Cinnabar Island (referred to in Japanese as both グレン島Guren Island and グレンタウンGuren Town) is a large island located off the southern coast of the Kantoregion, south of Pallet Town. It is home to a large volcano. Blaine was once the resident Gym Leader specializing in Fire-typePokémon, but as of Generation IV, Cinnabar Island no longer has a Gym. Cinnabar is a kind of red mineral, associated with hot springs and volcanoes. The island is connected to the mainland by two water routes: Route 20 in the east and Route 21 in the north, leading to Fuchsia City and Pallet Town, respectively.
As seen in Generations II and IV, three years after the events of Generations I and III, a volcano erupted on the island, destroying everything. The only building present is a Pokémon Center, with the Cinnabar Gym having been relocated to the Seafoam Islands.
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In the Japanese versions, Cinnabar Island has two distinctive names: グレン島Guren Island and グレンタウンGuren Town.
In an old Pokémon.com summary, Cinnabar Island was called by its Japanese name of Guren Island (transliterated as Glen Island).
Generations I, III, and VII
In the Generation I games, it is referred to as simply "Guren" (グレン) on the Town Map just like other cities and towns. The island's signpost calls it Guren Town, whereas the Cinnabar Gym signpost calls it Guren Island.
In the Generation II games and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the island's signpost, the Cinnabar Gym signpost and its relocation notice call it Guren Town. The location ID is Guren Island in Generation II and Guren Town in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Generations I-III and VII
The Fiery Town of Burning Desire (Japanese: グレンの あかは じょうねつの いろGuren's red is the color of passion.)
The Ravaged Town of the Past (Japanese: おしながされた かこの まちThe ravaged town of the past)
The Pokémon Mansion is a decrepit, burned-down mansion on Cinnabar Island. It got its name because a famous Pokémon Researcher once lived there. The Pokémon Mansion has four different floors. Doors can be unlocked in the Mansion by pressing switches hidden in Mewtwo statues. To access the Cinnabar Island Gym in Generations I and III, the main character has to enter the mansion and find the Secret Key to unlock the door of the Gym. Many burglars come to the mansion, trying to steal valuable items that may have been lost in the wreckage, challenging the player to a battle when spotted. Amongst the rubble and wreckage is information that the scientists who once worked there obtained a Mew and impregnated it with the genetically altered Mewtwo, who destroyed the mansion in its escape.
The Cinnabar Lab, known as the Pokémon Lab prior to Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, is a laboratory located on Cinnabar Island. It was founded by Dr. Fuji and appears in the Generation I games and their remakes. In Generations I and III, the west room of the Cinnabar Lab has two people who will offer to trade Pokémon. The old man will offer his Electrode for a Raichu, and the girl will want to trade her Tangela for a Venonat. In the center room, there is a man who will teach Metronome once to one of the player's Pokémon; in Generation I, he gives away TM35 (Metronome). In the east room, there is a scientist who will revive the Fossils the player obtained at Mt. Moon and from the Pewter City Museum and a person who will trade his Seel for a Ponyta. In Silph Co., there is a Pokémon Report stating that Cinnabar Lab created Porygon.
There is a volcano on Cinnabar Island which gives it its name. In Generation I and Generation III, the volcano that appears on Cinnabar Island cannot be accessed. In the anime, the volcano is a prominent feature of the island, and is where the Cinnabar Gym is located, split into two sections. One is inside of the volcano, and has an arena suspended over the lava inside one of the chambers, while the other is atop the volcano's crater. In Generation II and IV, three years after the events of Generation I and III, the volcano erupted on the island, destroying everything, and only the Pokémon Center has been rebuilt. What appeared to be a rain-filled crater could also be seen in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the exterior of the volcano can be scaled with Rock Climb. When comparing the maps of generations I/III and II/IV, it can be seen that the volcano originated where the Gym once stood. On the other hand however, the official Kanto artwork map for Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! depicts Cinnabar Island's volcano as being to the west of the Cinnabar Lab and Pokémon Mansion, on a new extension to the island not seen before.
The Cinnabar Gym is the official Gym of Cinnabar Island, it is based on Fire-typePokémon and the Gym Leader is Blaine. Trainers who defeat him receive the Volcano Badge. The player is unable to enter the Gym at once; only when they obtain the Secret Key from the Pokémon Mansion can they unlock the door to the Gym. The Cinnabar Gym is a high-tech affair featuring a series of sealed doors. Trivia questions about various Pokémon must be answered to unseal the doors. However, when the player fails to answer a trivia question correctly, a battle with either a Burglar or Super Nerd results, an alternative to unsealing the doors. In Generations II and IV, Blaine's original Gym on Cinnabar Island was destroyed by a volcanic eruption. This forced him to relocate to a cave in the Seafoam Islands.
Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow
Cinnabar Island has a population of 33.
Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal
Cinnabar Island has a population of 6, all residing in the Pokémon Center. This is because every other building was destroyed by a volcanic eruption.
Cinnabar Island has a population of nine, making it one of the smallest towns in the Pokémon world. The volcano eruption destroyed most of the island, with the Pokémon Center being the only building remaining.
Cinnabar Island has changed dramatically between GenerationsI and II as the city has been totally replaced by a large erupted volcano, removing everything except for the Pokémon Center. After the eruption, the Gym was relocated to the Seafoam Islands. Blue can be first found at Cinnabar Island, because he was in a bad mood and decided to take a stroll there. In Generation III, there are a few changes with the visual design, as the Pokémon Mansion and Pokémon Lab are slightly larger along with more sandy beach areas. The first and last questions in the Cinnabar Gym have also been changed slightly for clarification. In Generation IV, the island stays much the same as Generation II, although the volcano is now climbable by Rock Climb.
While Cinnabar Island does not appear in Pokkén Tournament, when fighting Shadow Mewtwo, sometimes Nia will mention having read the "Cinnabar Island docs" on Mewtwo. However, the words "Cinnabar Island" aren't in text, and thus are only noticeable if her voice is turned on.
In the anime, Cinnabar Island is depicted as a tourist resort after the Cinnabar Gym Leader, Blaine, closed the Cinnabar Gym down due to the large influx of challengers who cared more about souvenirs than battling. However, Blaine secretly constructed a new Gym inside the Cinnabar Volcano.
In Riddle Me This, Ash and his friends arrived on Cinnabar Island for Ash's seventh Badge. However, they were dismayed to learn that the Gym had been closed down. After saving the Pokémon at the Pokémon Lab from being stolen by Team Rocket, a riddle-loving man told the group about Blaine's new secret Gym and gave them a hint about its location. The Gym's secret entrance turned out to be located next to the hot spring at the riddle man's "Big Riddle Inn". Inside the Gym, Ash and his friends found the riddle man, who turned out to be Blaine in disguise. Ash started a Gym battle with Blaine, but had difficulties during the entire match.
In Volcanic Panic, Ash forfeited the Gym battle and retreated to heal his Pokémon. Meanwhile, Team Rocket sneaked into the Gym to steal Blaine's Magmar, but their actions at the heart of the volcano threatened to make it erupt and destroy Cinnabar Island. Ash and his friends assisted Blaine in stopping the eruption, and, as a sign of gratitude, Blaine agreed to have a rematch with Ash. Since the Gym had been destroyed during the incident, the battle took place at the summit of the volcano. To Ash's surprise, his usually disobedientCharizard offered to battle Blaine's Magmar. After an eventful battle, Charizard emerged victorious, earning Ash the Volcano Badge. Ash and his friends left the island in the next episode, headed for Viridian City.
Cinnabar Island was visited by Red in File 3: Giovanni. During his visit, he first explored the Pokémon Mansion, where he discovered a journal that would later help him identify Cerulean Cave's mysterious Pokémon as Mewtwo. After exploring the Mansion, Red challenged Blaine to a Gym battle and won, earning the Volcano Badge.
Cinnabar Island debuted in Holy Moltres, where Team Rocket was trying to hunt down Blaine on the island because of him leaving them. When Team Rocket threatened Red, Blaine showed himself and rescued him. When they tried to escape, Team Rocket sent Moltres after them. As Blaine knew that they needed a Flying Pokémon to fight Moltres effectively, he sent Red to his secret laboratory to revive his Old Amber. Thanks to the Aerodactyl revived by Red, Team Rocket and Moltres were forced to retreat.
Cinnabar Island made a brief appearance in Double Down Deoxys, when Camper Evan and Super NerdMiles visited Blaine at his laboratory. Due to the mark left on his arm by Mewtwo's cells, Blaine was able to sense Mewtwo's agitation, speculating that it was due to Mew heading back to the Kanto mainland from Faraway Island.
It was long believed that Cinnabar Island once was the tip of a stratovolcano or a shield volcano since no mountain was visible on the island for the first three generations. This was changed in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, where a mountainous stratovolcano is actually there and can be reached by using Rock Climb, indicating that the lack of diverse scenery in the past games was the reason for no mountain being there. However, all map artworks throughout the generations have shown the volcano to be there.
Cinnabar Island and Vermilion City are named after the same color in the English versions of the Pokémon games but not in the Japanese versions, since crimson (グレンguren, "crimson lotus") refers to a shade of red while vermilion (クチバkuchiba, "decayed leaves") refers to a shade of orange. Cinnabar is an orange-red mineral that produces the orange-red pigment vermilion. This explains why Cinnabar Island is colored red while Vermilion City is colored orange in the Generation I games when played with the Super Game Boy enhancements enabled on a compatible system or with the Game Boy Color enhancements available in the international releases of Pokémon Yellow (including the Virtual Console release).
It is the southernmost location in both Kanto and Johto that the player can Fly to.
In Generation IV, if the player blacks out or uses Teleport when the Cinnabar Island Pokémon Center was the last Pokémon Center they visited, they will be taken to the last Pokémon Center they had visited prior to Cinnabar Island instead. This is likely to prevent the player from being permanently stranded on Cinnabar Island if their only Pokémon can't learn Surf or Fly and they have no means of obtaining another Pokémon.