Many of us remember the good old days almost 20 years ago when the first Pokémon games came out. Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow were part of the first generation of Pokémon games that would spawn an incomparable franchise. Personally, I found myself feeling a bit of nostalgia recently for these old games and took the time to start playing the games again. I started playing Pokémon Yellow, so some of the events and Pokémon might be different from those of Red and Blue.
Pikachu and the Three Starters
The best feature of Yellow was the fact that the player could get all three starter Pokémon and a Pikachu that would follow you around when it was in your party and not fainted. Pikachu was the first Pokémon you would get after your rival takes Eevee from Professor Oak’s lab. Bulbasaur was found in Cerulean City, Charmander near Nugget Bridge, and Squirtle in Vermillion City after defeating the gym there. Since the character you play was the basis of Ash in the anime, having all four of these Pokémon is similar to how Ash started his journey.
Team Rocket Blasting Off
Who could forget the comical villains of Jesse, James, and Meowth in the Pokémon anime and movies? Team Rocket originated in these Generation I games and will appear several times throughout to hinder your progress. Similar to the anime, their primary Pokemon are Koffing, Ekans, and Meowth along with their evolutions, Weezing and Arbok, later on. Players meet this dastardly trio a total of four times at each of the locations Team Rocket is committing their crimes at.
In addition to Jesse and James, the leader of Team Rocket, Giovanni, is an important character in Pokémon Yellow and acts as a “final boss” in several places. Players fight him at the Rocket Hideout in Celadon City as well as at Silph Co. in Saffron to obtain the Master Ball from the President of Silph Co. Upon reaching the Viridian Gym, a twist reveals that he is also the 8th and final gym leader that the player must beat.
In the anime your rival is called Gary, but in the game his official name is Blue (you’re called Red) although you can name him anything you want. Although Blue starts off with an Eevee, it can evolve into any of the three evolutions depending on how your first few battles went with him. Assuming you’re a top-notch trainer and defeated him every time, his Eevee evolves into a Jolteon by the end, probably the most troublesome of all the evolutions due to its high speed. After defeating him numerous times throughout your journey, it turns out that Blue defeated the Elite Four before you did and is the current reigning Champion. His team turns out to be quite powerful, but with type advantage it’s not too hard to defeat his Pokémon.
The Legendary Birds
We all remember those pesky legendary birds who just wouldn’t get into those Ultra Balls no matter how many we threw. To be fair, they aren’t as hard to catch as some of the other legendaries in other games (I’m looking at you Raikou, Suicune, and Entei), but they were the first ones players had to catch. Zapados and Articuno were particularly powerful with Zapados having Drill Peck and learning Thunder while Articuno had Ice Beam and would learn Blizzard. Moltres was surprisingly underwhelming in terms of moves, but if you had Fire Blast from Cinnabar, it would help it greatly.
In the end, replaying Pokémon Yellow was quite satisfying as I got to experience the whole journey of the game again. If you have some free time in the future, turn on that old Gameboy Color and play some of the older Pokémon games. The experience will have you humming along to all the tunes throughout the game.