PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
1 vote
No one can answer this, other than "just because"
I mean maybe its answerable? The best i can think of is that's just how it was though, and all the tools they had access to. They did the best they could with what they had and didnt have better, plus probably lack of testing
bruh the game came out in 1996 what do you expect
What ht just said is basically what i meant
I remember reading about how Gamefreak wasn't really that great at programming at the time and when Iwata went to help them for Gold and Silver he improved so much that they had enough space to add in Kanto. Not really sure on the details though.
I am clearing flags because I think this question is answerable.
Honestly I've heard people extolling the virtues of R/B/Y for their ability to keep running and still play even after experiencing severe bugs that would cause more modern games to crash immediately.  That's how things like Missing No came into existence.

2 Answers

8 votes
Best answer

Actually it wasn't that badly made. Firstly, remember that the Game Boy was extremely limited and was first released in 1989, 7 years before Red & Blue came out in Japan. The games are 1 megabyte in size - that's less than a single photo on any recent camera/smartphone! So to fit everything on there in an achievement in itself.

Programming languages of the time were also very "low level" which meant that instead of e.g. assigning a variable, you write exactly which part of the memory to store something in. And with limits that small, you need to save on space by reusing things. For example the Missingno glitch relies on the player's name being stored in a certain place in memory, which is later reused for encounters on the edge of Cinnabar Island. I think the Mew glitch is similar, it relies on the memory being in a specific state when you do certain actions.

Plus a lot of these things are hard to test. How would you know that someone would talk to the old man then fly directly to Cinnabar? It's impossible to test every single possible variation. And adding extra programming for all the variations would take more space on the cartridge.

Finally, don't forget other games had glitches too, Pokemon is just the most popular. I remember the PAL version of Lemmings on Game Boy has a glitch where one of the levels literally cannot be completed. It's possible some of the glitches are due to bad programming, but mostly it's just how things were in those days.

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The Pokémon god answered!
> I think the Mew glitch is similar

I'm not too knowledgeable on this one since it's already so well documented, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

If I remember correctly, that one relies on the special stat of the opposing Pokemon. When the game tries to open the dialogue box, it points to garbage data that happens to be where your special stat is. Because of this, it encounters the Pokemon with an internal index number identical to that of your special stat.

I believe this is known as the Trainer-Fly glitch, and a specific variation of it is now very well-known as the Mew glitch.

But again, to reiterate, I'm not the most knowledgeable on this, so don't think I'm an expert or anything.
5 votes

It was actually a pretty good game for the time. This game was sold in 1998 at America, so there isn't really much you can do. Many people still play this game today, either for nostalgia, or maybe they like the simplicity of it. Also, I'm fairly certain that Red, Blue, Green and Yellow were the first Pokemon games, so they may be considered "poorly programmed" to some.