Pokemon Red and Blue Versions (Game boy)
Pokemon Red and Blue Versions (Game boy)




Pokemon Red
Pokemon Red BoxPokemon Blue
Pokemon Blue Version
General information
 Platform  Game Boy
 Developed by  Game Freak
 Published by  Nintendo
 Generation  Generation I
 New Pokemon  151
 New Moves  165
 Predecessor(s)  Pokemon Red/Green (JP)
 Successor(s)  Pokemon Yellow
 Release dates
  Australia  October 23rd, 1998
  Europe  June 10th, 1999
  Japan  October 10th, 1999
  United States  December 28th, 1998
Quick menu: Story / Pokemon / Region / Team Rocket / Gym Leaders / Elite Four / Connectivity / Videos / Trivia / Sales Figures / Review Scores / Media & Artwork / Other Articles

Pokemon Red Title screenPokemon Red & Blue are where the series began, in terms of international releases at least, they were initially released in Japan and were called Pocket Monsters: Red and Pocket Monsters: Blue. Pokémon Red and Blue as we know them in the west are enhanced remakes of the original Japanese releases; Pokémon Red and Green. Nintendo drew upon criticism recieved in Japan over Red & Green and made changes prior to releasing them internationally, one of the points of criticism against the original releases was the sprites, so low and behold the international releases got entirely new ones.

It was the unique and innovative appeal of these titles that the Pokémon videogame franchise as we know it now owes the foundation of it's success. It should also be noted that whilst Red & Blue were the first games introduced to the western world that it was actually Red & Green which were released first in Japan; Green was never released in the west however it's remake Pokémon LeafGreen did make it to western gamers many years later.

The game's loosely tie in with the first seasons of the Pokémon animated series. The main differences between the titles were that Pokémon Blue as the newer of the two naturally offered some sound and visual improvements aswell as fixes to common bugs which were present in Red & Green.

Although these titles were released at the tail end of the original Game Boy's life they quickly became popular and earned the accolade of being the best selling non-bundled titles on the Game Boy.

The main aims of the game are to catch all the Pokémon you can to complete your PokeDex in order to help Professor Oak with his research, take on gym leaders to earn badges to enable you to compete in the Pokémon league and for you and your Pokémon to form am unbreakbale bond and become the ultimate team, the very best. This set the precedent for all of the core RPG series of Pokémon games that would follow.

Plot / Story

It's finally here... the day you can finally become a Pokémon Trainer, you've just turned 10 years old and it's time to go and get your first Pokémon. You start out at home; Pallet Town in the Kanto region and

Pokemon Trainer

head over to see Professor Oak to get your first Pokémon. The good professor explains to you about Pokémon and all the adventures that lie ahead of you and then let's you choose between Squirtle (Water type), Charmander (Fire type) and Bulbasaur (Grass type) to accompany you on your journey.

But it's not all fun and games as unfortunately someone you used to be friends with but is now a terrible rival is also their to collect their first Pokémon and they are so hell bent at beating you in a Pokémon battle that they choose their first Pokémon specifically based on what yours is weak against!

As you set off on the excitement of your adventure with your new friend you are wary that your rival is never going to be far behind. But catching them all, beating 8 gym leaders and multiple battles with your rival isn't all you have to worry about.... the sinister Team Rocket is at large in your region... a criminal organisation who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals - not even the exploitation of defenceless Pokemon. Later on in the game you make a shocking discovery about the Team Rocket leader! No, not that he's Ash Ketchum's father... but he is the eighth and final gym leader in the game.

Anime Season's which loosely tie in with Red & Blue (in terms of locations, NPCs such as gym leaders and Pokémon)
Pokemon Indigo Season 1 Logo Pokemon Adventures in the Orange Islands Season 2 Logo

Official description

You've finally been granted your Pokémon Trainer's license. Now, it's time to head out to become the world's greatest Pokémon Trainer. It's going to take all you've got to collect 150 Pokémon in this enormous world. Catch and train monsters like the shockingly-cute Pikachu. Face off against Blastoise's torrential water cannons. Stand strong when facing Pidgeot's stormy Gust. Trade with friends and watch your Pokémon evolve. Important—no single Pokémon can win at all. Can you develop the ultimate Pokémon strategy to defeat the eight Gym Leaders and become the greatest Pokémon Master of all time?

Can I catch them all?

The maximum Pokedex you can complete in Pokémon Red or Blue without trading is 140/151. Each version has 11 of their own exclusive Pokémon.

 Pokemon Red exclusives
023 Ekans024 Arbok043 Oddish044 Gloom045 Vileplume056 Mankey057 Primeape058 Growlithe059 Arcanine123 Scyther125 Electabuzz
 023 Ekans (Poison Type) and it's evolved form 024 Arbok, 043 Oddish (Grass/Poison Type) and it's evolution chain: 044 Gloom & 045 Vileplume, the fighting type 056 Mankey and it's evolved form 057 Primeape, 058 Growlithe (Fire Type) and it's evolved form 059 Arcanine, 123 Scyther (Flying/Bug type) and Electabuzz (Electric Type).

 Pokemon Blue exclusives
027 Sandshrew028 Sandslash037 Vulpix038 Ninetales052 Meowth053 Persian069 Bellsprout070 Weepinbell071 Victreebell126 Magmar127 Pinsir
 027 Sandshrew (Ground type) and it's evolved form 028 Sandslash, 037 Vulpix (Fire type) and it's evolution 038 Ninetales, 052 Meowth (Normal type) and 053 Persian, 069 Bellsprout (Grass/Poison type) and it's evolution chain 070 Weepinbell & 071 Victreebell as well as 126 Magmar and Pinsir. 

Additionally you can also trade from any other compatible Gen I or II title which has those Pokémon available to help complete your PokeDex. Mew was obtainable via a couple of exclusive Nintendo events when these games were current but if you didn't get him then that leaves glitches and cheating as the only remaining options. There's a rather vicious rumour he's hiding under a truck!

Region / Setting

Both Pokémon Red & Pokémon Blue are set in the Kanto region which in terms of it's place in the Pokémon World is positioned to the South of the Sinnoh region and has the Johto region to it's west. Every town/place in the Kanto region is named after a colour with the exception of Pallet Town. But Pallet also relates to colour in the sense that colours come in pallettes. Check out maps of the major locations and routes in Kanto:

Celadon City Map Celadon City Map
Cerulean City Map Cerulean City Map
Fuschia City Map Fuschia City Map
Lavender Town Map Lavender Town Map
Pallet Town Map Pallet Town Map
Pewter City Map Pewter City Map
Power Plant Map Power Plant Map
Route 2 Map Route 2 Map
Route 3 Map Route 3 Map
Route 4 Map Route 4 Map
Route 9 Map Route 9 Map
Route 10 Map Route 10 Map
Route 12 Map Route 12 Map
Route 13 Map Route 13 Map
Route 14 and 15 Map Route 14 and 15 Map
Route 16 Map Route 16 Map
Route 17 Map Route 17 Map
Route 19 Map Route 19 Map
Route 21 Map Route 21 Map
Route 23 Map Route 23 Map
Route 23 Map Route 23 Map
Safari Zone Map(s) Safari Zone Map(s)
Saffron City Artwork Saffron City Artwork
Saffron City Map Saffron City Map
Town Map Town Map
Vermilion City Map Vermilion City Map
Viridian City Map Viridian City Map
Viridian Forest Map Viridian Forest Map
The maps are part of the official artwork by Ken Sugimori.

Team RocketTeam Rocket Anime Jessie James

Much like in the real world every region of the Pokemon World has it's problems and in the Kanto region that problem is Team Rocket. Stealing Pokémon from trainers and raffling them off as prizes in their Rocket Game Corner in Celadon City. But what of the noble leader of Celadon gym, is Erika taking a bribe? who knows! But she doesn't intervene so it's up to us to sort it on our journey!

But Team Rocket doesn't stop there they're also dessecrating the ruins of Mt. Moon in their frantic search for the fossils of ancient Pokémon with the sole motive of selling them off at a profit. They have even been known to break into the homes of those with items of interest to them such as TM's and HM's.

It's even reported that Team Rocket have been involved in taking hostages and stealing Cubone skulls in Lavender Town, even killing a Marowak in the process. It goes without saying that the responsibility for routing these guys from their strongholds, saving people and Pokemon from their sinister deeds falls to us, the trainers. Don't underestimate them, these guys are truly bad, not like the endearing version of bad presented by Jessie, James and Meowth in the Anime.

Gym Leaders

Pokemon Red and Blue introduce the first eight Pokemon Gyms of the series. Each gym led by a tougher than average trainer who specialises in a specific type of Pokemon.
Brock Brock
Brock is the leader of the Pewter City Gym and specialises in Rock type Pokemon. His team includes a Geodude Lv.12 and Onix Lv. 14. If you can overcome Brock's rock hard will, you will earn yourself a Boulder Badge.

"My rock-hard willpower is evident in even my Pokémon.
My Pokémon are all rock hard and have true-grit determination. That's right - my Pokémon are all the Rock type!" - Brock
Misty Misty
Misty "The Tomboyish Mermaid" leads the Cerulean Gym and is well known to be an enthusiastic Water Pokemon trainer. You'll have to defeat her Staryu Lv.18 and Starmie Lv. 21 to win her Cascade Badge.

"My policy is an all-out offensive with Water-type Pokémon!" - Misty

Lt. Surge
Lieutenant Surge
The Vermilion City Gym is led by Lt. Surge: a veteran of the military, generally imposing figure and strong trainer of electric types. His team includes a Voltorb Lv.21, Pikachu Lv.18 and Raichu Lv.24. Defeat him to obtain the Thunder Badge.

"I tell you, kid, electric Pokémon saved me during the war!"
- Lt. Surge
Erika Erika
The fourth gym leader you will face is Erika of the Celadon Gym in Celdaon City. She's a kind hearted and calm young trainer who specialises in grass type Pokemon. Her team consists of a Victreebel Lv.29, Tangela Lv. 24 and Vileplume Lv. 29

"I am a student of the art of flower arranging. My Pokémon are solely of the Grass type." - Erika
Koga Koga
Koga was the original leader of the Fuschia City Gym. This formidable adversary is an astute student of ninjitsu and a strong trainer of Poison type Pokemon. His team consists of 2x Koffing Lv.37, 1x Lv.39 Muk and a Weezing Lv.43. Once beaten Koga will grant you the Soul Badge. As you leave Koga's gym you have the feeling you haven't seen the last of him.

"Despair to the creeping horror of Poison-type Pokémon!" - Koga
Sabrina Sabrina
Sabrina is the leader of the Saffron Gym in Saffron City. Having had powerful psychic abilities from a young age Sabrina is naturally a powerful master of Psychic type Pokemon. She can even communicate with her team via telekensis. Her Pokemon consist of: A Kadabra Lv. 38, Mr. Mime Lv. 37, Venomoth Lv.38 and an Alakazam Lv.43. Given the potency of psychic type Pokemon in the early games she is one of the tougher gym leaders. Once beaten she will award you the Marsh Badge.

"I have had psychic powers since I was a child. It started when a spoon I carelessly tossed, bent." - Sabrina
Blaine Blaine
The penultimate gym leader you will face in Red & Blue is Blaine the leader of the Cinnabar Gym on Cinnabar Island. Blaine is well known for being a very intelligent and knowledgeable trainer as well as for his mastery of fire types. His team consists of Growlithe Lv. 42, Ponyta Lv. 40, Rapidash Lv. 42 and Arcanine Lv.47. Defeat him to win a Volcano Badge.

"My fiery Pokémon are all rough and ready with intense heat! They incinerate all challengers!" - Blaine
Giovanni Giovanni
As you arrive at the Viridian Gym for your final challenge you find that you have to face none other than the boss of Team Rocket, Giovanni. A sinister figure specialising in powerful ground type Pokemon. He has a team of 5 Pokemon including Rhyhorn Lv. 45, Dugtrio Lv. 42, Nidoqueen Lv. 44, Nidoking Lv. 45 and Rhydon Lv.50. Leave your electric types at the door! Defeating Giovanni will earn you an Earth Badge.

"Welcome to my hideout! It shall be so until I can restore Team Rocket to its former glory." - Giovanni

The Elite Four & The Champion

After defeating the eight gym leaders and collecting all of their badges you earn the right to take on the Elite Four. The Elite Four of the Kanto region lie in wait for challengers at the Indigo Plateau. They are more powerful than any of the gym leaders you faced on your adventure so far... presumably the elite four were once gym leaders themselves although that's just my own speculation. Here's who you will face, in order:-
A master of Ice type Pokemon. Her Pokemon include: Dewgong Lv.54, Cloyster Lv. 53, Slowbro Lv.54, Jynx Lv.56 and Lapras Lv.56. Interestingly Slowbro isn't Ice Type and her Slowbro doesn't have any Ice Type moves.

"No one can best me when it comes to icy Pokémon." - Lorlei
A master of Fighting type Pokemon. Bruno values strength above all else which sort of explains the composition of his team which includes an Onix Lv.53, Hitmonchan Lv.55, Hitmonlee Lv.55, Onix Lv.56 and Machamp Lv. 58.  It is said that Bruno joined the elite four out of his desire to battle the strongest trainers.

"I've lived and trained with my fighting Pokémon." - Bruno
A master of Ghost type Pokemon. Her team consists of a Gengar Lv. 56, Golbat Lv. 56, Haunter Lv. 55, Arbok Lv.58 amd Gengar Lv.60. It is rumoured that Agatha was once a major rival of Professor Oak when they were both starting out as trainers.. and she certainly has few kind words to say about him even to this day.

"Agatha's Ghost-type Pokémon are horrifically terrifying in toughness." - Agatha
The final member and leader of the Elite Four in Kanto and master of Dragon type Pokemon. His team consists of Gyrados Lv.58, Dragonair Lv.56, Dragonair Lv.56, Aerodactyl Lv.60 and Dragonite Lv. 62. As well as being one of the toughest trainers in the world of Pokemon, Lance is also famed for his unmatched collection of capes.

"You know that dragons are mythical Pokémon. They're hard to catch and raise, but their powers are superior. They're virtually indestructible. There's no being clever with them." - Lance

Having pushed your Pokemon to the limit as you battled your way through the Elite Four one final challenge lies ahead.... a showdown with the Pokemon Champion of Kanto themselves. But who could it be? It's none other than your Rival from Pallet Town! as you already know at this point this match won't be like a gym leader or member of the elite four... as your rival has no specialisation and has a balanced team of strong Pokemon.


As you'd expect from games released so long ago (they are 21 years old as I write this) the connectivity options were limited; the sole way to connect to another player was via the Game Boy Link cable. No WiFi, Infrared or other first world luxuries here!

Videos & Media

Check out these videos relating to Pokemon Red and Blue versions. The videos include TV commercials, trailers and an info video about how the idea behind Pokemon was conceived.
TV Commercials for Pokemon Red and Blue.

The Story of the Conception of Pokemon and Satoshi Tajiri

The Trailer for Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow versions when they re-released on the 3DS eShop.

Some unused music found in the games files, the first track is damaged and doesn't sound the best. The second track is a fan restored version of what we believe it SHOULD have sounded like.

Trivia & FactsMunna

- It was revealed on Ken Sugimori's twitter account that Brock was originally intended to be the second gym leader with a Youngster as the first.
- If you speak to picnicker Coral on route 10 she says "The Pokemon here are so chunky! There should be a pink one with a floral pattern." - This is a pretty close description to Munna who wasn't discovered until over a decade later in Black & White's Unova region. Had they had it planned all that time?
- Lance has a dragonite which can use Barrier.... but Dragonite can't learn barrier via any known conventional means.
- There are only 37 Pokemon cry sound files in the games, despite their being 151 Pokemon. These 37 sounds are sped up, slowed down and have the pitch altered to make each Pokemon's sound unique.
- In the beta version of these titles Cubone was known as Orphon. A play on the word Orphan and the fact that this species of Pokemon are abandoned at birth.
- The international versions of Red and Blue are based on the Japanese version of Blue which featured improved graphics, sounds and some common bug fixes over the original Japanese releases.Professor Oak
- When Game Freak approached Nintendo saying they wanted to develop the games Nintendo rejected the idea several times. It was only later on when Shigeru Miyamoto eventually took interest in the project that it went ahead.
- The names of the characters in the original coding for Pokemon Red and Blue were Ninten and Sony. Presumably testament to the Nintendo vs. Sony rivalry in the videogame industry.
- Charizard was unable to fly in Pokemon Red & Blue.
- There was supposed to be a female trainer as well as the male trainers Red and Blue but due to technical / hardware restrictions she did not make it to the final release. Despite this she does appear on both the official artwork and the games strategy guides.
- There is a NES in copycats bedroom and if you interact with it it says it's a game where Mario has a bucket on his head which can only be a direct reference to Mario & Wario (Japan only).
- A battle with Professor Oak is programmed into these games but wasn't included in the final release version. You can still battle professor Oak by using Gameshark. Professor oaks team will include the starter Pokemon neither you or your rival chose, in it's final evolved form at level 69 as well as an Arcanine lvl68, Exeggutor lvl67, Tauros lvl66 and a lvl70 Gyrados.

Sales Figures

Pokemon Red, Blue and Green versions sold a combined total of 31.38 million copies on the Game Boy. Unfortunately there is no breakdown as to how many units of each colour were sold. Green was never released out of Japan so a good majority of those sales were from Red and Blue but it would still be nice to know which was the most popular. If anyone does know please get in
Blastoise Artwork from Pokemon Blue
Blastoise Artwork from Pokemon Blue

Review Scores

As I said at the start of this article Pokemon Red and Blue versions were universally well recieved lets take a look at how it did on major review sites:-

  • GameSpot reviews by Cameron Davis. Both Red and Blue versions were individually reviewed and scored 8.8/10 which equates to 'Great' on the GS scale.
  • Craig Harris from IGN was clearly impressed scoring the games 10 out of 10 "Masterful" on their scale and calling them "the most popular videogames ever to hit Nintendo's little black-and-white portable".
  • Interestingly Nintendo Power Magazine only scored the games 7.2 out of 10. Unfortunately that review is no longer around to link to.
  • The aggregated score from GameRankings weighing in at 88% - a fine effort by anyones standards.
  • Charizard Artwork from Pokemon Red
    Charizard Artwork from Pokemon Red

Overall Pokemon Red and Blue versions got the third and fourth best Game Boy game scores ever overall, and second best core series ratings of all the main series titles on GameRankings.

Media & Artwork

Official Artwork Gallery from Pokemon Red & Blue - A large gallery featuring many of the Pokemon from the game
Official Artwork Gallery from Pokemon Red & Blue - Characters, places and supporting art
Box Art from Pokemon Red including numerous regional variations + editions
Box Art from Pokemon Blue including numerous regional variations + editions
Screenshots from Pokemon Red Version
Screenshots from Pokemon Blue Version

Other Pokemon Red & Blue Links

Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Best Moves & Movesets Guide P1
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Best Moves & Movesets Guide P6
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Best Moves & Movesets Guide P5
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Best Moves & Movesets Guide P4
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Best Moves & Movesets Guide P3
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Best Moves & Movesets Guide P2
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: TM & HM List
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Items List (M-Z)
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Items List (A-M)
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Attacks & Abilities (S-W)
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Attacks & Abilities (A-G)
Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow: Attacks & Abilities (G-R)



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