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What We Got Wrong about the Original Pokémon Games

Nearly twenty years ago, Pokémon Red and Blue made its North American debut and taught use everything we know about catching those adorable pocket monsters. Even Pokémon Yellow came along, the strategy didn’t really change. The goal was always to “catch ’em all” and it seemed that the best way to do that was to wear out or even knock out the various Pokémon before finally tossing a Pokéball at them to capture them. But what if we told you that it wasn’t necessary to put all of that effort into it? As it turns out, we’ve been playing these games incorrectly since the day they came out, and there’s a much easier way to go.

In recently posted video by Eurogamer, Chris Bratt explains the algorithms and equations that determine the success or failure of capture attempt. As originally explained on Dragonfilycave, the formulas used by Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Yellow didn’t carry over into the subsequent games. If you’re not a fan of math, the numbers and equations described by Bratt may not mean that much to you. The short version is that the ideal time to capture the Pokémon is when their HP falls to only 33%, because anything that goes below that is statistically insignificant regarding a successful capture. Bratt even walks us through a very long formula to explain why it would have made more sense to capture Mewtwo earlier in a battle as opposed to when he was down to a single hit point. The chances of a successful capture only rose about 2% from the time when Mewtwo’s health reached 33%.

Knowing that fact ahead of time completely changes the strategy of the game. Players don’t have to endlessly waste resources in their pursuit of the various Pokémon, they just have to play smarter. If this news had hit back in the ’90s, it probably would have saved gamers a lot of time, including us!

What did you think about this video? And now that you know about this formula, do you want to replay Pokémon Red and Blue? Let us know in the comment section below!

Image Credit: The Pokémon Company International

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