Pokemon Red and Blue
Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue are RPG's for the original Game Boy, released in September of 1998 by Nintendo and developed by Game Freak. They were released simultaneously with each other in America. The two are different games, but the differences haven't been discovered to benefit speed running one over the other. For that, they will be considered the same game for this article.
Pokemon Red and Blue speed runs are hosted on the Speed Demos Archive. The current record is 1 hour and 58 minutes on the Blue version by Mark "werster" McKenzie without major glitches, and 1 hour and 26 minutes on the Blue version by Thomas 'Thomaz' Wennick. Timing is taken from the ingame clock displayed right before the credits at the end of the game.
General Tips and Tactics
- The clock starts as soon as you gain control of your character, so long as there's no saved game on the cart. To erase all data, press UP, SELECT, and B at the title screen.
- Since the beginning dialog doesn't count to the overall time, you can name your character whatever you want without effect to your time. The shorter the name, the quicker the dialog though, so the quickest option is to name the hero, rival, and the starting Pokemon all one letter names.
- Before you select NEW GAME, select OPTION. Set Text Speed to Fast, Battle Animation to Off, and Battle Style to Set.
- For every Yes/No box that you select No, push the B button instead of manually selecting No.
- Run away from every random battle unless otherwise stated.
- Use the bike at all possible times to increase speed.
- Use Blastoise for the whole run if doing a no glitch run, otherwise start with Charmander and glitch a level 100
For a Red/Blue run, it is generally accepted that using the starter Pokemon throughout the run is the fastest method of completing the game. It is also generally accepted that Squirtle is the best starter Pokemon for the following reasons:
- Squirtle has a powerful moveset to begin with, and with the addition of TM's like Dig and Mega Punch, Squirtle has no real weakness until the Elite Four.
- Squirtle is the only starter Pokemon that can learn Surf, which you need to teach a Pokemon to complete the game. If you used a different starter, it would require a Pokemon to be caught that can learn Surf.
Bulbasaur is the worst starter Pokemon of all three for a speedrun because he has a low attack compared to Squirtle and Charmander. He does have a type advantage against the first two Gym's and is resistant to Sarge's electric Pokemon in the third Gym, but even with those advantages he still falls behind from the get go. Almost all the trainers up to Mt. Moon use Bug Pokemon, putting Bulbasaur at a big disadvantage. Later in the game, Bulbasaur's moveset just can't do the job against the stronger Pokemon.
Charmander is almost as fast to use in a speedrun, and might be faster than Squirtle if it weren't for some problems.
- Charmander flies through the beginning of the game, thanks to his advantage over Bug Pokemon, but it gets negated from the severe disadvantage in the Pewter City Gym.
- Charmander has more difficulty battling the Elite Four compared to Squirtle.
Charmander is used in glitch runs due to the availability of skipping brock, and getting a different level 100 pokemon.
Speed Route and General Strat for Squirtle
Beat your rival and proceed to kill one wild Pokémon for experience. Next, defeat Brock. Then, catch a Spearow or a Pidgey on Route 3, move through Mt. Moon and catch a Paras or Sandshrew for Cut, then get Mega Punch and defeat Misty with it. Teach Bubblebean to Wartortle and use it to pass through nugget bridge. Get Dig, and use that to defeat Surge. Grab the bike, and glide through Rock Tunnel using repels. Go to Celadon City and grab a lot of items (including X items, Ice Beam, Super Repels and Mega Kick.) Teach Fly to your Pidgey or Spearow. Next, teach Ice Beam and Mega Kick to Blastoise and pass through Lavender Tower. After getting the Poke Flute, go to Silph Co. and get Earthquake. Evolve to Blastoise and teach it Earthquake. Beat Giovanni and then defeat Sabrina. Now bike down to Fuschia City, defeat Koga and then go to Safari Zone to get Surf and Strength. Now bike down to Cinnabar Island, go through Pokémon Mansion, grab Blizzard, enter the Secret Key, and then Defeat Blaine. Now in Celadon city, defeat Erika. Then, fly to Viridian City, teach Blizzard to Blastoise, and defeat Giovanni. Next, teach Fissure to Blastoise. Now go and defeat your rival and then pass through Victory road. Finally, defeat the Elite Four.
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