Video Game: Pokémon Red and Blue

The one where it all began.

"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 a part of the world called Kanto (later shown to be east of a region called Johto; three years after Team Rocket is taken down in Kanto both regions are explored by a kid from Johto) based on the Japanese region of Kanto, the plot is simple: you, an eleven-year-old with a Nice 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. Aside from its codebase, 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 international version 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, although Meowth acts as a normal mon as opposed to an equal member to Jesse and James, acting as the third member in their party alongside Ekans/Arbok and Koffing/Weezing (but like your Pikachu, he slides into battle rather than be released from a Poké Ball).

After a successful run, Red, Blue, and Yellow were followed by the Game Boy Color-enhanced (though they can still be played on a previous incarnation of the Game Boy, as well as later ones) Gold and Silver, taking place three years after Red became champion and featuring that kid from Johto mentioned above, the return of Team Rocket, and improved the graphics that Yellow didn't (back sprites, etc.).

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 generations, though it took some Retconning here and there, and added in some new areas to explore after finishing the familiar challenge(s).

These games have received two animated adaptations. The first one is the first season of the main Pokémon anime. The second one is the anime special Mini Series titled Pokémon Origins, which aired on October 2, 2013 in Japan (10 days prior to the release of the tie-in games Pokémon X and Y) and November 2013 in the United States. This miniseries essentially serves as a more accurate depiction of the plot of Red and Blue/Green, being a Truer To The Text Anime of the Game in comparison to the main Pokémon anime.

Another detail worth noting is that many of the tropes listed under Red and Blue's category also apply to Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen.
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    Tropes used in Red and Blue 
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Oak can't even remember his grandson's name.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: It's possible to take your Pokémon up to level 100, though you're more likely to finish the game by the 50s or 60s.
  • All There in the Manual: The manual explains the basic background of you and your rival, states your age, and tells of the events that lead up to the start of your adventure.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Swift is specifically coded to never miss.
  • Amazon Brigade: Erika's gym is populated entirely by female trainers.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The translation team made some interesting choices that have since been grandfathered into the series. Take the low-level move "Tail Whip" — with a name like that it should be some kind of badass Tail Slap that leaves the opponent's Defense physically weakened, right? Wrong. Its proper (i.e. Japanese) name is the decidedly-less-badass "Tail Wag" (and its description in later games supports this).
  • The Anime of the Game: While of course they were the inspiration for the long running Pokémon anime, there is also the miniseries Pokémon Origins, based more closely on Red and Blue than the main anime is.
  • Antidote Effect:
    • In general, because you can only carry 20 types of itemnote , it is wise to carry as little as you could get away with. You could store up to 50 additional items in the PC, but this can only be accessed while in Pokémon Centers, not out in the world. A few specific examples:
    • Awakenings become useless as soon as you get the Poké Flute. It will wake Pokémon up inside or out of battle, and has no limit.
    • Once Full Heals become available for purchase, most of the single-effect healing items (Antidotes, Paralyze Heals, Burn Heals, etc.) are no longer worth carrying. While more expensive than any of them individually, carrying a stack of Full Heals only takes up one precious inventory slot and could cover any effect you come across.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • Moves that take two turns to charge up, such as Solar Beam, Skull Bash, Sky Attack, etc. The charge-up turn leaves you vulnerable to attack in the meantime, and if the opponent uses something like Fly or Dig, your attack will miss anyway.
    • High damage but low accuracy moves, including the One-Hit KO moves. While awesome when they hit, they're simply too inaccurate to be reliable. They also generally have low PP, meaning you'll get to use them fewer times. This is why you'll see most players using weaker but more accurate/higher PP moves, such as Thunderbolt instead of Thunder or Flamethrower instead of Fire Blast.
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: The female Gym Leaders. To wit:
    • Erika, the beauty, isn't known as "the nature-loving princess" for nothing.
    • Sabrina, the brains, is smart enough to know that Psychic-type Pokémon (which are themselves associated with brains) have virtually no weaknesses and uses an army of them in combat.
    • Misty, the brawn, uses brute force with her Staryu and Starmie (especially the latter), which can cause problems even if you came armed with a Pikachu.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Some Lasses will take issue to your locking eyes with them alone and will use any belief of impropriety on your part as grounds for a challenge.
      Lass Janice: You looked at me, didn't you?
      Lass Robin: Eek! Did you touch me?
    • The Super Nerd at the end of Mt. Moon is overprotective of his fossils and paranoid about Team Rocket stealing them, to the point where when you walk up to him, he'll mistake you for a plainclothes Rocket and challenge you.
      Super Nerd Miguel: Hey, stop! I found these fossils! They're both mine!
  • Boring but Practical: The bog-standard Normal/Flying type Pidgey and it's evolutions. A Pidgey may very well be the first Pokémon you catch yourself, and if raised diligently, can be one of the most reliable Pokémon on your team throughout much of the game. Its final evolution, Pidgeot, only starts to become outclassed around the time of Victory Road, and by then you'll likely have captured one of the legendary birds to replace it with.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: There's a Rocket in Mt. Moon with a Raticate that knows Hyper Fang. While Raticate isn't that strong for a fully evolved Pokémon, it's a powerful foe due to Hyper Fang's 80 BP and the STAB bonus making it hit incredibly hard relative to everything you've fought up to that point. Yellow and the remakes replaced it with a Rattata and Zubat.
  • Bowdlerize: The grumpy old man in Virdian City who initially won't let you pass because... he hasn't had his coffee yet. In the Japanese version it's because he's drunk.
  • Breakout Character:
    • Charizard is face of Red verison and one of the most heavily marketed Mons, even receiving 2 Mega Evolutions in Pokémon X and Y.
    • Pikachu's the biggest one, as it replaced Clefairy as the mascot of the franchise and can be found on just about everything Pokémon related in one form or another.
    • Jigglypuff was popular enough in Japan to be a semi-recurring character in the anime and is in every entry of the Super Smash Bros. games as a playable fighter.
    • The original Olympus Mons, Mewtwo, got its own movie about it, is playable in 2 of the Smash Bros. games, and got 2 Mega Evolutions in X and Y like Charizard.
  • Broken Bridge: In addition to the NPC Roadblock examples mentioned below, there are the two Snorlax blocking your way south to Fuchsia City after falling asleep in the middle of the road.
  • Commonplace Rare:
    • A simple Bicycle costs 1,000,000 Pokédollars, one more than you can even carry. Luckily, you get a voucher to acquire a bike for free.
    • Beverages can only be purchased one place: on the roof of the Celadon Dept. Store.
    • Simple fishing rods aren't available for purchase anywhere. You can only get them as gifts from specific NPCs.
  • Com Mons: Just about anything you can catch up through Mt. Moon qualifies. In particular are the Pidgey, Rattata, and Spearow you can catch around Viridian City as well as the Bug-types in Viridian Forest.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • There are trainers with evolved Pokémon at lower levels than they actually evolve at. For instance, your Rival will have a Pidgeotto at level 17 when you battle him in Cerulean City. Pidgey evolves into Pidgeotto at level 18...
    • NPC Pokémon will never run out of PP for a move.
    • Several trainers have Pokémon who know moves they cannot learn, such as Lance's Dragonite knowing Barrier.
  • Console Cameo: There is a SNES in your bedroom where you first start the game. All future games continue this trend with featuring a console from it's generation.
  • Convenient Weakness Placement: In several locations, you can find Pokémon which are strong against the local gym leader. For example, Diglett's Cave outside of Vermillion City is full of Ground-type Diglett, who are immune to Lt. Surge's Electric-type attacks. Just outside of Celadon City, there is a patch of grass where you can catch either Growlithe or Vulpix (depending on your version,) both Fire-types to counter Erika's Grass-types. In order to get to Cinnabar Island, home of the Fire-type gym leader Blaine, you have to pass through the Seafoam Islands which are full of Water-type Pokémon to counter him.
  • Critical Hit Class: Any Mon with a high crit move will crit all the time when it's used, assuming their species' base Speed stat is high enough. For regular moves, faster species have a crit rate of at least 20%, more than 3 times the universal rate later games had.
  • Crutch Character: Butterfree and Beedrill. Their pre-evolutions can be caught early (before the first gym) and they evolve at level 10. They pack quite a punch that early and Butterfree's various "powder" attacks make catching other Pokémon much easier. Their usefulness tends to peter out around the fourth gym once you've caught and evolved a few other Pokémon.
  • Demonic Possession: All the channelers in Pokémon Tower are possessed by Ghost Pokémon (until you defeat them).
  • Desperation Attack: "Struggle," a move only used when the PP for every other move is gone.
  • Difficulty Spike: The reason for the Forced Level Grinding between the 8th gym leader (Giovanni), whose strongest Pokémon is a level 50 Rhydon (with 4 others at level 45 or less,) and the first Elite Four member, Lorelei, who has a team of five all at level 53 or above. With proper typing, you can easily defeat Giovanni with a team in the low-mid 40s, meaning you'll want to grind each of your Mons about 8-10 levels before even attempting the Elite Four (who only get stronger after Lorelei and must all be faced one after the other.)
  • Disc One Nuke:
    • Before passing through Viridian City, head over to Route 22. You won't be able to pass through the Pokémon League Gate yet, but you can catch a Nidoran. Get it to level 16 and pick up a Moon Stone in Mt. Moon. Use it, and you'll have yourself a Nidoking or Nidoqueen before taking on the 2nd gym. They won't learn many good moves naturally but can be taught a wide variety via TMs, such as Bubblebeam and Thunderbolt.
    • Early in the game, there's the Magikarp Salesman. 500 Pokédollars for a Magikarp might be a waste, but evolves into the powerful Gyarados at Level 20 with some babying. Teach it Bubblebeam (which you get from Misty) to give it a strong STAB attack to abuse its high Special stat with and watch it plow through opponents.
    • After beating Misty and doing a battle with a Rocket Grunt you get the TM for the move Dig. It has a Base Power of 100 (essentially an endgame attack), can be taught to a lot of Pokémon, and hits most Pokémon in the game for neutral or super effective damage.
  • Dummied Out:
    • Professor Oak was originally meant to be the True Final Boss! You can fight him by following a convoluted set of steps to trigger a glitch or just using a cheat device.
    • There's another type in the data called the Bird-type, presumably a earlier version of Flying. The glitch Pokémon Missingno. and 'M have this typing, but it doesn't have any weaknesses or resistances.
  • Early Game Hell: The most difficult part of the game is the early part up until you beat Misty, the 2nd gym leader. In terms of Pokémon, you're limited to your starter, Crutch Character bug Pokémon (if you bother to Level Grind them,) and Com Mons such as the early game bird Pokémon and Rattata. There are also only a limited number of trainer battles, meaning you'll be low on money and will have to grind mostly against weak wild Pokémon. Viridian Forest isn't too difficult if you start with Charmander or teach a Pidgey/Spearow Gust/Peck, but you run the constant risk of being poisoned by Weedle's Poison Sting. Brock will be a breeze if you start with Squirtle or Bulbasaur, but will be more challenging to a Charmander trainer (though a few Embers each can floor both of Brock's Pokémon with little trouble as long as you don't damage Onix while the latter is using Bide). Then you get to Mt. Moon...a labyrinthine multi-level cave full of trainers, Geodude, and Zubat (the latter of which are fast enough that you might not be able to flee and can inflict Confusion so you'll hurt yourself half the time trying to damage them). Eventually, you get through Mt. Moon...only to encounter your Rival in Cerulean City. Finally, you battle Misty, whose Starmie is extremely powerful for the part of the game you fight it in due to its high stats. Survive all of that and the game then opens up, becoming much friendlier and giving you more options in terms of Pokémon to catch, trainers to battle, and places to explore.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • There's only one Special stat, covering the job that both Special Attack and Special Defense have in later games.
    • The Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors has a number of oddities. Due to a bug, Psychic-types are immune to Ghost attacks, which are played up by NPCs and the anime as their primary weakness. Intentionally, Ice does neutral damage to Fire-types instead of being resisted, and Bug and Poison are both super effective against each other.
    • Struggle is treated as a Normal-type move, so Ghosts are immune to it.
    • Moves with a 100% hit/crit chance will still fail 1/256 (0.4%) of the time.
    • Critical Hit ratios are calculated based on a Mon's Speed stat instead of having a universal rate, and will ignore stat boosts the user may have. Also, moves that have a higher crit chance will always do so if the user has a certain Speed (about as high as Flareon's or higher).
    • Multi-hit moves like Pin Missile use one check for crits instead of doing each hit separately. This means if the first one crits, every hit will.
    • Paralysis and Burn cut speed and attack respectively, as intended and carried on into all future games, but the stat change is stacked into the normal stat modifier instead of being its own thing. Because of this, Rest does not remove the stat drop when it cures the status.
    • Sleep lasts several turns longer, you cannot attack the turn you wake up, and it's possible to wake up on the turn it is inflicted.
    • Due to how infliction for status effects work, Normal-types and Ghost-types cannot be paralyzed by Body Slam and Lick, respectively.
    • Many moves have different power, accuracy and, in some cases, type from later games.
    • Reflect and Light Screen will remain active as long as the user is on the field and end immediately when they faint or switch out, instead of petering out after a set number of turns like in later titles. They also double the user's appropriate defensive stat instead of lowering the attacker's offensive stat during the damage calculation.
    • Mimic and Disable will affect one of the opponent's moves at random, instead of the last one they used, like in all later generations. Because of this, it can work on the very first turn (in later generations it will fail if used before the opponent has had a chance to attack).
    • One-Hit Kill attacks will fail if the user is slower than the target. The user also does not get an accuracy bonus based off the difference between the user's and target's Level like in later games.
    • Counter has a lot of quirks. It only works from being hit by a Normal or Fighting attack (including opposing Counters, Bide, and Seismic Toss unlike later games), can hit Ghosts, works with damage dealt to the user's Substitute and can be used multiple times off of one hit.
    • Seismic Toss and Night Shade do not take Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors into account like in later games, meaning Seismic Toss hurts Ghost-types and Night Shade hurts Normal-types.
    • Bide ignores accuracy and evasion, can hit foes during in invulnerable period of Dig or Fly, hits Ghost-types, will last either 2 or 3 turns instead of a set 3, and has a couple other complicated quirks involving how damage is stored.
    • Trapping moves like Wrap and Clamp prevent the target from taking any action until they end, but oddly do not prevent switching out. The user also cannot switch moves during the duration similar to Trash.
    • Frozen Pokémon will never thaw by themselves.
    • Held items, Abilities, and Natures do not exist yet.
    • No Pokémon except for Nidoran have a defined gender.
    • Every stat can be maxed out using the Stat Grinding system. Ruby and Sapphire onwards restricts it so that only 2 stats can be maxed out.
    • There are no Circling Birdies to signify when a Pokémon is Confused.
    • There is no visible Experience Meter during battle.
    • Unlike future games, when a Pokémon is stored in the PC, they are not automatically healed.
    • 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.
    • There's an odd open-endedness for a good part of the game, while later titles would make you take on the Gyms and events in a very set order. While you still need to foil Team Rocket plots in order, you may do so at your own pace and once you beat Misty, you are free to challenge the next four Gyms (Lt. Surge, Erika, Koga, Sabrina) in whatever order you deem fit.
    • The TM list is weird, ranging from moves as basic as Rage, Bide and Water Gun to the likes of Bubblebeam, Swords Dance and Fissure.
    • When trying to catch Legendaries, a failed catch attempt is rendered as "You missed the POKéMON!" instead of the standard "Oh, the POKéMON break free!" and its variants.
    • Your team is not automatically healed when entering a Player Versus Player battle, nor are they healed after beating the Elite Four.
    • Normal NPC trainers do not have their names given, you're just told what their trainer class is.
    • These games remain the only installment in the series in which it is possible to migrate Pokémon back from their sequels, thanks to Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions all being released for the same system. Because of the changes in platforms and system overhauls in between generations, any ability to transfer Pokémon forward to the next generation is a one-way trip.
    • The battle theme of this game and its remake are the only one to be constantly frantic instead of being at least partly joyous. Even the later incarnations of the song, whether the anime incarnation, the Super Smash Brothers incarnation or even later games in the series, all rearrange the song in such a way so that it has parts that give out vibes of it being joyous.
  • End Game Plus: After becoming Champion, the credits will roll and you'll be returned to your home in Pallet Town. Cerulean Cave will now be open, and you're free to challenge the Elite Four again or battle against your friends. Stops short of being a Playable Epilogue (like the later games in the series have) because no one will recognize your achievement as Champion. Other than the NPC Roadblock in front of Cerulean Cave being gone, the game world is exactly the same.
  • Escape Rope: The Trope Namer. Escape Ropes are items that will return you to the last Pokémon Center you visited. The moves Dig and Teleport can be used outside of battle to similar effect, with the former working in dungeons and sending you to the entrance and the latter sending you to the last Pokémon Center you used when used in outdoor areas. The move Fly expands on Teleport's function, allowing you to fly to any town (and, in some games, any rural Pokémon Center, such as the one outside Mt. Moon in FireRed and LeafGreen) you've set foot in, essentially making it a more flexible upgrade to Teleport (with the catch that not all Pokémon that can learn Teleport can learn Fly).
  • Fake Balance: Psychic effectively has no weaknesses, as Ghost is bugged to not work against them at all while the only Bug moves that existed were incredibly weak. Strong neutral attacks did more damage than a super effective Bug attack, unless it was a Pin Missile that hit 4-5 times.
  • Fake Longevity: You'll spend a good portion of your total play time doing two things: walking and Level Grinding. Your walking speed is painfully slow, and while the bicycle helps, it can't be used everywhere. As for grinding, expect to be doing a LOT of it. (Future games, including the remakes, helped alleviate this by adding Running Shoes to the game which increase your walking speed.) Several players have used cheats to get unlimited Rare Candies and used them to raise their Mons to appropriate levels, skipping the grinding altogether while not making them overpowered. Those players have discovered that you can complete the game in only half the time necessary to complete it while grinding. (Though you miss out on as many opportunities to catch new Pokémon.)
  • 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.
  • Forced Level Grinding: As Early Game Hell mentioned above, a lot of the game will be spent grinding if you want to stand a chance against Sabrina and Koga, especially if you're playing Yellow Version.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • If you didn't add any new caught data to the Pokédex nor bought any Poké Balls by the time you beat Blue on Route 22, you can go to Prof. Oak for free Poké Balls. Outside of Yellow, this will probably need grinding.
    • Nowhere in the game itself does it tell you what certain moves actually do. This is especially frustrating when a Pokémon is trying to learn a new move. All you get to know is the name of the move, the type of the move, and the move's PP. Is it stronger or weaker than another move your Pokémon already knows? Can it inflict any status effects? Who knows?
  • Heroic Mime: Played with. You never hear your trainer speak (in the overworld, that is—your trainer is implied to be plenty chatty in battles, since you'd at least be calling out the name of the Pokémon you deploy and they'd need to get orders on what move to use somehow), but attempting to talk to the "Copycat" girl in Saffron City produces dialog, subtitled as your own, of a one-sided conversation; it's the Copycat's dialog, mimicking the things the trainer implicitly said to her.
  • Infinity+1 Element
    • 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 exempt from Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors altogether.
    • The Psychic-type has no meaningful weaknesses due to bad balancing, nothing resists it except itself, and it had a type advantage against Poison, the most common type in the game.
    • Normal only has one weakness (Fighting, which is easily covered by having a Psychic-type teammate) and it does regular damage to everything except Ghost and Rock, both of which can be hit with the widely distributed Earthquake (every Ghost at this point was part Poison).
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Mewtwo is massively powerful on his own, made even more powerful by being a horribly broken Psychic-type. Only available after becoming Pokémon League champion and comes at the massive level 70, when 50-60 is about where you'll be when the credits roll.
  • Infinity–1 Sword:
    • Your fully evolved starter is one of the strongest of it type in the game and will usually be your most reliable Mon throughout.
    • Alakazam is statistically the second strongest Pokémon in these games and a Psychic-type. Unlike most examples, it can be obtained relatively early as long as you can trade Kadabra as soon as it evolves from Abra at level 16.
    • The 3 Legendary birds, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. They are only available very late into the game and are among the most powerful Mons.
    • Dragonite has the second-highest base stat total, the highest Attack at this point of the franchise, and can learn a variety of moves. However, it can only be obtained by catching the rare (and weak) Dratini in the Safari Zone and babying it until it hits level 55.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: In your bag, you are limited to 20 individual slots for unique items. For instance, whether you were carrying one potion or 99 potions, it only takes up one inventory "slot." Because of this, it is wise to carry as few unique items as you can get away with. You can store an extra 50 unique items in the PC to help alleviate this somewhat, but the PC can only be accessed in a Pokémon Center, meaning those items won't be available to you in the game world.
  • Leaked Experience: The "Exp.All" item. If you have it in your inventory, it splits the experience gained from a battle between all of the Mons in your party.
  • Level Grinding: Expect to be doing quite a bit of it throughout the game. The most flagrant case comes after beating the 8th gym but before taking on the Elite Four, where you'll need to gain about 10-15 levels with each of your Pokémon in order to stand a chance.
  • Magic Is Rare; Health Is Cheap: Potions of various strengths which can be used to heal HP can be purchased from PokeMarts and found all over the game world. Ethers and Elixirs, which restore PP, cannot be purchased and are extremely rare to find. (It's best to save them all for the Elite Four, where you'll have to fight 4 make that 5 difficult battles in a row without being able to restore the PP of moves at a Pokémon Center in between.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Trope Namer. Magikarp can be purchased in Mt. Moon's Pokémon Center very early in the game, and it's completely pathetic even compared to the local Com Mons. Get it to level 20 and it'll evolve into the very powerful Gyarados, which can proceed to steamroll everything in its path.
    • When you catch an Abra, it only knows one move: Teleport. Teleport allows it to flee battle, making it very hard to catch without putting it to sleep first. It will effectively be useless in battle for you, but grind it to level 16, and it evolves into the much more useful Kadabra. You can then immediately trade Kadabra to a friend and then trade it back, giving you an almighty Alakazam.
  • Metal Slime: Abra. While not an uncommon encounter, it has the annoying habit of using its only move (Teleport) to flee from battle, making it incredibly difficult to catch. If you are able to catch one, you can evolve it into the much more powerful Kadabra (and later, Alakazam,) giving you an extremely powerful Pokémon.
  • The Missingno.: Trope Namer. The eponymous creature (and the closely related 'M) is created by the game trying to access data that doesn't exist, so it takes on a glitchy appearance which can vary depending on which methods are used to encounter it.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The original BubbleBeam animation was accompanied by the visual flashing negative with dramatic sound effects.
  • Mundane Utility: The HM moves allow your Pokémon to perform actions outside of battle.
  • 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.
  • Nerf: International releases reduced Blizzard's chance to inflict Freeze from 30% to 10%.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: There is no option to take up the offer of the Team Rocket recruiter on Nugget Bridge.
  • NPC Roadblock: All over the place. There's the old man in Viridian City who won't let you pass until he's had his "coffee" (which he has only after you deliver Oak's Parcel), the guy in Pewter City who won't let you pass to Mt. Moon until you beat Brock, the gate guards who won't let you into Saffron City until you give them a drink, the cop in front of the burgled house in Cerulean City who only moves aside after you talk to Bill at Cerulean Cape, the guy who stands in front of Cerulean Cave until after you beat the Elite Four and the Champion, etc. etc. etc...
  • Obvious Beta: There are numerous glitches (game-breaking and otherwise), the type chart is unbalanced, and some moves flat-out don't work.
  • Off Model: Several of the Pokémon sprites in Japan's Blue and the international releases. While the sprites in the original Japanese Red and 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, the center egg of Exeggcute being larger than the others instead of them being all the same size and so on. All of the sprites were changed again for Yellow to make them more closely resemble the official artwork.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: A Rocket grunt threatens you with this when you refuse to join Team Rocket.
  • Old Save Bonus: Any player who beats the Master Cup in Pokemon Stadium or its sequel with a Pikachu in their party will have said Pikachu learn Surf (a move Pikachu otherwise cannot legitimately learn). Pokémon Yellow took this unlockable a few steps forward in that not only there's a special overworld sprite for when Pikachu uses the move outside of battle, a house south of Saffron City allows the player can play an Excite Bike clone called "Pikachu's Beach".
  • One Game for the Price of Two: The only major difference between the games is that some Mons are version-exlcusive, requiring more than one to get 100% Completion and setting the trend for all future installments.
  • One of the Boys: Lass Sally uses Pokémon more typical of a Youngster (specifically, a Rattata and a Nidoran♂).
  • 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.
  • Precision F-Strike: Naturally, all examples come from the (badly translated) Green Version.
    • One of the Picnickers you find in Route 6 will curse after you defeat her Rattata and Pikachu.
      Picnicker Nancy: Damn you! Being defeated really lose face
    • She's not the only one; a Gambler in Route 11 (specifically, the one with Fire-type Pokémon) also curses upon defeat.
      Gambler Darian: ..., damn, still lose!
    • A Sailor on the S.S. Anne really lives up to his title when challenging you.
      Sailor Phillip: Dammit! It should be throwed into the sea if lost!
  • Properly Paranoid: The Super Nerd at the end of Mt. Moon (called Miguel in later generations) who is very protective of his fossils will assume you're a plainclothes Rocket. A bit later on, you'll find a plainclothes Rocket at the end of the Nugget Bridge, so Miguel clearly wasn't about to take any chances.
  • Rare Candy: The Trope Namer. Rare Candies are rare items which, when given to a Pokémon, increase that Mon's level by one instantly.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Grumbles one turncoat Scientist in Silph Co.:
    Scientist Taylor: That rotten PRESIDENT! He shouldn't have sent me to the TIKSI BRANCH!
    [you defeat him and then talk to him again]
    Scientist Taylor: TIKSI BRANCH? It's in Russian no man's land!
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Lt. Surge, Erika, Koga, Sabrina, and Blaine can be fought in nearly any order. The only constraint is that you have to beat Koga to get to Blaine, since Surf is required.
    • The Game Corner Rocket Hideout can be skipped entirely by using a Poké Doll on the Marowak ghost in the Pokémon Tower.
  • Shout-Out:
  • 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.
  • Single Palette Town: Every town (except for Pallet Town) is named after one particular color. If played on a Super Game Boy (or, in case of Pokémon Yellow, on a Game Boy Color) the screen changes its pallet to match the current town.
  • Socialization Bonus: Like many monster collecting games, trading is necessary to catch 'em all and Pokémon took a step further by having four Pokémon (Machoke, Graveler, Kadabra, Haunter) only evolve when traded. There is no other reason for this to be implemented other than to encourage trading among players.
  • Spiteful A.I.: Due to A.I. Roulette, Trainers may have their last party member use Selfdestruct or Explosion.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: One of the Rockets gives us this gem.
    "Don't touch the poster at the Game Corner! There's no secret switch behind it!"
  • Take That: When starting a new game within the English versions of the game, before entering the characters' names, the player's name is initialized to NINTEN 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 (one Pokédollar more than your carrying capacity). After advancing the plot in the next town, you get a voucher to acquire one for free.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • Among the Gym Leaders, Misty (the tomboyish mermaid) and Erika (the nature-loving princess). Their strategies and their types also make the distinction between their personalities clear: Misty wields a Staryu and a Starmie, the latter especially that can wipe the floor with your Pokémon rather easily if you're not prepared, and Erika uses comparatively easy Grass-type Pokémon that, if you have a Fire-type, a Grass-type that knows at least one non-Grass-type move, or a Flying-type, should be a breeze to defeat by comparison.
    • Picnickers and Lasses also share this dynamic; it even shows in their battle sprites.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • The Master Ball will catch any Pokémon without fail, but you only get one.
    • Some rare healing items like Max Revives and PP restoring items like Ethers and Elixirs cannot be purchased from any store, only found in the overworld lying around.
  • Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Lasses and some Picnickers in Kanto have a thing for overreacting to things you may or may not had done before battle.
    Lass Robin: (after approaching the player from a few steps away) Eek! Did you touch me?
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Skunk!" in the Green Version.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Surf is required to get the 7th badge, which is required to beat the game. However, the only location to get the HM containing Surf is the Safari Zone, which costs money to enter. If you run out of money you'll be forced to trade for a Pokémon already knowing the move or restart your game. This was fixed for the Yellow version, in which you'll simply be let in with less Safari Balls than usual.
  • Updated Re-release: 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.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Psychic's only weaknesses are Bug- and Ghost-type attacks, but the only Bug moves in these games are incredibly weak while Ghost is bugged so it has no effect on Psychic-types.
    • Roar and Whirlwind's only effect is to end battles with wild Pokémon. The "Run" command does it for free without requiring a movesolt and will usually work unless your active Pokémon has a low Speed stat.
  • Utility Weapon: Several moves have uses outside of battle that can be utilized to get around obstacles, as transportion, or even healing.
    • HM01 Cut removes certain trees that block the path. The trees will grow back after you leave the area.
    • HM02 Fly will transport you to any town you've visited the Pokémon Center of.
    • HM03 Surf lets you move across water.
    • HM04 Strength allows you to push certain boulders.
    • HM05 Flash lights up dark caves.
    • TM28 Dig will take you to the last Pokémon Center you visited if used in a cave.
    • TM30 Teleport will take you to the last healing spot (Pokémon Center or your house) you visited when used outside (but not in a town/city).
    • TM41 Softboiled will transfer 20% of the owner's HP to another Pokémon.
  • Warp Whistle: The move Fly will allow you to return to any Pokémon Center you've already visited when used outside of battle. It can only be used outdoors, however.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Rocket grunt at the end of Cerulean Bridge wishes to recruit you into Team Rocket after seeing you battle.
  • Where It All Began:
    • The map is naturally designed to send you back to your hometown of Pallet after you get the Volcano Badge.
    • Viridian City, the first town you arrive at after Pallet, is also the location of the 8th Gym and where the road to the Indigo Plateau starts.
  • Whip It Good: The Ace Trainers (then named Cooltrainers), Tamers, Rocket Grunts, Cue Balls, and Sabrina all have whips in their battle sprites.

    Tropes used in Yellow 
Yup, they made a video-game adaptation of an anime adaptation.

  • Adaptational Heroism: Damien isn't as much of an uncaring Jerkass as he is in the anime, as he actively knows he's a lousy trainer and figures his Charmander deserves better.
  • 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 Blue aside from Red's team (Pikachu + three starters). FireRed and LeafGreen also incorporate very little of Yellow's gameplay.
  • 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.
  • Convenient Weakness Placement: Those mentioned from Red and Blue are still present, but more are added here. In particular, you can now catch a Mankey on Route 22 near Viridian City. The Fighting-type Mankey is extremely helpful when battling Brock, whose Rock/Ground-types are immune or resistant to all of Pikachu's moves.
  • 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.
  • Mythology Gag: Due to being a Recursive Adaptation of the anime.
    • The first default name listed for the player character and rival are Ash and Gary, respectively.
    • The Weedle evolutionary line is not available, referencing Ash miserably failing to catch them early on.
    • The Ekans, Koffing, and Meowth lines cannot be caught since they are owned by the Team Rocket Trio. Said trio is also a recurring mini-boss.
    • Pikachu is your starter, will walk behind you in the overworld, and refuse to evolve into Raichu (this part can be subverted by trading Pikachu to another game), just like with Ash. Its cry is even replaced with Pokémon Speak provided by its anime voice actor, Ikue Otani.
    • The original three starters can be obtained from NPCs in situations similar to how Ash got his.
    • Brock, Misty, and the rival uses their anime designs.
    • The Gym Leaders' teams have been edited to copy/resemble their anime counterparts. This includes cutting Lt. Surge's team down to only Raichu and giving Giovanni a Persian for all of his battles.
  • Role Reprisal: Ikue Otani reprises her role as Pikachu, albeit bitcrushed.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike:
    • Because your starter is a Pikachu, you're likely going to have a much tougher time dealing with Brock than in Red and Blue. Fortunately, Nidoran learns Double Kick at a lower level than Red and Blue, and you also have the option to pick up a Mankey on Route 22.
    • The last four Gym leaders had their levels buffed to be in the fifties. Most noticeable with Koga, as his team was in the mid-thirties in Red and Blue.
    • In general, the NPCs took more advantage of TMs after largely relying on their Pokémon's natural learnsets in Red and Blue.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Surprisingly, Misty serves as the wake-up call here. Several nifty tricks were added to help you get past Brock (which is necessary, as each of his mons are immune or resistant to everything a reasonably leveled Pikachu can throw at it by this point.) Most players will go into Cerulean City Gym with a spring in their step, ready to wipe the floor with Misty's Water-types using their juiced up Pikachu. They are in for a world of hurt, as Misty's Pokémon are ludicrously over-leveled. Her Starmie in particular has ridiculous numbers of hit points and can absorb 3+ super-effective Thundershocks while sweeping your entire team in one shot apiece.

    Tropes used in FireRed and LeafGreen 
No, there isn't a WaterBlue version.

  • Adult Fear: Lostelle's father is sick with worry that she hasn't returned home yet. You find her weeping, lost deep in a forest, being pursued by a wild Hypno.
  • Ascended Meme: Many new features and secrets seem to call back to the wild rumors that surrounded the original games. For instance, Bill granting you access to a new area (in this case, the Sevii Islands) and the ability to find something by the truck near the S.S. Anne.
  • Bowdlerize
    • 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.
    • Rocket Grunts called you a little rat in the original version, which was changed to a little mouse in the remakes.
  • Console Cameo: Instead of updating the SNES in the player's bedroom from the original Red/Blue to a newer console, it is changed to an older one. (A NES to be specific.)
  • Crutch Character: As mentioned above, the Bug-types Butterfree and Beedrill still qualify. However, Butterfree gets an even bigger boost now thanks to its "Compound Eyes" ability. This makes its status effect inducing "powder" attacks significantly more accurate. It can now cripple opposing Pokémon with Paralysis and Poison more easily and put wild Pokémon to Sleep with greater success, making them easier to catch. The addition of this ability takes it from a crutch to near-Disc One Nuke territory.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: Players who rushed to the top floor of the Celadon Department Store to buy drinks for the thirsty guards will be disappointed since the guards in FRLG accept hot tea instead, which is obtained from an old lady in the building next to the Pokémon Center.
  • 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, the Scanner:
    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 Onix 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.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • When it comes to the music, FireRed and LeafGreen are the only games post-Ruby and Sapphire not to have the Pokémart theme introduced in the Hoenn games and the only post-Ruby and Sapphire games not to include the expanded portion of the Hall of Fame theme introduced in Ruby and Sapphire. Even the remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver had them retconned into the games (to the point where there's a GB Sounds equivalent of the Pokémart theme). It's also the only remakes to recycle the gym theme from the mainline generation games - all the other remakes either have their own remix of the theme (in the case of HeartGold/SoulSilver) or uses an updated version of the original game's incarnation (in the case of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire).
    • The ability to teach your final form starter Pokémon Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn or Hydro Cannon to your starter Pokémon was introduced within these games. However, unlike in later generations, only the Kanto starters could learn them.
    • The remakes are the only remakes not to include a duplicate of the main game's Battle Tower/Battle Frontier analogue - HeartGold and SoulSilver has the resident Battle Tower replaced with the duplicate of the Sinnoh Battle Frontier while Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire replaces the Battle Tower of the original games with a replica of Kalos' Battle Maisonnote .
    • The remakes are the only remakes where the opposite gendered player character doesn't appear in-story, and thus, the only games where you don't get to see the canon names of both playable characters in-game - HeartGold and SoulSilver retcons the opposite gendered playable character in the story (as well as retconned the canon name of the male playable character) and the original opposite gendered playable character of Ruby and Sapphire reprises their role as a rival in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • In Pallet Town, a certain woman wants to show you what's written on a newly-placed sign near the lab. 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".
  • Fun With Palindromes: The passwords for the Rocket Headquarters on Five Island are "GOLDEEN need log" and "Yes, nah, CHANSEY".
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: There's one ranger on Seven Island who claims that city trainers (meaning trainers from Kanto) "sure are tough". This is despite the fact that the Sevii Islands are the Extended Gameplay, so any trainers living on them are guaranteed to be inherently better than nearly any Kanto trainer.
  • Inconsistent Dub: In the corner of Fuschia City is a young girl named "Charine", who self identifies as Koga's daughter in training. Janine, you mean?
  • Last Disc Magic: These games started a trend of including a late-game move tutor who will teach your fully evolved starter (and only your fully evolved starter) an elemental version of Hyper Beam depending on your starter's type. In FR/LG, the tutor in question is located on the Sevii Islands which are inaccessible until you defeat Blaine, the 7th gym leader.
  • Mythology Gag: During the credits, the Generation 1 mascots are shown changing from the in-game sprites to poses they had on the Japanese boxart of their respective games.
  • No Name Given: The female player character doesn't have an official name. Most fans have settled on Leaf.
  • 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.
  • Optional Stealth: 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.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The speech text for most non-player characters in non-Japanese versions is color-coded this way - males will have blue text and females will have red text.
  • Playable Epilogue: Upgrades the original games' End Game Plus into one. Cerulean Cave still opens the same way, but there are other changes as well. More of the Sevii Islands open up for exploration and you can start to catch Pokémon not native to Kanto.
  • Retcon: In the original versions, there were only 151 known Pokémon in the whole world. In the Game Boy Advance remakes, this was changed to there being only 151 Pokémon known to inhabit the Kanto region.
  • Shout-Out: Similar to the Stand by Me shout out present in the originals, you'll instead get one to The Wizard of Oz if you play as a female character in the remakes.
  • 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.
  • Viewers Are Morons: The Teachy TV is a permanent key item, but all it does is tell you the basic game mechanics (In case one forgets)


Alternative Title(s):

Pokemon Red And Blue, Ptitleevcce3c 2, 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 Red And Green, Pokemon Red Blue Green And Yellow