20 Years of Pokemon Red & Blue

This past February marked the 20th anniversary of Pokemon Red and Blue releasing and Nintendo honored this glorious event by re-release Pokemon Red, Blue, & Yellow on 3DS’s Virtual Console. Some of the staff have been playing, while others have been enjoying the reemergence of Pokemon, like the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon announcement, along with oncoming releases of Pokken Tournament and Pokemon Go! We’re all just excited to see the rise of Pokemon on different platforms and are excited to share our thoughts on one of the most iconic video game franchises.

From the original game, what part hooked you the most?

Alex: I liked the journey of venturing around and being the best. The silent trainer let his training do the talking; beating a gym would allow you to have your name engraved right in front, you filled up the pokedex, and your reward for defeating tough opponents and pokemon gave you relevant and key rewards. The sense of accomplishment from dismantling a huge crime organization and beating everyone to be the best was rewarding to no end.

 

Willy:Definitely the joys of challenging all the gym leaders. Since all the gym leaders were based off one pokemon type, it was always fun to go out and find a specific Pokemon to counter that gym leader. I had the most trouble with Brock and Misty since I picked Charmander but then I learned about the power of Butterfree. Since then, Butterfree has become one of my first picks every time I started the game over (since Beedrill sucks). Butterfree using Confusion was my jam, carrying me places I never knew about.

Yeksson: It had to be the theme music. I was immediately hooked when I first faced Brock in Pewter City. I remember always saving before the Gym Leader battle and turning up the volume to hear that awesome theme. It’s the closest I felt to being Ash from the anime. In a sense I was turning my cap backwards and about to throw down!

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What was your team back in the day and with another shot at the game, what would your Hall of Fame team look like?

Alex: Way back when, I picked up Pokemon Blue and since my brother got Charizard, I had Blastoise on my final roster. Alongside the big turtle was Venomoth, Flareon, Hitmonchan, Omastar, and Zapdos! I mostly picked Pokemon that looked cool, and I think my new team will do some of the same. As I’m playing through the game again, my final team will probably consist of Charizard, Nidoking, Pigeot, Gyrados, Alakazam, and Jolteon.

 

Willy:I don’t remember too much about my starting team but I know it had Charizard, Pigeot, and Gyrados for sure. As for my new team, I’d definitely run three Eevees and Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon. I’d name the Eevees Glaceon(<3), Espeon, and Umbreon since they didn’t exist at the time.

Yeksson: I started off with Red and remember picking Charmander because he looked the closest. Every play through had at least Pidgeot and Charizard. I liked to mix in Gyarados, Jolteon, Aerodactyl, Nidoking, Arcanine, Dragonite, Zapdos, Articuno and Mewtwo.

What is your favorite moment of the original games?

Alex: Anytime I beat Blue when I was completely taken off guard (Rt. 22, Cerulean City, SS Anne), I was so proud and glad to shove his bragging back down his throat.

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Willy: Abusing Missingno and going mad with power, harvesting rare candies for the rest of my life. Occasionally evolving the Missingno into a Kangaskhan that knew sky attack was hilarious.

Yeksson: Beating the Elite Four and Blue for the first time. Lance’s strongest Pokémon was a level 62 Dragonite whereas Blue had a level 65 fully evolved starter that countered your original in-game pick.

Pokemon Yellow was a follow-up game made to capitalize on the anime and overall Pokemania. Mainly featuring a Pikachu that follows you and a quest that resembles Ash’s from the show, what aspect from the anime would you have loved to have in the game?

Alex: Dodging. Anytime a Pokemon was able to dodge, I was so jealous. Still waiting when that type of move (similar to a Defend command) can be incorporated into a main franchise game.

Willy:I would’ve loved to see more Team Rocket trolling you around. Constant attempts of snatching my Pikachu would’ve made for an enjoyable experience. AND IF THEY PUT IN MEOWTH’s LOVE STORY. OH MY GOODNESS, GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD. HE LEARNED ENGLISH FOR HER!!!

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Yeksson: Being able to use more than 4 moves. I always found it phony that Ash also made up some moves. For example, using water gun, powered by a Thunderbolt.

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2014’s Twitch Plays Pokemon event was a fantastically bizarre experiment where countless Twitch users controlled one trainer in an emulated Pokemon Red game. Of the countless memes, which are your favorite?

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Alex: The religious connotations that came with the game’s play through were hilarious. Praise Helix and the False Prophet Flareon always crack me up.

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Willy:I didn’t dabble too much in the twitch plays Pokemon era so I wouldn’t know. I only heard stories.

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Yeksson: Bird Jesus, the Messiah.

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Most importantly, what’s your favorite Pokemon from the original 151 and why?

Alex: Eevee. I always thought his potential for growth was great and continues to expand.

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Willy:Probably Pikachu with Vaporeon being an extremely close second. But I mean Pikachuwilly sounds so much better than Vaporeonwilly. How unfortunate indeed.

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Yeksson: Jolteon. I remember having a first edition Jolteon card and seeing the move Pin Missile. As I kid I was like “that’s so cool! I want one!”

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