In the Pokémon world, Generation 1 is hailed as the absolute best of the best generations amongst many of the fans who like to deny the truth, but we do have to give credit where credit is due. These titles started the whole thing! Red, Green, and Blue were the games that first set off the Pokémon craze of the 90s, and gave us 20 years of joy and spending $80 dollars on two games that exactly the same. However, to put it lightly, these titles are also completely broken disasters. There are tons of glitches and problems in these tiles. There are also aspects of the game that aren’t glitches, but just… bad, for various other reasons. All in all, Generation 1 Pokémon games are a bit of a mess, and we’re going to dig into all of the reasons why today. I now present you with 25 ridiculous things of Pokémon Generation 1. Let us know any more that you think of in the comments below, and let’s get right into it.
25 Lance In General
This is no shade against Lance at all, he is a cool character. But still, why make a Dragon centric trainer if there are basically no Dragon-type Pokémon in the game? This is baffling to me. In his Elite 4 battle, Lance uses 3 dragon types in his five Pokémon party. The Dragons are 2 Dragonair and 1 Dragonite, none of which know any Dragon moves whatsoever. Literally goodbye with that mess.
24 Dragon Moves
As I previously said, the most important Dragon trainer in the game has only three Dragon Pokémon, and none of them know any Dragon moves, because they’re all bad. The only damaging Dragon-type move is Dragon Rage, which deals 40 damage. I just cannot understand any of the logic there at all. You put Dragons in your game and they can’t do anything relevant? And also you aren’t making Charizard a Dragon type? Goodbye.
23 The Weirdo Outside Erika's Gym
There’s a very creepy old man who spends 100% of his time staring at the girls in Erika’s gym. Ew. I say girls because many Pokémon trainers are under 18, including the girls in that gym. I would say to call the police, but following the release of the Let’s Go! titles, our horrible old man is now staring into the gym not because it is full of women, but instead because it’s full of strong trainers. Aww.
22 Focus Energy
Focus Energy is a fun little move that boosts your chance of a critical hit by four. I mean, that was the goal. What it actually does is cut the chance by four because what is math? This is another one of those little fun developer oopsies that seem to be sprinkled all over these games. Focus Energy is completely useless in Gen 1. I mean it kind of is in the rest of the generations too but no time to talk about that.
21 Critical Hits
On this episode of things that don’t work in Red and Blue, critical hits. For some reason, critical hits in the first generation were based on the speed stat, which means that Persian got to be relevant for a generation. Good for him. But seriously, this is another reason that metagame Gen 1 is such an odd duck, it does not work. I mean there are 4000+ other reasons, but this is certainly one of them.
20 HMs In General
This generation started what became an absolute mess that peaked in the best generation (four) and for that, I will never forgive it. That’s right, Gen 1 is where we originally got HMs, unforgettable (literally) moves that weren’t good but had to be used to progress through the game. What was the point of this? Roadblocking? Gen 7 just puts up an actual, physical roadblock so clearly you don’t need to be creative with those things if that was the goal.
19 Cerulean Gym Fishing
If you bring any of the fishing rods into the Cerulean Gym, you can actually do a little fishing. This is a glitch that continued on into Gen 2, and actually lets you obtain a variety of different Pokémon, such as Poliwag, Krabby, and Psyduck. After Gen 2 this trick was fixed, and you could never wrangle in a second-tier Pokémon from Cerulean Gym again. So sad.
18 The Special Stat
The Gen 1 special stat, and subsequently, the Gen 2 special split, are some of the most important aspects of competitive play. Part of the reason that psychic type Pokémon are so powerful in the first generation is that special defense and special attack weren’t a thing at this point. Instead, they were just one combined stat, which made everything that was powerful also invincible. This made many huge threats, and also brought a lot of those threats down at the beginning of Gen 2.
17 Wrap Mechanics
I will never be able to discuss how bad wrap mechanics are in Gen 1 enough. When this move is used, you are completely barred from making any moves until it decides it's ready to wear off. It's completely broken, and honestly, any Pokémon that can learn it becomes instantly more imposing. This move was quickly nerfed entering Gen 2, and you never hear about it anymore. I really just want to talk to whichever developer thought this was a good idea. I just want to talk.
Similarly to Pokémon Red and Blue, Counter is a broken mess. There are tons of glitches in regards to this move. One of my favorites is that it will still work if the opponent uses an item on the turn you activate it. Like, what're you trying to counter, a potion? There are all other sorts of nonsense with the move as well, like countering a switch or a frozen Pokémon. That’s just kicking a Wobbuffet when it’s down.
15 Some Pokédex Entries
Hmm, let’s see. We have: Licking the soul out of people, hooves 10x harder than diamonds, 5000 IQ, surviving dynamite blasts unscathed and 1000 years curses as a nice little sampling of some of the best Gen 1 Pokédex entries. This really isn’t exclusive to Gen 1, as Pokédex entries are always stupid and hilarious. I’ve always been partial to Drampa burning houses of mean children down, but to each their own.
14 Glitch City
A famous glitch involving the Safari Zone in these games is known as Glitch City. Through a few steps that include entering and exiting the zone, you can find yourself in Glitch City, a city made from broken code based upon whichever map you were on in Red and Blue when the glitch occurred. Usually, they occupy the same amount of space as the respective map they broke, or in places like Pallet town, you just can’t move. Cute.
13 Leech Seed And Toxic
If you want an easy win in Gen 1, go for a Leech Seed and Toxic Combo. When a Pokémon is badly poisoned, using Leech Seed on them actually allows the move to stack in the same way that Toxic does, meaning the enemy will lose health at a rapid speed. An actual way to make bug Pokémon viable? In Generation 1? I am shook.
12 Marowak Ghost
Replaying the whole scene with Marowak’s ghost recently in Let’s Go! Made me realize what a ridiculous scenario it is. This poor Marowak has passed on, and her Cubone child is terribly upset, and you have to either battle it or have her child calm her before you can continue up to the top floor. While this whole scene is sad, it’s also kind of messed up that we’re just solving this situation so we can advance. We’re 10-year-olds on a mission I guess.
11 Horrible AI
While this has certainly been improved in later games, the Red and Blue AI was… not good. Granted, it was an original Game Boy game, but obvious decision-making skills were severely lacking with the AI. One example is that the AI would prioritize super effective moves against you no matter what, even if it’s non-damaging move. No one will ever beat my use sand attack until the PP is gone strategy though. Ever.
10 Some Of The Sprites
While some of the sprites in our international Red and Blue titles are, let's say fun, the original Red and Green titles from Japan are just really the big oof. Mew's head looks like a mountain range, Ninetails is screaming for some reason, Mankey is just an actual blob and living his best life, there's a lot going on and I'm so here for it. Except for the entire Oddish line. I want none of that.
9 Old Man's Coffee
In Red and Blue, there is a roadblocking old man who won’t move until he has his morning coffee, or you deliver a parcel, either works I guess. However, a little known fact is that in the original Japanese version of the game, he had a long night of drinking. Terrific. I mean are we surprised? Nintendo games, and games, in general, are totally more wild in Japan. I mean the localization makes sense though. When I need coffee I lay in the middle of the street and won’t let anyone pass too.
8 Certain Pokémon Designs
The Gen 1 Pokémon are cherished by the community as the PEAK of all things Pokémon. While we should love and cherish all Pokémon bois as much as possible, some are not created equally. I mean, we have the trash monster that is Muk, the baddie that is Jynx and an actual pile of eggs. You really just can't say that Gloom is on the level of Jigglypuff. No one beats my main boi.
7 Psychic Type
Psychic types were completely busted in the original generation. I really don’t know how they got through playtesting. The Alakazam line and the Mewtwo line are notorious for being completely broken in Gen 1 due there being nothing super effective that could take them on. You know, anything that was good. While they’re certainly much more balanced now, back then, there was no better pick.
6 Ghost Types
While there certainly are a lot of mechanical issues with Gen 1, there are also just flat out dumb decisions made by developers. One of those decisions is related to the sole ghosts of the game in the Gengar line. As I previously stated, we do not like psychic types in the first generation, and that’s because nothing is strong against them. While ghost types were set to be strong against psychic, making them dual poison types completely nullifies that strength completely. What was the point of that?
5 Walking Through A Burglarized House
As the most important ten year old in the entire Kanto region, you are afforded certain privileges that others are not. One of those privileges seems to be the ability to walk into open crime scenes and burglarized houses. You know, because you are important and have places to be. I also find it hilarious that the only way to progress in the story otherwise would be to bust through someone’s house, as there’s no other way out of Cerulean City that direction. And the woman just never fixes her house. There’s a lot going on there.
4 A Ten Year Old Decimating A Criminal Syndicate
Okay maybe fans don’t really ignore this one all that much, but we have to talk about this. Can anybody please tell me what exactly the 87 Officer Jennys of Kanto are doing to stop the criminal syndicate plaguing their region? Nothing? Oh, they’re dispatching the resident ten-year-old of Pallet Town to do it? Terrific. Why didn’t I think of that? Thanks, Jennys, knew I could count on you guys.
3 Freezing Mechanics
Generation 1 certainly wasn’t the best when it came to… video game design. And one of the most major battle mechanic flaws was in freezing. In Gen 1, you just never naturally thaw out, so unless your opponent uses Haze or a fire type move on you, you’re out of luck. We certainly look at Gen 1 with the rosiest of glasses on, because things like this are why the Kanto Region is best experienced through FireRed and LeafGreen.
2 The Truck
Look, I’ll say this again and again, I am a truck theorist apologist. The Gen 1 games are so barebones, there is absolutely no reason that the infamous Mew truck needed to be there. We obviously know now that the truck was just there for decoration. There are no other decorations in that entire game! Those games are like, a single kilobyte, they have no time or space for decorations. This is almost as angering as the covered doorways in Gen 3. They want us to be bitter.
1 Blue's Raticate
So like, did we do this deed? Everyone knows this theory, after visiting Lavender Town, which holds a literal graveyard for Pokémon, Blue mysteriously replaces his Raticate on his team (after leaving you with a passive aggressive little monologue, but that’s nothing new), and we never see it again. Did we have something to do with this, or did Blue just realize that Raticate just isn’t really a good Pokémon? I mean probably the latter but still, something to think about.