Pokémon Red and Blue are two of the most iconic RPG games of all time. They were the first in a long and successful series of Pokémon games, spanning multiple consoles and over twenty years. Memorable Pokémon like Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle stole everybody's hearts, and Pikachu became something of a cultural icon! The games inspired an anime, multiple manga series, scores and scores of merchandise, and multiple spin-offs. Even now, six Generations on and with over 800 Pokémon now available, the original 151 will always have a special place in a lot of Pokémon players' hearts.
To a lot of people, Pokémon Red and Blue are products of their time and pretty much perfect in their own way. Sure, they don't have the best graphics in the world, but they were cutting-edge at the time of their release! It's hard to imagine Game Freak wanting to change anything about these games... But of course, as is often the case with the game development process, Red and Blue went through a lot of different versions on their journey to our Game Boys. Some of the changes made to them were minor cosmetic tweaks; others were huge shifts that totally transformed the direction of the games.
While Red and Blue are great games as they are, it's interesting to take a look at all the features that were cut from their final versions. What would these games have looked like if these aspects had been included? I guess we'll never fully know! However, we can still take an in-depth look at these amazing things that were deleted from Pokémon Red and Blue!
25 Battling Professor Oak
After you've defeated the Elite Four in Pokémon Red and Blue, you're faced with the revelation that there's one more trainer for you to face. Your rival, Blue, has become Champion mere minutes before you—he's your final boss battle!
Originally, though, Blue wasn't going to be your final test.
Instead, Pokémon expert Professor Oak would have challenged you to a battle! Using various glitches and hacks, you can actually trigger this cut battle in Red and Blue—but it might just break your game.
24 Mew's Truck
If you played Pokémon Red and Blue back when they were first released back in the 1990s, you'll probably have heard the "Mew under the truck" theory. Data miners found that a truck was coded into the games in Vermillion City—it was just sat near the entrance to the docks. However, it was hidden from view in the final versions of Red and Blue for unknown reasons. A rumor sprung up that if you used cheats or hacks to reach this deleted truck, a wild Mew would be hiding underneath it! Unfortunately, this was totally false.
23 The Mysterious MissingNo
Most Pokéfans have heard of MissingNo, the mysterious "Glitch Pokémon" present in Red and Blue. MissingNo may just look like a random assortment of pixels, but it represents much more than that! It's the remnant of Pokémon that didn't make it into the final cut of the Kanto Pokédex. This makes them a "missing number" in the Dex—or a "MissingNo"! We don't know much about these axed Pokémon, aside from the fact that they were "Bird-types"... But more on that later!
22 The Hidden Nugget
Nuggets are pretty sought-after items in the Pokémon world. Sure, they don't actually do anything, but they sell for a lot of Poké Dollars! This was especially useful in Red and Blue—these games didn't have many high-value items for trainers to find, unlike later Pokémon titles.
Still, Game Freak didn't want to spoil Red and Blue players!
They actually cut one Nugget location from the game—or hid it, at least. The entrance room to the Safari Zone was originally going to contain a chunk of sweet, sweet gold.
21 Bird-Type Pokémon
Onto MissingNo's mysterious classification—Bird-type! Before you ask, no, we don't just mean Flying-type—the two terms refer to different groups of Pokémon! Bird-type creatures were slated to appear in both the Generation One and Generation Two Pokémon games but were scrapped from both. In fact, Game Freak didn't even bother to figure out this type's matchups before ditching it! To be fair, we can see why Bird-type was cut: it's just too similar to Flying to have a unique place in the games.
20 A Female Player Character
It took five years for the developers of Pokémon to include a female playable character in their games. Pokémon Crystal was the title that finally brought this change—although it may have been in the works for some time before it was implemented. In fact, some evidence suggests that Red and Blue were originally slated to have a female protagonist! Early promotional materials for these games contain images of a female trainer who looks a lot like Leaf, the female character in FireRed and LeafGreen. Why Leaf didn't eventually appear in Red and Blue is a mystery.
19 The Deleted HM
HMs have always been an important part of Pokémon games—or at least, they were, until Sun and Moon got rid of them! These moves can be used both in battle and in the field, and have some pretty useful effects. Pokémon Red and Blue featured five HMs in total, ranging from Flash to Surf. However, there's also a sixth hidden HM that was never fully completed! The only thing that remains of this mystery move in the game is some hidden text which reads "ground rose up somewhere!" It's pretty vague, but sounds kinda cool!
18 The Powerful Freezing Blizzard
The Pokémon community has a bit of a love-hate relationship with the move Blizzard. Sure, it's one of the few powerful Ice-type moves in the series, but its accuracy is so low! On the bright side, it has a chance of freezing your opponent... Although it's a low one, admittedly! In Red and Blue, Blizzard's freeze rate was going to stand at a respectable 30.1%. In fact, this was the set value in Japanese versions of the games! However, this was slashed to a mere 10.2% in other regions' copies. Not fair!
17 Real-Life References
A lot of games in the Pokémon series contain references or allusions to the real world. In Red and Blue, one such reference came in the mysterious Pokémon Mansion. The player can read a diary in this abandoned building that discusses scientists' attempts to locate the rare Pokémon Mew in Guyana, South America. For some reason, though, this nod to the real world was cut in the German version of the games. It was changed to the more generic location "jungle, deep in no man's land." Weird!
16 Flashy Move Animations
In 1997, one infamous episode of the Pokémon anime managed to trigger substantial changes in Pokémon Red and Blue.
The episode in question was "Cyber Soldier Porygon".
It contained flashing lights that triggered seizures in numerous Japanese children. The dangerous flashing was caused by Pikachu using "Thunderbolt"—and this animation originally featured in Red and Blue, too! However, Game Freak decided to tone down Thunderbolt's move animation in the games to avoid a repeat of the seizure incident. Honestly, they made the right call there!
15 The Elite Four Walks
Have you ever noticed that not one member of the Elite Four moves an inch in Pokémon Red and Blue? They remain rooted to the same spot, waiting for a trainer to appear and challenge them.
What dull lives they must lead!
According to mined game data, these four trainers were originally going to possess the power of movement. Walking animations do exist for Lorelei, Bruno, Agatha, and Lance. However, they clearly didn't make it into the final game... So the Elite Four remain motionless!
14 The Unused City
The main storyline of Pokémon Red and Blue involves the player character traveling from city to city, catching Pokémon and collecting Gym Badges as they go. They visit some pretty memorable places: think Saffron City with its skyscrapers, or Vermillion City with its port. Pokémon players were robbed of one potentially amazing location, though! Data showing an unfinished city is hidden deep in Red and Blue. We're not sure what this city is called, or why it was cut... But we kinda want to explore it anyway!
13 The "Chief"
There are quite a few different boss battles spread out throughout Pokémon Red and Blue. You've got your rival to contend with; Team Rocket to eliminate; Gym Leaders to defeat; the Elite Four to challenge! However, one interesting boss battle ended up on the cutting room floor. Originally, the player was due to battle a man called "the Chief." It's believed that he was intended to be the leader of Silph Co., the organization taken over by Team Rocket in Saffron City! Eventually, though, the Chief was cut and Giovanni sent to battle in his place!
12 So Many Deleted Trainers
One of the main aspects of gameplay in Pokémon Red and Blue is the trainer battle mechanic. There are dozens and dozens of trainers dotted around Kanto, just waiting for you to walk into their line of sight. However, there were originally going to be even more of them! Quite a few trainers were cut from Red and Blue for unknown reasons. Their Pokémon range from Caterpie to Venusaur, and their levels from 17 to 49. Channelers and Cool Trainers are the two trainer classes who had the most characters cut!
11 The Rival's Extra Gloating
In general, the rival character in Pokémon Red and Blue is incredibly smug and very annoying. He likes to make the player character feel inferior at every opportunity, and his rude comments are only partially made as a joke. If you think the rival is annoying in the actual games, though, wait until you hear what was cut. If you happen to lose to the rival in either of your first two battles against him, he'll make sure to gloat afterward. Originally, though, that gloating was programmed to appear in every single lost rival battle! Talk about insufferable...
10 The Celadon City Warp Door
In the game development process, locations are often edited and re-edited multiple times before their final versions are confirmed. Often, there's no hint in the final game that this editing took place.
We only get to see the completed product!
However, in Pokémon Red and Blue, one link to a previous version of Celadon City lingered in the game. A house without a door is the site of a warp tile that sends you to the fifth floor of the department store!
9 An Unfinished Song
The music of Pokémon Red and Blue is pretty iconic for all of the Pokéfans who've supported the franchise since its beginnings. Who doesn't still hum the Pewter City theme from time to time, or get the cycling tune stuck in their head? According to data miners, though, one potential Pokémon greatest hit was never shown the light of day. An incomplete version of the song is embedded in Red and Blue's game data, but it was scrapped before it could be finished off. Shame!
8 The Missing Pokémon Cries
You don't have to be a Pokémon master to know that every Kanto Pokémon has its own unique cry. Well, almost all of them, anyway! There are a couple of Pokémon that have to share their cry with another creature. Charizard and Rhyhorn make the exact same sound, as do Ditto and Poliwag. Nobody is quite sure why this is the case! Did these Pokémon have unique cries that were scrapped, or did the developers just run out of time? Nobody knows!
7 An Extra Poké-Mart
The Poké Mart is an iconic location in every mainline Pokémon title. It's the place where you can pick up some Potions, sell all of the loot you've collected, and stock up on Ultra Balls before trying to catch a Legendary Pokémon! In Red and Blue, there's a Mart in the majority of towns.
However, one planned shop is missing.
It was going to be somewhere between Fuschia City and Cinnabar Island but was clearly deemed to be unnecessary.
6 The Invisible Pokémon Centers
In the Kanto Safari Zone, there are a number of "rest houses" dotted around the map. To be honest, they don't serve much of a purpose! It's not like you need to rest your Pokémon since you can't use them in the Safari Zone anyway. This may not have been the original plan, though! Game data shows that these houses were originally laid out like mini Pokémon Centers, with a PC in the top-right corner. Does this mean battles were originally going to feature in this area, hence the need to heal? Quite possibly!
5 The Inexplicably Evolving Raichu
In the English version of Pokémon Red and Blue, a text error led to an inexplicably evolving Raichu turning up on Cinnabar Island. In these games, the player trades a Raichu for an NPC's Electrode. If you speak to the NPC afterward, they'll tell you that the Raichu you traded them has evolved!
However, this just isn't possible.
It's actually the remnant of a cut trade, in which the player would have given the NPC a Kadabra—a Pokémon that does evolve upon being traded. For some reason, though, this trade was replaced by the Raichu-Electrode swap!
4 Silph Co's Russian Branch
In Pokémon Red and Blue, a reference is made to a Russian branch of Silph Co. However, the exact location of this branch changes between the Japanese and English versions of the games! In the Japanese games, it's based near the Podkamennaya Tunguska river. However, in the English games, it's in the city of Tiksi on the other side of the country. Nobody's quite sure why the change was made, but hey—at least Tiksi is much easy to spell!
3 The Pokémon Mansion's Secrets
The Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island is a house that hides a lot of secrets. It's implied that it was the site where Mewtwo was created, or at least extensively researched. However, the exact account of how this research went down was actually amended between the regional versions of Pokémon Red and Blue! In the Japanese version, it's suggested that just one scientist worked on the project; in the English translation, a whole team of people was involved. It's speculated that this was changed to fit in with the plot of Pokémon: The First Movie!
2 A Tricker Cerulean Cave
Getting through Cerulean Cave is arguably the final challenge of Pokémon Red and Blue. After earning all eight Gym Badges, cruising through the Elite Four, and becoming the Champion, you're given the chance to travel to the cave and capture the Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo. Of course, you have to get through the cave first, and it's a bit of a maze! However, it was originally even more complex. International versions of Red and Blue feature a simpler version of the cave's layout compared to the Japanese original.
1 Larger Pokémon Boxes
In the newer Pokémon games, the number of boxes in the Pokémon Storage System is pretty much unlimited. However, anyone who played the early games knows that this wasn't always the case! In Red and Blue, there was a limit to how many Pokémon you could store.
The PC featured 12 boxes that could hold 20 Pokémon each.
Originally, though, each box was going to stretch to a 30 Pokémon limit! There would only have been 8 boxes in total, though, meaning the number of Pokémon that could be stored technically remained the same.