In the international versions of these games, you'll find a man blocking your progress early in Viridian City, apparently too tired from not having his morning coffee. In the Japanese version, though, he's simply passed-out and drunk.
In Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green Versions, you will be forced to battle your rival aboard the S.S. Anne in Vermilion City. During that battle, he will use a Level 16 Raticate. However, it's not possible for Raticate to ever be Level 16 -- Rattata evolves into it at Level 20!
Interestingly, a battle in the game is left in the raw code for Pokemon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow in which the player battles Professor Oak. This battle has Oak with very powerful Pokemon, even stronger than the Elite Four's and the Champion's, indicating he was likely to be battled after winning the game. This battle is accessible through the use of hacking and certain glitches, but is otherwise not available to the player.
The Pokemon Bulbasaur, introduced with these games, is a starter Pokemon: that is to say, you can get him at the start of your journey. He is the only Kanto-region starter (and the only starter to date, at least by Pokemon X/Y's release) who is initially a dual-typed Pokemon: he is Grass/Poison, while everyone else starts out as a pure Fire, Water, or Grass Pokemon. Even Eevee and Pikachu (typical starters in some of the side-series) are only single-typed.
The Pokemon Magikarp is infamous for being the most useless Pokemon in the game, generally only able to learn the move "Splash", a move which does absolutely nothing. Interestingly, though, "Splash" is actually a mistranslation of the Japanese word for "hop" that has persisted until the modern-day Pokemon games.
Pokemon designer Sugimori confirmed that Rhydon, Clefairy and Lapras were the first ever Pokemon ever designed and created for the game. They were designed first because the development team were focused on designing creatures to live alongside the human characters and by giving Pokemon helpful abilities such as carrying things around or sailing across the sea with people on their backs for the human characters.
The game was originally planned to have over 200 Pokemon however the Gameboy's memory limitation forced the development team to reduce the game to have 151 Pokemon
Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green Versions saw the introduction of the Pokemon type Dragon, as well as the fourteen other types seen in the game. Interestingly enough, Dragon is the least represented type in this game. Only three Pokemon are Dragon-type (all of whom are from the same evolutionary chain: Dratini, Dragonair, and Dragonite), and only one move is Dragon-type (Dragon Rage). Dragon moves won't even the STAB damage bonus (Same-Type Attack Bonus: a 50% boost to moves of the same type as the user) as a result of this, because Dragon Rage deals a fixed 40 damage per attack.
If you were to use the Itemfinder in the area around the entrance of the Safari Zone, it will detect an item but, no matter what you do, you'll be unable to reach it, confusing many players. The item does actually indeed exist (it's a Nugget), but in an area you cannot reach, indicating that this is a remnant from an older version of the map.
The truck located near the S.S. Anne triggered a rumor of Mew being under the truck, and being catchable if you could move it. The rumors were of course false, but persisted in the later remakes.
The Pokemon series has affected a number of scientific discoveries, the most famous of which being the protein Pikachurin, named after the series mascot in Pikachu. It was named such also because the protein enables lightning-fast reflexes and is essential for life!
Jynx appearance has been criticized by various critics and journalists for its appearance resembling black face actors and is considered racist to black people.
At slot #151 in the Pokedex lies the Pokemon Mew, which (excluding glitches and hacking) was only available by direct downloads from Game Freak, the first institution of such "Nintendo Events" and "special distributions". For whatever reason, Game Freak chose to add in the data for Mew after completing and debugging the game, a practice that is highly discouraged in computer programming since it can introduce arbitrary unspotted glitches.
The layout of the Kanto region in which these games take place is likely derived from the Kanto plains region of southeastern Japan.
The music theme that plays when riding the Bicycle is a remix of the theme for Cerulean City. This references the fact that you receive the Bicycle in Cerulean City.
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In Pokemon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow, the move Focus Energy was intended to quadruple the critical-hit rate: instead, it actually reduces it by 75%! Don't use it!
Funnily enough, the moves Softboiled, Rest, and Recover can fail in Pokemon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow! If you are going to recover 255 or 511 HP from either of these moves, the move will fail!
There is an oversight with Explosion in Pokemon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow. If you use Explosion on a Pokemon that has a Substitute out, the Substitute will likely fade away from damage and, if so, then the user of Explosion will remain unfainted. However, their sprite still disappears.
The back of the Pokemon Red and Blue boxes notes that 139 Pokemon can be obtained without trading in each game. However, certain Pokemon that you must choose between - such as the starters and the Mt. Moon fossils - and thus cannot get the other(s) of in a single playthrough without trading/glitching are not counted for. In reality, the number is 124.
Blastoise is the only of the standard Kanto starter Pokemon that has been used as a mascot only on one Pokemon game: Pokemon Blue. Charizard has been the mascot of both Pokemon Red and FireRed, and Venusaur has been the mascot of Pokemon Green and LeafGreen.
In the Japanese Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green, the main characters can have the default names of Satoshi and Shigeru (for the main and rival characters respectively), a reference to the Pokemon creator Satoshi Tajiri and his friend and Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto. This fact was not present in localizations, simply going for the version name in addition to the anime references "Ash" and "Gary".
Pokemon Blue shows a battle between Gengar and Jigglypuff in the introductory sequence, while Pokemon Red and Green Versions showed a battle between Gengar and Nidorino.
The Japanese releases of Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green, and the international Blue as well, are the only Generation I Pokemon games to not provide a waiting message when saving.
Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green Versions were given the copyright year for 1995 rather than 1996. The game was originally marketed to be released in 1995 (per a Nintendo of Japan flyer) but there were delays preventing this, which likely accounts for the year discrepancy. This error is seen on all later Pokemon games.
Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green Versions saw the longest localization time between the Japanese and international versions, taking about three years to localize.
Prelease artwork for Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green Versions seem to imply that the player would be able to player either as a male or female character. However, you can only play as a male character in these games. This fact was remedied in their GBA remakes, Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions.
Pre-release, the intended message that introduced battles was to be "The ___ wants to fight!" However, this led to problems with named trainers, such as the Gym Leaders, so the "The" was dropped off. Of course, this spawned the now somewhat-odd sentence structure "____ wants to fight!" The oddity can be seen, for example, in "Lass wants to fight!" A screenshot in the Pokemon Red/Blue manual still contains the old sentence structure - "The BROCK wants to fight!"
The Japanese version of this game (Pocket Monsters Ao) was actually not initially released to the public: the Japanese obtained Pokemon Red and Green Versions (known as Pocket Monsters Aka and Midori), while the rest of the world obtained Pokemon Red and Blue Versions. However, in October 1996, CoroCoro Comic released it to their subscribers, and it was not available to the Japanese public in general retail in October 1999.
Pokemon Blue Version's Japanese release was used as the basis for the international Red/Blue's graphics, engine, and translations.
There exists a trainer class known as "Chief" ("Silph Chief" in the Japanese versions) that, while encoded into the game, was scrapped during development. It indicates, most likely, that you were to battle the Silph Co. head at one point.
HMs 01-05 were initially programmed as TMs 51-55 and the data for the latter is still present in the game's data. The change was likely because there existed the possibility of single-use TMs being not enough in instances where the Pokemon who learned the corresponding field move was somehow deleted, released, or otherwise given away.
The development time for Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green Versions was from 1990 to 1996: a whopping six years, the longest of any Pokemon game to date.
The Pokemon Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee are references to real-world fighters. In the international versions, they reference Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, respectively. In the Japanese version, their names reference Edihara (a boxer) and Sawamura (a kickboxer), respectively.
The Pokemon Kadabra was introduced in Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green. Famous psychic and telekineticist Uri Geller actually sued Nintendo in 2000 for the sum for $100,000,000 because he claimed it was based on him with anti-Semitic designs involved. While the lawsuit ultimately was unsuccessful, this did have a critical effect on the Pokemon TGC by stopping reprints of the Kadabra card and also making it such that Abra can evolve right into Alakazam.
Originally, the Pokemon in the video games were supposed to be able to die rather than simple faint or get KO'ed (much in the vein of the infamous Nuzlocke self-challenge). During development, this was changed because the developers did not want children to associate losses with death.
While there did exist room for a second save file during development, Game Freak chose to limit the player to one file so that they could be able to nickname all of the Pokemon they can catch.
In most Pokemon games, the Pokemon are stored in the game by their Pokedex number written in hex code: that is, Bulbasaur (#001) is stored as $01, and Pikachu (#025) is stored as $19. Interestingly, that is not the case in the first Pokemon games (Red, Blue, Green) where they are stored at seemingly random orders: for example, Rhydon is at $01.
There are two particularly "special" Pokemon in the game: Mewtwo and Mew, listed at #150 and #151 in the Pokedex respectively. This is an interesting contradiction. See, according to the lore presented within the game, the Pokemon Mew was found in South America and experimented on by Kanto scientists so that Mew was to give live birth to Mewtwo, becoming the first Pokemon to ever do so. That implies that Mew was found before Mewtwo, showing that the in-game scientists illogically left #150 blank and filled in #151 with Mew. This is also interesting as it is the only account in the series plotline of a Pokemon ever giving live birth, since Pokemon traditionally reproduce via Eggs (as evidenced in Gold/Silver later).
According to Junichi Masuda - one of the developers of the Pokemon series, employed at Game Freak - the Pokemon Meowth was intended to be somewhat like Satoshi Tajiri's (another Game Freak employee) cat.
At one point, the development team considered to have the protagonist fight and brawl other characters in the game however this idea never was processed into the game because the development team thought it was pointless as the main idea of the game was that the Pokemon did the fighting.
The Japanese Blue Version, unlike its Japanese counterparts in Red/Green, doesn't notify the player that saving a file can overwrite the current one. This is carried onto the English-language versions of the game.
To date, Pokemon Red and Blue are the best-selling of non-bundled GameBoy games and also the best-selling the RPGs of all time. This is more than a bit of a surprise as these two games were released near the end of the GameBoy's lifespan in the U.S.
Initially, Pokemon - Pocket Monsters in Japan - was to be named Capsule Monsters. One early indication of this fact is how early concept art for the Pokeball have it in two separate unhinged pieces.
During development, according to Tsunekazu Ishihara revealed that the games were supposed to feature many more battles than they now do: this would come on the part of rebattling trainers every time you met their eyes, even if beaten before, and a much higher wild encounter rate.
The Japanese retail release of Pokemon Blue exhibits something else not present in the core series of Pokemon: the Japanese retail release (Oct. 10, 1999) occurred after the international releases (Sept. 30, 1998 - Oct. 8, 1999). This feat of the Japanese version of a core series Pokemon game has not been repeated since, the closest to date being the simultaneous releases of Pokemon X/Y (2013) and Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (2014).
In the Japanese versions of Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green, Professor Oak is referred to as Okido-sensei rather than the Okido-hakase that he was usually and has since been referred to as.
Several unused character default names are still left in the game's code, but not visible in the actual gameplay experience: Pokemon Red had a default name of Ninten, and Pokemon Blue/Green had a default in Sony.
The first trademark registered for Pokemon was not the games Pokemon Red/Blue/Green themselves, but rather the Pokemon Mew, registered in 5/9/1990 (granted 3/31/1994), whereas the games were registered on 9/11/1995 (granted 8/6/1999).
Originally, the Pokemon Koffing and Weezing were to be named NY and LA respectively, in reference to New York City and Los Angeles respectively, in turn referencing their highly-polluted nature.
In the Japanese games, the character for Bill was actually named quite differently. The change during localization is likely to reference famed IT billionaire Bill Gates.
There is an erroneous translation in these games that persists to the modern day. In the Japanese versions, the move Thunder is written as "kamanari": this can mean either "lightning" or "thunder". Given that the appearance of Thunder has always shown a lightning bolt, it is clear that Game Freak intended for the move to be translated as "Lightning".
During development, Butterfree was intended to evolve from a Venonat (not Metapod), and Metapod was intended to evolve into Venomoth (not Butterfree).
Professor Oak: Your very own Pokémon legend is about to unfold! A world of dreams and adventures with Pokémon awaits! Letís go!
Professor Oak: This is my grandson. Heís been your rival since you were a baby. ÖErm, what is his name again?
Rival: "Smell ya later!"
Youngster: Hi! I like shorts! They're comfy and easy to wear!
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Professor Oak: Hello there! Welcome to the world of Pokémon! My name is Oak! People call me the Pokémon Prof! This world is inhabited by creatures called Pokémon! For some people, Pokémon are pets. Others use them for fights. Myself... I study Pokémon as a profession.
Girl in Lavender Town: Do you believe in GHOSTs?
Connection to Other Media
In the room of the copycat girl in Saffron City, you'll find a SNES. If you examine it, you'll find a game with "Mario wearing a bucket on his head". This is a reference to the Japan-only Super Famicom title Mario & Wario.
The Pokemon Hitmonchan makes a reference to video game fighter Little Mac: Little Mac weighs 107 pounds, and Hitmonchan's (a boxing Pokemon) National Pokedex number is #107.
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