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Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition

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Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ
Poketto Monsutā Pikachū
Pokémon Yellow boxart EN.jpg
Cover artwork of Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
Developer(s): Game Freak
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy
Category: Turn-based role-playing
Players: 1
Predecessor: JP: Pokémon Blue
EN: Pokémon Red and Blue
Successor: Pokémon Gold and Silver
Release dates
N. America: October 18, 1999
Japan: September 12, 1998
Europe: June 16, 2000
Australia: September 3, 1999
PEGI: 3+
USK: 0
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Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ Pocket Monsters Pikachu) is the fourth main series game in the Pokémon series, the third to be released internationally. While largely unchanged from the other versions, Pokémon Yellow Version is more based on the Pokémon anime series.

In Japan, the release of this game was timed to coincide with that of Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back, releasing two months afterward.[1] The Japanese version was also released alongside a special edition "Pikachu Yellow" model of the Game Boy Printer.



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!

  • Battle a friend in the new Colosseum 2 for the Pika Cup, Petite Cup, and Poké Cup titles (requires 2 Yellow versions and a Game Link® cable-each sold separately).
  • Print out your Pokédex data with a Game Boy® Printer and a Game Link cable (sold separately).
  • Trade Pokémon with your friends using a Game Link cable. You'll need to trade with both the Red and Blue versions to catch all 150 Pokémon and complete your Pokédex!
  • Requires basic reading skills to fully enjoy the entertaining story.


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).

Exclusive to Pokémon Yellow, to match closer to the Pokémon anime the three starter Pokémon are replaced with Pokémon for the player, and Eevee for the rival. The player's Pikachu can be traded away, but cannot be released the usual way from the Pokémon Storage System. While the rival can evolve his Eevee, usually the player's Pikachu cannot evolve, as it will refuse the Thunder Stone used to evolve it. Additionally, new to Pokémon Yellow is the concept of a walking Pokémon, where Pikachu will follow the player around in-game and can be talked to. Pokémon Yellow also introduced a limited version of the Pokémon happiness system, where Pokémon will like the player more if they look after it well (e.g. not allowing it to faint in battle) but in this game it only applied to the walking Pikachu with the same ID and OT as the player.

Technical details

Technical details
Media: Game Boy Game Pak
Nintendo 3DS digital download
Download size: 84 blocks
Supported features: Original: Game Boy Color, Game Link Cable (2-player multiplayer), Game Boy Printer
3DS: Wireless communication
Input / compatible controllers: Game Boy
Nintendo 3DS

Other releases

Title Cover art Platform Release date(s) Notes
Pocket Monsters Pikachu (Rev 1 'v1.1') Game Boy Unknown Currently unknown. Minor changes to the code (affects a few glitches that require others to work).

Pocket Monsters Pikachu (Rev 2 'v1.2') Game Boy Unknown Currently unknown. Minor changes to the code (affects a few glitches that require others to work).

Pocket Monsters Pikachu (Rev 3 'v1.3') Game Boy Unknown Fixes the "boulder switch glitch" caused by the walking Pikachu walking on a boulder puzzle switch; causing the puzzle to solve without pushing the boulder. Minor changes to the code (affects a few glitches that require others to work).

  • Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition (EN),
  • Pokémon Version Jaune: Edition Spéciale Pikachu (FR),
  • Pokémon Gelbe Edition: Special Pikachu Edition (DE),
  • Pokémon Edición Amarilla: Edición Especial Pikachu (ES)
  • Pokémon Versione Gialla: Speciale Edizione Pikachu (IT)
  • Pokémon Versão Amarela: Edição Especial Pikachu (BR)[citation needed]

Pokémon Yellow boxart EN.jpg Game Boy Color 1999/2000 Unlike the original Japanese version, this version was released as a Game Boy Color title, using the full-color palette available when playing the game on a Game Boy Color system. Previously the only way for players to play the Japanese version in color was with Super Game Boy (with a different palette to the English, French, German and Italian versions). However, the game can still be played on a regular Game Boy in DMG mode.
Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition Virtual Console (Nintendo 3DS) 2016 An emulated port for Nintendo 3DS. Pokémon can now be uploaded to Poké Transporter. Communication between this and the digital releases of its partner games (Red/Blue, as well as Gold/Silver/Crystal trading via the Time Capsule feature) is possible with wireless communications, but it must be between the same region (JP, NA, EU) and Australia/Oceania versions cannot link to Japanese versions. This revision was also released in Taiwan and Hong Kong but specifics regarding compatibility there are not clear.
  • Game Boy Printer support was disabled and choosing to print will do nothing/not bring up an error message, but there is now a minor menu glitch for attempting to print boxes.
  • Pokémon Stadium and Pocket Monsters Stadium support is no longer possible, but to allow the player to play the Pikachu's Beach minigame, the game now only checks for the existence of the walking Pikachu in the party (rather than checking if it knows its Stadium exclusive move Surf). However, the posters in the beach house still erroneously need Pikachu to know Surf to change.
  • The Cable Club inaccessibility message was changed to simply "Please come again!"
  • Player money is divided after black out in a different way, but changes in how much money the player would receive only applies to money values accessible through glitches.
  • For non-Japanese versions, the sprites of the Pokémon Jynx's face and gloves were adjusted to be purple rather than black following past racism related controversy (now using more colors than any other sprite).
  • The emulator used has a few errors that come into affect in glitches, such as treating invalid assembly operations like "nop" instructions.

Related games

Related Games
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exchanges information with

External links


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As the game was never officially released in South Korea, wintiger0222 (Windows Tiger) produced a 2017 fan translation into Korean.


  • In the English versions, NINTEN and SONY are unused 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.
  • In the Japanese versions of Yellow, the unused default name for the player is ゲーフリ1 (Gefuri 1; a truncation of Game Freak 1) and クリチャ (Creatures) for the rival.[2]


Pokémon series logo
Main series
Generation I

JP: Pokémon Red and Green • Pokémon Blue • Pokémon Pikachu
NA: Pokémon Red and Blue • Pokémon Yellow

Generation II

Pokémon Gold and Silver • Pokémon Crystal

Generation III

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire • Pokémon Emerald
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen

Generation IV

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl • Pokémon Platinum
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (Pokéwalker)

Generation V

Pokémon Black and White • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 (Poké Transfer • Pokémon Dream World)

Generation VI

Pokémon X and Y
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Generation VII

Pokémon Sun and Moon • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!

Generation VIII

Pokémon Sword and Shield
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl • Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Generation IX

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

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Pokémon Battle Chess series Pokémon Battle Chess BW Version (Pokémon Battle Chess WEB demo)  • Pokémon Battle Chess  • Pokémon Battle Chess W
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