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Can we catch ‘em all?: Generation I

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[[File:GenIOfficialVersionTreeV2.png|Generation 1 Official Version Tree]]
 
According to Nintendo's official publications and advertisements, Pokémania began with the Japanese release of {{bp|Pokémon Red and Green Versions|Pocket Monsters: Red and Green}} for the {{bp|Game Boy}} in 1996.<ref>http://www.pokemon.co.jp/game/other/gb-rg/</ref> A minor revision, {{bp|Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese)|Pocket Monsters: Blue}}, was released later in the same year as a gift to loyal {{bp|CoroCoro Comic}} subscribers.<ref>http://www.pokemon.co.jp/game/other/gb-blue/</ref> Red and Blue were translated into English, with no other changes made to the games themselves, and released in theAustralia and United States in 1998 as {{bp|Pokémon Red and Blue Versions|Pokémon Red and Blue}}<ref>http://web.archive.org/web/19990501171038/http://www.nintendo.com/corp/press/100298.html</ref> followed by {{bp|Pokemon in Australia|Australia}}<ref>http://m.ign.com/articles/1999/09/01/pikachu-down-under</ref>. Some advertisements noted the existence of a secret third version known as Green in Japan, but little to no information was released on that title. Once successful in the United States, Europe received its translated versions in 1999.<ref>http://www.pokemon.com/uk/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-red-version-and-pokemon-blue-version/</ref>
 
The popularity of the anime series throughout the world happily surprised Nintendo, which decided to treat its fans during the long wait until {{bp|Generation II}}. Therefore, {{bp|Pokémon Yellow|Pocket Monsters: Pikachu}} was released in Japan in 1998.<ref>http://www.pokemon.co.jp/game/other/gb-pikachu/</ref> Renamed {{bp|Pokémon Yellow|Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition}}, it was released in Australia and the United States in 1999<ref>http://web.archive.org/web/20000621205847/http://www.nintendo.com/corp/press/100499.html</ref> followed by Europe and Australia in 2000.<ref>http://www.pokemon.com/uk/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-yellow-special-pikachu-edition/</ref><ref>http://web.archive.org/web/20000614202450/http://www.nintendo.com.au/games/gameboy/games/pokemon_yellow.html</ref> All of these international versions were marketed as exact translations of the original Japanese titles.<ref>In the United States press release cited above, Nintendo stated Pokémon was "already part of a thriving phenomenon in Japan" and noted the number of product sold. There is no indication of any difference between the Japanese and American products, heavily implying they are the same game (albeit translated).</ref> Though these versions were all compatible with the new {{bp|Game Boy Color}}, they were not designed for that system.
 
Players soon discovered that Nintendo’s statements did not mesh with reality. In Japan, players noticed that {{bp|Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese)|Pocket Monsters: Blue}} was a significant departure from the previous versions. Graphics received a major overhaul, and a number of glitches were neutralized. Players with access to both the Japanese and North American titles discerned that the international localizations did not resembled {{bp|Pokémon Red and Green Versions|Pocket Monsters: Red and Green}}.<ref>http://bulbanews.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Pokémon_sprites,_art_evolve_over_the_years</ref>