Pokemon Red and Blue are a “Culture Shock” to those who didn’t play them 20 years ago


…Specifically those who played the later games first. I believe I spelled it out in my previous blog post: Pokemon Red and Blue were the first two Pokemon games in the series. The original games aka Pokemon Prime were abhorrently unbalanced:


  • Lick (Ghost), Karate Chop (Fighting), Bite (Dark) and Gust (Flying) are Normal Type Moves. Probably hard to believe if you only played FireRed and LeafGreen!
  • There were way more moves exlusive to specific Pokemon–did you know Cubone and Marrowak were the only Pokemon that learned Bone Rush until Lucario came along? Khangaskan is still the only Pokemon that can learn Dizzy Punch, a move that may inflict Confusion. Ekans and Arbok were the only Pokemon from Kanto who learn Glare, which inflicts paralysis.
  • Wrap, Bind and Fire Spin were horribly broken compared to how they worked starting in Gold and Silver: When used, the target Pokemon couldn’t act but you could still switch Pokemon. Naturally, The moves were changed so that you could still act while taking damage but just couldn’t switch out.
  • Toxic and Leech Seed were horribly broken when used together: Not only was the damage the victim took doubled every turn, so was the HP drained. If your last Pokemon is hit with both moves in a link battle, you prettymuch lost.
  • Going with the above two points: This is also why Rapid Spin (Dispels Leech Seed, Spikes, Toxic Spikes and breaks trapping moves) was introduced in the 2nd Gen.
  • The Sleep status ia a bit more random: On the one hand, you still had to wait another turn after waking up to act. On the other, Arceus decreed it was possible for a Pokemon to wake up the same turn they’re put to sleep–annoying when trying to catch Snorlax, Mewtwo or one of the Legendary Birds.
  • ALL Pokemon were genderless except the Nirdoran Family so naturally, Attract didn’t exist. Genders were introduced in the 2nd Gen to allow breeding.
  • To use Cut, Surf and Strength, you needed to manually select the move from the Pokemon who knew it. This was changed in the third gen where you could simply interact with the boulder/plant/water to use the HM move.
  • Pokemon Abilities didn’t exist until the third gen. This meant Gastly, Haunter and Gengar didn’t have an immunity to Ground type moves due to the absence of Levitate but it also meant you could take your time catching legendaries in the first two gens.
  • Natures didn’t exist until the third gen, either. What this meant was you usually caught two Pokemon and compared them. The one whose stats you liked you kept, the other is released or traded away.
  • Full Restore and Full Heal don’t heal Confusion. They do starting in the second Gen.
  • Flame Wheel–introduced with Cyndaquil/Quilava/Typhlosion in the 2nd Gen–along with Ho-Oh’s Sacred Fire have the secondary ability of instantly thawing the user if they’re frozen.
  • Your inventory can only hold 20 items and your PC can only hold about 40 more items. This is TOTAL. This means you might not be able to have every single TM at the same time if you’re stockpiling them for the Old Man Glitch.


With that last point: Red and Blue were beloved simply for being so damned buggy: I confirmed last night a certain glitch someone recently discovered to catch Mew works and I now have one =O

Unlike the Old Man Glitch to get infinite items, the Catch Mew Glitch can only be done at a specific point in the game. Click the link and scroll down for specifics. Also, this glitch will only work in Red and Blue. A similar glitch exists in Yellow but it’s a bit more convoluted.

Speaking of Yellow, some of the imbalances from Red/Blue are addressed in Yellow:

  • Pikachu learns Thunderbolt at level 25. Back in the day, folks just taught Thunderbolt to Pikachu. Now that Pikachu learns it in Yellow, you can give the TM to a different Pokemon if preferred (*cough* Zapdos, Jolteon, Electrode or Magneton *cough*).
  • As everyone with a brain knows, Brock’s Pokemon have full immunity vs. Pikachu. In Red/Blue, this isn’t really an issue if you picked Bulbasaur or Squirtle. Those who picked Charmander had no choice but to level a Butterfree to 12, which is when it learns Confusion. In Yellow, the grind to beat Brock is made a little easier: You could catch Mankey on Route 22 (not present here in Red), who learns Low Kick at level 9 (Learns it much later in Red/Blue) or catch Nidoran M, who learns Double Kick at level 12. In addition, Butterfree learns Confusion once it evolves.
  • Getting Squirtle in Vermillion City after getting the Thunder Badge addresses the obvious lack of a usable Water Pokemon until you get the Good Rod and HM03 Surf in Fuchsia City. This of course assuming you don’t have someone to trade the Magikarp you get from the Mt. Moon Pokemon Center to and evolving it into Gyarados for you.
  • Since you can get both Oddish and Bellsprout in Yellow, you should be able to power level both of them in Diglett’s Cave and on the S.S. Anne alongside the Bulbasaur you get in Cerulean City.
  • Charizard can learn HM02 Fly starting in Yellow–handy for surprising Fighting Pokemon with coverage moves. Interestingly, Charizard also learns Wing Attack when it evolves starting in the second Gen.
  • Half of the Gym Leaders have different Pokemon primarly based on what they used in the Anime. Blaine’s Pokemon weren’t known at the time Yellow was being made (He used Ninetales, Rhydon and Magmar in the Anime). As we later found out, Ash fought Jessie and James for the Earth Badge, not Giovanni. They plus Brock and Misty use the same Pokemon as they use in Red and Blue. Lt. Surge uses a level 28 Raichu in Yellow, sporting the moves it used in the Anime. Erika uses Weepinbell, Tangela and Gloom, all of which she used in the Anime. Koga uses 3 Venonats and a Venomoth, two Pokemon he used against Ash. Sabrina uses Abra, Kadabra and Alakazam in Yellow though she only used Abra, which evolved into Kadabra in her Gym Battle (and the rematch after Ash recruits Haunter) with Ash.
  • J&J’s presence cuts the number of final battles you have with Team Rocket in Celadon city, Lavender Town and Saffron City to one compared to Red and Blue: In the Rocket Hideout, you have to fight two Rockets to get to Giovanni. In Lavender Town, you have to fight 3 Rockets to reach Mr. Fuji. In Silph Co., you have to fight two Rockets to get to Giovanni and the Silph Co. President.


…Folks just need to keep in mind Red, Blue and Yellow were the games where it all began ^_^

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

This entry was posted in Blog, Brendan Aurabolt, Nintendo 3DS, Pokemon, Retro Gaming, Serene Adventure, Video Games, Way Back When and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.