Pokémon Red & Blue were some of the most ambitious games ever released on the Game Boy. The fact that you could catch 151 different kinds of Pokémon which all had their own unique traits and moves that they could learn through leveling up was a huge achievement for a console that was already considered to be outdated when the Pokémon games were first released.
The sheer amount of data that was crammed into a Game Boy cartridge meant that the developers of Pokémon Red & Blue had to cut corners and rely on development tricks in order to fit everything into the game. It's for this reason that Pokémon Red & Blue earned a reputation as being some of the glitchiest games to ever be released on a Nintendo system.
The people at Game Freak had no idea that the Pokémon franchise would explode in popularity in the way that it did, so they had no long term plans for the series. It's for this reason why there are so many unusual story elements in Pokémon Red & Blue that don't make sense in regards to the series as a whole.
We are here today to look at the mistakes that crept into the first Pokémon games; from the lone US citizen in a world without his country, to the method of trapping yourself forever on Cinnabar Island.
Here are Twenty Ridiculous Mistakes In Pokémon Red And Blue Only True Fans Noticed!
20 Lt. Surge Exists In A World Without His Country
In the early days of the Pokémon franchise, the Pokémon world was the same as our own. We know this due to numerous references to real-life locations and animals. In Pokémon Red & Blue, if you read the sign outside of the Vermillion City Gym it will tell you that the Gym Leader is Lt. Surge, who is described as being from the US.
The problem with this description is that the USA does not exist within the Pokémon world. It was established in Pokémon Black & White that the USA of the Pokémon world is a region known as Unova. The connection between USA and Unova was brought up in the Pokémon World Tournament mode of Pokémon Black 2 & White 2, where one of the announcers wonders if Lt. Surge comes from the Unova region.
19 The Enemy A.I. Will Keep Using Super Effective Moves That Don't Actually Do Anything
The fact that Game Freak was able to fit games as complex as Pokémon Red & Blue on a Game Boy cartridge is nothing short of a miracle.
There were sacrifices that had to be made in order to make Pokémon Red & Blue work, which included limiting the enemy A.I. so that it only used super effective moves in combat, even if those moves didn't do anything.
The most infamous example of this in action happened during the battle against Lance in Twitch Plays Pokémon. The only Pokémon that was left on the team was Venomoth and it managed to defeat a Dragonite that was twice its level by poisoning it, as the Dragonite kept using Barrier, even though it wasn't a damage dealing move.
18 Lance Is A Cheating Jerk
It's hard to feel sorry for Lance's Dragonite, as it is technically classed as an illegal Pokémon. In Pokémon Red & Blue, Dragonite cannot learn Barrier as a move, yet Lance's final Dragonite can use it in battle. This turned out to be its downfall in Twitch Plays Pokémon.
A Dragonite that knows Barrier was distributed as part of an event to copies of Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, which made it legal from that point on. There is still no denying that Lance cheated during your original battle against him.
17 Lickitung Has A Chameleon's Tongue... In A World Without Chameleons
The developers of the Pokémon video games and anime have never come to a conclusion regarding the existence of real-life animals in the Pokémon world. There have been several instances when real animals have shown up in background shots of the Pokémon anime, while several Pokédex entries in the video games refer to real animals as well.
The Pokédex entry for Lickitung in Pokémon Red & Blue claims that its tongue can extend like a chameleon's tongue. The problem with this statement is that chameleons don't exist in the Pokémon world and a chameleon Pokémon wasn't introduced until Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, in the form of Kecleon.
16 Mew Was Found In A Continent That Doesn't Exist
The Mew that was used to create Mewtwo in Pokémon Red & Blue is unusual for many reasons, which may be due to Game Freak not yet deciding on certain facts of the Pokémon universe.
The journals that you can find in the Pokémon Mansion claim that Mew gave birth to Mewtwo, which is the first time that a Pokémon is ever stated to have given birth in the series (as most Pokémon hatch from eggs) and a Mew cannot normally reproduce.
The journals in the Pokémon Mansion also state that Mew was found in Guyana, which is another location that doesn't seem to exist within the Pokémon world.
15 Koffing's Sprite Is Wrong
Koffing was a major part of the early years of the Pokémon anime, as it was the signature Pokémon of James from Team Rocket. James' Koffing is one of the first antagonists in the series, even though it was forced to be a villain by its owner.
With Koffing being planned for greater things, it's odd how Game Freak managed to screw up its design in Pokémon Red & Blue.
Koffing's sprite in Pokémon Red & Blue has the skull & crossbones on the wrong part of its body. The skull & crossbones are meant to be below Koffing's mouth, but they are above his eyes in his original sprite.
14 The Starter Pokémon Glitch Will Prevent Receiving A Pokédex
The version of Pokémon Red & Blue that we received in the West have earned a reputation for being filled with bugs and glitches, to the point where it's a wonder that Nintendo ever allowed it to be released on one of their systems.
The original version of Pokémon Red & Green that were released in Japan were even worse when it came to bugs & glitches.
One of the most frustrating bugs in Pokémon Red & Green will occur if you evolve your starter Pokémon before returning to Professor Oak with his package. He won't give you the Pokédex, which means that you will have to restart the game, as you cannot progress past the old man without it.
13 The Statues Are Full Of Water
In each Pokémon game, you will encounter several people who are obsessed with fishing. If you demonstrate your passion for fishing to these people, then they will give you a selection of rods that you can use to catch Water-type Pokémon.
You might think that you can only use the fishing rods to catch Pokémon within a body of water, but you would be wrong, as there is a glitch that allows you to fish for Pokémon inside of the statues within each Gym.
It's also possible to fish for Pokémon within Lorelei's room inside of the Indigo Plateau.
12 Professor Oak Has A Defective Nidorino
It took all of thirty seconds for Game Freak to make a mistake in Pokémon Red & Blue.
When you select "New Game" for the first time, you are treated to a speech by Professor Oak, where he introduces you to the world of Pokémon and gives you a chance to name both yourself and your rival.
It's during this speech that Professor Oak shows you a Nidorino as an example of one of the Pokémon that you can encounter in the world. The Nidorino then proceeds to use Nidorina's cry instead of the one that it uses in the game.
11 The Pikachu Friendship Glitch
Pokémon Gold & Silver introduced the Friendship mechanic to the series, which became important when you needed to evolve certain Pokémon.
A form of the Friendship mechanic existed in Pokémon Yellow, but it only applied to the Pikachu that you were given at the start of the game.
If you give Pikachu a healing item in Pokémon Yellow then you will increase its Friendship. The developers didn't realize that using a healing item on Pikachu while it had full HP would still increase the Friendship stat without using up the item, which means that you can max out Pikachu's Friendship easily at the start of the game.
10 This Guy's Raichu Keeps Evolving!
Pokémon Red & Blue may have been filled with bugs & glitches, but the translation job was top-notch. There were certain moments in the game which had to be censored during the localization process, but the dialogue had no major issues.
One of the few translation errors in Pokémon Red & Blue will occur if you trade a Raichu for an Electrode to the guy in the Pokémon Laboratory in Cinnabar Island. Once the trade is complete, he will claim that his Raichu has evolved.
The reason this error exists is due to the fact that Pokémon Red & Blue were based on the code of the Japanese version of Pokémon Blue, where the trade involves a Kadabra instead of a Raichu.
9 The Critical Hit Items Don't Work
It's possible for your Pokémon to deal a lot of damage with a critical hit in the Pokémon games. You can quickly turn the tide of a battle by unleashing a lucky critical hit on your foe.
In Pokémon Red & Blue, there are items and moves that are meant to increase the chance of landing a critical hit. If you used a Dire Hit during battle or had one of your Pokémon use Focus Energy, then the chances of you landing a critical hit were meant to be quadrupled. There is a bug in Pokémon Red & Blue which hinders these moves, meaning that they quarter your chances of performing a critical hit.
8 Don't Cut A Tree Down & Save Your Game
The world of Pokémon is one of natural barriers. If you want to travel through each region in the Pokémon world, then you better have some Pokémon that can use Cut, Strength, and Surf outside of battle, as well as the relative Gym badges that allow you to use the moves in the first place.
It can be dangerous to go around cutting trees in the Pokémon world, thanks to a glitch that exists in Pokémon Red & Blue.
If you cut down a tree in Pokémon Red & Blue, step on the place where it once stood, save the game, and then reset your game, then you will be standing on the tree when the game finishes loading.
7 The Ghost Of Marowak Can Be Defeated By A Doll
Lavender Town is one of the bleakest areas in the entire Pokémon franchise, as it deals with the burial rites of Pokémon and the grief that comes with losing one of your closest friends. Lavender Town is one of the few places in the Pokémon world that deals with mortality, which is likely why it has inspired so many creepypastas over the years.
It is up to the player to calm the restless spirit of Cubone's mother in the Pokémon Tower, which requires finding the Silph Scope and defeating it in battle.
You can also bypass the ghost of Marowak by using a single Poké Doll, which will end the battle in one round.
6 The Minimize/Substitute Stat Glitch
This may sound harsh, but any Pokémon player who uses Minimize or Substitute in battle deserves to be taken behind the bike sheds of gaming and beaten with a chain. These moves exist only to prolong Pokémon battles to the point where your opponent may snap and hit you.
It seems that Pokémon Red & Blue tried to rebel against the use of these moves, as there is a glitch involving their use in battle. If your opponent uses Minimize or Substitute in battle and you view the stats of one of your Pokémon, then the sprites on the screen will be messed up when you return to the battle.
5 Professor Oak Don't Talk Too Good
Pokémon Red & Blue were full of glitches and the first casualty whenever a glitch occurred was usually the text that appeared on the screen. The text within Pokémon Red & Blue was an important factor in several glitches, including the one used to encounter MissingNo, which usually meant that all of the text on the screen would become screwed up.
One of the few text errors that can be encounter in regular gameplay will happen if you return to Professor Oak without buying any Poké Balls. The text will be screwed up when he says "Just throw a Poké Ball at it and try to catch it!"
4 The Invisible Computer
In the original design documents for Pokémon Red & Blue, the player was meant to heal their Pokémon by staying at hotels, rather than using Pokémon Centers. This was likely a reference to how characters tend to sleep at inns in fantasy RPGs.
There is a hotel in Celadon City which uses the same layout as a Pokémon Center, which may be linked to how hotels used to act as Pokémon Centers.
The fact that the Celadon Hotel shares the same layout as a Pokémon Center means that you can access an invisible PC that isn't mean to be there.
3 Pikachu's Design Is Wrong
The original choice for the mascot of the Pokémon anime was Clefairy, but the decision was made to give that spot to Pikachu instead.
The design of Pikachu drastically changed after Pokémon Red & Blue, as it became more streamlined for its debut in the Pokémon anime. Pikachu's body became a lot more slender, its arms became a lot longer, and a dark circle pattern on its belly was removed.
These changes to Pikachu meant that players were looking at a different Pokémon when they hunted down Pikachu in Pokémon Red & Blue, which left a lot of players wondering why this chubby rat was masquerading as Pikachu.
2 Silph Co. Have An Office In A Country That Doesn't Exist
The curse of the real-world references strikes again, as there is another off-hand comment related to a country that does not exist within the Pokémon world.
If you visit the Silph Co. building in Pokémon Red & Blue and talk to Scientist Taylor, he will tell you that Silph Co. owns a branch in Russia.
It's possible that we may one day see a Pokémon region that is based on Russia, but it will almost certainly be named something else, as the Unova, Kalos, and Alola regions are clearly based on real-world locations, but they use fictional names.
1 Ruin The Game By Removing HM Slaves
It's supposed to be impossible to become stuck in the Pokémon games, but several players have worked out methods that can prevent you from progressing.
The simplest method of ending your Pokémon journey involves never picking up any of the fishing rods, as they are all optional. You have to journey to Cinnabar Island and release all of your Pokémon that can learn/use Fly or Surf.
Once this is done then you cannot leave Cinnabar Island and you are stuck there forever. The only way to escape is by trading with another player, which may not be feasible. It's impossible to repeat this mistake in later games, as you can't release your last Pokémon that knows a specific HM move.