Pokemon Red and Blue

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Pokemon 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.


Speed Runs

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

Starting Pokemon

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 fewer offense moves compared to Squirtle and Charmander, but Venusaur has the highest Special attacks stats that back both Attack and defense stats (100 comparing to 85 for Charizard and Blastoise) which gives Venusaur more power output and bulk and also benefits from always critical Razor Leaf and Toxic + Leech Seed glitch for very easy battles. Bulbasaur has a type advantage against the first two Gym's and is resistant to Surge's electric Pokemon in the third Gym, walls Erika, resists Koga's Poison status moves and has type advantage against Giovani, Loreli and Bruno and because of the AI Lance's Pokemon will keep using Agility because it's a Psychic move so none of them can hurt Venusaur. If you used Bulbasuar most of the time, it will more than likely to be leveled good enough to breeze through the 4th and 5th gyms. Almost all the trainers up to Mt. Moon use Bug Pokemon, putting Bulbasaur at a big disadvantage if you don't know how to use Normal moves, but it's not a problem because this is a speed run and you will skip most of them. Later in the game, Bulbasaur can breeze through more places than the other two starters like: Diglett Cave, Rock Tunnel, SS. Anne, Seaform Islands, Victory Road, etc.. where Water, Ground and Rock Pokemon are very common.

By the time Bulbasaur gets to the hard part which is the Psychic and Fire gyms, you can catch a high level Pokemon around them and save yourself from heavy training in contrast to the level 3~5 Rattata/Pidgey/Caterpie in Charmander run, and you can even get a Free Lapras which is a great water Pokemon before getting HM Surf and reaching Blaine's Fire gym.

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.

External Links

Pokemon Series
Main Series: Red/Blue | Yellow | Gold/Silver | Crystal | Ruby/Sapphire | Emerald | FireRed/LeafGreen | Diamond/Pearl| Platinum|HeartGold/SoulSilver|Black/White