The Pokémon Company is celebrating 20 years of its immensely popular RPG developed by Game Freak inc. Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green first released on February 27, 1996 in Japan.

While we didn’t get the game in North America for another two years, we’re still celebrating two decades of monsters in our pockets (not that NES game) with Japan, so that we can celebrate again in another two…

Alas! I like shorts! They’re comfy and easy to wear!

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While the franchise has been growing since 1996, development on the first game actually began in 1989. A large portion of development time went into figuring out how the Pokémon could be transferred between two devices. Something that today we might take for granted, as the latest generation of Pokémon allow us to barely have an active internet connection yet still acquire every last one of the 721+ monsters with random strangers from all around the world.

The original games required that you had a buddy with the opposite version of the game and that you both used the Game Boy link cable to trade and battle your creatures. In fact, there were (and still are) version exclusive monsters and some which required trading in order to evolve.

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This month, we’re revisiting the classic Game Boy games as we continue our 20th anniversary celebrations and look forward to Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon later this year. It’s been relatively easy to return to most of the Pokémon games thanks to the backwards compatibility of the 3DS and DS family of systems, but the first and second generation of games for the original Game Boy have been difficult to return to in the modern age outside of the remakes of each game. With the eShop releases of both versions Red and Blue, as well as Pokémon Yellow, we can play the original games unaltered outside of updating them for support without the link cable. Additionally, the Virtual Console releases of the games will be compatible with Pokémon Bank and you will be able to transfer your Pokémon to Sun and Moon later this year.

Play along with us and let us know who your squad is. We’ll be sharing our stories of the game and who we like to take to the Elite Four on upcoming episodes of the podcast.

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Posted by Joe Dix

Joe is the creator of The Free Cheese. He eats a lot of pizza and takes thousands of pictures of his pugs Oswald and Earl every day. He has a disorder that causes him to believe that he is Batman and his favorite video game is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

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