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Pokémon Red and Green Versions

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Bulbapedia logo.png This article is a short summary of Pokémon Red and Green Versions.
Bulbapedia features a more in-depth article.
Pokémon Red Version
ポケットモンスター 赤
Pokemon Red JP box.png
Boxart of Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon Green Version
ポケットモンスター 緑
Pokemon Green JP box.png
Boxart of Pokémon Green Version
Developer(s): Game Freak
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy
Category: RPG
Players: 1-2
Predecessor: None
Successor: Pokémon Blue
Copyrights: N/A
Release dates

February 27, 1996

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Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Green Version are the first games in the Pokémon series. They were released on Japan on February 27, 1996. It was improved upon in Pokémon Blue, and then re-released internationally with those improvements, as Pokémon Red and Blue.

See also: Staff of Pokémon Red and Green


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 it all. Can you develop the ultimate Pokémon strategy to defeat the eight GYM Leaders and become the greatest Pokémon Master of all time?


Like all main series Pokémon games, Red and Green features a young boy on his journey to defeat the eight gym leaders and the Elite Four in order to become a master. You start in Pallet Town where you will meet Professor Oak, and choose from one of three starter Pokémon. Later Pokémon will be available for capture later on the journey.


The Pokémon games are different from most RPGs by the fact that you must catch your "party" to battle other Pokémon. You may run into other trainers who will demand to fight. Winning fights against other trainers will give you money. In a couple of towns, there are gyms where you must defeat the gym leaders. Defeating a gym leader will earn you a badge. There are eight badges in all. Earning all eight will unlock the Elite Four. Defeating the Elite Four and the Champion will have you become the Champion and win the game.

You can also trade Pokémon with your friends using a link cable. Each version has version exclusive Pokémon that is only in that version, and must be traded to get in the other game.


Bulbapedia logo.png This article is a short summary of Pokémon Red and Green Versions.
Bulbapedia features a more in-depth article.
NintendoWiki logo.png  Main article: Capsule Monsters 

The games began as a significantly different concept known as Capsule Monsters inspired by Satoshi Tajiri's fascination of catching and collecting insects combined with Game Freak's interest in certain popular Japanese media at the time.

Though the concept of collecting, battling, and trading was around the start; Pokémon was more closely inspired by kaiju, tokusatsu such as Godzilla, Ultraman and as such a lot of the earlier created Pokémon like Rhydon were inspired by dinosaurs or monsters that would fit the theme. A specific inspiration was the Capsule Kaiju from Ultraman, where the capsules would become Poké Balls. Additionally Pokémon cries were closely inspired by monster cries in Ultraman. The concept of completing the Pokédex for Professor Oak was a late addition to the game, and the Pokémon were designed in an entirely different order to the final Bulbasaur, Ivysaur (etc.) often ignoring the order of evolutionary stages. During a Game Center CX episode, different numbers were assigned to Pokémon as well (and corresponding with the internal index order (as opposed to Pokédex order) in the final game), with the Pokémon Nidoking having a different name, "Maiko♂".

Furthermore many Capsule Monsters/Pokémon would never officially make it into the final game, with some being officially revealed by Game Freak/Nintendo through interviews (such as "Gorochu"; a cancelled evolution for Raichu), and official unreleased Pokémon shown in the "Satoshi Tajiri: A Man Who Created Pokémon" manga (including a deer-inspired Pokémon, "Crocky", "Barunda", "Cactus", "Jaggu", "Gyaōn" an unknown elephant). Linking their numbers to the internal index order (of which there are 190 entries rather than the final 151 Pokémon) revealed that pre-release Pokémon like these once occupied spaces that would be replaced with the MissingNo. ('Pokémon' that are both placeholders and glitch data), that can be found by data-mining the final games (or originally the exploitation of glitches like the "Select glitch" in Japan or the "old man glitch" overseas). Additionally, the cancelled Pokémon "Omega" would become the Pokémon Mew, with Mew replacing Omega's space, where Mew was added in secret by Shigeki Morimoto even though space in the game was limited and the debug functions were going to be removed.

Another concept is that it was considered early for Pokémon/Capsule Monsters to be friends who assist in daily life, such as Lapras (an early designed Pokémon) helping people cross water, in addition to pets such as Clefairy (a species of Pokémon also designed earlier in development). The player character too was intended to fight, and leftover whip sprites on the "Tamer" Trainer class may be relevant to this. Furthermore, originally there would be messages of Pokémon/character's responses in battle, such as 'ouch'. Neither of those latter two ideas made it into the final game, and instead the player character cannot fight without his Poké Balls.

A hotel-like setting featuring an unknown female character (who would be later shown in promotional media/art, inspired by in Pokémon manga, and would become the character "Green" in remakes Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!) was also shown in concept art, as well as a tower resembling the Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town. Early drafts/proof of concept battle related art was also shown of not necessarily monsters in-game (such as a 'monster' parodying developer Kōji Nishino known as "Kabīn", who would ultimately inspire the Pokémon Snorlax). As revealed by the cover art of New Game Design, lots of overworld sprites in-game were different. As well, while some Pokémon had concept art, they usually would have their pixel art designed first, which may be a reason why some removed features on Pokémon (like claws on Kakuna) were later removed for later versions such as Blue, after the final Red and Green release.

After the final release of the games, data-mining would also reveal data such as but not limited to, an unused "Bird"-type (in addition to the "Flying"-type), unused map tileset sprites, a truck east of the sea surrounding the S.S. Anne, debugging features that remained even after Game Freak's work on removing them (error codes, a test battle, and code to obtain a test team that varies based on the Red/Green/Blue/Yellow version, including Exeggutor who was used by Tsunekazu Ishihara a lot during debugging) and some exclusive to the original Japanese releases (sometimes including Japanese Yellow) like unused items possibly part of a list, consisting of unreleased badge names, metal names, possible rank names, and a reference to both an egg and chick.[1]

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Release data[edit]

Demo versions[edit]

Though no demo versions have been confirmed, the pre-release screenshot shown in the publication New Game Design with the unidentified border may have been from a trade show. The sprites on the cover of this book are from an actual much earlier prototype (non-known demo) of the game during the time the game was referred to as Capsule Monsters, and the full assets were allegedly leaked.

Retail versions[edit]

Title Boxart Console Release Date(s) Notes
Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon Green Version ("A" cartridge imprint)
Game Boy Unknown
  • Partially fixes an infamous (closed menu) "Select glitch" that would cause major memory corruption (allowing for swaps of 'Pokémon' beyond slot 6 or moves beyond slot 4), by disabling it if set up only within battle (move adjustments this way, and "partial switch glitch" are now impossible). However, the fix was inadequate, and the glitch can still be performed in v1.1 by carrying over a list option that was saved with Select outside of battle, into a battle or the party as brought up by the Pokémon Day Care man, Name Rater, or an in-game trade character. This fix was carried forward to Japanese Blue and Pikachu, as well as the localizations.
  • Removes a 'corrupted data' Link Cable check which was glitchy and incomplete, curiously only occurring if the player has a bold "A" at the beginning of their name (a character normally unavailable as the player can only select Japanese characters for player/Pokémon names). The game will not prevent a v1.0 release from bringing it up if v1.1 and v1.0 are linked, however. This fix was carried forward to Japanese Blue and Pikachu, as well as the localizations.
  • Version 1.1, for unknown reasons, introduces the "binding move wrong side fainting glitch" within Pokémon battles.
  • Other technical code changes (i.e. pointer changes, potentially unknown code optimizations) which cause unintentional changes in how glitch exploits (such as specific invalid items) behave.

Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon Green Version
Virtual Console (Nintendo 3DS) 2016 Emulated ports for Nintendo 3DS, with the v1.1 release as the base game (the partial Select glitch fix will apply and arguably other changes, but due to a technicality in the official emulator, if a glitch causes any of most invalid opcodes they will be ignored, and the Nintendo 3DS emulator is not perfect; so other glitches are introduced). Pocket Monsters Stadium support is no longer possible. Pokémon can now be uploaded to Poké Transporter. Trading and battling between these games as well as with Pikachu Version and Blue Version (as well as Japanese Gold/Silver via the Time Capsule feature) is possible with wireless communications, but only between Japanese versions (the original cartridge versions allowed communication with other languages but completely wrong data would be sent; often game freezes, and this could be exploited in specific ways, such as obtaining a Pokémon from remaining HP).

External links[edit]


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Pokémon Red and Green Versions were highly successful, and Game Freak never expected the games to become so popular. This lead to additional games in the Pokémon series and the localisations such as Pokémon Red and Blue Versions.

A bootleg version of the Japanese game was once released in poor quality English. Fans from the Skeetendo community would eventually release a fan translation of Pokémon Red and Green closer to the original Green, which was published by on Setember 15, 2017.


  1. Helix Chamber, Glitterberri, The Cutting Room Floor, Iwata Asks, Bulbapedia, Glitch City (Laboratories) and Wiki

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