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Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese)

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Bulbapedia logo.png This article is a short summary of Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese).
Bulbapedia features a more in-depth article.
This article is about the Japanese special edition version of the Generation I games. For information about the worldwide version of the game, see Pokémon Red and Blue.
Pokémon Blue Version
ポケットモンスター 青
Pocket Monsters: Blue
Pokémon Blue boxart JA.jpg
Cover artwork of Pokémon Blue Version
Developer(s): Game Freak
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy
Category: RPG
Players: 1-2
Predecessor: Pokémon Red and Green
Successor: Pokémon Yellow
Release dates
Japan: December 1996[1](earliest possible mail arrival and beginning of dispatch date. October 15, 1996 CoroCoro Comic issue promotion)
October 10, 1999 (retail)
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Pokémon Blue Version is a special edition Pokémon game only released in Japan for the Game Boy. It was originally only intended to be available for CoroCoro Comic readers in 1996 through mail-order, and was later released at retail in 1999.

While it keeps the same structure as its predecessors, Pokémon Red and Green, Pokémon Blue features several updates to the game's graphics, includes new Pokémon sprites, different distributions of the Pokémon, new Pokédex entries, updated coding (including a few glitch fixes) and other changes. This game was the one used as the basis for the international release of the first Pokémon games, known as Pokémon Red and Blue Versions.


Like all main series Pokémon games, this game features a young boy (named by the player with a number of default names, otherwise is officially known as Red) on his journey to defeat the eight Gym Leaders and the Elite Four in order to become a Pokémon League Champion. The player starts in Pallet Town where they will meet Professor Oak, and choose from one of three starter Pokémon. Pokémon in this context refers to mysterious creatures, also referred to as monsters. Professor Oak's grandson Blue (who is also given an optional name by the player at the beginning of the game) is also on a quest to fill the Pokédex and become a Pokémon League Champion, but is a lot more arrogant than Red.

The player receives a device from Professor Oak known as a Pokédex (an encyclopedia of monsters), and is asked to capture Pokémon and fill it up, with classes of items that the player can receive or purchase (normally from a Poké Mart but also the Celadon Department Store) known as Poké Balls. The player is also tasked with obtaining Pokémon Badges earned by defeating each of the eight Gym Leaders.

Meanwhile, a villainous team known as Team Rocket are causing crimes such as theft; and must be confronted solely by the player character by defeating them in Pokémon battles. Team Rocket use the basement floors of the Celadon Game Corner as a base, naming it the Rocket Game Corner, but after Red confronts them they move on to attempting to invade the Pokémon Tower and the Silph Company (Silph Co.).

At some point, the player will also encounter the character Bill (a supporting character) and rescue him after an accident during a transformation experiment. Bill is the character who operates the Pokémon Storage System, allowing the player to possess more than 6 Pokémon, although they can only have 6 Pokémon on hand in their party at a time. The Pokémon Storage System can be used before meeting Bill, but "Bill's PC" will be referred to as "Someone's PC".

The player will travel through the Kanto region, stopping in towns along the way named after colors. Later Pokémon will be available for capture later on the journey.


The Pokémon games are different from most RPGs by the fact that the player must catch their "party" to battle other Pokémon (a genre sometimes referred to in terms such as monster taming, monster battling or monster collecting, pet-raising; which was relatively original at the time although earlier franchises such as Shin Megami Tensei and Robotrek have similar themes). Pokémon Red, Green, Blue are sometimes referred to by fans as Generation I, because they feature the first generation of 151 Pokémon; and more have been introduced in later "core" games, beginning with Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions, introducing 100 more monsters.

The player may run into other Pokémon Trainers who will demand to battle with Pokémon. Winning battles against other Trainers will give the player money. Pokémon are obtained at a certain Level, and winning battles will gain it experience, until they have enough experience to gain a Level increasing its stats (attributes which control how potent it is in an element in battle, including Attack, Defense, Speed and Special.

These attributes are to a degree self-explanatory although the Special stat influences both the power of certain 'non-physical' moves and the defense against them; while Attack and Defense only apply to 'physical' moves). Pokémon species also possess types, as do their moves (attacks). Certain types are strong or weak against other types, for example, using Water Gun (a Water-type move) is usually stronger against Charmander (a Fire-type Pokémon). Pokémon can possess two types (which may cancel a weakness out, or make it worse) but moves will only have one type. Some moves deal damage (such as Scratch), an 'attacking' move (of which some are more powerful than others; like Body Slam being stronger than Scratch) while some are technical (such as Agility, temporarily raising the Speed stat; or moves like Toxic which inflict side-effects known as status conditions). Some Pokémon types will resist moves entirely (such as Normal-type moves being used against Ghost-types, which has no effect).

Although it is normally required to gain experience by fighting Pokémon to advance to the next level, depositing the Pokémon in the Pokémon Day Care is another option, as is using a Rare Candy item (of which there are normally limited amounts in the game) to gain a level immediately. The maximum level a Pokémon can be is Level 100.

If a Pokémon is injured or faints, it can be healed in the various Pokémon Centers most often across towns, with items, or by a few non-player characters who heal the player's Pokémon.

Pokémon Red, Green, Blue take place in Kanto where each town is named after a color. In some towns, there are Pokémon Gyms where players must defeat the Gym Leaders. Defeating a Gym Leader will earn the player a Badge. There are eight Badges in all. Other important battles (similar to the 'boss' battle concept), include battles against Blue, the leader of Team Rocket Giovanni, rthe two Snorlax blocking routes connecting towns, and the Legendary Pokémon.

Earning all eight Badges will give permission for the player to travel to the Victory Road cave, reach the Pokémon League (located at the Indigo Plateau) Elite Four. Eventually the player may discover and has the options of catching the Legendary Bird Pokémon Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres, with one of them (Moltres) in the Victory Road itself.

Defeating the Elite Four and the Champion will earn the player the status of becoming a Pokémon Master, after which they will enter the Hall of Fame and the staff credits will roll, winning the game. The player can then view a gallery of the Pokémon they inducted into the Hall of Fame using a PC in the Pokémon Center if they choose to do so.

However, as optional post-game content, the player is granted access to the Unknown Dungeon where they can capture the Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo.

The player is encouraged to "Catch-em-all" (a catch-phrase) for obtaining all Pokémon in the game to complete the Pokédex, of which there are 151 (however, one of these Pokémon Mew is a hidden Pokémon only available from distribution events; and only possessing 150 Pokémon counts as a full Pokédex). Professor Oak will congratulate the player for completing the Hall of Fame, but otherwise there is no real reward and completing the Pokédex is optional.

The player can also trade Pokémon with their friends using the Game Link Cable. Each version has version exclusive Pokémon that is only in that version, and must be traded to get in the other game.

There are four different types of Poké Balls in this game, including the regular Poké Ball, Great Ball, Ultra Ball and the secret Master Ball received as a gift by the president of the Silph Co. for foiling Team Rocket's take over plans.

In order, these both have a greater chance of success of catching a Pokémon, but only the Master Ball is guaranteed to catch it; otherwise the relevant Poké Ball is lost and another must be obtained or purchased again.

Other classes of items include hit point restoring items such as Potions, status restoring items (such as the Burn Heal) which heal status conditions, Revives which give Pokémon the will to battle again after fainting by restoring their hit points (HP), or key items important to the quest (such as the Bicycle and Gold Teeth) which may be able to be used to the player, or given to a character who needs them, much like a traditional RPG.


Unintentionally, the Generation I Pokémon games are notable for their glitches/software bugs. The glitches in the games may vary based on the language, version, and revisions; but some (in)famous examples include the Select glitch (Japanese versions only), the Trainer-escape glitch or the old man glitch (also known as the "MissingNo." glitch) for non-Japanese versions (although in certain non-English European versions it may function differently (French, German) or a work-around to get the glitch to work using another glitch (Spanish, Italian)), where the player can encounter unofficial 'glitch Pokémon' (usually MissingNo. and 'M (00)) and use it to duplicate valuable items, such as Master Balls (Poké Balls to obtain Pokémon with a 100% catch rate) or Rare Candies (items which raise the Pokémon's level by 1). These three glitches and various more are powerful, in particular in the West; the convenience of duplicating rare items lead to players exploiting the old man glitch, but this could also come with side effects such as the corruption of the player's Hall of Fame data, and some players also feared save file corruption, although in actuality this issue is rare (and is more likely in the Japanese versions).

Pokémon Yellow notably patched some glitches including the old man glitch, but the Trainer-escape glitch remained in the game, as well as the Pikachu off-screen glitch, and exploits for arbitrary code execution (although discovered much later).

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Other releases

Title Cover art Platform Release date(s) Notes
Pokémon Blue Virtual Console (Nintendo 3DS) 2016 Emulated port for Nintendo 3DS. Communication between this game and Japanese language Red, Green, Pikachu (trading/battling) and Gold, Silver, Crystal (trading via the Time Capsule feature) versions is possible with wireless communications. Pokémon can now be uploaded to Poké Transporter. Pocket Monsters Stadium support is no longer possible. Unlike the cartridge version which would permit linking with non-Japanese versions, but handle the parties completely wrong, the Nintendo 3DS versions of Japanese Blue do not allow a link to take place between non-Japanese versions at all.

Famimaga 64 gift Blue

The Famimaga 64 gift versions are unique releases of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue with custom stickers by Satoshi Tajiri. Only one of each version is known to exist. They were originally copies Satoshi Tajiri purchased from a second-hand store before replacing the stickers; and are most likely just ordinary releases (except for the custom sticker). The Red was given to one lucky reader, while the Blue was not for the general public and was given to Famimaga's Nae Yuuki (possibly along with a golden Game Boy Pocket).

During an interview with Satoshi Tajiri with Nae Yuuki as an interviewer for the November 1997 issue of Famimaga 64 (Japanese: ファミマガ64) magazine, Tajiri showed the two copies and golden Game Boy Pocket. The Red-Version sticker featured Slowbro and the Blue-Version Ditto (Ken Sugimori artwork from Pocket Monsters Carddass Trading Cards). These were otherwise regular cartridges, with the Red-Version having 8 Badges and featuring the player's name as バカ (baka; idiot) and the Blue-Version having acquired 0 Badges. When asked why the Blue-Version had 0 Badges, Tajiri responded he traded all the Pokémon he wanted off the file (so it might be implied he wiped the save file and started over).

Tajiri offered to give the Game Boy Pocket and a version to Yuuki as a present. Famimaga 64 suggested giving away one of the versions to a reader, while Yuuki was reluctant at first wanting to keep both, but settled for keeping the Blue-Version. The Red-Version was given away to one random lucky reader who sent their details to 105 Tokyo, Minato Ward Higashi Shinbashi 1-1-16 TIM Famimaga 64 Editorial Department "Pokemon Big Wave." with a deadline of October 20th.

Additionally five lucky readers would receive Satoshi Tajiri's autograph.[2]

Famimaga 64 Red Blue.png

External links


  • In the Japanese version of Blue, there is an unused default name for the player as ゲーフリ (Gefuri, a truncation of Game Freak) and クリチャ (Creatures) for the rival. As these are loaded into memory just before the New Game (intro) sequence, it may have been used with the leftover unused debug menu in the code that allows the player to skip the intro and prevent battles by holding down the B-Button.[3]

References and notes

  1. Translation: Forgotten Story of Pokemon Blue's Release - Lava Cut Content: The article notes that while certain sources even including the official websites of Nintendo and The Pokémon Company note the release as October 15, this was actually the release of the CoroCoro Comic issue which offered the mail promotion and the issue states the games would only be sent out the beginning of December. Not all games would make it by December, with the issue noting some games could arrive later in January. The article also notes payments were expected to be made after receiving the game.
  2. Translation Satoshi Tajiri Cuts Loose (1997 Interview) – Lava Cut Content (translation of Famimaga 64 November 1997 page 9)]
  3. Default Names -

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