The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Yellow

by Crosspeice

Part 45: Side Notes #01: Release Overview

It was the final Gym episode and featured the first appearance of Mewtwo, who wrecked Gary Oak and his ten badges. So the second half of Yellow is basically the same as Red/Blue because the anime they were basing it on was still going on and was nowhere near done, but they struck when the iron was hot, as it were.

Also, here's the first Side Notes, looking at the very early concept of Pocket Monsters and how the games were released. I'll be going into more detail later, such as how Game Freak came to be and what beta stuff of the games exist, but for now, it's just a brief overview. It would've been included in the OP, but it's better as its own separate thing.

Side Notes #01: Release Overview

In the murky depths of 1990, a game concept is proposed to Nintendo by a small gaming magazine called Game Freak. It's name was Capsule Monsters. There was some difficulty in trademarking this name, so it would eventually be changed to Pocket Monsters. It would have quite a development time and, with overseeing help from Sigeru Miyamoto, Pocket Monsters Red and Green Versions were released in February 1996 on the Game Boy and more or less rejuvenated the slowly dying system.

They suspected the games would do fairly well, it was a pretty unique concept and with how Japan is ingrained with connective gaming even today, the trading aspect and two separate versions meant it sold very well. However, due to its long development time and that this was one of Game Freak's earliest games, it was held together by shoestring and prayer. There were many bugs and glitches, the sprites were atrocious and there was little to no balance. So in October 1996, Pocket Monster Blue Version was released with a number of fixes and overall tweaks, though the deep mechanics weren't changed all too much, it was a step in the right direction.

Because it improved from its predecessors so much, it was decided that the overall look and stability of Pocket Monsters Blue would be combined with the data of Pocket Monsters Red and Green to create Pokemon Red and Blue. Knowing they had a hit on their hands, Nintendo went all out with marketing to the west with the games, the anime, the TCG and all manners of advertisements and food in September 1998 for America and June 1999 for Europe. Unsurprisingly, it became a massive craze that overtook nearly every child's life (including mine!) and became a worldwide phenomenon. Everyone has heard of these damn games and everyone has probably played them at one time or another and, depending how recently that was, remember it differently.