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7 Reasons Why First Generation Pokémon Are Still Loveable

Pokemon - First Generation Wallpaper

Everyone knows Pokémon. Compared with my childhood time, Pokémon isn’t as famous as it is now. Back then, it is only boys and some girls who plays Pokémon games in their handheld; that makes them the only one who knows about it. But now, Pokémon franchise has proved its existence by inhabiting the consoles for more than 20 years. With that consistency, now more people know Pokémon.

Do you know that Pokémon consists of seven generations in total since its first debut? It has produced seven generations since it started with Pokémon Red and Blue in 1996. Which is also means that it already has a lot of titles from the first to the last generation, from Red and Blue to Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. But why the first generation Pokémon is still remembered by most players?

Pokémon has about 28 titles in total since the first generations. From the first to the latest release, there must have been a huge difference in graphics, gameplay, and many aspects. But the fact is, the early generations still ruled the most favorite list (read the list here) and with the first generation placed in 5th place. So here are the 7 reasons why first generation Pokémon is still loveable.

1. Everything starts from basic

Pokemon Red - Gameplay Screenshot

Everything advanced starts from basic. It also happens in the development of Pokémon games. Although we have to admit that the latest generations Pokémon are way cooler and better in many aspects but we should remember that even the latest Pokémon sequel won’t exist without the oldest, first generation Pokémon games.

Almost the same like reproduction theory, the first generation Pokémon games acts like the “mother” of the later generations sequel. The later generations Pokémon games acts like the infant, which means that without the first generation Pokémon, the second to the seventh generation games will never exist.

2. Has a lot of memorable Pokémon for the first game

Pokemon - First Generation Roster

The first generation comes up with 151 Pokémon. With the total of seven generations, the number of Pokémon available could be more than 600 Pokémon. With that many, I don’t think that the player can remember most of the Pokémon when they played the series after the first generation. That is why, the first 151 Pokemon is usually become the most remembered by the Pokémon fans and gamers.

3. The later Pokémon are inspired by the first generation

Pokemon - Totodile

Did you notice that the later generations’ Pokémon are based on the first generation Pokémon? Since the monsters are mainly distinguished by elements, so there is a big possibility that the latter one is similar to the first one. That is why somehow some Pokémon can be felt just like a repetition of the classic trio: Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur.

The three main elements introduced in the first generation later become the idea of Pokémon development. With the use of elements such as fire, water, and nature like in the first generation, the later generations’ Pokémon are mostly based on the combination of those three main elements. For example, with the combination of Charmander and Squirtle, comes out the idea of making Totodile.

4. Spin-off games are based on the first generation Pokémon

GDC Session for Pokémon GO is cancelled

Not only the Pokémon characteristic, the later generations’ games itself are based on the first and original Pokémon roster of the first generation. For example, Pokémon Stadium adds newer Pokémon from the later generations, but if we pay attention the whole rosters focus more on the exclusive 151 Pokémon from the first generation.

The other spin-off game such as Pokémon Puzzle League also features newer Pokémon from the later generations, but the fact is that the first generation Pokémon still ruled the roster. Even the famous Pokémon GO developed by Niantic for smartphones features all of the original, classic Pokémon from the first generation, instead of using the advanced rosters from the later generations’ sequel.

5. The first generation’s collectibles becomes rarer as time goes by

Pokemon - Illustrator Pikachu Card

This matter can only be understood by collectors. The value and efforts needed to find things as a collection is only understandable by the collectors itself. When most people thinks that collecting cards or Pokémon’s merchandise is a waste of time and money, the other side will thinks that it is a once in a lifetime chance to be able to collect as many merchandise as possible.

For example, as a special collector’s card made by CoroCoro magazine, the Pikachu Illustrator card could be worth more than $20.000. That amount will sounds ridiculous for non-collectors, but for Pokémon collector it is just another waiting list item to be bought later. There is also a shadowless first edition card of the famous dragon from the first generation: Charizard which can sell for up to $500.

6. The gameplay is timeless

Pokemon Yellow - Gameplay Screenshot

Compared with the later and latest sequel, the first generation of Pokémon games looks really simple and will never compete with the latest Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon in term of graphics. But we shouldn’t forget that a game isn’t just about graphics. The gameplay plays a very important role that can make players mesmerized with only simple features and appearances of a game.

The first generation Pokémon games might lose in some aspects, but the gameplay is timeless. The gameplay mechanic used in the first generation Pokémon games isn’t consumed by time at all. Some Pokémon fans are willingly plays the classic series once again just to experience the genuine first generation Pokémon gameplay which focuses mostly on gameplay due to classic console’s limitation.

7. The yellow-electrifying mascot of Pokémon

Detective Pikachu

Last but not least, why people still loves the first generation of Pokémon is probably because the dominant mascot of the yellow-electrifying mouse: Pikachu. A game mascot is purposely created to make the game memorable and easily remembered by players. That reason is what triggers the game developers to create Moogle and Chocobo in Final Fantasy series, or Slime in Dragon Quest series.

The formula to use a dominant character to boost a game’s image is used in the making of Pokémon. Sometimes people mistaken “Pokémon” as Pikachu’s name, while the fact is that Pikachu is only one of the many playable characters in Pokémon Yellow. But the result is quite significant: Pikachu becomes the most popular Pokémon, and widely regarded as official mascot for the entire Pokémon series.

For your information, Pikachu’s fame has helped it to have its own game, and endless amount of merchandises. Not only that, Pikachu picture is painted on the body of Boeing 747, owned by All Nippon Airways. All those facts are proofs of how famous Pikachu is to both gamer and non-gamer. And if you asked, which generation is Pikachu from? You know the answer: the first generation.

Read also: The Evolution of Pokémon Games

With the age of the first generation Pokémon games, it is not strange if it become the least favored by players. But the fact is, it is not the last on the most favored list and still that popular even after more than 20 years. It is not by coincidence, but all those 7 reasons above are affecting the longevity and popularity of first generation Pokémon. I guess old but gold, classic but classy is best to describe it.

What about you? Do you like the first generation Pokémon too? Please share your thoughts in the comment below.

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Written by
A fellow RPG addict who played a lot of classic masterpieces from Square, Square-Enix, and Tri-Ace. "The epoch may change, but the classics will remain eternal"

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