Back when the original Pokémon games hit North America in 1998, it was a much simpler time. One hundred and fifty unique creatures to capture seemed like an insurmountable task at the time, but the series has blown up in such colossal ways since.
Somehow there are now over 800 Pokémon out there and the franchise has become one of the most successful properties in the entire world. This is a series that fans are so passionate and rabid about that remakes of titles are consistently pushed out, just to keep the games as up to date as possible.
On top of that, there are enough spin-offs and side properties from the Pokémon universe that, even if the mainstream games were to stop, the series would be in no risk of drying up. Fans have even fallen in love with Detective Pikachu, so clearly Pokémon fever is still at its apex.
The evolution of the series is a beautiful thing to look at, but the original titles still hold a special place in many fans’ hearts.
Sometimes less can be more and the modest, stripped down nature of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow still contain a lot of charm. Even though these games came out two decades ago, there are still secrets and hidden details that gamers had no idea about.
With that said, here are the 18 Insane Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do In Pokémon Red And Blue.
18. Fish In Gym Statues
Here’s a nice little hidden goodie that might blow some minds simply because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. In Pokémon Red and Blue (it was fixed in Yellow), it’s possible to fish in any of the large statues that are in the game.
These are predominantly in the town gyms, but they are also present in Lorelei and Lance’s rooms from the Elite Four. This trick can’t be performed in Saffron City or Cinnibar Island’s gyms, though, because they only have small statues.
Curiously, this maneuver only works with the Old Rod or the Good Rod. If it’s attempted with the Super Rod, the typical “Looks like there’s nothing here” message will pop up.
When fishing in statues, trainers are able to battle Pokémon just like they normally would when they’re in water. It’s also possible to surf in these large statues, but it won’t lead to any Pokémon encounters.
Maybe this is some slick way for the programmers to allow underprepared trainers to gain some extra experience before the big gym battle. Or maybe it’s just a programming oversight.
17. Catch Mew
Here it is: the Holy Grail of Pokémon, at least for the first generation of titles. There was endless debate over whether Mew was actually in the game’s code, if it was just a rumor, or if it was some complicated combination of the two.
Eventually, players learned that Mew is accessible and that the 151st Pokémon even has an official Podédex entry and everything. While an extremely small amount of “official” Mews were issued by Nintendo through promotions, the everyman can capture the legendary Pokémon with the help of a faithful Gameshark.
The dominant method to catch Mew is between Lavendar Town and Celadon City, but you can actually expedite this process and get Mew before the battle against Misty, right after Nugget Road.
Use an Abra with teleport to warp to Cerulean City’s Pokémon Center. Fight a trainer on the way to Bill’s house, then teleport back to the Pokémon Center. Next, head back towards Nugget Road.
If this has been done properly, the trainers who are normally faced here will be gone. The menu will automatically pop up and upon closing it, voila– a wild Mew appeared.
16. Fight Professor Oak As An Extra Final Challenge
This is officially the coolest thing that’s possible in the original Pokémon titles. Professor Oak is a steady mentor figure for the game’s protagonist and even throughout the Pokémon anime, Oak has never taken on a sinister role. That’s why the prospect of a cutthroat battle against the OG Pokémon Master is such an exciting experience.
It’s a very tedious, complicated process (involving either the “Ditto glitch” or the “old man glitch”) to trigger this battle, but it will commence after players try to exit Lavender Town.
This is a fight to be prepared for, as Oak’s team is full of Pokémon that are at level 50 and 60 and they’re not easy. This almost feels like those extra bosses in Final Fantasy that are more difficult than anything in the main game.
The game doesn’t want you to notice that this challenge is even a possibilitiy. However, if players are actually able to defeat Professor Oak, there should be no dispute that they’re the true Pokémon Master. Nothing in the game is more difficult than this onslaught of a task.
15. Gain Additional “Rare” Pokémon
The exclusive Pokémon concept and idea of releasing two versions of each Pokémon game is both a brilliant and frustrating move. It creates an extraordinary incentive to find someone to trade with to get particular Pokémon or actually generate a reason for purchasing two copies of the “same” game.
Furthermore, other Pokémon in the games, like Eevee, force players to make decisions that mean acquiring other Pokémon is impossible. Pokémon deserves a lot of credit for making some of its creatures so rare and exclusive, but what if there were actually a way to circumvent this problem?
Pokémon Stadium for the Nintendo 64 connects and rewards Pokémon Red and Blue players in some really satisfying ways. Whenever a player completes the lengthy Gym Leader Castle trial, they’ll be rewarded with one of the following rare Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander, Eevee, Hitmonlee/Hitmonchan, Omanyte, and Kabuto.
All of these Pokémon can then be transferred back to the Game Boy titles to help even the odds a little.
14. Clone Pokémon With A Glitch
Sure, it’s nice to catch as many Pokémon as possible in the legitimate, prescribed fashion, but there are times when outside measures need to be taken. Part of the joy of the Pokémon series is the amount of variety that it gives players when it comes to evolving their Pokémon and deciding which creaturesto put in their party in the first place.
This personal touch is great, but it can also turn these decisions into deeply stressful experiences. Thankfully, with some good timing and a trusty link cable, it’s possible to clone Pokémon so those permanent decisions don’t need to be so intense.
What this technique requires is one Pokémon that’s willing to be sacrificed in the trade and another one that will be duplicated. To do this, begin the trade. When the Game Boy that is receiving the sacrificial Pokémon sees the “Waiting” message disappear, shut it off.
Then when “Trade Completed” appears on the other system’s screen, shut it off too. If the timing is right, the sacrified Pokémon should be lost and there should be a twin of the other.
13. Rig Game Corner’s Slot Machines
Celadon City’s Game Corner is a beautiful little diversion in the original Pokémon. It’s a great way to kill time with minigames, build up a hefty fortune, and even win some exclusive Pokémon like Porygon.
The Game Corner’s slot machines are one of the easiest ways to inflate the player’s bank account, but it can be frustrating when bad luck strikes and there’s a run of continual losses. If jackpots seem to consistently elude your character, there’s an easy enough way to fix that and stack the odds in the player’s favor.
This technique isn’t a flawless plan, but basically each of the slot machines reset every time a new one is used. One of them is particularly lucky and follows the pattern of giving off two wins within the first four tries. Keep trying machines until that one is encountered and then stick with it, since it will keep paying off.
12. Cut Down Grassy Areas And Become Attack-Proof
Pokémon introduces a number of HM techniques that become fundamental to progress through the game. Each of these abilities allows the player to manipulate their surroundings and knock down obstacles that previously made movement impossible.
HM 01, Cut, certainly feels like one of the least important techniques. It comes into play early in the game and allows players to gain entry to Vermilion City. While many are quick to write off Cut and wipe it from their Pokémon’s moveset, the ability actually has a hidden purpose.
Cut can be used to cut down tall grass. When players walk on these vacant patches, they’re immune to random enemy encounters. It might only make for a brief sanctuary, but the technique can be a lifesaver when some serious regrouping needs to be done. Make sure to plan out a strategy and a clear warpath, though, because once the player leaves the area all of their yard work will be erased.
11. Cross Cycling Road Without Getting The Bicycle
Get ready to awaken that inner rebel because here’s a beautiful way to just break all of the rules and throw common sense out of the window. Cycling Road is a fun stretch from out of Pokémon Red and Blue that acts as the healthy push for gamers to acquire the bicycle, an act which makes travel way more efficient (and then the HM “Fly” sort of renders it irrelevant).
However, what if it was possible to get across Cycling Road without acquiring the obligatory bike? It’s a sneaky little trick, but certainly something that can be done.
In Celadon City, head towards Cycling Road and go to the most northern part possible and approach the exit on the left. When talking to the guard, repeatedly press “B” and players will be able to bypass him when he’s done.
When gamers come out on the other side, they’ll magically be riding a bicycle because the game assumes that it has been properly obtained. What a fun way for players to get to stick it to the game and break the rules. Take that, Big Bicycle Companies!
10. Meet The Game Developers
Pokémon Red and Blue take the phrase “meet your maker” to all sorts of meta levels. It’s no secret that the Pokémon games have an unusual sense of humor. The series is no stranger to breaking the fourth wall and winking at the audience when it’s appropriate.
This sort of attitude manifests itself in a crazy way when the player reaches the very top floor of Celadon City’s massive department store. This is essentially one big Easter egg from Game Freak, the game developers, as they ostensibly put themselves into the game. These guys had no idea what their futures would look like as developers so taking advantage of their time with this game and not being afraid to indulge their egos is understandable.
Thankfully, the player doesn’t investigate these game developers too closely– otherwise he might have an existential crisis. It’s not easy to learn that you’re just a game sprite in a Game Boy title.
9. Give Your Pokémon Drinks From The Vending Machines
In the later Pokémon titles, players are able to pamper their pocket monsters in all sorts of embarrassing ways. However, back in the original Pokémon games all of the fancy extras were kept to a minimum.
That being said, there are still some sly ways to reward your Pokémon for all of the hard work that they do. Those guys do so much that they deserve some kind of treat, so it’s nice that the game has a covert way of giving them something.
Pokémon Red and Blue require gamers to buy a soft drink from the vending machines in Celadon City to give to one of the guards in Saffron City. Beyond that, players never need to deal with the vending machines again.
However, soft drinks and bottled water can both be given to Pokémon to restore small amounts of health. It’s not as cost effective as simply buying potions, but hey, your Pokémon probably enjoy it a whole lot more.
8. Get Past The Ghost Marowak With A Poké Doll
One of the spookier trials in the original Pokémon games involve the ghost-filled Pokémon Tower in Lavendar Town and the Silph Scope that players acquire in Team Rocket’s Underground Base.
The Silph Scope allows players to see ghosts, which allows them to finally notice the Ghost Marowak that blocks the steps and restricts entry into the final room of Pokémon Tower.
However, in a rather interesting development, apparently dead Pokémon— or maybe just Marowak— have a phobia of dolls. That’s right, if players bring a Poké Doll from Celadon City’s department store, the doll will actually dispel the ghost, just like it will with any other wild Pokémon encounter.
It’s a handy little trick that allows players to eliminate the Silph Scope from their mission if they wish. Less Team Rocket is always a good thing and dolls are cuter than tech anyway. It’s worth pointing out that this oversight was corrected in Pokémon Yellow and cannot be done there.
7. Move Around With A Party Full Of Fainted Pokémon
The Pokémon series, especially the earlier titles, typically tries to keep things as chipper as possible. Accordingly, the game tries to turn a bleak “game over” experience into something that’s still positive and cheerful.
Most defeats in battle get dressed up as the player’s party “fainting” rather than any serious damage taking place. However, one of the firm rules of the titles is that, when all of the player’s Pokémon have fainted, the game is over.
While this rule is still largely true, there’s a bit of a trick to get past it. That being said, it’s not enough leeway to really do anything, but it still makes for a neat exploit.
If players have one active Pokémon and one fainted one in their party, they can deposit the active one in their PC, resulting in only fainted Pokémon being left in the party. As soon as the player takes three steps, they’ll black out and need to start over, but it’s something at least.
6. Get The Technique Amnesia
Once again, Pokémon Stadium shows off how well of a tie-in it is to Pokémon Red and Blue. There’s a surprising amount to take advantage of and lots of ways to inject new content into the Game Boy games– it’s only a matter of knowing how.
The move “Amnesia” is not in the original Pokémon titles. However, for gamers who are voracious enough to add it to their movesets, there is a way to get it into the game. It just takes a lot of work.
In Pokémon Stadium, when the player beats the Elite Four, their Pokémon party is entered into the Hall of Fame. If players can get all 151 Pokémon entered into the Hall of Fame (which means beating the game dozens of times), they’ll be given Amnesia Psyduck as a reward.
This Psyduck can then be transferred back into Pokémon Red and Blue, adding the move “Amnesia” into the game.
5. Get A Printable Diploma For Catching All 150 Pokémon
The reward in Pokémon Red and Blue for catching all 150 Pokémon still stirs up a little controversy with fans. Players who are obsessed with the game and succeed in “100 percenting” will receive a diploma that congratulates them for all of their work.
Some people think that this is a bogus gesture for completing such a difficult task that involves cooperation with other players of the game. However, other gamers feel that any sort of acknowledgment is more than enough.
It’s easy to see how a diploma may feel like a bit of a cheat, but there’s a bonus function here that many people seem unaware of. If players have a link cable and Game Boy Printer for the Game Boy Camera then they can print out this diploma and make their achievement a little more permanent. It’s a pretty early example of Nintendo really thinking outside of the box.
4. Catch “MissingNo”
During the peak of Pokémon Red and Blue, gamers were anxiously scouring the game for any hints of hidden, extra Pokémon beyond the traditional 150.
Rumors became rampant and there were many complicated ruses out there that would ultimately leave players empty-handed. While most players were looking for elusive creatures like Mew, there was actually another “Pokémon” hiding in plain sight.
If gamers are willing to carry out the series of instructions that involve surfing up and down the coast of Cinnabar Island, they may encounter the pixelated mess that is “MissingNo.” Technically, MissingNo is a glitch that’s a result of the original order plans for 190 Pokémon being reduced to 150. Hence the “Missing Number” moniker.
If players are courageous enough to catch this creature, their save file will be put at risk and they will become much more prone to the glitchy existence that seems to define MissingNo. Whether players want to catch it or merely fight it, MissingNo is a weird addition to the game that’s developed a lot of lore.
3. Fight Misty Before Brock
This is another fun little touch that doesn’t really change much in the Pokémon Red and Blue experience. However, it still makes for an enjoyable way to spice up the game a little.
Brock is the title’s first gym leader, but that doesn’t mean that he necessarily has to be the first leader who players fight. There’s a boy in the top corner of Pewter City that prohibits players from leaving until they beat Brock. With a simple “save/reset” trick, the boy will be gone and players will be able to proceed and face Misty first.
Of course, Brock will still need to be battled eventually, but if players are having an especially hard time against him, this is one way to mix things up so that they can come back at him stronger. Or maybe gamers are just fans of the Pokémon anime and they’re eager to meet Misty as soon as possible.
Brock always seems to get the short end of the stick and this maneuver to render him unimportant certainly isn’t doing much to fight that.
2. Enter “Glitch City”
The Pokémon titles take their players on wild adventures that span many islands. However, whatever new region Pokémon happens to set itself in, none will be as surreal nor unnerving as the infamous “Glitch City” in Red and Blue.
“Glitch City” has a lot to do with the 500-step counter that’s present in Safari Zone. To discover it enter Safari Zone and immediately go to exit, but tell the attendant that you don’t want to leave.
Then save and reset the game. When you try to exit the Safari Zone this time, the attendant will ask if you want to join the safari. Still say no and the player will get to leave and go outside. However, when the 500 steps are now up, players will be warped back to the Safari Zone, which prompts the entrance into “Glitch City.”
The place is a fragmented, broken place that can only be exited by using Fly or Teleport. However, it’s certainly worth checking out the madness first hand.
1. Change Pokémon Nicknames To Affect Their Appearance
There are all sorts of cool examples of links between Pokémon Stadium and its Game Boy counterparts. In fact, the relationship marks such an effective use of the system’s Transfer Pak that it’s a shame that the product was really only used for a handful of titles.
Regardless, players are able to get more out of their Pokémon Stadium experience depending on how much they put into Pokémon Red and Blue. In this case, the overlooked feature of the Pokémon’s nickname will affect the Pokémon’s color and tint in Pokémon Stadium.
There is a lot of variety present to subtly change the way your star team of Pokémon looks. The system works by looking at whether the nickname of the Game Boy Pokémon is in uppercase, lowercase, or if it’s an original nickname.
These details will result in a different looking Pokémon. While these changes are purely aesthetic, it is a fun way to get some extra mileage out of Red and Blue’s nickname feature.
Are there any other secrets in Pokémon Red and Blue that we forgot? Devoted Pokémon Masters, now’s your time to show your dedication and prove that you truly are the very best! Sound off in the comments!