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Pokémon Red and Blue Versions

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Bulbapedia logo.png This article is a short summary of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions.
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Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon red box.jpg
Cover artwork of Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon Blue Version
Pokémon blue box.jpg
Boxart of Pokémon Blue Version
Developer(s): Game Freak
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy
Category: RPG
Players: 1
Predecessor: None
Successor: Pokémon Yellow
Release dates
N. America: September 28, 1998
Europe: June 10, 1999
October 5, 1999
Australia: October 23, 1998
PEGI: 3+
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Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version are the first games in the Pokémon series to be released outside of Japan for the Game Boy. While the games are based on the original Pokémon Red and Green Versions released in Japan, they use the improved code of the Japanese Pokémon Blue Version. They were released in North America on September 28, 1998.

The games were later remade for the Game Boy Advance as Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.


"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, Red and Blue features a young boy on his journey to defeat the eight gym leaders and the Elite Four in order to become a master. The player starts in Pallet Town where they will meet Professor Oak, who lets the player choose from one of three starter Pokémon. 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. The player may run into other Trainers who will demand to fight. Winning fights against other trainers will give the player money. In a couple of towns, there are gyms where the player must defeat the gym leaders. Defeating a gym leader will earn the player a badge. There are eight badges in all. Earning all eight will unlock access to the Elite Four. Defeating the Elite Four and the Champion will have the player become the Champion and win the game.

Pokémon can also be traded with other players using a Game Link. Both versions has exclusive Pokémon only obtainable in that version, and must be traded to get in the other game.


See The Cutting Room Floor

In development


See [1]

  • 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. [1]

After release


  • Pokémon Red and Blue Versions are localisations of the Japanese Pokémon Red and Green Versions, and the (originally promotional) Pokémon Blue. A localisation of the Green version was never officially released (though pirates have abused this fact to create bootleg English versions of Green), nor the exact versions translated (available Pokémon to find in the wild, as well as in-game trades differ).
  • 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).


Technical details

Technical details
Media: Game Boy Game Pak, Nintendo 3DS digital download
Supported features: GB: Battery save, Game Link Cable
3DS: wireless communications
Input / compatible controllers: GB: Game Boy
3DS: Nintendo 3DS

Release data

Demo versions

A possible unidentified demo according to a historical K-Mart video game sale video was made. As Pidgey is referred to as "PIDGE", this may have been from the period localizations of the Japanese Pokémon species names into English were different and simpler (such as Lapras being referred to as "Ness").

Retail versions

Title Cover art Platform Release date(s) Notes
Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon Blue Version (Game Pak)
Game Boy 1998/1999 The Game Pak versions include functionality with Pokémon Stadium, Super Game Boy, Super Game Boy 2. Unlike the eventual Virtual Console releases which handled things differently, linking with different languages is allowed (but reportedly not advised by Nintendo), though the game does not read the player's parties correctly at all (sometimes unless the player has a specific party and makes a specially prepared trade, causing Red/Green save data to corrupt).

After this game was localized from Red and Green Versions and Japanese Blue into English, new glitches would make it into the game such as the "left-facing shore tile glitch" to encounter Pokémon previously stored in the grass encounter table/old man demonstration player's name buffer (common exploits include the "old man"/'MissingNo.' glitch and fighting Safari Zone Pokémon outside of the Safari Zone), or text specific errors such as a character discussing a Raichu that "evolved" after an in-game trade (this was caused because this in-game trade originally featured a different Pokémon; a Kadabra, which does evolve after trade).

The other localizations would have text errors like this too, such as incorrect translation of "hooked" (as in a Pokémon encountered using a fishing rod) into "malvado" ('wicked') in the Spanish version.

The Italian and Spanish versions in fact partially fixed the left-facing shore tile glitch by checking if the player is Surfing across them, and if so, returning a Tentacool. However, the base glitch is still there (although MissingNo. and unrelated glitch Pokémon function differently between different the languages and often versions) if the player uses one of the other glitches which still exist in the games to walk on the left-facing shore tile instead of Surfing. Furthermore, although encountering MissingNo. and other Pokédex number 000 Pokémon (well-known for their item duplication effect) was always possible with the "Trainer escape glitch", a new glitch called the "grass/rock Surfing glitch" was introduced in the Italian and Spanish versions, in which players would encounter a Trainer before using the "Surf down glitch" to Surf on a grass or cave tile with normal encounters but no water encounters to find Pokémon based on the previous Trainer's data; as the water and Trainer buffer pointers, like grass/old man name are also the same (as long as the player changes their direction but does not make a step).

Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon Blue Version
Virtual Console (Nintendo 3DS) 2016 Emulated ports for Nintendo 3DS. Pokémon Stadium support is no longer possible. Communication between these games as well as Yellow including trading and battling, is possible with wireless communications. It is possible to trade with Virtual Console Gold, Silver and Crystal wirelessly using those game's Time Capsule feature. The region must be the same (though specifics with the Australia, Oceania, Taiwan, Hong Kong releases which may be exceptions are not clear), or this will not work (the games will not allow the link to occur, as opposed to initiating the battle/trade but the game incorrectly handling the parties).

Division of player money after black out is now calculated in a different way, but changes to how much money the player is left only apply with invalid money values caused by glitches. The emulator used also is not perfect, treating invalid opcodes like "nop" instructions, meaning a few glitches act differently (though well known ones like "old man glitch", MissingNo., "Trainer escape glitch"/'Mew glitch' work the same).


Pokémon Red and Blue have sold over 15 million copies, 10.4 million copies in Japan and 8.6 million copies in North America.

The game was critically acclaimed, earning a 10 out of 10 on IGN. Nintendo Power listed the game as #3 on the Top Ten Best Gameboy Games.

External links


  • Tsunekazu Ishihara's favorite Pokémon is Exeggutor because he always used it while debugging the program].[3]


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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

Side series
Arena games
Pokémon Snap series
Mystery Dungeon series Red Rescue Team / Blue Rescue Team (Rescue Team DX) • Explorers of Time / Explorers of Darkness / Explorers of Sky • Mystery Dungeon WiiWare • Gates to Infinity • Super Mystery Dungeon
Pokémon Ranger series Pokémon Ranger • Shadows of Almia • Guardian Signs
TCG games
Pokémon Battle Chess series Pokémon Battle Chess BW Version (Pokémon Battle Chess WEB demo)  • Pokémon Battle Chess  • Pokémon Battle Chess W
Pikachu games
Pokémon Pinball Pinball • Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire
Puzzle games
Pokémon Rumble series Rumble • Rumble Blast • Rumble U • Rumble World • Rumble Rush
Other games
PC games Project Studio • PokéROM • Play It (Version 2) • Masters Arena • PC Master • Team Turbo
Pokémon mini Pokémon Party mini • Pokémon Pinball mini • Pokémon Puzzle Collection • Pokémon Zany Cards • Pokémon Tetris • Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2 • Pokémon Race mini • Pichu Bros. mini • Togepi no Daibouken • Pokémon Sodateyasan mini
PICO software
Self-contained (non-Pokémon mini) Pokémon Pikachu • Pokémon Pikachu 2 GS  • Pokémotion  • Eevee × Tamagotchi
e-Reader applications/games Berry Tree • Construction: Action • Construction: Melody Box • Ditto Leapfrog • Diving Corsola • Doki Doki Kakurenbo • Dream Eater • Fire Hoops • Flower Power • Fruit Daisakusen! • Flying Journey • Follow Hoothoot • GO, Poliwrath! • Gotcha! • Harvest Time • Here Comes Gloom • Hold Down Hoppip • Imakuni?'s Ball • Jumping Doduo • Kingler's Day • Leek Game • Lifesaver • Machop At Work • Magby and Magmar • Make A Dash! • Metronome • Mighty Tyranitar • Night Flight • Pika Pop • Punching Bags • Ride the Tuft • Rolling Voltorb • Sneak and Snatch • Sweet Scent • Time Travel • Tokotoko Truck • Watch Out! • Wooper's Juggling Game
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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