Fanboys Fix It: Pokémon Generation I (Red, Blue, Yellow) Remake Part 1 - The Setup & Items | Fanboys Anonymous
Welcome to another edition of Fanboys Fix It, where instead of just complaining about what we don't like about something, we try to figure out how we can make it better.

Normally, this is about rewriting a film to correct its major problems. This time around, I'll be focusing my efforts on a theoretical remake of a video game—actually, multiple games.

I've been working on this project for some time and with the benefit of Guest Five's donation on Patreon via the Pick Your Poison tier (donate today if you want to request a special feature of your own), I've finally been able to set aside the time to finish it.

What I'll be doing here is tossing out my ideas of how to make a better version of Generation 1 of Pokemon by retooling lots of things in Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue and Pokemon Yellow.

Fixing the problems of Pokemon Red Blue Yellow Green video games

Before we get started, I have to preface this with a bunch of notes, as this is an exhaustive process that needs some clarification.

1. Obviously, I'm not actually remaking the game. I have absolutely zero knowledge in making video games.

2. That also means I can't talk about the actual glitches in the game (not that I'd remove MissingNo). Just assume that something like the Focus Energy problem is just naturally fixed, because, well, why wouldn't I want to fix that?

3. We are fully treating this like a fantasy and giving myself the extreme benefit of hindsight. They never would have been able to know these things back when they made the original games.

4. I'll be spreading this out in 3 parts. The first will address some basic things for the overall games, part 2 will dive into the Pokedex and part 3 will be about the story and the trainers and such.

To begin, let's do a little more setup on what we're working with here...

Enter: Pokemon Green

The first thing I need to address with my reboot is that there would actually be 4 games, not 3.

Originally, Pokemon was split in two with Green and Red versions (Venusaur and Charizard as the mascots). Then, Blue came out with Blastoise and Pikachu, naturally, was the mascot for Yellow. There's even a chance they were going to make Pokemon Pink and Pokemon Brown, supposedly, with Clefairy and Eevee as the mascots.

It always confused me as a kid that there were games with the colors of all the starters except for Bulbasaur. Sure, it was my least favorite of the four by far, but it felt strange to just cast it aside like that.

So for my remake, there would actually be 3 versions of the normal game with Yellow being the oddball, essentially. All 3 versions would function the way they always do, with some Pokemon available only in one, so you'd have to trade between them. There wouldn't be some rule now where if you pick Blue, you can only get Squirtle or something like that. I'm not that cruel, even if I'm forcing people to spend more money. But, maybe as a compromise, the games could be individually cheaper or something. Generally speaking, if each game were normally $60, let's make them $50 so people are more inclined to buy a triple pack of all three for $125. Maybe that's not the right pricing. Ask the boys in marketing and sales.

If need be, let's keep it to just Red, Blue and Yellow, for simplicity's sake with rewriting history.

Pokemon Types

Dark, Steel and Fairy are a thing, just like they are in remakes like Let's Go.

There is also Typeless, in which a Pokemon has no type. Every move works against it (no immunities) and nothing is super effective.

I think I would also use the type effectiveness chart that I redid before, although that is a little outdated and could probably use some more tweaking.

Difficulty Settings

One of my top 5 video games of all time (the other 4 being Pokemon Gen 1/2 lumped together, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario 3 and Kirby Super Star, in no particular order) is GoldenEye. In that game, I loved how there were 4 difficulty options in Agent, Secret Agent and 00 Agent with 007 mode being kind of a sandbox scenario that you could tweak some stuff like enemy health.

It would be too crazy for Pokemon to have the ability for people to mess with the trainers and all, but it wouldn't be too much to ask for an Easy, Normal and Hard difficulty mode to pick from.

It's pretty self-explanatory. Easy Mode has trainers with lower levels, less wild encounters in caves and such, a higher catch-rate for capturing Pokemon and so forth. Hard bumps up the encounter rate, battle levels and everything else.

This gives little kids the chance to play the game without being too frustrated, but adults don't find it too much of a breeze.

Field Moves / HMs / TMs / Equipment

TMs are reusable. They should have been that way from the start and I'm glad the series eventually realized it was better to not make them a 1x use. Some TMs are found, some are given to you by trainers and some are purchased.

There are no HMs in this game. It's a concept that has been replaced by much better options and it was always frustrating that you had to take up slots on your moves just to get around the area. I also absolutely hated teaching my Charmander the move Cut in my first playthrough of Red before realizing I couldn't undo it.

Instead, HMs are replaced by Equipment/Tools and Field Moves/Skills, which work similar to how we've seen some things in other games. These are as follows:

Equipment / Tools

These are things you have in your backpack that function like the Bike and Poke Flute (which are two of these).

  • Running Shoes = available pretty early on (after the first gym?) to use until you get the Bike
  • Bike = Instead of the ludicrous idea that it costs a million bucks, you'll just not be able to purchase one at first. Cycling Road will block you from part of the game and you'll only be able to navigate that when you get a bike, which will only happen once you do something else (not sure what). In the meantime, the bike shop will be closed with the owner away. He'll return once you advance to a certain point. Then, the Bike makes it so you can travel faster. Duh. 
  • Poke Flute
  • Fishing Rod = just one; you complete tasks to learn how to upgrade your skill level and become a better fisher
  • Escape Rope
  • Coin Case
  • Amulet Coin = you get it from some in-story thing with a Meowth
  • Itemfinder
  • Exp. Share
  • Flashlight = replaces HM Flash
  • Shears = replaces HM Cut
  • Surfboard = replaces HM Surf (possibly)
  • Hammer = replaces Rock Smash (possibly)

Field Moves / Skills

Field Moves, aka Skills, are when you beat certain trainers and they pass on knowledge so you have the ability to teach any Pokemon of yours to do specific things in the terrain. It's another variation of the HM concept similar to what we saw with ride Pokemon and such.

  • Surf = if there's no Surfboard tool
  • Rock Smash = if there's no Rock Hammer tool
  • Dig
  • Fly
  • Dive
  • Waterfall
  • Whirlpool
  • Teleport
  • Strength
  • Rock Climb
  • Defog (not necessary?)
  • Headbutt (not necessary?)
  • Chatter (not necessary?) 

What does this mean for those actual moves the Pokemon can learn? Well, they're replaced with other variations that can do similar things.

For instance, Dig, Dive and Fly are parallels, right? Just have the same moves, but call them Burrow, Submerge and Hover or High-Ground. Cut and Strength have nothing keeping them interesting, so they're just gone entirely. Surf could just be a water move equivalent of Thunderbolt/Ice Beam/Flamethrower called Tidal Wave. Basically, if it serves a purpose, keep the move, but rename it to something else so it isn't confusing with Waterfall, for instance. That can just be White Water or Rapids or Torrent or whatever.

Held Items / Type-Changers / Evolutionary Stones & More

- Pokemon can hold items. Once that happened in Gen 2, we can't look back.

- Berries to heal and things like Spell Tag to boost power are all the way they should be from Gen 2 onward, too. Iron Ball lets Flying types get hit with Ground moves, while Air Balloon makes things levitate to avoid Ground moves. There's something to ground out electric moves, etc.

- There are also items that can change a Pokemon's type. I'll dive deeper into the specifics of which Pokemon can do what, but in general, here's a breakdown:

* Porygon has the ability to change into any type with items that "upload" that function to its computer system. Let's just call these things like Psychic Disk and Bug Disk.
* Metal Coat turns certain Pokemon into the Steel type.
* Dragon Scale (or another name for it) turns certain Pokemon into the Dragon type by tapping into their more dragonlike side or whatever your rationalization is.
* There's maybe one of these for Electric (static cling?), Ice, Poison and Fire, but I'm not sure. We'll hammer out those details another time, team.

- Most Pokemon evolve through level-up. None evolve by trade. I've always hated that mechanic. If I want an Alakazam, why am I giving YOU a Kadabra to get my Alakazam? Stupid. But any Pokemon that doesn't evolve by a natural level-up evolves with the help of some sort of item.

- For the most part, those are stones or some evolve with the help of stones or other items.

-Magneton, for instance, evolves from holding a Magnet and you need to have 2 Magnemites on your team. Slowpoke evolves into Slowbro if you have a Shellder on your team and both are holding some kind of something. Crap like that. I won't name them all.

- As far as the evolutionary stones themselves go, let's clean this up a bit in hindsight and have Fire Stone, Water Stone, Thunder Stone, Leaf Stone, Ice Stone, and Moon Stone. Maybe a Dawn Stone and Sun Stone, if need be.

Pokeball Notes

- You can access the PC anywhere. Wi-Fi. This is a modern reboot.

- I like the wider variation of Pokeballs that you can use in some other games, although I think they're a little messy now. I'd clean them up by only having these:

  • Poke Ball = low catch rate
  • Great Ball = medium catch rate
  • Ultra Ball = high catch rate
  • Master Ball = guaranteed catch rate
  • Dusk Ball = for use in caves or at night
  • Heavy Ball = works better on heavier Pokemon
  • Net Ball = works better for bug, flying and water Pokemon
  • Speed Ball = works better on quick Pokemon

- Something I'll get into later with the Pokedex, but my version of Voltorb isn't an Electric type, isn't named Voltorb, and changes its appearance based on the Pokeball you capture it in. More on that, later.

Other Miscellaneous Notes

- You can pick the girl or boy character.

- Storage is like newer games. You don't have a PC, and it's definitely not "Someone's PC" until you meet Bill. You have access to a backpack with all stuff on a Wi-Fi system, in a way, for storing items, Pokemon and more.

- Time is a thing. This is how the Safari Zone works (not based on steps or balls).

- There is a day and night cycle, as well as seasons. Both influence the encounters and the battles.

- Naturally, in turn, the locations of battles and things like Sunny Day are in this remake.

- Friendship is a thing. So are natures, but I think I'd want to clean that up a bit, as I'm honestly confused about how Timid and whatever work.

- Genders are a thing. We'll talk more about that with Nidoran and the concept of variants.

We're just getting started! This was just setting up some of the basic stuff. For part 2 of this endeavor, we'll be talking about the Pokemon themselves with a breakdown of the new Pokedex!

What do you think of these ideas?
How would you remake Pokemon Generation I?
Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

Tony Mango is the founder, editor-in-chief, head writer and podcast host of Fanboys Anonymous as well as all other A Mango Tree branches including Smark Out Moment. He is a pundit, creative director/consultant, fiction writer and more. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.