"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...can you develop the ultimate Pokémon strategy to defeat the eight Gym Leaders and become the greatest Pokémon Master of all time?"
— Blurb on the back of the boxes of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions
The first installments of the Pokémon franchise hit the Game Boy in 1996 in Japan (as Red and Green; see below) and in 1998 in North America. Taking place in Kanto based on the Japanese region of Kanto, the plot is simple: you, an eleven-year-old with aNice Hat, are offered your very first Pokémon by Professor Oak, the local authority on Pokémon. He gives you a choice of three different types: Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle. His own grandson, your long-time Rival, gets second pick, and takes advantage of this to snag whichever one happens to be strong against your chosen partner.In exchange for your first Pokémon, Oak wants you to run an errand for him: travel around the region and collect as many different Pokémon as you can, recording all of them in your Pokédex. Of course, along the way, you're more than welcome to challenge the eight Pokémon Gyms, collect their badges, and take on the Elite Four in hopes of becoming the Champion of the Pokémon League. Then there's the emerging threat of Team Rocket, a proudly evil organization that uses Pokémon for its own selfish ends. Somebody's gonna have to deal with them, too — and who better than an eleven-year-old and his team of trained monsters?While the game's balance is undeniably broken (Balance? Psychic types LAUGH at your pitiful thoughts of BALANCE!), and glitches abound (Missingnoooooo!)...it's Pokémon.It should be noted that in Japan, the first two games were released as Red and Green. Blue was released later as a third version, with a bit of a graphical improvement over the originals. For the international releases, the names Red and Blue were used. Although the Japanese Blue provided the graphics and game script for translation, the Japanese Red and Green provided the wild and version-exclusive Pokémon for the international Red and Blue respectively. This makes the Japanese Blue the only main series game to lack an international release.As evidence of its incredible popularity, Pokémon Yellow was later released as a fourth version in Japan in 1998, and as a third version in North America in 1999. Yellow took elements from the TV series and transported them back into the games, however loosely. Instead of picking one of the usual trio, a wild Pikachu ends up as your starter, and follows you everywhere rather than getting into the usual Poké Ball. The familiar Team Rocket trio also show up.Jump ahead a couple gens, and Red and Blue reappeared once more in the form of their Video Game Remakes on the Game Boy Advance: FireRed and LeafGreen. These allowed players to relive the classic games with many of the new benefits, tweaks, and balances of the second and third gens, though it took some Retconning here and there, and added in some new areas to explore after finishing the familiar challenge.Another detail worth noting is that many of the tropes listed under Red and Blue's category also apply to Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen.
Tropes used in Red and Blue:
All There in the Manual: The manual explains the basic background of you and your rival, states your age, and states the events that lead up to the start of your adventure.
Apocalyptic Log: The records of Mewtwo's birth, found in the Pokémon Mansion.
Interestingly enough, Ho-Oh was not in this. A trainer in the game mentions Munna.note She says, "The POKéMON here [Route 10] are so chunky! There should be a pink one with a floral pattern!"
Also, the staff originally wanted to allow the player to pick either a boy or a girl character (the female character that had been designed would actually appear in the first-generation Pokémon Adventures manga), but there was not enough data space available to allow it. Picking your gender wouldn't be implemented until Pokémon Crystal, the sister game to Pokémon Gold and Silver .
It is more likely that the 39 Pokemon were allocated spaces, but never actually programmed into the game as there never would have been enough space. Missingno. and other glitch Pokemon resulted as a result of the game trying to load Pokemon who weren't there. The original Pokemon order does not match the one in the Pokedex at all - it starts with Rhydon, the first designed. So it's entirely conceivable that the programmers discussed this with the creators and they discussed which ones not to include.
This is also why Mewtwo is in the Pokedex before Mew. There originally wasn't enough space for Mew, but after removing the debug tools, there was. Had there been enough room it is conceivable that Mew would have been placed before Mewtwo in the Pokedex.
Some also say that Venomoth and Butterfree were inserted into the wrong spaces.
Early Installment Weirdness: A given, considering how glitchy and unrefined the originals are compared to future installments. The most glaring example would be a programming error rendering Psychic-types completely immune to the Ghost type, one of their only two (at the time) weaknesses.
The appearances of many Pokémon were codified by the anime and the later Yellow version. In Red and Blue, some of them are unrecognizable from how they're widely known now. Take a look at Geodude◊, Cloyster◊, and Gastly◊, for example.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Kanto = the Kanto region of Japan, and eastern Chubu as well, with Johto from Generation II being based on the western part of Chubu in addition to Kansai. (Kanto is the only region in the Pokémon games to share its name with the Japanese region it is based on, but the geography was still similar with later ones; Johto resembles Kansai and western Chubu, Hoenn and Sinnoh resemble Kyushu and Hokkaido, respectively, and Unova resembles New York City as well as a bit of New Jersey.)
The Dragon type was probably intended to be this, being equally effective against all other elemental types, despite that there was only one evolutionary family of Dragon-types, and the only actual Dragon-type attack, "Dragon Rage", was a Fixed Damage Attack (and exempt from Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors altogether).
The Psychic type quickly became broken, and not just because the strongest Pokémon in the first generation (the legendary Mewtwo) belonged to that element. Due to a programming error, the type's intended weakness to Ghost-types was instead turned into an immunity. It was weak to Bug-types, but there were few strong Bug-type attacks or Bug Pokémon. Furthermore, most Bug-types and all Ghost-types had Poison as a secondary type, which was weak to Psychic. On the subject of Poison-types, Poison was far and away the most common elemental type of Generation I, including most Bug- and Grass-type Pokémon. On top of that, Psychics tended to have a strong Special stat back when Special was the One Stat to Rule Them All. It was telling that one of the first things Gold/Silver did was introduce two new types specifically designed to counteract Psychics (Dark and Steel).
Normal only has one weakness, which was Fighting, which is easily covered (Psychic), and it does regular damage to everything except Ghost (immune) and Rock (resist), the former and latter can be covered with Earthquake (wide distribution, and every Ghost-type in the game being Poison-typed helped), and every Rock-type in at the time is weak to Grass and/or Water. There's a good reason why Tauros is the original King of the Metagame.
The increased power of Fighting-types over the next few generations and the addition of Steel (which resists Normal-type attacks) nerfed the Normal-type.
The Needless: On Routes 19, 20, and 21, you will encounter swimmers who do nothing but swim and float around. Given the fact that ocean water is very salty and a poor conductor of heat, it's a small wonder how they will never expire from hypothermia and dehydration.
Off Model: Several of the in-game Pokémon sprites in Japan's Blue and the international releases. While the sprites in the original Japanese Red/Green were simply badly drawn, those from Blue and the international releases were genuinely Off Model, getting some of the monsters' most recognizable characteristics plain wrong: for instance, Koffing's skull mark is shown above its face instead of below, Cloyster's shell is horizontal instead of vertical, Kingler has two claws of the same size instead of having one claw bigger than the other, and so on. All of the sprites were changed again for Yellow to make them more closely resemble the official artwork.
One Stat to Rule Them All: "Special" dictated both attack and defense power in regard to special-based elements (Fire, Ice, Lightning, Psychic, etc.). It was toned down a great deal in Generation II, wherein it was divided into separate Special Attack and Special Defense.
Schmuck Bait: The Magikarp salesman. While a level 5 Pokemon with no useful moves is hardly worth that much money, the good news is you encounter him early in the game, before you can obtain the fishing rod needed to catch a Magikarp normally. So a subversion if you intend to obtain a Gyarados much earlier than normal.
Sequence Breaking: It is very possible to battle Sabrina before Koga. It is not suggested. Most of the trainers in Sabrina's gym are at least as powerful as Koga, and god help you if you're playing the original version, where Psychic-types were nigh-unbeatable.
Count Erika in too. If one disregards the levels of their Pokémon, Erika, Koga and Sabrina can be fought in any order.
The S.S. Anne can be skipped entirely if the player is traded a Pokemon with Cut. The badge to use Cut, the Cascade Badge, can be obtained before the S.S. Anne, in which the player usually gains the Cut HM and renders the entire area unnecessary to progress if a trainer already has a Pokemon that can use Cut.
Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: In an in-universe example, every Gym has an NPC standing near the entrance who offers general advice about the Gym's leader — except in Celadon City, where he's too busy playing slots at the Rocket Game Corner.
Take That: When starting a new game, before entering the characters' names, the player's name is initialized to NINTEN as a Shout Out to MOTHER, and the rival's name to SONY.
Teaser Equipment: The bicycle. When you first arrive in Cerulean City, it is on display for 1 million Pokédollars (more than your carrying capacity of money). After advancing the plot in the next town, you get a voucher to acquire one for free.
Updated Rerelease: As mentioned above, the international "Red" and "Blue" versions are actually based on the updated game engine of Japan's updated rerelease, importing the version differences from the original Japanese Red and Green versions. Eight versions of the original game were eventually released:
Red Version and Green Version were the original pair, released in Japan.
Blue Version was the original "third game", updated from the first pair, also released only in Japan.
Red Version and Blue Version were the first two games released internationally, based on again-updated code from Japanese Blue and the differences between the original Red and Green.
Yellow Version was released both in and outside Japan, updated yet again from Red and Blue as the third game internationally and the fourth in Japan.
FireRed Version and LeafGreen Version were later released on the Game Boy Advance as updated versions to match Ruby and Sapphire.
A rumor has always been around that when the games were first released in Japan, loads of little children got ill and committed suicide because of the Lavender Town music. Some people thought this was why the music was subtly changed to remove some of the high pitched notes in the American remakes. In reality, the music was changed because people in Japan had been getting headaches from the shrillness of it.
Then there's all the rumors about how to catch Mew....
Averted in that exploitation of how the game engine processes data will allow you to encounter any monster of your choosing...including Mew.
There's a truck sprite that only appears once in the game. The only way to see it is to go way out of your way to avoid triggering a certain plot event that closes off the area and returning when you can travel on water. People believed that it had to have been put there for a reason, leading to hundreds of rumors about this thing. As it turns out, it's just a truck.
Where It All Began: The map is naturally designed to send you back to your hometown of Pallet after you get the Volcano Badge; additionally, Viridian City, the first town you arrive at after Pallet, is both the location of the 8th Gym, and where the road to the Indigo Plateau starts.
Canon Discontinuity: Pretty much every change in this version was ignored by Pokémon Gold and Silver , which instead derived everything Kanto-based from Red and Green aside from Red's team (Pikachu + three starters). Fire Red and Leaf Green also incorporate very little of Yellow's gameplay.
Granted, this version was based on the anime rather than what would become the canon of the game series...
Canon Immigrant: A few characters from the anime can be found in early routes, like AJ and Giselle. Melanie and a much nicer Damien show up to give you Bulbasaur and Charmander as well. Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy show up too. And, of course, there's Jessie and James, who are recurring enemies. Because of game mechanics, though, they aren't named.
Idle Animation: Pikachu will start to look around randomly if you leave your character alone for a while, or jump or spin around after you jump down a ledge and leave Pikachu above.
Gambler-class trainers had their titles changed to gamer, leading to things like, "I'm a rambling, gaming dude!" That subverted rhyme aside, the change is less jarring considering that gambling is often referred to as "gaming" nowadays (i.e. Indian gaming, the Las Vegas Gaming Commission, etc.).
Lavender Town's Pokémon Tower had a possessed woman say "Give...me...your...all"; contrast with the original line, which is "Give...me...your...soul." This particular instance of Bowdlerization seems a bit unpredictable, as there's another woman whose line remains as "Give...me...blood." in all versions. The "give me your soul" line was mentioned on a Christian Fundamentalist website as an example of how the game was Satanic. Perhaps this specific condemnation was common enough that the developers noticed it.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Key items from Ruby and Sapphire, while unavailable via standard methods, have descriptions, different than they were in Ruby and Sapphire. For example, Scanner key item:
RSE: A device found inside the Abandoned Ship.
FRLG: A device used to search for life-forms in water. It looks too difficult to use.
Due to the Dead: On Five Island, there is a memorial for a dead Steelix nicknamed Tectonix. The Player can set down a lemonade next to the one that is already there. This earns gratitude from the Trainer next to you, and he gives you TM42 Facade as a thanks.
Dying Curse: The new move Grudge works as one because when used by a Pokemon and that Pokemon faints from a direct attack by the opponent, the attacking move's PP drops to zero.
Extended Gameplay: After defeating the Elite Four, the Sevii Islands start opening more so than after Blaine was defeated. The islands are one of the few places in the third generation games where you can capture Johto (or Hoenn) Pokémon.
Forced Tutorial: Even more so than in the originals, and considering they were the first installments that's saying something. Professor Oak insists on explaining how a Pokémon battle works during your initial battle with your Rival, and before you even play the game, there are mandatory introductory screens showing you which buttons do what and telling you about the world of Pokémon in even greater detail than Professor Oak. It's understandable the game's producers simply wanted to help newcomers along, but come on.
One particularly egregious example occurs right in Pallet Town. A certain woman just has to show you what's written on a newly-placed sign near the lab, to the extent that you will not be able to leave Pallet Town unless you either read the sign or hear her recite what it says — and all it says is press Start to open the menu.
Inconsistent Dub: Unlike most examples, the error is present in the Japanese version as well: the Karate King, who was nameless in Generation I like every other Black Belt, was named Kiyo (Nobuhiko in Japanese) in Generation II, in which most Trainers gained names. In the Generation III remakes of the former, which added names to previously nameless Trainers, he's named Koichi (Takenori in Japanese); however, the Generation IV remakes of the latter went back to using the correct name.
In the corner of Fuschia City is a young girl named "Charine", who self identifies as Koga's daughter in training. Janine, you mean?
Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Resuming your saved game gives you a quick recap about some of the things you were doing before you saved and quit.
Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The speech text for most non-player characters is color-coded this way - males will have blue text and females will have red text.
Retcon: In the original versions, there were only 150 known Pokémon in the whole world. In the Game Boy Advance remakes, this was changed to there being only 150 Pokémon known to inhabit the Kanto region.
Significant Anagram: "Tanoby" is an anagram of "botany" and the Tanoby chambers are named after plants. The Japanese name is an anagram of Nanakusa and the chambers are named after Nanakusa-no-sekku.
Stealth-Based Game: Optional. If you run, you will draw the attention of most trainers. They will turn to the side you are about to pass them by and challenge you to a battle. Walking allows the Player a chance to slip by them.
alternative title(s): Pokemon Red And Blue; Ptitleevcce3c2; Pokemon Red; Pokemon Blue; Pokemon Green; Pokemon Yellow; Pokemon Fire Red; Pokemon Leaf Green; Pokemon Red Blue And Yellow; Pokemon Fire Red And Leaf Green; Pokemon Fire Red And Leaf Green; Pokemon Red And Green; Pokemon Red Blue And Yellow; Pokemon Red Blue Green And Yellow; Pokemon Red Blue Green And Yellow; Pokemon Red; Pokemon Blue; Pokemon Green; Pokemon Yellow; Pokemon Fire Red; Pokemon Leaf Green