|Platform||Game Boy Advance|
|Developed by||Game Freak|
|Predecessor(s)||Pokémon Red & Green (JP)|
|Australia||September 23rd, 2004|
|Europe||October 1st, 2004|
|Japan||January 29th, 2004|
|United States||September 9th, 2004|
Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen are a pair of core series titles that were released for the Game Boy Advance. They count as Generation III, despite being remakes of popular Gen I titles Pokemon Red & Green. Both games are based in the Kanto region, both games also feature non-legendary mascots; Charizard for FireRed and Venusaur for LeafGreen, meaning these titles are the only games outside of Gen I that don't have legendary mascots.
These were the first remakes of Pokemon games and follow the stories, characters and adventures of their original versions closely, whilst introducing greatly improved colourful graphics, sounds and functionality making good use of the power of the Game Boy Advance's then-new-technology. But it doesn't stop there, quite a lot of changes have taken place, some minor some major, you can check them out at our Changes & New Features section.
When the games were first released they were bundled with the GBA Wireless adapter, which would mean players no longer needed Game Link Cables to trade. For shipments after the initial release however the Wireless adapter was no longer bundled and was sold as a seperate accessory. FireRed and LeafGreen were very succesful; one of the reasons for which being potentially that we finally had a fully translated English version of Green, which was originally only released in Japan. Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen sit proudly as the second best selling titles of the Game Boy Advance, surpassed only by Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and even keeping the well-loved Pokémon Emerald at bay in third place.
The player finds trainers and is able to catch Pokémon from now on; going to Route 2 and into Viridian Forest, after getting to Pewter City they meet up with the team leader Brock who uses Rock Type Pokémon. After Brock is defeated the Player follows Route 3 to head to Mt. Moon where the player finally meets with Team Rocket, attempting to take Rare Fossils from the cave. Defeating them allows the player to take either The Helix Fossil or Dome Fossil.
Taking their path to Route 4 they finally arrive in Cerulean City where they meet with Misty, following the Rocket Bridge and defeating the Rocket members the Player is offered to join Team Rocket but refuses and defeats all the trainer, following this Path leads into Bills Cottage, where the player finally knows who ‘Someone’ is from Someone’s pc Pokémon storage service, after helping Bill to defuse from the Clefairy Bill gives them a ticket for the S.S. Anne, a luxury Ship on the Vermillion Harbor. After taking a Shortcut the player arrives on Route 5.
Following Route 5 and 6, the player may use the Underground Path to get to Vermilion going under Saffron City. The Vermilion City gym is blocked by a small bush which may be hacked down with Cut. The Hidden Machine is on the S.S. Anne; the player may get in and meet the Captain after facing its rival again and many other trainers. After getting access to the gym the player meets Lt. Surge, the lightning American who uses Electric Pokémon.
The player then follows Route 11 where he may get back to Route 2 through Digglets Cave to get the Hidden Machine Flash, not vital but makes walking through the Dark Tunnel easier. After following the Dark Tunnel the player arrives to Lavender Town where he meets with Team Rocket who has Mr. Fuji on the Pokémon Tower, unable to pass or save Mr. Fuji he gets to Celadon City, west of Saffron where they challenge Erika, the Gym Leader who uses grass type Pokémon.
On Celadon there is a Game Corner, which is no other than the Rocket Hideout is a place where many rocket Grunts will challenge the player, after defeating them they will face the Rocket Boss, Giovanni. After being defeated he drops a Silph Scope which is required to navigate the Pokémon Tower and be able to defeat the rocket grunts that have Mr. Fuji hostage.
The ghost that was keeping the player from getting to the top of the tower was the spirit of Marowak, who was killed by team rocket when they captured their Cubone child, after saving Mr. Fuji the player is given a poke flute by him, henceforth being able to wake and capture the Snorlax that block route 11 and route 16, the player also may take an alternate route on route 16 to get another Hidden Machine, Fly.
The player may now get to Fuchsia City either by going down where the Snorlax was blocking the path or following the Silence Bridge. Once arriving to Fuchsia city, the player discovers there is a Pokémon Gym there, house of Koga, master of Poison and is able to get to the Safari Zone where he meets the warden, after finding their gold tooth the warden rewards the player with the hidden machine containing Strength. And finally, hidden on the Safari Zone the player finds the final Hidden Machine, containing Surf.
After defeating Koga the player goes back to the Celadon Mansion to get some tea for the guards and from here on the player may get to Saffron. Saffron is overrun by Rocket Grunts who are trying to get control of Silph Company! The player then infiltrates the Silph Building and after defeating all the grunts they confront Giovanni for a second time, defeating him makes all the grunts leave and the President gifts the player with the Master Ball, guaranteed to catch any Pokémon.
The player then is able to challenge the two gyms on Saffron, the Fighting Dojo with Fighting type Pokémon and the Saffron official gym, where Sabrina is. After defeating the Dojo the player may choose between Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan and after defeating Sabrina they may continue on their task to get all the badges of the region.
Now it is time to use the power the badges give to the player, being able to surf from route 19 or 20 there is a minor obstacle, the Seafome Islands. After passing through them the player may get to Cinnabar Island. There is a lot of stuff to do here for the player, there is the Cinnabar Gym where the player’s Pokémon knowledge will be put to a test and finally they will confront Blaine, the Fire head.
After defeating Blaine Bill arrives, asking the player to help them solve something on a small region south of Kanto known as the Sevii Islands. Once they accept, they get in the Seagallop Ferry and arrive there; Celio is attempting to connect the islands pc system to Kantos’. There is a crisis on the Two Island where the daughter of one of the Joyful Game Corner is missing, and in Three Island there is a group of Invading Bikers causing trouble. After defeating them and finding Lostelle, the lost girl on the berry forest, the player and Bill return to Kanto, where Viridian Gym awaits.
After defeating all the other trainers, conquering the Sevii islands and being ready to get one more badge and face the elite four, the player finds out that their leader was no other than the Rocket Leader Giovanni who uses many types of Pokémon, after defeating him he admits full defeat and disbands team Rocket providing the player with the last badge.
With a sense of Bravery and full of energy and Pokémon the player may now go into the Indigo Plateu through the Victory Road to face their final challenge, the Elite four. The Elite Four are as they were in the original games and you can read all about them and their teams here.
- Lorelei who uses Ice Pokémon
- Bruno who uses Fighting Pokémon
- Agatha who uses Ghost Pokémon
- Lance who uses Dragon Pokémon
After defeating them… the player would be the champ, however their rival beat them first and now the player has to face the rival for a final Pokémon battle. After defeating the rival Professor Oak arrives and tells the player that their victory is because they care about their Pokémon and the party is added to the Hall of Fame.
The story is over, but the game is not, after returning to Kanto, Professor Oak checks the players’ Pokedex and if they have at least 60 Pokémon the dex is updated to the National Pokedex! Oak then asks the player to further fill it by going to the Sevii Islands to check on Pokémon that he has not studied before.
Once on the Sevii Islands, Celio has to do more work on its network machine to link another region, needing to find a Ruby and a Sapphire. The Ruby is deep inside Mt. Ember, where Team Rocket Grunts are playing around with it.
The Sapphire is on the Dotted hole in Ruin Valley. The Ruby is given to the professor without a problem; however the Sapphire is stolen by Gideon, a Scientist who takes it back to the Rocket Warehouse in Five Isle Meadow.
The player infiltrates the Warehouse and after the Rocket Admins realize that Giovanni disbanded Team Rocket they promise to return one day and bring Team Rocket back to its former glory. The Sapphire is taken from Gideon and after this the player may trade with Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire game owners.
The Elite Four has been training throughout all of this time, their Pokémon are 12 levels higher and their strategy slightly changes, the Cerulean Cave is open and the player may find Mewtwo. Entei, Suicune or Raikou will now be roaming Kanto, depending on which was the initial Pokémon choice of the player.
Anime Season's which loosely tie in with FireRed & LeafGreen (in terms of locations, NPCs such as gym leaders and Pokémon)
Trade, battle, and chat wirelessly! All new Wireless Adapter comes packed in every game, so trainers can trade, battle, and chat between their FireRed and LeafGreen versions with no cables!
Catch loads of Pokémon in never-before-seen island areas!
Expand your collection when you trade with a friend. Link up with Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire or Pokémon Colosseum to catch them all!
- Gender selection is introduced. The original Gen I games defaulted to a male protagonist, but in the remakes you can choose.
- The Resume Feature was added: this feature remembers the four most significant milestone things the player did the last time they played, and allows them to resume from those points.
- A new area of Kanto has been discovered since the originals, The Sevii Islands are now accessible, and several Gen II Pokémon can be found there.
- Some moves have changed types for example: Bite, Gust, Karate Chop and Sand-Attack have all been modified
- In the original games defeating Giovanni in the final gym of Kanto resulted in him disbanding the team and a general respite from their antics. In FR, LG it doesn't end there however, as Team Rocket found the Sevii Islands before you did and already have a base there.
- The Vs. Seeker item allows you to have rematches with the trainers you bumped into on your travels.
- The Fame Checker item is added, allowing the player to read information about important NPCs, gym leaders and so on
- Four Island's Pokémon Day Care centre allows the breeding of Pokémon.
- The previous Daycare Centre found on Route 5 is still open for business, but this time they'll only look after one Pokémon at any one time.
- There's a new NPC in one of the houses in Cerulean City. He will make you Berry Powder using Berry Crush and give it to you. Keep hold of it because this powder can be exchanged for rare items.
- Professor Oak still has his original assistant, but three more have now been added. All of his aides reward the player with items for completing certain tasks. Many of these items are from Generation II and III. The original assistant will give the player an Exp. Share item which is an upgraded version of the Exp. All he would've given to you in the original games.
- Pokémon movelists now include moves which were added in gen II and III and wouldn't have existed yet in the original versions.
- Move Tutors are introduced, teaching moves which could previously only be learned by use of TM's in the original games.
- There is a Move Tutor on Two Island, at Cape Brink who can teach blast Burn, Frenzy Plant and Hydro Cannon. However he will only teach the moves to your starter Pokémons final evolved form, or another of the same Pokémon. ie if your original Pokémon was Squirtle, and you now have 2 Blastoise, either would be able to learn the move Hydro Cannon.
- Once you complete your quests in the Sevii Islands you can have rematches against the Elite Four and Champion who will have stronger teams, said teams will even include Gen II Pokémon.
- A new game corner has arrived, this time in the form of Two Island's 'Joyful Game Corner'. This place enables players to connect between other FR, LG carts or Emerald and play multiplayer minigames such as Dodrio Berry Picking or Pokémon Jump. These games are played via the Wireless Communication System.
It's fairly obvious that the main change is bringing these titles from the classic black and white of the Game Boy and using the 32-bit power of the GBA to inject vibrant colours and visually pleasing environments. Lets take a look at some of the more subtle specifics that were changed graphically:-
- In Japan the text used in dialogue with NPC's varies depending on their gender. Male NPC's have a more typed looking text face, where Female NPC's have a more handwritten look to their dialogue. Other ingame text such as that on computers, in menus uses the typed looking font of the male NPC's.
- In other global releases the font remains constant but there is again differentiation between the NPC's genders, this time with Female NPC's having pink text and male NPC's having blue text.
- When you enter landmark locations like The Games Corner or Diglett's Cave for example an image of the location appears.
- In the original Red and Green there was a boy who stopped you from leaving Pewter City until you have defeated Brock. He'd keep taking you back to the gym if you tried to leave. He's still in the games, but in the original games he'd leave Pewter City to the east and disappear, with the player unable to follow. This time he'll just walk straight back to where you found him.
- All Pokémon now have abilities, genders and natures, as well as the ability to hold an item. All of which are features present in all Gen III titles.
- There's been a few changes made to the game exclusive Pokémon of each title. In the original games Mankey and Meowth were game exclusive but can now be obtained in either title, whereas Psyduck, Shellder, Slowpoke and Staryu are now exclusive to specific versions. The knock on of this is that the in-game trade to get Lickitung is now a little bit different; in LeafGreen you can trade Slowbro for him and in FireRed he can be recieved if you trade a Golduck.
- Since the original versions there have been other Generations which included evolutions of Gen I Pokémon which didn't exist yet at the time of Red and Greens release. These post-gen I discovered evolutions can still occur, for example Golbat can become Crobat. BUT not until you have obtained the National Pokédex. Eevee evolutions Espeon and Umbreon however cannot be obtained and must instead be traded from other Gen III titles (this is due to the lack of a system clock in FR, LG carts).
- Magnemite and it's evolved form Magneton were simply Electric types in the original games, but they now class as Electric/Steel types.
- In the original games Ponyta and Magmar could be found in the Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island, however have since been relocated to Kindle Road, One Island (Ponyta) and Mt. Ember (Magma). Mansion Health & Safety must have moved them along? They're also only available in Pokémon LeafGreen, which is a curious choice with them both being fire types.
- Where Moltres used to reside on Victory Road, it's now moved to Mt. Ember. Additionally Mewtwo's dwelling, Cerulean Cave now requires the use of Rock Smash to gain full access, the cave is also locked until the player completes their "post game" mission to Sevii Islands.
- You will get to encounter one of the Legendary Dogs of Johto once you've done everything, specifically once you've done the Sevii Island missions. The legendary beast that appears will be the one that is a direct counter to the starter you chosen, for example if you chose a fire type starter, you'll encounter Suicine, and so on.
The potential audio output quality of the GBA was much greater than it's predecessors, as such classic tunes were modified/remixed a little to sound better - they are still for the most part the themes you'd remember from the originals though. With a few amendments and additions as follows:-
- The Power Plant's background music was previously the same as that of the Rocket Hideouts music, it now plays the tune you'd recognise from the Pokémon Mansion.
- During battle with the Elite Four in the original games, the first three battles would play the standard Trainer Battle theme, where in the Battle against Lance you'd get the Gym Leader battle theme. Now during every battle against the Elite Four the Gym Leader theme will play.
- During Professor Oak's Congrats speech when you become the Pokémon League Champion you'll now get a more upbeat remix of the original Pallet Town theme. In the original games this played a slowed down version of the music from Viridian City.
Some help features were added to make the games more user friendly for novice Pokémon Trainers, heres what they were:-
- An general introduction to the basic controls, a help feature that would become commonplace in Gen IV.
- Teachy TV was added, this is an item given to the player by an old man. The TV airs programs which offer advice to Pokémon Trainers
- Pressing the L and R buttons will activate a new in game help feature
| Pokemon FireRed exclusives
| Pokemon LeafGreen exclusives
FireRed and LeafGreen could use the standard Game Link Cable to connect, battle and trade with Gen I and II titles as well as Pokémon Emerald. The games also make use of the GBA Wireless Adapter feature which enables them to trade with other FR, LG carts or Pokémon Emerald.
There is one way you can sort of trade between Ruby/Sapphire and FireRed LeafGreen, and thats by use of the Pokémon Colosseum and it's sequel Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness on the GameCube. A GameCube to Game Boy Advance link cable is used to connect to the game, and from there party-Pokémon can be traded - this feature is only unlocked by meeting certain requirements within those games though, specifically once the player has handed Celio the Ruby and Sapphire. Fire Red and LeafGreen are not directly compatible with later games such as Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold or SoulSilver. Though there are workarounds known using the Pal Park feature.
The trailer for Pokémon Fire Red and Leaf Green from E3 2004.
A Japanese TV Commercial for Fire Red & Leaf Green.
The intro video for Pokémon Leaf Green version on GBA.
A video of lots of weird glitches in Pokémon Fire Red & Leaf Green versions by YouTuber ohnickel
- After the player completes the main storyline and gets their National Pokedex you'll be able to encounter Entei, Raikou and Suicine as they roam the wilds. Even if a player uses Mean Look, when one of these legendary dogs use roar it'll end the battle. This will result in the Pokemon disappearing entirely and the player being unable to encounter them again on that save file.
- Junichi Masuda decided to release LeafGreen internationally instead of WaterBlue because he wanted the game to represent peace, instead of using the element that directly conflicts with fire. A bit unfair on Leaf really, being weak against fire.. but if only 2 of the 3 were going to release it was always going to be a little unfair in that respect!
- The gender selection of the player influences what is shown on the downstairs TV in the players house. Playing as a male character will result in "a movie about four boys walking down railroad tracks" (A reference to the movie, Stand by me). Whereas if the player is playing as a girl the TV will be showing "A movie about a girl in pigtails walking down a yellow brick road is playing (A reference to The Wizard of Oz movie).
- In the Japanese version of the games the player has A Famicom in their bedroom, whereas in western releases it's a NES.
- LeafGreen takes its Pokedex entries from the original Red and Blue versions whereas FireRed gets its entries from the original versions of Red and Green, making it the first time the Pokedex entries from those titles have been available in English.
- Playing an emulated or pirate version of these titles will result in a furious message from the attendant on the pier at the Seagallop Ferry. Seems fair enough, Check it out below:-
- The shape of Charizards wings are different on the front cover of Fire Red to the way it looks in it's official artwork for the game.
Left: Charizard on the Front Cover of Fire Red, right: The official Charizard artwork for Fire Red.
- LeafGreen and FireRed versions are the last core series games that don't have any time based features (day and night, berries respawning after a certain time etc). This is because neither the console or the cartridges have internal clocks. They are the only titles post gen II which don't have time based features.
- These are the very last core series Pokemon titles to not feature Legendary Pokemon as their mascots.
- The passwords used to enter Team Rocket's Warehouse on Five Island are "Yes nah Chansey" and "Goldeen need log" and they read exactly the same backwards as they do forwards!
Ruby & Sapphire in the same time period. It was largely assumed that this was because FireRed and LeafGreen were remakes, where Ruby and Sapphire were original titles.
In the United States however FireRed and LeafGreen had been pre-ordered over 150,000 times, which was twice as many as Ruby & Sapphire got. The then Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate comms at Nintendo, George Harrison commented "This pre-sell indicates more than twice the player interest!". Within the first month of release FireRed and LeafGreen had sold over a million units in that region alone. By the end of March 2008 a total recorded 11.82 million units of LeafGreen and FireRed had been sold. Nintendo would later remarket the remakes as part of their players choice selection in the U.S, this time without a Wireless Adapter and at a much lower retail price.
- Craig Harris from IGN scored them 9 out of 10 which equates to "Outstanding" on the IGN scale and commented "FireRed/LeafGreen, even with its "remake" status, stands on its own as an original product that fits the Pokemon franchise extremely well."
- Greg Kasavin reviewed the remakes on behalf of GameSpot, scoring them a strong 8.4 out of 10 and stating "though Pokémon could probably use a few new twists after all these years, FireRed and LeafGreen are great role-playing games on their own merits, filled with lots more content and more challenges than last year's Ruby and Sapphire, and offering up plenty of addictive gameplay that can be a lot of fun for players of all ages."
Nintendo Power rated the games 4.5 stars out of 5.
- Fire Red & Leaf Green hold aggregate scores of 82.14% at GameRankings and 81/100 at Metacritic.
Official Artwork Gallery from Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen - A gallery featuring many of the Pokemon and chraracters
Official Artwork Gallery from Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen - A gallery featuring characters, items and supporting artwork
Box Art from Pokemon FireRed including numerous regional variations + editions
Box Art from Pokemon LeafGreen including numerous regional variations + editions
Screenshots from Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen versions
How to make lots of Pokedollars in FireRed & LeafGreen + Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald
Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen: Gym Leaders & Strategies to beat them