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The game will start with a Nidorino fighting a Gengar, much like in the old version. Press Start to skip this and then you can select New Game. Prof. Oak will appear and welcome you to the world of Pokémon. After a brief talk, he will ask you to introduce yourself. First, the age old question, are you a boy or a girl (Red or Leaf)? He will then ask for your name, you can answer this however you want since there are no banned names in this generation. After that, he will introduce you to his grandson, who happens to be your childhood rival, Blue. Forgetful as he is, Oak will ask you to remind him of Blue's name; once again, you can name him anything. Then you will be wisked away into the world of Pokémon.
You will spawn in your room, ready for the day. First, you should go to your PC and Withdraw your Potion, for now, it will be Very helpful. Feel free to explore, but there's not more to do, so head downstairs. Your mom will be downstairs watching television, unfortunately she will do nothing when you talk to her. Head outside and immediately go north towards the tall grass. It is required to go there, otherwise Professor Oak will not be at the lab. Once you get close enough to the grass, he will shout for you to stop, remind you about the dangers of Wild Pokémon, then walk you to his lab. There you will find Blue impatiently waiting to get his first Pokémon. Oak let's you pick first.
Your First Pokémon
The order of the Pokémon on the table is according to the difficulty of raising that Pokémon.
- Bulbasaur: Grass/Poison. Good Special Attack and Special Defense. It levels up quickly and evolves into Ivysaur at 16, then Venusaur at 32.
- Squirtle: Water. Excellent Defenses all around with decent Attack and Special Attack. While it levels up moderately, it is the recommended starter to pick if you play with a small team. Evolves at level 16 into Wartortle, then Blastoise at 36.
- Charmander: Fire. Excellent Special Attack and Speed, Good Attack, Low Defenses. Takes more time to get to full potential and will need help against the first two Gyms. It evolves at level 16 into Charmeleon, then reaches it's full might at 36 with the fan favorite Charizard, becoming a Fire/Flying type.
No matter which you pick, Blue will always choose the Pokémon with the type advantage, for example; he'll pick Squirtle if you choose Charmander. Once you both have chosen, you can leave the lab. But on the way out, Blue will challenge you to your very first Pokémon Battle! Both starters are at Level 5. If you've played any other Pokemon game, you may already know this; but you'll almost always win as long as you keep using your attacking move, Tackle or Scratch. You'll only lose if you miss a Tackle, or Blue gets a critical hit. Losing this battle does not matter in terms of progress, you'll just feel bad about it. Winning will always level your Pokémon up to Level 6. It is now time to leave Pallet Town and venture forth.
You can finally go through the tall grass and leave town. There are no trainers on this route though. There are, however, two different species of wild Pokémon you can train against and/or catch.
- Level 2-4 Pidgey is Common
- Level 2-4 Rattata is Common
I recommend you battle a lot of them since it's so easy to level up off of wild Pokémon at this point. Early in the route, there is a sales clerk who works at the next town's Poké Mart. Talk to him and he will give you a free Potion, which heals 20 HP when used on a Pokémon. All that's left to do is to continue on to Viridian City.
Viridian City is the first city you'll encounter on your journey. It is also home to the eighth Gym. You cannot even access the north part of town because of an old man who blocks the only road through.
The Pokémon Center, the PC System, and the Colosseum
Instead, heal your Pokémon at the Pokémon Center, the buildings with the red roof, by talking to the nurse inside, behind the register. You can also access the PC system to the upper-right corner of the ground floor. There will be Someone's PC, Oak's PC, and your PC.
- "Someone's PC" is the Pokémon Storage System. When you own more than six Pokémon in your team, any more caught will be automatically sent here. You can store, withdraw, and deposit Pokémon here, but you will always need to keep at least one in your party.
- "Oak's PC" is something you can use to have Professor Oak assess your progress on the Pokédex, which you don't have yet.
- "Your PC", after withdrawing the Potion in there, is virtually useless.
There is an escalator is the bottom-left corner of the room, go up it to find yourself in the Pokémon Colosseum room. Here you can use a link cable to connect to other people with FireRed or LeafGreen and Battle, Trade, or Mix Records. For more information, talk to the secretaries in front of each room.
Once you're done with the Pokémon Center, there is a building with a blue roof up to the right. It is called the Poké Mart for short, otherwise the Pokémon Market. When you walk into here for the first time, the clerk will call your name and have you hand deliver Oak's Parcel for him. Since you don't have a choice, for now you should just go back to Pallet Town.
Unless you want to keep training your Pokémon, you can skip almost all of this route by hopping down the abundance of ledges on the way to Pallet Town. Head to Oak's lab and talk to him. Blue will also show up. Oak will thank you, then he will introduce the both of you to his new invention, the Pokédex. Now your journey will begin for real. He'll also give you 5 Poké Balls, although you might've been able to get some earlier from Viridian City's Poké Mart. Blue will boast about using his Town Map, then specifically tell you to not go to his house and definitely not talk to his sister Daisy, because he told her not to give you a map. Naturally, head to his house, talk to Daisy, she'll call Oak lazy then give you a spare Town Map. This is not required, but it can be very helpful. With that done, head back to Viridian City.
To save your progress, press the Start button, go down to the Save option, press A, and if it ever asks you to overwrite a previous save, think about what has recently happened, then select Yes. You can use this option to restart important battles and other occasions to your benefit by using a "soft-reset". After saving, press and hold down L + R + Start + Select. It will bring you to the title screen of the game.