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Pokémon Red and Green Versions

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Bulbapedia logo.png This article is a short summary of Pokémon Red and Green Versions.
Bulbapedia features a more in-depth article.
Pokémon Red Version
ポケットモンスター 赤
Pokemon Red JP box.png
Cover artwork of Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon Green Version
ポケットモンスター 緑
Pokemon Green JP box.png
Boxart of Pokémon Green Version
Developer(s): Game Freak
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy
Category: RPG
Players: 1-2
Predecessor: None
Successor: Pokémon Blue
Release dates
Japan: February 27, 1996
Bulbapedia has more information on this game:
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Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Green Version are the first games in the Pokémon series. They were released on Japan on February 27, 1996. It was improved upon in Pokémon Blue, and then re-released internationally with those improvements, as Pokémon Red and Blue.

See also: Staff of Pokémon Red and Green


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 it all. Can you develop the ultimate Pokémon strategy to defeat the eight GYM Leaders and become the greatest Pokémon Master of all time?


Like all main series Pokémon games, this game features a young boy (named by the player with a number of default names, otherwise is officially known as Red) on his journey to defeat the eight Gym Leaders and the Elite Four in order to become a Pokémon League Champion. The player starts in Pallet Town where they will meet Professor Oak, and choose from one of three starter Pokémon. Pokémon in this context refers to mysterious creatures, also referred to as monsters. Professor Oak's grandson Blue (who is also given an optional name by the player at the beginning of the game) is also on a quest to fill the Pokédex and become a Pokémon League Champion, but is a lot more arrogant than Red.

The player receives a device from Professor Oak known as a Pokédex (an encyclopedia of monsters), and is asked to capture Pokémon and fill it up, with classes of items that the player can receive or purchase (normally from a Poké Mart but also the Celadon Department Store) known as Poké Balls. The player is also tasked with obtaining Pokémon Badges earned by defeating each of the eight Gym Leaders.

Meanwhile, a villainous team known as Team Rocket are causing crimes such as theft; and must be confronted solely by the player character by defeating them in Pokémon battles. Team Rocket use the basement floors of the Celadon Game Corner as a base, naming it the Rocket Game Corner, but after Red confronts them they move on to attempting to invade the Pokémon Tower and the Silph Company (Silph Co.).

At some point, the player will also encounter the character Bill (a supporting character) and rescue him after an accident during a transformation experiment. Bill is the character who operates the Pokémon Storage System, allowing the player to possess more than 6 Pokémon, although they can only have 6 Pokémon on hand in their party at a time. The Pokémon Storage System can be used before meeting Bill, but "Bill's PC" will be referred to as "Someone's PC".

The player will travel through the Kanto region, stopping in towns along the way named after colors. Later Pokémon will be available for capture later on the journey.


The Pokémon games are different from most RPGs by the fact that the player must catch their "party" to battle other Pokémon (a genre sometimes referred to in terms such as monster taming, monster battling or monster collecting, pet-raising; which was relatively original at the time although earlier franchises such as Shin Megami Tensei and Robotrek have similar themes). Pokémon Red, Green, Blue are sometimes referred to by fans as Generation I, because they feature the first generation of 151 Pokémon; and more have been introduced in later "core" games, beginning with Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions, introducing 100 more monsters.

The player may run into other Pokémon Trainers who will demand to battle with Pokémon. Winning battles against other Trainers will give the player money. Pokémon are obtained at a certain Level, and winning battles will gain it experience, until they have enough experience to gain a Level increasing its stats (attributes which control how potent it is in an element in battle, including Attack, Defense, Speed and Special.

These attributes are to a degree self-explanatory although the Special stat influences both the power of certain 'non-physical' moves and the defense against them; while Attack and Defense only apply to 'physical' moves). Pokémon species also possess types, as do their moves (attacks). Certain types are strong or weak against other types, for example, using Water Gun (a Water-type move) is usually stronger against Charmander (a Fire-type Pokémon). Pokémon can possess two types (which may cancel a weakness out, or make it worse) but moves will only have one type. Some moves deal damage (such as Scratch), an 'attacking' move (of which some are more powerful than others; like Body Slam being stronger than Scratch) while some are technical (such as Agility, temporarily raising the Speed stat; or moves like Toxic which inflict side-effects known as status conditions). Some Pokémon types will resist moves entirely (such as Normal-type moves being used against Ghost-types, which has no effect).

Although it is normally required to gain experience by fighting Pokémon to advance to the next level, depositing the Pokémon in the Pokémon Day Care is another option, as is using a Rare Candy item (of which there are normally limited amounts in the game) to gain a level immediately. The maximum level a Pokémon can be is Level 100.

If a Pokémon is injured or faints, it can be healed in the various Pokémon Centers most often across towns, with items, or by a few non-player characters who heal the player's Pokémon.

Pokémon Red, Green, Blue take place in Kanto where each town is named after a color. In some towns, there are Pokémon Gyms where players must defeat the Gym Leaders. Defeating a Gym Leader will earn the player a Badge. There are eight Badges in all. Other important battles (similar to the 'boss' battle concept), include battles against Blue, the leader of Team Rocket Giovanni, rthe two Snorlax blocking routes connecting towns, and the Legendary Pokémon.

Earning all eight Badges will give permission for the player to travel to the Victory Road cave, reach the Pokémon League (located at the Indigo Plateau) Elite Four. Eventually the player may discover and has the options of catching the Legendary Bird Pokémon Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres, with one of them (Moltres) in the Victory Road itself.

Defeating the Elite Four and the Champion will earn the player the status of becoming a Pokémon Master, after which they will enter the Hall of Fame and the staff credits will roll, winning the game. The player can then view a gallery of the Pokémon they inducted into the Hall of Fame using a PC in the Pokémon Center if they choose to do so.

However, as optional post-game content, the player is granted access to the Unknown Dungeon where they can capture the Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo.

The player is encouraged to "Catch-em-all" (a catch-phrase) for obtaining all Pokémon in the game to complete the Pokédex, of which there are 151 (however, one of these Pokémon Mew is a hidden Pokémon only available from distribution events; and only possessing 150 Pokémon counts as a full Pokédex). Professor Oak will congratulate the player for completing the Hall of Fame, but otherwise there is no real reward and completing the Pokédex is optional.

The player can also trade Pokémon with their friends using the Game Link Cable. Each version has version exclusive Pokémon that is only in that version, and must be traded to get in the other game.

There are four different types of Poké Balls in this game, including the regular Poké Ball, Great Ball, Ultra Ball and the secret Master Ball received as a gift by the president of the Silph Co. for foiling Team Rocket's take over plans.

In order, these both have a greater chance of success of catching a Pokémon, but only the Master Ball is guaranteed to catch it; otherwise the relevant Poké Ball is lost and another must be obtained or purchased again.

Other classes of items include hit point restoring items such as Potions, status restoring items (such as the Burn Heal) which heal status conditions, Revives which give Pokémon the will to battle again after fainting by restoring their hit points (HP), or key items important to the quest (such as the Bicycle and Gold Teeth) which may be able to be used to the player, or given to a character who needs them, much like a traditional RPG.


Unintentionally, the Generation I Pokémon games are notable for their glitches/software bugs. The glitches in the games may vary based on the language, version, and revisions; but some (in)famous examples include the Select glitch (Japanese versions only), the Trainer-escape glitch or the old man glitch (also known as the "MissingNo." glitch) for non-Japanese versions (although in certain non-English European versions it may function differently (French, German) or a work-around to get the glitch to work using another glitch (Spanish, Italian)), where the player can encounter unofficial 'glitch Pokémon' (usually MissingNo. and 'M (00)) and use it to duplicate valuable items, such as Master Balls (Poké Balls to obtain Pokémon with a 100% catch rate) or Rare Candies (items which raise the Pokémon's level by 1). These three glitches and various more are powerful, in particular in the West; the convenience of duplicating rare items lead to players exploiting the old man glitch, but this could also come with side effects such as the corruption of the player's Hall of Fame data, and some players also feared save file corruption, although in actuality this issue is rare (and is more likely in the Japanese versions).

Pokémon Yellow notably patched some glitches including the old man glitch, but the Trainer-escape glitch remained in the game, as well as the Pikachu off-screen glitch, and exploits for arbitrary code execution (although discovered much later).


Bulbapedia logo.png This article is a short summary of Pokémon Red and Green Versions.
Bulbapedia features a more in-depth article.
NintendoWiki logo.png  Main article: Capsule Monsters 

See also: The Cutting Room Floor

The games began as a significantly different concept known as Capsule Monsters inspired by Satoshi Tajiri's fascination of catching and collecting insects combined with Game Freak's interest in certain popular Japanese media at the time.

Though the concept of collecting, battling, and trading was around the start; Pokémon was more closely inspired by kaiju, tokusatsu such as Godzilla, Ultraman and as such a lot of the earlier created Pokémon like Rhydon were inspired by dinosaurs or monsters that would fit the theme. A specific inspiration was the Capsule Kaiju from Ultraman, where the capsules would become Poké Balls. Additionally Pokémon cries were closely inspired by monster cries in Ultraman. The concept of completing the Pokédex for Professor Oak was a late addition to the game, and the Pokémon were designed in an entirely different order to the final Bulbasaur, Ivysaur (etc.) often ignoring the order of evolutionary stages. During a Game Center CX episode, different numbers were assigned to Pokémon as well (and corresponding with the internal index order (as opposed to Pokédex order) in the final game), with the Pokémon Nidoking having a different name, "Maiko♂".

Furthermore many Capsule Monsters/Pokémon would never officially make it into the final game, with some being officially revealed by Game Freak/Nintendo through interviews (such as "Gorochu"; a cancelled evolution for Raichu), and official unreleased Pokémon shown in the "Satoshi Tajiri: A Man Who Created Pokémon" manga (including a deer-inspired Pokémon, "Crocky", "Barunda", "Cactus", "Jaggu", "Gyaōn" an unknown elephant). Linking their numbers to the internal index order (of which there are 190 entries rather than the final 151 Pokémon) revealed that pre-release Pokémon like these once occupied spaces that would be replaced with the MissingNo. ('Pokémon' that are both placeholders and glitch data), that can be found by data-mining the final games (or originally the exploitation of glitches like the "Select glitch" in Japan or the "old man glitch" overseas). Additionally, the cancelled Pokémon "Omega" would become the Pokémon Mew, with Mew replacing Omega's space, where Mew was added in secret by Shigeki Morimoto even though space in the game was limited and the debug functions were going to be removed.

Another concept is that it was considered early for Pokémon/Capsule Monsters to be friends who assist in daily life, such as Lapras (an early designed Pokémon) helping people cross water, in addition to pets such as Clefairy (a species of Pokémon also designed earlier in development). The player character too was intended to fight, and leftover whip sprites on the "Tamer" Trainer class may be relevant to this. Furthermore, originally there would be messages of Pokémon/character's responses in battle, such as 'ouch'. Neither of those latter two ideas made it into the final game, and instead the player character cannot fight without his Poké Balls.

A hotel-like setting featuring an unknown female character (who would be later shown in promotional media/art, inspired by in Pokémon manga, and would become the character "Green" in remakes Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!) was also shown in concept art, as well as a tower resembling the Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town. Early drafts/proof of concept battle related art was also shown of not necessarily monsters in-game (such as a 'monster' parodying developer Kōji Nishino known as "Kabīn", who would ultimately inspire the Pokémon Snorlax). As revealed by the cover art of New Game Design, lots of overworld sprites in-game were different. As well, while some Pokémon had concept art, they usually would have their pixel art designed first, which may be a reason why some removed features on Pokémon (like claws on Kakuna) were later removed for later versions such as Blue, after the final Red and Green release.

After the final release of the games, data-mining would also reveal data such as but not limited to, an unused "Bird"-type (in addition to the "Flying"-type), unused map tileset sprites, a truck east of the sea surrounding the S.S. Anne, debugging features that remained even after Game Freak's work on removing them (error codes, a test battle, and code to obtain a test team that varies based on the Red/Green/Blue/Yellow version, including Exeggutor who was used by Tsunekazu Ishihara a lot during debugging) and some exclusive to the original Japanese releases (sometimes including Japanese Yellow) like unused items possibly part of a list, consisting of unreleased badge names, metal names, possible rank names, and a reference to both an egg and chick.[1] %A9mon_Red_and_Blue/Debug_Functions]

Unused default names used for debugging the program appear; いしはら/Ishihara for the protagonist (named after Tsunekazu Ishihara)) and やまぐち/Yamaguchi for the rival, possibly named after Wataru Yamaguchi. In Pokémon Blue (Japanese), they were changed to ゲーフリ (Game Freak) and クリチャ (Creatures), respectively. In Pokémon Yellow, they were changed to ゲーフリ1 for the protagonist and the rival name was unchanged. [2]

In the English versions, NINTEN and SONY are unused debugging default names for the player character and the rival character respectively, and are loaded into the memory before the new game sequence. They were possibly intended for debugging, because there is a leftover debug mode allowing the player to skip the new game sequence and encounters by holding down the B-Button. NINTEN and SONY are references to Nintendo and Sony, considered as a 'rival' of sorts to Nintendo. It has also been mentioned NINTEN is the name of the protagonist from EarthBound Beginnings; a game developed by Ape, who later changed their name to Creatures, Inc.; developers who assisted with Pokémon and its marketing; however, in the Japanese versions the names are different and refer to important development personnel/companies. It is not clear whether NINTEN and SONY were introduced solely by translator Nob Ogasawara (otherwise known as Doug Dinsdale), or if the original developers were aware of it.



  • Developers of the core Pokémon games, Game Freak included references the following references to other media:
    • Text "A game with MARIO wearing a bucket on his head!" for viewing the SNES in the Mimic Girl's house of Saffron City; referencing Game Freak's other game Mario & Wario.
    • Default names for protagonist Red in the Japanese version include Satoshi and Shigeru, a reference to founder of Game Freak Satoshi Tajiri and Shigeru Miyamoto.
    • The Japanese name of the ship S.S. Anne is "Saint Anne" (サント・アンヌ号). This is the same name as the computer which created Pulseman (another game by Game Freak).


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Release data

Demo versions

Though no demo versions have been confirmed, the pre-release screenshot shown in the publication New Game Design with the unidentified border may have been from a trade show. The sprites on the cover of this book are from an actual much earlier prototype (non-known demo) of the game during the time the game was referred to as Capsule Monsters, and the full assets were allegedly leaked.

Retail versions

Title Cover art Platform Release date(s) Notes
Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon Green Version ("A" cartridge imprint)
Game Boy Unknown
  • Partially fixes an infamous (closed menu) "Select glitch" that would cause major memory corruption (allowing for swaps of 'Pokémon' beyond slot 6 or moves beyond slot 4), by disabling it if set up only within battle (move adjustments this way, and "partial switch glitch" are now impossible). However, the fix was inadequate, and the glitch can still be performed in v1.1 by carrying over a list option that was saved with Select outside of battle, into a battle or the party as brought up by the Pokémon Day Care man, Name Rater, or an in-game trade character. This fix was carried forward to Japanese Blue and Pikachu, as well as the localizations.
  • Removes a 'corrupted data' Link Cable check which was glitchy and incomplete, curiously only occurring if the player has a bold "A" at the beginning of their name (a character normally unavailable as the player can only select Japanese characters for player/Pokémon names). The game will not prevent a v1.0 release from bringing it up if v1.1 and v1.0 are linked, however. This fix was carried forward to Japanese Blue and Pikachu, as well as the localizations.
  • Version 1.1, for unknown reasons, introduces the "binding move wrong side fainting glitch" within Pokémon battles.
  • Other technical code changes (i.e. pointer changes, potentially unknown code optimizations) which cause unintentional changes in how glitch exploits (such as specific invalid items) behave.

Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon Green Version
Virtual Console (Nintendo 3DS) 2016 Emulated ports for Nintendo 3DS, with the v1.1 release as the base game (the partial Select glitch fix will apply and arguably other changes, but due to a technicality in the official emulator, if a glitch causes any of most invalid opcodes they will be ignored, and the Nintendo 3DS emulator is not perfect; so other glitches are introduced). Pocket Monsters Stadium support is no longer possible. Pokémon can now be uploaded to Poké Transporter. Trading and battling between these games as well as with Pikachu Version and Blue Version (as well as Japanese Gold/Silver via the Time Capsule feature) is possible with wireless communications, but only between Japanese versions (the original cartridge versions allowed communication with other languages but completely wrong data would be sent; often game freezes, and this could be exploited in specific ways, such as obtaining a Pokémon from remaining HP).

Famimaga 64 gift Red

The Famimaga 64 gift versions are unique releases of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue (Japanese) with custom stickers by Satoshi Tajiri. Only one of each version is known to exist. They were originally copies Satoshi Tajiri purchased from a second-hand store before replacing the stickers; and are most likely just ordinary releases (except for the custom sticker). The Red was given to one lucky reader, while the Blue was not for the general public and was given to Famimaga's Nae Yuuki (possibly along with a golden Game Boy Pocket).

During an interview with Satoshi Tajiri with Nae Yuuki as an interviewer for the November 1997 issue of Famimaga 64 (Japanese: ファミマガ64) magazine, Tajiri showed the two copies and golden Game Boy Pocket. The Red-Version sticker featured Slowbro and the Blue-Version Ditto (Ken Sugimori artwork from Pocket Monsters Carddass Trading Cards). These were otherwise regular cartridges, with the Red-Version having 8 Badges and featuring the player character as バカ (baka; idiot) and the Blue-Version having acquired 0 Badges. When asked why the Blue-Version had 0 Badges, Tajiri responded he traded all the Pokémon he wanted off the file (so it might be implied he wiped the save file and started over).

Tajiri offered to give the Game Boy Pocket and a version to Yuuki as a present. Famimaga 64 suggested giving away one of the versions to a reader, while Yuuki was reluctant at first wanting to keep both, but settled for keeping the Blue-Version. The Red-Version was given away to one random lucky reader who sent their details to 105 Tokyo, Minato Ward Higashi Shinbashi 1-1-16 TIM Famimaga 64 Editorial Department "Pokemon Big Wave." with a deadline of October 20th.

Additionally five lucky readers would receive Satoshi Tajiri's autograph.[4]

Famimaga 64 Red Blue.png

External links


NintendoWiki logo.png This article is incomplete.
You can help by filling in the missing information.

Pokémon Red and Green Versions were highly successful, and Game Freak never expected the games to become so popular. This lead to additional games in the Pokémon series and the localisations such as Pokémon Red and Blue Versions.

A bootleg version of the Japanese game was once released in poor quality English. Fans from the Skeetendo community would eventually release a fan translation of Pokémon Red and Green closer to the original Green, which was published by on Setember 15, 2017.


  1. Helix Chamber, Glitterberri, The Cutting Room Floor, Iwata Asks, Bulbapedia, Glitch City (Laboratories) and Wiki
  2. IIMarckus - Default Names
  3. Nintendo Database - Pokémon Red and Blue
  4. Translation Satoshi Tajiri Cuts Loose (1997 Interview) – Lava Cut Content (translation of Famimaga 64 November 1997 page 9)]

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Main series
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JP: Pokémon Red and Green • Pokémon Blue • Pokémon Pikachu
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Gekkan Coin Toss: Pokémon Card Magazine (via Satellaview) • Shin Game Design • Satoshi Tajiri: A Man Who Created Pokémon (book) • Game Freak Asobi no Sekai Hyoujun o Nurikaeru Creative Shuudan • Ken Sugimori Works • Satoshi Tajiri: A Man Who Created Pokémon (manga)
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