Pokémon Red and Blue were the very first Pokémon video games available to the American public, part of the now-historic Generation I games that brought the franchise to the world. Few realized at the time that they would spawn a media franchise that today dominates television, video games, and even mobile games. Each Pokémon generation has its share of fanatics, but every Pokémon fan remembers Generation I. Part of the reason for that is the secrets contained within the games.
The first generation of Pokémon games is filled with places hidden to the casual observer, places that players can only reach through glitches or good old-fashioned hard work. Some of these hidden locations will be obvious to the experienced Pokémon fan, but some are a little more obscure.
“Brock Through Walls” In Pewter City
There may be plenty of things people don’t know about Brock in the Pokémon anime, but there are also a few little-known exploits surrounding him in the games. A well-known glitch in the first generation of Pokémon games involves skipping Brock’s gym entirely, and there are actually multiple ways to do it. One of those ways activates another glitch where the player is suddenly able to walk through walls in Pewter City.
The setup for the glitch (colloquially called “Brock through walls”) is incredibly intricate and requires multiple complicated steps, but if walking straight through the Pewter City Gym and coming out the other side sounds fun to anyone, they may want to try it! Plenty of people can say they beat Brock in a Pokémon battle, but very few can say they’ve been inside the walls of Pewter City.
Misty’s Favorite Spot
In the original Pokémon games, Misty isn’t the most important character. She’s the second gym leader players face and is in charge of Cerulean’s Water-type gym. Once Misty appeared as a main character in the anime, she began to get bigger roles in the succeeding games.
This becomes immediately apparent in the Generation II games, Gold and Silver, as Misty initially doesn’t appear in her gym. Instead, the player has to find her at Cerulean Cape at the end of Kanto Route 25. She’s there on a date with her boyfriend, which the player has to interrupt to get a gym battle. Players can actually visit this area in Red and Blue, although Misty obviously won’t be there yet.
The Locations Of The Legendary Birds
The three legendary birds of Kanto are available for the player to catch if they know where to look. The Ice/Flying-type Articuno waits deep within the Seafoam Islands in a difficult part of the bottom floor to reach. The Electric/Flying-type Zapdos spends its time in the maze-like Power Plant on Route 10. The Fire/Flying-type Moltres awaits the player on Victory Road (later changed to Mt. Ember in the remakes).
Each of the birds presents a unique challenge as the player only gets one chance to catch them. If the player accidentally knocks out the Pokémon before catching it, it will vanish. Each one dwells in an easily missed chamber within a maze-like area, each one is a higher level than most other wild Pokémon, and each one can be tough to catch.
The Safari Zone has its fair share of glitches in Pokémon Red and Blue, and the aptly titled “Glitch City” is the most famous of them. Through an intricate series of steps involving entering The Safari Zone, speaking to the attendant, saving and restarting, and then speaking to the attendant again, the player will be allowed to leave The Safari Zone while keeping its “step counter” active.
Ordinarily, a player has 500 steps while inside the Safari Zone before they have to leave. Instead, this counter is active while they’re outside the Safari Zone, so when the timer is up, the game glitches out. The player then gets to see a corrupted, unusable version of the landscape they were in when the timer ran out, a bizarre upside-down world that truly merits the name “Glitch City.”
If the player Surfs over a river north of Cerulean City, they’ll find an NPC standing in front of the opening to a cave. If the player has not yet defeated the Elite Four and become the Pokémon Champion, they are not allowed in. Someone new to the franchise may simply forget about the cave after that. However, Cerulean Cave is where the legendary Pokémon Mewtwo lives.
This Psychic-type Legendary is incredibly powerful, and there are still few Pokémon stronger than Mewtwo, but it was on another level in the original games thanks to Psychic’s OP typing (only Bug-type moves were super effective, and there were no good Bug-type moves yet).
The GameFreak studio
In every Pokémon game, there is a chance for players to meet representations of the developers. This tradition was started at the very beginning in Pokémon Red and Blue, as GameFreak installed a cute little version of their own studio in the Generation I games.
In Pokémon Red and Blue, GameFreak staffers have rented a room in the Celadon Condominiums, and the player can tour the one-room studio. Not only that, one of the developers asks the player to return to him once the player completes their Pokédex. This studio is the place players go to receive the final diploma, their in-game proof that they are a true Pokémon master.
The Treetops Of Kanto
Some glitches sound a bit more interesting than they end up being. Climbing trees is not something that can be done in the original generation of Pokémon games; players would have to wait a few years for that. If the player has one of their Pokémon use Cut on a small tree, the tree will disappear.
If the player then stands on the spot the tree used to be, saves on that spot, and turns the game off, the player will be standing on top of the tree when the game turns back on. This happens because the game would not remember that the tree had been cut, and every time the game was turned off it would simply load up as if it never had been taken down.
In every Pokémon game, there are several Pokémon that are only obtainable through trade. Like most Pokémon traditions, this one was started in the original generation. Jynx is one of those creatures, and players should consider obtaining this Pokémon that is stronger than it looks. Instead, players have to find a man called Dontae in Red and Blue to trade for Jynx.
Dontae lives in Cerulean City, near the Pokémon Center. He offers to trade his Jynx for the player’s Poliwhirl. To accomplish this, players have to evolve a Poliwag, which is not something they’ve likely done the first time they meet Dontae. Thus, it can be easy to forget about Dontae’s offer later in the game, but to complete the Pokédex, players have to return.
The Reclusive Trainer On Route 16
The ability to fly from Pokémon Center to Pokémon Center is an important one in the Pokémon games. Walking (or even cycling) from town to town is a tedious task, and a fast travel option is a must-have. Yet the Hidden Machine to teach Pokémon the move Fly, which allows the player to fast travel, is not the easiest thing to find.
There’s a reclusive trainer on Kanto Route 16 that will give the player Fly if they agree to keep her location a secret. Trainers can only reach her house by using Cut on a specific, unassuming tree along the road. If players don’t pay attention, they might get stuck walking everywhere without any idea how to unlock a much more convenient way to travel.
The Safari Zone In The Ocean
This is a glitch that starts the same way Glitch City does. If the player goes to the Safari Zone and immediately leaves, then flies to Cinnabar Island, they’ll notice something strange about the ocean there. If the player Surfs in the water to the east of the island, they’ll encounter strange Pokémon.
This water tends to be glitchy, as players can exploit it to find the infamous Missingno, but in this particular glitch, players will instead find Pokémon exclusive to the Safari Zone. Even rare Pokémon like Chansey and Tauros will appear in the ocean, and the player will be able to catch them like normal Pokémon (making them much easier to catch than the normal method in the Safari Zone). So the Safari Zone in the ocean is actually better than the normal one in some ways.
The Door That Doesn’t Exist
Game development is a long and tricky process, and assets frequently get changed around. Players found one such example in Pokémon Red and Blue when they used GameShark to find doors in Celadon City. Each door acts as a warp point in the game, and each one has its own specific numbered code players can input with GameShark.
One exit in Celadon City appears to have gone unused. Using GameShark, however, the player can teleport onto the spot where the door would have been, a spot that is just a wall in the side of a house the player cannot enter. One theory is that it was originally supposed to house a room that was later moved to be part of the Celadon Condominiums.
Generation I of the Pokémon games has its fair share of Move Tutors (NPCs that teach the player’s Pokémon specific moves). One of those is the aptly nicknamed Mr. Psychic in Saffron City. If the player visits his house in the southeastern portion of the city and talks to him, he’ll claim to know what the player really wants, which is for him to teach the move Psychic to one of their Pokémon.
This is one of the most powerful Psychic-type moves, so players should jump at the chance for their Pokémon to learn it. It’s also one of the many examples of helpful moves players can miss out on if they don’t explore each city. Some may think it’s not worth their time to talk to each NPC, but they won’t think that while their Pokémon is able to blast opponents with Psychic.
The Pewter Museum’s Back Entrance
Fossils have always been part of the Pokémon video game franchise, as fossil Pokémon make up a surprisingly large contingent of the Pokédex. The first fossil players encounter in Red and Blue is either the helix or the dome fossil that is given to the player by a Super Nerd in Mt. Moon.
The player can revive the fossils on Cinnabar Island, and they get another one from the Old Amber, given to the player by an NPC found in the back of the Pewter City Museum. To reach the entrance, the player has to use Cut on a small tree and sneak around the building as they can’t reach the back part of the museum through the main entrance. Players will be happy they made the trip as the Old Amber can be turned into an Aerodactyl.
The Global Police Agent’s Cabin
The Pokémon International Police has attained a higher level of recognition in recent games, as Generation VI and VII each included a post-game sidequest involving Looker, an International Police agent who had been introduced in Pokémon Platinum.
Looker may be the most famous member of the International Police, but the first agent introduced to players was actually in Red and Blue. On the cruise ship S.S. Anne, players can find a man who tells them he is an undercover Global Police agent investigating Team Rocket. This is generally accepted to be the same thing as the International Police. Players that liked Looker’s missions should remember Generation I and the brave agent on the trail of Team Rocket.
The Mysterious Truck
There wasn’t much in the way of scenery in the first generation of Pokémon games, so the exceptions to this rule were all notable. Perhaps the oddest piece of scenery in Red and Blue, however, is one that players were never supposed to reach. In the same area where the SS Anne is docked is a small pickup truck just sitting on the bank.
In a game without much scenery, why would there be some in a place players weren’t even supposed to look? That remains a mystery, and rumors sprang up around it. Kids online speculated wildly that maybe if Strength was used to move the truck, the mythical Pokémon Mew would be underneath. This was, of course, untrue, as players who glitched through the boat’s guard and Surfed to the truck found out. While there was no prize underneath, reaching the truck was an interesting challenge in and of itself.
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