The 20th anniversary of Pokémon is but less than 20 days away! In celebration of the 20th anniversary, PokéCommunity Daily’s “Ask PC” column is sharing significant memories of avid Pokémon fans from The PokéCommunity in a 20-day miniseries of articles! Keep your eyes peeled as we count down to February 27!
Starting the game
To start off our countdown, we look back at the experiences of members who were around when it all started. Pinkie-Dawn recalls the first-generation games he owned:
Pokémon Blue was my first game, followed by Yellow version after handing Blue version to my brother. On both versions, I had trouble progressing through the game because of that old man blocking the road to Viridian Forest, and I had no idea what to do since I never paid attention to the text for instructions.
Viridian Forest, for many a trainer, was not the only difficulty to tackle — and depending on the Pokémon they started with, the challenge came much sooner than later:
I eventually got him out of the path and progressed, only to get stuck on beating Brock because of the lack of Water and Grass types that were available in the beginning. My brother traded me a Ghastly to beat Brock, and I went on my merry way. To this day, I still haven’t beaten the Elite Four in Yellow despite getting all eight badges, while my brother did in Blue version.
Pokémon is not a game you lend
Starry Windy didn’t own a first-generation Pokémon game, but that didn’t stop him from liking it all the same:
Sometimes I’m still reminded of the times when my cousin is playing several Pokémon titles like Red and Blue. As a kid who grew up as the Pokémon anime was booming back, I found myself interested. I asked my cousin to allow me to borrow his Game Boy Color, and as I picked one of these games, I was interested in two particular titles, one of them being Pokémon Yellow. It’s pretty cute when I’m walking alongside with my Pikachu, talking with him as he speaks “Pikachu” in his anime voice, commanding Pikachu to show its moves as he yelled the “Pika!” battle cry, and getting several Gym badges together.
And while he didn’t grab the first set of games initially, he’ll finally have his full shot when the games release on Virtual Console on the 27th:
Even though I didn’t progress further into the game as I didn’t have my own copy just yet, and as I’d enjoyed playing Yellow, I’ve decided that for when the original Pokémon games are be released [on Virtual Console], Pokémon Yellow will be the first of the three that I’ll be getting. That is unless I manage to get the New 3DS Pokémon bundle.
Heads up: the Virtual Console release of Pokémon Yellow outside Japan is based on the Game Boy Color version, which means Pokémon are colored in-battle and the screen takes on a different hue for every town.
Pokémon Yellow: the greatest gift
Otter Mii-kun was also introduced to Pokémon by his extended family:
On Christmas in 1999, my mom and I visited my grandma, along with my aunt and her son who was into Pokémon, in the evening. When we were opening up our presents, I had gotten Pokémon Yellow to play in the Game Boy Color that my mom had gotten me for Christmas, which I began playing with Super Mario Bros. Deluxe earlier in the day. Given how I am about Christmas presents, I was kind of meh about it, but I was told that I would like the Pokémon game.
After I got home, and loaded Yellow for the first time the next day, I got hooked on it instantly. On the earliest playings of Yellow, though, as I was a new trainer, I did make some crucial mistakes, including spoiling my starter Pikachu (to the point where it got to Level 65 by the time I reached the final Gym), and ignorantly trying to use electric attacks against Brock’s Pokémon, as well as trying to catch other trainers’ Pokémon, especially those that couldn’t be found in the wild in that particular version (such as Team Rocket’s Pokémon and Bug Catchers’ many a Weedle). Early on, when I was struggling to defeat Brock, I thought that the only way to be effective against him was to trade for a Bulbasaur or Squirtle from Red or Blue.
At some point in mid-2000, I got Blue, my second main series game. It would still be awhile until I got a chance to hook up to my cousin’s Game Boy Color to trade with him. Most of the time when I did that, though, I traded between two of my own games.
Red, Blue and Yellow were so infamous for their glitches that they would be detailed in gaming magazines and all over internet bulletin boards, catching his attention:
When I finally read about how to execute the “Missingno. Glitch” in a game cheats magazine, I really went for it in Blue, exploiting the glitch to clone Master Balls, Nuggets, and other items that couldn’t be bought at Poké Marts. Within the next couple of years, though, I would also battle the level 147 Golducks that came about from the glitch, primarily to help get my team to level 100 for Pokémon Stadium’s Prime Cup.
Not always a positive experience
Not everyone had positive memories to share, as kingkaiultraron writes:
I have so many experiences with these games, I remember being creeped out by the Golbat sprite for some reason. I have memories of encountering Pokémon in the underground path for some reason (probably a dream or glitch). Whenever I went to Spain I would always take my Game Boy and play it there a lot. I would always drop the Game Boy on the floor around the 4th gym and have to replay it all over again.
Unfortunately, the biggest problem with the Game Boy games is that their battery would run dry and save data would be lost:
I eventually completed the game with a level 100 Blastoise but that save has been gone for ages sadly.
For Otter Mii-kun however, this might have been a positive thing:
A sour moment early in my experience playing Generation I was when my save file from Yellow got “destroyed” on Labor Day 2000. Now that I think about it, though, it was probably a blessing in disguise, since it wiped out all the critical mistakes that I made while playing that file. (Additionally, I ran from all three Legendary Birds, both Snorlaxes, and even wasted my Master Ball on a Farfetch’d after getting frustrated at it breaking out of my Great Balls.)
kingkaiultraron sure felt powerful:
I used to think Mega Punch was the strongest attack in the game. I had an Alakazam on Pokémon Yellow, but I’m wondering how I got it, since I never traded with anyone.
Getting off the ground
Some members may have fully explored the player’s home — and some may have had trouble actually leaving it like Judge Mandolore Shepard:
The first game I played was Blue. I admit that it took me a bit to figure out how to leave the starting house. I also admit that the first time I ever battled the Champion after beating the Elite Four, I ended up losing.
We’re sure some of us could agree that the Champion at the end of the Elite Four was unexpected. Nowadays, it’s tradition.
For many more trainers, bringing Red, Blue and Yellow to the Nintendo eShop will be such a blessing, giving trainers another chance (and a never-dying battery) to play the original titles again. For those like Otter Mii-kun, who sold their copies…
I traded in Blue, Yellow, and all my other Pokémon games in January 2006, when I decided to try and get out of Pokémon gaming. I had been feeling a bit burned out playing the main series games for at least a year or two prior. This is actually a decision I’ve since come to regret at times, but now I’m looking forward to purchasing the Virtual Console releases of the Generation I classics on my 2DS (which I bought used in order to get back into Pokémon gaming on an actual Nintendo system) when they do come out.
…it’s time to grab ’em again. Gotta catch ’em all!
Pokémon Red, Green (Japan only), Blue and Yellow are being released to the 3DS Virtual Console on February 27. Pokémon Red and Green were originally released in Japan on February 27, 1996, and Pokémon Red and Blue in the United States on September 28, 1998, and in Europe on October 5, 1999.
The PokéCommunity takes a small commission from these pre-purchases.
Edited by Astinus, bobandbill and Sylphiel.