So by this point, the franchise barely needs explaining unless you were born yesterday or have been living under a rock for the last 20 years. Pokémon is a worldwide phenomenon and has been since the release of Pokémon Red and Green in Japan back in 1996. These games would soon become Pokémon Red and Blue when they were released in the United States in 1998, with updated character sprites and some bug fixes, and they took the world by storm, spawning the beloved anime of the same name, 802 Pokémon on the ever-expanding roster, and currently 20 movies under its belt.
When looking back at it now, the games have not aged well and are downright ugly to look at, and it’s preferable to opt for the 2004 remakes, Fire Red and Leaf Green. However, the original Red and Blue pushed the boundaries of what an RPG could be, with 151 Pokémon to catch, a large open world and a pretty lengthy 25+ hour story mode, the games boasted a lot of replay value and even utilised the Game Boy’s Link Cable which enabled players to battle their friends and trade over Pokémon.
Suffice to say, Pokémon has been the poster child for a successful franchise and it still continues to garner fans to this day. That said, there are still a few hidden secrets within the first installments in the series that even the biggest fans may not know so without further ado, here are 25 Hidden Details in Pokémon Red and Blue Real Fans Completely Missed.
25 The Obtainable Mew
Mew is considered one of the hardest Pokemon to encounter, with it only being available at specific events back when the games were first released, and via trading.
However, there is a way that you can get Mew in a (kinda) legitimate way.
It requires a complex series of glitches, such as entering the start menu just as a trainer tries to initiate a battle, flying away to Cerulean City, battling a specific trainer nearby then flying back to Cerulean where you'll encounter a battle on Nugget Bridge and lo and behold, a level seven Mew will appear.
24 Lickitung Can't Learn "Lick"
When it comes to naming the Pokémon, their names usually consist of a play on words, either based off a real animal name, the abilities that the Pokémon has, the Pokémon’s appearance, or all of the above. Back in Generation I, there was the often forgotten Lickitung; its name being a combination of ‘lick’ and ‘tongue.' And surprise, it has a massive tongue. However, this tongue was never put to use as, ironically, Lickitung couldn’t learn the move ‘lick’.
23 Fishing In Weird Spots
This might not be the most obscure trivia to the typical die-hard fan but it's still amusing nonetheless. For some odd reason, the statues that you see at the entrance of every Pokémon Gym can be fished and surfed in. Using the Super Rod won't catch you any Pokémon, resulting only in the message "looks like there's nothing here", but using any other rod may potentially land you with a Magikarp or Poliwag, among others.
22 Gen I "Wrap" Broke The Game
The move 'wrap' is probably considered to be one of the most pointless moves in the game. It does minimal damage and it's not much of a game changer. However, back in Generation I, the move was actually considered to be overpowered and broken. This was due to when the move was used, it would not only deal damage to the foe for 2-5 turns, but it would also immobilize them completely. This would mean an almost guaranteed loss for the recipient of the attack. This was changed in later games and 'wrap' became the useless move it's now known as.
21 You Can Skip The Silph Scope
Lavender Town: the birthplace of many a childhood nightmare. You wouldn’t think that in a game aimed at kids that there’d be a section dedicated to traversing through a Pokémon graveyard to defeat the ghost of a Pokemon. However, it is. And anyone who’s played it knows that in order to see the ghost, you need the Silph Scope, which requires slogging through a Team Rocket hideout to get it. Fortunately, there’s a way to skip that entirely. If you use the PokéDoll in the fight with the ghost, it’ll end the fight and the spirit of Marowak will pass on.
20 The Mistake Oak Will Never Live Down
Oh, Professor Oak. The lovable tree-named-forgets-about-his-grandson-and-secretly-roots-for-you professor who first introduces you to the world of Pokémon.
During his pep talk at the beginning of the game, there’s a small audio error.
It's only really noticeable if you’re familiar with the Pokémon cries, but when he calls out a female Nidoran to show off the Pokémon, but the cry that plays is actually that of Nidorina, the Pokémon’s evolution. What if it was just the game developers forgetting everything and we’ve been blaming Professor Oak the whole time?
19 Early Max Level
So here's a rough outline of a glitch that will get you a Pokémon to level 100 before you even fight Brock. Enter Viridian Forest and try and encounter a wild Pokémon at the same time you walk in front of a trainer. When you get the wild encounter, let your Pokémon faint and return to Viridian City. Go left and fight your rival. Let your Pokémon faint again and get sent back to Viridian once again. Now head up to Viridian forest, making sure you don't encounter any Pokémon along the way, and once you enter, a wild battle will occur with a level one Pokémon. Catch it and use it in battle. Any EXP it gains will send it to level 100.
18 Splash Is Not A Water-type Move
Going back to useless moves in Pokémon, ‘splash’ was mentioned. Well, turns out it’s even more useless than you remembered as it just can’t seem to do anything right.
On top of it doing absolutely nothing, it’s not even a water type move!
With a name like ‘splash’, you’d imagine a splash of water, but nope! This useless flop is categorised under the normal type moves as its Japanese translation is a word that can mean ‘splash’, but is more commonly used as ‘hop’.
17 An Underwhelming Reward
Games nowadays like to break the fourth wall, whether they mess around with the actual game or have references to the real world. Red and Blue also gets in on this but takes the latter path.
You can actually meet the developers in Celadon City!
And even better, once you’ve completed the PokéDex, if you return and speak to one of them, they’ll congratulate you and give you a diploma. While it’s a nice gesture, it doesn’t really seem worth it considering the potential years of pain and suffering it takes to actually fill the PokéDex.
16 You Can Use "Cut" On Random Grass
'Cut' is one of the most useful moves in the game. It’s a normal type move so it’s effective against a lot of types, it deals decent damage, it’s an HM move so it can be taught an infinite amount of times, and it’s also good at destroying waist high trees that block our protagonist.
However, it also has another function that not many people knew about.
If you use the move whilst in a patch of tall grass, a portion of the grass will be destroyed, so it’s good if you don’t want to encounter any Pokémon (or just fancy gardening).
15 Psychic Pokémon Were So OP They Ruined The Game
With seven generations of Pokémon currently inhabiting the franchise, they’ve become pretty balanced over the years as new moves and types have been added to counteract things that were previously overpowered.
Back in Generation I, psychic type Pokémon were incredibly overpowered.
This was due to the Special Attack and Special Defence stats being combined into one stat known simply as Special. Pokémon like Alakazam, who also had amazing speed, were able to dominate offensively as well as take hits like a champ. This also lead to fighting type Pokémon being severely underused and underpowered.
14 Some Pokémon Use Recycled Assets
In every Pokémon game, each pocket monster has its own noise it makes when a battle begins, known as a 'cry.' They are horribly unpleasant little noises that sound like rubbing two pieces of rusty metal together. However, they have become more listenable as new installments have been released.
But back in Generation I, there were only 37 unique cries, with some even being completely identical.
These being Charizard and Rhyhorn, Poliwag and Ditto, and Caterpie and Goldeen. The rest are just pitch-shifted and different speeds. Luckily the cries are all as grating as each other so it's kinda hard to notice.
13 The Invisible PC
In Red and Blue, Celadon City was famous for being the biggest city in the game and housing the gigantic department store and the Game Corner. It also included a gym battle, a Team Rocket hideout, a mansion and a hotel, which gave you a lot to do!
A rather amusing little glitch is the invisible PC in Celadon Hotel.
If you head right to the end of the building and walk up with one tile in front of you, you can activate a PC that works just like all of the other PCs in the game.
12 Focus Energy Literally Does Nothing (Because Of A Bug)
Even the most casual of players know, each Pokémon can only learn four moves at a time. Arguably the most pointless move in the game is ‘splash’, a move that literally does nothing.
However, back in 'Red and Blue', there was a move that was even more useless than doing nothing.
That move was ‘focus energy’. The move is supposed to raise the user’s critical hit ratio, which was good for physical hitters looking to sweep an enemy team. However, the move was bugged so whenever it was used, it actually lowered the user’s critical hit ratio, effectively making it useless and self-destructive. Fortunately, it was fixed in later games.
11 Predicting The Future
Generation I only had 151 Pokémon, and that was enough for fans of the original. Jump forward 20 years and now there are over 800. In Red and Blue, a character happened to predict the future and describe a Pokémon that wouldn’t be featured in a game until Generation V in 2010. A young girl outside Rock Tunnel describes a Pokémon that’s pink and has a floral pattern. This Pokémon turned out to be the Generation V Pokémon Munna, a psychic type whose design consists of its body being pink with a floral pattern.
10 Secret Bug Pokémon Homage
You remember those annoying bug catcher trainers that you face early on in the game and they’d always poison you with their Weedles? Well, it turns out that they’re more significant than you think. They’re actually a reference to creator Satoshi Tajiri as he conceived the idea of Pokémon from his childhood hobby of insect collecting. Who knew that some of the worst trainers had such close ties with their creator? It doesn’t matter, bug types still suck.
9 Just "Coffee"
Everyone remembers that old guy in Viridian City who blocks you from entering the gym because he’s passed out (and apparently our trainer doesn’t know how to step over people). His granddaughter insists that it’s because he hasn’t had his morning coffee but it seems like there might have been another reason. In the original Japanese version of the game, the old man was originally unable to move as he was passed out from drinking. I’m guessing that adding a woozy old man wasn’t the best example to set for kids so they changed it when the game was released in the western world.
8 Musical Mimicry
Pokémon games have always had some of the most iconic music across its seven generations, from the tense battle themes, the ep the joyful route melodies and even the infamous Lavender Town theme.
But there’s also a musical reference to a game featuring everyone’s favourite Italian plumber!
The music that plays on Route 24 in Red and Blue is actually a reference to the 1993 game Mario & Wario and the music known as 'Sky', as the melodies are almost identical to each other.
7 Finding The MissingNo
Arguably the most famous glitch in any Pokémon game is the MissingNo glitch. It’s tricky to explain but in a nutshell, if you talk to the man in Viridian City who teaches you how to catch Pokémon, then immediately fly to Cinnabar Island and surf up and down the coast on the right, you'll encounter a bunch of different Pokémon with impossibly high levels, but eventually you should run into the mythical MissingNo, and if you manage to capture it, it will actually duplicate the sixth item in your inventory 128 times. The best part is this has no real drawbacks apart from some temporary sprite glitches.
6 Waterside Safari
The Safari Zone was a place of many players' frustration when it came to catching Pokemon. While it was a decent price to partake, a lot of the Pokemon were hard to catch as they were prone to fleeing if capturing it failed.
However, there is a glitch that can solve all that frustration.
If you walk into a patch of grass in the Safari Zone then fly to Cinnabar Island and surf along the same coast to activate the MissingNo glitch, you will encounter the Pokemon that would appear in the patch of grass you were stood in.
5 Welcome To Pokémon Heck
Yet again, it's time to talk about another glitch. This one is way harder to pull off so it won't be explained here, but it does have some "fun" results. This infamous glitch is known simply as ZZAZZ. It is pretty much a game breaking glitch so it shouldn't be tried if you actually plan on playing the game, but it basically turns the game into a living nightmare as some of the game's code is removed so it includes demonic looking battles, Pokémon that exceed level 100, and lasting effects that cause the game to go haywire from thereon.
4 The Game Corner Problem Is From Real Life
The Game Corner in Celadon City is famous for wasting players' time and money by taking forever to win some coins to trade for a new Pokemon.
Have you ever wondered why the Game Corner and the prize exchange booth are in separate buildings?
This actually reflects on real life and how Japanese gambling laws forbade people from winning money playing pachinko, so casinos would give players a fake currency that they'd be able to exchange for prizes in a building that would usually be next door to the casino. This would also explain why the player has to exchange their cash for coins in the game.
3 The Intense Origins Of The Sea Serpent
The Pokémon Gyarados has easily one of the coolest designs and its stats are impressive; a great reward for grafting a Magikarp to level 20. However, its name wasn't always going to be Gyarados. The original name for the menacing sea serpent was actually going to be 'Skullkraken'. How awesome would that have been? Unfortunately, due to the ten-character limit on Pokémon names, 'Skullkraken' wouldn't have fit. Gyarados is still a cool name though, maybe just not as bloodthirsty sounding.
2 Not Much Love For Dragons
The first dragon types were Generation I's Dratini, Dragonair and Dragonite. Their designs were stellar, their movesets were well balanced and their stats were nothing to scoff at.
However, the developers didn't really give much thought when it came to making some actual dragon type moves.
The only move under the dragon typing in Generation I was the move 'dragon rage' — a move that will always deal 40HP of damage. Nothing more, nothing less. It's good for the early-to-mid game, but since the only way to get a Dratini is in the Game Corner, it doesn't prove to be much use past that point.
1 Powerhouse Chansey
With a base HP stat of 250, Chansey towers above all 802 Pokémon in terms of health (apart from its evolution, Blissey), making it an absolute tank to take down. However, it fails in attack and defense, meaning it’s an awful attacker. Although, back in Generation I, when the Special Attack and Special Defence stats were combined, Chansey's base Special stat was 105, higher than Mew and Dragonite. This meant that it could take hits as well as deal heavy damage. When the stats were split in later generations, Chansey was knocked back down with its 35 Special Attack, but still respectable 105 Special Defence.
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