon Yellow Version and Pokémon Yellow in general usage. Pokémon Yellow Special Pikachu Edition is also the title used in the Nintendo World Pokémon Series Showcase. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U refers to the game as Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition in Pikachu's trophy description.
In the Virtual Console release, the game is referred to as Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition on the Nintendo eShop and in the manual. Like many games, it is abbreviated on the Nintendo 3DS HOME Menu, being referred to as Pokémon Yellow Version.
|| Initial release
|| Differences in the locations of internal functions, unintentional glitch differences.
|| Adjustments to the code in existing routines. It is unknown how this affects the game.
|| Fixes a minor glitch in which a walking Pikachu can remove the walls that can usually only be removed by pushing a boulder on to a switch in Victory Road, except for one wall in 3F. The glitch may occur when the player has the walking Pikachu stand on the switch, rather than pushing the boulder on to the switch.
Only one known version of each international language version was released.
- Main article: Pokémon Yellow beta
Like Red and Blue, Yellow was also well received by the press. Like its predecessors, it received a perfect 10/10 "Masterful" rating from IGN. However, it was criticized as being "just a stopgap to help us wait for the real sequels". Yellow received a slightly lower average score than Red and Blue of about 85% on GameRankings. Despite this, it was the site's top rated Game Boy game in the year of its release, 1999.
- Main article: Game Boy: Entire Pokémon Sounds Collection CD
The soundtrack for Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue and Pokémon Red and Blue also applies to Pokémon Yellow. However, Yellow added three tracks that are absent from the official soundtrack, which precedes the release of Yellow by ten months. These additional tracks were also composed by Junichi Masuda.
- Main article: Staff of Pokémon Yellow
Dated August 3, 1998 (source)
- The game's Japanese release date of September 12, 1998 was intentionally timed to coincide with the release of a movie, being released two months after M01.
- As such, it came out in Japan before the Game Boy Color, which was not released until October 21, 1998. This explains the lack of Game Boy Color support in the Japanese versions, with the game using a yellow palette by default when played on a Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP, or Game Boy Player, much like the red, green, and blue palettes respectively used by Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue.
- Pokémon Yellow was also announced and released after Game Freak postponed Pokémon Gold and Silver, which were originally set to come out in March 1998. Instead, Pokémon Pikachu came out that month.
- The special Pikachu Yellow model of the Game Boy Printer was also exclusively released in Japan on September 12, 1998.
- Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, which reimplemented the walking Pokémon mechanic that was introduced in Yellow, were released in Japan exactly 11 years after Yellow was released in Japan.
- The two available starter Pokémon of this game, Pikachu (player) and Eevee (rival), are the only Pokémon introduced prior to Generation V to evolve with a Thunderstone.
- Out of all the core series Generation I games, this is the only one where Farfetch'd can be caught in the wild; in the Japanese Red and Green and Japanese Blue as well as in the Western Red and Blue, this Pokémon is only available by means of an in-game trade.
- It is the only localized game prior to Generation III to lack the slogan below the Pokémon logo.
- This is the only core series game influenced heavily by the anime.
- Pikachu had its cry changed to that of its anime counterpart for this game. Junichi Masuda details the modification of Ikue Ohtani's voice to a sound capable of being made by the low-tech Game Boy in his Director's Column. However, Pikachu's original cry was used in some parts of the game.
- Prior to the Virtual Console release announcement, Pokémon.com listed Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow with a PEGI rating of 3.
- The boxarts for Pokémon Red, Pokémon Yellow and Pokémon Silver are the only three instances where the English Pokémon logo is shown partially covered by some element (in this case, Pikachu's ears).
In other languages
|| ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ
|| Pokémon Version Jaune: Edition Spéciale Pikachu
|| Pokémon Gelbe Edition: Special Pikachu Edition
|| Pokémon Versione Gialla: Speciale Edizione Pikachu
|| 포켓몬스터 피카츄
| Brazilian Portuguese
|| Pokémon Versão Amarela: Edição Especial Pikachu
|| Pokémon Edición Amarilla: Edición Especial Pikachu