Editor's Note: You Gotta Catch 'em All is surely one of the most insidious marketing ploys ever devised against children. While the existence of groups that condemn Pokémon as satanic is laughable, the ridiculous popularity of the franchise amongst children is not. But of course there's something more to the craze than clever marketing -- the series is renowned for its remarkable depth. Seanstar offers here a simultaneously fun, irreverent, and jaded look back at the beginnings of this apparent demon-spawn that makes for a fantastic read, whatever your feelings about the franchise. -mossy_11
Pokémon, or "You Gotta Catch 'em All, so go beg mommy and daddy to buy you the latest and greatest version of the same exact game because it's really a different game, we swear!" is the ubiquitous Nintendo handheld cash-cow that debuted in 1996, long before the Game Boy was in color. Consequently, the original "Red" and "Blue" versions of the game (and the Japanese Red and Green, and eventual Yellow, versions) were primarily differentiated by the fact that the Red version circuit board was mounted in a red plastic case, the Blue version in blue, the Green version in green, and the Yellow version in leftover Donkey Kong Land shells. Or maybe brand new Yellow. The world will never know. All versions could be played in full variable-hue monochrome if you had a Super Game Boy, the primary advantage of this mode being to showcase the fact that most towns had been named vaguely after colors by changing the game to the closest SNES-palette representation of the color in question as soon as you entered.