Pokémon Yellow Version

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Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ
Yellow EN boxart.png
Pokémon Yellow Version's boxart, depicting Pikachu.
Basic info
Platform: Game Boy (enhanced for the Super Game Boy in all releases and for the Game Boy Color outside of Japan), Nintendo 3DS (Virtual Console)
Category: RPG
Players: 2 players simultaneous
Connectivity: Game Link Cable (Game Boy)
3DS Wireless (3DS Virtual Console)
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: Generation I core series
ACB: G (Game Boy)
PEGI: 12
GSRR: 6+ (3DS VC)
Release dates
Japan: September 12, 1998 (Game Boy)[1][2]
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
North America: October 18, 1999 (Game Boy)[3][4]
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
Australia: September 3, 1999 (Game Boy)[5]
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
Europe: June 16, 2000 (Game Boy)[6][7]
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
South Korea: N/A
Hong Kong: February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
Taiwan: February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
Japanese: The Pokémon Company (Game Boy)
The Pokémon Company (Virtual Console)
Nintendo (Game Boy)
Nintendo (Virtual Console)
English: The Pokémon Company International (Game Boy & Virtual Console)
Nintendo (Game Boy, needs Flash Player)
Nintendo (Virtual Console)
Japanese boxart
Yellow JP boxart.png
Boxart of Pocket Monsters: Pikachu
StrategyWiki has more about this subject:

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 Pokémon Red and Green. Unlike other games, Pokémon 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.

The game was 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.

Generation VII remakes, titled Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, were released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch in November 2018, in celebration of Yellow's 20th anniversary in Japan.


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

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: 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.

While looking for Professor Oak who had called both of them to his laboratory, the player tries to leave town, only for Oak to catch up to him two steps into Route 1's grassy path. Warning the player about the dangers of walking in tall grass without a Pokémon, Oak himself encounters a wild Pikachu and manages to catch it, before leading the player to his laboratory, where he allows the player to take the single Poké Ball containing an Eevee from the desk near him. The rival quickly gets jealous, shoves the player out of his way and takes the Pokémon for himself. With no other options, Oak gives player the freshly caught Pikachu, after which the rival challenges the player to a battle.

After the battle, Oak allows the two new Trainers to leave for their journey across Kanto. Right after the rival leaves, the player's Pikachu breaks out of his Poké Ball and starts following the player on foot. 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 and obtain the Dome Fossil or Helix Fossil which can be regenerated into Kabuto and Omanyte. Before the player leaves the cave, he is ambushed by two Team Rocket grunts (unnamed in this game but known as Jessie and James in the anime), who try to take the fossil back. Continuing onto Route 4, the player finds himself in 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 player runs into Jessie and James for a second time and then meets the Team Rocket boss, Giovanni, who 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 Jessie and James, 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 guarded by Jessie and James, 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, 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

Aesthetic changes

  • The Japanese release has one set of in-game color palettes while the international releases of Pokémon Yellow have two separate sets for different game systems.
  • 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 ladies were recast as Nurse Joys (attended by a Chansey).
  • Jessie and James have their own individual overworld sprites (Jessie OD.pngJames OD.png) and share a group battle sprite.
  • The newly introduced Pikachu sprite 025 I OD.png is used in the overworld for the first partner Pikachu. This sprite is also used as the icon for any Pikachu or Raichu in the party, instead of using the Clefairy-like icon MS Clefairy I.png from earlier games.
    • If a Pikachu owned by the player uses Surf outside of battle, this Pikachu appears as the sprite 025 I Surfing OD.png instead of the generic aquatic MS Aquatic I.png sprite.
    • Some Pokémon received new sprites that show their individual appearance more clearly instead of using generic icons shared by multiple Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Sandshrew, Clefairy, Jigglypuff, Oddish, and Chansey (001 I OD.png027 I OD.png035 I OD.png039 I OD.png043 I OD.png113 I OD.png). However, much like Snorlax 143 I OD.png since the previous games, those new sprites only appear in the overworld; they still use their old generic sprites in the party.
  • Kanto is slightly redesigned a second time, featuring different designs for doors, signposts, windows, and other minor elements.
  • In the Japanese version of Pokémon Yellow, the player character Red has a Super Famicon in his bedroom (as opposed to a Famicon in the Japanese versions of Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue). However, in the international versions of all Generation I games, the player has an SNES instead.
  • The credits of Pokémon Yellow now include Gengar as the 16th Pokémon silhouette, as opposed to the previous games with only 15 Pokémon silhouettes in the credits.

Location changes

Gameplay changes

  • Pikachu is the only first partner Pokémon the player can receive, and it 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 Otani.
  • 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 and movesets, 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.
  • In-game opponents have altered movesets where their Pokémon may use moves that aren’t exclusively learned by level-up unlike the opponent movesets encountered in Pokémon, Red, Blue and Green.

Storyline changes

  • The chain of events leading to the player obtaining their first partner Pokémon 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 the 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.

Missing Pokémon

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.

0013 Weedle Weedle
Bug Poison RGBᴶ
0014 Kakuna Kakuna
Bug Poison RGBᴶ
0015 Beedrill Beedrill
Bug Poison RGBᴶ
0023 Ekans Ekans
Poison R
0024 Arbok Arbok
Poison R
0026 Raichu Raichu
Electric RGBᴶ
0052 Meowth Meowth
Normal GBᴶ
0053 Persian Persian
Normal GBᴶ
0109 Koffing Koffing
Poison RGBᴶ
0110 Weezing Weezing
Poison RGBᴶ
0124 Jynx Jynx
Ice Psychic RGBᴶ
0125 Electabuzz Electabuzz
Electric R
0126 Magmar Magmar
Fire G


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.

Colosseum 2

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.

Virtual Console

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.

Localization changes

  • In the player's bedroom, the video game console is a Super Famicom in the Japanese Yellow (unlike the Famicom in earlier Japanese games). This video game is a SNES in the localizations of all Generation I games.
  • In the Celadon Department Store 4F, there is a male NPC planning to give a Poké Doll to Copycat. In the Japanese, French, and Italian versions, he correctly mentions that Copycat lives in Saffron City. However, due to a localization error in the English and Spanish versions, he incorrectly says that she lives in Cerulean City. In the German version, he does not mention where she lives.

Color palettes

The Game Boy Color mode's yellow palette
  • In Japanese Yellow on Game Boy Color mode, the game uses a yellow palette similarly to how Red, Green, and Blue use their respective red, green, and blue palettes. In Western Yellow, Game Boy Color mode instead uses the Super Game Boy palettes but with more saturated colors. The yellow palette from Japanese Yellow is used by Western Yellow in certain situations like Pikachu's Beach hi-score screen and it can be reinstated completely by modifying the ROM.
  • The change to the color of Jynx's sprites mentioned below only affects the localized version of Pokémon Yellow, since this game is monochromatic in the Japanese version of the Virtual Console.

Localization changes shared by Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow

Main article: Pokémon Red and Blue Versions → Localization changes shared by Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow

Differences in the Virtual Console release

Spr 1y 124.png

Spr 1y 124 vc.png

Jynx's original sprite
(GBC mode)
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 battle sprites have been recolored to align with its modern design, recoloring Jynx's black skin to purple. Jynx's original design had previously been subject to controversy due to its resemblance to racial stereotypes of African-Americans. 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 first partner Pikachu instead of Surfing Pikachu.

Differences from the anime

The game is loosely based on the original anime series, but has several differences:

English title

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,[8][9][10][11] 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.[12] The Australian Classification Board classified the game under the title POKEMON YELLOW.[13] The Canadian Intellectual Property Office records the copyright POKEMON YELLOW VERSION: SPECIAL PIKACHU EDITION.[14]

Pokémon.com refers to the game as Pokémon Yellow Special Pikachu Edition in full, but Pokémon Yellow Version and Pokémon Yellow in general usage.[15] 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.

Version history


Version Changelog
1.0 Initial release
1.1 Differences in the locations of internal functions, unintentional glitch differences.
1.2 Adjustments to the code in existing routines. It is unknown how this affects the game.
1.3 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.[16] However, it was criticized as being "just a stopgap to help us wait for the real sequels".[17] 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.[18]


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


Title screens


Virtual Console icons


  • 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.[19][20]
  • Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, which re-implemented 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 first partner Pokémon of this game, Pikachu (player) and Eevee (rival), are the only Pokémon introduced prior to Generation V to evolve with a Thunder Stone.
  • 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, this change is exclusive to this one specimen and not the entire species, as other Pikachu (i.e. those that don't have the player's Original Trainer ID and name) use the original cry.
  • Prior to the Virtual Console release announcement, Pokémon.com listed Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow with a PEGI rating of 3.[25]
  • 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, Pikachu's ears).
  • Yellow Special Pikachu Edition has the longest name of all core series titles, including symbols and spaces, with 30.
  • According to a FAQ page that was available in February 1999 on Pokémon.com, there were no plans to release an American version of Pokémon Yellow (mentioned as the "Pikachu" version), as well as any other Pokémon games that had only been released in Japanese at the time.[26]
  • The Poké Cup format is based on the Nintendo Cup '97, a real life event that took place in Japan that year and which was the first tournament in Pokémon history.
  • If the player attempts to use a Thunder Stone on their Pikachu, it'll refuse. Talking to Pikachu afterwards will cause it to shake its head. Traded Pikachu are unaffected by this.
  • The Japanese version of Pokémon Pinball uses the Pokédex entries from Pokémon Yellow. However, Pokémon Pinball was released in English before Pokémon Yellow. The English version of Pokémon Pinball uses the Pokédex entries shared by Pokémon Red and Blue instead.
  • The majority of Pokémon unavailable for capture in Pokémon Yellow have either been caught (albeit given away) or temporarily commanded by Ash in later seasons of the anime.

Unique content

In the core series, this is the only game with these characteristics:

  • It was influenced heavily by the anime.
  • It was the second "upper version" game in the same generation (in Japan, after Pokémon Blue).
  • It has a single walking Pokémon.
  • This is the only game with these friendship-based qualities:
    • There is a single Pokémon with the friendship mechanic available.
    • Depositing a Pokémon in the Storage System causes it to lose some friendship.
    • There are no available friendship-based evolutions even though the friendship mechanic is present.
  • There are two different types of cries available for the same species depending on whether the player is the Pokémon's OT (the first partner Pikachu has a vocalization cry like in the anime, while a non-OT Pikachu still has a chiptune noise cry like in earlier games).
  • The entire trio of first partner Pokémon introduced in the game's own generation can be obtained without trades, transfers, or events.
  • The rival is seen preventing the player from obtaining a Pokémon (the first partner Eevee in the cutscene at the start of the game).
  • The rival's first partner Pokémon is able to evolve, but not the player's first partner Pokémon.
  • The rival's team is influenced by whether he has won or lost earlier battles against the player.
  • Out of all localized games, this is the only one where no item was introduced.

Introduced content

In the core series, this was the first game with these characteristics:

  • A Pokémon species is part of the Japanese title.
  • This was the first localized game whose boxart lacks the slogan below the Pokémon logo, although this slogan was reused in Generation II before it was dropped from the game boxarts altogether in Generation III.
  • Characters introduced in the anime appear in-game. This includes the Team Rocket trio, Nurse Joy, and Officer Jenny.
  • Farfetch'd can be caught in the wild, instead of only from in-game trades like in earlier games.
  • The intro cutscenes only feature a single Pokémon species (Pikachu in this case).
  • The intro cutscenes do not feature any human character.
  • It has a Pokémon whose cry was influenced by the anime vocalization instead of using a chiptune noise.
    • This was also the first game to have a single available Pokémon species with this kind of cry, which was also the case later for Pikachu in Pokémon X and Y.
  • It has a single first partner Pokémon available for the player.
  • The player's first partner Pokémon is unable to evolve.
  • A Pokémon is unable to evolve even though the current game is compatible with the evolved form.
  • The first partner Pokémon for the player and the rival have no type advantage against each other before evolving (although this changes if the rival's first partner Pokémon evolves into Vaporeon).
  • An entire trio of first partner Pokémon is obtainable in a single saved game with no trades, transfers, or events.
  • A Pokémon may be available (in this case, Bulbasaur) depending on the friendship value of a Pokémon owned by the player.
  • Even though the friendship mechanic is present, there are no usable moves involving this mechanic.

In other languages

Language Title
Japan Flag.png Japanese ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ
France Flag.png French Pokémon Version Jaune: Edition Spéciale Pikachu
Germany Flag.png German Pokémon Gelbe Edition: Special Pikachu Edition
Italy Flag.png Italian Pokémon Versione Gialla: Speciale Edizione Pikachu
South Korea Flag.png Korean 포켓몬스터 피카츄
Brazil Flag.png Brazilian Portuguese Pokémon Versão Amarela: Edição Especial Pikachu
Spain Flag.png Spanish Pokémon Edición Amarilla: Edición Especial Pikachu

See also

External links


  1. ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ | ポケットモンスターオフィシャルサイト
  2. ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ
  5. Nintendo - Nintendo 64 Games
  6. Pokémon™ Yellow Special Pikachu Edition | Video Games | Pokemon.com (UK)
  7. Pokémon Yellow Version | Game Boy | Games | Nintendo
  10. Pokémon Games | Pokémon.com (archive)
  11. Game Boy Color: Upcoming Games | Nintendo (archive)
  12. ESRB
  13. Classification Board
  14. Canadian Copyright Register
  15. Pokémon.com - Pokémon Yellow Special Pikachu Edition
  16. IGN: Pokemon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  17. Pokemon Yellow (Game Boy) Legacy game platform reviews - CNET Reviews (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  18. Pokemon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition for Game Boy (retrieved December 21, 2009)
  19. 社長が訊く『ポケットモンスター ハートゴールド・ソウルシルバー』
  20. Iwata Asks : Pokémon HeartGold Version & SoulSilver Version : The King Of Portable Toys
  21. ゲームボーイカラー
  22. SPACEWORLD'97 出展 GAME BOYソフト
  23. DMG/MGB/CGB: ゲームボーイ
  24. ポケモンの歴史
  25. Pokémon™ Yellow Special Pikachu Edition | Video Games | Pokemon.com (archive)
  26. https://web.archive.org/web/19990221021626/http://www.pokemon.com/games/faq.html

Generation I: Red & GreenBlue (JP)Red & BlueYellow
Generation II: Gold & SilverCrystal
Generation III: Ruby & SapphireFireRed & LeafGreenEmerald
Generation IV: Diamond & PearlPlatinumHeartGold & SoulSilver
Generation V: Black & WhiteBlack 2 & White 2
Generation VI: X & YOmega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Generation VII: Sun & MoonUltra Sun & Ultra Moon
Let's Go, Pikachu! & Let's Go, Eevee!‎
Generation VIII: Sword & Shield (The Isle of Armor / The Crown Tundra)
Brilliant Diamond & Shining PearlLegends: Arceus
Generation IX: Scarlet & Violet (The Teal Mask / The Indigo Disk)
Legends: Z-A
Pokémon game templates

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.