The Top 10 Flaws In Pokemon Red & Blue

By Jay Michael – 19th March 2016
The Top 10 Flaws In Pokemon Red & Blue

A lot of us remember Generation I as the absolute pinnacle of Pokemon gaming, Kanto is the home of our beloved memories and nothing will ever change that. However, taking off the rose-tinted spectacles for a minute, it’s undeniable that the original Pokemon games – as you would expect for a first in any series – had a lot of game-breaking flaws. So, without further ado, here’s our top 10.


Wrap and/or Bind would render the targeted Pokemon useless for 2-5 turns. While this may not seem like a big deal, it in fact resulted in some extremely broken battles. Let’s say a Hiker’s Onix has your Charmander all wrapped up, there’s essentially nothing you can do but watch as the life is slowly being sucked out of your beloved little lizard. Switching out does nothing except transfer the wrap to your incoming Pokemon so – unless you can survive, outspeed the attacker, and then knock him out – you’re stuck in a very sticky situation.

Even worse is that, in certain circumstances – namely if Wrap/Bind is at 0PP and a Pokemon switches in while the move is occurring – the game can glitch into restoring the moves’ PP to its maximum 63.


9. The PC Boxes Could Get Full

Picture the scene, it’s you vs Mewtwo, your whole Pokemon journey has been leading this moment, you reach for your Master Ball, you throw it… BUT WAIT! What’s this? An error message? The PC Box is full? WHAT!?

Yes that’s right, you had to manually change boxes before going out to catch a wild Pokemon, if you didn’t and you chanced upon the creature you’d been hunting for the past 3 hours, then unlucky for you, you’re going to have to change boxes and start that whole process again.


8. Disable Targeted Random Moves

Disable can be a really useful move, preventing moves with the potential to wall your whole team – Snorlax’s Body Slam for example – from being used for a limited number of turns. In Generation I, however, rather than targeting the last move your opponent has used, disable targeted a random move from their moveset, meaning you only had a 1 in 4 chance of disabling the move you actually wanted to.

Similarly, Mimic – used by Mr. Mime and the like – would copy any one of the opposing Pokemon’s moves.

7. Whirlwind and Roar Did Nothing

This one is self-explanatory really, Whirlwind and Roar flat-out didn’t work. Intended to force your opponent into randomly switching Pokemon, these moves did nothing except display an error message.

6. Leech-Seed and Toxic Could Be Combined

Those of you partial to picking Bulbasaur as your starter will likely know that the moves Leech-Seed and Toxic could be ‘stacked’ in order to work together. This combination incurred devastating results as, because Toxic instigates double-damage every single turn, Leech-Seed would be tricked into stealing double the health that Toxic had taken away. Basically, if you have a Venasaur by your side, you can Toxic/Leech-Seed your way past any in-game trainer with pretty much zero fuss.

5. Stat Boosts Would Roll-Over

In modern Pokemon games, trying to use a stat-boosting move when it’s at its full capacity will bring up the message ‘[Pokemon’s] [Stat] won’t go any higher’. In Gen I, however, over-boosting would result in a horrific bug in which the stat would rollover the maximum and plummet into the minuses, leaving the targeted stat with 0.01% of its original power. 

4. Waking Up From Sleep Took An Entire Turn

Similar to Wrap and Bind, sleep-inducing moves – such as Sing – could leave you in an immovable state. This was because, rather than being able to wake up and then attack on the same turn, waking up would take a whole turn. Of course, if an opposing Pokemon happened to use the sleep-inducing move on the turn you woke up, you would immediately be put back to sleep without the chance to do any damage.

It was a particularly frustrating flaw given the relative commonness of Pokemon that could use sleep-inducing moves.

3. Focus Energy Was Backwards

Instead of increasing your critical-hit ratio by 4, Focus Energy in fact divides your critical-hit ratio by 4, it’s simple and as terrible as that.

2. Psychic Types Were Insanely Overpowered

Whether it was by design or oversight, there was a critical flaw in Red & Blue’s type chart that made strong Psychic Pokemon pretty much unstoppable. The only type super-effective against pure Psychic’s like Alakazam and Mewtwo was the Bug type, unfortunately, Bug was in fact the weakest type in the game; with a terrible movepool and lacklustre Pokemon.

The one Bug Type anywhere near capable of taking on a Psychic was Beedrill, as he knew the only relatively strong Bug move, Pin Missile. Disastrously, Beedrill was also part Poison type, meaning Psychic attacks were super-effective against it.


1. Critical Hits Were Determined By Speed

Nowadays critical hits come down to a slice of luck, however, back in the day, the chance of landing one was determined by this formula:

Base Speed / 512

This means that faster Pokemon had a clear advantage when it came to making crits count, in fact, if you teach a particularly quick Pokemon – Persian or Dugtrio for example – the move Slash – which is 8 times more likely to be a crit – its critical hit ratio will increase to 99.6%, that’s correct, almost a guaranteed crit every time you used that move.  


That’s it from me for now, feel free to agree/disagree in the comments section below and, for all your latest Pokemon news, follow @Gamer_Headlines and @Jayswriting on Twitter.

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