In the earlier days of the internet it came out to Western audiences that there was a third version of Pokemon, Green Version, in addition to the original Red and Blue. This caused quite a commotion in the community and interest in this mysterious Pokemon Green soared. Many rumours circulated and to this day there remains some confusion amongst fans about Pokemon Green, which was never brought out in English except in name only as the remake Pokemon LeafGreen. Today we're going to put those rumours to rest by getting into a bit of a history lesson. We're also bringing to light the Japanese Pokemon Blue, which differs slightly from any of the games that landed in English-speaking countries.

Pokémon Red & Green

In 1996 Pokemon Red and Green were released in Japan and featured the Pokemon Charizard and Venusaur on the covers. Essentially they were the same game as the English Red and Blue, however there are a few differences. Obviously the name and title screen was different for Green, but it was basically what we refer to as Pokemon Blue, with the same version exclusives and the like. Graphically they looked quite different from the English Red and Blue, although some elements can still be seen in these games (the water in the Safari Zone, for instance, looks like the water found in the rest of the game in Red and Green). Most notably are the Pokemon sprites, which had very unusual proportions compared to the art in recent years. These sprites are unique to the Japanese Red and Green and aren't found on any English copy of the game. A few glitches were corrected between the translations, and a difference in coding means they can never connect via Link Cable. The pallet for Pokemon Green on a Game Boy Color was also different, matching the name of the game. Finally, the Unknown Dungeon (or Cerulean Cave) had a different layout that was the basis for the one to return in FireRed, LeafGreen, HeartGold, and SoulSilver.

Pokémon Blue

This is where some of the rumours about Pokemon Green are brought to life. In Japan only there was a promotion through Coro Coro magazine allowing players to purchase an improved version of the original Red and Green that had superior graphics and sound, along with a few tweaks in maps. It was the first of what we now call the "third version", starting a trend of improving the original pairs through a new release. It had cosmetic changes, like shifting the spotlight towards Blastoise on the cover and title screen, a different GBC pallet, and changed Nidorino to Jigglypuff in the opening cinematic. The graphics that players of English Red and Blue are accustomed were borrowed off Japanese Blue. Most notably however it had a totally different set of available Pokemon, many of whom were previously only found in Pokemon Red and Green's in-game trades (which have also been changed). Here are those differences catalogued for your convenience

Pokémon Blue - Exclusives

An interesting bit to note is that Pokémon Blue included several Pokémon in the wild that were only found via trades in the original Red & Green and their localised versions.

No. Pic Name Type Base Stats
HP Att Def Special Spd
#108
Lickitung
ベロリンガ
90 55 75 75 30
#124
Jynx
ルージュラ
65 50 35 95 95

Pokémon Blue - Unobtainables

As expected, Pokémon Blue also has numerous Pokémon that are not available without trading.

No. Pic Name Type Base Stats
HP Att Def Special Spd
#023
Ekans
アーボ
35 60 44 40 55
#024
Arbok
アーボック
60 85 69 65 80
#037
Vulpix
ロコン
38 41 40 65 65
#038
Ninetales
キュウコン
73 76 75 100 100
#056
Mankey
マンキー
40 80 35 35 70
#057
Primeape
オコリザル
65 105 60 60 95
#069
Bellsprout
マダツボミ
50 75 35 70 40
#070
Weepinbell
ウツドン
65 90 50 85 55
#071
Victreebel
ウツボット
80 105 65 100 70
#125
Electabuzz
エレブー
65 83 57 85 105
#126
Magmar
ブーバー
65 95 57 85 93

Pokémon Blue - Trades

Like the other games, Pokémon Blue has the various in-game trades. These were the models for the ones in Red & Blue, but with the Pokémon matching those from Red & Green. As such, the text from the original exists which is why one in the English Red & Blue references Raichu evolving, since they use Graveler in the trade here.

Route 2: Mr. Mime

Location: Route 2

Method:
The first in game trade you'll probably encounter is this one outside Diglett's Cave on Route 2. A man will offer you his Mr. Mime for your Jigglypuff. Though Jigglypuff can be hard to catch, Mr. Mime doesn't appear in the wild at all, making this a good deal. Mr. Mime has decent Special and Speed but poor physical stats and HP.

まさる
Level ??
OT:TRAINER
トレーナー
ID:Random
 
 
Trader requests a Jigglypuff
Route 5: Poliwag

Location: Route 5

Method:
The underground tunnel (north exit) has a trainer who will trade a Poliwag for your Rattata.

ロモたん
Level ??
OT:TRAINER
トレーナー
ID:Random
 
 
Trader requests a Rattata
Route 11: Kangaskhan

Location: Route 11

Method:
In the Route 11 gate, you have the ability to obtain a Kangaskhan. In Japanese Blue, Kangaskhan is not found anywhere in the game, so this is the only place you can get it.

ロダン
Level ??
OT:TRAINER
トレーナー
ID:Random
 
 
Trader requests a Rhyhorn
Route 18: Tauros

Location: Route 18

Method:
Tauros can only be obtained in this trade. Though Persian are uncommon, it is a decent trade off in terms of Pokedex completion. The owner is found in the gate upstairs on Route 18.

ぎゅうた
Level ??
OT:TRAINER
トレーナー
ID:Random
 
 
Trader requests a Persian
Cerulean City: Haunter/Gengar

Location: Cerulean City

Method:
The house next to the Pokemon Center is home to an elderly man who will trade his Haunter for your Machoke. As such, as soon as you receive the Haunter, it will evolve into Gengar

ゴーすけ
Level ??
OT:TRAINER
トレーナー
ID:Random
 
 
Trader requests a Machoke
Vermillion City: Farfetch'd

Location: Vermillion

Method:
This trade offers Normal/Flying-type for Normal/Flying-type. Farfetch'd can't be found anywhere else in the game.
アッカ
Level ??
OT:TRAINER
トレーナー
ID:Random
 
 
Trader requests a Pidgey

Cinnabar Island: Slowpoke

Location: Cinnabar Island

Method:
The Cinnabar Island laboratory contains a couple of people who'd like to trade with you. These trades are mostly useless as you can catch all of the Pokemon offered in the wild at approximately the same difficulty.

オスカル
Level ??
OT:TRAINER
トレーナー
ID:Random
 
 
Trader requests a Ponyta
Cinnabar Island: Graveler

Location: Cinnabar Island

Method:
The second trader in the lab wants a Kadabra for Graveler.

さぶろう
Level ??
OT:TRAINER
トレーナー
ID:Random
 
 
Trader requests a Kadabra
Cinnabar Island: Krabby

Location: Cinnabar Island

Method:
The final trade offers you a Krabby in exchange for a Growlithe

どうらく
Level ??
OT:TRAINER
トレーナー
ID:Random
 
 
Trader requests a Growlithe
 
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