Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version, originally released in Japan as Pocket Monsters: Red & Green, are role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. They are the first installments of the Pokémon series. They were first released in Japan in 1996 as Red and Green, with Blue being released later in the year as a special edition. They were later released as Red and Blue in North America, Europe and Australia over the following three years. Pokémon Yellow, a special edition version, was released roughly a year later. Red and Green have subsequently been remade for the Game Boy Advance as Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, released in 2004.
The player controls the main character from an overhead perspective and navigates him throughout the fictional region of Kanto in a quest to master Pokémon battling. The goal of the games is to become the champion of the Pokémon League by defeating the eight Gym Leaders, then the top four Pokémon trainers in the land, the Elite Four. Another objective is to complete the Pokédex, an in-game encyclopedia, by obtaining the 150 available Pokémon. The nefarious Team Rocket provide an antagonistic force, as does the player's childhood rival. Red and Blue utilize the Game Link Cable, which connects two games together and allows Pokémon to be traded or battled between games. Both titles are independent of each other but feature the same plot and, while they can be played separately, it is necessary for players to trade among the two in order to obtain all of the first 150 Pokémon. The 151st Pokémon (Mew) is available only through a glitch in the game or an official distribution by Nintendo.
Red and Blue were well-received; critics praised the multiplayer options, especially the concept of trading. They received an aggregated score of 89% on GameRankings and are perennially ranked on top-game lists including at least four years on IGN's Top 100 Games of All Time. The games' releases marked the beginning of what would become a multi-billion dollar franchise, jointly selling millions of copies worldwide. In 2009 they appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records under 'Best selling RPG on the Game Boy' and 'Best selling RPG of all time'.
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