Happy 20th Anniversary, Pokemon Red!

Pokemon Red and Blue launched one of the biggest game franchises in history. My brother considers Pokemon the reason the Game Gear went extinct, (and boy did we LOVE the Game Gear!)

It’s one of the most accessible games and beginner speedrun games. It is a training monster JRPG.

The character designs in the game are probably the best till Pokemon Pearl and Diamond.

In comparison to the Final Fantasy series, random battles are limited, unlike FFIX treasure chests, there is no exclamation marks, making it more difficult to figure out where an item may be prior to youtube. There are also examples of early Final Fantasy ability drops. The game also uses a simplifed low HP, limited FF1 MP/PP limit.

There are even elements of Zelda with dungeon crawling and Earthbound-ish quirkiness.


The game also has a lot of variety as a result of having so many Pokemon to catch.

You can:

  • Completionist
  • Catch em all
  • Speedrun
  • Different%

In a speedrun, you begin with the choice of picking

Squirtle vs Nidoran, with Red having a higher %age of catching Nidoran.

Not weak vs ice or psychic Not weak vs grass or thunder

In later stages, it is optional to capture, Zapdos or Mewtwo.


There’s the option of skipping Silph Co with an exploit.

You can also skip obtaining Flash my just navigating the cave in the dark.


Learning Dig vs Thundershock is a big thing early on in the game.

It’s actually very easy to screw up playing this game under these conditions without practice memorizing dungeons or misunderstanding someone’s notes on routes. But thankfully to the game’s accessibility, doesn’t make it as hard as later games outside of Diamond/Pearl.


Also, not related, but in sequels, it becomes even more frustrated when you have to deal with clock/calendar manipulation RNG and other Pokemon stats, such as happiness and getting along, not to mention different regions, puzzles, etc..


I’d also like to mention the greatness of the Gary Oak/Blue/Green character in comparison to the anime

The game is minimalistic with its character explanations but straight to the point. Gary’s relationship is as:

  • rival
  • Professor Oak’s son

As an opponent of Gary Oak, I am infuriated all the time when his Pidgey Sand Attacks, or whenever he says, “Smell ya later!”

There’s also a relationship he has with Giovanni that isn’t explained in addition to him being the first conqueror of the Elite Four.


Sabrina’s connection to Giovanni is made vague.


Team Rocket is a more traditional evil protagonist opposed to Gary Oak.

Team Rocket offering an offer you can’t refuse.

They’re in charge of Nugget Road.

They capture CEO of Silph and the Silph Scope.

They own one possibly two gym badges if you believe in theory.

Why it’ll probably take a while to get into another game


But still in the end, all you want to do is beat your childhood rival. That’s a bit selfish and dark in my opinion while the whole world of Pokemon catching and crime occurs.



One thought on “Happy 20th Anniversary, Pokemon Red!

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