Pokémon released in a much different time than today. The late ‘90s had the Internet but it was mostly chat rooms, Instant Messaging, and web pages devoted to different interests and hobbies.
The conversation was scattered and much less focused. There was just enough oxygen for rumors to form and spread but not enough room to debunk them, or at least not quickly. The rumors also spread on the playground offered in the form of advice and gossip.
If you were further than others, you were mostly answering questions. If you were early on, you couldn’t even think of what to ask first. Pokémon felt like an actual digital world that couldn’t possibly be fully explored.
Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue released in America when I was eight years old and even my dysfunctional parents knew well enough to give me something to do. Somewhere to go. Someone to be. Maybe I wasn’t a happy kid.
But the world of Pokémon Red and Blue (and later Yellow!) felt infinite and everyone growing up found themselves imagining the possibilities and sharing secrets on message boards, gaming forums, and around the pirate ship made out of old rubber tires.
Careful the one at the end is filled with bees. I grew up in Kanto, so I was always scanning search results late into the night, checking to see if the latest rumor or secret find was real or someone else’s dream. These are the five weirdest rumors I remember and the info I was able to dig up on Internet Archive.
The 5 Weirdest Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow Rumors
Bill’s Garden is the rumor I always remember first when looking back on memories. I think it’s also the rumor I spent the most time testing. I desperately wanted it to be true because it sounded so exciting.
There were several variations on this secret and many different completion parameters but they all centered around this barely visible space behind Bill’s house. Far north and then further east from Cerulean City is where Bill lives.
It’s a place every player visited, which is probably one reason this rumor was so popular. The rumor was that there was a way to get to the little area behind Bill’s house if you showed him a completed Pokédex or all of the Eevee-lutions.
Another variation was beating the Elite Four with the Eevee-lutions. Every rumor spoke of rare and powerful Pokémon in the garden behind Bill’s house but it was one of the first places when I finally got a GameShark.
I quickly progressed to Cerulean City (without cheating!), activated the Walk Through Walls code, and then walked behind Bill’s house only to disappointment. Nah, actually it was a bunch of flickering pixels and the game eventually crashed. But it was fun.
And the story fed a lot of conversations in class and on the bus.
There are too many Mew rumors to even try to recall. Everyone wanted Mew and we all believed they were hidden in the game. The most popular rumor was the truck behind the S.S. Anne, which can only be accessed with the help of another player to essentially sequence break.
Otherwise the area can become inaccessible and then you’re unable to get to the truck by the time you have the correct abilities to “move” it. You can’t actually move it though. It’s just there. Mew isn’t behind it. Or underneath it.
They’re not even available in the US version of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow Versions. The other popular rumor was to talk to the development team in Celadon City after completing your Pokédex. This unfortunately only results in receiving a certificate that says you completed the Pokédex.
Even though you already knew that… and that’s why you came to talk to them.
Pikablu was an interesting rumor. I remember this popping up after Pokémon: The First Movie but I don’t remember exactly where the rumor came from. Pikablu was Marill but this was before that information was available outside of Japan. Maybe even at all.
I don’t remember because I was nine but everyone was talking about how Marill was in Silph Company in Saffron City. The most popular theory on the playground and in AOL Chat Rooms was that Marill was inside the water fountain in the front lobby of Silph Company.
I remember being told you needed to have a high enough Strength stat total from your party’s Pokémon. Then you just had to use Strength and walk into the little bricks around the fountain. I tried this with several strong Pokémon because I had nothing but time. Pikablu was not in that fountain.
And yes, I later used my GameShark to walk through the fountain. I was able to go fishing in the water but there was nothing there.
All Three Starters
This was a really popular secret that had dozens of different sets of completion rules but they all ended with the player having Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander. The most common theories I remember hearing and reading were to come back and talk to Professor Oak after completing your Pokédex.
I also remember hearing your Pokédex had to be completed and you had to defeat the Elite Four at least one hundred times. I met these conditions and everything else I came across. Professor Oak won’t ever give up Squirtle because he’s greedy.
Battle Professor Oak
This one was really popular and it kind of made sense. I mean, why wouldn’t you be able to battle the professor that helped you start your journey and gifted you your very first Pokémon. There were some absurd rewards that went around if you defeated him too.
The most popular reward I remember hearing about was that he’d provide the player with access to new and secret areas with more powerful Pokémon, similar to the Unknown Dungeon.
With that being said, a Professor Oak battle does exist as there's unused trainer data for it found in Gen 1 games, but this can only be accessed using glitches like the Ditto glitch.
It almost makes you wonder if any of the rumors ever made it back to Game Freak since going back to Kanto ended up being a little surprise at the end of Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal.
Header Image: Nintendo UK