There’s nothing quite like the good old days. While there’s no doubt video games have advanced over the years, it’s still a fun time to go back and see what it was like in its early days. Take Pokemon Red and Blue, for example. It’s clear that those games haven’t exactly aged well (in terms of graphics and programming), but there’s still plenty of fun to be had when playing through them again.
One aspect that still remains classic and entertaining through those games is their mistakes. While that may sound weird, glitches and bugs can actually feed the nostalgia one would have about the games. I speak from personal experience when it comes to how some of these mistakes defined my experience while playing.
Since the Pokemon series has become different in the past few decades, many of these mistakes in the first entries have been lost to time. Because I’m one about living through the past, I’ve collected some of the most notable hiccups in Pokemon Red and Blue (with some additional ones from Yellow) to challenge your observation skills.
Despite the love they get, Pokemon Red and Blue are not perfect and have their fair share of mistakes, bugs, and glitches. Whether you notice them or not, here are 15 of our favorites:
15. Who’s That Pokemon?
This is one of the most famous glitches to ever grace the world of Pokemon. Discovered very early in Red and Blue‘s life cycle, players came across a very strange creature in the wild. Apparently, there was another Pokemon planned to be in the game but was scrapped late into development. Because of this, there were some residual files left over that led to a version of the Pokemon appearing under specific circumstances.
Due to the Pokemon not being complete, it took the appearance of a lump of pixels with no number on the Pokedex. It has since been referred to as Missingno and is one of the most popular glitches in gaming. Missingno has not appeared officially in the series since then, but people have found ways to hack it in using Game Sharks and Action Replays.
14. On the Road Again
You might have to do a double take before you recognize what’s wrong with this picture here. The Pokemon series has always been known for locking movement on a grid and then allowing players to move based on “squares,” if that makes any sense. Naturally, a large chunk of the world is filled with squares that are inaccessible. They’re simply there to fill the map and nothing more.
Yet, there is a way that players can glitch the game and allow oneself to travel through these filled squares. It takes a long combination of precise movements, including glitching the Safari Zone and walking outside afterward. It all ends with the player jumping off of a ledge and tricking the game into thinking that you’re still high in the air. Because of this, you move “above” the filled in squares.
13. The Wonderful 151
While Pokemon Red and Blue were loaded with only 150 Pokemon, there was actually one more added at the last minute. The reasoning behind this was when the games were being developed, there was only an incredibly small amount of space left on the cartridge. One of the developers saw that it would be just enough to insert another Pokemon (whether it would be catchable or not).
This Pokemon was given the name Mew and was made an official creature. However, because there was so little space, it wasn’t able to be found through conventional means. Instead, there was a crazy glitch discovered that allowed players to find a Mew in the wild. It involves glitching a Pokemon battle and finding a certain creature in the tall grass. Good luck.
12. 0 To 100 Real Quick
Piggybacking off of the Mew glitch is another strange exploit players have found within Red and Blue. However, this one is a bit more functional than just glitching your way to a new Pokemon. If done correctly, it allows a Pokemon to go from level 1 all the way to level 100 by just gaining a small number of experience points.
How does this work? Well, it functions similarly to how players can find Mew, except, you can run into any Pokemon that exists in the game code (at a fairly low level). However, when you check their stats, you’ll find that they have an astronomical number. This is because the game thinks their level is of the negative value, but because there are no negative levels in the game, it just goes to the highest number. From there, you just give the Pokemon a little bit of experience, and they rocket to level 100.
11. That Can’t Be a Real Name
Red and Blue has some of the most intriguing glitches of any game in history, and that trend bleeds over into the battles themselves. Typically, when you catch the eyes of another trainer, they’ll approach you, the music will start playing, and you’ll be ready to fight some weird kid with a level 20 Rattata.
However, if you complete a very specific set of circumstances (with outside resources like a GameShark), you could be met by one of the most disturbing trainers in the entire series. You’ll notice first that the name isn’t quite right and that the trainer in question is actually a mirror version of your avatar in the game. What gets even more disturbing is that he sends out Pokemon that are of levels higher than 100 (which shouldn’t technically be possible).
10. This Isn’t Where I Was Going
Programming a game is hard work, and I’m about to explain why. In the Pokemon series, the overworld is all loaded at once. However, when you enter a Pokemon Center or Shop, you pass through a door so that the game can load the building separately. This is something that occurs a lot in video games, and very rarely will you not experience some kind of load time before entering a shop.
Because of this, there’s an exploit in Red and Blue where you can go through a door to Oak’s Lab and enter the Cinnabar Gym, for example (two places that are very far apart). As you can imagine, this trick has been used by speedrunners to shave off a lot of time from their playthroughs.
If there’s one thing more confusing and/or disturbing than Missingno, try a Pokemon that doesn’t even appear. One look at this battle, and you know something’s not right. While there are a few pixels that appear on screen, that’s all there really is. What’s even stranger is that its name appears simple as “M.”
Because of this, many people feel that the glitch is related to Missingno in some fashion, but M is a completely different entity. Unlike Missingno, M can actually evolve if you level it up to 138 (hack the game to do that — it’s not hard). However, the crazy part is if you encounter an M and catch it, the battle doesn’t end. M will still attack you. In order to finish the fight, you have to catch it again, and then a random Ditto will pop up in your party. Game Theory, get on this.
8. I’ll Beat the Pokemon League in No Time!
While there are a lot of jokes made that it only takes you a few days to beat all the gym leaders, challenge the Elite Four, and make it into the Pokemon Hall of Fame, this is taking it a step further. This isn’t photoshopped, nor am I pulling your leg. It’s legitimately possible to beat Red, Blue, or Yellow in no time at all.
How is this done? Simple. Remember that old transporting door glitch I talked about a few entries ago? Basically, there’s a way to use it, travel through Oak’s Lab, and get into the Hall of Fame. From there, the game will progress as if you’ve already beaten the Elite Four and conquered all the gym leaders. Ta da! You’ve officially beaten the game in literally no time.
7. A No Fishing Zone?
Fishing is a cute mechanic of the Pokemon games. You get an adorable little rod, find the nearest source of water, cast your line, and wait for a Magikarp or Tentacool to tug on it. It’s a fairly easy way to get a Water-type Pokemon and a simple way of later chaining to catch a Shiny Pokemon. However, there are limits to where you can fish, but in Red and Blue, there was a bit of an oversight.
Those of you familiar with the Cerulean Gym know that it’s run by Misty (who was a prominent character in the anime). She primarily uses Water-type Pokemon, so the gym is styled with that in mind. There are pools of water in the gym, and believe it or not, you can actually fish in them to try and catch some Pokemon. This technically shouldn’t work, as the Cerulean Gym doesn’t contain any wild Pokemon, but hey, it’s not stealing if you don’t get caught, right?
6. I’m No Biologist, But That Shouldn’t Be Possible
Let me get this out of the way: Nidoking is a fairly strong Pokemon, who’s the second evolution of the male Nidoran. In order to evolve a little Nidoran, you have to get it up to level 22 to get a Nidorino. Then, you give the Nidorino a Moon Stone to evolve it into a Nidoking. Sounds easy enough. However, this Nidoking pictured is only level 1. How is that possible?
As you might expect by now, this is done using a glitch, and for some reason, it results in a Nidoking spawning at level 1. Not only is level 1 impossible to obtain in the game (as the baby Pokemon mechanic wasn’t introduced until Gen 2), but Nidoking cannot be found in the wild, nor are they capable of being level 1 themselves. That means some serious glitch work was done, and it’s not easy.
5. Of Course I Have the Pewter Gym Badge!
When you start any Pokemon game, you’re subject to an incredibly long tutorial that you should really be able to skip. In Red and Blue, this includes going to Pewter City, where the first gym is located. On the right of the city, there’s another route to travel on, but a guy sits there and won’t let you pass through it unless you have the Pewter Gym Badge.
Thankfully, through the power of glitches and exploits, you can skip this person without having the Pewter Gym Badge. You do this by getting to the spot where he comes and stops you, and then save the game. When you turn it off and back on, you should be able to walk right on through to the next route, no badge or anything. That’d be pretty useful in Pokemon Yellow, where your start is an Electric type.
4. That Can’t Be a Pokemon
Despite what you may think, this isn’t a glitch or exploit. This is, in fact, an actual part of the game’s story that takes place in Lavender Town. When you reach this mysterious place, people will speak of a horror within the Pokemon Tower. As you explore, you’ll encounter not a legitimate Pokemon, but a ghost. Its name literally says “Ghost.”
Upon further investigation, it’s revealed that this is the ghost of a Marowak who was killed by Team Rocket. The ghost has shown its face in the Pokemon Tower because Team Rocket had invaded it. It was agitated and decided to warn everyone going into the Tower that Team Rocket had taken over and was going to cause harm to anyone who got close.
3. Glitch City
There are many cities within the Kanto Region, but there are none quite as unique as this one. If you’ll notice, the buildings are all out of whack, and players can move basically wherever they want. This place is referred to as Glitch City by the community and is accessible through some skillful hacking.
If you’ve managed to pull off the “walk anywhere” glitch, then you’re free to travel throughout the world as you please. Eventually, if you walk enough, you’ll come across a city with distorted buildings, NPCs, and more. This is a result of players screwing with the game’s code, so it can’t properly load some of the environments (at least that’s how I think it works).
2. SS Anne Truck
In the game, there’s a boat that allows you to travel from one part of Kanto to another called the SS Anne. To get on it, you simply grab a ticket, and you’re taken to the boat. However, the locale of the boat itself holds an interesting secret that you can only access if you glitch your way into being able to surf in the nearby water (not capable through normal means).
There’s a little island to the left that you’d never access without this glitch. Despite this, a small pickup truck sits there. After years, players are still unsure of why it’s there or what its purpose is. Some theorized that’s how you could get Mew, but that was soon debunked. To this day, no one knows what the truck is there for, and there are no theories.
1. Seems a Little Broken To Me
I’ve talked a few times about how glitched trainers and “Ms” are capable of having crazy levels. Yet, the crazy levels don’t end with just that. There’s a way you can catch yourself a Pokemon at around level 150. This is accessed through a few glitches that allow them to spawn, but it’s not useful when all is said and done.
Even if you have a level 120 Blastoise, it won’t do you much good in battle. These high-level creatures often crash the game while battling, so their only purpose is for that wow factor. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine when I was a kid figured this glitch out to give himself Pokemon with levels over 100. Seems a little broken to me.