Now that Pokémon Red and Blue are being rereleased on Nintendo 3DS, a whole new generation of Pokémon trainers will get to experience where the Pokémadness first begun. And believe me, it was madness!
And that's great news, because Gen 1 Pokémon still stands as one of the best games ever to release on Nintendo's best selling console. And only having a meagre 151 'mon to kidnap was a perfectly manageable past time.
We know next to everything about Red & Blue, every corner and spot of tall grass to avoid unless you want to fight the 1000th Pidgey, but did you know that the games also had some insane glitches that could change the very shape of your world?
From instantly leveling your 'mon up to 100 or being able to walk through walls, here are some of the best glitches in OG Pokémon:
1. The Old Man Glitch
a.k.a.The One Where You Encounter MissingNO.
If you're not in the know, MissingNO. (rhyme unintentional) is one of Pokémon's most infamous glitches, the thing is bonafide legend and probably the easiest glitch to find.
The glitch was intended to be a Bird type Pokémon that was removed from the game late in its development process, hence why MissingNO. is still floating about.
Sometimes MissingNO. can be found way over level 100, which is the level cap of all Pokémon. And, for some glitchy reason, it has been trained in the way of "water gun" twice!
The version you find depends on your character's name, and here's why:
The wild Pokémon that appear are based on the player's name. The third, fifth and seventh slots of the player's name are the species of Pokémon that will appear (see table below).
The second slot of the player's name becomes the level of the Pokémon caused to appear by the third slot, the fourth slot for the fifth slot, and the sixth slot for the seventh slot.
The game also reads the ninth and eleventh slots as wild Pokémon and the eighth and tenth slots as levels; however, due to the seven character name limit, these slots are not used, so are blank (00), causing 'M (00) to appear at level 0.
If you fancy stealing MissingNO. for your own nefarious deeds, talk to an old bald dude in the north of Viridian City. Get him to condescend your abilities and show you how to catch a Pokémon. Next fly to Cinnabar Island and surf on the eastern coast, but don't go further into the water. Literally surf on the coast.
Naturally you'll come across a bunch of varying Pokémon, but, if you're patient enough, you should bump into MissingNO. at some point. Hopefully! Maybe?
2. The Walk Through Walls Glitch
If you're anything like me and get annoyed with pesky walls and bushes being in the way all the time, this glitch should be right up your alley. To activate this ghostly glitch, follow these fairly convoluted steps:
- Get a poisoned Pokémon and then deposit all of your other Pokémon in the Pokémon Centre.
- Go to Safari Zone and pay the $500 to enter.
- Make to leave Safari Zone, but say no when asked if you want to.
- Save the game then restart.
- Go back into Safari Zone and begin counting each step you take. Keep in mind that when the screen flashes black, that means you've taken 4 steps. So count 125 flashes and 3 steps! No pressure.
- Say no when asked if you want to hunt Pokémon in Safari Zone.
- Walk around a lot then position yourself by a ledge when at 499 steps. Also, remember to heal your poisoned Pokémon before it faints!
- Jump off the ledge so you're in midair when you've exhausted your amount of steps.
- And, as if by magic, you should reappear back in Safari Zone with the ability to walk through things! Just don't walk through the exit, your game will crash.
- Do a little bit more walking around and now let your poisoned Pokémon faint. You will be teleported to the PC and you'll fully be able to walk through anything in your way!
If you didn't get all of that, here's a video by YouTuber Wooggle Smith to cross reference and stuff:
3. The Instant Level 100 Pokémon Glitch
a.k.a. The EXP Underflow Glitch
This glitch is super, super powerful and will allow you to level any Pokémon of your choosing up to 100 before the first gym! Insane right? Yes I agree. Here's Bulbapedia to explain, in unadulterated jargon, how this wonder-glitch exists:
In Generation I and Generation II, level 1 Pokémon in the Medium Slow group were calculated to have -54 experience points. However, due to the use of unsigned integers, the game interpreted this value as 16,777,162 experience points.
If a level 1 Pokémon with negative experience points completed a battle without gaining enough experience points to reach 0 or higher, the game, attempting to determine its level based on the number of experience points it had, would consider it to be at level 100 (having gone well over the amount required to reach this level), causing it to instantaneously jump to this level.
Nice and simple...
Alright enough chat, here's how to overpower your 'mons. Thanks, i_kissed_cereal!
4. The Mew Glitch
This glitch is incredible and I shake my fist at the sky that I didn't know it when I was young and wild eyed over the pocket monster phenomenon. With this it's possible to grab Mew, the mythical psychic Pokémon, way early in the game, but you'll need a 'mon that knows growl and a load of Pokéballs. Also, this is hard. Very hard.
Check out MackLL's tutorial above on how the catch the lil' cutey.
5. The PokéClone Glitch
This one now is more of a more Gen II phenomenon (Gold, Silver & Crystal), but was also available in Red, Blue & Yellow. This glitch allows you to create clones of any Pokémon you want, and also clone items too! But the OG version was a little bit tricky to pull off.
You'll need 2 Game Boys, 2 copies of Red, Blue or Yellow and a link cable to pull this one off. You'll also need to ready the 'mon you want cloned and one that you don't mind being deleted.
Link the Game Boys and go to a Pokémon Centre. Next head to Cable Club and then the Trade Centre. On one game trade the Pokémon you want cloned, then trade one you don't mind being deleted on the other.
Now restart the GB that had the Pokémon you wanted to clone without saving, and save on the other GB where the PokéClone now resides. If you did this all correctly, you should have the same 'mon across saves!