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Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition

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Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition (ポケットモンスター ピカチュウ Pocket Monsters Pikachu), oftentimes known simply as Pokémon Yellow Version, is the third Pokémon game released worldwide, as a follow up to Pokémon Red and Blue Versions. In Japan, it was the fourth Pokémon game, after Pokémon Red and Green Versions, and Blue.

Similar to Pokémon Red and Blue, Yellow arrived towards the end of the Game Boy's lifespan. It managed, though, to receive the title of second best-selling non-bundled game for its console, only losing to its predecessors.

Contents

[edit] Plot

Unlike other games, Yellow was inspired by the anime, and thus, instead of having a choice between Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, players are forced to start off with a Pikachu that Professor Oak caught on Route 1. With the rival beginning with an Eevee, the player now journeys from Pallet to go through an all-new experience—with no Grass-, Fire-, or Water Types to fall back on until each member of the Kanto starter trio is obtained later on, about a quarter of the way through the game.

Much like before, players journey across Kanto from their home town of Pallet, defeating the eight Gym Leaders (Brock and Misty do not join the player, unlike in the anime) and eventually the Elite Four.

Team Rocket battles feature yet another special, anime-based surprise, as Jessie and James show up, along with their Pokémon, Ekans, Koffing, and Meowth. Beyond these changes, the plot of Yellow is very similar to that of Red, Blue, and Green.

[edit] Blurb

"You've finally been granted your Pokémon Trainer's license, and now you're on your way to becoming the world's greatest Pokémon Trainer! The shockingly-cute Pikachu tags along behind you as you search the enormous world for monsters to train and evolve. Face off against Blastoise's torrential water cannons. Stand strong when facing Pidgeot's stormy Gust. Develop the ultimate Pokémon strategy to defeat the eight Gym Leaders and become the greatest Pokémon Master of all time!"

[edit] Connectivity

As well as reprising the ability to allow players to trade Pokémon between two cartridges via a Game Boy Link cable, Yellow also debuted a new link battle mode, Colosseum 2. While battling another player's Pokémon team had been possible since the release of Pokémon Red and Green Versions two years before Yellow's release, Yellow introduced several regulations in Colosseum 2 mode. Battle modes introduced include the Pika Cup (for Pokémon between Levels 15 to 20 only; their combined level limit is 50), Petit Cup (for Pokémon between Levels 15 to 20, heights under 6'8", and weights less than 44 pounds only) and Poké Cup (for Pokémon between Levels 50 to 55 only, and the sum of all entered Pokémon's levels cannot exceed 155. Mew is not allowed). These three cups would later become standard cups in Pokémon Stadium.

[edit] Changes from Red, Green, and Blue

  • Pikachu is the only Starter Pokémon the player can have, and travels with the player on-screen, outside of a Poké Ball like Ash's Pikachu. The rival starts with Eevee, and the three normal Kanto starters can be obtained later in the game.
    • The Rival will eventually evolve his Eevee (and thus affect which are the other members of his party) depending on the player's actions early in the game.
      • If the player beats the Rival at both Oak's Lab and the early optional battle at Route 22, Eevee evolves into Jolteon.
      • If the player loses one of these two battles or passes up the Route 22 battle, Eevee evolves into Flareon.
      • If the player loses at Oak's Lab, and loses at Route 22 or passes it up, Eevee evolves into Vaporeon.
  • The front Pokémon sprites have all been updated to resemble how they appear in their then-current Ken Sugimori artwork usually used in promotional images and strategy guides for Pokémon Red and Blue, as well as some of them resembling how they appear in the anime. The back sprites are the same as the previous game.
  • In-game trades are changed to different Pokémon.
  • Level-up and TM compatibility altered slightly.
  • A minimal happiness system is implemented to track how Pikachu feels about the player, and Pikachu will refuse to evolve.
  • Gym Leaders have different teams, some based on those that appear in the anime.
  • Some Trainer sprites were also redone. The main player now resembles Ash Ketchum from the anime, the player's rival closely resembles Gary Oak, and Brock and Misty resemble their anime counterparts, too.
  • Enhanced compatibility with the Game Boy Color (outside of Japan) and the ability to print out Pokédex entries using the Game Boy Printer.
  • A majority of Glitches were disabled, and many glitch Pokémon were altered into different, stranger forms.
  • Jessie and James appear and are involved in Team Rocket's scheme, and typically appear before the player battles Giovanni. They also replace the three Team Rocket members in the Pokémon Tower that hold Mr. Fuji hostage.
  • Cerulean Cave, the game's final dungeon, is redesigned a second time.
  • A Surfing Pikachu minigame, Pikachu's Beach, is included.

[edit] Reception

Like Red and Blue, Pokémon Yellow was also well received by the press. Like its predecessors, it received a perfect 10/10 from IGN [1]. However, it was criticized as being "just a stopgap to help us wait for the real sequels" [2]. Yellow received a slightly lower average score than Red and Blue, 85% on Game Rankings. Despite this, it was the site's top rated Game Boy game in the year of its release, 1999.

[edit] Title

While this game's title has become widely accepted as simply Pokémon Yellow, its officially recognized English name is not entirely certain. On the box art for most English versions, "Special Pikachu Edition" replaces the series' then-current slogan "Gotta Catch 'em All!," below the Pokémon logo, while "Yellow Version" is at the bottom, near where Red and Blue had theirs. However, "Special Pikachu Edition" is repeated on the box's opening and spine. Despite this, the instruction manual refers to the game as "the Yellow version of Pokémon", and "Yellow Version" can be seen at the game's title screen.

Foreign language versions seem to support the idea that the game's official title is Pokémon Yellow. In France, the game was released as "Version Jaune" (Version Yellow); in Spain, "Edición Amarillo (Edition Yellow); in Germany, ""Gelbe Edition" (Yellow Edition); and in Italy "Versione Giallo" (Version Yellow). Interestingly, the Japanese title is simply Pocket Monsters Pikachu, with no color specified.

[edit] Trivia

  • The opening of Pokémon Yellow features the least Pokémon out of all main series games, fittingly showing only Pikachu.
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