Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue (Pokèmon Green in Japan) are the first installments of the Pocket Monsters series of RPG developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy 1996. The Pokemon project originally started in 1990 and was internally know as “Capsule Monsters”, as found out by Celebi23 in his researches on the development of the saga.
The name “Capsule Monsters” is inspired by Japanese gashapon machines. Apparently, Tajiri had trouble trademarking the name “Capsule Monsters” so he changed it first to “CapuMon” and then later “Pocket Monsters”.
It looks like development started in the Fall of 1990 & was scheduled to be released in December of 1991. From what I can tell, there was not enough funds to continue development so, “Capsule Monsters” was put on hold in early 1992. About 80% of the music was already finished. They then developed “Yoshi” for the NES & the GameBoy.
The surprising success of that game helped to give GameFreak the resources that it needed. In 1993, it was put to an internal vote as to whether Game Freak should complete the Pokémon games (then still called Capsule Monsters). 80% were for finishing development. In the summer of 1994, “Pocket Monsters” resumed development. While development has started once more, numerous interruptions (all money related) kept popping up. And as such, they developed many other games while still working on Red/Green.
You can find more info on Celebi23’s researches on his website!
Tajiri was also influenced by Square’s Game Boy game The Final Fantasy Legend, noting in an interview that the game gave him the idea that more than just action games could be developed for the handheld.
In Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow it’s possible to discover a mysterious truck in the north-east of the Anne S.s. ship anchored at the port of Vermillion City. This van is technically unattainable, located at a point of the game where it is visited only through GameShark or external programs.
In reality however there is a way for reaching it with an in-game glitch, that is to lose a fight (and so do a “game over”) and then Start over to another location. That truck was probably designed for some reason, but ultimately was not used in the final game.
The van is present in the original Gameboy version and also in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen for the Game Boy Advance. Since it is still unused and unreachable (this time it cant be reached without a GameShark) is thought to be a reference and homage to the original one.
Thanks to Enricothedark for the contribution!
What exactly is MissingNo?
Missingno. is the Glitch Pokémon that appears after viewing the Old Man’s tutorial in Viridian City on how to catch Pokémon, then immediately Flying to Cinnabar Island and Surfing along the right hand side of the island until one is encountered, without visiting any other areas.
Whenever the game “sets up” the planned battle against the Old Man’s Weedle, it needs to change the player’s character name to “OLD MAN” so that it will display “OLD MAN” instead of the name the player has entered.
The programmers decided to use the area of data where wild Pokémon information is as a temporary storage area for the player’s name, due to the lack of memory on a Game Boy. Normally this wouldn’t cause any abnormal activity, as the correct data for the wild Pokémon available is written to this area in memory whenever the player travels to an area where it is possible to catch wild Pokémon, such as walking in tall grass or using a fishing rod.
Along Cinnabar Island’s coast, however, there is no data indicating which wild Pokémon are catchable, and the same is true for both Viridian City and Cinnabar Island itself, at least by movement in long grass. The game uses whatever data was already in the corresponding area of data when determining which wild Pokémon encountered and their levels—now the player’s name. Normally this space in memory would hold the data of the last area visited where wild Pokémon were catchable in grass and their level data (this same glitch allows players to exit the Safari Zone and Fly immediately to Cinnabar Island to be able to catch and fight Safari Zone Pokémon in the same way as they would in other areas, as Fuchsia City also has no wild Pokémon data for long grass), however, since in both Viridian City and Cinnabar Island the data is empty for Pokémon obtainable in the grass, the active data is never overwritten, leading to Missingno.’s. availability, among other things.
The name of the player has six hexadecimal values in it. The game needs only three “slots” of wild Pokémon data to store this.
The wild Pokémon the player encounters along the coast are determined by the third, fifth, and seventh characters of the player’s name, while the levels are determined by the second, fourth, and sixth characters, respectively. By knowing which letters and symbols match which species and levels, through use of certain calculators and charts, it is possible to set the player name at the start of the game so as to find specific Pokémon at specific levels.
Also, Coolboyman found a beta song in Pokemon Red! You can listen to it in the video below