Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese)

Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター 青 Pocket Monsters: Blue) is the third core series Pokémon game for the Game Boy.

Pokémon Blue Version
ポケットモンスター 青
Blue JP boxart.png
Box art of Pokémon Blue Version, depicting Blastoise.
Basic info
Platform: Game Boy (enhanced for the Super Game Boy and Super Game Boy 2)
Category: RPG
Players: 2 players simultaneous
Connectivity: Game Link Cable (Game Boy)
3DS Wireless (3DS VC)
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Part of: Generation I core series
GSRR: 6+ (3DS VC)
Release dates
Japan: December 1996 to January 1997 (Game Boy, mail release)[1]
June 13, 1997 to August 31, 1997 (Game Boy, mail re-release)[2]
October 10, 1999 (Game Boy, retail)[3][4]
February 27, 2016 (3DS VC)
(Note: October 15, 1996 is claimed to be Pokémon Blue's Japanese release date according to some official sources,[3][4] but this was simply the date when the still unreleased game was announced on CoroCoro magazine[1])
North America: N/A
Australia: N/A
Europe: N/A
South Korea: N/A
Hong Kong: N/A
Taiwan: N/A
Japanese: The Pokémon Company (Game Boy)
The Pokémon Company (Virtual Console)
Nintendo (Game Boy)
Nintendo (Virtual Console)
English: N/A

This game was announced on October 15, 1996, via the cover-dated November 1996 issue of CoroCoro Comic. It was was originally released by mail in early December 1996 to those who had requested it using an application form included with this specific issue of CoroCoro.

The game was originally released to celebrate 1 million sales of Pokémon Red and Green. It was later re-released (again as mail order) in 1997 to celebrate 4 million sales of Red, Green, and Blue combined, and then was ultimately released to general retail on October 10, 1999.

In Japan, Pokémon Blue is a minor revision of Pokémon Red and Green, which were released earlier in the same year. It was thus the first upper version in the core series Pokémon games. Fixes in the game include a graphics upgrade, as well as the removal of several known glitches that had been found in the original pair. Outside of Japan, the pair of games Pokémon Red and Blue was released with the same wild Pokémon and version-exclusive Pokémon as Japanese Red and Green, with the graphics and game engine from Japanese Blue.

The game was available on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in Japan between the Pokémon 20th Anniversary on February 27, 2016, and the discontinuation of the 3DS Nintendo eShop on March 27, 2023.


Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.

Much as would become standard for solitary versions, players follow the plot of the previous two games. Like in Red and Green, the player starts in Pallet Town in the Kanto region, receiving a first partner Pokémon from Professor Oak. As before, the choices are Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, and the rival chooses the first partner Pokémon that is super effective against the player's first partner Pokémon.

Once more, the eight Gym Leaders of Kanto are Brock, Misty, Lt. Surge, Erika, Koga, Sabrina, Blaine, and Giovanni, while the Elite Four are Lorelei, Bruno, Agatha, and Lance, with the rival still in the Champion's place.

Again, the evil Team Rocket is causing chaos across the region, and it is up to the player to defeat them.

Changes from Red and Green

  • Kanto is aesthetically redesigned, with the design of doors, signposts, and other tilesets redesigned. Cerulean Cave, the game's final dungeon, receives the most significant overhaul, sporting a completely different layout. These designs would later be reused for the international Pokémon Red and Blue. Indigo Plateau remains unaltered.
  • All Pokémon have new front sprites but retain the same back sprites from Red and Green. Pokémon Trainers and the ghosts of Pokémon Tower have the same sprites from Red and Green. The sprites from Blue would later be used in the international Pokémon Red and Blue.
  • Pokémon have new Pokédex entries.
  • In-game trades are changed to different Pokémon.
  • Game Corner prizes and slot machine icons are different.
  • The introduction of the game features a battle between a Gengar and a Jigglypuff, as opposed to a Gengar and a Nidorino, as it was in Pokémon Red and Green. This change carried on into the localized version of Pokémon Blue, while the original appeared in the localized Pokémon Red.
  • The places where some Pokémon are obtainable were changed:
  • HP Up is now sold at the Celadon Department Store.
  • The concept of Mythical Pokémon was introduced in this game, as seen in Mew and Dratini's Japanese Pokédex entries. However, Mew is called a "mirage" instead in the English Pokémon Red and Blue, since those games predated the English separation between Legendary and Mythical.
  • A small number of glitches were fixed:
    • A glitch that allows the player to surf from the top of a cliff was removed.
    • A glitch where the game mistakenly believes the player has beaten Sabrina (when they actually lost to her) was removed.
  • MissingNo. was given the placeholder Pokédex entry コメント さくせいちゅう Comment to be written. and became the ??? species. This was not translated, resulting in a glitched Pokédex entry in the localized Pokémon Red and Blue and the corruption of MissingNo.'s original height and weight (1.0 m (3.3 ft) and 10.0 kg (22.1 lb), respectively), showing instead a height of 10.0 ft (3.1 m) and a weight of 3507.2 lb (1590.8 kg).[5]
By ChickasaurusGL
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Missing Pokémon

The following Pokémon could be found in Red and Green Versions but are not obtainable in Pokémon Blue. In order to obtain any of the below Pokémon, they must be traded from one of the paired versions of Generation I, or from Generation II. The table below indicates which paired Generation I game has that Pokémon available.

Note that G marks the Pokémon obtainable in Pokémon Green, which has the same available Pokémon as Western Blue.

0023   Ekans
Poison R
0024   Arbok
Poison R
0037   Vulpix
Fire GY
0038   Ninetales
Fire GY
0056   Mankey
Fighting RY
0057   Primeape
Fighting RY
0069   Bellsprout
Grass Poison GY
0070   Weepinbell
Grass Poison GY
0071   Victreebel
Grass Poison GY
0125   Electabuzz
Electric R
0126   Magmar
Fire G


Players may trade Pokémon between two cartridges or battle with another cartridge using a Game Boy Game Link Cable. To take full advantage of this feature, several Pokémon are exclusive to other Generation I games and others require trading to evolve, making trading necessary to complete the Pokédex. The game can trade and battle with Japanese versions of Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow. It can also trade with Japanese versions of Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal via the Time Capsule. Pokémon Blue is completely incompatible with games from Generation III onward.

Trades between Pokémon games in different languages are possible; however, a Japanese game cannot connect with a non-Japanese game without causing corruption. This is due to the fact that the games cannot automatically translate the Pokémon data from Japanese to a different language or vice versa, since neither game fully encodes both kana and the Latin alphabet (only encoding one fully and the other partially). If a battle between a Japanese game and a non-Japanese game is attempted, the battle simply does not work, with the save files left unharmed.

Pokémon Blue is compatible with Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Stadium 2 (released as Pokémon Stadium in English), and Pokémon Stadium Gold and Silver (released as Pokémon Stadium 2 in English). While link battles are not possible directly between Pokémon Blue and the Generation II games, a player may challenge a Generation II game using Pokémon Stadium Gold and Silver.

Virtual Console

The Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console release uses 3DS wireless communication as a substitute for the Game Link Cable. Japanese and non-Japanese Generation I core series games do not recognize each other when attempting to link them via 3DS wireless communication.

Using Poké Transporter, the entirety of Box 1 can be sent from the Generation I core series games to Pokémon Bank (regardless of language), from where they can be withdrawn in the Generation VII core series games.


Pokémon Blue was originally announced at the cover-dated November 1996 issue of CoroCoro Comic, which was distributed on October 15, 1996. This CoroCoro issue had an application form to request Pokémon Blue via mail. This was originally the only way to obtain this game. The period to request Pokémon Blue was between October 15 and December 27.[1]

This CoroCoro issue could be obtained either via a subscription or by simply being bought from a magazine stand. Each subscription form could be used to purchase two copies of Pokémon Blue. According to the instructions in the magazine, the buyers were expected to send money via bank transfer only after Pokémon Blue arrived.[1]

The game was originally released to celebrate 1 million sales of Pokémon Red and Green.[6] Pokémon Blue was distributed by mail from early December 1996 to January 1997.[1] It was later re-released (again as mail order) in 1997 to celebrate 4 million sales of Red, Green, and Blue combined,[2][7] and then was ultimately released to general retail on October 10, 1999.[3][4]

October 15, 1996 (the date when the CoroCoro magazine was originally released) is also known as Pokémon Blue's release date according to Pokémon and Nintendo's official Japanese websites.[3][4]

Differences in the Virtual Console release

The Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console release can link with other Virtual Console Generation I and II core series games via Nintendo 3DS wireless communication, simulating the Game Link Cable. When initiating a link, the Virtual Console menu on the touch screen replaces the Cable Club attendant's dialogue.

Using Poké Transporter, Pokémon can be sent from the Generation I core series games to Pokémon Bank, from which they can be withdrawn in the Generation VII core series games.

The moves Blizzard, BubbleBeam, Confusion, Dream Eater, Explosion, Guillotine, Hyper Beam, Mega Kick, Mega Punch, Psychic, Reflect, Rock Slide, Selfdestruct, Spore, and Thunderbolt had their animations changed slightly to tone down the flashing.

The game is available on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in Japan between the Pokémon 20th Anniversary on February 27, 2016, and the discontinuation of the 3DS Nintendo eShop in March 2023.


Main article: Pokémon Red and Green beta

An error made during development causes the Pokémon depicted during Professor Oak's introductory lecture to be a Nidorino but with the cry of a Nidorina. This was already the case in the Japanese Red and Green and it was not fixed in Red and Blue.


Main article: Game Boy: Entire Pokémon Sounds Collection CD

The soundtrack release for Pokémon Red and Green also applies to Pokémon Blue.


Main article: Staff of Pokémon Red and Blue


Title screens


Virtual Console icons


In other languages

Language Title
  Japanese ポケットモンスター 青
  French Pokémon Version Bleue
  German Pokémon Blaue Edition
  Italian Pokémon Blue Version
  Korean 포켓몬스터 블루
  Spanish Pokémon Edición Azul

External links


Generation I: Red & GreenBlue (JP)Red & BlueYellow
Generation II: Gold & SilverCrystal
Generation III: Ruby & SapphireFireRed & LeafGreenEmerald
Generation IV: Diamond & PearlPlatinumHeartGold & SoulSilver
Generation V: Black & WhiteBlack 2 & White 2
Generation VI: X & YOmega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Generation VII: Sun & MoonUltra Sun & Ultra Moon
Let's Go, Pikachu! & Let's Go, Eevee!‎
Generation VIII: Sword & Shield (The Isle of Armor / The Crown Tundra)
Brilliant Diamond & Shining PearlLegends: Arceus
Generation IX: Scarlet & Violet (The Teal Mask / The Indigo Disk)
Legends: Z-A
Pokémon game templates

  This game-related article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.