Pokémon Gen 1 Living Pokédex Journey Introduction

I have wanted to build a living Pokédex in the Pokémon games for quite a while and decided that this summer would be as good time as any to start catching them all. After noticing accidental save corruption (some Pokémon disappeared from the box) in the emulator I was using previously, I decided to restart Pokémon Yellow and write down my experiences down the line.

Having already played through Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue previously, I already caught all of the Pokémon I can’t get in Yellow without a second game, as well as Pokémon I need in Generation 2 and can’t catch or breed there, as well as other various Pokémon I got through my playthroughs.

The goal of a living Pokédex is to obtain and keep one of every Pokémon found in the game. Further requirements can be added (such that every variant, minus shiny, of each Pokémon needs to be caught), however such requirements do not apply for Generation 1. However, unlike future generations, Generation 1 has no breeding mechanic, so I’ll have to obtain 3 sets of starters, 2 sets of fossils, and 4 Eevee to complete the entire ‘dex.

The rules I impose on myself are quite simple, no glitches or cheats to (make it easier to) obtain Pokémon or Items that I wouldn’t have normally gotten, except to obtain event Pokémon without other ways of obtaining them. For Generation 1 this means that I can perform the Mew Glitch to obtain a Mew This doesn’t result in a legal Mew according to PKHeX, however I don’t really mind that, especially since it’s likely the way most Gen1/Gen2 Mew came to be.

I also have to consider Pokémon availability in Generation 2 for this playthrough, as not every Pokémon is available in Gold, Silver, or Crystal, namely the Kanto Starters, Fossils (minus Aerodactyl), and Legendaries. The first two I can breed in Generation 2, and since the Time Capsule trades Pokémon instead of moving them, I can transfer these Pokémon over, breed them, and Trade them back. This is why I will have to recatch the legendary Pokémon in Yellow as well, even though I already have all of them.

Currently I have the following Pokémon:

  • Bulbasaur, Venusaur (No breeding in gen1)
  • Charmander, Charizard (No breeding in gen1)
  • Weedle, Kakuna, Beedrill (Not available in Yellow)
  • Pidgey (idk)
  • Ekans, Arbok (Not available in Yellow)
  • Raichu (Not available in Yellow)
  • Nidoking (Used to get through game)
  • Vulpix, Ninetales (Not available in Yellow)
  • Alakazam (Trade evolution not available through IGT)
  • Golem (Trade evolution not available through IGT)
  • Gengar (Trade evolution not available through IGT)
  • Hitmonchan (Choose 1 in fighting dojo)
  • Koffing, Weezing (Not available in Yellow)
  • Jynx (Not available in Yellow)
  • Electabuzz (Not available in Yellow)
  • Magmar (Not available in Yellow)
  • Lapras (Accidentally got it in my first playthrough in red)
  • Eevee, Jolteon, Flareon (No breeding in Gen1)
  • Porygon (Cheapest in Blue)
  • Omanyte, Kabuto, Kabutops (No breeding plus you also only get to pick one)
  • Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres (Needed for Gen2)
  • Mewtwo, Mew (Needed for Gen2)

Pokémon Yellow isn’t the best game for catching all of the Pokémon, since it is missing Pokémon that are both only available in blue and only available in red. However since I need specific single-time Pokémon, I need to start Red/Blue at least 9 times to get them all, or start Yellow 4 times. I therefore decided to play through each game the minimum amount of times (Red 2x, Blue 1x, and then starting blue 2x, and red 1x, followed by Yellow). It’s similar for future generations where I would likely play through each game once to get all of the Pokémon (minus the remakes where I would need to play through one twice)

Routing the game is quite simple, as I will be getting most Pokémon in the wild. I need to get multiple of some Pokémon for evolution that are no available in the wild, as well as for the Mr. Mime and Machamp trades, which require an additional Clefairy and Cubone respectively. The only other thing that I need to keep in mind is that I need to get the Helix Fossil and Hitmonlee.

It is also important to consider that Gen1 does not have good ways to level up Pokémon aside from constantly refighting the Elite Four, so it is more optimal to catch more Pokémon (Including Pokémon that are only available in Cerulean Cave) instead of leveling them up. Of course, a number of evolutions are not available this way, and so I need to hard level a number of Pokémon from early on. Some of the game’s design doesn’t help with this (Like how the level curve jumps up by a solid 18 levels after Erika and just stays there until the elite 4)

With that, I’m done here. The following articles in the series will walk through the game, badge by badge, and show you what Pokémon are there to catch and my personal playthrough through the region.