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Headscratchers / Pokémon Red and Blue

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Headscratchers for Pokémon Red and Blue.

  • How did Blue get "a lot of pages added to his Pokédex" by visiting Bill if the latter only has four Pokémon?
    • He could be exaggerating, which wouldn't be out of character.
    • Bill explicitly says he's bummed the Player isn't going to see his entire collection but he should at least check out "some of his rare ones". Bill has many more Pokémon than just Eevee and its evolutions. The player just doesn't take the time to see them. I believe the Fame Checker even states his first Pokémon was an Abra.
  • If Blue has assembled a team that could beat any type, why does he, as a Champion, have the following Pokémon with such moveset on his team?
    • His team in Red/Blue includes:
      • Rhydon with no Rock/Ground attacks
      • Exeggutor with no Grass/Psychic attacks (could have been taught the TMs Psychic/Mega Drain/Solarbeam), and doesn't even have all its moveslot filled! It only knows two normal attacks.
      • Arcanine with a poor Fire attack
      • Giving one TM move to only his starter (Fire Blast for Charizard, Blizzard for Blastoise and Mega Drain to Venusaur).
    • His team in Yellow includes:
      • Exeggutor has the same problem as in Red/Blue, though its fourth move is Leech Seed.
      • Still giving one TM just to only one of his Pokémon, only this time, it's teaching Earthquake to Sandslash.
    • A mix of not making the game impossible to finish, and Blue just not being as good as he thinks he is. He managed to win, but that doesn't mean he did it handily.
      • I'd go with this one. Blue's pretty unfailingly arrogant the entire time even though - at least in my playthroughs - he gets his ass handed to him every single time he runs into Red. He probably came up with the "beat any type" boast based on having defeated the Elite Four's myriad types.
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    • Also, at least some of it could be chalked up to how AI trainers picked their moves in general in Gen 1. Very few trainers aside of Gym Leaders used TM moves. On top of that, Exeggutor only had three moves in its natural learn set back then, nor could Rhydon learn any Rock/Ground moves by level up. I do question why they wouldn't make more exceptions to the TM rule for the Champion, of all battles, but it makes more sense if you look at it that way.
  • How are unidentified ghost Pokemon able to speak? ("Get out... get out...")
    • It could partly be in the character's head. As in, they're spooked out, so they're only imagining the creepy voices.
  • This is more a question for the Fire Red and Leaf Green versions, but how does Pokemon you're not using in battle get "dragged out"?
    • What? When are they said to get "dragged out"? It could be the context of the scene, depending.
      • Any move that forces you to swap Pokémon involves that phrase when they're swapped in.
    • They are "dragged out" when the opponent uses Whirlwind or Roar. I imagine that in the case of Whirlwind, the strong sudden wind knocks a Pokeball out of the player character's grasp, thus accidentally releasing the Pokemon. With Roar, maybe the player character is startled and drops a Pokeball.
  • If Mew was added secretly at the last moment by one of the programmers, how does it have its own sprites? The sprite artist would have had to know about it in order to draw them.
    • Depends on who the sprite artist was. Or - just as likely - since the sprites were "scanned" into the game a certain way, that was designed by one of the programmers, then it would be easy for one of the programmers to add his own sprite using that same system.
    • I think it's clear from looking at the sprites that they were manually drawn, as in pixel art, not scanned or digitized.
    • Given how deformed Mew's Red/Green JP sprite looked, it might not have been drawn by someone who's in charge of spritework.
    • Sprite drawn and added/scanned at the same time Mew was added, without having to involve the official sprite artist?
    • Shigeki Morimoto, the programmer who created Mew, is credited with both programming and monster design for Pokemon Red / Blue - and Mew wasn't known when the game was released, so his monster design credits mean that he worked on the art of other pokemon as well; he was both an artist and a programmer. And, indeed, according to the other wiki and an interview translated here, Mew was designed entirely by Morimoto - the only pokemon with no input from art director Ken Sugimori. Morimoto designed the sprite himself, though he based it off of Mewtwo for obvious reasons and made it as simple as possible. It's important to remember that back then graphics were simpler in general, there were fewer people on the graphical-art career track in the first place, the limitations of technology meant that understanding what you had to work with was an important part of making arts or music for games, and, as a result of these things, it was not that unusual for programmers to undertake some graphical duties the way Morimoto did. Nowadays the game has massive dedicated teams for each aspect, with extensive training and experience in that area; but that wasn't as true back in 1996.
  • What's with the randomness in some of the Kanto starters' English names? Charmander and Charmeleon are based on lizards, not salamanders or chameleons. They only got the lizard part right with Charizard, which is ironic given that by that point it's more of a dragon than a lizard. Likewise, the Bulbasaur line is hardly a dinosaur; more like a frog.
    • Early-Installment Weirdness? There actually was quite an argument a few months ago, with a lot of the fandom being flabbergasted when they found out that Bulbasaur line is based on frogs, so many people actually didn't see it before it was pointed out to them.
    • The simple answer is that back in that era there wasn't a lot of time, money, or effort put into translations. Nobody knew how big Pokemon was going to be when the first game was translated. That meant that a lot of things were just given quick "good enough" names, often by people whose native language wasn't English.
  • Why did the localization give many of the items names like something out of a medieval fantasy, like Potion (Wound Medicine in Japan), Ether (PP Aid), Elixir (PP Aider) or Revive (Vitality Fragment)?
    • The only successful JRP Gs in the US at the time were fantasy ones. It's likely that they patterned the translation after those in hopes of making it easier for players to immediately understand what the items did.
  • Silph Co created Porygon, but why is it only available at a casino that's run by Team Rocket?
    • Perhaps Silph Co made only one specimen at the time and Team Rocket stole it when they took over the company.
  • Why did the Super Ball get renamed Great Ball in the localization? It couldn't be that they found the original name too silly, as they kept the equally silly name "Ultra Ball".
    • Possibly to avoid trademark issues involving this.
  • Has anyone else noticed that when you fight Misty in the first game, she claims her strategy is all out offensive, yet in the battle she goes on the defensive, spamming Harden and X-Defend?
    • Obviously a clever bluff so that you'll be expecting an all-out offensive, then be caught off guard when you don't get one. Misty is a tricky snake!
      • That doesn't seem too effective; the opposite (appearing meek but striking fast) would be better. However, there may be an socio-emotional component to this, (see the "tomboy" IJBM below).
  • How tall is Red pre-timeskip? I've seen official artwork of him for gen-1, and he seems shorter then both Leaf and Misty.
    • Well, if you're comparing gen-1!Red to Leaf, there's probably going to be some height differences due to the art styles. Other than that...there's not really a way of knowing, because the only confirmed heights are for the Gen IV trainers (And maybe the Gen V trainers? I don't know if your Pokédex gets upgraded to show heights later or anything.)
      • I'm comparing their Generation 1 designs to each other.
      • ...What picture of Leaf in generation 1 are you talking about?
      • It's probably the one that Green (or Blue in Japan) from Adventures is based on. Though Ken Sugimori has changed his style significantly since Gen 1, so you should probably base the comparisons on current artwork. Though girls do tend to be taller than guys at that age. But if you're going by Gen 1 art, it can be hard to tell because they're not standing right next to each other. But as we know, Artists Are Not Architects.
  • The Fuchsia City Gym is poison themed, so why do all the trainers other than Koga use Psychic types?
    • It could be that they're keeping psychic pokemon on their teams so that they won't get sweeped by psychic type pokemon.