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How was someone supposed to get all of the starter lines during Red and Blue (and before Yellow)?

Rune Knight

Well-Known Member
In the gap between the releases of Red/Blue (or Red/Green) and Yellow, how was one meant to register all of the starter lines within their pokedex?

I am aware that there is that one glitch (along with a few others) that allows you to reset the game and keep the starters in your party, but how did Gamefreak originally intend players to legitemetaly catch em all?

I know that the immediate answer that pops up for many is trading, but that doesn't really work without inducing a lot of steps.

To actually get every single starter and all of their stages, the player would have trade constantly before evolving them.

For example, if I chose Charmander and I needed the Bulbasaur line, I'd have to trade for a Bulbasaur, then trade it back and evolve into Charmeleon, then trade again to get Ivysaur, then trade again after evolving into Charizard for Venusaur.

This means that even if I had a friend to trade with, I pretty much wouldn't be allowed to evolve my Charmander until we traded!

This isn't just limited to the starters but also the fossil lines and maybe a few other pokémon.

I mean it sounds doable and 100% completion of the dex for Gen 1 is notoriously known for being difficult, but was that actually the intended method because there are no other ways that I can really think of besides possible giveaways and events.
 
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MidnightHo-Oh

Well-Known Member
I feel you are somewhat over-thinking this, mate...

First of all, you are assuming all starter trades have to be a starter for a starter, which is not true. A friend could easily restart their game, trade you one of the two base-form starters you don't have for a Caterpie or Pidgey or whatever, and then restart their game again to get you your 3rd and final starter... all without you losing a single starter yourself. The same could also occur with the fossils, although restarting wouldn't necessarily be necessary in that case. Alternatively, if you had two games and two Gameboys of your own, you could initiate the above trades yourself.

Finally, and perhaps this was why you assumed your trades would be starter for a starter, but not everyone cares so deeply about completing their Pokedex. Heck, there are people who will willingly trade away or release their starter ASAP for the fun of completing the game without it, and I can almost guarantee these kinds of people still existed even way back then.
 

Rune Knight

Well-Known Member
I feel you are somewhat over-thinking this, mate...

First of all, you are assuming all starter trades have to be a starter for a starter, which is not true. A friend could easily restart their game, trade you one of the two base-form starters you don't have for a Caterpie or Pidgey or whatever, and then restart their game again to get you your 3rd and final starter... all without you losing a single starter yourself. The same could also occur with the fossils, although restarting wouldn't necessarily be necessary in that case. Alternatively, if you had two games and two Gameboys of your own, you could initiate the above trades yourself.

Finally, and perhaps this was why you assumed your trades would be starter for a starter, but not everyone cares so deeply about completing their Pokedex. Heck, there are people who will willingly trade away or release their starter ASAP for the fun of completing the game without it, and I can almost guarantee these kinds of people still existed even way back then.

Well, I used the starters as an example, it doesn't have to be a Charmander for a Bulbasaur etc, I just put it that way because it would probably be what most people want to do.

I understand your process. However, requiring someone to restart their game to get the starters and give them to their friends also doesn't seem like a viable method to me. I don't think that this is what Gamefreak intended. Also the two gameboys and two games methods works, but I also don't think that was what was expected either. Getting your parents to buy you even one copy of the games was hard enough, nevermind two systems to play on!

Although most people don't aim for 100% completion, it's the goal that Gamefreak set for their games. Even if the intended method is difficult, it still had to be doable. The people that you are referring to at the end are a minority. Most people aren't willing to give away their starters, especially since the main demographic is children. More adults play the game now because they grew up alongside the franchise, but back then they were also still kids.

I'm probably overthinking this like you said but I mostly just asked this question for fun and out of curiosity.
 
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Dephender

Gizakawayusu
Staff member
Moderator
No, you're right, the unevolved forms of the starters you didn't pick were notoriously difficult to obtain back in the day. Prior to Yellow, nobody were likely to just have an unevolved starter sitting around in their game, so your options were to either make someone reset his game and delete his file to obtain starters that could be traded around to friends or to buy a new cart that you could use to trade with yourself. Pokemon Stadium handing out free copies of the "pick-one-and-get-locked-out-of-the-others" Pokemon was a real lifesaver.
 

Pokefan_1987

Avid Pokemon TCG Card collector.
It was more of a catch slogan back in the 90's. But the trade-off for the cost of two Game Boy's and two cartridges was costly. The Link Cable wasn't Breeding in Gen 2 to make things slightly "easier" to share starters between friends. But you still need to unlock trading, and enough endurance to play the second cartridge just to get the third starter on the first cartridge. Chikorita is the worst/roughest/tedious since Falkner and Bugsy have type advantages.

Still Game Color only had mystery gift support for the infrared function in Crystal. They didn't give that sensor to Gold and Silver for trades too ? Even the Game Boy Advance also insisted using a Link Cable for all Gen 3 cartridges. Nintendo DS finally got rid of that cable.
 

Ebimmy

New Member
In the gap between the releases of Red/Blue (or Red/Green) and Yellow, how was one meant to register all of the starter lines within their pokedex?

I am aware that there is that one glitch (along with a few others) that allows you to reset the game and keep the starters in your party, but how did Gamefreak originally intend players to legitemetaly catch em all?

I know that the immediate answer that pops up for many is trading, but that doesn't really work without inducing a lot of steps.

To actually get every single starter and all of their stages, the player would have trade constantly before evolving them.

For example, if I chose Charmander and I needed the Bulbasaur line, I'd have to trade for a Bulbasaur, then trade it back and evolve into Charmeleon, then trade again to get Ivysaur, then trade again after evolving into Charizard for Venusaur.

This means that even if I had a friend to trade with, I pretty much wouldn't be allowed to evolve my Charmander until we traded!

This isn't just limited to the starters but also the fossil lines and maybe a few other pokémon.

I mean it sounds doable and 100% completion of the dex for Gen 1 is notoriously known for being difficult, but was that actually the intended method because there are no other ways that I can really think of besides possible giveaways and events.
It definetly shows that you were not around back then. It was simple to register all of the pokemon into the pokedex. We traded. We traded with our best friend or sibling who would restart multiple times so both people could get a full line of the starter mons. There was always a kid or two who had gamesharks who would just gen them and give them away for pidgeys. Kids worked together and spread rumors. The internet wasn't even super common back then, we used word of mouth and collaboration to complete popular games. In my school there were multiple kids in my class who completed the pokedex without cheating by engaging in the intended point of playing pokemon which was working with your friends.
It was a fun time lol
 

Rune Knight

Well-Known Member
It definetly shows that you were not around back then. It was simple to register all of the pokemon into the pokedex. We traded. We traded with our best friend or sibling who would restart multiple times so both people could get a full line of the starter mons. There was always a kid or two who had gamesharks who would just gen them and give them away for pidgeys. Kids worked together and spread rumors. The internet wasn't even super common back then, we used word of mouth and collaboration to complete popular games. In my school there were multiple kids in my class who completed the pokedex without cheating by engaging in the intended point of playing pokemon which was working with your friends.
It was a fun time lol

I guess by the sound of things, having two cartridges and starting up new save files was the way that Gamefreak wanted people to complete their games. Also makes sense since there are two versions of the games, three in Japan when you count Blue as that was also released before Yellow!
 
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