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Pallet Town might seem like any other humble hamlet, but someday the whole world will know that this was where you began your quest to become the greatest Pokémon trainer ever! The famous Professor Oak, known for his Pokémon studies, also lives in Pallet Town. He'll give you your very first Pokémon. That's one down, 150 to go!

Pokemon RBY PalletTown.png
Starting Pokémon
Red Blue Yellow

Pokemon 001Bulbasaur.pngBulbasaur
Pokemon 004Charmander.pngCharmander
Pokemon 007Squirtle.pngSquirtle

Pokemon 025Pikachu.pngPikachu
Pallet Town Fishing
(Super Rod)
PoliwagPokemon 060Poliwag.png 50% 50% N/A
Pokemon 072Tentacool.pngTentacool 50% 50% 40%
StaryuPokemon 120Staryu.png N/A N/A 60%

Humble Beginnings[edit]

Home, sweet home
Grab a Potion out of the computer in your room just in case your rival puts up a good fight. If your Pokémon get hurt, Mom will heal 'em for free.

This is where it all begins, Pallet Town, home to you and your mom, your rival and his sister, and the Pallet Town Pokémon Research Lab. The head of this research lab is none other than the world renowned Professor Oak, who happens to be your rival's grandfather. But don't worry, he doesn't play favorites. In fact, he will give you first choice in Pokémon when the time comes.

This day may start out like any other, but this is a special day for you. This is the day that you get to embark on your own Pokémon adventure. You'll travel the world, see lots of interesting places, and meet lots of interesting people. But most of all, you will set out to become one of the greatest Pokémon trainers the world has ever known. After saying good morning to your mom, you step out the door to find the one man who can start you on your journey: Professor Oak.

Choose Your Pokémon[edit]

Choices, choices
Bulbasaur is a good choice for beginners, as it is effective against the first three Gym Leaders and has strong attacks. Squirtle is a good choice for intermediate players, effective against the first Gym Leader and with reliable moves throughout the game, while Charmander is generally considered a choice for experts, because it will have a tough time against the first two Gym Leaders and hits a major rut mid-game.
Professor Oak catches you in the grass.

You start off your task by looking in the obvious place: the research lab. But oddly enough, he isn't there. So you check your rival's home, but you only find his sister. Professor Oak seems to have left town. Maybe you should head out in search of him. The moment that you set one foot outside of town, someone calls to you and warns you not to go. It's Professor Oak! In Red and Blue, he just brings you to his lab. However, in the Yellow Version, a wild Pikachu appears. Luckily, Oak catches the electric mouse.

Professor Oak brings you back to the lab with your rival waiting. He will offer the both of you a starter Pokémon. In Pokémon Red and Blue versions, he offers you the choice of three Pokémon from which you will select your very first. Choose carefully: not only will the Pokémon you pick be your strongest for the next few hours, it will determine which Pokémon your rival picks as well. In the Yellow version, your rival is given an Eevee that you were supposed to pick until he snatches it right from you. As an alternative, Professor Oak gives you the Pikachu he has just caught as your starter instead.

Your Rival Awaits...[edit]

Your rival took the Eevee right from you.
Blue's house
Your lifelong rival isn't home, but his sister is. Your rival carries a grudge against you, but his sister thinks you're OK. If you stop by a little later, she'll give you a useful item, no matter what your rival says.

With your first Pokémon in hand, and an eagerness to start your journey, you head for the exit. But before you can leave, your rival decides that he wants to test his mettle against you and challenges you to a battle that you cannot refuse.

Your first battle is seemly difficult. People playing Red or Blue will have a tough match ahead of them, since your rival has shrewdly chosen the Pokémon that has an type advantage over yours (although it doesn't know any moves of its own type yet), however, he might have the better stats to defeat you such as Charmander having better speed over Bulbasaur or Squirtle using its superior defense to take in Charmander's hits. In Yellow, this one can be luck based. While Pikachu has a poor defense which lets it get hit harder by Eevee, Pikachu also has the higher speed, thus allowing it to get a critical hit more often. Fortunately, your rival isn't much of a fighter, and wastes time with status-based techniques like Growl and Tail Whip instead of just choosing the attacks and going for the quick K.O. Using a status-based technique is fine at the beginning of the battle, but is usually a bad idea afterwards. In case if your rival is hitting hard, you can also use that Potion if you need to.

If you lose, though, no big deal: All you miss out on is your rival's Pokebuck.png175 and a bit of EXP which will level up your starter to level 6. And you'll get plenty of opportunities for a rematch. Also, in the Yellow Version, your Pikachu pops out of its Pokéball and Oak says that keeping your Pikachu out of its Pokéball would make it happy. If you want to talk to Pikachu, it will show you its current mood (at first it doesn't really seem used to you but your relationship will grow better later depending if you treat Pikachu well).

After the fight, you're ready to leave town and travel along Route #1.

Starting Pokémon for Pokémon Red and Blue
#1 Bulbasaur
Pokemon 001Bulbasaur.png
Bulbasaur is both Grass- and Poison-type, but it really doesn't show much of its Poison side. Almost every decent Grass-type in the game has this type pairing, so it's not a matter of much concern. It specializes in the Special stat, which is unusual given that it has a lot of support moves like Leech Seed and Poison Powder. Bulbasaur, unfortunately, has few damaging attacks that aren't Grass-type, meaning that it can't really fight Flying-, Bug-, Fire-,Ice-,Poison, or other Grass-types effectively. It makes up for this by being effective against Water- and Rock-types, two types that are quite common and tend to be very annoying without super-effective moves. Probably the best choice for the beginning player, as it has an immunity to the Poison status (helpful in Viridian Forest) and some sort of an advantage over almost every gym.

If you take Bulbasaur, your rival will pick Charmander.

Recommended Moves: Razor Leaf, Body Slam (TM08), Leech Seed, Toxic (TM06)

#4 Charmander
Pokemon 004Charmander.png
Charmander has the highest Speed of the starters, and it learns the powerful Fire-type attack Ember as early as Level 9. The problem is that it doesn't get a better Fire-type move until Level 46 as a Charizard when it learns the powerful Flamethrower, so Charmander hits a rut in the middle of the game where it must rely on non-Fire-type attacks. It also has a disadvantage against the first two gyms. However, Charmander is strong against the Celadon Gym and has a useful resistance in the Cinnabar Gym, and by the time it's a Charizard, it will fare reasonably well in the Viridian Gym. Charmander is the only Fire-type until right before your fourth badge, so it may be worth choosing just for that reason. And a word of advice to you if you do pick Charmander - don't use a Flying-type. It will steal experience from your lizard because it has advantages against the same opponents.

If you take Charmander, your rival will pick Squirtle.

Recommended Moves: Flamethrower, Slash, Dig (TM28), Fire Spin

#7 Squirtle
Pokemon 007Squirtle.png
Water-type Squirtle specializes in the Defense stat, but is fairly balanced overall. Its moves are a little on the weak side (and strangely not very defensive) until later in the game, but it has a wide movepool full of powerful moves. Squirtle is also the preferred starter for Pokémon Red and Blue speedruns. The important thing to keep in mind before choosing Squirtle is that, unfortunately, there are better Water-types later in the game, whereas Charmander and Bulbasaur are among the best in theirs. This doesn't mean that you can't choose Squirtle, it just means that you're giving up something like Starmie or Vaporeon.

If you take Squirtle, your rival will pick Bulbasaur.

Recommended Moves: Surf (HM03), Blizzard (TM14), Submission (TM17), Strength (HM04)

Starting Pokémon for Pokémon Yellow
#25 Pikachu
Pokemon 025Pikachu.png
Instead of having a choice, Yellow players are always given a Pikachu by Prof. Oak. This is a bit disappointing from a statistical standpoint, as Pikachu's only good stat is Speed. It makes up for it by being Electric-type, one of the best all-around types in the game. While it makes Pikachu weak against Ground-types (which can easily knock it out due to its horrendous defense stat), Electric attacks absolutely shred the game's plentiful Flying- and Water-types. You can see this at work as Pikachu's Thundershock fries the Pidgeys hanging around Route #1. Unfortunately, Pikachu can't evolve in Yellow, so it's really only useful during the first half of the game. However, all the other Electric-types are unable to learn the powerful STAB move Thunderbolt upon leveling up (forcing them to use the only TM24 that contains said move), but unlike them, Yellow Pikachu gets Thunderbolt by level 26, giving it a powerful attack early in the game.

Recommended Moves: Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, Submission (TM17), Pay Day (TM16)

#133 Eevee
Pokemon 133Eevee.png
Just as you always get Pikachu, your rival always gets an Eevee as his first Pokémon. And that's fine, because Eevee's not much of a threat. It's a weak Pokémon that learns only Normal-type moves, and not very good ones. When it evolves, though, it's a different story...