Red/Blue/Yellow Tips and Tricks


The following will not spoil your game in any way. They involve no glitches or otherwise any use of the game not intended by the creators. Many of them will also work for FireRed and LeafGreen.

Beating the Gym leaders and Elite Four

These are just general tips for defeating each Gym leader and Elite Four member. The first Pokémon I mention in their team will always be the first one out, so make sure to have the counter for that one first in your party.

Beat Brock

In Red and Blue, Brock uses a level 12 Geodude and a level 14 Onix; in Yellow, the developers figured that since they made you start with a Pikachu, they should lower both of his Pokémon by two levels.

When starting with a Squirtle or Bulbasaur in Red and Blue, Brock should really be a piece of cake. Just using Bubble/Water Gun and Vine Whip should take care of him fairly easily, owing to both of his Pokémon's double weakness to Water and Grass. However, those who chose Charmander and Yellow players will have to find other methods to beat him than using their starters. This is where Butterfree really rocks the world. Catch a Caterpie in Viridian Forest, raise it to level ten, and voila, you have one of the very most useful early-game Pokémon handed to you on a silver platter. Admittedly, it won't be of much use in Red and Blue until level 12, since that's when it learns Confusion; in Yellow, it will learn it immediately upon evolution. At the very least, Geodude and Onix have rather pitiful Special, and when confronted with a strong Butterfree with a Psychic attack, they really don't stand a chance. Especially not when his Onix barely does anything other than use Bide which is one of the most useless attacks in the game. Too bad he gives you that as a TM, too.

In Yellow in particular, Route 22 (the one leading towards the Indigo Plateau, west of Viridian City) has wild Mankey; Mankey learns Low Kick, a Fighting attack, at level nine, and it will also be super effective against Brock's Pokémon. Note that it is only a single weakness, however, and that Fighting is physical, so Geodude and Onix will benefit from their considerably higher Defense against Low Kick.

Beat Misty

She has a level 18 Staryu and a level 21 Starmie, and she loves to use an X Defend on her Starmie, which might give you some extra time.

A Pikachu will do well here for obvious reasons, whether it's caught in Viridian Forest in Red and Blue or your starter in Yellow. If you're playing Yellow and your Pikachu is happy enough, you can get a Bulbasaur from the house near the Pokémon Center, which will further make this Gym easy. Bulbasaur will of course be just as useful if it was your starter. Obviously, there are many choices. It may be useful in this Gym to have caught an Oddish or Bellsprout on Route 24 or 25 (those are the routes that lead up to Bill's cottage). The old trick with using Sand-Attack with a Pidgey or Pidgeotto until the opponent never hits will usually be effective, too.

Beat Lt. Surge

He trains Electric-types - in Red and Blue, he will have a level 21 Voltorb, a level 18 Pikachu and a level 24 Raichu, but in Yellow he will just have a level 28 Raichu.

The best way to beat him is of course with a Diglett from Diglett's Cave east of Vermilion, which you have full access to. Find a Diglett, catch it, get it to learn Dig if it doesn't know it already (it learns it at level 19), and then go cream him. If you don't want to get a Diglett for some reason, another Pokémon with Dig (from the TM) should be your best bet. A Grass-type will be resistant to Electric attacks, so they're always good to have; Sandshrew is another Ground-type you may have at this point in Blue or Yellow, and although it doesn't learn any Ground attacks on its own, you can always teach it Dig or just go with Slash (level 17), which is after all an amazingly good attack in Red, Blue and Yellow. Not that Dig isn't too; it's as powerful as Earthquake, with 100 base damage. Too bad they lowered it in G/S/C.

Beat Erika

Erika is a Grass-type trainer, and in Red and Blue she has a level 29 Victreebel, a level 24 Tangela and a level 29 Vileplume. In Yellow the levels and evolution stages of her team have changed: now she has a level 30 Tangela, a level 32 Weepinbell and a level 32 Gloom.

If you picked Charmander, you should have a Charmeleon by now, and even though Ember is a rather puny attack, it can help. A Pidgeotto will help too, especially with Fly (which you get by going into the house that is kind of behind Cycling Road). Also, on the top floor of the Celadon City Department Store (where the vending machines are), there is a little girl who will give you TMs for each of the three drinks (Fresh Water, Soda Pop and Lemonade), and one of the TMs she gives you is Ice Beam unless I'm very much mistaken. It can be taught to many Water Pokémon, including Wartortle (watch out, though - don't forget that Erika trains Grass-types whose attacks will be super effective against them).

Beat Sabrina

Sabrina is a Psychic Pokémon trainer, but that doesn't stop her from using a level 38 Venomoth in Red and Blue along with her level 38 Kadabra, level 37 Mr. Mime and level 43 Alakazam. In Yellow, she uses the not entirely animé-like lineup of Abra, Kadabra and Alakazam, all at level 50.

In general, it's a good idea to use any powerful physical attacks - on my Yellow, I recall beating her with a Tauros from the Safari Zone and Strength. Another Psychic with non-Psychic attacks will come in handy, especially against Venomoth in Red and Blue. In Yellow, her Abra only knows Flash, and it's really there just to waste your PP and disable your Pokémon from being able to do any harm to it - I found it worked well to use my Pidgeot who knew Swift, since it always hit despite the Flash.

Beat Koga

In Red and Blue, Koga has two level 37 Koffing, one level 39 Muk and one level 43 Weezing. In Yellow, it appears he has stolen the Venomoth that Sabrina used to have, raised it to level 50 and bred it for three cute little Venonat kids at level 44, 46 and 48. I did personally not find him hard to beat at all, to be honest - you can use the Psychic TM from Saffron (Mr. Psychic's house near the bottom of the city), or in Yellow, fry them with a Charizard's Flamethrower or just Fly or Drill Peck them into oblivion. Choices, choices.

Beat Blaine

Blaine has a level 42 Growlithe, level 42 Rapidash, level 40 Ponyta and level 47 Arcanine in Red and Blue. In Yellow he's grown considerably harder to deal with, with a level 48 Ninetales, level 50 Rapidash and level 54 Arcanine. In both cases, though, just bring that Surf HM that you inevitably used to get to Cinnabar Island to use. Blastoise is going to rock the world. If not Surf, you can always resort to Rock Slide or Earthquake, both of which are TMs (and can for example be learned by Charizard, if that's your starter). Venusaur is best kept out of the battle.

Beat Giovanni

Giovanni has, in Red and Blue, a Rhyhorn at level 45, Rhydon at level 50, a level 42 Dugtrio and Nidoqueen and Nidoking at level 44 and 45, respectively. In Yellow he has leveled his Pokémon up some and replaced the Rhyhorn with his trademark Persian, having now a level 45 Dugtrio, level 53 Nidoqueen, Nidoking and Persian and a level 55 Rhydon.

Now, the extreme weakness of Rock/Ground types like Rhyhorn and Rhydon has always been that they are doubly weak to both Water and Grass, and additionally most of them, especially Rhyhorn and Rhydon, have downright pitiful Special. Of course, that is even further emphasized by the fact that 66.7% of all Red/Blue players and nearly all Yellow players are going to be carrying a starter of one of those two types, and if not you are at least practically guaranteed to be carrying at least a Water Pokémon with Surf. I don't know what the GameFreak developers were thinking, but it was not making the game more difficult, that's for certain. Basically, those two are more or less given to you. In fact, all of his Pokémon except the Yellow Persian are weak to Surf. The Nidos are also weak to Ground (Earthquake, anyone?) and Psychic (see Koga), and Ice attacks shouldn't do bad either.

Beat Lorelei

Lorelei has a level 54 Dewgong, level 53 Cloyster, level 54 Slowbro, level 56 Jynx and level 56 Lapras.

Due to their Ice attacks, it is not a very good idea to use a Grass-type. Given that all of them except Jynx are at least half Water and have Water attacks, it will not be a very good idea to use a Fire Pokémon either. This pretty much outrules both Venusaur and Charizard. The best Pokémon to use on her is really an Electric Pokémon, with maybe a Rock attack somewhere for Jynx. (It will actually be more effective to use a regular physical attack on Jynx than a Fire attack - its Special is more than double its Defense.) Technically Dewgong and Lapras will fall more easily to Rock or Fighting than Electric, too, but both Cloyster and Slowbro have higher Defense than Special (drastically so, in Cloyster's case) and the extra chance of paralysis is always nice to have. Of course, if you're bringing a Pokémon with a Rock or Fighting attack along anyway, you might as well use it for Dewgong/Lapras.

Beat Bruno

Bruno's team consists of two Onix at level 53 and 56, Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee at level 55 and then a level 58 Machamp. All of his Pokémon have lower Special than Defense (in fact, Onix beats even Rhyhorn and Rhydon in the ratio, with ANY special attack, even the "not very effective" Fire, dealing more damage than the "super effective" physical Fighting and Ground). Needless to say, just bring a Pokémon with a special attack (perhaps Psychic for the Fighters), by all means watch a Water Gun beat his two Onix in one hit, and beat the fighters with a couple of Psychic attacks.

Beat Agatha

Agatha has a level 56 Gengar, level 55 Haunter, level 58 Arbok, level 56 Golbat and a level 60 Gengar. She apparently thinks she trains Ghost Pokémon, judging from the Pokémon Tower-like surroundings, but she really trains Poison-types. That being said, Earthquake is definitely your best bet against Gengar and Haunter, followed by other physical attacks. Use that Electric-type of yours for Golbat, and either another Earthquake or a Psychic attack for Arbok. Watch out for her Gengar's annoying Hypnosis and Dream Eater (just use the Poké Flute when your Pokémon falls asleep), and keep Mega Drain in mind if you taught Earthquake to your Blastoise and want to use it.

Beat Lance

He has a level 58 Gyarados, level 60 Aerodactyl, two level 56 Dragonair (just why didn't he evolve them?) and a level 62 Dragonite. All of his Pokémon know Hyper Beam, which you should watch out for (especially considering that in R/B/Y, he won't have to recharge after Hyper Beam if it beat your Pokémon in one hit). For the Dragonite it's best to use an Ice attack, but by all means watch out - it knows Thunder, Fire Blast and Blizzard. I've always found it good to paralyze it, since that will both make it slower and have a chance of not attacking. Gyarados will go down easily to an Electric attack; Aerodactyl should as well, and the two Dragonair can have some Ice thrown at them too.

Beat your rival

Your rival will, as a Champion, have a team that will vary. In Red and Blue, it will depend on what you picked (and thus what he picked) as a starter. He will then have a level 61 Pidgeot, a level 59 Alakazam, a level 61 Rhydon and then a Fire/Water/Grass trio consisting of his starter at level 65 and then the two of Gyarados, Exeggutor and Arcanine that are not the type of his starter. Their levels will be 63 and 61, the level 61 one being the same type as your starter and the level 63 one being the other.

In Yellow, on the other hand, he will have a level 61 Sandslash, a level 59 Alakazam, a level 61 Exeggutor and then another trio, this time a Fire/Water/Electric one. His starter will be a Vaporeon if you lost the first battle with him at Oak's lab, a Flareon if you won it but lost or skipped the battle on Route 21 after first coming to Viridian City, and a Jolteon if you won both of those; the trio will then consist of his starter at level 65 just like in Red and Blue, and then two of Cloyster, Ninetales and Magneton. If you imagine that Fire is super effective on Electric, the one that is weak to his starter will be level 61, and the other will be level 63 (basically the same system as in Red and Blue).

This is pretty much a mix and match thing of all the battles you've been having. Rhydon/Sandslash will fall to a Surf, Red/Blue's Pidgeot should go down with an Electric or Rock attack, Alakazam can be beaten with powerful physical attacks, Exeggutor or Venusaur can be beaten with a Flying or Fire attack (technically, Bug is the best to use on both of them, but there aren't any good Bug attacks learned by good Pokémon in R/B/Y), Charizard/Ninetales/Arcanine/Flareon should go down to a couple of Surfs, Electric attacks should fry Blastoise/Gyarados/Cloyster/Vaporeon and an Earthquake will quickly take care of Jolteon/Magneton in Yellow.

So to summarize what I've been recommending for the Elite Four, you should bring a team consisting of something like this:

  • A Water Pokémon with Surf
  • An Electric Pokémon with a good Electric attack (i.e. Thunderbolt)
  • A Pokémon with a good Rock or Fighting attack
  • A Psychic Pokémon with Psychic
  • A (Ground-type) Pokémon with Earthquake
  • A Pokémon with a good Ice attack
  • A Pokémon with a good physical attack

As there are seven items in that list, you will have to combine at least two of them - the easiest is, of course, just to consider the Rock or Fighting attack or the Earthquake as the "good physical attack". Good luck.

The Game Corner

If you want that Porygon, you will have to give your life to gambling sooner or later. This section is dedicated to helping you earn Game Corner coins.

Never Lose Coins

It is very annoying when you earn a bunch of coins, but then lose them all again. Just use this method and it will never happen.

  1. Remember or write down how many coins you have right now.
  2. Save your game.
  3. Play the slots until your number of coins reaches a higher number than the number you have written down.
  4. Immediately quit playing the slots and repeat from step 1.

If during stage 3 you realize that you have lost too many coins to be conceivably able to win them back, simply turn your game off and on again, and you will be standing there with the highest number of coins you have had during the whole process.

Winning at the Slots

Generally, I've found that the best way to win at the slots is to press the A button rhythmically enough. I've had long streaks of winning something every time I play on my Yellow just by pressing A in an even rhythm.

Saving Time

Sometimes we are all a little bit impatient and just want to get things over with... and that's where this comes in handy.

Skip Credits

Simply press and hold Start, Select, A and B and the game will reset. This will work at any point in the game, but if you do it during the credits, you won't have to watch them. Of course, it can always be fun to guess the Pokémon shadows that push the text away...


The following are cheats which may spoil your game either by employing glitches or giving too easy a way around what is intended to be an in-game obstacle. Use at your own risk!

The Missingno. trick

Red/Blue only

Ah, the infamous Missingno. trick. The basic idea of it involves the following steps:

  1. Get the Surf and Fly Hidden Machines, and get access to Cinnabar Island.
  2. Talk to the man in Viridian City who teaches you how to catch Pokémon and watch him catch a Weedle.
  3. Fly to Cinnabar Island and Surf into the water on the right-hand side of the island. Do not surf any further right than where you are just as you get into the water.

Surfing up and down here will allow you to find wild Pokémon, including a peculiar glitch Pokémon called Missingno. and another with a glitchy name that is usually written as 'M because the rest of the name is a couple of blocks of pixels. (Some refer to it as 'Mblock, too.) Missingno. and 'M are known to mess up the game slightly, most notably the Hall of Fame but they may also have various other effects on the game if caught. (Some say that catching Missingno. is harmless, but that catching 'M may cause further glitches in the game.) Missingno. is known to appear in some other forms such as a ghost (like the ones you saw in Pokémon Tower before obtaining the Silph Scope) or an Aerodactyl or Kabutops fossil.

The details of Missingno. are not what this page is about, although supposedly it is very interesting. As I have no Red or Blue version, I have regrettably not been able to experiment with it at all. Bulbapedia has a wealth of information about it and other glitches if you're interested, however.

Either way, the way the Missingno. cheat works is that while you watch the old man, your name is temporarily overwritten with "OLD MAN". The game needs to store your actual name elsewhere, and as you're not using the variables that store the wild Pokémon found in an area at the moment, they place the numbers of the characters in your name there instead. Under normal circumstances, you'll enter a route and the wild Pokémon variables will be overwritten again (and by that time, the name has already been copied back to the name slot where it's supposed to be). However, that strip of water just by Cinnabar Island is defined as a part of the city, and because Pokémon usually don't appear in cities, there are no wild Pokémon variables for Cinnabar Island. (Well, that's what I'd find logical, anyway. No way for me to know whether that strip is part of Cinnabar or the route... point is, there are no wild Pokémon defined to appear there.) Now, here's the kicker: The game thinks there are supposed to be wild Pokémon there anyway. And what is in the wild Pokémon slots if you haven't entered an area with wild Pokémon since you talked to the old man is... your name. The game uses numbers as character codes, and because the game has no idea whether the numbers it's given are character codes or numbers and levels of wild Pokémon, it will just pick up the numbers and go haywire when it discovers that there is no such Pokémon as Pokémon number 156 or whatever. Enter glitch Pokémon. (The Pokémon's in-game numbers are actually not their Pokédex numbers, strangely enough, so there are Missingno. in between perfectly ordinary Pokémon, and the starters are actually fairly high-numbered as far as the game code is concerned.)

However, this section will not elaborate upon that any further, and instead I should probably get to the practical uses of the Missingno. trick, which are primarily three. Note that obviously, because the main Missingno. trick works only for Red and Blue, the practical uses are only possible there too.

Battle Safari Zone Pokémon in the wild

What happens if you omit step two of the Missingno. trick, i.e. you Fly to Cinnabar Island without talking to the old man and getting the glitchy name numbers into the wild Pokémon slots? Well, there will still not be any new wild Pokémon assigned to those variables when you swim into that strip of water by the Cinnabar Island coast, so basically, you'll find the exact Pokémon you could find in the last area you visited. This rarely has any practical use, since you could just battle the Pokémon in the area where it's supposed to be found, but it is practical if you do it when the last Pokémon-inhabited area you visited was the Safari Zone. Just let your time run out in the desired area, and then Fly to Cinnabar as normal. You should (according to other people's accounts, anyway; I didn't test this in particular when I tested the Missingno. cheat on my friend's brother's Blue version) be able to battle the Safari Zone Pokémon you will encounter as normal instead of having them run away and being forced to throw rocks and bait at them while hissing at the Game Boy. Have fun.

Catch starters and Mewtwo in the wild

Well, those are the most interesting Pokémon you can catch, anyway. Unfortunately, most people will have to start their games over to do this. The thing is that since the wild Pokémon slots are occupied with your name when you talk to the old man, your name will affect what Pokémon you can find when you do the Missingno. trick. Aside from Missingno. and 'M, people will find various wild Pokémon at levels past level 100. The possibilities include Mewtwo, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Snorlax, Aerodactyl and Porygon, although I think all the other Pokémon that can possibly be found by this method are found elsewhere in the wild. Aside from that, you can only pick three of them.

Basically, as the third, fifth and seventh letters of your player name, put the letters corresponding to the numbers of the Pokémon you want (case sensitive, remember). Mewtwo is D, Snorlax is E, Bulbasaur is Z, Porygon is k, Aerodactyl is l, Charmander is q and Squirtle is r. Therefore, a name like "THE DUDE" will give you a Snorlax and two different levels for Mewtwo, and to save yourself game coins in addition to getting that Charmander and Squirtle if you picked Bulbasaur, you could use a name like "Pokeroq" or something else about as nonsensical. You get the idea.

(Incidentally, the full list of Pokémon and levels that can be found and which letters should be used to get them can be found here on Bulbapedia.)

Multiply items

And finally the very most practical use of the Missingno. trick: item duplication. All you need to do to do it is to place the item you want duplicated in the sixth slot of your item list and then encounter a wild Missingno. or 'M. Finish the battle however you like, and the item will have a glitched number beside it. The actual number will be 128 more than you had previously (unless you already had over 128 of that item) - so if you had one, you'll now have 129, and so on. Enjoy duplicating Rare Candies, Nuggets and Max Revives.

The Mew Trick

Yes, I said the Mew Trick. As in a working, 100% confirmed and tested way to obtain a Mew on your game without attending Nintendo events or using a Gameshark. It will not mess up your game, either. The only bad thing is that most people will have to restart their games to use this trick, because it requires that you have not battled two specific trainers. (Well, technically, you only need one out of several trainers, but more on that later.)

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Don't battle the youngster with a Slowpoke on the way to Bill's house from Cerulean or the Gambler who stands near the passage to Celadon from Lavender.
  2. Obtain the Fly HM, teach it to one of your Pokémon and keep it in your party. (Admittedly, it can technically also be done using Teleport.)
  3. Go to Celadon City and walk through the underground passage to Lavender Town. Exit the house, but stop immediately as you stand in front of the door and face downwards. Save at this point.
  4. Walk one step forward, keeping your finger ready on the Start button.
  5. Press Start immediately after you step down. If done correctly, the Start menu should pop up as normal. If the Gambler below sees you and challenges you before the menu pops up, start over, because then you've done it wrong.
  6. Select "Pokémon" on the Start menu and Fly to Cerulean City. As your sprite turns into a bird and flies away, you'll see the exclamation mark appear above the Gambler's head like he is about to challenge you, but then you'll just fly away.
  7. Your Start button isn't working now, but don't panic. Walk up Nugget bridge and find the Youngster with the Slowpoke. Go all the way up to the wall so he will have to walk up to you after he notices you (like in the picture provided above) - otherwise the game will crash. Beat the trainer.
  8. Now your Start button works again. Press it and Fly to Lavender Town.
  9. Go left to Route 8. The start menu will pop up by itself at this point.
  10. Press B - DO NOT save. Just press B right away after the menu pops up. When the Start menu closes, you will be magically attacked by a wild Pokémon. If you battled the right Youngster and did not get yourself into any wild Pokémon battles after beating him, it will be a level 7 Mew that only knows Pound.
  11. Catch it (duh).
  12. Stare at the Pokédex entry and stats for a while to admire its beauty and then bounce around your house to celebrate your capture of a Mew. This step can be skipped if necessary.
  13. Save, unless the feeling of catching it was so great that you want to do it all over again.

Catch any Pokémon

The Mew trick is based on that when trainers notice you just after they appear on-screen, such as that Gambler, their challenge will be just a bit of a second too late to stop you from hitting Start before they freeze you with their challenge. If you do press Start and Fly away, the game will get confused because it thinks you're in battle (which is why the Start button doesn't work). Battling another trainer will make it confident that at least you're not in battle anymore afterwards, but when you enter the route where the original battle was meant to be taking place again, it will get re-confused, pop up the start menu for Mew-knows-what reason, and then just send you into a battle to set things straight. This battle will be with a level seven Pokémon (or well, as was later discovered, it will be 7 + the Attack modifier of the Pokémon you last battled, so using Growl or having it use Swords Dance will change the level), and its species will depend on the Special stat of the last Pokémon you battled, using - you guessed it - the in-game Pokémon numbers discussed in the Missingno. cheat above. Mew is number 21, and that trainer's Slowpoke has exactly 21 Special...

However, this also means that battling other trainers than the Slowpoke Youngster will return different Pokémon. Even better, wild Pokémon will work, too. You will need to battle a trainer to unlock your Start button again and enable the Route 8 battle, but nothing stops you from battling a wild Pokémon afterwards, and it will overwrite the memory location where the Special is stored. Now, because wild Pokémon may not have the exact right Special you want, you might want to bring Ditto's Transform to use instead. Just train a Pokémon with the right Special, and after battling a trainer to unlock your Start button, battle a wild Ditto and let it transform into your Pokémon. Beat the Ditto or run away, and then immediately, without battling anything else, Fly, Teleport, Escape Rope or Dig back to Lavender Town and enter Route 8 to trigger the battle.

For a full list of what Special you need for which Pokémon, go here.

Also note that the Gambler will never stop triggering this glitch unless you let him battle you. There are other trainers who will also work - they're basically any trainers who see you immediately as they come into view when you walk towards them. Once you've battled the Youngster with the Slowpoke, or any other trainer in his place, however, that trainer will not battle you again.

Hearing this, of course, you have to wonder if it isn't possible just to Fly from the Gambler to the Indigo Plateau and challenge the Elite Four, since after all they're the only trainers in the game who will battle you however often you like. At least I wondered. My escapades with that are detailed in the Experimentation section if you're interested, but for short it is possible. These are the steps you need to take to find any Pokémon you want, infinitely, using the Mew Trick:

  1. Do not battle the Gambler described earlier (or another similar trainer).
  2. Obtain the Fly HM, teach it to a Pokémon that you keep in your party and reach the Elite Four on your game. Make sure your Pokémon are powerful enough to defeat the Elite Four and that you have a quick means of escaping from a place where you can find Ditto on your game (Teleport/Dig/Escape Rope/Fly as appropriate).
  3. Find out the Special that will give you the Pokémon you want using the link provided above.
  4. Raise any Pokémon to have that Special value, or one exactly 256 above it, and put it at the front of your party.
  5. Go to the exit of the underground passage between Celadon and Lavender (or a corresponding place near another Gambler-like trainer), take a step towards him and immediately press Start as described above.
  6. Fly to the Indigo Plateau.
  7. Walk to the computer inside the building and change the Pokémon box to anything in order to save your game.
  8. Log out of the computer and turn your game off and on again.
  9. Battle the Elite Four and your rival as normal, and let Professor Oak record you in the Hall of Fame. Get through the credits somehow and choose to continue when the game restarts.
  10. Fly to any location where you can find a wild Ditto on the game you are playing.
  11. Walk around in that location until you find a Ditto. Make carefully sure that the Pokémon with the desired Special does not gain a level before you find a Ditto. It is best either to run away from all other wild Pokémon you might find or to switch another Pokémon to the front of your party, bringing the one with the desired Special out immediately upon encountering the Ditto.
  12. Allow Ditto to Transform into the Pokémon with the desired Special.
  13. Either run from or defeat the Ditto, whichever you prefer.
  14. Escape from the location using Teleport, Dig, Fly, or an Escape Rope.
  15. Fly to Lavender Town (or whatever city is near the location of the Gambler-trainer you battled).
  16. Enter Route 8 (or otherwise the location of your Gambler-trainer). Your Start menu will pop up at this point.
  17. Press B to exit the Start menu. You will be attacked by a level 7 specimen of the Pokémon you wanted (unless, of course, it had Attack modifiers); now simply catch it or do whatever else you felt like doing with it. Fwee.


Insta-level 100

Remember how Mew is always level seven when you catch it with the Mew Trick? Well, in fact it isn't always level seven. The level is actually (7 + AM), where AM is the final Attack modifier of the Pokémon you last battled (Slowpoke, in the case of Mew). The Attack modifier is what is changed when you use attacks like Growl (Enemy SLOWPOKE's ATTACK fell! means that the Attack modifier has been lowered by one). The Attack modifier can range from -6 to 6, meaning you can get Pokémon anywhere from the previously nonexistent level 1 (by using Growl six times) up to level 13 (admittedly not possible with the Slowpoke, since R/B/Y does not have a way to raise your opponent's Attack modifier, and the Slowpoke doesn't know anything to raise its own).

At first glance this is rather unhelpful - level 13 is still pretty low, after all. But it is the other direction we ought to be interested in - could there be a reason there hasn't been such a thing as a level 1 Pokémon until Diamond and Pearl?

And, we find with satisfaction, indeed there is. The growth rate that has been called everything from "Medium-slow" to "Polynomial" to "Parabolic", the one that caps at 1,059,860 EXP points at level 100, is defined by this formula for the experience the Pokémon will have at each level (Math.floor being the action of rounding down to the nearest integer):

Math.floor(1.2 x level³) - 15 x level² + 100 x level - 140

And the outcome of this if we input level 1 is...

Math.floor(1.2 x 1) - 15 x 1 + 100 x 1 - 140
= 1 - 15 + 100 - 140
= -54

So wait... the Pokémon has negative experience at level one? How can that possibly work?

Well, it never had to work before - that's the thing. The lowest-leveled Pokémon existing in the wild were level two, which returns a positive value for the formula just fine:

Math.floor(1.2 x 8) - 15 x 4 + 100 x 2 - 140
= 9 - 60 + 200 - 140
= 9

So what happens when it is a negative value? Well, the variable that holds the Pokémon's current experience is unsigned, meaning that it simply can't take on negative values. So the game gives the Pokémon an inordinately high number of experience points instead (namely, 54 less than the maximum number that can be stored in the variable). Now, if you get, say, 60 experience points, the experience you have will simply overflow the highest value of the variable and start counting again from zero - you will have 6 total EXP Points, and the game will be blissfully unaware that the disaster of the negative EXP ever happened. If you gain exactly 54 EXP points, you will end up with 0 and the game will find that perfectly acceptable. And if you get more than 63 EXP points, the Pokémon will simply grow to level 2 as if nothing were more natural.

But what if you get less than 54 EXP points? Well, then the game adds that number to your total EXP and, as it always does when you've gotten experience, determines whether your current number of experience points means you should be growing a level - and suddenly it finds that you have a huge number of experience points, in fact a great deal more than you need to get to level 100. And because the game has a level cap, it is programmed to revert your experience points back to the number for level 100. Basically this means that... well, you take your level 1 Pokémon and make it battle some level 2 Pidgey on Route 1, and suddenly it will grow to level 100 just like that. Of course, to reiterate, this only works for Pokémon with the Medium-Slow/Parabolic/Polynomial growth rate (you can find the growth rate in most good online Pokédexes), but that happens to include Mew.

The downside of this, of course, is that your Pokémon will never learn any of its attacks beyond the ones it starts with. For something like Mew this doesn't matter too much, since you can teach it literally any four of the TMs and HMs in the game, but for other Pokémon this might be quite nasty. Pokémon that evolve twice, of course, will only get to evolve once when you use this method, and since it will have almost no Stat Experience at all, you will need to Box Trick it quite a lot (see the Stat Mechanics section). And then, of course, the game is incredibly boring when you can just cruise through it with a level 100 Mew. Nonetheless, if you want an insta-level-100 Pokémon, this is all you have to do:

  1. Find a Pokémon you want whose growth rate is Medium-Slow/Parabolic/Polynomial.
  2. Do the "Catch Any Pokémon" trick above for that Pokémon, but make sure that you have a Pokémon with Growl that is powerful enough to be able to survive six turns in battle against the Pokémon with the desired Special, and that the Pokémon with the desired Special does not have a move that can raise its own Attack (such as Swords Dance).
  3. Before you run from or defeat the Ditto after it's transformed into the Pokémon with the desired Special, switch to the Pokémon with Growl.
  4. Use Growl six times (make sure that it actually lowers the opponent's Attack six times, i.e. that if it fails, you don't count that).
  5. Now run from or defeat the Ditto and proceed with the rest of the "Catch Any Pokémon" trick.
  6. When you have caught the Pokémon, place it first in your party and Fly to Pallet Town.
  7. Walk into the grass on Route 1 and find a wild Pokémon.
  8. Switch to another Pokémon and defeat the wild Pokémon.
  9. The Pokémon you caught will gain less than 54 EXP points and spontaneously grow to level 100!
  10. Do whatever you like with your new level 100 Pokémon.

Page last modified April 29 2019 at 04:47 UTC