Pokémon Yellow’s Coolest Feature Will Never Work On Switch

Pokémon Yellow's Coolest Feature Will Never Work On Switch

Despite releasing decades ago, Pokémon Yellow has an incredible feature that would never work with modern Pokémon games on the Nintendo Switch.

Although Pokémon Yellow is now twenty-two years old, the classic game has a groundbreaking feature that would never work on the Nintendo Switch console. In 1996, the Pokémon franchise made its debut with Pokémon Red and Green in Japan, before launching worldwide two years later with the Pokémon Red and Blue Kanto RPGs. While the Pokémon series has made many incredible advances across its eight generations of titles, the Pokémon Yellow edition of Gen 1 has a feature that is impressive even by today’s standards.

Following the release of Pokémon Red and Blue, Game Freak released a third edition of the Kanto region RPGs in 1999 due to the overwhelming popularity of the Pokémon anime. To make the RPG closer to the animated series, many characters and locations were changed to reference the anime’s story. Gym Leaders’ Pokémon teams, for example, were overhauled, to match Ash Ketchum’s battles with them in the show. The Pokémon Yellow edition also fixed many bugs and was an overall more balanced experience compared to Pokémon Red and Blue. 


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The third edition of Gen 1 included many new features as well, such as the popular Pokémon Yellow Starter Pikachu mechanic. Just like Ash Ketchum’s Pikachu, the adorable Electric-type now walks outside of its Poké Ball behind the player in the overworld. However, Pokémon Yellow’s best feature utilized the Game Boy Printer accessory. The cool feature wouldn’t work today on the Nintendo Switch but would make completing the Pokédex much more rewarding.

Pokémon Yellow’s Pokédex Mechanic Was Improved By The Game Boy Printer

Pokemon Yellow Coolest Feature Will Never Work On Nintendo Switch Game Boy Printer Pokemon

In 1998, Nintendo released the Game Boy Printer accessory. The new hardware allowed players to connect the device to their Game Boy console using a link cable. While not released specifically for the Pokémon franchise, Game Freak quickly used the addon to create several incredible features in Pokémon Yellow. One of those features included the Game Freak’s Pokédex diploma certificate. In Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, players who manage to complete Kanto’s Gen 1 Pokédex by catching every Pokémon are rewarded with a digital certificate by Game Freak.

However, in Pokémon Yellow players could actually print out their Pokédex certificate using the Game Boy Printer. The incredible feature not only gave players a physical version of their diploma, but the certificate also included new artwork as well. The printed-out version featured Pikachu holding a trophy as well as Mythical Pokémon Mew. Since the series launch, completing each game’s Pokédex is no easy feat and takes hours of work. In the Kanto region RPGs, trainers had to trade with other players in order to obtain a handful of trade-evolution Pokémon. The Pokémon Yellow feature makes completing the Pokédex feel more rewarding as players actually have something physical to show for it.

The Game Boy Printer feature also worked with 2000’s Pokémon Gold and Silver Johto Pokédex, before being discontinued with the launch of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. Although every Pokémon generation still continues to give out Game Freak diploma certificates for completed Pokédex, players haven’t been able to obtain physical copies in decades. With the release of Pokémon Home in 2020, the complete Pokédex rewards have fully been cemented as digital. As a result, Pokémon Yellow’s coolest feature would never work on the Nintendo Switch. The feature continues to be missed though by many fans, who wish they could print out and collect all eight generations of their Pokédex diploma certificates. With Game Freak releasing Gen 9 Pokémon Scarlet and Violet in November 2022, the Pokémon Yellow feature would have been a perfect incentive for players to complete the new region’s Pokédex.

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About The Author

Brent Koepp
(88 Articles Published)

Brent R. Koepp is a games journalist based out of Los Angeles, CA. An avid Pokemon fan for over 25 years, he has spent his career reporting on the popular Nintendo franchise. Following his role as a Pokemon Content Lead at another company, Brent is now a Pokemon Senior Writer for Screen Rant.

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